Artificer Infusions 5e: The Ultimate Guide To Infusing

As the newest class in 5e, artificers had some pretty big expectations to live up to.

I mean, being better than the range class was easy, but being a mechanically unique class that is powerful enough to take over say, a fighter or wizard, was another challenge entirely.

There are a lot of ways that the class succeeded in being a worthy addition to the roster. Its theme is entirely unique, focusing on the borders between magic and technology.

As a half-caster, they even feel entirely separate from the paladin or ranger classes, a difficult feat to pull off for sure.

There’s one thing though that really made this class stand out. That is their signature ability: Artificer Infusions.

This feature allows for creativity in a way that I personally don’t think any other class has managed to achieve yet.

With the wide variety of options presented by the feature, there’s so much that you can do and so many ways to build an artificer or support your allies.

In this article, we’re going to dive into just what exactly artificer infusions are, explain each infusion, and leave you knowing exactly which infusions you’ll want to learn in your time as one of the best classes of 5e D&D.

What Are Artificer Infusions?

Artificer infusions are part of the 2nd-level Infuse Item feature of the artificer class.

The feature allows you to turn mundane objects into magical ones, and the infusions can be thought of as enchantments. Each infusion provides a different way to create new magic items.

Before we get into what each infusion does, let’s talk about how this feature works. 

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to turn nonmagical items into magic items by infusing them with certain abilities.

This infusion lasts indefinitely, but if you die, it vanishes a number of days after your death equal to your Intelligence modifier.

You also have a limit to how many items you can infuse at a time. If you try to infuse a new item, the oldest infusion is ended. Additionally, you can’t put multiple infusions into a single item.

So how do you do the infusing exactly? Well, at the end of a long rest, you can touch an object or multiple objects to infuse it (them) with magic. 

If it requires attunement, you can instantaneously attune yourself with it and forego the short rest that attunement would normally take. 

As with all good features, there are some limitations on your infusions. Specifically, you have a set limit of known infusions and a set number of infused items. 

You start by knowing four infusions and can learn more at certain levels according to the table below.

Additionally, whenever you gain a level in the artificer class, you can swap a known infusion for another in the artificer infusions list.

The set number of infused items determines how many items you can have infused at any given time and similarly increases alongside your artificer level.

Artificer Infusions Table

As you can see, the levels that matter are 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th. These are the levels where your number of known infusions goes up by two and your amount of infused items increases by one.

Conveniently, these are all immediately after you learn a new level of spells.

Something that you might not immediately see by looking at this is just how many infusions you can really learn over the course of a 20-level campaign.

Since you can swap an infusion out at every level, the maximum amount of infusions you can learn is actually 30. That’s enough to learn every normal infusion and 19 different versions of replicate magic item.

Of course, you probably won’t be switching out infusions at every level. The point I’m highlighting here is that there is plenty of room to decide you don’t like a choice you made and just change your mind. 

It’s similar to the benefit of cleric spellcasting. Since clerics can prepare their spells from the entire cleric spell list, they don’t have to stress themselves out about which spells they use and are free to experiment and find which ones work for them.

It only makes sense that this arcane scientist class would be able to experiment as well.

All Artificer Infusions

Arcane Propulsion Armor

Prerequisite: 14th-level Artificer

Item: A suit of armor (requires attunement)

The wearer of this armor gains the following benefits:

  • Increase walking speed by 5 feet.
  • The armor can not be removed against your will.
  • The armor creates identical replacements for any missing limbs.
  • The armor comes with gauntlets that count as melee weapons you are proficient with. The gauntlets deal 1d8 force damage on a hit and have the thrown property (20/60). When thrown, the gauntlets fly off to attack and then immediately return to the wearer.

This infusion is good, but it’s not quite as good as it might seem at first glance. It’s, unsurprisingly, very similar to the magic item Arcane Propulsion Arm, which is a very rare item that requires attunement.

The only real differences are that this is an entire suit of armor, so it replaces any missing limbs, and it gives you an increased walking speed of 5 feet. 

This means we have an infusion that is slightly better than a very rare item but not in a way that it counts.

You see, while force damage is great and a returning thrown weapon is awesome to have, 1d8 of damage just doesn’t cut the mustard in 3rd- and 4th-tier play.

If this infusion wanted to be appealing, it would give us some form of bonus damage or a special attack. As is, it pales in comparison to some other options.

If you want powerful magic armor, just go for the Armorer subclass and maybe try to find yourself some Powered Armor down the line.

Armor of Magical Strength

Item: A suit of armor (requires attunement)

The armor has 6 charges and regains 1d6 charges daily at dawn. You can expend one charge for either of the following abilities:

  • Add a bonus to a Strength check or saving throw equal to the wearer’s Intelligence modifier.
  • Use a reaction to avoid being knocked prone.

