Suggestion on crusader post 2.6.10

So here we are again after another patch, and while it looks like we’re retaining the top spot in terms of solo power, this patch did weird stuff to our internal balance.

The key points of this patch was ofcourse:

  • The increase in damage to the norvald’s set.
  • The added multipliers for bombardment.
  • The buff/nerf to invoker.

The minor points was:

  • Buffs to both seeker of light and roland’s set.
  • Reducing the lag of hammerdin by having the hammers die after hitting 63 targets.

So, these changes did mess up some things, mainly sets in general. With these new changes both akkhan and invoker was effectivly hamstrung, seeing as they both lost their individual potential.

Akkhan cant be buffed any further now since the bombardment buff is halting its power increase (otherwise A6I2 will get even more powerful), this ofcourse puts a halt on both condemn, blessed shield and a possible phalanx build, the items needed for these builds cant be buffed any more because LoD can run them even better. So a balance to have them equal or better than their LoD counterpart was something to aim for.

Invoker was already one of the more difficult sets to balance, but compared to other elite killer builds, invoker had virtually no aoe pressure, even though it had some of the best aoe set bonus in the game. Bombardment could theorethically fix that by giving the needed pressure. The items were pretty much there, mostly just switching out the cubed weapon and some skills. With the changes done, they effectivly killed that possibility, doubling down on the single target aspect, while also forcing norvald’s on to the set. This was a weird turn of events because the idea on the set was to have bombardment be a go-to skill, now it returned to just being a way to proc the defencive bonus.

Norvald’s issues:

Now let’s adress the issues with norvald’s, the item set was great for it’s intended purpose, giving the crusader the movement speed to compete with other classes. This was already shown in our fastest speed build using Foth. It has issues though, it’s supposed to be for hit-and-run style gameplay, which fits foth speed builds, it’s not supposed to be for giving pushing builds a way to boost damage, that’s why it turns the invoker playstyle into a rather janky one, one that originally was, stand in the middle and take it while nuking down the rare, and block most of the hits.

For a build like foth it leaves the build rather vurnable since you’d have to run norvald’s to have enough damage to push. It’s not giving any defence, as such you’re about as tanky as a wet piece of paper.

Norvald’s solutions:

So to fix this the obvious solution would be to return this set to it’s original power, but at the same time raise it’s defencive bonus. For instance:

“Gain 100% increase damage and 50% damage reduction while using Steed Charge and for 5 seconds after it ends”


“Gain 100% increase damage while using Steed Charge and for 5 seconds after it ends. Also while not using steed charge gain 50% damage reduction.”

First example is pretty straight forward, the other one makes you a bit more vurnable while on the horse, meaning you rather not stay in the middle of a pack and pop it for the damage bonus.

Invoker issues:

Invoker has always been in a weird spot, being the only full thorns based set, this added with the focus and non focus on bombardment which creates this weird situation. Having such a strong 2 set bonus naturally made it strong with something like akkhan. The problem is that at some point it shifted to be almost exclusivly single target, which made it arguebly one of the harder sets to farm and push with. Bombardment would have fixed that, bringing the aoe it needed.

The nerf to the 2 piece put a stop to that, killing all plans to have any meaningful aoe.

Invoker solutions:

So there are several things to be done to ensure that invoker reatins that pressure, some have suggested swapping 2 and 4 piece bonus which wouldn’t help since akkhan is quite the versitile set. But the idea isn’t completly bonkers.


Swap 2 piece with 6 piece instead, now when the two main damage boost the set recieves swap, it’s possibly to run the A6I2, but it will give a different combo which wouldn’t be as absurd. Even if you double the power of akkhan, it will only affect the single target portion. If there is a fear that the single target combo of akkhan would be too great, then reduce a bit of the single target boost and raise the stacking mechanic. This is calculated from the old values of 15000% single target, and 350% 25 stacks for the stacking.


Nerf both the 2 piece and the 6 piece, but at the same time add a static thorns or bombardment bonus to 6 piece. Keeping this bonus away from Akkhan helps keeping them seperate.

