Join / Log In
X
Cards
Decks
News
Abaddon Icon Abaddon Act of Defiance Icon Act of Defiance Aghanim's Sanctum Icon Aghanim's Sanctum Allseeing One's Favor Icon Allseeing One's Favor Altar of the Mad Moon Icon Altar of the Mad Moon ...And One For Me Icon ...And One For Me Annihilation Icon Annihilation Aphotic Shield Icon Aphotic Shield Apotheosis Blade Icon Apotheosis Blade Arcane Assault Icon Arcane Assault Arcane Censure Icon Arcane Censure Arm the Rebellion Icon Arm the Rebellion Assassin's Apprentice Icon Assassin's Apprentice Assassin's Shadow Icon Assassin's Shadow Assassin's Veil Icon Assassin's Veil Assassinate Icon Assassinate Assault Ladders Icon Assault Ladders Assured Destruction Icon Assured Destruction Astral Imprisonment Icon Astral Imprisonment At Any Cost Icon At Any Cost Avernus' Blessing Icon Avernus' Blessing Axe Icon Axe Ball Lightning Icon Ball Lightning Barbed Mail Icon Barbed Mail Barracks Icon Barracks Battlefield Control Icon Battlefield Control Beastmaster Icon Beastmaster Bellow Icon Bellow Berserker's Call Icon Berserker's Call Better Late Than Never Icon Better Late Than Never Bitter Enemies Icon Bitter Enemies Blade of the Vigil Icon Blade of the Vigil Blink Dagger Icon Blink Dagger Blood Rage Icon Blood Rage Bloodseeker Icon Bloodseeker Bolt of Damocles Icon Bolt of Damocles Book of the Dead Icon Book of the Dead Bounty Hunter Icon Bounty Hunter Bracers of Sacrifice Icon Bracers of Sacrifice Bristleback Icon Bristleback Broadsword Icon Broadsword Bronze Legionnaire Icon Bronze Legionnaire Burning Oil Icon Burning Oil Buying Time Icon Buying Time Call the Reserves Icon Call the Reserves Caught Unprepared Icon Caught Unprepared Centaur Hunter Icon Centaur Hunter Centaur Warrunner Icon Centaur Warrunner Chain Frost Icon Chain Frost Chainmail Icon Chainmail Champion of the Ancient Icon Champion of the Ancient Cheating Death Icon Cheating Death Chen Icon Chen Claszureme Hourglass Icon Claszureme Hourglass Claymore Icon Claymore Cleansing Rite Icon Cleansing Rite Clear the Deck Icon Clear the Deck Cloak of Endless Carnage Icon Cloak of Endless Carnage Collateral Damage Icon Collateral Damage Combat Training Icon Combat Training Compel Icon Compel Conflagration Icon Conflagration Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault Corrosive Mist Icon Corrosive Mist Coup de Grace Icon Coup de Grace Crippling Blow Icon Crippling Blow Crystal Maiden Icon Crystal Maiden Cunning Plan Icon Cunning Plan Curse of Atrophy Icon Curse of Atrophy Cursed Satyr Icon Cursed Satyr Dark Seer Icon Dark Seer Debbi the Cunning Icon Debbi the Cunning Defend the Weak Icon Defend the Weak Defensive Bloom Icon Defensive Bloom Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance Demagicking Maul Icon Demagicking Maul Diabolic Revelation Icon Diabolic Revelation Dimensional Portal Icon Dimensional Portal Dirty Deeds Icon Dirty Deeds Disciple of Nevermore Icon Disciple of Nevermore Divided We Stand Icon Divided We Stand Divine Intervention Icon Divine Intervention Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose Double Edge Icon Double Edge Drow Ranger Icon Drow Ranger Duel Icon Duel Earthshaker Icon Earthshaker Echo Slam Icon Echo Slam Eclipse Icon Eclipse Emissary of the Quorum Icon Emissary of the Quorum Empower Icon Empower Enchantress Icon Enchantress Enough Magic! Icon Enough Magic! Enrage Icon Enrage Escape Route Icon Escape Route Farvhan the Dreamer Icon Farvhan the Dreamer Fight Through the Pain Icon Fight Through the Pain Fighting Instinct Icon Fighting Instinct Fog of War Icon Fog of War Foresight Icon Foresight Forward Charge Icon Forward Charge Fountain Flask Icon Fountain Flask Fractured Timeline Icon Fractured Timeline Friendly Fire Icon Friendly Fire Frostbite Icon Frostbite Fur-lined Mantle Icon Fur-lined Mantle Gank Icon Gank Glyph of Confusion Icon Glyph of Confusion God's Strength Icon God's Strength Golden Ticket Icon Golden Ticket Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee Grazing Shot Icon Grazing Shot Gust Icon Gust Hand of God Icon Hand of God Healing Salve Icon Healing Salve Heartstopper Aura Icon Heartstopper Aura Hellbear Crippler Icon Hellbear Crippler Helm of the Dominator Icon Helm of the Dominator Hero's Cape Icon Hero's Cape Heroic Resolve Icon Heroic Resolve Hip Fire Icon Hip Fire Homefield Advantage