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Everything you need to know about Artifact

28 May, 2018Sannio
Valve’s Artifact is coming later this year and we get more and more information about the game. We decided to gather everything that we know so far in one article.


  • The game was announced on 8 August in 2017 and is set to release at the end of 2018. A mobile version is also in work.
  • Game engine – Source 2.
  • Will not feature VR.
  • Artifact will feature 3 new heroes that will be added to Dota 2 (Rix, Kanna and Sorla Khan).
  • Will not be free-to-play or pay-to win.
  • There won’t be a single player mode but you can play against AI.
  • Valve plan to hold a 1 million USD tournament in early 2019.
  • Valve plan to have a professional eSports scene with “Compendiums” like in Dota2.
  • The game will feature automated tournaments, similar to Warcraft 3.


Artifact is based on Dota 2 lore. These are some facts about Artifact’s lore:
  • Dota 2 lore will be expanded.
  • There will be a “lor viewer” where every hero card will deliver a monologue.
  • The story will be told through gameplay and in-game dialogues.
  • First Artifact set will tell a story about a great conflict between 3 fractions: Bronze Legion under command of Tresdin, Red Mist army under command of Sorla Khan and Vhouls whose leader is Rix.
  • Bronze Legion has set an occupation inside of Vhouls city. Legion Commander and Rix are old friends but for some reasons Vhouls start a rebellion against Bronze Legion.

We have a lot information about the gameplay after two press-conferences but bear in mind that lots of things can change when the game will be released.


  • Action will take place on three boards simultaneously
  • You can zoom out and see all three lanes at once or zoom into each lane individually.
  • Each lane has its own mana pool (3/+1 each turn)
  • Each lane contains a tower.
  • There is no limit to a number of units on the board.


  • There are three types of resources in the game: cards, gold, mana.
  • Mana pool is increased by 1 per turn.
  • You get gold by killing creeps (1 gold) or heros (5 gold)


  • There will be 280+ cards in the base set, 44 of them are heroes.
  • There are 4 types of cards: blue (mages and late game), green (supports and summoned units), red (bruisers) and black (assassins or spells that affect other boards)
  • You can include up to 5 heroes in your deck.
  • You can purchase items for gold and only heroes can use items.
  • Improvement cards can be used to buff one of three lanes permanently or for a few turns. For example, there is a card that buffs your Barracks and allows you to spawn one more creep per turn. Improvements cards can be destroyed by items or cards.
  • Summoning cards: Summon a minion on the lane.
  • Spell cards: Cast a spell.
  • Card overlays contain information about status effects.
  • You will be able to buy and sell cards on the Steam Market.

  • Each deck contains at least 40 cards (the deck size is unlimited) and includes 5 hero cards, spell cards, summon cards, etc.
  • You can put up to 3 copies of each card in your deck.
  • Each hero adds 3 copies of a signature card necessarily included. Signature cards are a part of the 40 cards, leading to 15/40 mandatory cards, depending of the heroes.


  • The game is played in turns
  • A turn is composed of a round, a shopping phase, a hero deployment
  • A round is composed of 3 different phases: pre-action phase, action phase, combat phase.
  • A round progress in this order: pre-action phase, action-phase on the lane 1, combat phase on the lane 1, action phase on the lane 2, combat phase on the lane 2, action phase on the lane 3, combat phase on the lane 3.
  • The pre-action phase is different for the 1st round.
  • Pre-action phase (1st round): 1 hero is randomly placed on each lane and 2 creeps are randomly placed among the 3 lanes. Each player draws 5 cards.
  • Pre-action phase (not the 1st round): Each player draws 2 cards. Hand size is unlimited and there is no fatigue, a game mechanic that deals increasing damage to players who have already drawn all cards in their deck and try to draw another card.
  • Action phase: During this phase, players can play cards. A round has 3 action phases, one for each lane. Playing a card give the initiative for the next action phase to the opponent.
  • Combat phase: Each unit on the lane fight its target. Targets for the combat phases are randomly assigned. If there are no targets to hit, a unit will attack a tower, if a tower is destroyed, it will attack the Ancient.
  • Shopping phase: After combat phase, each player can buy items with gold. 3 cards are available: a secret shop item (random item in all the item pool), a deck item (item from the item deck of the player), a consumable (item from the consumables pool)
  • Hero deployment: 2 creeps are randomly placed among the 3 lanes. Each player can deploy available heroes among the 3 lanes.
  • You can win by destroying 2 of 3 enemy towers (40 hp each) or destroy 1 enemy tower and enemy’s Ancient (80hp).

At the start of the game your first three heroes are deployed evenly and randomly on each lane.
  • Two remaining heroes are deployed before round 2 and 3.
  • Each hero has three main attributes: attack, armor and health that you can upgrade by equipping items or using spells.
  • Heroes can have both passive and active spells.
  • When a hero dies, he sits out an entire round and then can be redeployed.

  • Each hero can equip up to three items (one for attack, armor and health).
  • Each item type has a specific icon. For example, a consumable has a different icon from a weapon.
  • Some items have active and passive abilities.
  • More expensive items are more powerful, similar to Dota 2.


  • The game has a minimap in the top-left corner.
  • The minimap shows where heroes are places and health of each tower.
  • The minimap shows if a hero dies in the next combat phase and when he will respawn
  • Current lane is highlighted on the minimap and an arrow between towers shows who will be the first to play for the next line.

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