I'd like to know which crest you aim for when walking around the Lost Realm.
Out of all the crests available I value only 13 of them. Out of those 13 I find a handful are common enough to create sets. Out of those handful I find only a few to be useful. And out of those few I find one to be particularly nice: Bulwark.
My favorite crest is bulwark. There are a couple reasons that sets bulwark apart from other crests to make it my most cherished crest. I briefly discussed the greatness of bulwark in this thread: Applying Crests to Heroes which can be found in the guides section, but now I'll explain why it has become my favorite.
Firstly, I think the most important aspect of crests is the rarity. Before considering what a crest can do for you, we must figure out how frequently we can obtain said crest. Common crests such as sprint, flame guard, and tenacity, to name a few, appear regularly from bronze chests. They are very easy to obtain since a majority of monster fights drop bronze keys and you often find bronze chests while exploring LR. I wouldn't be surprised if you open 100 bronze chests to every 10 silver chests, and to every 1 gold chest. Because of this frequency we find common crests are very easy to upgrade to level 3 while other crests may barely reach level 2. For this reason I must eliminate mythic crests such as revive, berserk, revitalize, and life drain from my top choices. There just isn't much of a chance you'll collect enough. Bulwark being a rare crest means you may seem them occasionally - so there is hope!
Secondly, I like to determine which talent types are beneficial. Some crests, when in a set, offer a nice second talent. Out of the common crests I'd say slowdown, sprint, and flame guard are the most desirable. Yet, they aren't as good as some of the rare crests such as bulwark, scatter, and war god. The most versatile talent of all those crests is probably bulwark. Scatter needs to be a high level before you see its use, sprint isn't too great except in Arena if you're fighting in the top 300, flame guard is only useful if you're tanking a lot (you should be killing, not tanking!) and slowdown needs to be limited to boss fights (guild boss, mesa, HBM) only. That leaves us with War God and Bulwark. These two talents are great for virtually every game mode.
Thirdly, we must investigate what type of boosts the crest offers. Some crests may have a great talent, like Life Drain, but offer very poor stats. Life drain has the stat boost of a common crest (stone skin) even though it is considered a mythic crest. This is very disappointing when looking for the best overall crest. Then we have some common crests that may appear promising from their talent, like slowdown and sprint, but have weak stats. Flame guard actually offers decent boosts so it is the biggest competition so far. War God and Bulwark are very similar, but I believe Bulwark edges ahead of the rest.
When comparing 3/5 crest sets (because let's be honest, you likely won't have 4/5 in the next year or two) we find the following stats:
|Crest||HP Boost||ATK Boost|
From the numbers we can see Bulwark's HP boost is slightly lower than Flame Guard but offers 3x the ATK boost, plus has 12% boost to both stats as well as the hero's regular stats. This makes Bulwark considerably better than any comparable common crest. War God has a fairly low HP boost compared to most crests and doesn't have a HP modifier, however, the ATK is much higher than any other comparable crest with an added 20% multiplier to both the boosted stats and the hero's normal stats. Clearly War God is much better for strictly ATK boost, which is useful on heroes such as druid, ninja, and vlad, but the lack of HP boost means WG can't compete with bulwark for overall utility.
Finally, we combine all the characteristics of the crests to find Bulwark is the best crest overall. It is somewhat difficult to collect, but not too scarce; the talent from a set is one of the most functional for all game modes; and its raw stat boosts are the most well rounded of all crests (aside from revitalize and revive). This is why I consider Bulwark to be the #1 crest.
Let me know which crest is your favorite and tell me why you like it so much.
3. Flame Guard
4. Life Drain
11. Stone Skin
13. War God