Build GuideFist of the Heavens is a grossly underestimated spell in the Crusader skill set. Part of the 'hate' towards it is justified due to the lack of good runes, and the issues some of them have. But this does not mean it deserves the lack of use the spell currently has.
Same can be extended to the weapon Darklight, although it did get hit in patch 2.1 with the changes to proc mechanics, the weapon thrives with Fissure in this build.
I have spent the last 2 weeks or so running the build with multiple variations, and have come to the conclusion that we have a single Greater Rift viable rune that is also heads above the rest: That being the Fissure. More on the rune in the Spells section just below.
The basic block of this build is running Permanent Akarat’s Champion - Prophet. It provides you with 150% more armor, 35% damage, wrath regeneration and 50% Cost Reduction with the Akkhan 6 piece set bonus. It's the best rune for Greater Rifts for all Crusader builds. You can change the rune to Fire Starter on T6 runs for giggles.
The second big thing this build uses is Laws of Valor - Unstoppable Force. Using this with Long Arm of the Law passive will remove your Wrath problems. For two handed versions you can change Laws of Valor to Critical if you’re using Reaper’s Wraps. You can also do this with a Darklight but that will make you run out of Wrath kind of fast.
For Utility purposes this build is also using Steed Charge with the Endurance rune, Shield Glare with Divine Verdict, and Provoke with Charged Up.
Steed Charge is pretty self explanatory, it’s a great all purpose spell. It allows you to traverse the rifts faster, run through monsters and make it easier to escape situations that would become deadly otherwise. I don't see a reason why you wouldn't use it.
Shield Glare is there for reliable Crowd Control and the 20% damage boost it gives. Shield Glare isn’t used in that many builds, but here it’s almost a perfect fit. I would recommend not changing this spell due to it's low Cooldown and high up-time of the debuffs it gives.
Last of the utility spells is Provoke with Charged Up. This will allow you regenerate enough Wrath even without using Reaper’s Wraps as long as you’re using Laws of Justice with Unstoppable Force. Although I recommend using Charged Up since it fits the build due to the added lightning damage to your hits, you’re free to use what ever rune you want on this spell, all of them have a use except Flee Fool.
And last of the spells is Fist of the Heavens with Fissure. This is the only damage dealer we need. This rune makes your Fist of the Heavens create a Fissure of Lightning that stays on the ground for 5 seconds, dealing 410% weapon damage in the area and creating beams of lightning between the casts of the spell for 135% weapon damage per arc.
This is what makes this build so good with a Darklight. Although the Fissure on the ground does pretty pathetic amounts of damage (we're talking like a million damage per second per fissure), it's the beams they create that deal a lot. The beams scale off of your attack speed, can crit, and can hit the same target multiple times given enough fissures the beam can jump to.
You have two passives you really don't want to drop, Fervor and Finery.
Fervor. 15% Attack Speed to an already fast weapon combined with 15% Cooldown Reduction. No sense not to include this with a one handed weapon.
Finery. 12% more Strength with sockets in all jewelry, chest and legs. There is no reason why you should not use this.
Long Arm of the Law. You don't need to use this, but I do recommend it. Without this you'll run into wrath issues if monsters don't regularly drop health globes.
Holy Cause. Now, I picked this just to add more damage. You can change this to Wrathful, Vigilant or Indestructible. This slot is basically free, do with it what you want. I would suggest sticking with Holy Cause if possible to increase your damage obviously.
This is quite simple yet still something you can mess up easily. Fissure works somewhat badly in the sense that the beams don't deal damage if you stack the Fissures. So on bosses you need to cast the Fissures in a pattern around the Boss, trying to maximize the amount of beams hitting it.
It'll take a few runs to learn it. You can start by making a cross on the boss, trying to cast the Fist of Heavens so that it won't cast under the boss, but just slightly off it.
On normal monsters you want to try make a net around them, trying to hit everything with the beams that form between fissures. Another good tactic is to just kite hordes of monsters backwards, and letting the beams to kill or at the very least lower the health of the minor monsters.
Also due to the fact that I'm using a Bane of the Trapped it would be good to try and kite mobs while also keeping the ones you want to kill within 15 yards of you. This will take a while to do properly, and even I still sometimes mess it up but it's definitively worth it.
