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Leaked Artifact Cards and their DotA Counterparts

July 11th, 2018 | Hades4u
A number of upcoming Artifact cards have been leaked through additions to the copyright database by Valve corporation. We'll be looking at cards that line up with DotA 2 heroes or abilities in order to theorize what mechanics we can expect from these cards based on their DotA 2 counterparts. A big thank you to u/TheArtificersGuild who compiled a lot of the initial copyrighted card names, and to u/Oubould who has made the most recent compilation of all known card names that we will be referencing.

Cards that are leaked through the copyright database and known by name only will be bolded, and cards who have been at least partially revealed will be linked for your convenience. Now, let's dig into Artifact's DotA counterparts, and how they may translate into Artifact cards.

Leaked Artifact Cards and What We Can Expect Based on DotA Abilities


Abaddon, the Lord of Avernus, makes an appearance in the world of Artifact alongside his life-saving Aphotic Shield. This ability is the single direct DotA counterpart to Abaddon, which grants a protective shield that deals damage once broken. We've also spotted a card named Mist of Avernus, which features Abaddon in the art and might be related to Abaddon's Mist Coil in DotA, an ability that heals an ally or damages an enemy, while sacrificing Abaddon's health. It will be interesting to see how these abilities will be adapted in Artifact, especially his ultimate, Borrowed Time, which heals him for all the damage received during the duration.


Axe is the only reinforcement your army needs! This mighty Oglodi brings his Berserker's Call, a powerful spell that functions similarly to its DotA version - making neighboring units battle him (or another allied red hero). Currently, Axe is the single hero card that has been revealed without an ability. It's possible it just hasn't been put on the revealed card art yet, and that Artifact could adapt Axe's Counter Helix from DotA, which performs a counter-attack to enemies that attack him (though, this would basically be the same as Legion Commander's Retaliate continuous effect). I'm also curious to see if they adopt his DotA ultimate ability, Culling Blade, which executes low-health enemies.


Karroch joins the battlefield to seek new prey. The Beastmaster never takes a battle without his ultimate - Primal Roar. In DotA, Primal Roar stuns, and shoves open a path to its target. I wonder if this spell will isolate units or let Beastmaster push through units to directly attack towers. There are also plenty of cards resembling neutrals, so it is possible we'll see Call of the Wild in the future, which summons beasts to the battlefield in DotA.


Will Artifact be able to satisfy Bloodseeker's thirst for blood? Strygwyr will surely roam the lanes, but it is unknown what abilities will be in his arsenal. An interesting spell we have spotted is Cleansing Rite, which might a reference to Blood Rite which silences an area. We do know a silence mechanic exists from Act of Defiance.


Wanted dead or alive: Bounty Hunter always captures his target and collects his bounty. Gondar's abilities have not been Track'd yet, but they'll most likely be related to gaining gold and taking down single target enemies. This seems to identify Bounty Hunter as a black hero based on other black cards.


Bristleback will be an aggressive hero that steals armor from enemies he kills with his passive - Barroom Brawler (Modify Bristleback with +2 armor after a hero blocking it dies.). Rigwarl will also decrease the armor of enemies with his Viscous Nasal Goo. Better buy a Shield of Basilius if you hope to survive!


The champion of the arena is ready to face a new challenge. None of Bradwarden's abilities have been leaked yet, but a card named Centaur Huntsman caught our interest - this could be an ally card from Centaur Warruner's Warstomp Clan. Centaur Warrunner excels at close quarters combat in DotA, so we may see Hoof Stomp (stun and damage neighbors) or Return (deal damage back to attackers, Retaliate anyone?) make an appearance in Artifact.


No matter the lane, the Holy Knight will be ready to heal and save his allies using his ultimate, Hand of God, which Heals all allied heroes on the map as well as all units under Chen's control in DotA. We may also see Holy Persuasion, which converts creeps to fight on Chen's side. Another interesting card we spotted is Divine Intervention, which used to be one of Chen's old abilities in DotA pre-6.15. This ability causes a friendly hero that dies to be resurrected with half HP, as well as temporary invulnerability. Chen has so many interesting mechanics, I can't wait to see how they translate them into Artifact!


Rylai and her mastery of the Frozen Arts will be a great addition to any lane. Her Frostbite spell damages and disarms enemies to keep them from harming Rylai's teammates. In Artifact Crystal Maiden's ability, Arcane Aura, returns 2 mana for every spell cast, which is a useful boon to any deck or strategy.


