Another major revamped is the Armor of Akkhan for which the fantasy of a Crusader with his troops will be played out through various buffs/changes to Phalanx while Judgment makes a key entry into this build. We will go through what some of the key changes are for the set as well as related items that will make this build quite interesting.
- Armor of Akkhan (Helmet, Chest, Gloves, Shoulders, Amulet)
- (2) Judgment has no cooldown and gains the effect of every rune. – This is a drastic change from the current 2 piece bonus as you now will be using Judgment as part of the build.
- (4) Attacks from Phalanx Avatars reduce the cooldown of Akarat’s Champion by 0.5 seconds, and also apply Condemn when attacking enemies that is affected by Judgment. – Another massive change since you rely more on your Phalanx Avatars to drop your cooldown on Akarat’s Champion rather than having a flat 50% cooldown reduction. This part will probably kill the existing hybrid Invoker’s + Armor of Akkhan build.
- (6) While Akarat’s Champion is active, you deal 2000% increased damage and take 50% less damage. – Nothing has changed here. But this does mean you will rely on your Phalanx to both keep you alive and improve your damage. So in a way these changes will be similar to how Rathma’s functions in that you will be relying on your pets for the cooldown reduction.
Blade of Prophecy (2H Sword/weapon slot) – Two Condemned enemies also trigger Condemn’s explosion and the damage of Condemn is increased by 674%. (Crusader Only) [600 – 800]% – Pretty much this is a must have. But since Judgment will help trigger your Condemn, you might be able to use a different rune for Condemn (more on that later)
Frydehr’s Wrath (Shield) – Condemn has no cooldown and has its damage increased by 727%, but instead costs 40 Wrath. [600 – 800]% – Another must have item to boost up your Condemn damage as well as converting it into a spender ability.
Messerschmidt’s Reaver (weapon/cube) – Reduce the remaining cooldown of one of your skills by 1 second when you slay an enemy. – I chose this item to help ensure 100% uptime on Akarat’s Champion as well as Falling Sword. Having this item also means you won’t need the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.
Sacred Harness (Belt) – Judgment gains the effect of the Debilitate rune and is cast at your landing location when casting Falling Sword. – Basically, this is a free Judgment cast when you land from Falling Sword. Also, with the new seasonal Sanctified Powers, it will synergize well with Falling Sword.
- Captain Crimson’s Trimmings (boots, pants) – Mostly for the cooldown reduction which will compliment your damage reduction. Even though Phalanx is helping to lower your cooldown, the 50% reduction from the old set is gone so you still need to get cooldown from as many sources as possible to make up for the removal.
Strongarm Bracers (Bracers) – Enemies hit by knockbacks suffer 25% increased damage for 6 seconds. [20 – 30]% – There’s not a lot of options here so these are your best choice since you’re pulling your opponents around anyway.
Warhelm of Kassar (Helmet/Cube) – Reduce the cooldown and increase the damage of Phalanx by 49%. (Crusader Only) [45 – 60]% – This is an option for helping to boost your Phalanx damage. The cooldown aspect will become irrelevant once you obtain an Eternal Union ring but this is a good starter item.
- Eternal Union (Ring/Cube) – Increases the duration of summoned Phalanx Bowmen and Bodyguard indefinitely. – Pretty much this sounds like your Phalanx soldiers (Bowmen and Bodyguard) are made permanent additions.
- Ring of Royal Grandeur (Ring/Cube) – Must have to enable the Captain Crimson’s Trimmings.
- Convention of Elements (Ring/Cube) – Bonus damage
- Unity (Ring/Cube) – If you find that you’re still too squishy
- Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac – Last resort item if you find that your Akarat’s Prophet still is facing cooldown issues. Also, this can help with keeping your Falling Sword active.
For your Sanctified Power of choice, you will want:
After casting Falling Sword, you descend from the sky with two Archangels that wield immense holy skills and benefit from your holy damage skill modifiers.
The reason is that your movement skill of choice will be Falling Sword so that it helps auto-cast your Judgment ability where you want to land. If you want to keep your Falling Sword active, you can further compliment it with the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.
- Enforcer – This will be a pet build. I’m not sure if Phalanx soldiers have life but at the very least you will want the bonus damage from this gem. Otherwise, the 90% damage reduction to pets will become a must have.
- Bane of the Trapped – This will help trigger the bonus damage from your Strongarm Bracers if no other CC is available
- Bane of the Stricken – Condemn isn’t the best single target ability. So you need to use this gem to help with bosses.
- Judgment: Any Rune – This will become the equivalent of a generator skill except you won’t receive any more Wrath from casting it. Also, because you get all runes as a result of the 2 set bonus from Armor of Akkhan, you will be gathering up enemies through Judgment.
- Condemn: Unleashed – Normally, people use Vacuum to gather up enemies. But with the change to Judgment getting all runes (Mass Verdict in particular), you won’t really need Vacuum to collect your foes, which frees up this rune. I chose Unleashed because your Phalanx soldiers will be also casting Condemn on enemies affected by Judgment. So I’d prefer have Condemn go off quicker.
- Falling Sword: Rapid Descent – If you go with an Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac and Falling Sword, you should be able to frequently move from spot to spot as long as they’re enemies. But you will need to cast Condemn more frequently to help bring down Falling Sword.
- Phalanx: Bodyguard – The other star of the show. I chose Bodyguard since this rune seems to do more damage. But Bowmen will have some range.
- Akarat’s Champion: Prophet – Cheat death and increased armor. There’s nothing better.
- Iron Skin: Steel Skin – Just another way to increase your defense. This is an optional slot and can be filled with a different skill.
- Heavenly Strength – You will be using a 2-handed weapon so this is a must-have ability.
- Lord Commander – Increases your Phalanx damage.
- Holy Cause – Increases your damage and heals you.
- Insurmountable – Blocking generates wrath. You’re going to need a way to rebuild your Wrath from Condemn.
Enchantress is the only choice here. You need the cooldown reduction as well as her cheat death ability. Powered Shield also is good to help increase your survivability. Ultimately, you want more cooldown wherever you can get it.
This is definitely one of the builds I’m going to try. I like the idea of Phalanx being responsibility for cooldown reduction. Also, I think when you get all the items right for this build, you should be able to zip around the map even though for the most part Akkhan’s Condemn is a slow build especially for dead maps. But the changes should make this one of the most tanky builds around and great for AoE. For bossing, I’m not sure how good this build will turn out.