AoV Fist of the Heavens Crusader Guide


AoV FotH Solo T16
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The Aegis of Valor (AoV) Set, while mainly focused on Heaven's Fury, also applies its massive (6) Bonus to Fist of the Heavens thus giving rise to an entirely different set of builds.

Fist of the Heavens cannot compete with insane damage output of Heaven's Fury, but there's two areas where it is reigns supreme: AoE coverage and convenience.

All the Fist of the Heavens multipliers are unconditional, you just have to cast the skill, there's no rotation, preparation or anything like that. This makes Fist of the Heavens builds ideal for speedfarming, especially when game difficulty is limited: in Nephalem Rifts and Bounties.

Season 27 and Sanctified Items surprisingly buffed the build to an incredible level with the seasonal exclusive Sanctified Fist of the Heavens allowing the Crusader to become a living machinegun on the battlefield!

This is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Fist of the Heavens can proc it. Fist of the Heavens' large area of effect and unlimited range, combined with mobility granted by Steed Charge and Norvald's Fervor set, produce the best Crusader build when it comes to farming keys and bounties. This guide will go over everything you need to know to rock this build successfully!

Mobile ✔
Easy Playstyle ✔
Excellent AoE Damage
Easy to Get Starter Gear ✔

Low Damage Ceiling
Inconsistent Toughness
Low Single Target Damage

❌ Clunky due to Low Attack Speed

Core Setup

Core Item Build


  • Aegis of Valor set provides 50% damage reduction, nearly infinite Wrath and 20,000% Fist of the Heavens damage increase.
  • Norvald's Fervor set gives 200% DPS increase and also lets you stay mounted 24/7, if you so desire.
  • Darklight increases Fist of the Heavens damage by 1,000% and adds an extra explosion to each cast, effectively providing a x22 damage multiplier.
  • Khassett's Cord of Righteousness increases Fist of the Heavens damage by 170%.
  • Squirt's Necklace provides up to 100% damage buff, which is fairly easy to keep up on a ranged build that is killing everything on the screen in seconds.

Season 28 Altar of Rites

Season 28 brings a brand new progression feature called the Altar of Rites that grants tremendous powers to your entire account in exchange for sacrifices. It requires you to farm Bounties, kill the Ubers, craft the Staff of Herding, and more. Completing all 26 of these tasks, along with sacrificing 6 Primal Ancients grants you unbelievable Damage, Defense, Quality of Life, Increased Drops, 3 Potion Super Powers, and the juicy Wings of Terror. Read the full guides on Unlocking the Altar and the Altar Mechanics by Raxxanterax and Chewingnom to learn everything about this fantastic Season!

Note: The suggested path assumes you are playing Solo and used the Challenge Rift Cache to help you level up.

Optimal Path

Node 2: Choose Anointed to gain a full set of 70 yellows from level 18-70!

Node 6: Rush to gain double Bounties to help unlock other Nodes in the Altar.

Nodes 7-14: These are the last Nodes you can gain until the Challenge Rift resets. Take at least 1 Node at the bottom of each path to unlock all 3 Potion Super Powers. Pick up the Mirror Node at the top for a colossal 41% extra XP all season. Remember to unlock Father once you clear GR70 solo and have your first Primal!

Nodes 15-26: Pick up the final Quality of Life, Damage, and Defense Nodes (in that order) to finish the Altar.

Potion Super Powers: Take Father first, then Mother, and finally Mortal.

Disclaimer: The Mortal and Mother Potions require you to salvage 2 and 3 Primals respectively. Unlock them as soon as you have those materials as they don't cost a point!

Recommended Altar Path
Use the Scroll Bar to see Altar Progression

Global Stat Priorities

Stack as much Cooldown Reduction (CDR) as possible; there aren't any Breakpoints to hit but having a lot of Cooldown Reduction makes the build more fluid and pleasant to play. After that focus on increasing your DPS via Elemental Damage, Critical Hit Chance & Damage, Fist of the Heavens Damage and Attack Speed. Defensive stats are not that important, given that this is a ranged build that typically 1-2 shots all the enemies.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. Gather the full Aegis of Valor set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Aegis of Valor set
  2. Khassett's Cord of Righteousness and Goldwrap
  3. Shield of the Steed
  4. Nemesis Bracers

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Flails to get Darklight
  2. Two-Handed Flails to get Flail of the Charge
  3. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Act 2: Gloves of Worship (for your follower)
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Act 5: Pandemonium Loop
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny

6. All the remaining items such as for example Squirt's Necklace are not critical for the build so it's better to just wait for them to drop and spend your mats to get set items with better rolls, ancient weapon etc.

