AoV Heaven's Fury Crusader Guide

AoV HF solo push

Introduction

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 stacks 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 four separate times (each time roughly halving the power of the build), but it still stands as the strongest Rift Guardian Killer, one of the two strongest solo Crusader builds, 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.

Apart from Heaven's Fury, the set also increases damage of Fist of the Heavens (FotH). This skill doesn't have as many supporting legendaries as HF and cannot compare to it in terms of raw damage output, but AoV FotH builds really shine in speedfarming lower difficulty content such as Nephalem Rifts, Bounties and Speed Greater Rifts, where Heaven's Fury is not so good due to it's small AoE and overall clunkiness.

Tanky ✔
Easy to Play ✔
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.



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
Left RingConvention 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
Right RingObsidian 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

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 mainstat (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. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

T16 Enchantress

T16 Enchantress

For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
  • Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
  • Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
  • Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
  • Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.
Speed GR Enchantress

Speed GR Enchantress

For speed Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is speed content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death. If you are using Speed GR variant with Unity, make sure to also equip it on the follower together with Smoking Thurible!

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Hellfire Ring, Leoric's Crown and Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.
  • The Sultan of the Blnding Sand, Blind Faith and Cord of the Sherma to proc Bracer of Fury.

GR Pushing Enchantress

GR Pushing Enchantress

For Greater Rift Pushing we recommend this Enchantress setup for the Slow from Temporal Pulse, Cooldown Reduction from Prophetic Harmony, Damage Reduction and Armor from Powered Shield, and the Attack Speed from Focused Mind.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Mempo of Twilight and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.

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.


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
ORotZ solo push

Pig Sticker Setup
This is the basic version of AoV HF crusader. We use Pig Sticker as our weapon and stack maximum Cooldown Reduction (including the necklace!) to get 99% uptime on Akarat's Champion.

Gameplay
The skills are used exactly as described in core gameplay section. During your Holy rotation of Convention of Elements, you need to position yourself next to Elites or high HP mobs to hit them with all 3 beams of Heaven's Fury. Even with perfect CDR rolls you will have a tiny downtime on Akarat's Champion. Be careful during that time, either use Iron Skin to retain the CC-immunity or just stop attacking for a moment. If you don't do this, you will be unable to attack for the next 5-8 seconds!


Norvald's Fervor (6k+ Paragon)



Norvald's Fervor Setup
At very high Paragon (6,000+) you can drop Pig Sticker and Shield of Fury to use Norvald's Fervor set. This version of the build deals more damage and can also make use of Area Damage but it's incredibly squishy. Instead of having permanent Akarat's Champion, we now play 32s rotation. This eases up the CDR requirements as we now need only 64.5%. In its place we get some Area Damage rolls.

Gameplay
The gameplay stays mostly the same but now you need to also use Steed Charge before every Holy rotation of Convention of Elements.

You are very vulnerable during your Akarat's Champion downtime. When your second damage phase ends immediately use Steed Charge to move to a safer area and keep running to switch Endless Walk into defense mode.

Setups
Both builds can be made tankier by going Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac plus Squirt's Necklace or Hellfire Amulet with Indestructible instead of Endless Walk. Pig Sticker version gets permanent Iron Skin while Norvalds Fervor now enjoys permanent Akarat's Champion.

You can also choose between Gogok of Swiftness and Pain Enhancer as your third legendary gem. The former is more consistent and gives you some toughness, while the latter has way more damage potential if you fish for the right rift. In Pig Sticker version you will either have to deal with 3.5s Akarat's Champion downtime (which you can cover up with Iron Skin) or lose Stone Gauntlets for Leoric's Crown. Norvald's Fervor just loses a couple Area Damage rolls.

Finally, you can choose between Judgment Debilitate and Shield Glare Divine Verdict. The latter is harder to use, since it has smaller area and shorter duration, but it's a lot stronger defensively (Blind vs 40% reduced damage) and about the same offensively (20% additive vs more attacks while CC lasts).

Ivory Tower Push
Ivory Tower solo push

Concept
This is a very different variant of the build that relies on Ivory Tower to deal damage. This build requires high Paragon (3,000+) to function, but once you get there it handily beats the Pig Sticker variants.

There are quite a few changes to the build: Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is replaced by Justice Lantern for extra defense and 16% Block Chance. With Hold Your Ground and 31% Block Chance on the shield we get to 77% Block Chance, meaning almost every time an attack hits us the Ivory Tower hits back. Since our attack speed is very low compared to how many attacks we can block, there's no point to actually running Fires of Heaven so we use Blessed Ground, which passively stacks Shield of Fury for us. Because we no longer need Wrath to cast Heaven's Fury, we can switch from Fissure to Divine Well for more healing. Finally we switch Stone Gauntlets to Aquila Cuirass in the cube because we have a lengthy Akarat's Champion downtime.

