@Devs: Phalanx Condemn review and fix suggestions

First, the good:

  1. Phalanx Condemn (a.k.a. Phalcon A6) gameplay is really fun. While this is a subjective opinion, the build requires constant attention to the battlefield and an engaged Harnor is a happy Harnor. I definitely give the build overall my thumbs up!
  2. The issues which the build has can be fixed easily!

Let’s look at those issues now and fixes that would solve them:

  1. Lag spikes! Those are caused by Phalanx w/Shield Bearers rune. The reason is two-fold:
    a) The flash effect from Condemn explosions is still quite pronounced. Reducing it further would help remove the processor/graphics card overload.
    b) Phalanx/Shield Bearers can be spammed to create a multitude of Avatars. Those in turn create lag spikes galore! My suggested solution would be to reduce the maximum number of Phalanx spawns to no more than two at a time.
  2. The multiple units of Phalanx Shield Bearers create an insane amount of damage output, which makes GR 150 an inevitable outcome rather than a genuine challenge. Again, reducing the number of summoned Phalanxes to two would likely solve the problem.
  3. By contrast, Phalanx Bowmen seem to have only one-unit-at-a-time coding, making them actually too weak. Also, since Bowmen do not have a resource cost to summon, they do not proc the Focus/Restraint (F/R) rings and, thus, can not be used with those. That could easily be solved by adding a summon cost to Bowmen.
  4. For all its superior damage, Phalcon A6 is a miserable wet paper bag in the defense department. Yes, it does okay vs density, but is absolutely and unforgivably vulnerable vs Rift Guardians and even solo yellow elites. The Akkhan set needs a solid 25% damage mitigation boost, plain and simple.

I had a mostly typed reply in draft that I never got a chance to post.

Hi Harnor. We know this will get nerfed. The question is when and how.

The lag on this set is harsh in solo games. Even 8 Bowmen can make certain pulls really rough. Between recent set updates and the season theme, preventing lag in games doesn’t seem to be a priority. I was surprised to see Shield Bearers slip through like this – this build is not something to ever bring into a group unless you’re the sole dps and have a zBarb to keep you from dying. Still the play experience isn’t good because of the lag.

Shield Bearer’s repeat casting and Unrelenting Phalanx’s doubling of Avatars are a big part of the problem.

From a build standpoint, Shield Bearers is good because you don’t need to equip Condemn on the skill bar. Iron Skin:Flash solves some of the defense and mobility issues.

The Bowmen build doesn’t use Rally – it requires high CDR to keep Law of Valor and Avatars going – trying to fit in F&R is the issue with Bowmen.

Maybe Eternal Union can do more for Akkhan Condemn and other Crusader builds…?

Well they only gave us 1 set of Shield Bearers to work with. I still was able to clear GR146 after the nerf, it’s a hard nerf – but it’s somewhat balanced now.

I agree with this statement – we’re too vulnerable against certain rift guardians. Eternal Union, a ring that does nothing for us, could use offense and defense per summoned Bodyguard/Bowmen.


What do you think could be done to reduce lag then?
The obvious starting solution is that the light show must be seriously toned down…any other thoughts?

P.S. This build is a pinch too weak for me to bother playing at this moment. It needs a serious defensive bonus and some form of damage boost as well, imo.


The build with Bowmen can be pretty lazy with Numlock Trick. I mean, I set AC, the Law, Steel Skin and Phalanx on Numlock and just have to cast Judgement when necessary and worry about positioning and on some RG’s, it’s basically stand in one place and let the Phalanx work.

I mean, it’s a shame it’s as weak as it is considering that I’ve only completed a 126 but I like lazy builds in general so it suits me and still is fun to play.

The Fissure rune is the issue, though that is what makes FotH unique.

It is a 5 second long attack… that is too long. They could shorten it to 2 seconds and make the arc’s weapon damage stronger.

Also, for the sake of the season, if they did something where the arcs explodes when reaching a specific number of connections — this can prevent lag.

Or… beef up the Retribution rune… which is very cool to run with the Angelic effect. Make it grant 200% increased weapon damage on pierce. Really the answer is to move away from Fissure.

Ive been playing it on season a bit & its really not terrible. The lag seems to have gone away. Ninja server fix maybe? I did a 136 first key on that green forest map series. Almost did a 140 on a gg cow lvl map but i got the worst boss & elite spawn you can imagine on the power pylon at the end and missed by .2 seconds.

My biggest complaint is its too squishy. Crusaders are supposed to be tanky. Its in their mythos. Im cool with everything else for the most part.

Which build are we talking about?