7. Use Primordial Ashes in Kanai's Cube with the new Curiosity of Lorath Nahr recipe to obtain a free Crafted Primal Ancient. Since you can only equip one of them, choosing the right item to focus matters! Great candidates are Weapons, Offhands, Jewelry or any item with an important multiplier. With that in mind, we recommend getting one of the following items:

  • Flail of the Charge
  • Squirt's Necklace
  • Focus or Restraint

Item Stat Priorities

Main-HandFlail of the Charge
Darklight (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Damage %
5. Attack Speed
6. Strength
7. Elite Damage
8. Fear on Hit (Secondary)
Off-HandShield of the Steed1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Fist of the Heavens Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Strength
5. Elite Damage
6. Fear on Hit (Secondary)
HelmCrown of Valor
Leoric's Crown
Sage's Apogee (Crafted)
1. Fist of the Heavens Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
4. Strength
5. Fear on Hit (Secondary)
GlovesGauntlets of Valor
Sage's Purchase (Crafted)
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Attack Speed
5. Strength
ShouldersSpaulders of Valor1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Strength
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
5. Area Damage
Chest Brigandine of Valor1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Elite Damage Reduction
4. Strength
5. Vitality
6. Life %
PantsChausses of Valor
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
BootsGreaves of Valor
Captain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)
Sage's Passage (Crafted)
1. Fist of the Heavens Damage
2. All Resistance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
Ring 1Rechel's Ring of Larceny
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Attack Speed
Ring 2Avarice Band (A3 Bounties, Cubed)
Pandemonium Loop (A5 Bounties)
Stone of Jordan
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Attack Speed
BracersNemesis Bracers
Warzechian Armguards
1. Elemental Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
5. All Resistance
AmuletSquirt's Necklace1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Elemental Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
Khassett's Cord of Righteousness (Cubed)
Sage's Ribbon (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Strength
3. Life %
4. Vitality
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull enemies
and increase DPS


  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance is our main DPS gem, giving up to 80% extra damage vs far away targets.
  • Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard is necessary to protect your Squirt's Necklace buff from stray projectiles.
  • The third gem is either Boon of the Hoarder for Nephalem Rifts or Gogok of Swiftness for Greater Rifts and Bounties.


  • Fist of the Heavens is the main source of DPS as well as necessary skill to activate Aegis of Valor (4) Bonus.
  • Iron Skin Flash is one of the most used Crusader skills which provides both 50% damage reduction and large Movement Speed boost.
  • Steed Charge Nightmare is used for mobility and to activate Norvald's Fervor damage bonus as well as different on-hit effects such as Rechel's Ring of Larceny, Warzechian Armguards and Gogok of Swiftness.
  • Akarat's Champion Prophet is a staple in every single crusader build. One skill providing 35% DPS, more than double toughness, CC-immunity, Wrath regeneration and full heal on "death" is just too good to pass up.
  • One of the remaining skill slots is occupied by Law skill, which is either Laws of Hope Wings of Angels for mobility or Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force for defense.
  • Finally the last skill slot is free, except for variants of the build that run Bastions of Will, which use Justice Hammer of Pursuit. For other variants this skill slot can be either Provoke Flee Fool to activate Rechel's Ring of Larceny or Falling Sword to jump over walls.


  • Heavenly Strength is mandatory to equip both pieces of Norvald's Fervor.
  • Indestructible is used to prevent random oneshots when Akarat's Champion and/or Goldwrap buff falls off.
  • Long Arm of the Law for increased uptime on our Law skill.
  • The last passive is usually Finery, the strongest generic crusader passive, which provides about 15% DPS and 12% toughness boost. The bounty version uses Lord Commander for 100% Steed Charge uptime.

Paragon Points

1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Area Damage
2. Strength2. Critical Hit Damage2. Armor2. Pickup Radius
3. Vitality3. Critical Hit Chance3. Life %3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Wrath4. Attack Speed4. Life Regeneration4. Resource Cost Reduction


Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:

  1. The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
  2. Follower’s powers are based on their main stat (maxed at 25.000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10.000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
  3. Guardian's Jeopardy (3) Bonus works for followers by improving their inherent stat multiplier from x2.5 to x3.5, making it slightly easier to hit the 25,000 main stat threshold if needed.
  4. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  5. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  6. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  7. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

Select Follower


Fist of the Heavens is the main damage skill, its resource cost is completely negated by Aegis of Valor (4) Bonus, so you can just cast it on everything that moves.

