Akkhan Invoker Bombardment Crusader Guide

Bombardment Solo Push
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Introduction

Almost completely forgotten and barely able to clear GR125, Bombardment Crusader received a whole bunch of buffs in Season 22 patch. Between reduced cooldown on Belt of the Trove, buffed damage on Armor of Akkhan and Norvald's Fervor sets, and separate multipliers added to The Mortal Drama and Belt of the Trove, the build's damage was buffed by approximately 33 Greater Rift tiers. As it turns out, a build that can clear GR158 (if it existed) solo is a tad overpowered. The build was nerfed before hitting live by approximately 10 tiers via Thorns of the Invoker adjustment.

Even with the nerf taken into account, Bombardment Crusader is the second best Crusader solo build. It also can be used as a GR150-capable trash clearer, although better options exist there.

Akkhan Invoker Bombardment Crusader is a Thorns build, which makes it very easy to get going, 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.

This build utilizes at least 4 different sets: Armor of Akkhan, Thorns of the Invoker, Norvald's Fervor and Captain Crimson's Trimmings. Some versions of it can also include Bastions of Will set, making it the first Set-only build in history in Diablo III. So if you are worried about the environment, this is your chance: "Play green crusader—save the Earth!"

Tanky ✔
Lazy Playstyle Available ✔
Easy to Get Starter Gear ✔
Can do Everything on the Move ✔

Invoker 2P is Clunky
Cooldown Dependency
❌ Limited Control Over your Damage
❌ Wildly Inconsistent Damage vs Bosses


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • The Armor of Akkhan set provides 50% damage reduction, 50% Resource Cost Reduction, 2,000% damage increase, and it lets us easily achieve 100% uptime on Akarat's Champion.
  • Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus increases Thorns by up to 900%.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings gives around 60% DPS, 20% Cooldown Reduction, which is necessary to reach our Breakpoints, and around 70% damage reduction.
  • Norvald's Fervor set increases damage by 400% and lets us spam Steed Charge.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur allows us to get full bonuses from all these sets.
  • 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%.






Season 25 Soul Shards

Soul Shards are powerful socketable items that only drop during Season 25. 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 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 Ring of Fire to unleash a devastating AoE blast for big leaderboard pushes!
    • Weapons: We want to use Remnant of Pain for the automatic crits against incapacitated enemies. Unlike normal Crit Chance these crits work with Thorns damage, so we can get another 6x separate multiplier simply by stacking Critical Hit Damage on our gear! For the Rank 3 power take the additional Attack Speed to further power up your character.
  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 other options.
    • Weapons: We want Elemental Damage to boost our character's power the furthest. Avoid Damage %, Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance as they don't work with Bombardment.
  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

This build has two different Cooldown Reduction Breakpoints. 55.8% is necessary to keep Akarat's Champion always active. This Breakpoint is critical for the build, without Akarat's Champion, you lose 95% of your damage and 85% of your toughness. The second Breakpoint is 59.3%, which is needed to cast Bombardment every 16 seconds, on every Physical cycle of Convention of Elements. In order to reach it, you need to have CDR on every single item that can have it and also use Enchantress with Prophetic Harmony.

Make sure your defensive slots—Boots, Pants and Belt—have Vitality and Resistance to All Elements on them. Your DPS stats are: Physical Damage > Bombardment Damage > Critical Hit 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 is completely useless, because it doesn't affect Thorns-based skills.

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 Armor of Akkhan 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 your last missing set piece is Talisman of Akkhan - don't gamble for it! Instead gamble for a cheap and easy item, like Pauldrons of Akkhan, and once again covert it with Recipe 4. 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 Armor of Akkhan set
  2. Belt of the Trove
  3. Shield of the Steed
  4. Nemesis Bracers
  5. Goldwrap
  6. Shackles of the Invoker and Burden of the Invoker

