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5 Reasons Valve's DotA Card Game is Good News for DotA Players

May 17th, 2018 | Hades4u

A DotA Card Game? What?

Valve's upcoming game, Artifact, is a digital card game inspired by DotA 2 (that happened to shred the hopes and dreams of Half Life 3 believers when it was revealed at The International 2017), is going to be released later this year. When Artifact was first announced, the DotA 2 enthusiasts weren't too pleased about the whole "DotA Card Game" concept. Despite skeptics, we believe the DotA community should be excited for Valve's latest creation, and we’re going to tell you why.


Artifact Cards Reveal Potential DotA 2 Heroes

If you look at some in-game screenshots it won’t take long to tell this is a DotA Card Game. You’ll notice familiar faces like Phantom Assassin, Axe, Sven, and many heroes we know quite well. However, you’ll also noticed some heroes that we've never seen! This is great news because it means that the world of DotA 2 is way larger than we currently know, and it’s likely that hero cards in Artifact will eventually make their way into DotA 2.

Sorla Khan, Ruthless Commander

One of the new heroes is Sorla Khan, who seems to be related to Axe, Pangolier and Juggernaut, as suggested by their voice lines in DotA 2. She replaced Axe as the leader of the Red Mist army, and is renowned for being violent and unreasonable, even for an Oglodi (Axe, Disruptor, Lifestealer and Warlock’s race).
  1. Dark Willow to Disruptor: "You're much more reasonable than Sorla." [clip]

  2. Pangolier to Disruptor: "I apologize for lumping you in with the Red Mist Horde... you're nothing like Sorla Khan." [clip]

  3. Pangolier to Axe: "After fighting Sorla Khan, you are a sorry disappointment." [clip]

  4. Juggernaut (Arcana) to Axe: "Axe, when this battle is over we must discuss what to do about Sorla Khan." [clip]

  5. Pudge (Arcana) to Axe: "Sorla can have your skin. But that meat's mine." [clip]

Rix, Leader of the Vhouls

Another new hero is Rix, who is a wolf-like humanoid. Rix is the leader of the Vhouls, and he has rebelled against The Bronze Legion (and Legion Commander) in order to reclaim his home city. This city is probably Roseleaf, based on voice lines from Dark Willow and Pangolier referencing Legion Commander. Dark Willow even mentions in one of her voice lines that Rix is planning to kill Legion Commander.
  1. Dark Willow to Legion Commander: "Rix is going to kill you." [clip]

  2. Pangolier to Legion Commander: "You reaped what you sowed in Roseleaf Tresdin, you will get no sympathy from me!" [clip]

  3. Dark Willow to Legion Commander: "I found this in what was left of Roseleaf, The Bronze Legion thought they were going to fend off the Red Mist hordes. They weren’t ready for what awaited them." [clip]

Kanna, Mysterious Figure

The final hero that has been teased is Kanna - who is a mysterious hero that has met Juggernaut and Phantom Lancer in the past. Kanna has a horned demon-like appearance, but not much is known about her. The only voice line we have referencing her simply suggests that her whereabouts are unknown. We haven't seen her card in-game yet, meaning she might only be a concept for now, but she will surely make an appearance in Artifact sooner or later!
  1. Juggernaut (Arcana) to Phantom Lancer: "Azwraith, you haven't heard any rumors of Kanna's return have you?" [clip]

This is only 3 examples, but who knows how many more new heroes will appear in Artifact! At the very least, having a DotA Card Game will teach us a lot more about the heroes and world of DotA, which leads us to our next point...


More DotA 2 Lore and Character Interactions

Previously, everything we knew about our heroes was from small lore snippets and descriptions of cosmetic items. Artifact isn’t even out yet, and we’ve already got a lot of new information about the world of DotA 2.

Artifact’s initial launch is going to focus on a 3 way battle between The Red Mist army, the Vhouls, and The Bronze Legion. Roseleaf, the Vhoul home city, was under occupation by The Bronze Legion. When the Red Mist Army laid siege to Roseleaf Rix took his chance to rebel and reclaim his people’s homeland. Artifact is going to be a true DotA card game that blazes a trail for progressing hero stories, rather than riding DotA’s coattails. The developers have even stated the outcome of this battle will affect future Artifact cards and that heroes will reappear in new forms.

