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AoV Fist of the Heavens Crusader Guide

Last Updated: January 10th 2024

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Introduction

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.

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! In Season 29 the nerfed version of this power was added to the Vigilante Belt making Fist of The Heavens Crusader the top build on the AoV leaderboards.

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 ✔

Random Targeting
Inconsistent Toughness
Low Single Target Damage

❌ Clunky due to Low Attack Speed

Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Aegis of Valor set provides 50% damage reduction, nearly infinite Wrath and 15,000% 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%.
  • Vigilante Belt provides another x3-4 damage multiplier and automatically casts Fist of the Heavens when we use Steed Charge.
  • 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 30 Soul Shards

Soul Shards are powerful socketable items that initially dropped during Season 25 but they are returning for Season 30! There are 4 available for Weapons based on the Lesser Evils, with another 3 for Helmets based on the Prime Evils. They drop at Rank 0 and be upgraded three times with the brand new Hellforge Embers to unlock additional powers, or be used in the Kanai's Cube as Augments. Here's how they progress:

  • Rank 0: Soul Shards begin with a unique static Legendary Power. Creates a Rank 50 Augment.
  • Rank 1: Gives all powers from the normal gems. Creates a Rank 75 Augment.
  • Rank 2: Grants one additional powerful stat. Creates a Rank 100 Augment.
  • Rank 3: Unlocks 1 of 3 bonus Legendary Powers unique to that Soul Shard. Creates a Rank 125 Augment.

Warning: Leoric's Crown and Broken Crown do not work with Soul Shards!

Read our Soul Shards Guide written by Chewingnom for full details on how they work. What you should prioritize on them for Solo Pushing is the following:

  1. The Correct Soul Shard & Rank 3 Power
    The best shards for Solo Pushing are:
    • Helmets: We want to use Sliver of Terror for the massive damage buff from our abilities on cooldown. For the Rank 3 power take the additional Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance to further boost your character's power.
    • Weapons: We want to use Essence of Anguish for the Movement Speed and Cooldown Reduction. For the Rank 3 power take the 50% increased Poison Damage, which actually applies to all damage done! Hint: Make sure to get a Poison Damage Range on your Weapon so it can proc the shard automatically.
  2. The Rank 2 Stat
    The stats that come from the second upgrade are not equal. Here's what we're looking for on them:
    • Helmets: We want either Main Stat for damage or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction to survive. Avoid Armor and All Resistance as their stat ranges are far too low compared to the others options.
    • Weapons: We want either % Damage or Lightning/Holy Damage to boost our character's power the furthest. Avoid Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance as their stat ranges are too low compared to the others.
  3. The Stat Ranges on the Rank 1 and 2 Powers
    This is just icing on the cake because the ranges will not make or break your build. Still, look for the Soul Shards with the best stat ranges, especially on the offensive stats.

For the other game modes, other Soul Shards can be used. Check the Variants below to see what's used there.

What about extra Soul Shards? Either salvage them for gems, or upgrade and use them in Kanai's Cube for Augments.

Global Stat Priorities

Stack as much Cooldown Reduction (CDR) as possible; there aren't any Breakpoints to hit but you need every bit of it to get permanent Steed Charge. After that focus on increasing your DPS via Elemental Damage, Critical Hit Chance & Damage, Fist of the Heavens Damage, Area Damage and Attack Speed. Make sure to get Resistance to All Elements and Vitality on your defensive slots: Boots, Pants, Chest, Belt.

Assembling the Build

Item Stat Priorities

Gems

Skills

Passives

Paragon Points

Altar of Rites

Follower

Gameplay

Hardcore

Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Bounties
GR Solo Speeds
Solo Push
Echoing Nightmare
T16 FotH

Concept
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.

Gameplay
This build is extremely easy to play: you ride the horse and enemies die around you. 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.

Setups
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 Goldwrap but the toughness is not a big issue because you kill most enemies before they have a chance to attack you.

AoV Speed Bounty

Concept
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 Leoric's Crown for extra CDR and. 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.

Gameplay
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.

Setups
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.

FotH Solo Speeds

Concept
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: Aughild's Authority and Bastions of Will. We use Justice to activate Bastions of Will damage bonus. Iron Skin's rune is changed to Steel Skin for increased uptime on the toughness buff. And finally, our 3rd gem is Gogok of Swiftness for some extra CDR and toughness.

Gameplay
With this build you want to do fairly fast runs, it's optimal to run at the tier where your average time is a little over 2 minutes. Generally you want to stay away from the mobs to maximize your Zei's Stone of Vengeance damage buff. To deal damage you need to stay on the horse as much as possible to only stop to cast Justice and Fist of the Heavens once every 5 seconds to refresh the Bastions of Will buff. At the same time you can recast Iron Skin, Laws of Hope, and Akarat's Champion if they happen to be off cooldown.

Setups
At low Paragon (when your total Strength is less than 25,000), use Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Aughild's Authority.

If you are aiming for low gemups and loot rather than XP, you can lose some damage to make your gameplay more smooth. Drop Bastions of Will set for Convention of Elements and Stone of Jordan. Use Falling Sword instead of Justice to jump over walls. To make this work, you need to go 8-10 tiers lower and go for very fast (under 2 minutes on average) runs.

FotH Solo Push

Concept
In the push version of the build we aim to maximize our damage by switching from Bastions of Will + Squirt's Necklace to Endless Walk + Convention of Elements. This also frees up a skill slot, letting us pick up Condemn Vacuum to better capitalize on Area Damage.

Gameplay
Stay on the horse as much as possible, while gathering mobs with Condemns cast in-between your Steed Charges. When your Convention of Elements switches to Holy, try to move less to let your Endless Walk partially switch to damage mode. 3 seconds into Holy, cast Condemn, Iron Skin and Laws of Hope into Steed Charge and stand completely still. If an Oculus Ring appears, quickly move into it and stand there until Lightning ends.

Unfortunately, you are not tanky enough to pull off the above strategy in every situation. Depending on how dangerous the surrounding mobs are and if you have Akarat's Champion active or not, you may need to play more defensively. You can do the same thing but move in circles during your DPS window to maintain the defensive buff from Endless Walk. In extremely dangerous situations you can just stay away from mobs and use your Movement Speed to dodge most of their attacks.

Setups
At low Paragon (when your total Strength is less than 25,000), use Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Aughild's Authority.

If you find that you can never stand still long enough to make Endless Walk work, switch it to Unity + Squirt's Necklace to get consistent toughness and bonus damage when you find a Shield Pylon.

Echoing Nightmare Setup

Concept
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.

Changes

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

Gameplay

  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 Hope, Iron Skin and Akarat's Champion at all times. Cast Justice and Fist of the Heavens at least once every 5 seconds to refresh Bastions of Will buff. 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.

Video Guide

Mechanics

Darklight

Iron Skin Flash

Fear on Hit

Steed Charge

Vigilante Belt

Summary

  • Put together the core items and acquire the full Aegis of Valor set.
  • Stack Cooldown Reduction to make your life easier.
  • Ride your horse forward and watch everything explode around you.
  • Spam all the buttons in-between Steed Charge casts.

Charge onward to victory!

Credits

Written by Northwar.

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