In Risk of Rain 2, Artificer is a high burst and cooldown-reliant mage who utilizes various elements to stack debuffs on her enemies. Artificer’s power comes from dealing immense AOE damage alongside her ability to stay high in the sky, longer than any other survivor can.
How To Unlock Artificer in Risk of Rain 2
Artificer – Pause
Although it is initially difficult to obtain Lunar Coins, you only need 11 to unlock Artificer. Lunar Coins are a rare metagame currency that rarely drops from normal enemies or is rewarded for specific instances like Obliterating.
Regardless, you can spend 1 Lunar Coin at Newt Altars to create a portal to the Bazaar Between Time. She will be suspended in stasis next to the Newt in their store until you have Artificer unlocked through the Pause Achievement. If you spend 10 Lunar Coins on her, you will permanently unlock Artificer in Risk of Rain 2.
How Do Artificer’s Abilities Work?
Passive Ability – ENV Suit
Artificer’s passive is the ENV suit, which allows her to hover in the air indefinitely so long as the jump key is held. This passive allows anyone to have the jump key before touching the ground to avoid fall damage or stay above her enemies. You may also strafe in any direction while holding the spacebar to slide around in the air.
Flame Bolt is Artificer’s first primary ability in Risk of Rain 2. Artificer fires a bolt of flame for 280% damage that ignites enemies, dealing 50% extra damage over time. Flame Bolt holds up to four charges, and each shot explodes on contact in a 2m radius with a proc coefficient of 1.0.
Plasma Bolt is Artificer’s second primary ability which fires a small ball of plasma. Each Plasma Bolt deals 280% damage and explodes on contact in a 6m radius. Both primaries have their strengths, but it comes down to preference for more AOE or single-target. Plasma Bolt is best suited for AOE burst and eliminating flying monsters, while Flame Bolt is best for single target damage.
To obtain Plasma Bolt, you must finish the Massacre Challenge. To complete this task, you must perform a multi-kill of 20 enemies. Using a Primordial Cube is a great way to keep a large group of enemies bunched together. Combining with stacking on kill effects like Will-o’-the-wisp or Gasoline makes this challenge significantly more obtainable.
Charged Nano-Bomb is Artificer’s default secondary ability. Artificer charges up a massive ball of plasma which can be released early to deal between 400-2000% damage depending on how long the Nano-Bomb was charged for and stuns upon exploding.
The Nano-Bomb deals minor damage to nearby enemies while mid-flight until it explodes in a 14m radius. It takes 2 seconds to charge the bomb with base attack speed fully, but the more attack speed Artificer has, the faster the charge time is.
Related Guide: Playing Engineer in Risk of Rain 2
Cast Nano-Spear is Artificer’s other secondary which conjures a giant spear of ice that deals massive single target damage. Like the Charged Nano-Bomb, the Nano-Spear has a charge time and can be cast early to deal damage between 400-1200%, piercing and freezing targets. Both the bomb and spear can be charged while sprinting, but you will need to start charging and then sprint rather than having seamless movement.
To unlock Nano-Spear on Artificer in Risk of Rain 2, you must finish the Chunked! Challenge. This challenge requires you to defeat the teleporter boss in a one-second burst of damage. This challenge becomes trivial if you use the Trophy’s Hunter’s Tricon or the Artifact of Glass while playing on Drizzle. Another method is to stack Crowbars and hit the boss with a single Charged Nano-Bomb.
Snapfreeze is Artificer’s only Utility skill. It has a lengthy cooldown but offers powerful combo potential. This utility summons a wall of ice and any enemies (except bosses) who touch the wall freeze. Frozen enemies are killed instantly if their HP falls below 30%, and enemies will still burn despite being frozen. We’re not sure how frozen enemies can burn, but we like exploiting it!
Flamethrower is Artificer’s first special ability, which allows her to stream two beams of fire that pierces through enemies at a maximum distance of 21m. Flame thrower deals 1700% damage over 22 times at base attack speed, with each tick having a chance to ignite. The opportunity to ignite enemies is affected by luck, and if the initial burst of damage is a crit, then all hits will deal critical damage.
This highly damaging ability’s significant downside is its lack of range. Artificer doesn’t survive well in close-quarters combat, and the abilities cooldown doesn’t start until the animation is finished.
Related Guide: How to Beat Risk of Rain 2
Ion Surge is Artificer’s second special ability which offers a lot more synergy with her passive. Using Ion Surge will stun nearby enemies and deal 800% base damage before launching Artificer into the sky. While Ion Surge’s primary function isn’t for damage, its main use is to put Artificer high above the battleground to allow her to float and rain down bombs from the safety of the air.
Not only does Ion Surge keep Artificer out of harm’s way, but Ion Surge can be used while already in the air, continuing to allow Artificer never to touch the ground. Launch velocity is increased with movement speed items, and you can use this ability while sprinting.
How to Unlock Risk of Rain 2 Artificer’s Ion Surge Ability
To unlock Ion Surge, you need to complete the Orbital Bombardment challenge. This challenge requires you to kill 15 enemies before touching the ground. Climb to a high vantage point on the stage and utilize your ENV passive to extend your time in the air while bombarding monsters with Nano-Bomb.
What You Should Build On The Artificer in Risk of Rain 2
Artificer synergizes with most items, but she lacks an extreme synergy with a specific item aside from the Ignition Tank, which only benefits artificer if you decide to keep a single fire ability on her. Attack Speed items speed up Artificer’s animations, so those items will always make casting easier. Overall, Cooldown Reduction items, although they are rare, benefit the slow mage far more than anything else.
Since she relies on her abilities, you might opt for Lysate cells, Backup Magazines, Hardlight Afterburners, and the Bandolier. On-Kill effects benefit the AOE, and Burst items help Artificer’s mediocre single-target damage.
Regarding abilities, we recommend a safe playstyle utilizing Flame Bolt, Cast Nano-Spear, and Ion Surge. In Risk of Rain 2, Artificer is incredibly slow and squishy. Thus, we recommend a more passive playstyle where you spam your abilities on enemies from the sky.
If you wish to have slightly better AOE in the air, Plasma Bolt might be more your style. We don’t recommend Charged Nano-Bomb when doing this build because the Nano-Spear allows Artificer to execute airborne enemies with the same frozen debuff her Utility provides.
Tips & Tricks to Playing the Artificer in Risk of Rain 2
- Backup Magazines are a must-have item on Artificer for their ability to give you additional charges of Nano-Bomb or Nano-Spear.
- A single cast of Nano-Bomb or Nano-Spear can instantly proc Runald’s, Kjaro’s, or Singularity bands.
- Even if Artificer cannot use Freeze against bosses, it affects Mithrix.
- Ignition Tank synergizes exceptionally well with Flame Bolt and Flamethrower.
- Due to Artificer’s playstyle, mobility items like Hopoo Feather or Wax Quail become challenging to use.
- On-kill effect items also synergize with Artificer, such as Gasoline or Will-o’-the-wisp.
Final Thoughts on Playing the Artificer in Risk of Rain 2
Overall, Artificer is an amusing character whose playstyle revolves around evading her enemies by maintaining a safe distance in the air while dealing extreme high bursts of either single-target or AOE damage. If you enjoy the feeling of playing spellcasters in video games and want to have the ability to one-shot your enemies, possibly some bosses. In that case, Artificer is one of the best Risk of Rain 2 characters for you.
For more survivor insights, check out our Risk of Rain 2 Mul T survivor guide. Also, feel free to let us know your thoughts on our RoR2 Artificer guide. We love to hear from our readers!