It might come as a shocker, but Athena is by far one of my favourite gods players can access in Hades.
For readers who have been around for a while, you know that I commonly talk about how I dislike using Boons or upgrades that are focused on defense as I’m a believer that the best Defense is offense, however, the same cannot be true of our beauty Athena.
Reality is, Athena has a single Boon that I recommend players always acquire and the others will be based off of personal preference.
Essentially, Athena is going to be extremely important for players to utilize especially due to her Deflect ability that will help protect players from incoming damage, especially projectiles.
Athena is also great for upgrading player’s God Calls and will provide players with some good defences.
I actually strongly recommend that players always choose an Athena Boon until they get their favourite Athena Boon and then start avoiding her to focus on damage.
Admittedly, Athena’s Boons aren’t all winners in my opinion and I often find myself letting out a huge sigh whenever I don’t get Boons that I really love, though it doesn’t mean failure since players will still be able to sell Athena’s Boons to make some extra Charon’s Obol.
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Athena, being one of the many Olympian gods will have the ability to gain Affinity with a player.
At first players will want to hold off on providing Athena too much Nectar as she will not provide players with any further rewards and players are recommended to farm for Companions, though when a player has enough Artifacts to waste, they can do so, being able to max her out at 7 Hearts.
To gain full favour with Athena, players will simply need to successfully clear runs and have Athena make remarks about Zagreus’ strength. This is pretty simple and straight forward.
ATHENA TIER 1 BOONS
Athena ’ Tier 1 Boons do not require players to have any other Boons and always have the ability to show up regardless of how many Boons a player has access to.
Players should be cautious of taking too many Tier 1 Boons, especially if they are on the hunt for Legendary Boons, so making yourself aware of which Boons you will need to get the Tier 2 Boons you want is going to be very important, otherwise players may lock themselves out of the Boons they require.
With Divine Strike players will gain Attack Damage and will be able to Deflect using their Attack.
While I wouldn’t say that Divine Strike is an absolutely necessary Boon to have, it’s undeniable that on a speedy Weapon it’s going to be a really great choice, especially if players manage to Deflect any projectiles that come their way.
The damage obtained by Divine Strike is actually quite substantial and realistically is a great choice for players to simply upgrade the damage they deal.
The different rarities of Divine Strike will provide players with more Attack damage, being:
The Common Divine Strike will provide players with 40% Attack damage.
The Rare Divine Strike will provide players with 1.3-1.5x Attack damage.
The Epic Divine Strike will provide players with 1.8-2.0x Attack damage.
The Heroic Divine Strike will provide players with 2.3-2.5x Attack damage.
Divine Flourish is a Boon that I actually ignore mostly because it provides players with the ability to Deflect using a player’s Special.
Admittedly, this can be very useful for players running the Heart-Seeking Bow, due to the rapidness of the Special and the fact that it will give a generous amount of Special Damage, but due to the low damage of the Heart-Seeking Bow’s Special, it’s often better to place this on a Weapon with a higher amount of damage on it’s Special.
I typically avoid using Divine Flourish because I don’t like Deflect on my Special, but to each their own.
The different tiers of Divine Flourish will provide players with more damage on their Special, being:
The Common Divine Flourish will provide players with 60% Special Damage.
The Rare Divine Flourish will provide players with 1.3-1.5x Special Damage.
The Epic Divine Flourish will provide players with 1.8-2.0x Special Damage.
The Heroic Divine Flourish will provide players with 2.3-2.5x Special Damage.
With Phalanx Shot players will deal more damage using their Casts and will also be able to Deflect using their Cast.
Admittedly, I think this is one of the worst Boons players can obtain while running Athena as it can be tricky to Deflect using the Cast. I would also say that it’s pretty difficult to rely on your Cast to Deflect, especially if you don’t have too many Blood Shards at your disposal.
If you’re simply looking for a way to get your Cast Damage up, then Phalanx Shot is a good idea, however, if you’re looking for a good way to Deflect, I would recommend avoiding this one.
One of the main benefits of Phalanx Shot is the fact that players will be able to damage enemies in an AoE fashion. Phalanx Shot has a 250 radius and will not be able to be combined with the Aspect of Beowulf.
Players will receive extra Cast Damage depending on the rarity of the Phalanx Shot, being:
The Common Phalanx Shot will deal 85 damage when using a Cast.
The Rare Phalanx Shot will deal 102 damage when using a Cast.
The Epic Phalanx Shot will deal 119 damage when using a Cast.
The Heroic Phalanx Shot will deal 136 damage when using a Cast.
Phalanx Flare is the Aspect of Beowulf specific Boon that acts similar to Phalanx Shot.
Players will be able to deflect using their Cast, but will deal a bit less damage with their Cast.
My feelings for Phalanx Flare are the same as Phalanx Shot, though the following are the damage outputs based on the rarity of Phalanx Flare:
The Common Phalanx Flare will deal 80 damage when using a Cast.