Icon Homefield Advantage Horn of the Alpha Icon Horn of the Alpha Hound of War Icon Hound of War Howling Mind Icon Howling Mind Ignite Icon Ignite Incarnation of Selemene Icon Incarnation of Selemene Intimidation Icon Intimidation Ion Shell Icon Ion Shell Iron Branch Protection Icon Iron Branch Protection Iron Fog Goldmine Icon Iron Fog Goldmine J'Muy the Wise Icon J'Muy the Wise Jasper Daggers Icon Jasper Daggers Juke Icon Juke Kanna Icon Kanna Keefe the Bold Icon Keefe the Bold Keenfolk Golem Icon Keenfolk Golem Keenfolk Musket Icon Keenfolk Musket Keenfolk Plate Icon Keenfolk Plate Keenfolk Turret Icon Keenfolk Turret Kraken Shell Icon Kraken Shell Leather Armor Icon Leather Armor Legion Commander Icon Legion Commander Legion Standard Bearer Icon Legion Standard Bearer Lich Icon Lich Lightning Strike Icon Lightning Strike Lion Icon Lion Lodestone Demolition Icon Lodestone Demolition Lost in Time Icon Lost in Time Loyal Beast Icon Loyal Beast Luna Icon Luna Lycan Icon Lycan Magnus Icon Magnus Mana Drain Icon Mana Drain March of the Machines Icon March of the Machines Marrowfell Brawler Icon Marrowfell Brawler Mazzie Icon Mazzie Meepo Icon Meepo Melee Creep Icon Melee Creep Mercenary Exiles Icon Mercenary Exiles Messenger Rookery Icon Messenger Rookery Mist of Avernus Icon Mist of Avernus Murder Plot Icon Murder Plot Mystic Flare Icon Mystic Flare Necrophos Icon Necrophos Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward New Orders Icon New Orders No Accident Icon No Accident Nyctasha's Guard Icon Nyctasha's Guard Obliterating Orb Icon Obliterating Orb Oglodi Catapult Icon Oglodi Catapult Oglodi Vandal Icon Oglodi Vandal Ogre Conscript Icon Ogre Conscript Ogre Corpse Tosser Icon Ogre Corpse Tosser Ogre Magi Icon Ogre Magi Omniknight Icon Omniknight Outworld Devourer Icon Outworld Devourer Path of the Bold Icon Path of the Bold Path of the Cunning Icon Path of the Cunning Path of the Dreamer Icon Path of the Dreamer Path of the Wise Icon Path of the Wise Payday Icon Payday Phantom Assassin Icon Phantom Assassin Phase Boots Icon Phase Boots Pick a Fight Icon Pick a Fight Pick Off Icon Pick Off Pit Fighter of Quoidge Icon Pit Fighter of Quoidge Plague Ward Icon Plague Ward Platemail Icon Platemail Poaching Knife Icon Poaching Knife Poised to Strike Icon Poised to Strike Potion of Knowledge Icon Potion of Knowledge Prellex Icon Prellex Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak Primal Roar Icon Primal Roar Prowler Vanguard Icon Prowler Vanguard Pugna Icon Pugna Rampaging Hellbear Icon Rampaging Hellbear Ravenhook Icon Ravenhook Ravenous Mass Icon Ravenous Mass Raze Icon Raze Rebel Decoy Icon Rebel Decoy Rebel Instigator Icon Rebel Instigator Red Mist Maul Icon Red Mist Maul Red Mist Pillager Icon Red Mist Pillager Relentless Pursuit Icon Relentless Pursuit Relentless Zombie Icon Relentless Zombie Remote Detonation Icon Remote Detonation Rend Armor Icon Rend Armor Restoration Effort Icon Restoration Effort Revtel Convoy Icon Revtel Convoy Revtel Investments Icon Revtel Investments Revtel Signet Ring Icon Revtel Signet Ring Ring of Tarrasque Icon Ring of Tarrasque Rising Anger Icon Rising Anger Ristul Emblem Icon Ristul Emblem Rix Icon Rix Rolling Storm Icon Rolling Storm Roseleaf Druid Icon Roseleaf Druid Roseleaf Rejuvenator Icon Roseleaf Rejuvenator Roseleaf Wall Icon Roseleaf Wall Routed Icon Routed Rumusque Blessing Icon Rumusque Blessing Rumusque Vestments Icon Rumusque Vestments Satyr Duelist Icon Satyr Duelist Satyr Magician Icon Satyr Magician Savage Wolf Icon Savage Wolf Selemene's Favor Icon Selemene's Favor Self Sabotage Icon Self Sabotage Selfish Cleric Icon Selfish Cleric Seraphim Shield Icon Seraphim Shield Shield of Aquila Icon Shield of Aquila Shield of Basilius Icon Shield of Basilius Shiva's Guard Icon Shiva's Guard Shop Deed Icon Shop Deed Short Sword Icon Short Sword Sister of the Veil Icon Sister of the Veil Skywrath Mage Icon Skywrath Mage Slay Icon Slay Smash Their Defenses! Icon Smash Their Defenses! Smeevil Armsmaster Icon Smeevil Armsmaster Smeevil Blacksmith Icon Smeevil Blacksmith Sniper Icon Sniper Sorla Khan Icon Sorla Khan Soul of Spring Icon Soul of Spring Sow Venom Icon Sow Venom Spot Weakness Icon Spot Weakness Spring the Trap Icon Spring the Trap Stars Align Icon Stars Align Steal Strength Icon Steal