Meta phalcon with fist of heavens power (added the fist part for # characters)

It’s not horrible solo, but it destroys groups with lag. Maybe I’ll upload a troll video of me ruining a few public games.

Don’t go peeing on anyones cornflakes for my amusement lol.

It wouldn’t really be invited to groups anyhow. It doesn’t really serve any purpose.

I tried to, the worst I got was 364ms on non season, mild lag in GR135. No zBarb pixel pull though. You may be on to something.

Dec 4 update:

I have now had a chance to test the Phalcon (Phalanx Condemn Akkhan) build quite thoroughly since the September nerf. My quick update to my OP feedback is that I now do not believe this build needs an attacking power boost. Attack-wise the build is challenging yet just powerful enough. The game play is superb!

I, however, uphold my critiques of the build’s weak defense. I still recommend a 25% damage absorption buff, ideally, build right into the set. In particular, the Phalanx Akkhan’s defensive need becomes obvious when watching videos of top players actually GR pushing. Each and every one features, typically, multiple deaths to the crusader, none of which come of player errors. Things like RG Bosses and dune dervishes just insta-pummel this build to shreds. That is frustrating to both play and to watch.

Blizzard devs, please give this build a defensive upscaling.

P.S. Personally, I do not have any lag issues. Perhaps my rather top-end connection speed is responsible. By contrast, however, I recently watched a couple GR top finishes from the Euro servers and the player had to pause the game on numerous occasions to cope with some recurring, seismic-grade lag spikes. Just fyi.


I agree with everything Harnor said. Damage output is fine. Not amazing but enough. Defense is the problem. With more defense players could position themselves better boosting the build by 3-4 GRs. Most of the time when I play I’m trying not to die instead of focusing on offense.


Exactly, exactly, and more exactly so :slight_smile:

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I played it today doing GR150 push, it is fine for solo. I won’t be sad about going into a greater rift, pulling aggressively, then dying moments later due to 60->500ms self induced freezes.

I do think it is dysfunctional in Echoing Nightmares. It is also crappy for anything speed related.

I took pure LoN Phalanx for a spin, hoping it would shred T16 and that I could replace Fist of the Heavens with a very passive build. It barely worked, my Bowmen hit for 110B, but didn’t deliver enough hits to run through the rift and clear on-the-go, they only managed in sparse areas, elites and dense areas were speed bumps.

You can see why Condemn was chosen as the solution, and I would use Akkhan, but there is no auto Judgment. A dead end there. They really should have made Aura of Judgment as the 2pc.

A6 Phalcon isn’t for the inexperienced. It is decent for solo push — and when you press the limits, it lags.

I have reached this point where i just expect everything half baked. They implemented much of the PTR feedback, we have a build that is functional for 99% of players, we just happen to be the 1% that sees the unrealized potential, but they don’t have the time to take it to perfection.

Let’s see what the next patch notes say. It’s been years of the same Rolands and Seeker game play, maybe they’ll throw some sympathy our way.

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To make it a more complete build (more than solo push) I’d suggest making the avatars count as targets of condemn so you always get the effect of having AE damage proccing your damage bonuses. No more saving rando pylons for the end, speed capable, stuff like that.

That is a good QoL idea.

I personally go for the wall/narrow ground which makes the guardian tolerable.

If you’re fighting the RG out in the open, stop today… go find a nook in the wall, and you’ll see your Shield Bearers closer together, you won’t drop Iron Skin or the Law without the need for adds.

This is one of those details that make it unfriendly for the 99%.

I finally got through GR150 solo in non-season. 14:49 at about 6689 paragon. I’m in agreement with Harnor, the build’s damage output is fine.

If I had to inject more QoL to this build… I’d set the 6pc bonus to grant 50% Phalanx CDR to make our buff uptime more reliable on single target boss fights-- and I’d make Unleashed the default Condemn rune procced by Phalanx.

When bosses teleport or step backwards, they dodges our Shield Bearers. The penalty is too severe. We’re forced to fight with our backs to a wall, but we have no way to counter flighty boss AI.

If Shield Bearers hit nothing, we wait ~5.7 seconds before recasting. With 50% CDR to Phalanx, we may only be vulnerable for 2.85 seconds. That doesn’t count chipping away at the 34.2 seconds of Akarat’s Champion cooldown to recast AC needed for maintaining Iron Skin & Law.

If they want to be generous, restore 50% CDR to Akarat’s Champion too.

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Congrats. It is pretty powerful, it’s just not fun to play? (not the nicest feedback I know)

My advice would be - MAKE AKAKART GREAT AGAIN!

Seriously though, if you could stand your ground more and tank the damage it would be more fun, at least to me.

This sounds like the Retaliate rune and Ivory Tower had a baby.