Akarat's Champion, Iron Skin and your chosen Law skill should be spammed as much as cooldown allows in order to maximize the uptime on defensive and Movement Speed buffs.

Steed Charge is used when you need to move, or in the middle of the fight when Norvald's Fervor buff is about to fall off you use it to quickly move away from the mobs and refresh the buff.


This build is not very hardcore-friendly due to being dependent on toughness buffs which do not have 100% uptime. As a result you can often find yourself to be way squishier than expected, and if an unlucky attack happens to come your way, you just proc your Indestructible without any warning. One way you could remedy this would be by including Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac and Captain Crimson's Trimmings for 100% uptime on the Law and Akarat's Champion. Check out our dedicated Hardcore Survival Guide to learn more about how to succeed in this game mode!


Nephalem Rifts
T16 Lightning FotH

This variant of the build uses the standard for Nephalem rift combination of Gold items: Goldwrap, Avarice Band and Boon of the Hoarder. Together, these three give you a screen-wide pick up radius, 30% Movement Speed, nearly infinite toughness, and a steady supply of gold. Fist of the Heavens Divine Well is used for it's screen-wide AoE coverage. All the other items and skills are focused on maximizing Movement Speed: Warzechian Armguards, Rechel's Ring of Larceny + Pandemonium Loop, Provoke Flee Fool and Laws of Hope Wings of Angels. We also try to get Chance to Fear on hit wherever possible to get some Rechel's Ring of Larceny procs when Provoke is on cooldown.

This build is extremely easy to play: you ride the horse when you don't see the enemies and you right click the enemies when you do see them. At the same time you can leisurely spam your buffs without paying attention to their cooldowns. One thing you should pay attention to, is to only use Provoke when there are enemies in range, otherwise you get no Movement Speed.

If you play in groups, equip Nemesis Bracers and cube Avarice Band. At around 2,000 Paragon you can also include Sage's Journey for extra Death's Breath drops. For this you need to lose Khassett's Cord of Righteousness but the damage is high enough without it. Maybe you'll have to cast an extra Fist of the Heavens on some Elites, but that's it.

AoV Speed Bounty

This is basically a cross between T16 and Speed GR variants, it focuses mostly on Movement Speed because monster HP is capped, but it doesn't use any of the gold-dependent items and instead uses Captain Crimson's Trimmings for extra CDR and defense. Everything else is focused entirely on Movement Speed: Rechel's Ring of Larceny, Provoke Flee Fool and Laws of Hope Wings of Angels. We also try to get Chance to Fear on hit wherever possible to get some Rechel's Ring of Larceny procs when Provoke is on cooldown. Finally, we use Lord Commander as our 4th passive for 100% Steed Charge uptime.

While Crusader is not the best class to run bounties, this build is as good as it gets. With 100% uptime on both Steed Charge and Wings of Angels you can get to the quest location reasonably fast, and once there you can kill everything on the screen in just a few casts of Fist of the Heavens.

There's nothing different in the gameplay of bounty build. When running to the quest you want to always be on the horse, so only use your buffs in-between Steed Charge casts, otherwise it will be interrupted early and you'll need to kill something to reset cooldown. Be careful to not recast the Steed Charge itself too early, as casting it while mounted will not start a new Steed Charge but will just dismount you instead.

At high Paragon you can switch Stone of Jordan for Pandemonium Loop for increased Rechel's Ring of Larceny uptime. At very high Paragon you can switch Zei's Stone of Vengeance for Wreath of Lightning to squeeze out that extra bit of Movement Speed.

GR Solo Speeds
FotH Solo Speeds

This version is aiming to get as much DPS and toughness as possible, sacrificing movement speed for it, since just base Steed Charge is fast enough already. To that end we utilise 2 extra sets: Captain Crimson's Trimmings and Bastions of Will. We use Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force for 50% RCR, which turns into damage reduction, and Justice to activate Bastions of Will damage bonus. Iron Skin's rune is changed to Steel Skin for increased uptime on the toughness buff. We use Nemesis Bracers to get to 100% progression faster. And finally, our 3rd gem is Gogok of Swiftness for some extra CDR and toughness.

With this build you want to do fairly fast runs, it's optimal to run at the tier where your average time is a tad below 3 minutes. Generally you want to stay away from the mobs to maximize your Zei's Stone of Vengeance damage buff. When mobs get too close, use Steed Charge to get away and refresh Norvald's Fervor bonus. Don't forget to use Justice every 5s to keep both Bastions of Will buffs active at all times. Staying at range will also help you avoid unnecessary damage and retain your Squirt's Necklace stacks.

