Destiny 2 Episode Echoes artifact: Every mod and what to use

Patrick Dane
The Hunter's Journal Artifact in Destiny 2: The Final Shape.

Destiny 2’s Artifacts are always important to mastering a new Act or expansion, and Episode: Echoes is no exception. It offers powerful mods that define how you play with every activity in Bungie’s looter shooter.

To truly come up with the best builds, you will need access to the best Artifact mods, which will take time and experience to unlock. Nevertheless, it’s worth the grind, as these Artifact mods often single-handedly dictate the PvE Meta.

With the launch of the Final Shape, Destiny 2 players got their hands on the latest artifact, Hunter’s Journal. This will act as the artifact for Episode: Echoes. As ever, this dictates what weapons you can use to stun Champions, as well as what subclasses perform the best in the sandbox.

This episode’s artifact has some exceptional perks that improve a range of subclasses and weapon types. With the new mods in Act 2, the biggest beneficiaries are Sniper Rifles, but don’t forget to bring a Sword too, as they are equally strong!

Episode: Echoes season artifact mods

This episode’s artifact is called Hunter’s Journal – a little present from Cayde himself. To level up the Artifact, you will need to earn experience, which you get from doing anything in the game.

The fastest method to level the season pass is to complete seasonal challenges, with these often rewarding multiple ranks each. However, just playing the game normally will progress the season pass over time, so don’t feel forced to go out of your way.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape cinematic
You may want to bring some varied fireteams with you, as this artifact favors a range of weapon types.

Here are all the mods you can unlock in Episode: Echoes as of Act 2:

First column

Anti-Barrier Pulse RifleYour equipped Pulse Rifle fires shield-piercing rounds and stun Anti-Barrier champions. Additionally, Pulse Rifles are always overcharged when that modifier is active. 
Unstoppable SidearmAiming down the sights of a Sidearm for a short time loads a powerful explosive payload that stuns Unstoppable champions. 
Unstoppable Scout RifleAiming down the sights of a Scout Rifle for a short time loads a powerful explosive payload that stuns Unstoppable champions.
Overload Hand CanonLanding Consecutive hits with any Hand Cannon you are wielding disrupts combatants, stunning them, delaying ability regeneration, and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions.
Anti-Barrier SMGLanding Consecutive hits with any Hand Cannon you are wielding disrupts combatants, stunning them, delaying ability regeneration and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions.
Anti-Barrier Sniper Rifle*Sniper Rifles you are wielding fire shield-piercing rounds and stun Barrier Champions. Additionally, Sniper Rifles are always overcharged when that modifier is active.

Second column

Logic ReductorWeapons with the Radiolaria Transposer origin perk deal increased damage to Vex. Extends the Duration of the Radiolario pools created by Radiolaria Transposer.
Overcharged ArmoryWeapons with the Dealer’s Choice Radiolaria Transposer, Collective Purpose, and Sundering Origin traits are always Overcharged weapons for you when that modifier is active.
Authorized Mod: Elemental ChargeThe energy cost of Elemental Charge mods are significantly discounted. 
Sanit’s InspirationRounds loaded by the Cast No Shadows origin perk can overflow the magazine. 
Winning HandWhile using the weapons with the Dealer’s Choice origin trait, combatant precision final blows or rapidly defeating combatants cause the target to explode, dealing Solar damage to nearby combatants.

Having several equipped weapons with the Dealer’s Choice origin trait increases the effects of the explosion. 
Authorized Mod: Scavenger*The energy cost of Scavenger mods are significantly discounted.

Third column

Elemental SiphonRapid final blows with kinetic weapons or a weapon matching your equipped super create and elemental pickup that matches your equipped super.
Overload SwordBreaking a combatant’s shield grants increased weapon stability, handling, and reload speed. Swords gain increased Guard resistance.
Creeping ChillStasis weapon Final blows against Slowed or Frozen targets release a burst that slows.
Press the AdvantageBreaking a combatant’s shield grants increased weapon stability, handling and reload speed. Swords gain increased Guard resistance.
Threaded BlastDestroying a Tangle with a Strand weapon creates a larger and more damaging explosion.
Incendiary Rifle Rounds*Solar Sniper Rifle precision hits scorch targets.