Other issues created by things above, and simple solutions:

Fist of heavens: If norvald’s is nerfed and not given a toughness boost the build would be set back. Khasset’s cord has a rather low damage bonus, so bumping that up to a reasonable level is a simple fix, then it’s easier to have both a pushing build and a speed build. For toughness you can fix it by changing khasset’s to affect all resource cost from only foth resource, that has some nice interaction with CC3.

If norvald’s isn’t nerfed, then it’s easier to add a shield or weapon that can give both a decent damage bonus and a toughness bonus. Having it on one of those pieces ensures that it cant be used with the norvald’s set, meaning you have better gearing options for speed vs push.

Akkhan set: At the heart of all these issues is the akkhan set, being a versetile set. Before the set would inhabit several builds, so we use it as the universal damage set, but with these last couple of patches, they moved two skills to another set, that leave essentially 3 skills (4 if we count bombardment). The need for universal damage modifiers is less than it was some time ago, for the rest of it, we can cover it with LoD builds. If akkhan would be locked into condemn, blessed shield and phalanx, you can increase akkhan’s damage between those 3 skills rather than worrying about what universal damage could affect.

Bombardment: Many ideas I’ve posted here is not to completly kill a bombardment build, but narrow it to better balance it, as it stands now, the set that’s supposed to be the bombardment builds is actually the worst of the 3 (A6I2, LoD and Invoker), if it’s narrowed to atleast Invoker and LoD, then it’s easier to strike a balance between two very similar but still different builds.

Last words: I dont claim any of the ideas here, they are either variations on ideas from other people or highly inspired from them. Also I did not mention too much of Roland’s and Seeker of light, they are mechanically good, but missing some damage, and shield bash is a whole different cookie to mention here.

Thanks for reading.



I don’t mind the danger of Norvald, the cheat death system helps quite a bit, however, it becomes extremely glass cannon when Akarat’s Champion is down. It’d be nice to see Norvald reducing the cooldown on AC by 5 seconds, on activation, or something like that. AC needs to be up 100% of the time so that lower paragon players can use FoTH in GR pushes.

I doubt they will ever revert the recent changes to the 2pc and 6pc bonuses. IMHO they missed the golden nugget of advice you suggested during PTR – that ship sailed and we’re stuck with the unexpected.

Today A6I2 Bombardment is the flagship non-season build – it’s our equivalent of DH’s GoD6. How they handle A6I2 entirely depends on where the devs draw the line on balance across all classes. So I won’t suggest anything to alter A6I2, or to make Invoker a Bombardment set, because we have 2 solid ways to play Bombardment now – so I’ll instead focus on alternatives ways to make I6 Invoker appealing.

We need to move Norvald’s away from Invoker 6pc because it resembles finding a needle in a haystack every 5 seconds. Establishing really good 1h + Shield combos would make Invoker more exciting. That’s all I can really say about that. Start with these items – ramp up the single target or dramatically amplify the 2pc thorns AoE:

  • Vo’Toyias Spiker
  • Hack
  • Nailbiter
  • Neanderthal

From a damage standpoint this build is balanced with LoN Bombardment, it just lacks the toughness needed to output the damage. I played with some friends today and was able to trash clear GR144 with AoV Fists of the Heavens @ 40k str. I died a lot, but it revealed the damage potential. With double hits for 2.5Q damage, Fist of the Heavens is an A- trash clearer, but an S-tier speedster because of the point and click nature of the skill.

Most groups won’t touch FotH as a trash clearer due to lag outs in very thick density - you can’t overpull or the group dies. Khassett’s Cord upgrades are welcome though, generic 40% RCR and 250% damage would be nice.


Yupp, I would blame it on the attackspeed of having a two-handed mainhand, having a AC bonus would help some, but I’d argue that it wouldn’t be enough still, but it also depends on other parts as I mentioned about rcr on belt and such.

Mmm that would be a dream scenario, hack and vo’toyias seems like good candidates for it.

Yeah, and thus I wanted to move away from norvald’s because there was so many better options that worked well with foth when being a stationary trashclearer, which is sorta why I wanted to push more damage on the belt rather than norvald’s.