Gameplay
When playing this build you are facing two main challenges: positioning properly to deal damage and surviving your Akarat's Champion downtime. The key to overcoming both is intelligent usage of Iron Skin. In your 32s cycle there's 4 periods: 1st DPS phase - 4s of Holy, Chill phase - 12s, 2nd DPS phase - 4s and finally 12s Downtime. During these 32 seconds you can use Iron Skin 3 times. In order to transition smoothly between these phases you need to use it in the following way:

  1. 3s before the 1st DPS phase (1s into Fire) - use it to safely move into the pull and position yourself for max DPS.
  2. In the middle of the Chill Phase (end of Lightning) - use it here because the cooldown allows for it and to gain freedom of movement before 2nd DPS Phase
  3. 2s into Holy on 2nd DPS phase - this way Iron Skin stays active during first 2s of Downtime allowing you to move out of the pull and run away/hide from the damage.

In order to maximize your damage you want to get hit as much as possible. So you need to stand inside of many melee mobs and somewhere in the open so that all the ranged mobs can see you. Also you need to stand still during your DPS phase and 1-2s prior, in order to make sure that you don't dodge any attacks.

For the Rift Guardian fight you change the pattern a little bit: you use Iron Skin during your Holy, together with Provoke and Judgment. This guarantees that you can take everything the boss dishes out and stay in position to deal damage. When not on Holy you can just run away and focus on dodging, you don't even need to attack the boss because Blessed Ground is stacking Bane of the Stricken for you.

Homing Pads on your follower are extremely useful for this build. Since you don't need to attack to deal damage, you can channel Town Portal during Holy and enjoy free 65% damage reduction. This is especially useful vs the Rift Guardian.

Setups
At very high Paragon (6,000+) you can drop Justice Lantern and Hellfire Amulet for Endless Walk set. Since we lose Long Arm of the Law in the process, Unstoppable Force is replaced by Provoke Hit Me for more blocks. Another option for this skill slot is Punish Fury which provides 15% Critical Hit Chance and Block Chance, but unlike Provoke it has an animation and makes the build a lot clunkier.

GR Group Speeds
AoV HF Group Speeds

Concept
This variant of the build is designed for 3-4 minute runs in mid-tier GRs. You are the only damage dealer here, other 3 players will be zDH, zBarb and zMonk. In these runs most of the targets will be dead long before we can hit them 10 times, so Shield of Fury will not be missed too much.

In this version we don't have permanent Akarat's Champion, so you need to pay more attention when it's down, otherwise you might lose your Squirt's Necklace buff.

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 arrive at the pack of mobs, cast Fist of the Heavens once and (if there's elites in the pack also Justice) and start blasting with Heaven's Fury.

Your supports need to pay a lot of attention to hard CC they are using. Ideally only the zMonk uses it in the rift. They need to group up the mobs by using Cyclone Strike once and then blind them with Blinding Flash when you arrive and are ready to attack. zBarb is never allowed to Furious Charge into mobs and zHD shouldn't have any hard CC equipped at all.

When all buffs are up, you should kill most trash in 2-3 hits, while Elites will need 5-8. It's very important for these runs that you are killing stuff and moving on. If you slip up just a little bit it all goes downhill really fast. You start losing buffs, mobs become CC immune, and then when you don't kill Elites fast enough they cast their spells and you lose Squirt's Necklace buff as well. What should've been a 3-4 second fight will instead take you 20.

Setups
While it's best to play in 4-player party, this build can function very well with just one support. It can be any support, they need to do two things: group up the mobs and blind, immobilize or stun them. Any support can do it (Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash on zBarb, Cyclone Strike and Blinding Flash on zMonk, Bolas with Leonine Bow of Hashir and Caltrops Torturous Ground on zDH), although if you had to pick one, zMonk is probably the best. You will need to adjust the build a little bit depending on which supports you are missing and also run lower tier.

When playing without zMonk you'll have to drop Squirt's Necklace for The Flavor of Time.

Without zBarb's War Cry and Ignore Pain you need more defense to keep Squirts Necklace so, so you have to switch Bastions of Will to Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac plus Convention of Elements and Leoric's Crown to St. Archew's Gage.

zDH mostly provides damage buffs, so you just need to go 3-4 tiers lower if you're playing without one.

GR Group TK
Triple Support TK + RGK

Concept
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 32s Akarat's Champion rotation, so you need 64.5% CDR.

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
Almost the exact same build can be used as an RGK with just 2 changes: Pain Enhancer to Bane of the Stricken and one Area Damage roll to Attack Speed. These two almost identical crusaders work exceptionally well together because they have the same rotation and with synced Convention of Elements they can both deal damage in the rift and on the boss. In the rift the RGK's contribution amounts to about 60% extra damage, while on the Rift Guardian the TK can shave off 15-20% of the HP bar. On top of that they share the effect of Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force (which is mandatory for the build to function), so the second crusader can bring a different law (Laws of Justice Decaying Strength for defense or Laws of Hope Wings of Angels for mobility).