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

  1. 2-Handed Flails to get Flail of the Charge and The Mortal Drama
  2. 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 Rifts or low GRs where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. It's better to spend your mats improving your set pieces, getting ancient weapon etc.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandFlail of the Charge
The Mortal Drama (Cubed)
1. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Area Damage
4. Elite Damage
5. Strength
Ideally, you want to roll off the Damage Range from Flail of the Charge. Be wary: rerolling Damage Range to Elite Damage requires, on average, 885 attempts. Tread with caution.
Off-HandShield of the Steed1. Bombardment Damage
2. Area Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Block Chance
5. Thorns (Secondary)
6. Elite Damage
7. Strength
HelmHelm of Akkhan
Crown of the Invoker
Aughild's Spike (Crafted)
Leoric's Crown
Cain's Insight (Crafted)
1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Strength
3. Vitality
4. All Resistance
5. Thorns (Secondary)
GlovesGauntlets of Akkhan
Pride of the Invoker
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Thorns (Secondary)
5. Attack Speed
6. Strength
ShouldersPauldrons of Akkhan
Burden of the Invoker
Aughild's Power (Crafted)
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Bombardment Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Thorns (Secondary)
5. All Resistance
6. Strength
Chest Breastplate of Akkhan
Aughild's Rule (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Bombardment Damage
3. Elite Damage Reduction
4. Thorns (Secondary)
5. All Resistance
6. Strength
7. Vitality
8. Life %
PantsCuisses of Akkhan
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
Renewal of the Invoker
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Strength
4. Vitality
5. Thorns (Secondary)
BootsSabatons of Akkhan
Zeal of the Invoker
Captain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)
Cain's Travelers (Crafted)
Sage's Passage (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Strength
3. Vitality
4. Thorns (Secondary)
5. Armor
Ring 1Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
Convention of Elements
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Thorns (Secondary)
Ring 2Justice Lantern
Stone of Jordan
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Thorns (Secondary)
BracersShackles of the Invoker
Aughild's Search (Crafted)
Nemesis Bracers
Warzechian Armguards
Strongarm Bracers
1. Physical Damage
2. Strength
3. Vitality
4. Resistance to All Elements
5. Thorns (Secondary)
AmuletTalisman of Akkhan
Squirt's Necklace
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Physical Damage
5. Area Damage
6. Thorns (Secondary)
7. Strength
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
Sage's Ribbon (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Strength
3. Vitality
4. Thorns (Secondary)
5. Life %
PotionBottomless Potion of AmplificationTo gain extra healing

Gems

  • Boyarsky's Chip is our most powerful damage gem. It provides more than half of our total Thorns, effectively being an over 100% damage increase.
  • Bane of the Trapped adds extra 60% multiplicative damage. This is a melee build, so nothing special needs to be done in order to activate the damage bonus.
  • Other gems vary depending on what you do: Bane of the Stricken to kill the boss in high GRs, Boon of the Hoarder for gold in T16, Gogok of Swiftness for Cooldown Reduction or Bane of the Powerful for a bit of extra damage.

Skills

  • Bombardment Barrels of Spikes is the main source of damage. Belt of the Trove uses the equipped rune, so we must have this on the skillbar even in T16 build.
  • Punish Celerity provides 15% Block Chance and Attack Speed and also lets us get a few stacks of Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus.
  • Akarat's Champion Prophet is a staple in every single crusader build. One skill providing 35% damage, more than double toughness, CC-immunity, Wrath regeneration and full heal on "death" is just too good to pass up.
  • Iron Skin Reflective Skin increases Thorns by 300% stacking additively with Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus.
  • Steed Charge is necessary to activate Norvald's Fervor bonus.
  • Finally the last skill slot is usually occupied by either Provoke Hit Me for extra Block Chance or Condemn Vacuum for pulling.

Passives

  • Heavenly Strength is necessary to equip Norvald's Fervor set.
  • Iron Maiden increases Thorns, and therefore damage, by 50%.
  • Lord Commander massively reduces cooldowns of Steed Charge and Bombardment making it possible to get a 16s cooldown on Bombardment and 100% uptime no Norvald's Fervor buff.
  • The last passive is usually Finery, the strongest generic Crusader passive providing for 15% damage and 12% toughness. In T16 Long Arm of the Law is used instead.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Area Damage
2. Strength2. Attack Speed2. Armor2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Vitality13. Critical Hit Damage3. Life %3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Wrath4. Critical Hit Chance4. Life Regeneration4. Life per Hit

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 800,000 Life is recommended).

