Ever since Tyranny of Dragons, the fourth module of Neverwinter, Artifact Weapons are a major part of the refining system. Players of the game level up their weapons as they progress, making any set a long-term commitment. So it’s advised to pick your weapon wisely. Otherwise you’ll just waste tons of refining points when switching later on.
If you’re a regular visitor of our site, you certainly know that we already break down new Artifact Weapon additions individually when they get released. This guide however is aimed at helping you through the Artifact Weapon choices in general. As such, it’s mostly suited for new players that want to have an overview about the options they have. Please note that this is no class specific guide. Your final choice obviously also highly depends on what class and build you plan to run.
Stay Away: Weapon Sets Earlier Than Module 10
The current tier of Artifact Weapons started with Storm Kings Thunder. This means that the weapons released before that are now outdated, albeit still available. They feature much less weapon damage, which is the number one factor in overall DPS. For a certain time some of the older sets remained viable for support builds, but that has changed as well. There might still be little niches, but our general advise is to stay away from them. This includes all sets from the Tyranny of Dragons and Elemental Evil campaign, the old Stronghold Masterwork set, and Demogorgon’s (Maze Engine).
If you’re unsure, just check the sets listed below. If you think to acquire something that’s not listed there, don’t do it!
- Example: Wootz Kilij
- PRO: Cheap, easy to get
- CON: Weakest of all choices
The current structure of Artifact Weapons is fairly easy. There’s a pretty clear “bis” category and some options for casuals and alts. All sets differ in their set bonuses, and the Chult Weapons introduced in Neverwinter’s Module 12: Tomb of Annihilation feature the weakest one. They are super easy to get however. You can either claim them off the Auction House for a reasonable price or entirely farm them for yourself by getting into the Chult profession recipes. These are great weapons for the casual player or your alts.
- Tomb of Annihilation Console Primer: Gear Additions
- Bag of Tricks Vol. 66: Chultan Recipes Cheat Sheet
- Bag of Tricks Vol. 65: How the Chult Weapons Can Save Cubes of Augmentation
Cloaked Ascendancy Weapons
- Example: Aboleth Longbow
- PRO: Endgame viable, bis in some cases
- CON: Repetitive farming of the River District
Artifact Weapons are one of the core points of the Cloaked Ascendancy campaign. They are obtainable in the campaign shop, endgame viable and can be fully farmed. So what’s not to like? Well, the grind is real. Depending on the set you aim for, you’ll need to do one of the weekly lairs or the Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish 35 times for some of the required resources and additionally accumulate 105 Arcane Magical Writings from Heroic Encounters. There are more resources you need, but these two are the bottlenecks. You can shortcut a bit by buying Writings off the AH, but that obviously requires some ADs. That said, prices have fallen a lot lately as the demand naturally goes down. So there will be a time where buying them will make more sense than doing the HEs.
Cloaked Ascendancy Weapons make sense for those willing to work for an endgame viable set. It’s also the only way of obtaining a set bonus helpful in PVP. For some builds the sets are best-in-slot, but usually a tad below what the Stronghold set has to offer in terms of support and the Relic set in terms of DPS. As casual, this is probably your ceiling if you want to go with something else than the Chult Weapons. Everything else is simply too hard to get or too expensive.
- Example: Hexweaver’s Pact Blade
- PRO: Top choice for DPS
- CON: Repetitive farming of the Sea of Moving Ice; Probably requires spending ADs for mats
Relic Weapons are the choice for all ambitious DPS out there. Thanks to their set bonus, they feature the most damage in most situations. There are still niches where other sets make more sense, but generally this presents the top choice for DPS. But that’s it for the good news, because acquiring the set nowadays is a pain. It requires heavy farming of the Sea of Moving Ice zone as well as the Svardborg Trial. Even if that’s not an issue for you, then the content is still dated and most already have their sets. So finding groups that are willing to farm Heroic Encounters in the zone or Svardborg might be hard. You probably won’t get around investing some ADs and buy what you need off the AH. Most required mats are indeed unbound and with declining demand the prices have gone down quite a bit.
- Relic Artifact Weapons Guide
- Sea of Moving Ice Svardborg Guide: Powers and Mechanics
- Sea of Moving Ice Svardborg Guide: The Phases
- Example: Fartouched Orb
- PRO: Top choice for support
- CON: Depending on your class it can be unreasonably expensive
Speaking of AD, here comes the Stronghold set! With its clearly support oriented set bonus it’s the top choice for all you buffers, healers and tanks. This comes with a price though. The set is only obtainable through the super expensive Masterwork Professions. This means that you need someone that has unlocked the recipes, which is no small feat. And you additionally need to supply your crafter with the necessary resources. If you’re unlucky and your set requires the Fartouched Residuum from the Spellplague Caverns, prepare for a unreasonably high price. The residuum is a pain to farm and equally expensive on the Auction House.
Even if it’s technically best-in-slot in many cases, you might want to settle with weapons from the Cloaked Ascendancy campaign for much better value.
- Bag of Tricks Vol. 57: Masterwork Cheat Sheet
- Shroud of Souls Console Primer: Masterwork Professions and Lockbox
- Shroud of Souls Masterwork Professions Preview
- PRO: Next tier of equipment
- CON: Not yet available
This is just a heads up that Module 13, Lost City of Omu, will come with the next tier of Artifact Weapons ranging up to item level 510! It’s not yet available though and we’ll update this guide once the module is live.
I hope you enjoyed our Artifact Weapon guide, currently updated for Module 12b! In case you have any questions or remarks, make sure to post them in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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