[Top 10] Diablo 3 Best Crusader Skills For High Damage

Diablo 3 Best Crusader Skills
Unleash the power of the Crusader with these hard-hitting skills

[Top 10] Diablo 3 Best Crusader Skills For High Damage

Feel the might of the gods!

Doing damage with the Crusader can be one of the more intimidating aspects of the class. They have certain moves that work well with others, combo-ing well. Other skills have such a high cooldown, it is hard to justify their usage when trying to farm or progress through Greater Rifts. 

Dealing major damage is the result of the player’s level of connection with the game. Any of these following moves can be buffed with certain gear, builds, and even paragon stats. Also, remember each skill has 5 different runes to play around with. There are no particular moves that do excessive damage while others are weak. Make sure you read up on armor sets and builds to find a way to use multiple skills revealed on this list. Check out my other articles on the two: Armor Sets and Builds.

This list will take a look at the base damage of moves, and then I will examine how easy it would be to boost the damage of these skills. Sometimes altering one or two basic aspects of the move transform it from ordinary to exceptional. Attack speed, cooldown reduction, resource cost reduction, and even movement speed factor in when determining how powerful a move is, and how powerful it can be. 


10. Punish (Best for early level players)

Punish is where it all starts. It is the first skill the player uses when they start as the Crusader and for good reason. This move only hits one monster at a time, but it does give you an increased block chance on each hit. You will build up your defense while also dealing significant damage once runes are applied. 

I thoroughly enjoy boosting my attack speed and equipping the Fury rune with Punish. This will boost critical hit chances by 15% and all of your damage from Punish turns to lightning. If you have a high enough buff to your attack speed, there will be almost no time in between swings, making this move simple for rotations with other skills. 

Punish is low on the list because there isn’t a very high ceiling for the skill. Sure, it can be used heavily and often. Once you’ve reached a certain level, it might be best to abandon Punish for more versatile primary skills. Those that deal damage from a distance may become more valuable as you work on kill multipliers and attack groups of elites.

Punish full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Punish


9. Phalanx (Best for high damage, low control)

This isn’t a move you will find very often in popular builds. I can understand why: the summoned Avatars of the Order are uncontrollable, sometimes making it hard to keep up a kill multiplier or tease a Treasure Goblin. They can destroy anything and everything in their path. 

I enjoy using this skill because of the runes. Even if they are not the most practical, they provide a nice backdrop of support to a class I am almost always working solo with. The Bowmen rune is fun, summoning archers instead of warriors. Shield Charge is also a pleasure to equip, as you’re avatars will now hit with Shield Bash once before vanishing.

For combo-ing purposes, this isn’t the skill. Use it when you are looking for some variety within the class or have found armor that gives you Phalanx buffs. 

Phalanx full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Phalanx 

Arm yourself with people to fight by your side


8. Blessed Shield (Best for experimenting)

This pseudo-Captain America skill is highly popular. The Crusader throws their shield in a strikingly similar fashion to Steve Rogers, hitting a total of 4 enemies before flying back to you. Each rune makes this skill vastly different, one of the reasons it is so popular. It can be fit into many of the different builds. 

That being said, make sure the rune you choose fits the development of your character. Don’t choose the Combust rune if you are not already doing some type of fire damage. If farming and Greater Rift progressing are your main source of fighting right now, the Piercing Shield might be a good bet, as you will no longer throw a shield that ricochets but flows right through all enemies in its path. 

I would focus on reducing the cost of Blessed Shield. Not that it is expensive in Wrath - only 20 per use, but lessening the cost makes it that much more usable. Besides, I don’t see much argument against throwing your shield more often.

Blessed Shield full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Blessed_Shield


7. Blessed Hammer (Best for farming)

When you summon the Blessed Hammer, you will see a hammer start twirling around the area you’ve sent it to, piercing its way through enemies and obstacles. This move is extremely important when it comes to farming.

The Dominion rune will adjust your hammer so that it does a circling radius of damage around your Crusader as you move. While you move, your hammer will continue to orbit and pierce its way through enemies. If you can boost your movement speed, you will be flying through the map with hammers serving as a faux solar system.

If you are not fighting hordes of enemies, switch up your rune. Thunderstruck, Lightning, and Burning Wrath are fine to use for fighting elites and picking up bounties on bosses. 

Blessed Hammer full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Blessed_Hammer_(Crusader)


6. Bombardment (Best for elite hordes; bounties)

This is another skill you won’t find at the center of any popular builds. It does massive amounts of damage - 570% each hit when you cast it. The runes are pretty typical. But Bombardment can wreck a group of elites with only a few hits. This is why it makes this list. 

If you are struggling to get past a horde of elites with a bunch of bonuses, try this out. It can be buffed by reducing resource costs and cooldowns, making it available to use more often. Other than that, the move takes time to develop. This gives the Crusader a chance to rotate around Bombardment. Cast the skill, then use your other skills with it to deal even more damage while you anticipate the heavy-hitting fireball from above. 

Bosses are another reason to use this potent skill. If you’ve found a way to generate Bombardment more often, cast it regularly on the likes of Azmodan, Magda, and Cydaea. Make sure you have the Targeted rune equipped, so you can aim, and have a little more control over your Bombardment. 

Bombardment full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Bombardment


5. Steed Charge (Best for higher-level playing)

Watch your Crusader take full speed with Steed Charge. This move sees the relatively slow Crusader plowing through the battlefield at superspeed, while still doing decent damage once runes are equipped. 

