Everything We Know About Valve’s Artifact Card Game So Far

A few days ago, Valve finally decided to demo its Artifact card game at its Seattle office and unsurprisingly, details about the upcoming card game based on Dota 2 have come in droves.

Below is a gist of what we know about the Artifact card game so far.

Magic: The Gathering / Dota 2

If at first glance the artwork feels very similar to Magic: The Gathering, it’s because Valve has actually been working with veteran MTG designer Richard Garfield on the game since 2014.

Artifact Is Not Going to be F2P

Artifact Card Game

Image via Geoff Keighley

Unlike the premiere MOBA that it was mostly based on, Artifact won’t be free-to-play. Yes, you’ll have to pay for it, in case that wasn’t already clear enough. As of the moment, Valve has yet to officially announce an actual price. The only thing we’re sure of is that players will have the option to purchase card packs on the Steam marketplace, something that Valve themselves confirmed to IGN. Additionally, trading and selling cards via the Steam marketplace is also available.

Valve stressed that their main goal for the Artifact card game is to “steer away from pay-to-win”.

Artifact Is Going to be Complicated

Bad news for anyone expecting Artifact to be less complicated by Dota 2. As PC Gamer reports, Artifact feels like “managing three games of Hearthstone at once”, which makes sense; it was already common knowledge months ago that the board would consist of three different lanes, similar to Dota 2. What most people didn’t know then is that whatever happens in each of these separate lanes can and will affect the others, meaning that each lane will act like a mini-game of sorts.

What we know so far is that the Artifact card game base set will consist of an estimated 280 cards with 44 different heroes.

New Heroes for Dota 2

While Artifact takes most of its heroes directly from Dota 2, it seems that Valve intends to reveal some first on their new card game before adding them to their premiere MOBA later on.

Hawk-eyed observers have already spotted three potentially new Dota 2 heroes in Sorla Khan, Kanna and Rix.

Artifact Card Game

Of the three, Sorla Khan seems like the most “familiar”. At least, according to recent rumours. She seems to be the one recently added to the game files under the codename “Mars”. Lore-wise, Sorla Khan comes from the same tribe as Axe and later became the leader of the Red Mist army after Axe left. Next up is Kanna, whose only relation to the game so far is an interaction between the heroes Juggernaut and Phantom Lancer where the former says, “Azwraith, you have not heard any rumors of Kanna’s return have you?”

Finally, the third new character is Rix. His appearance is akin to that of a humanoid-wolf wielding a sword as his weapon. He is currently alluded to in a voice line by Dark Willow to Legion Commander, saying: “Rix is going to kill you.”

Valve has yet to announce when they plan on rolling out these new Dota 2 heroes.

Artifact Will be a Trading Card Game

Where most card games released today are leaning towards becoming a collectable card game, Artifact is far from it. As mentioned earlier, players will have the option to swap and sell their cards as they please using the Steam Market. This makes it more of a trading card game, a fact that fans of the genre should celebrate. Case in point: trading makes it easier to pull out and sell cards from opened packs that you don’t want, as well as buying individual cards without buying the backs themselves. This also likely means that cards in the Artifact card game will retain the same value even if you had stopped playing, unlike in Blizzard’s own card game Hearthstone where a card’s value drops significantly over time.

Final Thoughts

With all of the design work unique to the Artifact card game (as opposed to taking some from Dota 2) Valve’s foray into the card game genre looks like it’s going smoothly. As of the moment, Artifact is in closed beta. Only industry members and professional Trading Card Game players have access to the game right now.

The public will have access to Artifact soon enough, by the end of 2018. Afterwards, Artifact will see its first $1 million dollar tournament sometime in Q1 of 2019. Furthermore, Artifact is also set to release on iOS and Android sometime in mid-2019, making it the first Source 2 developed title to run on mobile devices.

Are you excited to play Valve’s Artifact card game? What kind of things do you expect from Valve’s take on the card game genre? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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