God of Lightning, the guide to Fist of the Heavens

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  • Fist of the Heavens Fissure
  • Shield Glare Divine Verdict
  • Steed Charge Endurance
  • Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force
  • Provoke Charged Up
  • Akarat's Champion Prophet
  • Fervor
  • Finery
  • Long Arm of the Law
  • Holy Cause


More Details
  • Legendary Gems

    • Bane of the Trapped
    • Taeguk
    • Wreath of Lightning
So you want to learn how to become the God of thunder? You have come to the right place!

This guide is aimed for both new and old players.

This part of the guide will go over the items you want to use, why you want to use them, and the legendary gems I suggest using.
Spells, the play style, possible changes to the passives, problems with Fist of the Heavens, and rest of the good stuff will be found at the 'Build Guide' part below.

This build is based around having permanent Akarat's Champion up-time. Meaning you will be using the full six piece Akkhan set and aiming to have 56% Cooldown Reduction. Also a double Unity setup, meaning one Unity for you to use, and one for your follower of choice with a Immunity Relic.

I will go over the slots one by one. Even though I will not state the maximum rolls for the stats here to avoid clutter, you should always aim to have the maximum rolls everywhere. Required/Recommended items are underlined. Stat Priorities are in the 'Items' area above this.


Head: Helm of Akkhan or Leoric's Crown*
Strength, Vitality, Critical Hit Chance, Socket

Shoulders: Pauldrons of Akkhan
Strength, Vitality, All Resist, Cooldown Reduction

Torso: Breatplate of Akkhan
Strength, Vitality, Reduced Elite Damage, Triple Socket

Hands: Gauntlets of Akkhan
Strength, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Cooldown Reduction

Legs: Cuisses of Akkhan
Strength, Vitality, All Resist, Double Socket

Feet: Sabatons of Akkhan
Strength, Vitality, All Resist, Fist of the Heavens % Damage

Wrist: Reaper's Wraps or Slave Bonds
Lightning %, Strength, Vitality, Critical hit Chance, (All Resist)

Waist: Vigilante Belt or Blackthorne's Notched Belt or Sting of Ears or Thundergod's Vigor
Strength, Vitality, All Resist, Cooldown Reduction
For belts you have multiple choices depending on what you have. I recommend using Vigilante Belt in most cases. You can use Blackthorne's Notched Belt with a Blackthorne's Amulet. String of Ears and Thundergod's Vigor I don't recommend for this build but they're still better than the rest.

*Leoric's Crown should only be used with a Ring of Royal Grandeur if you cannot reach 56% Cooldown Reduction without it.
Reasoning for the Wrist choice. Reaper’s Wraps are there just to make your life easier. Partially because there are no other wrists that actually benefit the build. Really the only other option is to use Slave Bonds for the extra All Resist.


You have two rings you want and a third ring if you're low on Cooldown Reduction, that being the Ring of Royal Grandeur.

Critical Hit Chance, Elite Damage, Cooldown Reduction, Socket

Stone of Jordan
Lightning %, Cooldown Reduction, Elite Damage, Socket

Ring of Royal Grandeur
Strength, Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction, Socket

There isn't really much to explain here. Unity setup is more or less required if you wish to get over Greater Rift level 35.
Stone of Jordan is the single biggest damage boost in form of a ring that exists, so we use it.
If you're using Leoric's Crown with the Ring of Royal Grandeur, replace the Stone of Jordan.

For Amulets you have 3 choices that are better than the rest.

Hellfire Amulet
Lightning %, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Socket
Also you should aim to have one of these passives: Fervor, Finery, Long Arm of the Law, Holy Cause, Indestructible, Wrathful or Vigilant.

The Flavor of Time
Lightning %, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Cooldown Reduction, Socket

Any Immunity amulet. The Star of Azkaranth, Xephirian Amulet or Countess Julia's Cameo preferred
Lightning %, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Socket
These range from extremely rare to absurdly rare, don't expect to get one. They're only added here since they are still Best in Slot candidates.

Blackthorne's Duncraig Cross
Lightning %, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Socket
This can be used with the Blackthorne belt for the set bonus.

Any Amulet as long as it has at least these rolls
Strength, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Socket

As said, any Amulet with the right stats can work. Having Strength instead of Lightning % on your amulet is only slightly worse for damage. You should always aim for perfection with Amulets, no matter what the build you're using. They are the biggest damage boost anyone can get from a single jewelry slot.

Legendary Gems

These are the gems I suggest using.

Wreath of Lightning since this is a lightning build after all.

Taeguk is awesome. Seriously. There are no other gems quite like it. Giving you 0.5% Armor AND Damage per stack, it is one of the best gems for Crusaders in my opinion. Stacks up fast with a Darklight due to its fast attack speed.

Bane of the Trapped. This is kind of an afterthought. Thinking over the rest of the gems, there really are not any other legendary gems that can give as big of a damage boost as this. Darklight benefits from this too, since if you want to use the proc from Darklight you're going to have to be extremely close to the enemy.