It can be extremely frustrating getting stuck between enemies, or walled up by elites. With Steed Charge, you gain the ability to veer through these barriers. The player gains 150% movement speed while active, and can run through almost anything in the game. It is an exceptional skill to pair with other, more attack-focused moves.

The real damage here comes from the runes. Spiked Barding and Nightmare can be devastating for enemies. Especially if you are building your Thorns damage and fire damage. Spiked Barding adds 500% of your character’s Thorns damage and Nightmare will see the horse leave a trail of fire, emitting 550% damage. The other runes are highly valuable as well, but for this list, they don’t do very much, if any, high damage. 

This move is one of the most popular for the Crusader class. It gives them a new level of mobility that is useful for any higher level of concentration. Farming, GR progression, kill multipliers, bounties, and even campaigning will see that Steed Charge speeds up the process and the damage done.

Steed Charge full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Steed_Charge

Speed up your progress and your Crusader with Steed Charge


4. Falling Sword (Best for farming, kill multipliers)

Falling Sword and Bombardment are quite similar. Though, I think the potential power of Falling Sword reigns higher than that of Bombardment. With this move, the Crusader will “Launch into the heavens and come crashing down on enemies, dealing 1,700% damage as physical to everything within 14 yards of where they land”. I felt it necessary to put the verbiage from the actual game with this one. It is a huge amount of damage, and you are fleeing the field for a second, which could save your life. 

Use this skill when you have paragon leveled your Crusader to a point where resource reduction and cooldown reduction are significant. If you can minimize the 30-second cooldown for this move, you will be able to do it that much more. It is great for landing big multipliers and farming. 

Some of the runes are pretty interesting. Rise Brothers sees 3 Avatars of the Order fight at your side for 5 seconds. Rapid Descent may be the way to reduce your cooldowns, as each enemy hit by Falling Sword will reduce the cooldown of the skill by 1 second (not under 10, though). There are freedoms involved with the selection of this skill, which makes it so valuable and potentially powerful. 

Falling Sword full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Falling_Sword


3. Fist of the Heavens (Best for rapid high damage; high levels)

Even though Fist of the Heavens isn’t one of my favorite moves, I cannot overlook its high levels of damage. The Crusader casts a lightning bolt from the likes of Zeus himself, and it explodes on the battlefield, dealing 545% damage as Lightning. Then, the explosion shoots 6 charged bolts that each deal 255% damage as lightning. Right there, the base skill itself is already god-like. 

You will unlock the skill at level 26, and it is relatively cheap - 30 Wrath. Get that cost decreased a little, and you could be using this skill non-stop. The runes are pretty interesting, most of them have elemental effects, and they alter the move slightly. Make note of your character’s previous elemental advantages. See if you can boost them any further. 

If you are adamant about using Fist of Heavens, I would check out the Aegis of Valor armor set. This will add bonuses to the skill, including a 20,000% damage increase with the full set equipped. This will help you play at the highest difficulty levels in the game. It could be said this skill is for the most serious of Diablo 3 nephalems. 

Fist of the Heavens full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Fist_of_the_Heavens_(Diablo_III)


2. Shield Bash (Best for any player, any time)

By far my favorite skill to use with the Crusader, if not the whole game. Shield Bash feels powerful. The move sounds simple, and it is. The player smashes themselves forward with their shield at the front. You deal 700% damage plus another 300% of your shield’s block chance as Holy damage. From this base, you can find the gear that gives you even more damage boosts.

Shield Bash can and should be used throughout the game. The Crusader learns the move at level 2, and if you never changed the move again, save for updating runes, you would be fine. With a cost of just 30 Wrath, the value of this skill is limitless. It can be used to fight great hordes of enemies, as well as handle the terrible Diablo himself. 

I would recommend finding ways to boost movement speed along with resource reduction. This move doesn’t allow for much mobility, so gaining that extra bit of speed will be helpful. Also, don’t forget that 300% of your shield’s block chance is added onto each bash. Find a shield with a high block chance, or even enchant one to raise the block chance. 

Shield Bash full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Shield_Bash 


1. Akarat’s Champion (Best for any player, pairing)

Blast your way through any enemy with Akarat's Champion

I can’t stress how important this move is, and how powerful it can be. Finding and equipping all of the Armor of Akkhan will make Akarat’s Champion the deadliest skill by far. Don’t worry, even if you don’t want to take the time to find each of the 6 items, this move is still brutal. 

The Crusader is empowered by their order, and they transform into a giant, hulking version of themselves. I can only compare it to when Shredder injects himself with the ooze in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. You completely take over the screen, and the Crusader himself will become a master of death.

This move is made best by lower cooldowns - Akarat’s Champion takes 90 seconds - and increasing attack speed. While the skill is active, Wrath regeneration is increased by 5 per second for 20 seconds. This makes earning Wrath easy. I thoroughly enjoy the pairing between Akarat’s Champion and Shield Bash. In fact, this is the main reason Akarat’s places first on the list. It makes Shield Bash, and all other attack skills for that matter, ultra-powerful. 

If you can, reduce the cooldown as much as possible. Even if it means sacrificing movement speed or resource cost reduction, it will be worth it. Akarat’s Champion makes the other skills for the Crusader infinitely better. By taking time off of the cooldown, it means having a stronger character more often. 

Akarat’s Champion full details: https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Akarat%27s_Champion

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