This is an infusion you likely won’t be handing out to anyone in your party, and rightfully so. It plays into what an artificer is extremely well.

The two martial artificers, Battle Smith and Armorer, already have abilities that allow them to use Intelligence instead of Strength on melee attacks.

This infusion just gives a few more ways that your high Int score serves a similar purpose.

When you think about it, this is really incredible; using Intelligence instead of Strength on attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, and saving throws means you really only have 5 ability scores that matter.

Strength becomes a nonissue once you can equip this infused armor.

Boots of the Winding Path

Prerequisite: 6th-level Artificer

Item: A pair of boots (requires attunement)

The wearer of these boots can use a bonus action to teleport 15 feet to an unoccupied space they can see, so long as they have occupied that space at some point during the current turn.

Boots of the winding path can be a bit confusing at first. Immediately you might be excited by an almost unlimited amount of teleportation.

However, you can only use this bonus action to return to an unoccupied space that you have occupied earlier in this turn.

Why would you want to return to a space you’ve already occupied this turn? Well, this gives you an opportunity to get up close to attack someone and then teleport away, avoiding an opportunity attack.

Especially if you have a way to restrict their movement, this is a solid way to keep yourself safe and still dish out damage. 

Is this a worthy infusion choice once you get to 6th level? That depends on your playstyle.

This is certainly not the easiest maneuver to execute, but it’s worth picking up for a level or two and trying out; you can always give these boots to any other martial character in your party and let them enjoy some easy teleportation.

Enhanced Arcane Focus

Item: A rod, staff, or wand (requires attunement)

This item gives a creature a +1 bonus to spell-attack rolls and allows their spell attacks to ignore half cover.

The bonus increases to +2 once you are a 10th-level artificer.

A +1 weapon but for your spells. There are many magic items out there in 5e that offer up bonuses to spell-attack rolls, but there are few that let you ignore half cover.

It’s definitely a good infusion to have at first, but if you want to focus on spell attacks, you should pick up the Spell Sniper feat as soon as possible for longer-ranged spell attacks and the ability to ignore not just half cover but three-quarters cover as well.

Still, you or an ally might want to use this for its bonus alone until you can find a suitable magic item replacement.

Enhanced Defense

Item: A suit of armor or a shield

This item gives a creature a +1 to AC. The bonus increases to +2 once you are a 10th-level artificer.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of variety in magical armor out there. While you could probably find some +1 (or later on, +2) armor at a shop in a city or in a dungeon somewhere, it will be hard to come by and expensive. 

This should easily be considered a staple infusion; hold onto it until no one in your party needs it, and you’ll see a huge benefit.

Enhanced Weapon

Item: A simple or martial weapon

A creature wielding this weapon has a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. The bonus increases to +2 once you are a 10th-level artificer.

Unlike +1 armor, there will be a lot of magical weapons with +1 bonuses that have additional abilities. It’s not a stretch to expect at least a few of those for the party by 3rd or 4th level. 

That being said, you absolutely need bonuses to attack and damage rolls if weapon attacks are going to make a difference.

This is a must-have infusion that I would only avoid if every single member of your party is a spellcaster, which would be pretty strange.

Helm of Awareness

Prerequisite: 10th-level Artificer

Item: A helmet (requires attunement)

Wearing this helmet gives you advantage on initiative rolls and prevents you from being surprised so long as you are not incapacitated.

These are two excellent benefits to receive from a magic item. Being at the top of the initiative count means you’ll have a good chance of landing more hits than your enemies, and the same goes for avoiding surprise.

Because these aren’t numerical bonuses, they are basically evergreen abilities; they’ll be just as useful at 10th level as they are at 20th level.

Now, the helm of awareness infusion is remarkably similar to a weapon of warning, an uncommon magic item.

The only additional bonus provided by the weapon of warning is that it will wake you if you are sleeping when combat begins. 

If we break items and infusions into the tier when we could receive them, we’d receive a weapon of warning in the 2nd tier of play and not get the helm of awareness infusion until the 3rd tier. And the real item actually has more benefits. 

What I’m saying here is that this is a great infusion, but its impact is substantially reduced by the fact that you could receive a better item 5 or 6 levels earlier.

If you get into magical-item crafting, you should definitely avoid this infusion and just make the weapon. If you don’t end up making or finding the weapon, then go ahead and pick this up once you can.

Homunculus Servant

Item: A gem or crystal worth at least 100 gp

You create a tiny construct that you can control. It shares the same initiative count as you but only takes the Dodge action on its turn unless you use a bonus action to command it otherwise.

If you are incapacitated, the homunculus takes any action on its turn.

The stat block above is missing a couple of pieces of information where your proficiency bonus should affect the homunculus’ abilities. Both its perception and stealth should have your proficiency bonus added on.

The impressiveness of this infusion comes down to an understanding of action economy in 5e. Basically, the side with more actions is going to win the battle.

