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Artifact Fire

Artifact Hero Tier List - Constructed

November 16th, 2018 | jscaliseok

Introduction


Artifact, like any MOBA, is all about the heroes. While there are many card types in the game, heroes command your deck, choose what cards you play, and control lanes.

Every hero in the game has stats (attack, armor, health), an ability, as well as a signature card you must play in their deck.

This tier list breaks down the best and worst ones for each color.

The Tier List


S


A


B


C

Last Updated: Dec 4 2018

Red


S Tier

Abilities are for suckers. Axe may not come with anything beyond his stats, but he still makes the first red hero on our tier list because of his incredibly powerful body. The seven attack kills just about everything, and the massive eleven health tanks attack after attack. On top of that, his two armor makes him survive a ton of different things.

That large body makes him strong enough on his own, but his signature card, Berserker’s Call, is extremely powerful as well. All red heroes have big bodies and being able to attack three units at once allows you to clear out opposing heroes and lanes with ease.


A Tier

Right behind Axe is Legion Commander. Her body is solid on all counts, and Duel makes for an incredibly strong signature card. As red heroes have such big bodies, the ability to clear a weaker hero or creep out of any lane for two mana is incredible.

The extra two attack from her signature ability also gives her eight attack to go with the eight health. Though she could easily be S tier, she kicks off A because she, like all heroes, just can't measure up to Axe.

Continuing the trend of strong bodies is Bristleback. This red hero has eight attack and a whopping twelve health. Not only that, but his passive ability Barroom Brawler helps make use of those stats by continually giving him more and more armor to work with.

Viscous Nasal Goo is pretty lackluster, which is why he falls to third. However, few heroes do combat better. That is the reason he's a key part of so many top-tier Black Red builds.

Beastmaster is the last red hero to see serious constructed play so far. He’s a solid body and his ability to summon a Loyal Beast is an extremely handy way to block lanes or apply pressure. On top of that, Primal Roar is extremely handy. Not only can it completely blank your opponent when you have priority, but it also enables you to set up finishing pushes your opponent can't react to.

Though he doesn't have the raw power of other red bodies, everything around him is extremely solid.


B Tier

Tidehunter only has two attack. Even so, he makes the upper edge of this tier list because of his incredible eighteen health. While he won’t kill many things right away, he will stick around long enough to wield an item or two (which is where he begins to get out of control). As another bonus, his signature ability Ravage is strong, even if it only happens once a game.

His signature card Kraken Shell may not seem great, but the ability to get initiative is quite powerful. Armor can also really stack up over time.

Ursa is a great one-two punch of good body with a strong signature card. The seven attack and ten health makes him formidable against almost all heroes, allowing him to take over lanes like Axe does. In addition, Enrage is a very strong card in the right situation. Four attack and four armor is no joke.

The only reason he falls to this tier is because he is best suited for a mono colored deck, which limits his versatility.

Sven is a red hero with a lot of potential. His stats don’t quite stack up to the top of this tier list, but he has a very strong ability that can get out of hand in a hurry. Cleave can decimate lanes on its own, especially when paired with different items or spells ( Enrage anyone?).

There is no defined meta right now, which means it is hard to see how much use he’ll get, but he could easily rise up this tier list in the coming months.

Keefe the Bold is in an interesting spot right now. The card is the basic hero, and there’s a reason for that. He, like Axe, has no passive. However, he's not as bad. Honestly, Keefe is just a smaller Axe with a much worse signature card. Even so, he's a solid budget replacement for people who want an early beater without paying for the more expensive option.


C Tier

Another big body, Centaur Warrunner seems quite powerful at first glance. His ability gives him six attack and he has a ton of health. However, his signature card Double Edge is extremely lackluster. There is a lot of removal out there, and -8 armor is disastrous in many situations.

On top of that, his fourteen health is outmatched by Tidehunter. While his body would be welcome in other colors, there are just better options in red.

Another lackluster hero, Timbersaw is a card that falls short in various categories. The eleven health may seem impressive, but the four attack is definitely not. His signature ability Reactive Armor does nothing to help that either.