Bane of the Powerful is a decent choice if you don't want to use Trapped.

Gem of Efficacious Toxin works decently for two handed builds.

Pain Enhancer is pretty powerful even with a Darklight. Due to the way Fissure works you can get somewhat high ticks out of it. This would be a good replacement for Bane of the Trapped if you dislike the gem. I'm still not sure however if I personally like this over Bane of the Trapped.

Just remember, getting legendary gems to rank 25 does not mean they have reached their maximum potential. Keep on leveling the gems as high as you possibly can, it's definitively worth the effort.


You have 3 choices here.

Lidless Wall
Lightning %, Strength, Vitality, Critical Hit Chance, Elite Damage

The Final Witness
Strength, Vitality, Critical Hit Chance, Cooldown Reduction

Strength, Vitality, Critical Hit Chance, Cooldown Reduction

You should aim to use Lidless Wall when your Cooldown Reduction allows it, since it can't roll Cooldown Reduction.
If you're tight with Cooldown Reduction as is, use The Final Witness. It lacks the damage a Lidless Wall would provide, but it changes your Shield Glare into a 360 degree flash, meaning it's a lot easier to hit everything with and it will probably save you a few times.
Hellskull only works with two handed weapons, hence it's only being used with them, it's just the offensive version of The Final Witness.


You have 3 choices for this build as the main weapon. You should always aim to have as high damage range on them as possible.

Strength, % Damage, Elite Damage, Socket
Try to have at least 50% chance on the Unique secondary.

Schaefer's Hammer
Strength, Lightning %, Cooldown Reduction, Socket
Try to have at least 215% damage on the Unique Secondary.

The Furnace
Strength, Cooldown Reduction, % Damage, Socket
This is rarest one of the bunch so any secondary % will do.

Now onto which of these you should use.
I personally wholeheartedly recommend everyone to use the Darklight. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. It allows you to kite faster
2. Feels good to use
3. Deals surprisingly high amounts of damage

Don’t be fooled by the fact that Schaefer’s Hammer hits for ~43 million, The Furnace for ~55 million, and Darklight only for ~23, you will hit nearly twice as fast, and have a chance to double that every cast.

If you really don't want to use Darklight, I would recommend using Schaefer's Hammer over The Furnace.
Schaefer's Hammer kills normal monsters faster. This is clear from the get-go, The Furnace is built to kill elites with insane speed.
Schaefer's Hammer has a Unique secondary that procs often even though it's caused by you being hit. Let's be honest here, there is no way getting around being hit, not in T6, nor in Greater Rifts. And the fact that both Schaefer's and The Furnace are slow weapons means your kiting capabilities are greatly reduced. You will be getting hit.
What if on top of that I said that the Schaefer's Hammers secondary effect can crit? We're looking at 10 million/second crits on elites here, that's not bad for a secondary that has good up time.

Perfect Slots for Cooldown Reduction

Since this build is based around permanent Akarat's Champion, I decided to add this to help with confusion if such thing arises.
Your Cooldown Reduction should come from these places:
Helm socket with Diamond. 12.5%
Shoulders. 8%
Gloves. 8%
Stone of Jordan. 8%
Unity. 8%
Belt or Amulet. 8%
15% from Fervor
10% from Paragon Points
This should add up to 55.88% Cooldown Reduction. This means you have 0.15 seconds to refresh Akarat's Champion.
I know this is too little for some people, so feel free to have CDR somewhere else. A good example would be to have a Stone of Jordan with Critical Hit Damage instead of the Cooldown Reduction, and then just rolling Cooldown Reduction on your Darklight. If you end up going to 57% Cooldown Reduction you should reallocate your Paragon Points in Offense to keep at around 56%.

For two handed weapons it's basically the same, except you need Cooldown Reduction on the weapon, and then either on the Amulet or the Shield.

Paragon Priorities


Movement Speed
Primary Stat
Maximum Resource


Cooldown Reduction
Critical Hit Damage
Critical Hit Chance
Attack Speed


Resist All
Life Regeneration


Area Damage
Resource Cost Reduction
Life on Hit
Gold Find
This is a pretty basic way to use your Paragon Points.
However, there are a few things you can change.

Capping Maximum Resource after Movement Speed. This comes down to personal preference, the build doesn't really gain or lose anything with this.
Vitality over Strength. This isn't anything amazing either, if you feel unsatisfied with your health then by all means put points into Vitality.

Reallocating points from Cooldown Reduction. This is just min maxing your damage. If you go over 56% Cooldown Reduction there are no big gains to be had in going further.

Armor% before Life%. This will give you more slightly more toughness while in outside of Akarat's Champion.

Life on hit before Resource Cost Reduction. If you feel like you need slightly more healing then go ahead.

Build Guide

Fist 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.

Play Style

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 Words

Thank 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.