The Rare Phalanx Flare will deal 90 damage when using a Cast.
The Epic Phalanx Flare will deal 100 damage when using a Cast.
The Heroic Phalanx Flare will deal 110 damage when using a Cast.
Divine Dash is by far my favourite Boon of all time, because of it’s utility in defending a player.
I admittedly got the Divine Dash early on in my escape attempts and have never looked back since.
Essentially with Divine Dash, anytime the player Dashes not only will they be able to protect themselves from all incoming damage, but they will also be able to Deflect all projectiles thrown at them, making it one of the easiest ways to stay alive.
Even without a good portion of your Talents in the Mirror of Night, players should be able to successfully clear an escape attempt with Divine Dash, making it massively over powered.
Admittedly, Divine Dash does come at the cost of reducing the amount of damage that players can deal with other Boons as even with the higher Rarities it does not deal a good amount of damage when Deflecting, however, due to the immense amount of defense capabilities, this shouldn’t be a problem for any players.
As I said, Divine Dash is going to be the absolute best way to defend yourself in any Encounter, including all Bosses and I strongly recommend that you try to obtain it in any run, simply because of the survivability it provides you.
Divine Dash will provide players with extra Deflect damage when players obtain higher rarities, but unlike most other Boons, I would select this Boon over anything else, even if it has a low rarity.
The amount of damage it deals are the following:
The Common Divine Dash provides players with 10 Dash Damage.
The Rare Divine Dash provides players with 12 Dash Damage.
The Epic Divine Dash provides players with 14 Dash Damage.
The Heroic Divine Dash provides players with 16 Dash Damage.
Athena’s Aid might be a God Call, but I can’t say that I like it very much.
Essentially Athena’s Aid is the most defensive a player can ever get, but due to the amount of time it takes to charge up your God Call, I strongly recommend against it.
Essentially with Athena’s Aid players will be able to briefly make themselves Invulnerable and will be able to Deflect all attacks thrown at them, though it will not deal any damage.
Due to the fact that Athena’s Aid doesn’t deal damage, I strongly recommend against it, though if players are struggling with keeping alive, it can be a good choice.
Having different rarities of Athena’s Aid will provide players with a longer duration, though all of them will provide players with a x6 duration when it is fully filled. The lengths of Athena’s Aid are the following:
The Common Athena’s Aid will last 1.5 seconds.
The Rare Athena’s Aid will last 1.65 seconds.
The Epic Athena’s Aid will last 1.8 seconds.
The Heroic Athena’s Aid will last 1.95 seconds.
Holy Shield is a really terrible Boon in my opinion and I really can’t see a use for it.
With Holy Shield players will deal damage to nearby foes and Deflect when they are attacked.
I personally am not a fan of Boons that rely on players getting hit, but the damage radius is pretty large, sitting at 225 and the damage isn’t THAT bad.
With the various rarities of Holy Shield players will be able to deal more damage with Holy Shield, being:
The Common Holy Shield will deal 30 Revenge damage.
The Rare Holy Shield will deal 1.3-1.5x Revenge damage.
The Epic Holy Shield will deal 1.8-2.0x Revenge damage.
The Heroic Holy Shield will deal 2.3-2.5x Revenge damage.
While admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Bronze Skin, the reality is that players can utilize it well for protection.
With Bronze Skin players will resist consistent damage from enemies, ensuring that they won’t easily die.
The different rarities of Bronze Skin will provide players with extra reduced damage taken, being:
The Common Bronze Skin provides players with 5% damage resistance.
The Rare Bronze Skin provides players with 7.5% damage resistance.
The Epic Bronze Skin provides players with 10% damage resistance.
The Heroic Bronze Skin provides players with 12.5% damage resistance.
Sure Footing is a bit of a useless Boon to have, especially because by the end game players will know how to avoid Traps.
With Sure Footing, players will take reduced damage from Traps and will be able to walk in Asphodel’s magma without taking damage for a short amount of time, though it will not protect players from puddles of magma created by fireballs.
Although Sure Footing cannot be upgraded with Poms, the different rarities will provide players with a substantial amount of extra protection, being:
The Common Sure Footing will provide players with 60% damage reduction from Traps.
The Rare Sure Footing will provide players with 75% damage reduction from Traps.
The Epic Sure Footing will provide players with 90% damage reduction from Traps.
The Heroic Sure Footing will provide players with 95% damage reduction from Traps.
ATHENA TIER 2 BOONS
Tier 2 Boons Athena Boons will require players to unlock at least one other Boon in order to acquire. Many of these Boons require any of the Tier 1 Boons though some will require a specific Boon in order to obtain.
The following is all the information you need to know about the Tier 2 Athena Boons.
Proud Bearing is quite a useful Boon to have, especially with higher rarities as it will provide players with a partially full God Gauge upon entering all encounters.
