The best boons in Hades 2

The best boons in Hades 2

Boons from the gods are the core part of any successful run in Hades 2. The Olympian deities also have a vested interest in killing Time (a.k.a., Chronos), so they let you borrow their powers temporarily.

Whether it’s an elemental effect that helps you clear a room of foes or a stat boost that keeps you from dying carelessly, finding the best boons can significantly change your fortunes on a run. Here’s a rundown of how boons work, plus our selections for the best boons in Hades 2.

How boons work in Hades 2

Melinoe stands next to the boon of Apollo in Hades 2. Image: Supergiant Games via Polygon

You can get boons in the middle of your Hades 2 runs via two methods: either by clearing a room of enemies, or by purchasing them from Charon’s shop for gold coins.

Boons either grant you passive stat boosts or change how your attacks, specials, casts, and dashes function. Each god tends to generally grant a different effect — Poseidon’s boons, for instance, push enemies away from you, while Hestia’s burn them — but not all boons have that effect.

In Hades 2’s early access period, we’ve come across boons from the following gods, though note that we have not yet “finished” the game, so more deities might show up later on.

  • Aphrodite: boons that tend to apply the weak status effect
  • Apollo: boons that tend to apply the daze status effect
  • Artemis: boons that tend to increase your chance of landing critical hits
  • Demeter: boons that tend to freeze enemies
  • Hephaestus: boons that tend to increase your defense
  • Hermes: boons that tend to make youfaster
  • Hestia: boons that tend to burn enemies
  • Poseidon: boons that tend to push enemies back
  • Zeus: boons that tend to shock enemies

Some gods who were in the original Hades, like Ares and Athena, do not appear to be present in Hades 2 (at least that we’ve seen).

Boons are available at four rarity levels: common, rare, epic, and heroic. The higher the rarity, the more effective the boon. (For instance, a boon that deals 40% bonus damage at common rank might deal 50% bonus damage at rare.)

Finding a Pom of Power allows you to level up one boon of your choosing, increasing its efficacy. When choosing a chamber, look out for a symbol of a pomegranate.

If you equip a Keepsake affiliated with a specific deity, you’re more likely to come across boons from that deity on your runs. And if you unlock the “Kindred Keepsakes” incantation, you get the ability to swap Keepsakes between regions. While you can never fully remove the randomized element from Hades 2, it’s one way to have greater sway over your builds.

The best boons in Hades 2

A Hades 2 menu shows three boons of Hestia.
You can choose from one of three boons every time a god offers you one.
Image: Supergiant Games via Polygon

For purposes of this guide, we’ve focused solely on the “standard” boons you have a chance of running into on your runs. In other words, this list doesn’t include Chaos boons, Selene’s Hex boons, or bonus effects from characters like Arachne or Narcissus. While all of those bonuses are quite effective — and well worth watching out for on your runs — they’re even more up to the Fates than the rest of Hades 2. It’s not

At a glance, here are our picks for the best boons in Hades 2, which we’ve organized alphabetically by the god who can grant them to you.

Hades 2 best boons list

Boon God Type Effect
Boon God Type Effect
Healthy Rebound Aphrodite Passive Fully heals you if you clear a room and stay above a minimum health threshold
Wispy Wiles Aphrodite Passive If you have four air-element boons, you have a chance to automatically avoid damage
Flutter Flourish Aphrodite Special Your specials are more effective against close enemies
Flutter Strike Aphrodite Attack Your attacks are more effective against close enemies
Super Nova Apollo Cast Your casts slowly expand in size
Support Fire Artemis Attack/Special Shoot an arrow at every enemy you hit
Arctic Ring Demeter Cast Freezes enemies caught in your cast
Cold Storage Demeter Passive Frozen enemies stay frozen longer
Winter Coat Demeter Passive Reduce your total magick in exchange for a barrier
Rare Crop Demeter Passive Your boons drop to common rating, then increase rarity every three encounters
Mint Condition Hephaestus Passive You’re invincible for 8 seconds at the start of every encounter
Molten Touch Hephaestus Attack/Special Your attacks and specials are more effective against armor
Greater Evasion Hermes Passive You have a 10% chance of avoiding damage
Nitro Boost Hermes Passive Gain a barrier and sprint faster
Burnt Offering Hestia Bonus You gain +50 health and magick but lose one of your boons
Smolder Ring Hestia Cast Burns enemies caught in your cast
Hydraulic Might Poseidon Attack/Special Your attacks and specials are twice as strong for the first 10 seconds of every encounter
Wave Flourish Poseidon Special Your specials knock enemies away
Thunder Sprint Zeus Dash Your sprint shocks nearby enemies

Below, we explain why these are the best boons — and, because not all boons are fit for all circumstances, explain some of their limitations.

