After first being introduced in season 17, LoD Blessed Shield Crusader quickly claimed the top spot on solo Crusader leaderboards. However that didn't last long, because Aegis of Valor set, released just 2 seasons later, immediately pushed all other Crusader builds out of relevance.
Still, Blessed Shield Crusader build offers you a unique playstyle as well as additional gearing challenge imposed by Legacy of Dreams gem. This build is not well suited for group content due to its reliance on Unity ring and overall poor AoE scaling. In solo however, it can clear Nephalem Rifts and farm XP reasonably well, so if you want to see shields fly and ricochet all over the place, then, by all means, go for it!
On current patch, LoD Blessed Shield Crusader build is completely outclassed by either Heavens's Fury Crusader or Fist of the Heavens Crusader in every imaginable scenario. The only reason to play this build right now is if you've always deeply admired Captain America and want to be just like him.
Tanky ✔ Easy to play ✔ Not very CDR dependent ✔ Great freedom in choosing skills ✔
❌ No true AoE ❌ Hard to gear ❌Long and boring bossfights ❌ Not suited for group content
Akkhan's Leniency increases Blessed Shield damage by up to 6,000%, which is one of the biggest in the game multipliers provided by a single item.
Gyrfalcon's Foote increases Blessed Shield damage by 350% and also removes its Wrath cost.
Jekangbord increases Blessed Shield damage by another 400% and also increases the number of targets it can hit by 150%.
Akkhan's Manacles increase Blessed Shield damage against first target hit by 500%, which helps a lot with otherwise abysmal single target damage of this build.
Aquila Cuirass provides 50% damage reduction, that is always active thanks to Gyrfalcon's Foote bonus
Stone Gauntlets and Ice Climbers combo lets us acquire 250% extra Armor without suffering any Attack Speed or Movement Speed slows.
Leoric's Crown is used for extra bit of CDR, which is necessary to reach 64.5% breakpoint for the solo push variant.
Global Stat Priorities
Ideally, you want to go for 64.5% CDR breakpoint to get 32s cooldown on Akarat's Champion. However, missing a CDR roll or three will not break the build; you will just lose a bit of damage and toughness with each roll. You need at least one roll of Life per Hit, because you don't have any other recovery. It's really important to have Attack Speed on your weapon, but on other slots it's not very good due to Pain Enhancer. Your DPS stats in order of importance are: Fire Damage, Blessed Shield Damage, Critical Hit Chance & Critical Hit Damage, Area Damage.
Don't focus too much on having ALL of your items in Ancient quality. Each missing Ancient represents roughly 4-5% DPS and toughness so missing 1 or 2 is not the biggest deal.
Assembling the Build
1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cubeLegendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!
2.(Pick one, erase the others, then delete this text) This is a Legacy of Dreams build whose success is heavily dependent on this gem's rank. The first order of business is to equip a Legendary or Set item in every slot to take advantage of its power. Make sure to not have any Set Bonuses equipped or the gem will be nullified and you will deal no damage! Farm speed Greater Rifts (in under 5 minute clears) to find the items and get this gem as high as possible. Above Rank 25 ancient pieces of gear will give you even greater power.
Create level 1 Demon Hunter and upgrade 1-Handed Swords to get In-Geom
Rings to get Justice Lantern, Convention of Elements, Unity and Stone of Jordan
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: Pauldrons of the Skeleton King
Act 2: Illusory Boots
Act 3: Avarice Band
6. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem Rifts or low GRs where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. Spend your mats getting items with better rolls and/or ancient quality.
Justice Lantern Convention of Elements Rechel's Ring of Larceny Avarice Band (A3 Bounties, Cubed) Unity
1. Socket 2. Critical Hit Damage 3. Critical Hit Chance 4. Cooldown Reduction 5. Area Damage 6. Damage Range 7. Attack Speed
Stone of Jordan
1. Socket 2. Cooldown Reduction 3. Fire Damage
Akkhan's Manacles Nemesis Bracers
1. Fire Damage 2. Strength 3. Life per Hit 4. All Resistance 5. Vitality
The Flavor of Time Squirt's Necklace
1. Socket 2. Critical Hit Damage 3. Fire Damage 4. Critical Hit Chance
The Witching Hour Goldwrap
1. Critical Hit Damage 2. Attack Speed 3. All Resistance 4. Strength
Legacy of Dreams is the centerpiece of this build, providing up to 9,750% increased damage and 52% damage reduction (with 13 Ancient items equipped).