Since this homunculus lets you turn a bonus action into a decent ranged attack with force damage, it definitely means your side gets a bigger slice of the action economy.

Now, that’s a reductive way at looking at this because there really are so many more benefits.

Its channel magic is a great way to keep your distance and still deliver some powerful touch spells like Shocking Grasp or Snare.

Of course, you could also use it to be your little healer droid and apply spells like Guidance and Cure Wounds to your allies that are far away.

All of that wrapped up with the fact that you basically have a little flying familiar means this is arguably one of the best infusions you can get right away. 

Mind Sharpener

Item: A suit of armor or robes

This item has 4 charges. You can expend a charge as a reaction to succeed on a Concentration saving throw you would’ve otherwise failed. It regains 1d4 charges at dawn.

Almost half of all artificer spells are concentration spells, which makes sense for a class that gets very limited spell slots.

The longer you can hold that concentration, the more you’re getting out of each spell slot you expend. Naturally, this means you’ll want to have a good way of succeeding on concentration saves.

You already have proficiency on Constitution saving throws, and you can totally pick up the War Caster feat if you want advantage on concentration saves, but nothing really beats the ability to automatically succeed. 

What makes this even better is that a lot of similar abilities would require you to make the decision to automatically succeed before you roll. With this infusion, you can fail and then decide if you want to succeed or not.

Even if concentration spells aren’t your thing, this infusion can definitely be utilized by a spellcaster in your party.

Radiant Weapon

Prerequisite: 6th-level Artificer

Item: A simple or martial weapon (requires attunement)

The wielder of this magical +1 weapon can use a bonus action to cause it to shed bright light for 30 feet and dim light for an additional 30 feet. The light can be extinguished as an action.

The weapon has 4 charges. When you are hit with an attack, you can expend a charge as a reaction to blind the attacker.

If they fail a Constitution saving throw against your spell-save DC, they are blinded until the end of their next turn. The weapon regains 1d4 charges at dawn.

To understand how valuable this weapon is, you need to understand how the blinded condition works.

Blinded creatures automatically fail ability checks that rely on sight and have disadvantage on attack rolls, and attack rolls made against them have advantage. It’s like a worse version of operating in total darkness.

So, you get to do this to a creature four times a day. If they fail the Con save, the condition lasts for a whole round of combat, meaning your allies can hopefully gang up on this creature and take them down quickly. 

This is certainly a great infusion, but it is one of the few that doesn’t have a guaranteed benefit. Sure, it can make light and has a +1 bonus, but those are fairly easy to come by in your line of work.

Were the blinding automatic, this would be a high priority. Instead, it’s an infusion that you can feel free to take if you’re willing to roll the dice.

Repeating Shot

Item: A simple or martial weapon with the ammunition property (requires attunement)

This weapon provides a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls of ranged attacks and avoids the loading property (if it has it).

This weapon produces a piece of magical ammunition if you don’t load anything into it before firing. The magical ammo vanishes after it hits or misses its target.

This is an absolutely awesome infusion if you or an ally uses ranged weapons. Sure, you could hook a bow up with the Enhanced Weapon infusion, but that means losing out on the incredible benefit that is magical ammunition. 

Not having to load any arrows, bolts, etc. means a lot of practical benefits.

First, it’s a lot cheaper than buying arrows. Second, you have to carry substantially less around. And third, that gives you more money and space for special arrows, like silvered or flaming arrows. 

If you use this on a crossbow or gun, it’s even better because the loading property is an absolute slogfest, and nobody wants to deal with that.

Replicate Magic Item

This infusion allows you to replicate a variety of magical items. In addition to the items in the table below, you can create any common magic item that isn’t a potion or scroll.

Before we talk about a few of the best items though, I want to go over what exactly this infusion means.

We can start by considering it as a category of infusions, rather than one infusion. When you select this as a known infusion, you also select a single magic item to replicate.

This means you can have several known replicable items at once. Just to be very clear:

Taking this infusion does not mean you can replicate any of the items on the list at any time. 

Replicable Magic Items (2nd-Level Artificer)

Replicable Magic Items (6nd-Level Artificer)

Replicable Magic Items (10th-Level Artificer)

Replicable Magic Items (14th-Level Artificer)

These are 52 separate infusions, and that doesn’t even count all of the common magic items that you could create.

Granted, common magic items are typically just cutesy items with fun little abilities that don’t necessarily have any impact on a campaign unless used very creatively.

Still, this is a lot of items that you can replicate, and it would be a lot to rate them all right here in this article, so instead I’ll just be selecting a few of the most impressive items.

