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AoV Heaven's Fury Crusader Guide


Introduction

AoV HF Solo Push
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Aegis of Valor (AoV) is the latest Crusader set to be introduced into the game with Season 19. Featuring some impressive numbers—20,000% increased damage, as well as the only stacking buff in the game that was stacking multiplicatively with itself—this set brought about a new era in the world of Diablo III power creep. The highest Greater Rift tier—150—was cleared solo for the first time using AoV Heaven's Fury (HF) Crusader build.

Since then the build was nerfed in 5 separate occasions each time roughly halving the power of the setup, with the addition of a cap to Shield of Fury stacks then a nerf to it, the prevention of animation canceling, the nerf to Ivory Tower and finally the nerf to the (2) Bonus stacks to be additive instead of multiplicative with themselves.

However the build still stands as one of the strongest Rift Guardian Killers and one of the strongest solo builds across all classes. The raw power of the set itself also makes it very easy to get into higher difficulties straight away, even before the full build is completed. During Season 24, Ethereals allowed the build to be a hybrid setup between manual casts and block-based casts from Ivory Tower.

This is an Area Damage (AD) build when using Norvald's Fervor setup, since selfcast Heaven's Fury can proc it, while other setups are not as Shield of Fury does not interact with it and Ivory Tower casts cannot proc it either (see Mechanics). Apart from Heaven's Fury, the set also increases damage of Fist of the Heavens (FotH). Despite not competing in terms of raw damage output, AoV FotH Crusader really shine in lower speedfarming content such as Nephalem Rifts, Bounties and Speed Greater Rifts, where Heaven's Fury is not so good due to its small AoE and overall clunkiness.

Easy to Play ✔
Good Sustain ✔
Good Season Starter ✔
Excellent Single Target Damage ✔

❌ Slow
❌ Limited Skill Choices
❌ Clunky Supporting Items
❌ Sensitive to CC Resistance


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Aegis of Valor set provides 50% damage reduction, nearly infinite Wrath and whopping x1,600 Heaven's Fury damage increase.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings set provides roughly 60% DPS increase and more than 100% toughness boost.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur is necessary to get the full benefit from both sets.
  • Fate of the Fell increases Heaven's Fury by 500% and adds 2 extra beams, in case of Fires of Heaven all three beams can hit the same target, dealing triple damage.
  • Shield of Fury increases Heaven's Fury damage by up to 300%
  • Bracer of Fury increases Heaven's Fury damage by 400% but only against enemies affected by some of hard Crowd Control (CC) effects.
  • Convention of Elements - due to the restriction imposed by Bracer of Fury this ring becomes much more valuable, increasing the overall damage output by more than 150% if CC is overlapped with Holy part of the cycle.



Season 27 Sanctified Items

Angelic Crucibles are new consumables that drop anywhere once you're Level 70. Using them on items reforges them into Sanctified Items with Primal Ancient stats, and adds one of three new unique Class Powers listed below. For full details on how they work, check out this Seasonal Guide by Chewingnom!

Let's look at our Class Powers and see how they apply to our build:

  1. The best power for us is the Sanctified Fist of the Heavens as it helps us with resource generation and can aggro some mobs. Still it's not a big deal if you don't have it.
  2. The Sanctified Falling Sword power is not strong enough to give up a skill slot.
  3. The Sanctified Blessed Hammer power doesn't help us at all.

Since you can only equip one of them, choosing the right item to craft it on matters! Great candidates are Weapons, Offhands, Jewelry or any item with an important multiplier. With that in mind, we recommend Sanctifying one of the following items:

  • Fate of the Fell
  • Shield of Fury
  • Flail of the Charge

Global Stat Priorities

Get at least 55% Cooldown Reduction to have high uptime on Akarat's Champion. Make sure your defensive slots—Boots, Pants and Belt—have Vitality and All Resistance on them. Stack DPS stats wherever possible: Holy Damage Increase, Heaven's Fury Damage, Critical Hit Damage and Critical Hit Chance. Area Damage should be mostly ignored, because it doesn't get buffed by Shield of Fury.

