Risk of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2 – Artificer Items Tier List

Your go to tier-list for all artificer itemization!

The Tier List

We’re putting the tier list right at the top. For explanations on placements and the general thought process, check the sections below the tier list!

Why is On-Kill so good?

Artificer’s strengths come from her Crowd Control and her ability to nuke/execute targets. On-kill is an incredibly efficient way to build her because of how easily she can access its affects when compared to other survivors. Snapfreeze and Nano-spear (if you choose to take it) let her snipe executes, meaning even if you’re behind in multiplayer you can skill snag kills from teammates by executing enemies they weaken in order to get value from your items.

The AoE built into her kit allows her to chain multi-kills for huge value from gasoline, wisps, and ceremonial daggers, enabling her to shred bosses and other high health targets simply by killing everything around them, while also letting her access the survivability from items like topaz brooch or monster-tooth easily.

In contrast on hits can still be valuable, but are less consistent due to her low rate of fire caused by her cooldowns. On-hit artificer can and does work (especially if you take flamethrower) but those items will give you less bang for your buck in most situations. Especially if you’re in multiplayer, then those items should be going to a character who can better utilize them instead while you collect enough gasoline to destabilize the economy.

Skills; what abilities should I take?

Artificer’s skill choices don’t majorly impact her gameplay for the most part, with the exception of her Utility skill. Choosing between the Flamethrower and Ion Surge will cause you to make some pretty drastically different item choices. Items that are majorly affected are listed in the “Utility Choice Dependent” tier. Those include:

Hopoo feathers: These feel incredibly clunky when taking Ion Surge, but are a necessity when using Flamethrower

H3AD-5T v2 (AKA Headstompers): Headstompers is near useless on its own with flamethrower, but can lead to some nasty oneshots with Ion Surge

Focused Convergence: Ion Surge will take you out of the Focused Convergence radius if you’ve found any movespeed items, making it rather frustrating to work around

Mercurial Rachis: It’s hard to take advantage of Mercurial’s bonus damage in the air, making it have anti-synergy with Ion Surge. It’ll end up just buffing enemies shooting up at you

Milky Chrysalis: Milky is redundant and clunky if you’ve taken Ion Surge

It’s worth noting that Flamethrower vs. Ion Surge has a lot more depth than these 5 items

Flamethrower buffs all on-hit items pretty significantly since without it artificer lacks the attack speed/consistency to make use out of bleed or items like sticky bombs. If you choose to take flamethrower you might consider putting a higher priority on those on-hit items. If you’re taking Ion Surge, on-hit items become significantly less consistent. Missiles and the Charged Perforator belong in S tier regardless because even though they’re infrequent, either of those proc’ing off of a nano bomb for example are going to do a ton of damage regardless.

Overall Flamethrower makes Artificer’s build more general, as it allows her to work better with a wider variety of items. Ion Surge narrows the item pool you’re looking for in comparison. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. In single player with less printers/scrappers spawning you may find more luck with Flamethrower, since you can get more general use out of more loot. In multiplayer since the item pool is much larger if you can communicate with your team you can afford to be much pickier. This lets you take Ion Surge more easily. Ion Surge is inarguably the safer of the two skills, and if you have your choice of items this makes it way more consistent than Flamethrower.

Ultimately the choice is up to you. I personally run Ion Surge 90% of the time, even in single-player. Flamethrower has it’s fair share of synergies however, and is by no use a weak skill.

Hey wait a second, why is <insert item here> in F tier???

There’s a few item placements that might seem weird. Any item that I think needs an explanation will have one here, and if you have any questions about items put them in the comments and I will add a reason for their placement to this section

Tri-tip dagger: Even with flamethrower, stacking bleed is incredibly inconsistent with artificer, she simply doesn’t attack quickly enough. If you grab 10 daggers for a 100% chance you are making a huge 10 item commitment to a debuff that requires you to focus all your attacks on a single enemy to reliably stack good damage. Those 10 white items are better used on a gasoline printer. Or better yet if you’re in multiplayer give them to your commando or MUL-T, it’ll make their day.

Soldier’s Syringe/Predatory Instincts: Attack speed doesn’t decrease the cooldown on your M1, but attack speed does increase your animation speed (including the charge speed on your nano bomb/spear). The increased animation speed lets you get more use out of items like brainstalks, or more burst out of a bunch of backup magazines, but you really shouldn’t be prioritizing these over other items. Or again better yet, give them to your on-hit friends.

Shattering Justice (and sort of symbiotic scorpion): Shattering justice buffs your damage by a decent amount, but realistically a lot of enemies will just straight up be dead by the time you’ve applied the debuff. It does make bosses quite a bit easier to deal with, which is great since artificer can struggle with high health enemies, but there a lot of easier ways to do this than rolling a random red item. Definitely not an item to complain about though. Symbiotic Scorpion on the other hand is near useless. You have to hit an enemy 60 times to get the same use out of it as you would shattering justice, and if the boss isn’t already dead by that point you’ve ♥♥♥♥♥♥ up somewhere, making it at best a glorified debuff for deathmark.

Spectral Circlet, the Celestine Aspect: Oh boy, this one’s a doozy. This item is super fun in multiplayer, turning your friends invisible is super strong in concept, but you really really don’t want the squishy flying mage to be the only person on your team the enemy can target. I guess you could use it to keep your drones alive in singleplayer, if you’d rather draw all the enemy fire yourself. And it uses an equipment slot. I’d just skip this one even if it is super cool.

Lens-Makers Glasses: A lot of people might expect these in S tier. While they are pretty good, essentially giving you a 10% damage buff per item, they aren’t incredible. The two main reasons for this are delicate watches and crit synergies. Delicate Watches give you twice the damage buff with a risk, but artificer’s glass cannon playstyle allows her to snowball with them incredibly hard. Crit synergies are valuable, but they are by far more valuable on other survivors who can take better advantage of items like predatory and harvester’s scythe. I wouldn’t take glasses over any of the S tier items, and in multiplayer you really should be giving them to someone else who needs them more.

This guide about Risk of Rain 2 was written by -exce-. You can visit the original publication from this link. If you have any concerns about this guide, please don't hesitate to reach us here.

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