I am Gunny and I love the Crusader class. It is a new class and so the possibilites are there for many creative and amazing builds!
This is the build I used since release and currently speed farm T1 with it, almost only using rare items. Only thing that I would call mandatory, in terms of gear, is a 2h weapon for its slow speed.
It is a cooldown based, mostly sustained damage build, completly based on holy damage and thus very effective with +holy damage items. The builder and spender skills are not the main source of damage here. It has mobility and even strong group support, but works very well solo too.
Holy SFX because you are the one man/woman light show! ;D
1. Smite - Shatter: This is a nice holy based, medium ranged Wrath-builder. It has a bit of AE and the Shatter rune allows for more hits and thus more healing with Holy Cause. Slash with the Zeal rune would also work, if you prefer to be up close and do only frontal damage with your builder.
2. Shield Bash - Shattered Shield: A very solid Wrath spender skill with holy damage. If you have a target it serves as a free charge and brings mobility this way, always useful with Heavenly Strength. It does good damage and the Shattered Shield rune basically increases it's area of effect, making it the same range as Smite, if you target the ground in front of you, instead of your target (which would make you charge). Who needs a pony anyway?
3. Shield Glare - Divine Verdict: This brings a good CC with a low cooldown, which also buffs every damage done to the blinded mobs with the Divine Verdict rune. Very effective in combination with your other cooldowns or to spend your gathered Wrath into.
4. Condemn - Unleashed: A mighty point blank area of effect damage skill with a low cooldown. This is one of the reasons you should use very slow weapons, a 2h mace for instance, with this build. The Unleashed rune allows for perfectly timed usage, very helpful with Shield Glare, but most of the other runes are not bad either, if you want to go for them.
5. Laws of Valor - Answered Prayer: Every good Crusader build should use a Law because they simply buff everything you do. The attack speed is not the best thing about this here, as attack speed is very weak for this build. But the activation effect with Answered Prayer spawns dozens of nephalem orbs, which give you +10 % movement speed at 2 (and 3) stacks. This will not only buff you, your whole group and give you always some nice AE damage in addition, it is one of the only effective ways to move faster than 110 % speed, if you use Heavenly Strength. Another nail in the coffin of our ponies!
6. Heaven's Fury - Ascendancy: Another very strong damage cooldown with a medium uptime. The Ascendancy rune just buffs the damage and area of effect, which brings some powerful damage in combination with + skill damage items and a slow 2h weapon. As always, timed with a Shield Glare, you do serious damage without spending a single point of Wrath for it.
2. Passive Skills:
1. Heavenly Strength: As 4 of our 5 damage skills are instant attacks and 3 of them cooldowns we want them to hurt as much as possible. A very slow 2handed weapon is the best for this job.
2. Rigtheousness: This is helpful as more Wrath means more damage and more mobility with Shield Bash. The increased maximum Wrath also increases your opening burst damage with Shield Glare of course.
3. Holy Cause: This skill is a tricky one. Actually it does exactly what the tooltip says: If you have a weapon equipped with +holy damage range on it, then this damage will be increased by 10 %. So if you have a weapon (making up numbers) with 100-150 damage + 1000-1200 holy damage it will be increased to 100-150 + 1100-1320 damage. But only if it is holy damage! Makes the weapon choice a bit more difficult. The healing part is really strong as all of our damage is holy based. If you have no weapon with Holy Damage on it (hopefully blizz will fix this as it is annoying to have a skill so equipment dependend, you can use something like Vigilant to get some good healing and toughness.)
4. Finery: A solid damage and toughness increase, especially useful for early characters. As far as I know it does not scale with anything, so it isn't as useful for better geared characters but still a very solid skill.
Some of the runes and of course some of the passive skills can be changed to your personal taste. The passives presented here are very aggressive and damage oriented, as I mostly play solo.
3. Paragon Points
This is a very subjective matter, but it corresponds to the affix priority chart you will find further down. I can give you some general hints though!
Core: Maxing out Strength is always nice, but keep in mind that you should have 10 % movement speed. So if not through items then put some points into it here.
Offensive: Crit and Critdamage are most value here. Then Cooldown Reduction and after that Attack Speed.