It's also possible to play this build without an RGK by changing Gogok of Swiftness to Bane of the Stricken. Depending on who your 3rd support is you will need to make small adjustments to compensate for the lost CDR. When playing with a zMonk (who provides tons of toughness) drop Aquila Cuirass for Leoric's Crown. In groups with a zNecro you just have to lose 2 Critical Hit Chance rolls on your Ring and Amulet to get that missing CDR. Luckily the Critical Hit Chance bonus from Brittle Touch will more than compensate for that!

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

GR Group RGK
hammers RGK

Rift Guardian Killer's (RGK) job is to kill the Rift Guardian at the end of the run. This is a dedicated RGK variant focused solely on killing the boss. There's also a hybrid TK-RGK build described in the TK tab that kills the boss slightly slower but works better in double Crusader groups.

1h version with Blessed Hammer
In group play we no longer need to run our own CC skill, since support Barb's Ground Stomp takes care of that. The Johanna's Argument together with Blessed Hammer Thunderstruck is used to apply Bane of the Stricken stacks faster. In this variant we play 32s Akarat's Champion rotation, so you need 64.5% CDR (with Gogok of Swiftness stacked).

Gameplay
In the rift your job is just to exist. You just run around keeping your Endless Walk in defensive mode, giving Laws of Valor buff to your trash killer and that's all you really have to do. If you feel tanky enough you can also run around a bit to aggro some mobs but that's it.

Now on the Rift Guardian fight is when you get to actually play the game. Your rotation consists of two parts: stacking Bane of the Stricken and dealing damage. After your Holy ends you want to use Fist of the Heavens 3-4 times to generate a lot of Wrath and then only use Blessed Hammer for the next 9 seconds. Then at roughly 2 seconds into the Fire you need to use Fist of the Heavens 3-4 times again to get the Aegis of Valor (2) Bonus and to replenish Wrath. Then during your Holy you only hold down Heaven's Fury and do nothing else. You need to activate Akarat's Champion exactly at the start of every other Holy cycle, so that you have the buff on every DPS rotation.

Unfortunately, this exact rotation is not always possible. Some bosses will not stand in one place and when they walk out of your Fissures you will need to cast more Fist of the Heavens to maintain your wrath. This will harm your stricken stacking, but the most important thing is not running out of Wrath during your Holy, so make sure to pay attention to that.

Additionally, three Rift Guardians are bugged: Infernal Maiden, Perendi and Vesalius. These bosses don't take periodic damage from Fissures. In order to generate Wrath while fighting them you need to make use of Lightning Arc part of Fissure. To do that you need to put Fissures away from each other otherwise there will be no lightning. The best way to do it is by placing 3 fissures: one to the left, one to the right and one directly on top of the boss. All 3 of these bosses also like to teleport around so you will need to pay a lot of attention to your Wrath and repeat this 3 fissure pattern if necessary.

2h RGK

2h version with The Furnace
This variant equips Fate of the Fell and cubes The Furnace. As a result the skill slot previously occupied by Blessed Hammer becomes free. Most commonly used skill is Steed Charge for extra mobility, although it can also be Judgment Resolved for damage or something else entirely.

Compared to Hammers RGK variant, this build deals almost twice as much damage upfront but it stacks Bane of the Stricken a lot slower. This means that when bossfight is short enough (2min or less), the 2h variant actually kills the boss as fast or faster than the Hammer version and it also has other benefits such as more mobility and higher damage in the rift.

Gameplay
The Rift Guardian fight is more simple than Hammers version: you don't have a separate skill to stack Bane of the Stricken, so all you have to do is make sure that you cast Fist of the Heavens in the last second of Fire and that you have enough Wrath to spam Heaven's Fury during Holy. When off-Holy you can freely alternate between Fist of the Heavens and Heaven's Fury, just make sure to get your Wrath back and then you can try to squeeze out an extra bit of DPS.

Setups
If you are dying too much in the rift, switch Holy Cause to Indestructible.

If you play in a group with zMonk you can switch Endless Walk to Squirt's Necklace + another ring. This ring can either be Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac or Stone of Jordan. The former will make you super tanky with 100% Akarat's Champion (and for 1h version Iron Skin too) uptime, while the latter is the max DPS option. With SoJ you can also stack Fire damage on your gear and cube Magefist for even more damage! Although you will need to drop Aquila Cuirass for that so it's only recommended to do this at high (4,000+) Paragon.

If you are not playing Stone of Jordan version or don't have Fire damage gear, some other high-Paragon options for armor slot in Kanai's Cube are Leoric's Crown and Pride's Fall (for 1h variant only). Leoric's Crown lets you drop a couple of CDR rolls for DPS stats, while Pride's Fall is a nice mixed offense/defense option, giving you 30% damage reduction and a little more Bane of the Stricken stacks by letting you use Fist of the Heavens less often.

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


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 dispel 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

  • Stack Cooldown Reduction to keep up the defensive buffs
  • Don't recast the buffs until they almost run out
  • Only use CC skills directly before your Holy rotation
  • Don't die 4Head

Guide by Northwar.
Cheers!