Marvel’s Avengers is one of those service-model games, which means it does everything the developers could possibly think of to keep you playing. That includes the gear system of course, the easiest, most obvious way to keep people grinding out boss fights. Most of the gear is pretty straightforward, but there’s one slot that stands aside from the others in a big way. This is the Major Artifact slots, which are universal items that you find once, and have available for every hero in the game. These items come as Exotics, and give you straight boosts to your power level.

Marvel’s Avengers Exotic Major Artifact Guide

For now, in our post-launch but not super-post-launch period, there are four Exotic Major Artifacts. At least, nobody seems to have found a fifth one yet. Two of them are easily accessible, as you find them when making your way through the game’s campaign. The other two are post-game rewards, and getting those requires a bit more legwork. These items are super powerful, and will likely be a keystone to various hero builds as the metagame develops.

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The first Exotic Major Artifact you get is the Sacred Norn Stone of Lethal Will. You get this in a treasure chest during the campaign, specifically at the beginning of “To Stand Alone.” Without spoilers, there’s a part in which a character is sneaking around, and you’ll just be handed this item. It has the following perks, which you’ll unlock as you boost it:

  • Resolve of the Einherjar — increased Critical Chance when the Damage Boost is active
  • Skuld’s Foresight — increased duration of all damage buffs by four seconds
  • Tyr’s Offense — press the shoulder buttons/Major Artifact keys to active a Damage Boost

Next up is the Tactigon. Once again, this one is correlated to the campaign. But in this case, it’s a reward for finishing the campaign, so it’s sort of an in-betweener. Once you dive into the post-game after the story wraps up, you’ll just have the Tactigon in your inventory. Here are its perks:

  • Routed — increased damage to enemies affected by any status
  • Exploit — increases status damage from all attacks
  • Quell — press the should buttons/Major Artifact keys to trigger an explosion that deals exploit damage on enemies affected by any status and increases all status damage against an unaffected enemies hit.

Third is the Ring of the Nibelung. In order to earn this powerful Artifact, you’ll have to complete the Iconic Avengers missions. This means you’ll need to go through each hero’s Iconic Mission questlines, which range in difficulty based on the requirements. In order to get to that point, though, you have to make progress in the Reigning Supreme mission, which is essentially a big post-game (or Avengers Initiative) tutorial. Once you finish step 6, Iconic Avengers should be available. Here are the perks:

  • Bountiful — increases amount restored by all orbs
  • Surplus — chance defeating enemies will produce a random orb of any type
  • Cornucopia — press the shoulder buttons/Major Artifact keys to generate a random bounty of Regen Packs, Heroic Orbs, or Intrinsic Orbs.

Finally, the toughest Exotic Major Artifact and final for now, is the Darkhold. It isn’t that tough really, but that Reigning Supreme mission we mentioned earlier? To get the Darkhold you have to finish it. That’s three more steps past where you can access Iconic Avengers, and it involves a multi-hour time investment due to its inclusion of things like Faction missions. Good luck! If you’re dedicated enough to chase this thing, here’s what you get:

  • Axiom of Brutality — Press the shoulder buttons/Major Artifact keys to drain all Heroic energy and restore all health.
  • Eldritch Invigoration — Press the shoulder buttons/Major Artifact keys when over 50% Willpower to drain Willpower to critical levels and charge all Heroics.
  • Precept of Entropy — Press the shoulder buttons/Major Artifact keys at full health and full Heroic energy to drain both to 50% and create a damage explosion.

As a reward for so much effort, Darkhold is also the strangest of the four Major Artifacts. That said, using it effectively is super powerful, especially on heroes that can defend or heal themselves well.

Don’t forget; in addition to the perks you unlock when leveling these things up, they also provide a linear boost to your power level. Power level is the primary metric for accessing endgame content in Marvel’s Avengers, so these Major Artifacts are necessary to reach the top of the mountain.

What do you think about these Major Artifacts as a way to encourage making your way through the Avengers Initiative? Do you like how they’re universally equippable, or would you have preferred more character-exclusive goodies? Let us know what you think over at the Prima games Facebook and Twitter channels!