Every battle needs a good strategist, and that's where Ish'Kafel comes in. Dark Seer will maneuver the fight to his advantage and strengthen his teammates using Ion Shell - which surrounds the target unit with a bristling shield that damages enemy neighbors. His DotA abilities seem most in line with blue heroes, and he will likely be a support mage who focuses on moving units (Vacuum) and buffing allies (Surge, Ion Shell). I'm really curious how they'll interpret his ultimate, Wall of Replica, which creates replicates of enemy heroes that fight for Dark Seer.


Grouping up might be an advantageous strategy, but not against the Earthshaker. The more allies around you, the harder his mighty Echo Slam will hit. In DotA, each enemy hit by Echo Slam causes an echo to damage nearby units. There are no other copyrighted cards that seem directly related to Earthshaker, but I really hope his signature DotA move, Fissure, will make an appearance and give Earthshaker the ability to wall off units in some way.


Aiushtha, the Enchantress, is joining the fight, but for now her abilities are still unknown. The spell card Soul of Spring might be related to her skillset, since Enchantress is related to and frequently mentions spring in her voice lines. We may also see Enchant, which charms creeps to fight for Enchantress, with the number of creature and creep cards that have been named!


The leader of the Bronze Legion is ready to rally her team to victory and take down anyone who stands in her path. Legion Commander's DotA ultimate, Duel, locks an enemy hero in combat with Legion Commander, and neither hero can use items or abilities. I wonder if the same will be true of the Artifact Duel card, and the spell will make the two heroes fight with their base stats only. This would give Legion Commander a huge advantage since she has one of the highest base stats and her passive ability, Retaliate, deals 2 damage back to units that deal combat damage to her.


Ethreain, the Lich, has been spotted together with his ultimate: Chain Frost. In DotA Chain Frost bounces between enemy units up to 10 times, which can completely devastate everyone in the vicinity, and I think a similar mechanic can be expected in Artifact. Since the game revolves around mana, Lich's Sacrifice, which sacrifices creeps for mana, would be a great card to see added to the game!


The fiery sister of Crystal Maiden, Lina, makes an appearance in the card Conflagration, but has not been added to the copyright database just yet. Of course, we're hoping to see this fiery maven added to the game, but we'll just have to wait and see. Wanna play with fire?


The Demon Witch, Lion, rises from hell - looking for new souls to take back with him. Even though his abilities are not yet known, his DotA abilities could make some great spell cards. His Hex could turn a unit into a frog for one turn, and his ultimate, well... deals a bunch of damage to a unit! Not the most exciting ultimate, but you can't argue its effectiveness!


Lucent Beam makes an appearence as Luna's card ability - dealing 1 piercing damage to a random enemy before the action phase. That may sound lackluster at first, but Lucent Beams also improve her ultimate, Eclipse, by adding an Eclipse charge each time Lucent Beam activates. Eclipse then deals 3 piercing damage to a random enemy for each charge, perfectly mimicking Luna's DotA ultimate. Don't be caught alone when you face the Moon Rider!


The Lycan, part wolf, part warrior, joins the battle and increases his neighbors attack by 2 thanks to his continuous effect - Feral Impulse. Lycan is aided by his Savage Wolf, an ally card that has a reactive ability of its own - granting it 1 bonus attack and 2 health after the combat phase. Another interesting card we have spotted is Howling Mind, a card that might be related to his DotA ability Howl, which increases the damage and health of Lycan's allies (the effect is even stronger during the night).


Magnus and his mighty horn will charge against his enemies while increasing the vigor of his allies. Empower is his first revealed spell card, which grants bonus damage and cleave to an allied unit in DotA. We've seen Cleave before on Blade of the Vigil, which is an interesting (but unconfirmed) mechanic that we have discussed in one of our previous articles.


Meepo takes down the middle tower, Meepo farms the top lane and Meepo gets a kill bottom. All in the same time thanks to Divided We Stand, players will have to watch out for these pesky little geomancers trying to shovel their way to victory. There are four different cards copyrighted under Meepo #1/2/3/4, suggesting that they will be playable on different lanes, just like in DotA. Since his ultimate, Divided We Stand, is the source of his clones in DotA, it's probably going to work the same way in Artifact. Meepo is also featured in the card art for Cunning Plan and Ventriloquy, so we can probably expect him to be a blue card.