Pain Enhancer gives a lot of Attack Speed, which not only increases your DPS but also lets you get more Akkhan's Leniency stacks. In speedruns, where you don't fight as many mobs at once, Bane of the Trapped is used for more consistent damage boost.
The last gem varies, depending on what you do: Bane of the Stricken in push to kill the boss, Boon of the Hoarder in Nephalem Rifts or Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard in speeds to protect your Squirt's Necklace buff.
Blessed Shield is the main source of DPS. Most of the time Combust rune is used for its AoE damage and ability to apply Pain Enhancer's DoT. In Nephalem Rifts, Shattering Throw is used for its superior area coverage.
Iron Skin Flash is a very popular skill and for a good reason. Damage reduction, Movement Speed and no collision for only one skill slot. It's a bargain!
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.
The rest of the skills are mostly free; popular options include Provoke Hit Me for damage and toughness boost, Condemn Vacuum to group mobs Laws of Valor Critical for damage, and Steed Charge or Laws of Hope Wings of Angels for mobility.
Fervor provides 15% CDR and Attack Speed;
Finery is the strongest generic crusader passive, which provides about 15% DPS and 12% toughness.
Hold Your Ground provides 30% Block Chance, which translates to damage thanks to Blessed Shield block scaling, and also to toughness via Justice Lantern.
Other passives can replace the later two in speedruns: Long Arm of the Law, Lord Commander, Indestructible.
1. Movement Speed
1. Cooldown Reduction
1. All Resistance
1. Area Damage
2. Critical Hit Damage
2. Life per Hit
3. Critical Hit Chance
3. Life %
3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Wrath
4. Attack Speed
4. Life per Second
4. Resource Cost Reduction
¹ For solo push variant, put enough points into Vitality to have 650k Health, then the rest goes into Strength. For the speedfarm variants, ignore Vitality completely.
The Templar is recommended for this build due to his melee range and aggressive AI. When there's a monster in range he will always stand still and fight it, making him very predictable and easy to play around.
For the Skills pick Heal, Loyalty, Onslaught and Inspire. All the alternatives, except Intimidate, include AoE hard-CC, which makes mobs harder to manipulate.
Follower's damage is completely irrelevant, so we stack Attack Speed for more on-hit procs and Cooldown Reduction for more Heals. The Items are:
Enchanting Favor to make follower immortal
Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
Unity for 50% damage reduction
Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
Any amulet and shield with CDR/AS.
Akarat's Champion needs to be used on the start of every other FireConvention of Elements cycle. If you don't have 64.5% CDR breakpoint, then just use it on cooldown.
All your buffs, such as Laws of Valor, Laws of Hope, Provoke or Iron Skin can just be used on cooldown, there's no reason to be conservative with any of them.
UItility skills such as Steed Charge or Condemn Vacuum are used when the situation demands it.
This build is pretty hardcore-friendly and it already uses all the toughness multipliers available. So the only change you need to make is swapping Towering Shield or Finery for Indestructible. You can swap The Witching Hour for String of Ears, if you want.
Concept T16 variant of the build uses the usual trio 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. Since we no longer have to worry about toughness we can focus on damage and Movement Speed. With Cindercoat, Magefist and Stone of Jordan we can get up to 120% Fire Damage and, thanks to SoJ's legendary power, this bonus applies to Blessed Shield Shattering Throw.
All of our free skills and passives focus on Movement Speed: Laws of Hope Wings of Angels + Long Arm of the Law, and Steed Charge Endurance + Lord Commander. On top of that we have Rechel's Ring of Larceny in combination with Provoke Flee Fool and secondary Fear on Hit rolls on weapon, shield and helmet.
