The Crushing Blow special modifier is found on numerous weapons and may also be added from some special items of armor. Crushing Blow has a % chance to work, and it can be stacked up to 100% with multiple items adding the bonus. CB’s damage is fractional; some % of the target’s current (not total) hit points are removed. This makes it very powerful against targets with a lot of life, and hardly noticeable against weak or nearly dead enemies. Crushing Blow was overpowered initially, and the effectiveness was scaled back with the Expansion (and the addition of many more items with Crushing Blow on them).
Diablo 2 Classic v1.00-1.07: In earlier versions of Diablo 2, Crushing Blow only worked on normal monsters, not bosses or other players. It was very strong still, since Crushing Blow removed 50% of the monster’s current hit points. For an extreme example, imagine a 10 damage weapon with 100% crushing blow, vs. a 1000 hit point monster. The beast would die in just 6 hits, much faster than with a 100 damage weapon and no crushing blow. (CB is calculated before weapon damage, and fractions always round up in D2.)
- Monster’s hit points = 1000 > 490 > 235 > 108 > 44 > 12 > 0
Expansion and v1.08+ Diablo 2/D2R: Crushing Blow works with all attacks and on all targets, but the reduction in HPs is much less than it was in Diablo 2, and the chunks of hit points removed are further reduced by type of weapon and monster. Crushing blow is most useful against very large monsters, or when your character deals multiple, rapid, low-damage hits. It’s most noticeable early in a fight, when the monster has the most hit points and removing some fraction of them makes a big difference.
- Normal monster: 1/4 Melee, 1/8 Ranged Attack.
- Boss/Champion monster: 1/8 Melee, 1/16 Ranged Attack.
- Player/Hireling: 1/10 Melee, 1/20 Ranged Attack.
If the damage to bosses doesn’t sound like much, consider that boss monsters often have over 100,000 hit points, and substantial physical resistance. Thus one CB, even from a bow, could deal many thousands of damage, while regular hits did in the low hundreds after physical resistance was calculated.
Multiple items granting Crushing Blow will stack up the % chance of it working, up to 100%. Over 50% or 60% makes this special modifier extremely effective against bosses.
Crushing Blow is affected by positive physical resistance.
Crushing Blow in multiple player games does not scale up with monster hitpoints (Crushing Blow damage in multiple player games gets divided by the increase in monster hitpoints), but it does become more effective. This is because a larger percentage of the monster’s hitpoints are left after each hit.