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. 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.

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.

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

Bombardment is the main damage skill. In high GRs you cast it every 16s, for every Physical cycle of Convention of Elements. In speeds you just spam it as much as you can.

Use Punish as much as you can to maintain Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus stacks.

Akarat's Champion should be used on cooldown. Without Akarat's Champion you lose 95% of your damage and 85% of your toughness; dropping it even for a second is a very bad idea.

Iron Skin should be used before each Bombardment cast in the Lightning Convention of Elements cycle.

Shield Glare is used only before Physical to activate Remnant of Pain crits.

Hardcore

For Hardcore, your best bet is using Aughild Authority setup, which lets you fit in Indestructible instead of Finery. You can also make it stupidly tanky by switching your law to Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force or by running Unity instead of Stone of Jordan.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
T16 Solo

Concept
In Season 25 it's possible to make Akkhan Thorns build that is reasonably fast in T16. The damage buffs from extra stats provided by the Shards and Sliver of Terror primary effect make our Steed Charge Spiked Barding strong enough to oneshot trash monsters. Essence of Anguish spreads this damage in huge AoE letting you clear rifts quickly and efficiently.

Gameplay
Here you need to do two things: keep your skills on cooldown and ride the horse. In other words, you need to spam all 6 buttons at all times. This build is quite complicated, I know. For any pesky elites and Rift Guardians that have the audacity to survive your Steed Charge damage, there's still Bombardment (cast by yourself or by Belt of the Trove) that deals way more damage than needed for T16.

Setups
When playing in groups, equip Nemesis Bracers, replace Rechel's Ring of Larceny with Avarice Band. On the Rift Guardian equip Cain's Insight, Cain's Travelers and Talisman of Akkhan to get extra Greater Rift Keystones.

GR Solo Speeds
Bomb Solo XP

Concept
We use Aughild's Authority instead of Thorns of the Invoker so that we don't have to deal with Invoker stacks. This also frees up a skill and a passive slot, letting us pick up Finery and Condemn Vacuum. Finally, we use Stone of Jordan, which lets us stack Fire or Lightning damage and make use of 50% bonus from Sliver of Terror.

This build is still pretty slow, so we will be doing 4-6 minute runs in higher tiers. If the Rift Guardian always dies in two rotations then your tier is right.

Gameplay
In speedruns, we still play around Convention of Elements, but now we're strong enough to oneshot absolutely everything. Ideally, you want to find an elite pack for every rotation but it's not always possible. When your CoE reaches Lightning, just Vacuum together whatever mobs you have around and blast them. Due to CC-resistance built by Vacuum monsters won't stay blinded for long, so it's better to wait a bit with your Shield Glare to make sure that barrels are already falling when you cast it.

Setups
If you want more toughness, replace Zei's Stone of Vengeance with Esoteric Alteration or Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard.

GR Solo Push
Bomb Solo Push

Concept
In the push build we need the most damage and toughness possible, so we use Convention of Elements and Justice Lantern. Shield Glare is used together with Remnant of Pain to make our Bombardments crit.

Gameplay
With this build you follow a 16s rotation tied to your Convention of Elements. At the start of Lightning you need to walk into the pull. Once inside, press Iron Skin and hold down Punish to build Invoker stacks. Couple seconds later, when the CoE buff is at 8 o'clock, use Bombardment. After that Steed Charge out to the edge of the pull and use Shield Glare to blind the monsters. When the first barrels fall, they will reset your Steed Charge cooldown so you can use it again to get into Oculus Ring.

To maximize your damage, sync up your Belt of the Trove and Convention of Elements. For that you need to drink a potion when your current element is 1s away from running out (CoE buff at 9 o'clock). Keep in mind that if you have no enemies around, Belt of the Trove will not fire, it will most likely desync and you'll have to do it again. The same will happen if you drink the potion at the wrong moment, so try to avoid panic potions. Changing zones also resets the internal cooldown of the belt, so you need to do it at the same time (3s into any element).