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. Bracer of Fury
  3. Shield of the Steed and Shield of Fury
  4. Nemesis Bracers
  5. Goldwrap

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

  1. Two-Handed Flails to get Flail of the Charge and Fate of the Fell
  2. Rings to get Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
  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
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Cain's Destiny and Sage's Journey

6. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem or Speed Greater Rifts where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. It's better to spend your materials improving your set pieces, getting ancient weapon etc.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORTY
Main-HandFlail of the Charge
Fate of the Fell
Johanna's Argument
Pig Sticker
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Damage %
4. Attack Speed
5. Cooldown Reduction
6. Strength
Off-HandShield of the Steed
Shield of Fury
Ivory Tower (Cubed)
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Heaven's Fury Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Elite Damage
5. Strength
HelmCrown of Valor
Leoric's Crown (Cubed)
Pride's Fall (A3 Bounties, Cubed)
Cain's Insight (Crafted)
Sage's Apogee (Crafted)
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
3. Vitality
4. Strength
GlovesGauntlets of Valor
Stone Gauntlets (Cubed)
Magefist (Cubed)
St. Archew's Gage (Cubed)
Cain's Scrivener (Crafted)
Sage's Purchase (Crafted)
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Strength
6. Physical Resistance
ShouldersSpaulders of Valor1. Heaven's Fury Damage
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. All Resistance
5. Strength
Chest Brigandine of Valor1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Heaven's Fury Damage
3. Elite Damage Reduction
4. All Resistance
5. Life %
6. Strength
7. Vitality
PantsChausses of Valor
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
Cain's Habit (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
BootsGreaves of Valor
Captain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)
Cain's Travelers (Crafted)
Sage's Passage (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Strength
3. Vitality
4. Armor
Ring 1Convention of Elements
The Compass Rose
Unity
Stone of Jordan
Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Damage Range
6. Attack Speed
Ring 2Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed Increase
BracersBracer of Fury
Warzechian Armguards
Nemesis Bracers
1. Holy Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
5. All Resistance
AmuletThe Flavor of Time
Squirt's Necklace
The Traveler's Pledge
Hellfire Amulet
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Holy Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Cooldown Reduction
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
Sage's Ribbon (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Strength
3. Life %
4. Vitality
PotionBottomless Potion of AmplificationTo gain extra healing

Gems

  • Bane of the Trapped is the most common DPS gem, the bonus is always active thanks to Judgment.
  • Bane of the Stricken is necessary to kill the Rift Guardian.
  • The third gem is usually Pain Enhancer for extra Attack Speed or Gogok of Swiftness for RGK and CDR-dependent variants of the build.

Skills

  • Heaven's Fury Fires of Heaven is the main source of damage, thanks to Aegis of Valor (4) Bonus we can spam this skill despite its heavy Wrath cost.
  • Fist of the Heavens Fissure is necessary to activate Aegis of Valor (2 and 4) Bonus. Fissure is used as both fissures and lightning arcs provide Wrath each time they deal damage, making it unnecessary to cast Fist of the Heavens too often.
  • Judgment is used to activate Bracer of Fury bonus damage. Alternatively Shield Glare can be used to the same effect, but Judgment's longer duration and more convenient area of effect make it an overall better choice.
  • Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force provides 50% Resource Cost Reduction which lets us spam Heavens Fury even against single targets where Wrath generation is low. And at the same time it provides 50% damage reduction thanks to Captain Crimson's Trimmings. 15% Attack Speed from the base skill is just icing on the cake.
  • 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.
  • Finally the last skill slot is free; 90% it's Iron Skin Flash for free movement and damage reduction, but in some cases where speed is needed above everything else Steed Charge can take its place.

Passives

  • Heavenly Strength is mandatory for 2h variants, for the 1h ones Fervor is used instead for its massive CDR boost.
  • Holy Cause is the main source of recovery as well as a nice damage boost.
  • Long Arm of the Law lets us have easy 100% uptime on Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force.
  • Finery is the strongest generic crusader passive, provides about 15% DPS and 12% toughness boost.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction 1. All Resistance1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Strength2. Critical Hit Damage2. Life %2. Area Damage2
3. Vitality13. Critical Hit Chance3. Armor3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Wrath4. Attack Speed4. Life Regeneration4. Pickup Radius

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 750,000 Life is recommended).
2 Avoid any source of Area Damage for RGK variants as this is useless and it can lag the game.

Follower

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

Gameplay

Fist of the Heavens needs to be used at least once every 5 seconds to maintain Aegis of Valor (2) Bonus. With Fissure it will also be enough to keep your Wrath maxed out in the rift, although during the bossfight more fissures might be necessary.

Heavens Fury is your main attack skill and it should be spammed as much as possible to deal damage, apply Shield of Fury stacks, heal via Holy Cause, and to generate Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs.