Whirling Death is also a decent card, but it’s nothing to write home about. He might be good at killing creeps, but that’s pretty much all he does.

Though Pugna has great stats for non-red heroes, his attack and armor pale in comparison to some of red’s heavy hitters. Additionally, his signature card Nether Ward is only strong against blue decks that want to pump out a lot of spells. His ability may hit Cheat Death, but his body just doesn't fit into what Red wants to do right now.

That narrow application, combined with the relatively weaker stats, put him down towards the bottom of the tier list. However, he could see play if Blue is particularly powerful in the future.

Finally, there's Mazzie. He comes with an impressive three armor, but his low stats and weak signature card ( Steel Reinforcement) aren’t worth the inclusion. Armor on a tower is fantastic, but gaining only one for four mana is not a great deal. The third armor also has little use (as the second is really all you need to protect against creeps).


Green


S Tier

Kicking off Green is the only card that can challenge Axe for the best card in the game. Drow Ranger is a beast for various reasons. Her body may not be the greatest out there, but her ability and signature card are incredibly powerful.

Precision Aura gives every single ally in all of your lanes an extra attack. That alone makes her worth it. However, the fact that Gust can be used to shut down your opponent’s cards for just four mana is a bit unreal. That one-two punch makes her a great complement to just about any color and an auto-include in green.


A Tier

While his stats are not the best, Treant Protector is one of the most popular early green heroes. He has an all-around utility that allows him to fit into quite a few play styles. The four attack is not amazing, but he makes up for it with Branches of Iron, which gives his allies +2 armor.

In addition, extra stats are great and the ramp from Roseleaf Druid goes a long way for big blue or red builds.

Lycan comes in next as a result of his incredible passive ability. He gives both neighbors +2 attack, which means he allows your creeps to kill your opponent’s in one shot. Creep warfare is important, and Lycan lets you win it again and again.

The 4/10 body is also nice, and Savage Wolf can snowball extremely hard if unchecked. That package makes Lycan one of the best green heroes Though not quite on the same level as the above two heroes, he has been a solid addition to various ramp builds.


B Tier

Omniknight gets the top B slot because he comes with some of the best stats for any green hero. Not only that, but Purification allows you to have some control over combat (always powerful in Artifact) and Allseeing One’s Favor helps ensure that a unit sticks around for quite some time.

He’s not splashy, but he gets the job done when it comes to winning combat.

Magnus slots right below Omniknight because he just doesn’t control the board as well. Even so, he is a serious hero with great upside. He comes with no passive, but makes up for it with an impressive signature card in Empower.

Three extra cleave and attack is no joke, especially when that can go on any unit (as opposed to something like Enrage). The 4/9 body is not the best, but the one armor can and will come in handy from time to time.

Enchantress is a ways down the green tier list, but don’t let that fool you. It is more a testament of the cards above her than anything else. That is because she has a great passive in Nature’s Attendant. The ability to regenerate herself and her allies can quickly put pressure on your opponent and completely take over a lane.

However, her body is susceptible to a lot of removal options. She also has one of the weaker signature cards around.

Chen is at the bottom of B because, though Hand of God and Holy Persuasion may look strong at first glance, they are incredibly slow. Seven mana is a lot to ask, and the effect on his signature card isn’t worth it. In addition, his ability will likely only come about once a game, which means it won’t be able to get too much value.

Even so, he has seen some inclusion into slower Green/Blue builds as a way to steadily chip away at the opponent in grindy matches.


C Tier

Few things in Artifact are more powerful than being able to move units across lanes. Even so, Dark Seer's body holds him back down the list. Middle of the road stats simply can't cut it in the early Artifact meta, and the weak signature card doesn't help matters either.

If you can use Surge well, Dark Seer can do some great things. However, the cost of putting three Ion Shell’s in your deck is not worth the trade off.