Gameplay There's nothing special in T16 gameplay: you spam all the buffs, throw shields at mobs, and ride the horse when you don't see any.
Setups At high Paragon (4,000+), when you can consistently oneshot most mobs, you can drop Akkhan's Leniency for Echoing Fury for extra Attack and Movement Speed. In that case, cube Gyrfalcon's Foote and equip Echoing Fury for 20% chance to Fear on Hit.
GR Solo Speeds
Concept Speed GR version of the build utilizes Squirt's Necklace and Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard combo to deal double damage. To get some Movement Speed we use Laws of Hope Wings of Angels and Long Arm of the Law. This also gives us almost 100% uptime on unrestricted movement, so we can drop Illusory Boots for Nemesis Bracers. Finally, we use Bane of the Trapped instead of Pain Enhancer for more consistent damage boost. Echoing Fury further increases our DPS through its massive Attack Speed boost.
Gameplay The gameplay in speeds is incredibly simple: you just blow through the rift while spamming all the skills at all times. Only thing you have to pay attention to is your shield from Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard. When you see it disappear, try to wait couple of seconds before engaging new mobs to let it regenerate.
Setups If you have no troubles keeping up the Squirt's Necklace buff, you can switch Provoke to Steed Charge for extra mobility.
GR Solo Push
Concept The solo push version stacks a lot of Block Chance to get a bit of Blessed Shield damage and a lot of toughness from Justice Lantern. For that we have Hold Your Ground and Provoke Hit Me. We also use Convention of Elements and The Furnace for DPS boost and The Flavor of Time for juicy 60s Conduit Pylon. Finally, in the two free skill slots we have Laws of Valor Critical for damage and Condemn Vacuum to group the mobs.
Gameplay Here you use the standard for many builds strategy of going through the rift and gathering mobs while Convention of Elements is off, and DPS-ing them down during the Fire part of the cycle. Keep in mind that with this build you want to stop and start attacking 3-4 seconds earlier to apply Pain Enhancer DoT and stack up your Akkhan's Leniency.
Generally, you shouldn't go out of your way to create extra big pulls, because Blessed Shield only hits 10 targets. You still want more mobs than that, but as long as you have 80+ Akkhan Leniency stacks you should be fine.
Setups If you don't have any Life per Hit rolls on your gear or are otherwise struggling to survive, you should change the rune on your Laws of Valor to Invincible. Another option for extra toughness is switching The Witching Hour for String of Ears.
If you happen to have a really good Jekangbord with 31% Block Chance, you can cube Blood Brother instead of The Furnace, and drop Provoke for Steed Charge Draw and Quarter. This setup will give you 37% damage and 41% damage reduction in the rift, however on the bossfight those numbers go down to 10% and 12% respectively. Still, if you consider the utility added by chain horse, this setup is slightly better, but an insane shield is required to run it.
not yet released
The Block Chance portion of the damage scales with your total Block Chance rather than just Shield's Block Chance (in-game tooltip is wrong).
With 100% Block Chance (the 75% cap in the tooltip is also a lie) you can get up to 680% Weapon Damage.
Blessed Shield can hit a total of 4 targets: initial target + 3 bounces. Jekangbord increases that number to 10.
Hitting an enemy with Blessed Shield provides a stack of buff that lasts 3 second.
Each stack lasts 3 seconds and has a separate timer.
Only hits from the main Blessed Shield provide stacks, splinters from Shattering Throw or explosions from Combust give no stacks.
Each cast of Blessed Shield can provide a maximum of 10 stacks with Jekangbord equipped, for a total maximum of 150 stacks with 5 Attacks per Second.
Blessed Shield Piercing Shield is an exception to the above rule and can provide unlimited stacks.
Stack CDR to help with both toughness and damage
Get Attack Speed on weapon
Get Life per Hit on weapon or bracers
Spam all skills and throw shields!
Guide by Northwar Defense can be a pretty good offense, apparently...