When I talk about artificers, I picture a gnome with high-tech goggles, some form of powered armor, and maybe a few potions and elixirs hanging from their belt.
Generally, the more of a magic punk vibe the character gives off, the better.
Sure, you can do that by throwing some flavor into your armor and clothing choices. Who knows, you might even be able to justify some mundane items that your DM will let slide, like a bandolier to carry all your supplies in.
But let’s be honest, the real personality of an artificer comes in when they are just covered in magical items from head to toe.
After all, these are characters who are well versed in the craft of all sorts of items, magical or not.
Today, we’re going through the best magic items for artificers in 5e.
Of course, this isn’t just a list; it’s a guide, so we’ll also be covering what makes a good magical item for an artificer and how to get the most out of your ability to attune to several items at once.
What Makes a Good Artificer Magic Item?
Artificers can realistically use any magic item to its highest potential. That’s why eventually they don’t even have to worry about any item’s attunement requirements.
However, the best items for an artificer are ones that can boost their martial prowess, spellcasting ability, or creativity.
I know, that’s still a lot of categories. More than just half casters, the unique skill of an artificer makes them incredible at combat and exploration.
Social interaction can be pushed to the wayside when you have a tool for every situation in your back pocket.
In combat, artificers can really go in quite a few directions. Each of the subclasses actually fit into different rolls, even if there might be some overlap.
The alchemist will often function like a support character, dishing out potions and elixirs. They might even utilize stealth and deception so they can administer poisons.
The armorer comes fully equipped with a suit of armor that has multiple weapon options available. Mainly, they take on the role of tank or at least some level of battlefield control.
Battle smiths are definitely our most aggressive class, making incredible use of magical weapons to dish out a lot of damage. Then of course, they have their steel defenders to corner opponents with and deal even more damage per turn.
Last but not least, an artillerist is all about launching an assault of powerful spell attacks. Along with their actual eldritch cannons, they can take down anyone from a distance.
With all of this variety, it’s difficult to come up with one or two “best” magic items for the class as a whole. However, they really do all want the same thing: more tools.
Whether this comes in the form of literal tools, like the All-Purpose tool, staffs and wands, or blades and bows, an artificer will make use of whatever they’re given.
Just about anything that gives you access to more spellcasting is going to be great. While this class does have a great spell list, it pales in comparison to full casters – not to mention, we don’t have a wealth of spell slots.
If we can find something like a Wand of Magic Missile, we stop having to worry about resource management quite as much, which frees us up to be more creative with our own slots.
Then, there’s a whole category of weapons and items that give us bonuses. I don’t care if those bonuses are for spell-save DCs, weapon attacks, or strength checks; we’ll be able to put them to good use.
At the end of the day, any magic item that improves whatever we’re already working on with our build is going to be great for us.
The fact that our class already has infusions, magical tinkering, and a wealth of tool proficiencies means that most magic items fit perfectly into our arsenal of creativity.
Replicate Magic Items
We’ve covered this particular artificer infusion more in the standalone article, but it would be insane to not at least touch on it here. After all, this is an artificer feature that lets us create magic items.
Part of choosing magic items to craft or hunt down is knowing which items you can easily recreate as part of your class.
There are a lot of items that you can make with this one infusion, but it isn’t quite as simple as that.
The “replicate magic items” infusion isn’t a one size fits all choice. You can choose this as a known infusion multiple times, and each time you choose a new magic item.
Since picking up this infusion doesn’t mean that one day you can make a Bag of Holding and the next day you can make a Cloak of Elvenkind; you’ll want to be rather selective.
You will eventually know 12 infusions total, and you can swap out one infusion each time you gain a level in this class. That means that, in total, you could learn 30 different infusions by the time you reach level 20.
With this information, just know that if you come across a real version of one of the items you’ve chosen an infusion for, you can always swap out the infusion.
Here are our top replicable magic items:
- Alchemy Jug
- Bag of Holding
- Cloak of Elvenkind
- Cloak of Protection
- Eyes of the Eagle
- Gauntlets of Ogre Power
- Winged Boots
- Amulet of Health
- Arcane Propulsion Arm
- Cloak of the Bat
- Gem of Seeing
- Ring of Protection
Most of these are items that you yourself can utilize, but remember that being in a party means helping out your allies at times too.