The basic green hero, Farvhan the Dreamer is a card that doesn’t do all that much. His stats are solid, which is one of the main reasons he isn’t at the bottom of this tier list, but giving +1 armor makes his ability strictly worse than Treant Protector’s.

In addition, the extra ally armor from Prowler Vanguard is not great, and its no attack hurts quite a bit. Though he may be one of the best basic heroes, those only take you so far.

Abaddon is one of the hardest-to-kill heroes in the game. His unique ability Borrowed Time enables you to set up some great attacks and Aphotic Shield is great for stalling. However, he falls to the bottom of the tier list because his lackluster body and the fact that his active, while strong, is very hard to set up properly. He also isn’t a proper threat.

Another card that doesn’t do enough, Viper is a green hero that strikes out in just about every category. While Viper Strike is cheap, and while it will kill something eventually, it is slow against many big units. This hero also has a pretty underwhelming body and Corrosive Skin doesn’t do enough to justify the inclusion.


Rix brings up the bottom. Though his ability Relentless Rebel allows him to come back after just one turn, it isn’t worth it. Even with modifiers, his 3/7 body is extremely weak and extremely easy to kill. For that reason, bringing him back over and over not only provides little pressure, it feeds your opponent a ton of gold.


Black


S Tier

Bounty Hunter is currently the best black hero in the game. Nobody can punch like this guy can, and black is all about attack. Seven is great for base, and Jinada means that sometimes you’ll hit for a staggering 11!

The hunter can kill just about everything in combat, puts in a ton of tower damage, and even has a solid signature in Track that can make your gold output explode in the right situation.

If Bounty Hunter is the king of black, then Phantom Assassin is the queen. Her stats, which start at a solid 6/8 base, jump up to a 10/8 when attacking a hero thanks to Efficient Killer.

In addition, like the Hunter, she also has a great signature card in Coup de Grace. Some people may not like the idea of discarding a random card, but being able to take out any hero regardless of stats for six mana is a fantastic deal. She is a hero killing machine.

A Tier

One of the more fragile black heroes, Tinker comes with a lackluster body. Even so, the seven attack does allow him to hit pretty hard if you can set him up. His signature card, March of the Machines is good in both control and aggressive builds (thanks to the six built-in tower damage) and his ability can be used to great effect. That combination makes him fantastic in the current black builds.

Sorla Khan is one of the best aggressive heroes in the game. In fact, she can make an aggressive deck on her own. The 8/6 body is extremely good at pushing damage, but it doesn’t stop there. Sorla also gets +4 damage when attacking a tower, meaning she hits for 12 if left unchecked.

That raw output, mixed with her powerful Assault Ladders improvement, enables her to end games in a hurry.

The above cards are incredibly strong, and that trend continues with Sniper. This hero has a lot of upside. Yes, the 5/6 body is underwhelming, but Headshot takes out or finishes off a lot of units and Assassinate is one of the best signature cards in the game.

The seven mana spell is able to target any lane, which means you can set it up to pick off enemy heroes in lane two or three to prevent your opponent from playing cards there. That is an incredible tempo play and can outright win games during the later stages.


B Tier


Debbi the Cunning is the basic black hero, which means she’s average in almost every relevant category. Even so, her ability to kill a lot of popular heroes in the first round pushes her to the top of this tier. Her passive, Work the Knife, is almost always on. That makes her a 9/5 hero with no other ability. Those stats are scary if unchecked, but the five health is extremely limiting. While Tinker can get away with that as a result of a stronger passive and signature card, No Accident is incredibly underwhelming.

In many card games, Lich’s ability would be incredible. Card advantage is always nice to have, especially when you can use it every two turns. However, in Artifact on-board combat is important, which makes Sacrifice come at an extremely high cost.

That being said, Lich still trends towards the top of black because there are ways to get use out of the ability (especially in a losing lane) and he does come with a beefy body as far as black heroes go. His signature, Chain Frost, can be strong, but is a bit slow. However, if controlling black decks are around you’ll be happy to have it.