The Fissure Issue
Now, as some of you might have already figured, if what ever you are fighting decides to move, your damage will drop significantly until you can recast your "net" around it.
Not only that, but the awkward monster hit boxes that some monster/bosses have will make that extremely hard. Good example of this are Fire Maidens. It would be nice if there was an option to just cast the spell exactly where your mouse is, without the spell "auto correcting under the monster" if that makes sense.
The Rune Problem
So, I kind of promised I would go over the runes for Fist of the Heavens.
Divine Well. This is surprisingly powerful for single target. It can potentially deal 545% + 240% weapon damage just on one cast if all the bolts decide to zap the main target. This rune however has a problem: It sucks for large fights. It is nice that the bolts can deal extra damage to targets, the actual damage you gain from these is abysmal against multiple enemies, at least when compared to Heaven's Tempest or Fissure.
This rune will also completely decimate any monster with Missile Dampening, so it's got that going for it.
Heavens Tempest. This rune is decent against big groups, but again it has a big problem that cripples it. It cannot crit. Sure it's nice that you can turn the whole battlefield into a big inferno, but if that inferno just tickles bigger monsters there is no point. I could see this getting used with Akarat's Champion - Fire Starter obviously, but you really can't use that in high greater rifts since it lacks so much defense compared to Prophet.
Fissure I already covered above. The best rune for damage, it's well above the rest.
Reverberation. I don't even know where to start with this. The spell itself has nothing going on besides the absurd knock back. It doesn't deal any more damage than the rest of the runes, the knock back doesn't really work against Yellow monsters or rift bosses. It even knocks monsters away from the point where the spell hit, meaning if you accidentally cast it on a monster that is walking towards you that monster will be tossed to your face. Not to mention it's completely impossible to kill big packs of monsters with this. Every monster type seems to have a unique knock back distance, so if you cast this on a varied pack of monsters they would probably all be tossed around different amount. Don't use this rune, just don't.
Retribution. If you thought Reverberation was bad you're in for a ride. This spell simply DOES NOT WORK. It looks cool, it feels pretty fun to use, but this spell is so damn bad I really wonder how it got into the game in the first place. I'll list things that break this spell.
1. You cannot cast it to a higher point than what you're currently on. Monsters up the stairs? Better run up there or you'll just hit the bottom part of the stairs!
2. It cannot go over ANY terrain that you can't. It works just like the Phalanx - Stampede in this regard. Also most of the time cannot be cast within 10 yards of hills, or other similar areas.
3. Sometimes the spell hits invisible walls and just destroys itself. This is the only spell I've come across that does this in those spots.
Want to test this? Go into town, equip this spell (gear, weapons don't matter), go near the waypoint, try to cast the spell over the waypoint to the other side.
Why should you run this build over the current top tier builds?
One reason is luck. I know a few people who have not been playing that long, they found a good Darklight or Lidless Wall and then just tossed them to the ground/salvaged them without giving it a second thought because they heard it was "a bad item and fist of the heavens is a bad spell". They had not even found a single Blade of Prophecy, Unrelenting Phalanx or anything. They had barely any gear yet they didn't even give a chance to a spec that can easily clear Torment 6, and easily clear up to greater rift level 35. I mean sure: This build will not be able to clear Greater Rift level 40 without extreme luck. It will hit a wall at around 38, 39 is doable but you won't be able to clear it with consistency. This however does not mean that you should not/can not use this build or, even worse, steer clear of the whole thing.
Second reason is to spice up the game play. I'm sure we've all had the moment when we really don't care to run the 500th rift with Stampede, or feel like some build isn't as fun as we thought it would be and are looking for a new one. Fist of the Heavens is simple, yet it feels good to play with. I'm not saying that this build will be "the one"; I'm saying you should give it a chance.
Third reason is fun. It is a video game after all, you should experiment and find the build that you have fun with. It might not be this one, it might not be Condemn, it might not have anything to do with the whole class. How ever, you should still try and see if you like it. The build really is not as bad as people say it is. Most of all,
Final WordsThank you for reading!
This was my first guide so it might be a little rough. Feedback is appreciated!
I hope this guide was helpful to the people interested in running Fist of the Heavens builds, or just interested in the concept overall.
Once again, thank you for reading. It was a pleasure to make this.