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Hades 2 Arcana Cards explained

You have to think carefully about the Hades 2 Arcana Cards you use as these power ups can be the difference between winning and losing.

What are the Hades 2 Arcana Cards? The Hades 2 early access is now out, giving fans a sneak peek of their favorite roguelike as it returns for a daring sequel. One of the new mechanics are the Arcana Cards, a special set of cards that contain power-ups capable of turning Melinoë into a killing machine.

We still don’t know how far away the Hades 2 release date will be, as the game is currently in early access. That said, there’s plenty about the roguelike game to help you get the best Hades 2 build. We’ve also found most of the Hades 2 Boons and Hades 2 Keepsakes so you see what the best ones are to match with this new mechanic. Here’s what the Hades 2 Arcana Cards do and how you can use them to power up Melinoë.

All Hades 2 Arcana Cards

Arcana Cards in Hades 2 provide Melinoë with a range of power ups, from improving her sprint speed, all the way to unlocking a Death Defiance on each run.

Here are all the Hades 2 Arcana Cards:

Card Name Description Unlock Cost Cost (Grasp)
I – The Sorceress While you Channel your Omega Moves, everything moves slower for 2 Seconds Free 1
II – The Wayward Son After you exit a Location, restore 2 Life, or twice that if you have no more than 30% Life 3x Ash 1
III – The Huntress While you have less than 100 Magick, your Attack and Special deal +30% damage 10x Ash 3
IV – Death Your Omega moves have +3% chance to deal Critical damage. 15x Ash 3
V – The Messenger You have +6% chance to dodge. 20x Ash
1x Pearl
0, Awakening: Activate at least three cards that use the same amount of Magic.
VI – The Furies Deal +20% damage to foes in your Casts 3x Ash 2
VII – The Titan Gain +20% Max Life and +20% Max Magick 7x Ash 2
VIII – The Unseen Restore 2 Magick every 1 Second 20x Ash 5
IX – Night Your Hex charges up automatically as though you used two Magic every second. 25x Ash 4
X – The Lovers In fights against Guardians, you take zero damage the first time you are hit. 30x Ash 2
XI – The Swift Runner Your Sprint is 20% faster 10x Ash 1
XII – Eternity Set forth each night with 1 Death Defiance 20x Ash 4
XIII – The Centaur After every 5 Locations, gain +3 Life and +3 Magick. Requires Awakening condition: Activate Cards that use 1 – 5 Grasp. 25x Ash, 1x Cinder 0
XIV – The Moon Your Omega Cast has +50 Power whenever it detonates. 30x Ash 3
XV – Strength While you have no more than 30% health, you take -30% damage and deal +30%. 35x Ash 5
XVI – The Fates Set forth each night with +1 Change of Fates. 15x Ash 3
XVII – The Boatman Start each run with 200 Gold. 25x Ash 5
XVIII – Origination Deal +25% damage to foes afflicted with at least two curse effects. 30x Ash 3
XIX – Excellence Any Boons you are offered have a +30% chance to be rare. 35x Ash 3
XX – The Queen Any Boons you are offered have +6% chance to be a Duo (whenever possible) 40x Ash
1x Tears
0, Awakening: Activate no more than two cards that use the same Grasp cost.
XXI – The Seer Set forth each night with +2 Change of Fates. 20x Ash
1x Wool
0, Awakening: Activate each surrounding card.
XXII – The Champions Set forth each night with +1 Change of Fate. 30x Ash 4
XXIII – The Artificer Set forth each nigh with one chance to turn any Minor Find into a random Major Find. 35x Ash 6
XXIV – Divinity Any Boons you are offered have +10% chance to be improved to Epic. 40x Ash
1x Golden Apple
0, Awakening: Activate all five cards in any other row.
XXV – Judgement After you vanquish a Guardian, activate three random inactive Arcana cards. 50x Ashes
1x Zodiac Sand
0, Awakening: Activate no more than three cards total.

What are Hades 2 Arcana Cards?

As you might imagine from a sequel, Melinoë has many unique mechanics that Zagreus never got to experience for himself. The first power-up mechanic you access in Hades 2 is the Arcana Cards. These power-ups can help improve your survivability and damage output, so it’s a case of picking what suits you best. It’s worth pointing out that your Arcana Card picks aren’t permanent; you can disable each card if you want to try out something you just unlocked.

While you can use multiple Arcana Cards at once, you need to keep an eye on your Grasp gauge, which determines how many power-ups can be active at any given time. You can spend Psyche to upgrade the maximum Grasp by highlighting the portrait of Melinoë and pressing the upgrade button.

How do you unlock Hades 2 Arcana Cards?

After dying for the first time, you should find an Altar located in the Underworld. Chances are you will have spoken to the Headmistress, who gives you 10 Ash. Meditate at the Altar and you should unlock the first Arcana Card – doing so reveals two more Arcana Cards that can be unlocked if you have the right resources at hand. You’re going to need a lot of Ash if you want to unlock all nine Arcana Cards, which will require multiple playthroughs.

What is the max Grasp in Hades 2?

There are no confirmed reports on the max Grasp number in Hades 2. Our best guess is that it must be at least 30. We have reached Grasp 29, requiring 350 Psyche to level up, but we’ve not heard reports of anyone going above this level.

Hades 2 Arcana cards: the upgrade screen for using M-Dust and other resources to buff the cards.

How to unlock Hades 2 Arcana cards full potential

After you defeat the Infernal Beast in the Mourning Fields, you’ll get the Consecration of Ashes incantation at the cauldron in your hub area. It costs six ash, one cinder, and six fate fabrics to invoke this ritual, and it will allow you to unlock the cauldron’s “full potential” and give you three Moon Dust (M-Dust) for your trouble.

It’s the M-Dust that’s vital for unlocking buffs for each of your Arcana cards. By pressing the Enter key on the Arcana cards screen, the screen will switch to show you the upgrades available. You can improve an Arcana card multiple times, so long as you have the required items, including the aforementioned M-Dust, Hades 2 G-Rock, and other rare items. You can get Moon Dust by purchasing it from the Broker at the hub area for 80 bones each or using the Moonlit Essense From Shadow alchemy incantation to convert one cinder and one shadow.

To get the top-tier upgrades for your Arcana Cards, you’ll also require Star Dust, which you can get by converting two moly, two nightshades, two fate fabrics, and two pearls in the Abyssal Insight incantation.

That’s all you need to know about the Hades 2 Arcana Cards. Be sure to check out our Hades 2 Hecate boss guide if you require help taking down the Headmistress. We also have a Hades 2 review, where you can read our thoughts about the early access launch.