Strength Steam Cannon Icon Steam Cannon Steel Reinforcement Icon Steel Reinforcement Stonehall Cloak Icon Stonehall Cloak Stonehall Elite Icon Stonehall Elite Stonehall Pike Icon Stonehall Pike Stonehall Plate Icon Stonehall Plate Storm Spirit Icon Storm Spirit Strafing Run Icon Strafing Run Sucker Punch Icon Sucker Punch Sven Icon Sven Temple of War Icon Temple of War The Cover of Night Icon The Cover of Night The Oath Icon The Oath The Omexe Arena Icon The Omexe Arena The Tyler Estate Icon The Tyler Estate Thundergod's Wrath Icon Thundergod's Wrath Thunderhide Alpha Icon Thunderhide Alpha Thunderhide Pack Icon Thunderhide Pack Thunderstorm Icon Thunderstorm Tidehunter Icon Tidehunter Timbersaw Icon Timbersaw Time of Triumph Icon Time of Triumph Tinker Icon Tinker Tower Barrage Icon Tower Barrage Town Portal Scroll Icon Town Portal Scroll Track Icon Track Traveler's Cloak Icon Traveler's Cloak Treant Protector Icon Treant Protector Trebuchets Icon Trebuchets Tresdin's Standards Icon Tresdin's Standards Troll Soothsayer Icon Troll Soothsayer Tyler Estate Censor Icon Tyler Estate Censor Unearthed Secrets Icon Unearthed Secrets Unsupervised Artillery Icon Unsupervised Artillery Untested Grunt Icon Untested Grunt Ursa Icon Ursa Venomancer Icon Venomancer Ventriloquy Icon Ventriloquy Verdant Refuge Icon Verdant Refuge Vesture of the Tyrant Icon Vesture of the Tyrant Vhoul Martyr Icon Vhoul Martyr Viper Icon Viper Viper Strike Icon Viper Strike Viscous Nasal Goo Icon Viscous Nasal Goo Watchtower Icon Watchtower Whirling Death Icon Whirling Death Whispers of Madness Icon Whispers of Madness Wingfall Hammer Icon Wingfall Hammer Winter Wyvern Icon Winter Wyvern Winter's Curse Icon Winter's Curse Wrath of Gold Icon Wrath of Gold Zeus Icon Zeus Zombie Icon Zombie Leaked Artifact Cards and their DotA Counterparts The Basics of Artifact 5 Reasons Valve's DotA Card Game is Good News for DotA Players Artifact Basics: Getting to Know the Card Types Artifact Basics: Letting Your Heroes Die Artifact Basics: The Ins and Outs of Tower Destruction Artifact Basics: Understanding Items Artifact Beta Date Discovered Artifact Deck Builder by ArtifactFire - Create Your Own Artifact Deck! Artifact Deck Tech: 4 Red, 1 Black Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Black Red Hyper Aggro Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Black/Blue Economy Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Blue Green Swarm Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Blue Green Swarm Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Green Black Oath Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Green Black Ramp Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Mono Black Aggro Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Mono Blue Control Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Mono Green Ramp Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Mono Red Aggro Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Mono Red Midrange Decklist Artifact Deck Tech: Red Green Ramp Decklist Artifact Discord Bot - The Power of ArtifactFire's Database Right in Your Discord Server! Artifact Hero Tier List - Constructed Artifact Item Cards and Valve's Innovations Artifact Launch Party! Giving Away 50 copies of Artifact Artifact Market Data and Card Page Updates Artifact Mechanics - What We Know So Far Artifact Turn Order - Phases of an Artifact Game Artifact Twitch Extension - ArtifactFire Companion Artifact: Balance, Skill Rating, and Leveling Changes ArtifactFire Media: Video and Images from the Artifact World ArtifactFire Q&A: Questions Answered by the Artifact Community Blink Dagger: Playing to What You Can't See Content Creator Job Opening Deck Building 101 - How to Build an Artifact Deck Game Modes and Growing Your Collection Learning the Colors of Artifact New Artifact Cards Revealed at PAX and PAX Deck Lists Takeaways from the Artifact Deck Builder Leak The Archetypes of Artifact: Aggro The Archetypes of Artifact: Combo The Archetypes of Artifact: Control The Archetypes of Artifact: Midrange The Archetypes of Artifact: Ramp The Importance of Initiative in Artifact Understanding Artifact's Cross-Lane Cards Utilizing Aggression in Artifact What is Artifact? - Differences Between Artifact and Existing Card Games When NOT to play cards in Artifact