Players will need Aphrodite’s Aid, Ares’ Aid, Artemis’ Aid, Athena’s Aid, Demeter’s Aid, Dionysus’ Aid, Poseidon’s Aid, or Zeus’ Aid and the different rarities will provide players with more of their gauge full at the beginning of an Encounter.
I strongly recommend using Proud Bearing, especially if you have a God Call that can be utilized to destroy trash mobs.
The following are the starting gauge amounts players will have per rarity:
The Common Proud Bearing will provide players with 20% of their God Call filled.
The Rare Proud Bearing will provide players with 25% of their God Call filled.
The Epic Proud Bearing will provide players with 30% of their God Call filled.
The Heroic Proud Bearing will provide players with 40% of their God Call filled.
Blinding Flash is a great Boon to have if players are good at damaging enemies from behind and also can consistently Deflect attacks.
Whenever players Deflect damage they will Expose enemies for 5 seconds, causing them to take more damage from behind.
Players will need Divine Strike, Divine Flourish, Phalanx Shot, or Divine Dash in order to get Blinding Flash.
The different rarities of Blinding Flash will provide players with the following amount of bonus Backstab damage:
The Common Blinding Flash will provide players with 50% bonus Backstab Damage.
The Rare Blinding Flash will provide players with 62.5% bonus Backstab Damage.
The Epic Blinding Flash will provide players with 75% bonus Backstab Damage.
The Heroic Blinding Flash will provide players with 87.5% bonus Backstab Damage.
Brilliant Riposte is a bit of an interesting Boon to get, though admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of it.
Essentially players will be able to deal more damage when using Deflect attacks, but since Deflects don’t usually deal a whole lot of damage, it may not be worth it.
Players will need Divine Strike, Divine Flourish, Divine Dash, or Holy Shield in order to get Brilliant Riposte.
The following are the Deflect Damage bonuses players will receive per the rarity of Brilliant Riposte:
The Common Brilliant Riposte will provide players with 80% extra Deflect damage.
The Rare Brilliant Riposte will provide players with 1.3-1.5x extra Deflect damage.
The Epic Brilliant Riposte will provide players with 2.0-2.5x extra Deflect damage.
There is no Heroic version of Brilliant Riposte.
While admittedly, I don’t really use Deathless Stand, I can’t deny how useful it can be for players, especially if they are struggling with staying alive.
Deathless Stand does a few different things. First, it will provide players with an extra charge of Death Defiance, as long as a player does not have their charges of Death Defiance full and it will also make them Impervious for longer after a use of Death Defiance is used.
It should also be noted that players will not be able to sell Deathless Stand, meaning that players will have to be certain if that they want Deathless Stand before actually taking it.
The different rarities of Deathless Stand will increase the amount of time that players will remain Impervious after resurrecting with Death Defiance, being:
With the Common Deathless Stand players will be Impervious for 2 seconds longer.
With the Rare Deathless Stand players will be Impervious for 2.5 seconds longer.
With the Epic Deathless Stand players will be Impervious for 3 seconds longer.
With the Heroic Deathless Stand players will be Impervious for 3.5 seconds longer.
With Last Stand players will be able to restore more Health than usual when they use Death Defiance.
Similar to Deathless Stand, players will get an extra charge of Death Defiance if they aren’t fully maxed out on their charges, though I would say that it is a lot less useful than Deathless Stand.
To obtain Last Stand players will need Divine Strike, Divine Flourish, Phalanx Shot, or Divine Dash and will not be able to sell this Boon if they change their mind.
The different rarities of Last Stand will raise the amount of Health a player restores when they are resurrected with Last Stand, being:
The Common Last Stand will restore players by an extra 10%.
The Rare Last Stand will restore players by an extra 12%.
The Epic Last Stand will restore players by an extra 14%.
The Heroic Last Stand will restore players by an extra 16%.
ATHENA TIER 3 BOONS
Athena’s Tier 3 Boons are fairly rare to acquire and will only come in a Divine Protection.
In my opinion, Divine Protection is one of the best Boons to acquire in the game when running Athena as it will provide you with a good amount of defense similar to a Keepsake.
Players will need Brilliant Riposte to acquire Divine Protection.
Divine Protection essentially makes it so players negate any incoming damage that have not been successfully blocked every 20 seconds.
Players who struggle with staying alive will definitely benefit from this, especially if they have a Keepsake that also provides the player with protection.
As I’ve already written a Duo Boons guide, I’m not going to go too deep into this.
Essentially players will want to obtain either Dionysus, Poseidon, Zeus, Demeter, Aphrodite, Artemis or Ares Boons in order to acquire a Duo Boon, though I strongly recommend selecting only one or two of these god’s Boons in order to raise your chances of gaining access to a Duo Boon.
The only Duo Boon I really love is between Demeter and Athena as it will give you Health recovery when your Death or Stubborn Defiance is depleted. Otherwise maybe the synergy between Zeus and Athena for the bouncing between enemies when using a Cast.