I’m personally excited to find out more about The Red Mist, the Oglodi army that invaded the Thousand Tarns - a land inhabited by a demon worshipping culture, as well as by demons posing as human beings. The campaign against the Tarnsmen lasted for seven years, until their demonic war god was slain by the Red Mist army. During this time the army was led by Axe, who proclaimed himself as the general of The Red Mist after climbing the ranks by defeating each of his rivals.

Here is where Sorla Khan comes into play. Apparently, she has usurped Axe's command and has taken it for herself - becoming the leader of The Red Mist. Sorla is considered to be violent and unreasonable, even for an Oglodi, which leads Juggernaut to work with Axe in an attempt to end her reign of terror.

On the other side, Stonehall was once a mighty military city. One day it was suddenly attacked by Underlord and his Abyssal Horde, and only The Bronze Legion, led by Tresdin - the Legion Commander, was close enough to answer the call. The battle was gruesome, and though Tresdin managed to drive off the demonic invaders there was little left of the city to call home. Tresdin clearly has a lot to prove, and she’s going to give it her all to have a military success in Roseleaf.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to see what new lore is unveiled when Artifact is released.


Artifact Will Not Be Pay-to-Win, Just Like DotA 2

Valve’s CEO, Gabe(n) Newell, wearing sandals and ready for business, has mentioned multiple times that the main objective of Artifact’s game design is to avoid a pay-to-win system - which is only appropriate for a DotA Card Game. Valve has made it clear they’re jumping through hoops in order to make the main focus of Artifact playing and getting better at the game. The majority of card power will be focused on common cards, ensuring that all players have access to efficient and valuable cards, while rarer cards will be focused on niche playstyles or adding spice to your deck.

Consider how well Valve has done with DotA 2 on this matter. Even though micro-transactions have been around since day 1 of the game, they have never influenced the game-play itself and have never offered players advantages (although, some cosmetics make you feel so cool you feel like you’re playing better). The game has always been the same, fair for everyone, no matter how much money you have invested into the game.

Artifact, thankfully, is going to have a marketplace where cards can be bought and traded. We all know the feeling when we almost have the perfect deck, but that one card is missing that would bring the deck together. Luckily, that's not going to be a problem since we can simply get cards from the market, or better yet, we can trade our own extra cards with other players and friends. That's what a real trading card game should be!


$1,000,000 Artifact Kick-Off Tournament

The luckiest of us have witnessed The International 2011, when DotA 2 was seen for the first time. It was incredibly exciting, and it was something new - something that was needed for eSports to become a brand new market. Artifact will get the same kind of grand-opening, with a $1,000,000 tournament featuring card game pros of various card games.

The revenue generated from Artifact will also be invested into competitions, much like crowd-funding in DotA 2 from Compendiums and Battle Passes. As this DotA card game community grows, so will its prize support, in true Valve fashion!

Only Valve launches their games with million dollar tournaments, and we get to climb aboard the hype-train from day one.


Artifact Will Have Its Own Icefrog - Richard Garfield

Valve has always made great decisions about who they choose to bring onto their team. Consider the times when DotA was a simple Warcraft III mod, and Valve picked up Icefrog to create a standalone game that is now one of the top competitive games in the market. That’s basically what’s happening with Richard Garfield. Garfield has made a lot of card games, one of them you might have heard of - just a little game called Magic: The Gathering. In an interview with Eurogamer Garfield states that he’s had this game concept in his head for years, and has been itching to realize his vision for a card game that will be optimized for digital play. Luckily for us, that game gets to be a DotA card game!

GabeNewell, has compared Garfield to IceFrog, stating that he loves to build games with great minds. He sees Garfield as “the shiniest saw or pickaxe imaginable,” and is excited about building the best card game possible with him. Valve wants to create the best TCG, and they certainly picked the right man for the job!

Everybody knows that Valve makes great games. Artifact is going to really be something new in the TCG world and the perfect fit for those looking to broaden their card game experience. We have high hopes for the fledgling DotA card game and can't wait to get our hands on it! Everything we know sounds amazing so far and we think it’s going to bring a lot to the table for DotA 2 fans and TCG players alike.
(Last Updated: January 15th, 2020)

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