Join the leading Artifact deck building
site to share your ideas and passion
with fellow players!

Create an MFN Account


Or

Artifact Fire

Artifact Basics: Understanding Items

January 22nd, 2019 | jscaliseok

Introduction


There are many moving parts to a game of Artifact. Some, like the heroes, are easy to notice and track. Others are much more subtle. Such is the case with items. Item cards, while plentiful, are often taken for granted when both piloting and building a deck. You throw the classic “good ones” into your build, maybe have one card off here and there, and you’re good to go.

While that mindset can work from time to time, every card in your deck needs to have a set purpose. You don’t just want to pick an item because it looks good or someone else told you to. Rather, you need to know why it’s in your deck and how to use it.

Understanding Items



There are two key aspects to break down when choosing items for your deck: abilities and cost. Both of those are incredibly important to understand, and they each need to be taken into account at the same time.

An item may have a great ability, but that doesn’t matter if you’ll never be able to afford it. On the other hand, a low cost item might be tempting in a deck that doesn’t focus on gold, but you never want a lackluster or so-so card taking up valuable slots. Artifact is a value game, and every single one of your cards needs to be furthering or building to that value.

Items are not in your deck to win the game on their own. Though some (such as Horn of the Alpha) can push you to victory, most of the time they will support or help put together an already solid strategy. That can mean helping you end the game in dramatic fashion, enable a quick start, or allow your heroes to do things they normally wouldn't be able to.

Analyzing Abilities



While abilities and cost are both incredibly important towards putting together your nine items, abilities often come first. That is to say, you first want to figure out what you need from your item deck. Do you want extra finishers? Maybe quick damage or a way to buff up under-statted heroes?

Such questions must be taken into account when choosing your item deck. Some abilities are simply too powerful or too broad to ignore (such as is the case with Blink Dagger) but for the most part you need to have a specific reason for picking one item over another. Even Dagger, which is an auto-include in most popular builds, has a reason it's chosen: it breaks one of the games fundamental rules.