Storm Spirit starts with one of the weakest black bodies. However, he does get marks because of his passive, Overload. This helps him turn into quite a beating if set up in the right or even middle lane. Ball Lightning is also good in decks that want to push a lot of damage, which can happen in black.

The six health is the main reason he is not higher. In addition, like Ursa, he can only truly shine in a mono colored build.


C Tier

Necrophos starts off the bottom of this black tier list because his ability and stats simply don’t add up. Sadist allows him to gain health every time an enemy neighbor dies. That may sound good, but he only starts with six health, and comes with a low five attack. That means even if his ability triggers it’s not going to turn him into a large threat.

Heartstopper Aura is decent as far as signature cards go. However, like Necrophos, it just doesn’t present enough of a threat to be taken seriously.

Another weak black card, Winter Wyvern sits towards the bottom because she doesn't have a home. This hero can hop into open positions every two turns, and then swing in at a tower for 10 damage. That builds pressure and allows you to keep her away from other large heroes or creeps.

Even so, there is no pure aggro deck right now. Even if you wanted to go that route, there are better options in both black and red. The 6/6 body and slow Winter’s Curse are also not great.

Another hero that suffers from weak stats, Lion’s 6/5 body simply doesn’t cut it. His ability, Finger of Death, is incredibly strong, but the long cooldown means it likely only triggers once a game. Furthermore, Mana Drain is a low-power signature card. Taking away two mana for a turn may seem great, but most of the time your opponent will be able to wait or play around it. It also gets worse as the game goes on.

Bloodseeker is currently the worst of the black heroes. Blood Bath is a solid ability, but it does very little work when tacked onto a hero with only six health. You need to kill something and live to get use from it, and that doesn’t happen a lot. In addition, he gets picked off by a lot of removal. All of that, combined with the rather underwhelming Blood Rage (doesn't do enough for the five mana cost) mean he sits on the sidelines for now.


Blue


S Tier

Kanna is the best blue hero in the current game thanks to her mix of incredible abilities. Bringer of Conquest allows you to pile creeps into one lane and make way for large board clears in others. As an added bonus, Prey on the Weak is incredible when combined with blue damage spells like Diabolic Revelation.

On top of that, her 12 health means she is able to survive for more than a few turns. That is not something often seen in blue heroes, and it puts her solidly in first place. She is the reason Blue Green Miracle currently exists.


A Tier

Blue wants slow games, and they want to control the board. Zeus encapsulates both of those extremely well. Static Field goes off for each and every spell (which adds up fast) and Thunder God’s Wrath is one of the most powerful AOE effects in the entire game.

He also has decent stats, giving him the ability to survive a hit or two. Such power is not something you often see with this color.

Blue is a control color, and control colors love card advantage. Multicast is a great ability for that reason, randomly giving you powerful spells back into your hand and keeping your engine going. Ignite is a solid improvement as well, and the 3/7 body is nice to have early on.

Ogre Magi is one of the best heroes in his color because you don’t need to do anything extra to make it work. There is always something to be said about cards that are just good, and that is where this fits.

Rounding out A is Luna. She is a hero that is all about her signature card, and oh my, what a signature card it is. Eclipse is an incredibly powerful spell. Though it starts at just three piercing damage for six, it goes off again for each Lucent Beam triggered in the game. That builds extremely quickly, allowing you to play one-sided sweeper, after one-sided sweeper in longer battles.

Luna also has eight health which, while not as tough as Kanna, is quite high for a blue hero.


B Tier

Moving away from the tougher bodies, we have Venomancer. This card, unlike most blue heroes, is able to help you survive or hold off in the early game. The 2/6 body won’t win any awards, but every turn he lives (which can happen depending on placement) he gets a 1/3 Plague Ward in his lane.

That extra damage, on top of free creeps, works well with many blue control cards. Sow Venom is also solid, and fills the board with more annoying chip damage your opponent has to deal with. A great tool for some green based go-wide decks as well.

Skywrath Mage is another solid blue Artifact hero that plays perfectly into the color’s gameplan. Blue wants control, which means they want to steadily chip down their opponent and kill enemy units over time. Concussive Shot helps with that by getting rid of armor, and it works well with Mystic Flare.