Or as mentioned, something that brings out a potentially stronger and more durable pushing build. Fixing some of the toughness issues and allowing faster weapons (for proccing zodiac). Say that that item would provide 400-500% making slightly stronger than than the norvald’s buff, but you wont have the same speed as norvald’s provides, but obviously (besides this season) you cant wear both norvald’s, darklight and this new item at the same time.

Which is enough to make me want to not try it out. Why do this when I can get faster times with other classes and builds that can kill huge amounts of trash at the same time?

I came away with a different approach to disconnecting Invoker from Akkhan, hinging on the fact that Bombardment doesn’t actually deal thorns damage itself but rather gains a damage multiplier from your thorns stat. In essence, it was about Invoker’s 2p causing enemies to take more damage from thorns itself, which would mean that Bombardment got nothing from it. But then, that just further trivialized bombardment for Invoker.

However, the idea of swapping the 2p and 6p sounded like an interesting idea. Something like this, maybe?

(2) Set:
The attack speed of Punish and Slash are increased by 100%, and have their damage increased by 250% of your thorns. (to make them and their rune effects a valuable part of Invoker’s set mechanics, and their respective legendary powers, too)

(4) Set:
Take 50% less damage for 20 seconds after damaging an enemy with Bombardment.

(6) Set:
Your Thorns damage now hits all enemies in a 15 yard radius. Each time you damage an enemy with Punish, Slash, Bombardment, Consecration or block an attack, your Thorns is increased by 750% for 3 seconds. This effect stacks up to 20 times.

Which brought to mind (because its the only other sader skill that deals thorns damage) a forgotten and unloved crusader legendary power for some legitimate group utility (and not just for Invoker):

Inviolable Faith
Consecration cooldown reduced by 50% and its healing and damage are increased by [750-1000]% of your total cooldown reduction. Casting Consecration also casts Consecration beneath all of your allies.

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I also want some damage reduction for the crusader. Being part of Norvald or another item. I hate it how glass cannon crusader is and the name suggests a tanky class. He needs ring like band of might that barb has to fix everything.
Basically i can’t move with crusader without being killed. The moment i move and stop attacking i take instead full damage especially from ranged enemies.
Make it spin to win too lol. Or ride to win. Every second you are on the horse, you release FotH. that way your obsidian ring can lower the cooldown of Akkarat Champion. Crusader just needs item for his class that gives 60-70-80% damage reduction that can be applied at any time(not talking about endless walk)

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DR gears will be appreciated as well as a skill that lowers CDR of AC or increases the duration of iron skin like the belt that barb has.

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Norvald needs a 2nd 1h-weapon. (not instead 2-hander!)
This will solve the general fail of this set for THORN users and do not touch the DPS users who really wants big numbers on their 2h-weapons.

For the bomb sader that I am using, I tried playing today my seasonal crusader 1.3 k paragons without the 4th slot, to see how it feels so I took Aquila off and I died so many times after a certain gr level that otherwise I was clearing effortlessly. An idea and a suggestion that I have for Akkhan is to buff its toughness. Something like make iron skin permanent or grant more than one laws or give every rune simultaneously for some specific buff. That would help improve things for the set. Something that can give a unique identity to the set rather than the generic xxxx% multiplier. For the damage portion of the set you are quite right of course. It’s not easy to balance now without hurting bomb sader. And on the other hand it doesn’t make any sense to me to kill bomb thorns sader after only one season. Permanent fourth cube slot will also help make life easier. If they decide to go that way, I will certainly be happy.

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It’s well known that Saders are sorely lacking in durability options. It’s JL and nothing else. And JL requires a perfectly rolled shield and a passive just to be worth FAR less than what other classes get (to say nothing of what JL is worth without all that).


While it would be nice to have it, i’m unsure that they would apply it when they already have two sets that do exactly that.

If anything, i wanted to save two bombardment options by killing one, also to save other builds that might be affected by it. LoD bomb is in a fairly good spot now, but invoker bomb is not even on the map, it was in good spot in the first ptr iteration before they decided to change invoker to nerf the a6i2 build.