Best Aphrodite boons

Flutter Flourish and Flutter Strike are not effective for all builds. But if you’re a fan of close-range weapons like the Sister Blades or the Moonlight Axe, you’re looking at dealing up to twice as much damage (or more!) with every hit, depending on the rarity of the boon.

Healthy Rebound is all about gambling on your own success. At common rarity, if you clear a room with 80% of your health remaining, you fully heal yourself. Combining this with an Arcana Card like the Wayward Son, which heals you a little bit after each room, is an easy way to keep your health up.

Wispy Wiles, meanwhile, only kicks in if you have four air-themed boons, but focus on getting Aphrodite’s boons, and you’ll reach that threshold in no time. Having a 15% chance to avoid any damage at all if you get hit is a (pardon the pun) godsend.

Best Apollo boons

Super Nova is the type of boon that slots into any build, and is particularly efficient at crowd control: It causes your casts to get larger over time, trapping more enemies in place.

Best Artemis boons

Support Fire was easily one of the best boons in the original Hades, and remains one of the best for Hades 2. Every time you hit an enemy with an attack or a special, you also hit them with an arrow that deals 10 damage.

Best Demeter boons

Freezing enemies in place is crucial for the crowded rooms that clutter Hades 2’s late-game levels. Two boons work in tandem to that effect. Arctic Ring freezes any enemies caught in your cast, while Cold Storage ensures they stay frozen longer (anywhere from two to five seconds, depending on the rarity).

Winter Coat reduces your total magick meter, but grants you a barrier that absorbs one instance of damage each encounter. Doesn’t matter how perfect you are, we all slip up and get hit from time to time. Winter Coat is as an effective insurance plan as you can get.

Rare Crop is only worth your time if you can find it early in a run. At first, it weakens all of your boons, dropping them to common rarity. But they’ll increase in rarity every three encounters. Get it early enough, and you’ll end up with a build of high-ranking boons by the time you reach the final boss.

Best Hephaestus boons

Mint Condition protects you from all damage for eight seconds at the start of any encounter. Act fast while you have the advantage!

By the time you reach the Fields of Mourning, most enemies have armor, and your attacks tend to do minimal damage. Molten Touch increases how much damage you deal to armor (by up to 50% depending on the boon’s rarity), making it invaluable for late-game regions.

Best Hermes boons

If you’re lucky enough to come across Hermes, Greater Evasion is one of the most helpful defensive boons in Hades 2. At even just common rarity, you have a 10% chance of avoiding taking any damage. Combine this with Aphrodite’s Wispy Wiles, and you’re just about as close to invincible as you can get.

Nitro Boost offers a nice perk for your sprint (you run a little faster) but the real reason to get this boon is that it gives you the same type of one-hit-protection barrier as Demeter’s Winter Coat.

Best Hestia boons

Burnt Offering grants you a permanent (for the run) increase to your health and magick meters, but in exchange for one of your existing boons. You’ll be able to see which boon you’re giving up, so if it’s one you’ve built your run around, you don’t need to go through with the trade. But if it’s one you can live without, the sizable boost to your stats is often worth it.

Smolder Ring isn’t just a good pun. Any enemies caught in your cast will take persistent fire damage; you can trap a handful of enemies in your cast and ignore them while still whittling away at their health bars.

Best Poseidon boons

Hydraulic Might works extremely well in combination with Mint Condition, from Hephaestus. For the first 10 seconds of every encounter, your attacks and specials deal more damage. With both of these equipped, you can spend the first few seconds of each encounter without worrying about it.

Wave Flourish is best used with long-range weapons, like the Witch’s Staff. If enemies get too close, you can use it to push them back, helping you maintain a safe distance.

Best Zeus boons

If the first Hades, Zeus’ shocking boons were a favorite among speedrunners. But the shock effect in Hades 2 is on a delay, meaning you don’t get the sort of instant gratification damage you would in the first game — except for Thunder Sprint, which automatically deals shock damage to any enemies you run near. Struggling with a boss? Get this boon and literally run circles around them to win!