Attuning to Extra Items
One of the highlights of the artificer class is that you can attune to more items than your normal adventurer.
At 10th level, you can attune to four, one more than the standard three attunements, and by 18th level you’ll have doubled the normal max to six attuned items.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wear and use six items at the same time, but you can definitely get some use out of quite a few.
Genuinely, the biggest difficulty you’ll run into with this ability is finding or making enough magic items to fill out your arsenal.
If we break down items into a few categories, we see that it’s pretty easy to arm yourself to the teeth, although there aren’t any magical dentures yet.
Rings, cloaks, armor, staves, weapons, helms, goggles, boots, gauntlets, shields, bracers, Ioun stones, belts, quivers, tattoos, and any number of strange unique items exist that you could be attuned to all at the same time.
It’s important to remember the other rules of attunement and 5e in general though.
You can only attune to one of each item, so no wrapping yourself in 6 cloaks of protection. Then, multiple instances of things like advantage and disadvantage don’t stack.
Most other bonuses will stack up since they’re technically not the same mechanic.
This means you can get quite the AC bonus strung together with the right set of items, or if you’re going for an insanely high spell-save DC, there are builds for that too.
What Are the Best Magic Items for Artificers?
Our top three magic items for the artificer class are items that you should be able to use no matter what build you’re attempting.
1. All-Purpose Tool
This is an item made for artificers. In fact, only artificers can attune to it.
It’s an incredibly versatile item that plays exactly to this class’s strengths, and it’s a must-have if you can track one down.
Wondrous Item, Rarity Varies (requires attunement by an artificer)
This simple screwdriver can transform into a variety of tools; as an action, you can transform it into any type of artisan tools of your choice. You are proficient with whatever form it takes.
You gain a bonus to your spell-save DC and spell-attack bonus determined by the rarity (uncommon +1, rare +2, very rare +3).
As an action, you can focus on the tool to channel your creative forces. Choose a cantrip that you don’t know from any class list.
For 8 hours, that counts as an artificer cantrip that you can cast. Once this property is used, it can’t be used again until next dawn.
This is huge for us because it does a lot of the things we were looking for.
Specifically, the ability to learn a cantrip is incredible since you can use a new cantrip every day. It’s almost like a spell version of your Right Tool for the Job feature.
Of course, you can always pick up artificer cantrips that you don’t know, but you can also dip into other classes and really let loose. Some of the best cantrips you’ll pick up with this are:
Then, we have the ability to change up our tools. We do already have a class feature that lets us produce artisan’s tools on the fly, but that’s only if you consider an hour of uninterrupted labor “on the fly.”
With this item, we can have a tool as quick as an action.
But wait there’s more! You’re also proficient with the tool you create!
Your little sonic screwdriver is more than just quick access to new potential; it’s improving you as an artificer in almost every way.
2. Winged Boots
No matter what kind of artificer you’re playing, mobility is a key factor in having the upper hand.
In combat, you’re likely playing some kind of battlefield control or at least functioning as a support for your allies, and in exploration, you’ll want to be able to go wherever you’re needed to solve problems as quickly as possible.
Wondrous Item, uncommon, requires attunement
While you wear these boots, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed. You can use the boots to fly for up to four hours, all at once or in several short flights, each one using a minimum 1 minute of the duration.
If you are flying when the duration expires, you fall at a rate of 30 feet per round until you land.
The boots regain 2 hours of flying every 12 hours they aren’t in use.
Flight is one of those mechanics that is quite literally game changing. You go from playing in a two-dimensional space to having three dimensions at your disposal.
This means you can leap out of the way of enemies to get across the battlefield, fly over dangerous pits, or even make long treks without ever touching the ground.
Sure, once you have access to flight, it’s a good guarantee that your DM will create obstacles that can’t be avoided by flapping your wings (feet?), but that still doesn’t take away how impressive this really is.
While this item doesn’t have a direct impact on any one aspect of the artificer, it takes its rank among these other items because of how widely applicable it really is.
