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Takeaways from the Artifact Deck Builder Leak

July 24th, 2018 | Mowen
We have a bunch of new information from an Alpha tester going by the name of "Xyclopz" who recently shared a screenshot of the in-game WIP Deck Builder, and did a quick Q&A in his Facebook group. A helpful Redditor translated the Q&A and shared this screenshot, which we will be dissecting below.

New Artifact Heroes Revealed

Aside from the long list of DotA 2 heroes expected to be in Artifact based on copyright data, this leaked screenshot shows us several new heroes that don't exist in DotA 2 and are completely unique to Artifact.

We've gone ahead and added the new Artifact heroes to our database, and you can find their cards below:
Kanna was already expected to be in Artifact based on promo art, but the others are surprises. It's probable that Ogre Bruiser and Dark Troll Chieftain are placeholder titles. They also may easily be mistaken for Ally cards, but Xyclopz stated that they were indeed Heroes and every other card displayed is an already known Hero.

Pugna's Card and Card Ability Revealed

We've expected Pugna to be in Artifact based on copyright data, but now that his full card has been revealed we know his Color, Stats, and Ability.

Nether Blast

Condemn a random enemy improvement.

Cooldown: 3 Rounds

Surprisingly (At least to me) Pugna is a Red card, and seems to be a strong late game Red card based on his ability. So far every Red card has been melee (DotA) Heroes that have good base stats and focus on direct attacks. However, Pugna's ability, Nether Blast, condemns a random enemy improvement, offering a different way for Red decks to weaken the enemy's board state.

Card Rarities

The new leak provides our first glance at a confirmed Artifact Rarity system, which you can see in the "Sort" options at the top of the Deck Builder. It appears that there will be four different Rarity tiers, which lines up with other CCGs like Hearthstone and Magic. Based on Pugna's card in the screenshot, the Artifact logo just beneath the Hero portrait indicates the Rarity, indicating that Pugna is in the fourth and highest Rarity tier. I will be curious to see how the Rarity is distributed amongst Hero cards, since they are the foundation of Artifact deck building.

Hero Card Trading

While not unexpected, we do see in this screenshot that you can possess multiple copies of each Hero card, which seems to indicate that Hero cards will be collectable and tradeable like any other card.

Hero Deployment

We know based on Artifact alpha gameplay footage that the first three Heroes in your deck are deployed at the start of Round One. From this, we've assumed that the last two Hero slots cannot be deployed until later in the match, which is supported by the spacing between the Hero slots on the right side of the leaked Deck Builder, under "Unnamed Deck." This would seem to confirm that the fourth and fifth heroes come out at later points in the match, unlike the first three heroes, or that you can only maintain 3 heroes at once until a certain point in the match. This adds further depth and strategy into deck-building, since you have to choose which heroes you have access to early game versus late game.

Deck Builder Design

This is a small touch, but it is a nice design choice for the Artifact Deck Builder to enforce Hero selection before selecting any other cards for the deck. We already know that you can only play cards if you have a matching color Hero in play, and that Heroes come with a set of premier cards that are attached to that Hero. By having Hero selection first, it will likely filter your collection to only include playable cards for the set of Heroes you have chosen for your deck. This is in line with what we would have expected and are planning on for our own Deck Builder, which will be available soon! (Not Valve time soon)

Finally, Xyclopz posted an expected release date for Artifact as the 31st of December, 2018, matching the release date temporarily seen on the Artifact page when it first appeared on the Steam Store.
(Last Updated: January 15th, 2020)

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