Every season of Destiny 2 brings a new Seasonal Artifact and new seasonal mods. These mods often have strong, game-changing effects that enable some really unique and interesting builds. While most of the mods included in the seasonal artifact are new, some are consistent mods that reappear every season. These mods will require you to raise your season level and play a decent amount of content before you have access to them, and even after that, you’ll only be able to equip around 12 of these mods at a time.
We have ranked each mod from worst to best, though I’ll start out with a special entry first.
Special Entry: Champion Mods
Every Seasonal Artifact has a series of mods whose sole purpose is to stun Champions. These mods are separated into three types: Anti-Barrier, Unstoppable, and Overload. These mods will apply effects associated with one of those three Champion types to a specific weapon type each season. Season 22 has Anti-Barrier Auto Rifles and Bows, Unstoppable Scout and Fusion Rifles, and Overload Handcanons.
All of these mods are available in the first section of the Artifact mod list, so they can be acquired relatively early on in the season. The main reason we have placed these mods in the special entries category is because they are either essential or useless mods depending on the activity you’re running. If running Nightfalls, these mods are mandatory as Champions need to be stunned in order to be defeated. While you can stun Champions with the right abilities, these weapon mods are a much more consistent method for triggering stuns.
#15: Light Subclass/Strand Siphon Combo Mods
This mod’s usefulness is entirely dependent upon the loadout of the player and whether or not the user owns the Lightfall expansion. Most of the best Strand weapons will only be available to players with the Lightfall expansion. Even then, these mods are entirely dependent on the loadout you’re running. You’ll need to run both a light-element energy weapon and a Strand kinetic weapon to get the most out of these mods. This can be kind or restrictive for some people since there are plenty of really powerful Exotic kinetic weapons out there that they may want to run instead.
You also need to consider the fact that these mods all cost 3 energy to equip, and energy in the helmet slot is very valuable. The standard Harmonic Siphon mod only costs 1 energy and is often paired with a primary energy weapon. These mods by comparison just seem like overkill. You also have to consider the fact that you’ll need to reset your Artifact mods each time you want to swap your subclass since each of these mods are tied to a specific Light-Subclass.
#14: Origin Perk Specialization I/II
These two are another set of situational mods. If you have the season pass or a previous season pass whose content is still active, these mods might actually prove pretty useful to you. The seasonal weapons are generally pretty good options and these mods improve the unique perks of those weapons. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the season pass or have non-seasonal weapons in your loadout, these mods will be absolutely useless to you. You also need to consider that you can only have 12 Artifact mods equipped at a time and in order to have the maximum benefit applied to your seasonal weapons you’ll need to use two of those 12 available slots.
#13: Thanatonic Tangles
This mod, much like many of the other mods in the top ten, is situationally good. If you’re running a Strand Subclass, this mod becomes really powerful. This mod gives you a chance to spawn a Tangle when you get a kill with a strand weapon. Tangles can trigger a lot of Subclass abilities for Strand and some Aspects and Fragments even enhance Tangles, making them more deadly or applying subclass keywords to them. Overall, great for Strand users and just okay for non-Strand users. Assuming you have a Strand weapon to trigger the effect of course.
#12: Overload Machine Guns
Unlike the Chamion-focused mods, this mod has additional usefulness. This mod makes the sustained fire from your machinegun heavy weapons stun enemies, it also delays the enemy’s ability energy regeneration while also lowering the target’s damage output. This one is a must-run for anyone running a heavy machine gun in their build. It will help with dealing with Overload champions, Powerful foes, and ad clear. It’s an overall solid weapon-specific perk. Fair warning, a lot of Exotic Machineguns already have a similar perk built into them, Thunderlord is a good example.
#11: Communal Pick-Ups
This mod’s power level is entirely dependent on your allies/fireteam. If you get allies that actively ignore your Elemental Orbs and Tangles then this mod is useless. But if you are in a fireteam with friends this mod can be absolutely devastating since you can coordinate pickups with your fireteam members and get that sweet sweet 10-second bonus to your weapon damage. This perk also makes Strand Subclasses that focus on tangles even stronger, since it reduces your Tangle cooldown by five seconds each time an ally picks one up. In short, this mod is great when you’re in a fire team but useless when flying solo.
#10: Elemental Orbs
There are three Elemental Orb mods available in this season’s Artifact. These mods allow you to spawn an Elemental Orb matching your subclass when you get a kill with an Elemental weapon that matches your subclass element. These Elemental Orbs function very similarly to Tangles. You will need to physically travel to these orbs and pick them up in order to use them. These Orbs, when thrown, will track to a nearby target and explode on contact.