The best way to do this is to understand your deck’s main focus and then build from there. For instance, does your deck need items to win? Are they the main plan (as is the case with Black/Red Gold or Blue/Black Economy) or are they simply there for a bit of extra support? Knowing this will give you your potential choices, which you can then break down based on how much they will cost you in game.

A Well-Balanced Diet



Once you understand what you want (or what you need) from your item deck, the next step is calculating the cost.

Gold is vital when picking items. Not in the sense of “I need x cards that cost x gold” but rather in the sense of a curve. As with the main deck, you want to have a balance of different cost cards. Some will only cost a few gold, some will cost quite a bit, and some will sit in the middle. Not only does that ensure you can buy different items at different parts of the game, but it also increases your overall consistency during a match.

Not all decks operate on the curve principle, but it’s a good place to start. Artifact is a game where card advantage is critical, and items are the most accessible form out there.

Simply put, more item cards mean more things you can do on your turn. There will be plenty of times in a game of Artifact where you want to stretch out a turn or extend the play without passing. Playing items is a great way to make that happen. Even if you're out of mana you can still use them to extend a lane or force your opponent's hand.

If your shop is filled with expensive items you often won’t get one for the first few turns, which can really set you back during the game. Though you can always try to lean on the Secret or Consumable shop to round out your deck, those choices are random and often sit well below the curve.

The Budget Options



Cheap items often have lackluster or straightforward abilities compared to some of the more expensive ones, but that does not mean they are bad. In fact, some of them are key parts of powerful decks.

Take a look at Traveler’s Cloak). The three-cost item is one of the most popular in the game due to how well it meshes efficient cost with the ability. Health is the most important stat for heroes, and being able to drop an extra four onto one of your's can save it during the early game or midgame. The longer your hero lives, the more chances you have to cast key spells and fight for the board.

Cheap options are also incredibly important because you need to get through your item deck. That may sound strange, but always remember that the items you see between rounds are random. There may be a big, powerful play you want to have access to, but it may not come up at the right time.

Having a few (typically two or three) incredibly cheap items to remove from your deck early on when you don't have a lot of gold gives you more chances to grab what you want. That is easy to forget when picking items, but it is vital towards helping you later on in the game.

The Top End



On the other end of the Artifact item spectrum, we have the expensive choices. The top end looks different from deck to deck. Some builds cap out at seven or ten gold, while others can really stretch out their budget to incredible finishers like Vesture of the Tyrant.

As with the lower curve, it always helps to know how much gold you typically earn during a game. Most gold dedicated decks can look into the nineteen or twenty five cost, while midrange lists want to stick around the teens. Faster decks can get even lower than that.

Either way, it always helps to have a few items you can sink your gold into. You never know when you’re going to get a burst of money, and you want to be able to use it. There are many unique/powerful abilities in the shop, and they don’t come cheap.

The one thing to note about the more expensive items is they have a wide range of abilities. Do not be afraid to change them up and test different combinations. Some decks may be able to take advantage of Nyctasha’s Guard, while others would vastly prefer Apotheosis Blade. Mixing and matching is often a great strategy until you find the ones that work the best for you and your meta.

Extra Ability, Extra Time



One last aspect to mention about items is how they help you pace the game. Picking items with straightforward stat boosts is fine and well, but it can also be important to get ones that have timers or specific triggered abilities.

The reason for that is because timed cards help you stretch out turns and pace the game. Being able to play an item gives you an extra draw when you want to stay in a lane but not pass, and that gets furthered for items that you can click.

This is a small aspect that won’t affect everyone, but it does come up enough where you want to keep it in mind. Abilities (what an item does) and cost should always come first, but if you find yourself being run or bullied out of lanes, timers are a great way to simply have more things to do. Just make sure that the abilities you’re using are worth the investment.

Conclusion


Many people put a lot of time into deck building and minimal time into choosing their items. Yes, there are some powerful go-to's, but that’s no excuse to get lazy. Artifact is a game where every card counts, and that goes for the ones you buy between rounds. If you’re throwing an item into your deck just because, or if you’re going with one because it seems good, it might be time to reevaluate your options.
(Last Updated: January 24th, 2019)

You need to log in before commenting.

Loading Comments...
Load More Comments

ArtifactFire is a community of Artifact deck builders. Use our card database, wiki, and news to find and create top Artifact decks!

Copyright © 2019 ArtifactFire | All Rights Reserved