  • Bag of Holding
  • Goggles of Night
  • Cloak of Elvenkind
  • Gloves of Thievery
  • Cloak of Protection
  • Eyes of the Eagle
  • Helm of Telepathy
  • Winged Boots
  • Amulet of Health
  • Cloak of the Bat
  • Boots of Speed
  • Ring of Free Action
  • Ring of Protection

Keep your eyes peeled for our full Replicate Magic Items guide where we can really go into depth on all of these, or check out our full list of magic items to get a feel for each item you could create.

For starters though, you’re good picking up the bag of holding and any items your party members really want.

Also remember that you can always switch a known infusion out if you find an item to be too situational in your campaign. 

Repulsion Shield

Prerequisite: 6th-level Artificer

Item: A shield (requires attunement)

This +1 shield has 4 charges. After you are hit with a melee attack, you can use a reaction to expend a charge and push the attacker up to 15 feet away. The shield regains 1d4 charges at dawn.

This seems a lot better than it is. Pushing a creature is helpful when you can control when to use it because you can then set up scenarios like pushing them into Grease or a Wall of Fire.

As is, this just lets you shove someone away if they hit you. Assuming that most creatures hover around a 30-ft. movement speed, there’s a good chance this won’t even stop a multiattack from being successful. 

Instead of taking this infusion, just get used to planning your movement well, and use your other abilities to control the battlefield. If you need to keep enemies away from you, there are plenty of other ways to do so.

Resistant Armor

Prerequisite: 6th-level Artificer

Item: A suit of armor (requires attunement)

This armor gives resistance to one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, or thunder.

Resistance is hard to come by, so this is a huge bonus. Plus, you don’t have to choose the damage type when you learn the infusion, just when you infuse an item with it.

That means from day to day you can prep up different types of armor depending on what sort of enemies you expect to be entangling with.

Returning Weapon

Item: A simple or martial weapon with the thrown property

This magical +1 weapon returns to the wielder’s hand immediately after it is used to make a ranged attack.

Listen, if you want to feel like Thor Odinson on the battlefield, you absolutely have to pick this infusion up. A battle smith artificer with this weapon can dish out incredible amounts of damage without having to move from one spot. 

Spell-Refueling Ring

Prerequisite: 6th-level Artificer

Item: A ring(requires attunement)

While wearing this ring, the creature can recover one expended spell slot as an action. The recovered slot can be of 3rd level or lower. Once used, the ring can’t be used again until the next dawn.

The language of the infusion is a bit complex, so let me make it very simple. This lets you regain one spell slot of 3rd level or lower every day.

Since the maximum amount of spell slots you’ll have that fit this requisite is only 10, this lets you regain a tenth of your spell slots every day. I don’t know about you, but a tenth sounds like a hell of a lot more than one to me. 

The artificer class really has to put effort into not burning through their spell slots, so every little bit helps.

Use this to regain the highest slot you can, and you’ll be thanking yourself for taking this infusion instead of Boots of the Winding Path.

Which Infusions Should You Take?

Knowing all the infusions out there can still make it hard to decide which ones are for you. Your list of infusions will depend on your build, your playstyle, and how much help your party needs.

Remember that while you can easily throw all of the infusions on yourself, you’ll be rewarded when your infusion ends up keeping an ally alive for an extra round or two.

Below, I’ve listed some must-have infusions for each artificer archetype, but of course I’m leaving some room for you to make each character your own.

Armorer

This subclass is all about powerful arcane armor, and they even gain the ability to put multiple infusions into their armor down the line. Naturally, this means we’re going to focus on building the tankiest individual we can.

  • Enhanced Defense
  • Resistant Armor
  • Helm of Awareness
  • Cloak of Protection
  • Armor of Magical Strength

Alchemist

The alchemist is largely a support subclass. They whip up elixirs and potions to dish out benefits to their allies. They’ll want infusions that keep them nimble and safe while allowing them to cast some decent spells in the meantime.

  • Homunculus Servant
  • Boots of the Winding Path
  • Enhanced Defense
  • Spell-Refueling Ring
  • Alchemy Jug

Artillerist

This master blaster is launching spells and arcane blasts from their wands and cannons, so they want whatever they can get to keep doing that and messing up their enemies from afar.

  • Enhanced Arcane Focus
  • Mind Sharpener
  • Repeating Shot
  • Spell-Refueling Ring
  • Helm of Telepathy

Battle Smith

Battle smiths are our magical-weapon savants, so clearly they want some magical weapons. Whatever gear they add on top of that is just bonuses to enjoy while they slash, bash, and thrash their foes.

  • Enhanced Weapon
  • Radiant Weapon
  • Repeating Shot
  • Returning Weapon
  • Winged Boots

Final Thoughts

This is just a bit of the potential that artificer infusions hold.

Remember, this is a class focused on ingenuity and creativity. With unique combinations you may just be able to pull off unheard-of feats and conquer enemies that would otherwise laugh in your face. You’re an artificer, the world is yours to create.

As always, happy adventuring.