The Orb will also apply a subclass debuff related to whatever Light Subclass you’re currently using. For example, the Void Orb will make targets Volatile. The only downside to using these mods is that you’ll need to swap them out each time you want to change subclasses and you’ll actively need to travel to these Orbs to pick them up. The latter may not seem like such a big deal but in higher-difficulty content this can make using the Orbs very challenging.
#9: Frenzied Stacks
This mod grants bonus damage to your thrown Tangles and Elemental Orbs while you have at least one stack of armor charge. This mod will force your armor charge to decay over time so it will negatively impact any yellow armor mods you have equipped. This mod can be really good if you decide to take a few of the other Elemental Orb mods or are running a Tangle-focused Strand build with some blue armor mods.
#8: Refreshing Pick-ups
One of the best Orb-related mods on the list. This mod will reduce your lowest charged ability’s cooldown whenever you pick up an Elemental Orb or Tangle. This can be great for boosting the consistency of some builds both in the early and endgame of build crafting.
#7: Semi-Auto Striker
While this mod is limited to Bows, Scout Rifles, and Snipers, its benefits are good enough to warrant its higher placement on the list. This mod grants the user a stack of armor charge whenever they land rapid precision shots on a target with one of the previously mentioned weapons. This effect will not trigger if the user already has more than two stacks of armor charge. If using one of these weapons, this can be an extremely consistent way of generating armor charge which can make some builds even more powerful than they would be otherwise. Absolutely worth running for any Bow, Scout Rifle, or Sniper mains out there.
#6: Elemental Fury
This mod’s placement is so much higher if you’re someone who runs a lot of end-game content like Raids, Nightfalls, and/or Dungeons. This mod makes stunned Champions take increased damage from your subclass abilities and Elemental Orbs. Champions will prove to be the bain of your existence when playing through end-game content, so being able to dispose of them faster is an absolute God send. A must-run mod for those who play end-game content.
#5: Diviner’s Discount
This is one of the seasonal Discount mods. This mod changes every season but there is almost always a mod like it in every season. Diviner’s Discount reduces the cost of all Scavenger mods to 1 energy. Scavenger mods can be found on leg armor pieces and generally cost 2 or 3 energy to equip. This mod allows you to run multiple of these for increased effect or to provide additional ammo to one of your weapons that does not match your Subclass element. This mod is especially good in double special weapon builds and higher-end content.
#4: Rapid Fire Ranger
Some of the most powerful and dangerous enemies in Destiny 2 will be attacking you from a distance, this mod alleviates some of that danger by making your rapid precision hits apply the Weaken debuff to those targets. Weaken is great because it makes targets take more damage which means you can kill these enemies so much faster than you could before. This mods effect is at its most powerful in endgame content but it can also be useful in standard difficulty content as well.
#3: Elemental Embrace
This mod effect is one that is only situationally useful but when it does trigger it can be life-saving. This mod’s effect will trigger while you have an Elemental Subclass buff like Heat Rises, Woven Mail, or Devour. While under the effect of one of these kinds of buffs, you will gain increased recovery and damage resistance when fighting enemies with a damage type matching your subclass element. Considering the fact that we can see what the elemental threat for any given activity is before loading into it, we can prep our build to take advantage of this perk before entering an activity. This mod could definitely mean the difference between surviving and wiping to an encounter in higher difficulty content.
#2: Elemental Munitions
The best Elemental Orb-related mod on this list, and it’s not even close. Your special and heavy weapons are some of the most powerful tools in your arsenal and having access to more ammo for them is an absolute game changer. In most cases, we would need to use three energy in our helmet slot to equip a Finder mod to simulate this effect. But this mod frees that space up allowing us to run more Super-generating mods or anything else we need. We can also stack this mod with the Finder mods to generate even more ammo. You will need to run one of the Elemental Orb-generating mods for this to work but it is definitely worth it if your build is packing some really powerful Special/Heavy weapons.
#1: Monochromatic Maestro
Our final Artifact mod is Monochromatic Maestro. This mod grants increased damage to your Elemental Abilities and weapons that match your subclass element. Dealing damage with an ability will increase weapon damage and dealing damage with a weapon will increase ability damage. This is a 10% damage bonus for each that lasts 5 seconds.
This mod is our number one pick because it is the easiest to use and it offers the most immediate impact to our Guardian’s abilities/playstyle without interfering with our standard gameplay loop. The buff provided by the Elemental Orb mods are really powerful, but they require you to change the way you move around the battlefield in order to make the most use out of them. This mod doesn’t have that problem. Just use your abilities and shoot your guns, that’s all. Sometimes, simple is best, and this mod proves it.