I feel like in order for Phalanx to be at all relevant a few things would need to happen. I miss the old lord commander builds and would love to see some variations come back, especially since patch 2.6.1 will be buffing some old crusader builds. I know there are some LoN builds and some versions with Akahns, but I really feel like phalanx is a tweak or two away from being really cool and fun and viable compared to the other builds that are coming up.
I feel like Akahn's set should be the base for a pet build because of Baleful Remnant. Since you need akarat's champion up it makes sense to me that you'd want the perma champion set to be part of any pet build. So for me, a LoN petsader feels like a bandaid. It's great that we have the freedom in the set now to use the helmet for phalanx, and also taskers, since they added the amulet. However, with the pony flail and shield set, I feel like the extra damage from that outweighs the benefit of using the unrelenting phalanx shield and baleful remnant on my character. Ideally we'd be riding around on the horse, with extra damage from the flail and shield set bonus, with perma champion up, having our pets buffed from both the helmet and shield phalanx bonuses, but in order to do this, we then don't have a spot left for baleful remnant.
If the intention is that we can't use the flail and shield set along with all 3, baleful remnant plus unrelenting phalanx plus the helm, then that's ok, but the bonuses without it just don't add up to anything substantial compared to the other builds that are getting buffed.
I'm fine with having to use a ring slot for eternal union, although it hurts a little to make the sacrifice for it when there such great options in the jewelry department.
2 different ideas:
1. Put the bonuses from unrelenting phalanx shield in with the baleful remnant, all in orange text. This would allow us to cube the weapon and still use the flail and shield pony set. Then we could enjoy the benefits of the set, while also enjoying the benefits of baleful remnant and unrelenting phalanx. (This is kind of a big change because it's taking the affix of of the shield and giving to the other weapon, which I don't really see them doing. Would it still be balanced, yes. Would it give an unfair advantage, no. It might not even make the build good enough to compete with the other in T10-T13, idk)
2. Give the baleful remnant and the unrelenting phalanx shield a buff, enough of a buff to make them worth using, like the flail and shield set or other weapon and shield combos. We're seeing buffs to the captain america shield toss builds, holy shotgun, and condemn, this could just put phalanx u in that group. I don't need it to be a grift pushing build, but being able to use phalanx as my dps for a speed clearing build would be great.
Conclusion. We've got these great items in the game already. The play style is already there and established and fun. It would be great to see some synergy come together around the skill and existing gear so we have yet another great option. I love the class and I love all of the variety, especially with the upcoming buffs, it would just be great to see some more of our stuff put to use in the current meta.
If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them. I'm still holding out hope for Phalanx eventually!