As season 3 is drawing to a close, I am looking forward to season 4 and starting a new character - and was considering crusader. When looking at the 4-person team leaderboards, I noticed that the top crusaders had many Dexterity and Intelligence items.

Since the crusaders seem to be building for all out crowd control and defense stats (cd reduction, resource cost reduction, armor), I can understand maybe some int stacking for the all-resistance, but the dexterity stat is confusing to me - wouldn't it be better to have strength since they will gain some damage from it, even if its just a little?

I would imagine by now they would have found strength items which could be competitive with the dexterity items they have in terms of defensive stats, and I double-checked to make sure dexterity still only gives armor (not dodge, like it used too)

Why do these crusaders have Dexterity on their armor?

  • Do you mean gems? Because rolling anything other than str/vit on crusader items is next to impossible.
    – Elise
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 0:06
  • @Chippies No, I mean the stat on the armor. You can verify yourself by going into Diablo3 and checking out the leaderboard, but it is also similar to the items for the crusader in this link. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 0:10
  • Pretty sure those items are used because of their legendary effects and/or the 8% cooldown reduction until they find the same items with str on them. The 8% (highest possible roll, afaik) cooldown reduction and the legendary effects are more important to their build than the couple hundred str they lose by using non-str gear.
    – Elise
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


In the Greater Rifts that top leader board players are running, every enemy will kill you very very quickly. To counter this, they dedicate 1 player out of 4 to crowd controlling the enemy by stunning, freezing, fearing etc. This Player will forgo the ability to cause damage in the attempt to prevent their team mates from taking damage.

The builds that you are seeing are known as Zero Damage Per Second or ZDPS for short.

If you were to look at the Crusader solo Greater Rift leader boards you would see very different set ups. This is the number 1 Crusader on the 4 player leader boards and this is the number 1 Crusader on the solo leader boards, notice that the 4 player Crusader has 3194 strength and 2768 dexterity whereas the solo Crusader has 13760 strength and only 77 dexterity.

This is because 100% of your dexterity and strength is added to your Armor with every 10 points of intelligence adding 1 point to All Resistance.

Since they are not doing any damage, their main stat (strength) is interchangeable with dexterity as it provides the same bonus. This means that the priority for an item is how well rolled the other attributes such as cooldown and resource reduction are and not on the type of main stat it has. Also since they will usually be in a group with high dps classes that have dexterity as their main stat (Demon Hunters, monks) there is a higher chance for an item to drop with dexterity.

Their role is to keep the others alive, this is why they prioritise these stats.

  • 1
    As far as I know, strength also gives armor (at the same rate as dexterity), so there is no need to prioritize dexterity over strength. However, since both essentially give the same benefit, a dexterity item with great rolls is better than a strength item with average rolls. Considering how many demon hunters and/or pull monks may be involved, there will be a lot of dexterity gear dropping. But if two items were exactly the same, the strength one would be marginally better for a crusader.
    – Svj0hn
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 7:10
  • If "their role is to keep others alive" it is absolutely irrelevant how much armor they have, isn't it?
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:38
  • 1
    @OrcJMR They need armor to be able to tank a lot more damage so that they can stay alive longer, in turn providing CC for the others in the group, which is keeping them alive. It would be pointles to have the 'tank' die instantly. Also thanks Svjohn you're correct i'll edit that in.
    – cutypi
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • Strictly speaking, yes, a tank should be able to withstand blows, but ZDPS classes are not just tanks, they are valued for their crowd control and buffs. Also, WizLiz is wrong about 30% - Dexterity is identical to Strength defense-wise. Also, he never stated that only 30% of Strength is added to Armor.
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 5:37
  • I have worded my yesterday's comment very wrong considering what I wanted to convey :-) What I meant is - the amount of Armor (not even only Strength) a ZDPS character has is irrelevant to their effectiveness. The amount of Tougness is important, but swapping Strength to Dexterity changes nothing, and swapping to Intelligence can even be beneficial to Toughness (if character's Armor is more than ten times their Resistance, trading Str/Dex to Int would increase Toughness)
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 5:48

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