Akarat's Champion, Laws of Valor and Iron Skin are three toughness buffs that you want to keep up all the time. It's important to only cast each skill when the buff is about to run out, to avoid wasting any Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs. For the build variations which don't use Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, the Akarat's Champion is used exactly at the start of every other Holy cycle of Convention of Elements, Laws of Valor is used on cooldown and Iron Skin is used when extra toughness or Movement Speed is needed.

Finally the CC skill, Judgment or Shield Glare, is only used right before the Holy cycle. Using it at any other time will reduce your overall DPS due to Crowd Control Resistance mechanics.

Hardcore

The build is quite tanky already so the only change for hardcore is swapping Finery for Indestructible, the strongest cheat death passive in the game. 5s long invulnerability combined with Akarat's Champion CC-immunity lets you use Town Portal no matter how perilous your current circumstances are. Be aware however, that if you "die" due to being stuck, using Iron Skin Flash after the passive procs will not give you any Movement Speed and you will still be stuck until the invulnerability runs out. Check out our dedicated Hardcore Survival Guide to learn more about how to succeed in this game mode!


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
AoV HF T16

Concept
Using AoV Heaven's Fury Crusader in Torment 16 is a lot like coming to a carnival shooting game with your own 105mm M102 Howitzer: people give you weird looks but it works. Generally AoV FotH Crusader will be better for T16, but this is fun in its own way and you also can use Cain's Destiny.

Here we drop almost all our damage multipliers: Shield of Fury, Bracer of Fury, Convention of Elements, Finery, Holy Cause are all gone. However, each of three beams still deals enough damage to oneshot yellow Elites on non-critical hit!

Since the damage is so overwhelming we focus on other stats: Attack Speed, CDR, and Movement Speed. We use a bunch of standard T16 items: Goldwrap, Avarice Band, Boon of the Hoarder, Warzechian Armguards.

Gameplay
This is red-hot 1,000°C Crusader vs Nephalem Rift. Your Heaven's Fury is replaced with a Disintegration Ray and everything it touches evaporates instantly. Rush through the rift and mainly hunt for Elites. The only buff you have to keep up is Laws of Hope Wings of Angels. Don't forget to cast Fist of the Heavens sometimes for Wrath.

Setups
When playing in groups, equip Nemesis Bracers, use Avarice Band instead of Stone of Jordan, and Sage's Journey instead of Captain Crimson's Trimmings. On the boss, equip 2 pieces of Cain's Destiny and Bracer of Fury. When the boss becomes targetable, use Judgment Deliberation to immobilize it for 10 seconds. Even without 20,000% damage from Aegis of Valor (6) Bonus, you will kill the boss in just a few seconds. Enjoy your extra Greater Rift Keystones!

GR Solo Speeds
AoV HF Solo XP

Concept
This version of the build is designed for 4 minute runs in low-mid GRs. Convention of Elements is not great in speedruns so we use Unity instead. Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and St. Archew's Gage protect our Squirt's Necklace. Since we want to CC different mobs all the time, we use Shield Glare over Judgment for its shorter cooldown. We can't fit in Shield of Fury, but most of the targets will be dead long before we can hit them 10 times, so it's not that good anyway.

Gameplay
The gameplay is pretty straightforward: you rush through the rift with Steed Charge looking for Elites and juicy packs of trash mobs. When you find them, you use Shield Glare and obliterate them with a few Heaven's Fury casts. Don't forget to keep up your buffs and randomly cast Fist of the Heavens every few seconds for Wrath.

Setups
If you are struggling to keep your Squirt's Necklace buff up, switch to Endless Walk. Replace St. Archew's Gage with Aquila Cuirass and Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard with Bane of the Powerful. This setup is more clunky so you need to do 5-6 minute runs in higher tier GRs.

GR Solo Push

Select Build Version

GR Group TK
AoV TK

Concept
DO NOT use Sanctified Fist of the Heavens power in 4-man groups when you have area damage. It can cause tremendous lags!

The job of a Trash Killer (TK) is killing normal (and sometimes elite) enemies in the rift to spawn the Rift Guardian. In this variant we drop Shield of Fury for Norvald's Fervor set. This lets us get full benefit out of Area Damage so we also need to stack it on gear. In this variant we play a 32 second Akarat's Champion rotation, so you need 64.5% Cooldown Reduction.