If you are aiming for low gemups and loot rather than XP, you can trade some toughness for Movement Speed: switching back to Iron Skin Flash and Unstoppable Force to Wings of Angels. To make it work you need to go 8-10 tiers lower and go for very fast (2 minutes on average) runs. This way you will kill most enemies in 1-2 casts, before they have the chance to attack you.

Echoing Nightmare
Echoing Nightmare Setup

For more information check out our full Echoing Nightmare Guide and take a look at our Echoing Nightmare Build Tier List and META post for the best builds and strategies! This build is good for this game mode. Typically we utilize a Greater Rift speed build with a few tweaks.


  • Use the Divine Well rune to blow through early waves faster.


  1. Click Speed Pylon instantly to boost your mobility and dodge Green Meteors.
  2. Around Wave 90, click Channeling Pylon and Power Pylon.
  3. After Wave 100, use Conduit Pylon.
  4. At Wave 122, stop attacking and run to the corner to let the timer run out.

Spam Laws of Valor, Iron Skin and Akarat's Champion at all times. Cast Justice and Steed Charge at least once every 5 seconds to refresh Bastions of Will and Norvald's Fervor buffs. Keep in mind that both Iron Skin and Akarat's Champion have small downtime which makes you extra vulnerable. Try to stay away from mobs and avoid getting hit.

GR Solo Push
FotH Solo Push

In Season 28 this build can be made somewhat serviceable for pushing. If we fish for Empowered Shrine buff from Father we can get 100% uptime on all our defensive buffs. Together with toughness bonuses we get from Altar of Rites the build actually becomes tanky enough to play the rift like you normally do: making big pulls with Vacuum and killing them with Area Damage.

However, the resulting build is still noticeably weaker than Heaven's Fury builds and is also extremely laggy.

Fairly standard Convention of Elements based gameplay. At the start of Holy walk in the middle of the pull and stand still for your Endless Walk. At the end of Holy tap Steed Charge and start spamming Fist of the Heavens. Once Oculus Ring spawns, use Steed Charge again to move into it and continue attacking until Lightning is over. Use next 8 second to move forward and gather more mobs.

Zei's Stone of Vengeance is not very strong in this build because you need to sit within 15 yards of mobs to proc Bane of the Trapped. You can drop it for Esoteric Alteration if you need more toughness. Pain Enhancer can be used to gain more damage but it's not recommended because you will be much more likely to lag out.

Video Guide



  • Produces an extra explosion with each cast of Fist of the Heavens, instead of having on explosion directly under the cursor, two are spawned to the left and to the right of it.
  • Both explosions can damage the same target.
  • Both explosions can proc Area Damage.

Iron Skin Flash

  • Provides a Movement Speed buff every time you take damage while the effect is active.
  • Duration of the buff is refreshed by every new damage instance.
  • Buff is provided even if all the damage is shielded.
  • Buff is not provided if damage is negated e.g. by dodge or by Indestructible.

Fear on Hit

  • Affected enemies flee in fear for 3 seconds.
  • Stacks multiplicatively from different pieces of gear.
  • Fear is applied after the damage, meaning that it can never proc when the target dies in one hit.

Steed Charge

  • Provides a 150% Movement Speed buff for the duration.
  • For 0.4 seconds after activation, blocks all the skill casts.
  • Using any skill while the buff is active will remove the buff. This includes Steed Charge itself even if its cooldown is shorter than its duration.

In-Depth Season 27 AoV FotH w/ Sanctified Fist of the Heavens Build Overview

During Season 27, the Aegis of Valor FotH got a crazy Sanctified Power. Indeed, due to Sanctified Fist of the Heavens, it was possible to let the light rain onto enemies!

S27 AoV FotH
w/ Sanctified Fist of the Heavens


  • Fist of the Heavens is cast on a random nearby enemy every 2 seconds.
  • It can proc Area Damage and deals the same damage than your own Fist of the Heavens.
  • After casting Steed Charge, this effect occurs more rapidly for 5 seconds.


  • Put together the core items and acquire the full Aegis of Valor set.
  • Stack Cooldown Reduction to make your life easier.
  • Spam Fist of the Heavens to your heart's content.
  • In fact, spam all the buttons.

Charge onward to victory!


Written by Northwar.


Feb 19th 2023
Updated for Season 28 / Patch 2.7.5. Added Solo Push variant (but it's pretty bad without Sanctified power).

Aug 15th 2022
Updated for Season 27 / Patch 2.7.4.