Behold Necrophos, the Pope of Pestilence. Rotund'jere's obscure arsenal has not been revealed yet, but there are many interesting DotA abilities and mechanics that we could see come to Artifact. Death Pulse both heals allies and damages enemies, which could be a really efficient spell card. His ultimate ability, Reaper's Scythe, damages enemies based on their missing health - which could be a great spell card to take down durable enemy heroes.


Two heads are better than one. Though, in Ogre Magi's case 2 Ogre heads roughly equal one regular head, so it's a fair fight! The only leaked ability so far is Ignite, which has a DotA counterpart that damages enemies over time while slowing their movement speed. This spell card will most probably deal damage over multiple turns, but will this be its only effect or will the slow somehow be added or changed?


Fear not, Purist Thunderwrath is here to protect your team! Omniknight's abilities have not yet been revealed, but there is a certain card that attracted our interest - the Divine Purpose spell card which features Omniknight's portrait - suggesting that it is one of his abilities. We don't know yet what the card is capable of, but we know that its a Green ability card that costs 7 mana to cast, so we can expect it to have a very strong effect at that cost.


Astral Imprisonment is the first leaked ability from Outworld Devourer's arsenal. In DotA, this ability traps a unit and damages it (if it's an enemy) and nearby enemy units upon release. This spell card could possibly offer the option to remove a unit from combat, which could be really useful to temporarily remove dangerous targets or to save time for allies in need.


Phantom Assassin is perfect for taking down enemy heroes due to her continuous effect - Efficient Killer - which deals 4 additional combat damage to heroes. Her signature card, Coup de Grace, condemns (destroys) a hero and discards a random card. Brutal! There is one more revealed card that might be related to Phantom Assassin, Assassin's Shade, which is a 7 cost black ally card. Perhaps it summon an illusion of her? We can't wait to find out!


Pugna brings Oblivion to the battlefield. For now Pugna's related cards are unknown, but his DotA abilities could fit perfectly into the world of Artifact. For instance, the DotA ability Nether Blast deals damage in an area to enemy units and structures. This would be a great spell card to take down multiple enemies while also applying pressure to the enemy tower. Another fun card would be Life Drain, an ability that enables Pugna to steal the health of his enemies.

EDIT: Pugna has now been revealed: Takeaways from the Artifact Deck Builder Leak


Skywrath Mage has been leaked in the copyright list along with one of his abilities, Mystic Flare. In DotA, Mystic Flare deals high amounts of magical damage in a small area, taking down even the most durable of heroes in a matter of seconds. However, even though Mystic Flare is very strong on its own, its power is boosted even more by his Ancient Seal, a spell I hope will be added to Artifact, since its one of the strongest silences in DotA. Ancient Seal silences units while also increasing the magic damage they take, so it would have good synergy with blue decks.


Sniper's ability and stats are still unknown, but there is a spell card matching his DotA ability - Poised to Strike. However, Sniper is expected to be a black card, and the spell works in a completely different way from Sniper's Take Aim in DotA, so this is probably just coincidence. We've already seen a black spell that deals damage to a unit in any lane, Grazing Shot, so I think it's very possible that Sniper's spell cards or ultimate will be able to target any lane. This would also line up with his DotA ability, Assassinate, which targets an enemy hero and deals damage from an extremely long range.


Who's that handsome devil zipping across the battlefield? It's Storm Spirit, and I am really curious how his DotA abilities will be translated to Artifact. Overload might be an interesting option for Storm Spirit's card ability, since in DotA it boosts his damage after each spell cast. His Static Remnant could also be a fun card to have, creating explosive images of Storm Spirit that damage enemies that come in contact with them. Picture a Static Remnant with a Taunt effect!


The Rogue Knight and his greatsword are here to bestow strength to the battlefield. Sven's card ability icon is the same as his Great Cleave in DotA, which might mean that Sven will be able to deal damage to multiple heroes when attacking with the unconfirmed Cleave mechanic (seen on Blade of the Vigil). This already sounds really strong, but that's not all! There is also the God's Strength spell card, that will most likely increase the damage of Sven or his allies since that's how it works in DotA.


Although Techies has not been confirmed as a card, we can assume he's going to be a part of Artifact based on Remote Detonation - a spell that suggests the active detonation of planted bombs, which is Techies' specialty. Techies ultimate in DotA is Remote Mines, which matches up pretty well with this copyrighted card name.