Gameplay
Your need to follow the rotation tied to your Convention of Elements. Activate Akarat's Champion exactly at the start of every other Holy cycle, so that you have the buff on every DPS rotation. Sit in the middle of the pull to maximize Pain Enhancer stacks and cast Fist of the Heavens for Wrath. Be careful to not put it on top of too many enemies, this skill can be very laggy with Area Damage! At the beginning of Physical cycle use Steed Charge and start attacking with Heaven's Fury to spawn an Oculus Ring. After it spawns cast Fist of the Heavens some more to refresh your Aegis of Valor (2) Bonus. One second before Holy use Steed Charge to move into an Oculus Ring and start blasting. At the same time your zBarb needs to use Ground Stomp to pull monsters together and stun them for your Bracer of Fury. It's very important that nobody else in the group applies any hard Crowd Control to monsters, as that will make the stun very short!!!

On the Rift Guardian, the gameplay is exactly the same as 2h RGK, except you also need to use Steed Charge one second before your Holy cycle.

Setups
At very high Paragon (5,000+), you can switch to Akarat's Champion Hasteful for more Attack Speed.

GR Group RGK

Select Build Version


Video Guide


Mechanics

Shield of Fury

  • Applies a stack every time Heaven's Fury deals damage. Cannot apply stacks to the same target more often than once every 0.9/APS seconds.
  • Stacks are lost when the target leaves combat. Normal mobs and Elites lose stacks when you move too far away or change zones. Bosses never lose stacks. Additionally, some mobs can dispell stacks even when you are fighting them: Terror Demons lose stacks when entering invisibility, Morlu Legionaries lose stacks when they enter their stone form.
  • Damage bonus from stacks doesn't interact with Area Damage in any way. AD procs from debuffed targets deal unbuffed damage, same for AD procs versus debuffed targets.

Fate of the Fell

  • Adds two extra beams to Fires of Heaven in a shotgun pattern.
  • Hitting the same target with more than 1 beam deals extra damage.
  • The beams' hurtbox extends inside and slightly behind crusader.

Bracer of Fury

  • The damage bonus is only active while the target is crowd controlled. All the normal CC-related considerations apply.
  • Some Rift Guardians can ignore your crowd controls, reducing your damage by a factor of 5 (Vesalius is immune to blinds, Erethon breaks Judgment whenever it dashes).
  • Check out this post by Chewingnom for more informations about Crowd Control!

Attack Speed Breakpoints

The important question that needs to be answered to determine the value of Attack Speed is "How many times can I cast Heaven's Fury during my Holy Convention of Elements cycle?". For answer refer to the following table:

FPAAttacksWindow
32815
31822
30829
2997
28915
27923
26105
251014
241023
23119
221119
21128
201219

Window refers to how close to the start of Holy your first attack must be. For example with 30 frames breakpoint you attack exactly 2 times per second, meaning that in 4s you can attack 8 times, and if your first attack lands anywhere in the first 29 frames of Holy, then the 8th will land before Holy is over. As you can see, some breakpoints actually increase your DPS by adding extra attacks, while others only make it easier to perform a DPS rotation correctly. To convert in-game Attack Speed into FPA values, refer to d3planner or read the full Attack Speed Mechanics Guide.

Ivory Tower

  • Fires of Heaven are shot in the direction your character is facing.
  • Fires of Heaven shot by this item have no proc coefficient, they don't proc Area Damage, don't heal with Holy Cause and don't apply Shield of Fury stacks.
  • Can only fire a shot once every 12 frames (5 times per second). If 2 attacks are blocked in the same 12 frame interval, then the next proc will deal double damage. If 3 or more attacks are blocked, the damage is increased to 250% of the base. Blocking more attacks will not increase the damage further.
  • Blocking an attack with Punish Fury active immediately consumes the Critical Chance buff.
  • Fire Chains Champions Packs will be your best friends when playing Ivory Tower builds as Fire Chains have a tickrate of 10 times per second. Also, the Rift Guardian Orlash with its Lightning Breath throwing 20 projectiles in quick succession as a beam is the best Rift Guardian for Ivory Tower.

Summary

  • Put together the core items and acquire the full Aegis of Valor set.
  • Stack Cooldown Reduction to keep up all your defensive buffs.
  • Don't recast the buffs until they almost run out.
  • Only use Crowd Control skills directly before your Holy rotation.
  • Don't die 4Head

Cheers!


Credits

Written by Northwar.


Changelog

Apr 2nd 2022
Updated for Season 26 / Patch 2.7.3. Changed Solo Push Base Setup to Ivory Tower from Pig Sticker / Norvald. Removed GR Group Speeds Variant.

Aug 19th 2022
Updated for Season 27 / Patch 2.7.4. Added Season 27 Sanctified Items Section