Fourth column

Counter EnergyWhen you or a member of your fireteam stuns a champion, you gain energy for your least charged ability.
Blade StaminaRapidly defeating combatants with a sword refunds some ammo.
Void HegemonyWhile you have a void or Prismatic subclass equipped, defeating weakened targets provides a small void overshield.
Radiant OrbsWhile you have a void or Prismatic subclass equipped, defeating weakened targets provides a small void overshield.
Galvanic ArmorWhile you have an arc or prismatic Subclass equipped, incoming damage from combatants is reduced while amplified.
Solar Fulmination*Your ignitions do increased damage in an increased radius.

Fifth column

Prismatic TransferWhen you cast your Super, each member of your fireteam with a Super type different than yours gains a bonus to weapon damage.
Argent BladeWhile you have Armor Charge, Dealing damage with a sword consumes an Armor Charge and Embpowers your Sword for a Short Time, granting it bonus damage and Energy Charge Rate.
Expanding AbyssVoid sources deal increased damage to Weakened targets.
ShieldcrushWhile you have Woven Mail, Frost Armor, or a void Overshield, your melee recharges faster and deals increased damage.
TransferenceGain increased Grenade and Melee damage while Transcendent.
Weapon Final blows while Transcendent refunds light and dark energy after Transcendence ends.
Sniper’s Meditation*Sniper Rifle hits grant stacking Sniper Rifle damage, stability, and reload bonuses for a short time. heavy ammo Sniper Rifle hits count as more than one.

*Added in Episode: Echoes Act 2.

Which Hunter’s Journal artifact mods are the best?

So, what are the best Artifact mods in Episode: Echoes? There are a few that are definitely worth your attention, and you should prioritize them where possible.

What’s great is that the new mods in Act 2 have strengthened the earlier columns, which were looking fairly weak beforehand. However, this does mean you’ll have a tougher time figuring out what to spend the 12 available points on, but we can help with that.

Destiny 2's Hunter's Journal artifact with the new mods added in Act 2.
The artifact’s new additions have somehow made Still Hunt even stronger.

Here are our top picks for the best mods on the Episode: Echoes Artifact:

  • Anti-Barrier Sniper Rifle: All of the anti-Champion mods are good and should be picked depending on what weapons you are using, but Anti-Barrier Sniper is the best. Why? Because it makes Still Hunt even better, which was already arguably the best Exotic in the game.
  • Overcharged Armory: This mod makes it so any weapon with one of the new Origin Traits is overcharged if the Overcharged Weapons modifier is active. Simply put, that’s 25% more damage with no extra effort on your behalf. Use this if it applies to your loadout.
  • Incendiary Rifle Rounds: Not that Still Hunt needed any help, but this makes the dominant Exotic Sniper Rifle even better by causing precision hits to scorch targets.
  • Void Hegemony, Radiant Orbs, Galvanic Armor: These provide Void Overshields, Radiant, and damage resistance while amplified respectively. Being able to gain these buffs so easily is very strong, with Radiant Orbs standing out as the best of all.
  • Prismatic Transfer:
  • Argent Blade: Though somewhat situational, Argent Blade empowers Sword damage, and all you need to activate it is Armor Charge. With Swords being so strong in Episode: Echoes, this is a great artifact mod that can eradicate most enemies.
  • Expanding Abyss: This effectively doubles the impact of Weaken, which is already one of the most powerful debuffs. Partner this with a meta heavy weapon like Edge Transit or a powerful Void Super like Nova Bomb, and you’re destined to top the DPS chart.
  • Shieldcrush: With how many meta melee builds are in the sandbox right now, an artifact mod that recharges your melee ability faster and causes it to deal more damage is a no-brainer. This also has great synergy with Radiant Orbs and Void Hegemony.

Those are our best suggestions for what to use in your artifact. There’s a lot here that is very strong. We will update our picks if anything else ends up taking our interest in the future, or in Act 3 when five more mods will be added.