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Valve Launches The DotA 2 Card Game Artifact

DotA 2 is the second most popular multiplayer online battle arena game in terms of active players, and the uncontested leader when it comes to tournament prizes. It is the flagship MOBA game of Valve Corporation and because of its immense popularity, it served as a source of inspiration for a brand-new digital collectible card game. Developed and published by the same company, Artifact was designed by Richard Garfield, the creator of the popular Magic: The Gathering game.


Image Credits: Valve Corporation

Play Artifact on Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux

Valve Corporation was quick to release the game on all three operating systems in November and plans on bringing the digital collectible card game to mobile devices. In 2019, players will be able to enjoy this game on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, but they can already try it on desktops and laptops. The steep learning curve can pose some problems for new players, but the Dota 2 community prides itself in being 10 nations and always up for a challenge.

Artifact is played across three distinct boards, not surprisingly, since the game was inspired by the three lanes of DotA 2’s map. Players compete against their peers in a 1v1 matches and they use characters and spells that work the same as their counterparts from the MOBA game. The goal is to defeat the opponent, by destroying the most important structure in its base, namely the “Ancient”. The other victory condition is to destroy two towers, which is an alternative way to triumph, unavailable in Dota 2.

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The More Cards, the Merrier

A deck of Artifact cards consists of 40 and among them players are guaranteed to have five heroes. Immediately after the official release date, a total of seven decks of cards were made available, so players can use almost 300 cards already. Depending on the effects they have on the board, as well as their rarity, these cards are grouped and colored accordingly. Players will use these cards alternatively, so after they make their move, they have to patiently wait for the opponent to react.

In complete accord with the Dota 2 game mechanics, the Artifact gameplay is centered on the three lanes. After all the available cards have been played on all three lanes, players move on to the next stage, which goes by the name of “Shopping Phase”. This is when players decide how they will spend the gold earned over the previous fights, with several items and equipment options. In the absence of a single player mode, players can learn the ropes and get familiar with the game mechanics in a match against the AI.

After being announced at The International 2017, Artifact has finally arrived and this game is definitely here to stay. This is not a free game, but one that shows a lot of promise and can provide an excellent distraction for DotA 2 fans who seek something different.

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