On this build you have plenty of toughness but almost no recovery. Your only means of healing is Akarat's Champion Prophet and the Potion. You want to "die" every time you cast Akarat's Champion to maximize the healing. Ideally you want to do that during your Lightning, when you go into the pull and tank all the damage. If you proc earlier, you might be forced to use your Potion at the wrong time, killing half your damage.

Setups
You can use a setup similar to Solo Speeds variant, using Aughild's Authority instead of Thorns of the Invoker. With all the extra damage from Stone of Jordan, Finery and another cooldown skill taken into account, your damage will be equivalent to 6 Invoker stacks vs trash and 10.5 stacks vs elites (which means a lot higher damage vs the Rift Guardian because you usually have 3-5 stacks there). At high enough Paragon, trash damage doesn't matter because you kill it all anyway, so this setup becomes strictly better while being less clunky. You can also fit Condemn Vacuum in the setup, which can help you make pulls faster. But you need to be very careful with how you use it! Either you use it only after Shield Glare, or you always stay within 15 yards of elites so that they don't get pulled.

GR Group Trash Killer
Bomb Group TK

Concept
In group play, Bombardment Crusader can serve as a Trash Killer that excels at killing huge packs of small enemies.

Gameplay
Same as solo, you follow a 16s rotation tied to your Convention of Elements. At the start of Lightning use Iron Skin and walk into as many mobs as possible and stand completely still so that they can hit you. Hold down Punish for the next 3 seconds. When the CoE buff is at 8 o'clock, use Bombardment and activate Laws of Valor. After that you don't have to worry about stacks. Activate your Steed Charge for the damage bonus and move into Oculus Ring when it spawns.

If you do this right, fully buffed barrels will start falling exactly at the start of Physical and at that moment the zBarb needs to use Ground Stomp to pixel mobs together and stun them for Remnant of Pain.

To maximize your damage, sync up your Belt of the Trove and Convention of Elements. For that you need to drink a potion when your current element is 1s away from running out (buff at 9 o'clock). Ask your monk to stop spamming shields, so that you can take damage and use a potion. Keep in mind that if you have no enemies around Belt of the Trove will not fire, it will most likely desync and you'll have to do it again. The same will happen if you drink the potion at the wrong moment, so try to avoid panic potions. Also only enter next floor at the same time (1s before the element ends), or you will have to do the potion sync again.

Setups
If you are having trouble staying alive, replace Zei's Stone of Vengeance with Esoteric Alteration.


Video Guide


Mechanics

Thorns

  • All damage done by Thorns is Physical.
  • Thorns Damage cannot critically strike (except with Envious Blade).
  • Iron Maiden passive provides a separate 1.5 multiplier to your total Thorns.
  • Read the full guide on Thorns Mechanics here.

Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus

  • Increased Thorns Damage, provided by Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus, stacks with itself up to 10 times.
  • Each stack of the buff has a separate 2s timer.
  • Thorns bonus stacks additively with Iron Skin Reflective Skin.

Bombardment Barrels of Spikes

  • Drops 5 barrels over 2 seconds.
  • The Mortal Drama doubles both the number of barrels and the skill's duration.
  • The first barrel drops 1 seconds after the skill is activated.
  • When used manually, there's also an animation delay between starting the attack and skill actually activating.
  • The first barrel drops at the cast location, the rest drop on nearby enemies.
  • Each barrel deals 200% Thorns + 570% Weapon damage.
  • Your Thorns are snapshot at the time of cast.
  • Cannot crit, including the weapon damage part.
  • Can proc Area Damage.
  • Only procs Life per Hit once per cast.

Belt of the Trove

  • Bombardment cast by the item uses the equipped rune.
  • Can proc Area Damage and stack Bane of the Stricken.
  • Cannot proc Life per Hit.
  • Casts Bombardment only when there are enemies nearby.
  • Item's cooldown is reset upon drinking a Health Potion or switching area.

Summary

  • Reach 55.8% Cooldown Reduction before anything else
  • Cast Bombardment on Physical Convention of Elements cycles
  • Stack Area Damage, Physical Damage and Thorns
  • The monsters go "poof"

Dropping barrels full of spikes on top of monsters seems a bit impolite, but hey, it works!


Credits

Written by Northwar.