LoN Thorns Bombardment Crusader was the META Crusader solo build back in Seasons 5 through 8. It was later outclassed by various set builds and more or less forgotten until Season 22 when it received massive buffs. With two separate multipliers added to The Mortal Drama and Belt of the Trove, the build's damage was buffed by approximately 23 Greater Rift tiers. This made LoN Bombardment quite strong again, however, the simultaneous buffs of Armor of Akkhan and Norvald's Fervor sets produced an even stronger Bombardment build.
Compared to Akkhan/Invoker Bombardment, LoN Bombardment deals less damage but has a lot more flexibility in terms of items and skills, making the build much more pleasant to play and a lot better at speedfarming. With Season 23 LoN Bombardment found another niche where it can shine: No Six Piece Set Crusader leaderboard!
During Season 24, LoN Bombardment can make use of Ethereals unlike its Akkhan counterpart which allowed LoN Bombardment to pull ahead and claim the title of the strongest Bombardment build.
This is an Area Damage (AD) as well as a Thorns build, since Bombardment Barrels of Spikes interestingly benefits from both these mechanics. The setup is very easy to get going since you don't need any Critical Hit Chance or Critical Hit Damage rolls, but at the same time leaves a lot of room for gear hunt. Getting all items in Ancient quality with Thorns secondary rolls on everything is no easy task.
Can be Very Tanky ✔
Top tier Speedfarming Build ✔
Great at Utilizing Area Damage ✔
Can do Everything on the Move ✔
❌ Hard to Gear
❌ Inconsistent Cooldowns
❌ Limited Control Over your Damage
❌ Long and Boring Rift Guardian Fights
- The Mortal Drama doubles the number of Bombardment impacts and increases its damage by 500%.
- Belt of the Trove casts a free Bombardment every 4 seconds and increases its damage by another 500%.
- Convention of Elements increases Physical damage by 200%.
- Akarat's Awakening reduces all cooldowns with each block, while Leoric's Crown straight up adds some extra Cooldown Reduction. With these items we have permanent Akarat's Champion and can cast Bombardment on every Convention of Elements rotation.
- Stone Gauntlets increase our Armor by 250% with no downside thanks to Akarat's Champion.
- Aquila Cuirass reduces incoming damage by 50%.
Season 24 Ethereals
Ethereals are powerful rare weapons that can only be found during Season 24. They have incredible stats, a random Legendary power, and a free passive for your class. Read our Ethereal Mechanics Guide for full details on how they work and our Ethereal Farming Guide to learn how to acquire them. What you should prioritize on them is the following:
- The Legendary Power
This build requires The Mortal Drama and either The Furnace, Blood Brother or Johanna's Argument to be functional. We need our Ethereal to roll one of these powers so we can cube the other. We also want a good roll on our Legendary power if it has a range. For speed content it is always helpful to have Ethereals with In-geom or Messerschmidt's Reaver powers, so keep those if you find them.
- The Ethereal Itself
There are 3 different weapons available to us, each with its own benefits:
- The Redeemer - This is the best Ethereal option providing +50% Damage to Demons and Undead (about 60% of enemies you find in Greater Rift are one of these two types) and also Holy Damage that can be utilized by variants with Stone of Jordan.
- Khalim's Will - This is the defensive option with its high Attack Speed and Life per Hit. It's also the best choice for Nephalem Rifts where damage is not needed and the Steed Charge reset is very welcome.
- Astreon's Iron Ward - This is the worst Ethereal as it doesn't give anything useful.
- The Ethereal Stat Rolls
Each Ethereal comes with its own fixed set of powerful affixes. While some have a static value, many have a wide stat range. Since this is a Thorns build you only care about Cooldown Reduction roll and Undead/Demon damage on The Redeemer.
- A Useful Passive
This is just icing on the cake because a fifth passive is not going to make or break your build. You're better off hunting for the things above. Check out the Passives section down below to see which ones you're looking for.
Global Stat Priorities
Get at least 60% Cooldown Reduction (CDR). Thanks to Akarat's Awakening there's no hard Breakpoints but having more CDR makes your life easier. Make sure your defensive slots—Boots, Pants and Belt—have Vitality and Resistance to All Elements on them. Get around 40k Life per Hit (Weapon, Bracer, Rings, Helmet, Gloves). Your damage stats are: Physical Damage > Bombardment Damage > Area Damage > Thorns. Attack Speed is mostly useless as it only lets you stack Bane of the Stricken faster; you can get some in place of Strength at high Paragon. Critical Hit Chance & Damage are completely useless because they don't affect Thorns damage.
- Put together the core items and level up the Legacy of Dreams gem.
- Stack at least 60% Cooldown Reduction.
- Cast Iron Skin Reflective Skin and Bombardment on Physical Convention of Elements cycles.
- Stack Area Damage, Physical Damage and Thorns.
- The monsters go "poof"
Credits to mawbs for helping improve Solo Speeds variant of the build.
Guide by Northwar.
Dropping barrels full of spikes on top of monsters seems a bit impolite, but hey, it works!