Season of the Guardian: Artifact Deep Dive

Eight brand-new Artifacts have been added to the game to redefine your playstyle in Season of the Guardian. We caught up with System Designer Isaiah Cartwright for the design philosophy behind each one.
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Season of the Guardian: Artifact Deep Dive

Eight brand-new Artifacts have been added to the game to redefine your playstyle in Season of the Guardian. We caught up with System Designer Isaiah Cartwright for the design philosophy behind each one.

As always, every Artifact includes its own quest line for upgrades. Check out an overview of the 3 weapons and 5 armor pieces below, and then let us know what type of Artifacts you’re looking forward to in future updates.



This hatchet is a wickedly sharp instrument with a malevolent aura. Its finely honed edge is capable of cutting through the toughest materials effortlessly, making it a fearsome tool in the hands of those who embrace the shadows.

  • Corruption: Debuffs last 25% longer. (Works on both weapons.)

  • Defile: Deal 2% more damage per debuff (max 5)

  • How to get: Defeat Colossus of Memnon at the top of the Great Wall for a chance to receive this Artifact.

The goal was to make an Artifact that synergized with the right skill tree for Hatchet through longer debuffs. Granting bonus damage per debuff stack also encourages players to equip more of the underused skills from that tree to make the most of this combo.



A deadly weapon designed to deliver swift and precise strikes. Coated with a potent poison that lingers on its razor-sharp tip, this spear ensures that its victims face not only the immediate impact but also a lingering threat.

  • Poison Tipped: Heavy melee attacks with either weapon cause poison dealing 20% weapon damage for 5s.

  • Trenchant Crits: Heavy melee attacks deal +34% critical damage.

  • Trenchant Strikes: Heavy melee attacks deal +23% damage.

  • How to get: Complete the Siren Queen Trial at Spire of Melpomene for a chance to receive this Artifact.

Spear has a lot of synergy with Heavy attacks. With Venom, we played into that and tried to add a bit more poison status effects into the wild. The cross synergy also opens up additional builds since it benefits any heavy attack on other melee weapons. Originally this worked on non-melee attacks but it was clearly too powerful so we pulled it back to melee only.




A force of nature personified. With a massive, swirling blade that mimics the destructive power of a storm, this formidable weapon strikes fear into the hearts of adversaries as it cleaves through the battlefield.

  • Momentum: Successful attacks gain 3% movement speed for 3s. (Works on both weapons and stacks up to 10 times.)

  • Endless Spin: Whirlwind no longer needs to hit targets to continue spins, and can spin up to 12 times.

  • Fortifying Whirlwind: Whirlwind hits grant Fortify, increasing armor by 16% and Slash damage by 13% for 2s (Max 5 stacks).

  • How to get: This Artifact can be found in the Winter Rune Forge Spoils upon completion.

For Tempest Fury, we wanted to tap into that iconic whirlwind barbarian feel. The number of spins is more aligned with some older animation work we did for this weapon. As a result, we were able to make it feel good to whirl around anywhere without hitting anything. The ideal goal was to make a fun weapon for PvE and maybe even some bigger moments in Wars.




This coat is a stylish yet rugged garment adorned with intricate nature-themed patterns. Imbued with the essence of the wilderness, this coat offers both protection and a connection to the primal forces of the natural world.

  • Nature’s Blessing: Empower expires 200% faster but you deal 20% more damage.

  • How to get: Complete the Zygoramet Trial at Zygoramet’s Grove for a chance to receive this Artifact.

Nature’s Wrath was designed to discourage Empower stacks and instead give a flat bonus. We assumed there would be some fun ways this could work with non-removable Empowers as well, but wanted to set something up that goes against the gain of ALL THE BUFFS. Fun fact – this originally removed all food buffs until we fixed it during early tests.




These gauntlets can hold a kinetic charge that can be unleashed dealing a massive attack. They feel cold to the touch and warmup as they charge.

  • Charged: Whenever you take damage, gain a charge that increases the damage of your next attack by 3%. (Max 10 charges.)

  • How to get: Complete the Eternal Pools Trial in Reekwater for a chance to receive this Artifact.

The idea behind Gilli’s Gravity Gauntlets is to allow players to build up charges and then release them. Charged comes from a few fantasy tropes of storing energy and then releasing everything for a powerful attack. We also wanted to play with a more offensive glove Artifact.




Forged in intense crucibles, offer unparalleled defense with interlocking iron plates. Gleaming like polished steel, they symbolize durability and empower wearers with an iron heart to overcome challenges on the battlefield.

  • Steady Foundation: When not in Heavy loadout, gain 20% more Max Health.

  • How to get: This Artifact can be obtained through the PvP Rewards Track.

Some players want more versatility around different weight loadouts. Ironheart gives players in Medium gear a way to be tankier without running heavier loadouts. This alternative playstyle option goes back to the core design philosophy of Artifacts.




A lightweight and versatile footwear that embodies the principles of discipline and dedication. Designed for swift and silent movement, these boots provide the wearer with the agility needed to follow any creed or path.

  • Ambush: Deal 15% more damage and a 25% increased critical hit chance as long as you haven’t hit the target within 20s.

  • How to get: Reach Level 20 on the Season of the Guardian: Free Reward Track.

With Creed Boots, we want players to feel like they’re actually ambushing targets with a big burst of initial damage. We played around with a few different versions of this that involved crouching and going prone. In the end it was a bit funky so we just went with the satisfaction of a strong first strike.




Adorned with fiery insignias, bestows its wearer with the resilience to rise from the ashes of adversity, granting a renewed vigor in the face of challenges.

  • Phoenix Vengeance: When you receive lethal damage, avoid death and regain 100% of your max health. Then become inflicted with Vengeance, reducing healing by 200% and and take damage equal to 20% of your max health every second until you die or get a kill. (180s cooldown).

  • Purify: When you are hit while below 50% Health, you lose all debuffs (90s cooldown. Does not trigger off persistent damage, DoT effects, or blocked attacks).

  • Stamina Recovery: When you are hit while below 50% Health, gain 105 Stamina (30s cooldown. Does not trigger off persistent damage, DoT effects, or blocked attacks).

  • How to get: Reach Level 80 on the Season of the Guardian Season: Free Reward Track.

The Phoenix Amulet has been a tricky Artifact. Our concept was to give players a second chance like the Phoenix itself. This started as a long cooldown with invulnerability. Next, we played around with a shorter version, but it reminded us too much of the issues we found with Hatchet’s invulnerability. Afterwards, we pulled back and gave it a Vengeance like feel where you have a few seconds to perform your final actions before dying. We will continue to keep a real close eye on the Phoenix Amulet and have some ideas on how we can tweak it if the Artifact ends up being too good or really unfun.

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