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. 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 LoN Bombardment 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 Skill Choices Freedom ✔
❌ No True AoE ❌ Hard to Gear ❌Low Single Target Damage ❌ 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 an extra bit of CDR, which is necessary to reach the 64.5% Breakpoint for the Solo Push variant.
Season 25Soul 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:
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 additional Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance to further boost your character's power.
Weapons: We want to use Essence of Anguish for the Movement Speed and Cooldown Reduction. For the Rank 3 power take the 50% increased Poison Damage, which actually applies to all damage done! Hint: Make sure to get a Poison Damage Range on your Weapon so it can proc the shard automatically.
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 Attack Speed to boost our character's power the furthest due to Akkhan's Leniency stacks, although % Damage, Fire Damage and Critical Hit Chance are not too far behind.
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
Ideally, you want to go for the 64.5% Cooldown Reduction Breakpoint to get 32 seconds 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.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.
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 and Gloves of Worship
Act 3: Avarice Band
Act 4: can drop Bounty items from any Act
Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny sets (for your follower)
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
Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid
For breaking walls to pull enemies and increase DPS
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 damage 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 damage. 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% damage, more than double toughness, crowd control 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 Regeneration
4. Resource Cost Reduction
1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 650,000 Life is recommended).
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:
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.
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.
Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GR Pushing Enchantress
For Greater Rift Pushing and Greater Rift Speeds alike 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.
Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.
Intelligence> Attack Speed.
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.
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 (3,000+), when you can consistently oneshot most mobs, you can drop Akkhan's Leniency for In-Geom. This will let you spam Steed Charge and other skills a lot more, giving you lots of mobility. You can also focus less on Cooldown Reduction, so you switch Lord Commander to Towering Shield to get some damage back.
When playing in groups cube Avarice Band and Nemesis Bracers instead of Krelm's Buff Belt and Convention of Elements.
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 St. Archew's Gage. Finally, we use Bane of the Trapped instead of Pain Enhancer for more consistent damage 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 for DPS boost and Squirt's Necklace for double damage during the Shield 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.
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.
Put together the core items and level up the Legacy of Dreams gem.
Stack Cooldown Reduction 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!
Defense can be a pretty good offense, apparently...