The Champion of the Sunken Isles; Tidehunter is known for being very durable in DotA thanks to his passive ability, Kraken Shell, which blocks a fixed amount of damage that Tidehunter receives from any source of physical damage. Since Kraken Shell was copyrighted as a spell I think it's likely it will modify its target's armor, thereby reducing physical damage from all sources. It would be exciting to see Tidehunter's DotA ultimate, Ravage, which damages and stuns all nearby enemies, since that would certainly turn the tide of a lane in Artifact!


It's yet to be seen what spells will be in Timbersaw's arsenal, as there are no trees (that we've seen) in Artifact to boost his abilities. The best fitting DotA ability would probably be Reactive Armor, which grants Timbersaw extra armor and health regeneration the more he is attacked, making him a very durable hero. Will there be trees in the future? Will Timbersaw somehow spawn trees?? We'll just have to wait and see.


Tinker, the ingenious Keen, joins the battlefield along with his March of the Machines - bringing forth his army of robotic minions to destroy his enemies. At least that's how it works in DotA, but we can expect that its card alternative will either focus on clearing lanes (which is its purpose in DotA) or in Artifact it may more literally summon units to aid Tinker in his battle. Tinker is all about abilities and combinations, so it's going to be exciting to see what Valve has in the store for his Artifact spells and ability!


Rooftrellen has revealed himself but not his Artifact spell cards. Treant Protector is known to be a natural tank and support, so we can expect that he will be a very important support card. In DotA he can heal both his teammates and his team's towers globally using Living Armor. This would be a very strong asset to have in any match, especially if the target can be in any lane!


Don't mess with his cubs or you might end up in pieces! The only spell leaked from Ursa's DotA skillset is Enrage, his ultimate that removes any negative buff, multiplies his Fury Swipes damage, and reduces the damage he receives. This seems a bit complicated to convert into a card, but if anyone can do it then it's Valve and Richard Garfield. Adding this card means that Fury Swipes could be a possibility as well, since it directly multiplies its damage in DotA. Thinking about it, Fury Swipes would be a great continuous effect for Ursa, considering its DotA version increases Ursa's damage on a target with each consecutive attack.


If you're tired of DotA's Plague Wards, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news... Venomancer has been confirmed and he's joined by his Plague Wards, which might be an ally card since they're copyrighted as "Plague Ward Creep". In DotA the Plague Wards cost very little mana and poison enemies, so we can expect something similar in Artifact - a Plague Ward creep that's very cheap to use but easy to take down. Thinking about Venomancer's DotA abilities, they could all be powerful spell cards that deal damage over multiple rounds. An example would be Poison Nova, which deals damage over time for 18 seconds to all enemies in a wide radius. Imagine what a card counterpart of this could do!


The Netherdrake, bringing his poison from the Nether Reaches, is ready to compete with Venomancer on who has the deadliest poison! No other direct counterparts with DotA have been leaked, but we noticed a spell card called Corrosive Mist, which might be related to Viper's Corrosive Skin (deals damage over time when Viper is attacked) ability from DotA. This could make a good reactive ability for Viper's Artifact card.


The Winter Wyvern has recently been leaked. Most dragons breath fire, but Auroth breaths ice! Her DotA mechanics are quite interesting, and it's going to be exciting to see how they will be adapted to fit into cards. For example, Winter Wyvern's DotA ultimate, Winter's Curse, freezes an enemy in place while forcing its allies to attack them with increased speed. This would make for an interesting card - choosing a unit and having its neighboring allies attack that unit. That would make Winter Wyvern a true Frost Queen!


You can't run from Heaven - as Zeus frequently says. The Lord of Heaven will find and kill his foes no matter where they hide with just one card: Thundergod's Wrath - a very high damage spell card that deals 4 piercing damage to each enemy hero in every lane. Zeus also has a reactive ability that resembles DotA's Static Field, which deals 1 piercing damage to Zeus' enemy neighbors whenever you cast a blue spell.

Thank you for reading and we hope that this article has helped entertain you while you wait for Artifact to release! What other heroes do you expect to see added to the game? What DotA abilities seem the most interesting to convert into Artifact cards? We're just as curious as you and we can't wait for more cards to be revealed!
(Last Updated: January 15th, 2020)

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