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Artifact Officially Launched. Here’s What You Need to Know. – ArtiGaming
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Artifact Officially Launched. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Artifact Officially Launched. Here’s What You Need to Know.

After a long wait, Artifact is now officially launched and available for purchase on Steam across all regions for PC, Linux and Mac. There have been some significant changes from Beta, while other things stayed the same, so here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about Artifact before you purchase it.

Artifact costs $20 and this is what you get for it:

Artifact costs $20 as an initial purchase and strays away from the more popular free-to-play model used by Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering Arena. For the initial $20 purchase you get access to:

2 Starter Decks

The 2 starter decks consist of 45 cards each, and are identical for all new players. The full card lists for them are officially displayed by valve, and you can check them out here if you’re curious which cards and heroes are included:

Red/Green Brawler

Blue/Black Control

10 Card Packs

Card packs consist of 12 cards each, with a guaranteed Rare card in each pack, and a guaranteed Hero and 2 items. They represent the only way of acquiring new cards, and additional cards can be purchased for $1.99.

5 Event Tickets

Event tickets grant you access to play mini-tournaments with other competitive players that award prizes such as packs and other event tickets. Additional event tickets can be purchased in bundles of 5 for $4.99.

A Free Month of Dota 2 Plus

An additional bonus, not mentioned previously, is that every Artifact purchase grants you a token for a free month of Dota 2 Plus. If you’re a fan of the Dota 2 game, on which Artifact is based on, you’ll probably love this small bonus.

Artifact Game Modes

Artifact Game Modes

Once you purchased Artifact and got your decks and packs, it’s time to explore the various ways you can play Artifact. For starters, there are  2 main formats that are used in Artifact:

Constructed – means playing Artifact with a deck built with cards from your collection, where you can use any cards available to construct your deck.

Draft – it’s a limited format mode, where you open a fixed set of packs and you try to build a deck on-the-fly from the cards opened in those packs.

We’ll be making references to those formats when listing the game modes, so it’s important to know what they mean.

Game modes in Artifact are organized in 3 Categories

Social Play

Social Play refers to playing with your friends, or in user-created tournaments.

User-created tournaments require a minimum of 4 players, and all modes are enabled both Draft and Constructed, as well as additional modes with special rules allowed by the tournament admin, such as only Commons/Uncommons cards, or only mono-color cards.

Playing with your friends, however, forces you to play Constructed mode. There is no 1vs1 Draft mode versus a friend at the moment.

There is a nice featured where you can share any of your decks with your friends so they can use it againts you. If you’re playing with friends who don’t have a significant collection of Artifact cards, this comes in very handy.

A big downside at the moment is that there is no way to spectate your friends playing in a 1v1 match. But you can spectate them in a tournament game.

Casual Play

Casual Play refers to playing versus bots, or other casual players in both Draft and Constructed, using Global Matchmaking. You can play for free as much as you want, but there are no rewards for winning games and no progression system, no MMR or ranked ladder are enabled.

From launch until the 14th of December, there is a promotional gauntlet running (a gauntlet is a mini-tournament where you play until 2 losses or 5 wins) that you can play for free using Call-to-Arms preconstructed decks. It allows you to play with decks that you don’t own, and they are a lot of fun since everyone plays with those decks, so the power level is pretty balanced.

Expert Play

Expert Plays refers to mini-tournaments – called gauntlets in Artifact –  that require an Event ticket to play but reward real prizes such as cards and event tickets. These are the mode for competitive players, and you can choose any of the following 3 modes to play:

Expert Constructed Gauntlet – play until 2 losses or 5 wins with a deck built from your collection. Get prizes depending on your win/loss score.

Costs 1 Event Ticket to play and the prize distribution is:

3 Wins: 1 Event Ticket
4 Wins: 1 Event Ticket, 1 Pack
5 Wins: 1 Event Ticket, 2 Packs

Phantom Draft Gauntlet – play until 2 losses or 5 wins with a deck built from 5 opened packs. Get prizes depending on your win/loss score.

Costs 1 Event Ticket to play and the prize distribution is:

3 Wins: 1 Event Ticket
4 Wins: 1 Event Ticket, 1 Pack
5 Wins: 1 Event Ticket, 2 Packs

Keeper Draft Gauntlet – play until 2 losses or 5 wins with a deck built from 5 opened packs. You get to keep all the cards you drafted in this mode and they are permanently added to your collection. You also get better prizes depending on your score.

Costs 2 Event tickets and 5 packs to enter the prize distribution is:

3 Wins: 2 Event Tickets, 1 Pack
4 Wins: 2 Event Tickets, 2 Packs
5 Wins: 2 Event Tickets, 3 Packs

The Marketplace for Buying/Selling Cards

Opening packs is not the only way you can get new cards in Artifact. You can buy any particular card you want from other users (and sell your own unwanted cards as well) through the Steam Marketplace for Artifact.

Artifact Marketplace

The prices of cards are determined by user’s demand and supply, like in a free market economy, so the prices are in a constant fluctuation. However, Steam does charge a 15% tax for any card bought/sold through their marketplace.

There is also an in-game integration that allows you to buy/sell cards in bulk directly from the game.

Additional cards that you own, and you’re not able to sell on the marketplace, can be converted into Event tickets at a rate of 20 cards into 1 Event ticket.

You can find the Artifact Marketplace on Steam here, to check the current prices of cards.

Conclusion

Artifact is a ton of fun, and while we focused on the game modes and economic aspects in this article, we strongly encourage you to buy and play the game since there is a lot to do only with your initial $20 purchase. We’ll be following up with gameplay information and guides soon.

See you in the game.

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