Seeing as u like your ray gun why not just stick with like a 154 parkstar? I use a 154 skate banana for my all mountain riding. A lot of people will argue that the banana is not all mountain, but I'm comfortable on steeps, trees, pow, and then shredding park laps on it so its just personal preference. I demo'ed a ride machete gt and a burton bullet earlier this year and both those sound right up your price range and style.
Because I am afraid it will be to stiff. But my size on a 154w should prob flex decent.
Tbh would a soft board like the artifact really be THAT scetchy around the mountain?