I would also partially blame norvald’s buff for it, and I would rather have seen a buff to the foth belt.

Now here is a part which I’m definitely against, but you have to look forward, much much forward. The short answer is powercreep and build design, powercreep especially for the necro, both rat runs and bonespear, others do benefit powerwise, but not as much.

For crusaders though, it’s a horrible situation. For us it benefits two specific builds in a good way. One is foth speed in which you can either run more defence or attackspeed (adding in an echoing fury) which helps with both the damage and upkeep of AC, it counteracts the negative sides of using the two-hander of norvald’s essentially. It also helps the speed condemn, which could now be farming 100’s without much issues.

But what it does negativly is that you’re locking in the norvald’s set to several builds, both pushing heaven fury, condemn and rolands. This is already after having the set locked in foth, bomb, pure invoker, meaning a majority of the builds in the crusader arsenal will be norvald builds.

And why is that bad you ask?, well the intent with norvald’s was pretty simple, giving us a hit-and-run playstyle for speedy builds, meaning that you should be use the steed, hit a few times then run away to the next. But with many crusader you’re rather stationary or very centered around a small area, to start ramping up your damage. Breaking that to use steed charge only to recieve a damage buff is not an ideal playstyle, it takes away a lot of what made norvald unique.

For being a class that allready has two more or less obligatory setups (prophet rune and cc3), adding a third one isn’t helping. That’s why I would say having this as a seasonal them was fun, but it’s good if it doesn’t make it to NS.

Now saying that I could agree on a suggestion Negator had about only adding items to the fourth slot that affected utility items, such nemesis or iceclimbers. They dont directly make you tougher or more powerful, but they add a few things that you would normally skip because your build requires all the slots to specific items.

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Nice response. I can see your points. I was talking about a generalization when talking about the 4 the cube slot. Yeah I agree it will bring more power creep and maybe they have to balance everything again around that 4th slot meaning that they might want to rework some classes separately (their multipliers) to provide am even ground. I guess that requires extra work and I don’t know if we can expect that much in this late stage of the game but if they actually do it I would suprised in a positive way. The other argument is that it simply allows more freedom more creativity and it’s more fun to try and experiment with more slots and items so that can be also factored. But whatever they decide to do, whether they make it permanent or not I can live with both scenarios.

About the changes to Invoker set, it was understandable that the benefit the A6I2 bomb got was tremendous and needed to be reined in. What I don’t understand is why they did it this way. Couldn’t it get rebuffed in piece 6? I’m no programmer so I leave that as an uncertainty. My suspicion is that it can be accomplished and could look something in the lines of you now deal 350% thorns… stacks 25 times. Plus the original set bonus of course.
Basically the game would revert the initial 2 piece bonus if and when the full set got completed.
Hope for the best for you guys. I’m having tremendous fun so far, haven’t pushed yet, with my “build”. I was tempted to go A6I4 and love it at T16 levels. Pretty tanks, I’ll find out later how good it is both in terms of damage and toughness.
Hope you get good solutions if there is any changes down the line.

My suggestion about “how to fix broken Invoker”.

At first we need from the set an ability to do damage to the crowd, because finding only one yellow target in the crowd is too weird as for me. The solution we already have (bombs), but they are not enough strong when we put on the full set. So i thought about it and find a solution!
Here is it:
2pc - same as current (maybe increase it’s timing to 4 sec)
4pc - same as current plus Now your Bombs casts with rune Barrels of Spikes.
6pc - removes stack cap from 2pc. Your Punish and Slash weapon damage now coverts into thorn damage. When in front of you 3 or fewer enemies the attack speed of Punish and Slash are increased by 150%.
*Now thorn damage of Punish and Slash also can take bonuses from DEPTH DIGGERS and Simplicity Strength *

In conclusion: my suggestion has a variatibility for single runs and for multiplayer and even the mix of both for your unical build.

p.s. i didnt do any math with parameters, so IDK how strong my variant is in real game. Hope it will be strong ))