After all, artificers are about creativity and problem solving. Give them access to flight, and they’re bound to come up with some neat ideas along the way.
One last thing – this item has incredible potential for flavor. Sure, these boots are clearly designed after Hermes’ winged boots, but we can change a lot as long as the mechanics stay the same.
For you, especially if you create them, these can be rocket-powered boots, magnetic repulsors, or even boots that allow you to “walk on air” by creating tiny walls of force under your feet.
Artificers like options, and winged boots certainly present that.
3. Robe of Useful Items
I had a tough time selecting my third and final before we get into the next section of this article. I could’ve picked a weapon, some armor, or really anything, but I had to go with my heart and experience.
Unsurprisingly, the robe of useful items is… a useful item. Combined with the many abilities and proficiencies of an artificer, there isn’t much you can’t achieve while wearing this neat little magical item.
Robe of Useful Items
Wondrous Item, Robe
This robe has cloth patches of various shapes and colors covering it. While wearing the robe. you can use an Action to detach one of the patches, causing it to become the object or creature it represents.
Once the last patch is removed, the robe becomes an ordinary garment.
The robe has two of each of the following patches:
- Bullseye lantern (filled and lit)
- Steel mirror
- 10-foot pole
- Hempen rope (50 feet, coiled)
In addition, the robe has 4d4 other patches. The DM chooses the patches or determines them randomly.
- d100 — Patch
- 01-08 — Bag of 100 gp
- 09-15 — Silver coffer (1 foot long, 6 inches wide and deep) worth 500 gp
- 16-22 — Iron door (up to 10 feet wide and 10 feet high, barred on one side of your choice), which you can place in an opening you can reach; it conforms to fit the opening, attaching and hinging itself
- 23-30 — 10 gems worth 100 gp each
- 31-44 — Wooden Ladder (24 feet long)
- 45-51 — A Riding Horse with saddle bags (see the Monster Manual for statistics)
- 52-59 — Pit (a cube 10 feet on a side), which you can place on the ground within 10 feet of you
- 60-68 — 4 Potions of Healing
- 69-75 — Rowboat (12 feet long)
- 76-83 — Spell Scroll containing one spell of 1st to 3rd Level
- 84-90 — 2 mastiffs (see the Monster Manual for statistics)
- 91-96 — Window (2 feet by 4 feet, up to 2 feet deep), which you can place on a vertical surface you can reach
- 97-00 — Portable ram
I mean, you can read, so clearly you see what this has to offer. It’s really not about any specific item this gives you access to; it’s about the incredibly wide access to small mundane items you can use for a myriad of purposes.
Also, I’m a huge advocate for artificers being exceptional at crafting magic items. If there’s anyone whom the DM should allow to explore this side of the game, it should be them. This is an amazing practice item, both in game and from a more meta perspective.
Gathering the materials to add a patch onto this is much easier than going to the Elemental Plane of Fire and collecting a tear of a smoke mephit.
Then, you and your DM can figure out which rules of magic item creation work at your table, whether that’s the relatively limited section from XGtE, rules from a previous edition, or some unique homebrew.
And again, this is an item that can really be flavored to match your particular style of artificer.
Maybe you make small capsule-like potions that, when poured on the ground, turn into these items.
Perhaps your arcane armor has a gear that you can toggle to point at different item icons and when you press it, the item appears in front of you.
As long as it doesn’t stray too far mechanically, your “robe” of useful items can be whatever you want.
Other Artificer Magic Items (At Every Tier of Play)
There are plenty of other great magical items for an artificer, so we’ve thrown a few here. The goal of this section is to provide you with items you can use at any tier of play, for any type of artificer.
Amulet of Health (Rare)
This item gives you a constitution score of 19 while you’re wearing it. Once you have this in your arsenal, you’ll just have to worry about any increases to intelligence and whatever your secondary ability score is.
Gem of Seeing (Rare)
This gem gives you 10 minutes of Truesight three times a day. Being able to see invisible creatures and into the ethereal plane is an incredible ability that is normally only accessible through a 6th-level spell, True Seeing.
That’s like getting access to three 6th-level spell slots in second-tier play.