Defensive: All Resistance is the strongest here, but every stat has its uses. Keep in mind that the more max health you have, the more will Holy Cause heal you too.
Utility: Area Damage is very welcome as it saves you potential affix slots for better stats. After that feel free to spend your points however you like!
As you can see I am currently (05. 28. 2014) only owning 3 legendaries (and the old Hellfire Ring), and none of them are mandatory. This build is perfectly viable with only rares and if you grab some good rares and get lucky with enchanting you can easily go into T1, T2 or even T3 with it.
I have a profile dps of about 400k but with the +holy % and skill increasing damage to Heaven's Fury the real dps might be already around the million mark.
ALL DAMAGE IN THIS BUILD IS HOLY BASED SO GET THESE +HOLY DAMAGE SKILL ITEMS! *coughs*
Yes, that is perhaps the most useful stat for this build. Crit and Critdamage are also very nice, because of the strong cooldown attacks in form of Condemn and Heaven's Fury.
On head and boots, try to get +Shield Bash damage, and on chest and shoulder armor try to get +Heaven's Fury or Condemn damage.
Cooldown reduction is very useful because you have 4 strong cooldowns and you use them as often as possible. A diamond in the helm is very helpful and will in fact increase your damage and survivability by a large margin!
Attack speed is not very useful on the other hand, because it will only speed up your Wrath generation and Smite damage, but not the damage of your cooldowns.
Resource cost reduction is by far the worst stat in terms of damage for this build, as Shield Bash does not make up for a huge part of your overall damage. It is not a waste of course and may increase your burst damage capabilities and survivability as you can charge more often.
I left Area Damage out of the chart, because it is somewhat tricky stat, not boosting your damage in all situations. The paragon points are a very good use for this though and if I really had to include it in the above chart, I would insert it near cooldown reduction.
Don't forget the basic rule of D3 stats: The more, not the better. If you have 90 % Crit but 0 % Area Damage und only 50 % Critdamage you probably need much more time to kill a pack of monsters as someone with 50 % Crit, 20 % area damage and 200 % Critdamage. So try to spread your stats a bit and see what nets you the best results.
A very useful legendary I found and use is the Eberli Charo shield. It almost halves the cooldown of your Heaven's Fury. You will basically have a 80-90 % uptime of it, in combination with some cooldown reduce. Add two 15 % +damage items (chest/shoulder slots) and you will have a unrelenting, angry finger of god at your disposal.
If you know or find other useful legendaries for this build, feel free to share or PM me so I can include them.
IV. Playstyle and gameplay video
Your 4 cooldowns are what makes and breakes this built, so you not only have to use them as often as possible, but also not waste them, to be efficient.
Shield Glare can save you in difficult situations, but it also increases the damage the affected enemies take. So try to use it before using Condemn and spending your Wrath. Heaven's Fury lasts for 6 seconds, while the Shield Glare only lasts for 4 seconds, so you can activate Heaven's Fury before the Shield Glare and 2/3 of its duration will be buffed by 20 % through this.
While you wait for your cooldowns you can smite away to gain wrath and pool it for the next Shield Glare. Don't sit on your Wrath though. If you need to charge after mobs, out of harm's way or are near full Wrath then use your Shield Bash!
The activation of your Law of Valor is a bit more difficult: It will provide you with nephalem orbs, but only if you do enough hits during the 5 seconds of its activation, because every hit only has a 20 % chance to spawn an orb. Heaven's Fury and Smite are very effective for this, but you also need enough enemies to hit. So try to use it as often as possible to not lose your 3 stacks of Nephalem Glory, but try to use it when you can hit a couple of enemies for 5 seconds straight.
Sadly I have no gameplay video at the moment, but I will try to create one for you soon. <3
This concludes my guide and I hope you not only like it, but it will also help some of our fellow Crusaders out there!
Comments, critique and other forms of response are greatly appreciated!
Please be gentle with me, as English is not my native language and feel free to point out any errors in language and content.
I will try to add some graphics to the thread here too. we'll see!
PS: Updating the thread a bit from time to time, messing with the layout... and here have a transmog screen of my favourite attire to create SFX with!