Our artifact, Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Companion, is chocked full of many lovely power boosts (some little, some not) for us to progress through. But where to start? This article is intended to teach players what all of our artifact’s traits actually do, then to propose build orders to efficiently spend Artifact Power while getting the most bang for your buck. For information on Relic choices, please follow this link.
The first 34 traits are the ones you will get the fastest. Make sure you continue to get Artifact Knowledge from your class order hall to get these as quick as you can, if you haven’t yet. Below is a quick rundown of what each of them is and what they do. Note these aren’t in any particular order! We’ll get to build priorities in a second.
- Full Keg – Keg Smash deals 10% more damage. You get this one for free with Fu Zan!
- Gifted Student – You gain 1% crit chance per rank for 3 seconds whenever you dodge or heal yourself via Gift of the Ox. This is a fairly benign trait. While the uptime will be fairly decent, the amount of crit given makes this a fairly light trait.
- Obstinate Determination – You automatically summon a Gift of the Ox when you are brought below 35% HP. This does not have an internal cooldown and is literally our strongest defensive trait on our Artifact, at least with the first 34 ranks.
- Face Palm – Tiger Palm has a 10% chance (per rank) to deal 300% of normal damage and to reduce the remaining cooldown on your Brews by an additional second. This is our strongest single-target DPS trait, with a slight bit of defensive value.
- Hot Blooded – Your Breath of Fire‘s damage over time portion deals 25% additonal damage (per rank) and also reduces the damage enemies affected deal to you by 2% (per rank). A strong AoE DPS trait and a strong defensive trait, Hot Blooded is very valuable.
- Potent Kick – Increases the duration of Ironskin Brew by 0.5 seconds per rank. This is fairly valuable as those seconds add up and this trait allows you to spend more brew charges on purifying your stagger.
- Healthy Appetite – Increases your max health by 1% per rank. This isn’t too exciting of a trait.
- Dark Side of the Moon – Blackout Strike reduces the damage you will take from that enemy’s next auto-attack by 2% per rank. While not amazing at reducing spike damage, this will be nice for reducing overall damage taken. Note that if you are using the talent Blackout Combo, you will still want to prioritize saving Blackout Strike for comboing, rather than maximum uptime of this trait.
- Obsidian Fists – Increases the critical strike chance of Blackout Strike by 3% per rank. A solid single-target DPS trait.
- Overflow – When you spawn a Gift of the Ox orb, it has a 5% chance per rank to be a greater orb, healing for twice as much. This trait is roughly equivalent to Dark Side of the Moon in usefulness.
- Smashed – Increases the range of Keg Smash by 10 yards, bringing it up to 25 yards, which is highly valuable utility, especially for pulling enemies.
- Swift as a Coursing River – When you use any of our Brews (including Fortifying Brew), you gain 6% additional movement speed for 15 seconds, stacking up to 30%. You can basically keep this at max stacks at any point while in combat and is a fairly strong amount of movement utility.
- Staggering Around – Fortifying Brew now increases your stagger by an additional 2% per rank. Stagger is already at a point where this is rather superfluous and really is just overkill.
- Exploding Keg – Our active ability from our artifact. As mentioned before, it deals high AoE damage on a 1.25 minute cooldown and enemies hit will miss with their auto-attacks for 3 seconds. This is both a strong offensive burst tool as well as a wonderful defensive tool against auto-attacks.
- Dragonfire Brew – After you use Breath of Fire, you breathe fire an additional two times, dealing some damage. The damage is a bit more than a tick of Breath of Fire‘s damage over time effect and does not refresh said effect nor the effect of Hot Blooded. This has no defensive value, but for the first 34 points, this is the strongest offensive trait per rank spent.
- Brew-Stache – When you use Ironskin Brew or Purifying Brew, you gain 10% dodge for 4.5 seconds. This is pretty good for dealing with overall damage taken..
- Fortification – After activating Fortifying Brew, you gain 25% dodge for 21 seconds. This is a very strong buff to an already strong ability. This is quite nice in Mythic+ content, but sees less value in raids.
1-34 Build Order
This is your general build order for Pre-7.2 artifact traits. This is a mix of defensive traits, offensive traits, and utlity, while still factoring in efficient use of Artifact Power (though this is less important now than before at the beginning of the expansion). Do note that this is largely intended for raiding content. An alternate path more geared towards Mythic+ content would be to get Pass 3 before Pass 2, as Fortification is a very strong trait. You can also get Smashed before heading towards Brew-Stache if you so choose for more utility, but again, the order here isn’t extremely important as the time needed of filling this tree out is fairly quick.
Once you unlock the 7.2 traits, you can now progress all of your previous 3/3 traits to a 4th rank, as well as gain access to 4 new traits, plus the new infinite trait. Below is a list of the new traits:
- Endurance of the Broken Temple – Increases damage dealt by 10%, Armor by 35%, and Stamina by 10%. All classes get something along these lines, but it’s a pretty cool trait to get.
- Draught of Darkness – Increases Blackout Strike damage by 5% per rank. This is a fairly strong single-target trait, though it is still not as strong as Face Palm.
- Stave Off – Keg Smash has a 20% chance to trigger a free Keg Smash. Currently this can also trigger off of already triggered Keg Smashes, though expect a fix soon. Overall this is a very strong offensive and defensive trait.
- Quick Sip – Drinking Purifying Brew grants 1 second of Ironskin Brew, while Ironskin Brew purifies 5% of your stagger pool. Overall this is actually quite nice for overall brew efficiency and is a pretty good golden trait.
- Concordance of the Legionfall – Has a proc to grant an increasingly high amount of Versatility. This is our new paragon trait and can only be unlocked after fully maxing out the new basic traits as well as bringing all of the old traits up to 4/4.
35+ Build Orders
Above is the defensive build order for 7.2 traits. It largely focuses on getting the new Golden trait, Quick Sip. Once there, you go after Hot Blooded, then Potent Kick, then Face Palm, which we are picking up largely because its damage is very strong and you already have the primary defensive traits at this point. After that, we can pick up Overflow and Dark Side of the Moon, which are fairly equivalent though are stronger in different situations. After that is Obsidian Fists and Gifted Student, which are more purely DPS traits, then finally Healthy Appetite and Staggering Around, which are fairly underwhelming in regards to overall defensive throughput.
For a more offensive build, start with heading towardsStave Off, which is our strongest offensive trait (as well as providing additional brews to boot). After that, you want Face Palm for our previous strongest offensive trait. After that, get Hot Blooded for strong AoE and then Obsidian Fists for more single target damage. At this point, the priority becomes a lot more hazy. If you want to be a stickler to pure damage, get Gifted Student as the weakest offensive trait we have left, then our new golden Quick Sip and our next strongest defensive trait – Potent Kick. If you prefer to get stronger defensive traits, you can leave Gifted Student for last in these two passes. After that, we get the next two decent defensive traits Overflow or Dark Side of the Moon. Lastly, we grab Healthy Appetite and Staggering Around.