Ring/Cloak of Protection (Rare)
Both of these items give you a +1 to your AC and saving throws. Throw them together, and you get +2, a respectable bonus to your defenses before we even look at armor.
Arcane Propulsion Arm (Very Rare)
This item is, admittedly, a bit short of deserving to be on this list, mechanically that is. On paper, this is an incredibly powerful item since it gives you an arm that can fly off for attacks and deal force damage.
It does deal some pretty low damage, and it comes with no exciting bonuses that you would expect from an item of this rarity.
With some tinkering and a little bit of homebrew, this can easily become a great, borderline essential item for artificers though.
Living Gloves (Uncommon)
These symbiotic gloves give you proficiency in one set of artisan’s tools (or instrument).
While that wouldn’t matter with our All-Purpose Tool on deck, it does as soon as we realize that it also lets us add our proficiency bonus twice when making checks with that tool.
Just ask anyone who’s ever played a bard – expertise is beyond overpowered.
Psi Crystal (Uncommon)
This crystal gives you telepathy out to a distance based on your intelligence score. Since as an artificer, your intelligence should never be lower than 16, this means you’re going to be boasting a gorgeous 120 feet of telepathy.
Ring of Mind Shielding (Uncommon)
This ring, which you can turn invisible, is going to shield your mind (duh) from other creatures’ telepathic powers.
This means people won’t be able to figure out if you’re lying, what you’re thinking, what your alignment is, or even what your creature type is.
It’s a huge benefit, especially in higher tiers of play, to protect yourself from the scarier telepathic creatures like Mind Flayers and Beholders.
Rod of Retribution (Uncommon)
This rod lets you dish out lightning damage as a reaction when you take damage.
Good reactions are hard to come by, and this is one that is incredibly powerful and well themed to most artificer tropes.
Wand of Magic Missiles (Uncommon)
I’m including this because just about any “wand of” that lets you cast more spells than you would normally be able to is a huge bonus for artificers.
Magic Missile is a great low-level spell that would be great for artificers, even if it might make it hard to cast any other spells. This way, it’s separate from your spell slots, and you can still dish out a bunch of damage.
Mizzium Mortar (Rare)
You know what, this one is just here because I absolutely love it. You can use this little mortar tube to create a spray of fire damage or to launch huge projectiles that explode and, guess what, deal a bunch of fire damage.
The reason it makes it on this list is because it matches the “magic punk” theme of artificers just so well, and what else would you expect from the high fantasy plane of Ravnica?
Dimensional Loop (Very Rare)
This is a magic science item that has a slew of useful abilities. Who better to make use of spacial warping technology than an artificer? From truesight to short-range teleportation.
Hammer of Thunderbolts (Legendary)
This is certainly an interesting choice for this list, but there’s no questioning its power.
What really makes this stand out is that it would normally take up all three attunement slots since it also requires its user to be attuned to a Belt of Dwarvenkind and Gauntlets of Ogre Power.
Still, it’s an incredibly powerful weapon that increases your strength score and deals massive amounts of thunder damage.
Powered Armor (Legendary)
Powered armor is such a good choice for artificers that it’s essentially already an artificer subclass; the armorer has a very similar set of abilities.
However, this isn’t the armorer subclass; it’s a suit of incredible armor with a wide range of abilities that you can use its power cells to fuel.
From lasers to flight, survival to combat, this armor has everything you could want and more.
Staff of the Magi (Legendary)
Last, but certainly not least, we have an item that you won’t be able to attune to until 14th level when you ignore attunement requirements.
This staff is normally only accessible to full casters, and it is arguably one of the most powerful items in the game. Its wealth of spells alone is enough to make it an item to hunt down, but the benefits don’t stop there.
It just keeps going, and the abilities you’ll get from this will turn you from a half-caster to a full caster with additional martial prowess.
Magical items really are a huge part of the artificer class, so I hope you find at least one or two that spark your interest.
While I’ve done my best to highlight some of the best, and my favorites, I also want to make it very clear that this versatile class can make use of anything. So if you find an item and think it’s exciting, throw it on, and have a blast.
As always, happy adventuring.