Drothvader's "Wrath of the Thundergod" Crusader

Drothvader's "Wrath of the Thundergod" Crusader

There is nothing more definitively “Crusader” than rocking the sword-and-board combat style. The Roland’s Legacy set offers a few ways to embody that in-your-face build by pumping your Shield Bash and Sweep Attack skills through the roof. In this week’s Play Your Way, Drothvader#1215 asks “why not both?” in this generator-free build.

About the Build:

Typically, when a Legendary set is designed, it has a very particular goal or theme in mind. The Roland’s Legacy set is the definitive melee option for Crusaders, purposefully put together in a way that gets you using your shield both offensively and defensively, encouraging you to get in the fray. Many players have adopted one side or the other of this powerful set, choosing to specialize in Shield Bash or Sweep Attack. Drothvader#1215 has instead used a combination of Legendaries to make complementary use of both, eliminating the need for a primary skill altogether. 

Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening.

It does take the lion’s share of Legendaries to put together, but the synergy you’ll discover as everything falls together is nothing short of satisfying. Regardless of whether you run into massive groups or one-on-one showdowns with a Rift Guardian, you’ll be ready with a hard-hitting ability to wreck demonic face.

The Skills:

It’s dangerous to go alone to jump into the middle of combat, so there’s plenty of defensive skills in this build to keep you toe-to-toe with your enemies no matter how large the threat.

Active Skills:

  • Sweep Attack (Trip Attack)
    • Your “group” skill and generator
    • Golden Flense will make this skill return Wrath in droves when fighting large packs
    • The stun from the Trip Attack rune adds a nice, frequent crowd control component
  • Shield Bash (One on One)
    • Your “single target” skill
    • Drakon’s Lesson provides a sizeable Wrath refund when you take on less plentiful packs or bosses
    • Also provides a stun, allowing you to lock down your opponent no matter which skill you’re using
  • Iron Skin (Flash)
    • Increases your mobility, providing bonus movement speed and allowing you to ignore enemy collision
    • Huge boost to survivability and, thanks to the Roland’s Legacy set bonus, virtually always available
  • Provoke (Charged Up)
    • Locks enemies on to you, encouraging them to come in close for a mace to the face
    • Provides a method of rapid Wrath regeneration for those droughts between packs
  • Laws of Valor (Unstoppable Force)
    • Stacks additional Attack Speed to compensate for that slow 2-handed weapon swing
    • Reduces the Wrath cost of your expensive Secondary skills even further
  • Shield Glare (Zealous Glare)
    • As a Defensive skill in conjunction with Roland’s Legacy, offers an on-demand Blind to help keep your enemies controlled
    • Provides a(nother) method of rapid Wrath regeneration for those droughts between packs

Passive Skills:

  • Heavenly Strength
    • You’ll want to be using a Golden Flense, making this passive required
  • Indestructible
    • Your standard second-life ability to keep you in the game when things go awry
  • Towering Shield
    • Boosts the damage of Shield Bash
    • Massively reduces the cooldown of Shield Glare, keeping its crowd control and Wrath reserve constantly available
  • Finery
    • The sizeable 1.5% Strength per gem socketed serves both offensive and defensive purposes
    • Pumps. You. Up.

Alternative Skills:

The Items:

There is a very particular balance of items here in order to sustain constant use of two strong Secondary skills. However, you’ll find some of the slots are more flexible than others.

Drothvader's gear has come together quite nicely, featuring a handful of Ancients including his Golden Flense.

Recommended Items:

Complementary Items:

Recommended Legendary Gems:

  • Bane of the Trapped
    • A strong, go-to Legendary gem rounds out this build’s utility and damage
  • Taeguk
    • Keeping Taeguk stacks is simple when you’re always spending Wrath!
  • Wreath of Lightning
    • Equal parts flavor and effectiveness, you’ll find the powerful proc of this item will be up constantly
Recommended Stats:

  • Cooldown Reduction is a valuable commodity, as keeping your buff abilities consistently active is integral to your Wrath generation and survivability
  • As all your damage comes from Lighting based abilities, you’ll want to prioritize +% Lightning damage on items like your Amulet and Bracers
  • Try to keep some Life on Hit on your weapon, as it will come in droves on a 2-Hander, and socket Diamonds into your gear for an extra boost to Toughness

Why We Like This Build:

We love builds that are well thought out in both mechanics and theme. Drothvader has definitely spent the time pondering both, and the build lives up to his description. “This is the ultimate Crusader experience,” he writes in. “While I play this build I imagine a Crusader charged with Lightning energy mowing down foes with their flail. I would recommend to anyone that loves the melee Crusader style to check out this build.”

We do too, Droth. We do too.

Tell Us What You Think!

How has your Crusader been carrying on? Are you rolling with Roland’s or sticking with Akkhan’s? Do you plan on giving Drothvader’s build a try? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to send your own builds in.

Next week, we’ll return to the destructive magical forces of the Wizard. Until next time!