Skywrath’s body may not be the best, but Flare has a lot of versatility (you can set it up between one, two, or three units) and his activated ability is quite good.


C Tier

Earthshaker sits down on the blue tier list because he has a below average body that, unlike other blue heroes, he can’t make up for. His ability, Fissure, is solid. However, the four turn cool down means it often only gets used once a game.

The biggest aspect holding him back is that Echo Slam is quite inconsistent. While it feels great hitting large boards, there are many situation where it simply does very little damage. It is also horrible against one big hero or creep.

As is the trend with basic heroes, J’Muy the Wise disappoints quite a bit. Though his 3/8 statline is above many blue heroes, Wisdom of the Elders is extremely slow and gets very little value in a color that has other ways to draw cards.

Battlefield Control can be tricky in some situations, and it may be the reason the card could see play one day. However, he just doesn’t do enough right now.

Prellex is another blue hero whose body holds her back. A 3/5 statline isn‘t going to get you anywhere, and Barracks is extremely slow at five mana. Bringer of the Faithful is one of the more powerful abilities in the game, but that doesn’t make up for how weak the rest of Prellex’s package. The only reason she's not lower is because she could lead a creep-based deck one day.

Another lackluster blue hero, Crystal Maiden just doesn’t have enough power in any category to get the job done. Her passive ability is the strongest part of her card, but there aren’t too many ways to take advantage of it right now. In addition, Frostbite is rather weak for a signature and her 2/5 statline is abysmal.

Despite his impressive name, Outworld Devourer is anything but. His passive, Essence Aura, has quite a bit of potential, but missing on it means he doesn’t do anything half the time. Not only that, but the 4/6 body hurts, as does the lackluster Astral Imprisonment. You can do better in blue.

Easily the most interesting blue hero in Artifact, Meepo comes with two abilities. First, his signature card, Divided We Stand allows you to summon a Meepo. That then synergies perfectly with his abilities.

His active, called Poof, enables him to move to an allied Meepo’s lane and deal two damage to his new enemy neighbors. That is quite powerful, especially since it only has a two turn cool down.

However, his passive, United We Fall, is a disaster. Five damage is extremely easy to do, and losing all of the work/mana you poured into Meepo simply isn’t worth that trade off.


Conclusion


These are where the heroes stand at the time of the Artifact release. Things will change once the meta develops, but this is a good place to start. Though you don't always have to play the strongest heroes, this should give you a strong idea of what cards to keep/look out for early on.
(Last Updated: December 6th, 2018)

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1
Stirepdiratto's Avatar
Stirepdiratto Posted: December 9th, 2018 | 12:08 PM
I belive that Prellex should get an higher spot on the list, in blue you have many ways to protect him, and after 1/2 turns Prellex start swarming the lane and usually after that the opponent usually give up that lane and start pushing the others exposing himself to Annilhation, also I belive that barracks are great, the give u the possibility to start swarming in a passive way the other lanes, prolonging the game and giving you a chance to reach the bolt of Damocles to end the game, sadly I cannot support my idea on venomancer who has pretty much same stats and summon a plague ward wich I m not sure if its stronger than a creep but his signature card is weeker because we already have the summoning portal a 4 cost. Those are considerations for constructed, have good day
1
Cloonix's Avatar
Cloonix Posted: November 26th, 2018 | 1:34 PM
The picture for Farvhan's card is missing.
1
Wraith's Avatar
Wraith Posted: November 26th, 2018 | 12:46 PM
The Last sentence description for Prellex has a Grammatical error. Probably want the word "is" at the very end.
2
nnnnnnnadie's Avatar
nnnnnnnadie Posted: November 26th, 2018 | 10:18 AM
I wonder if they will rebalance the heroes on the future or just give us more cards.
1
Cloonix's Avatar
Cloonix Posted: November 27th, 2018 | 12:02 PM
I hope so. So many simply useless right now.
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