Artifact: The Dota Card Game Wiki

Mechanics are the inner workings of Artifact. The following is a list of mechanics topics. Click on each topic to view more information.

Resources[ | ]

Mechanic Introduction
Gold Gold - Gold is a resource primarily acquired by killing enemy units, used to buy Items from the Shop. A few special cards can also use gold in other ways.
Mana Mana is the resource that players use to cast non-item cards. Each tower has its own mana pool that can be spent or modified independently from other towers. At the start of each round, each tower's mana pool is replenished and increased by 1.
Cards Cards are the essential element of Artifact that players use to interact with the game. Cards can take the form of Creeps, Spells, Improvements, and Items. By default, players start with 5 cards and draw 2 more at the start of each round.

Units and Spells[ | ]

Mechanic Introduction
Heroes Hero units are the driving force behind Artifact. Heroes allow players to cast cards of that hero's color, can be upgraded with items or buffs, and will eventually respawn if killed.
Creeps Creeps are lesser units, unable to equip items and only occasionally possessing an ability. Melee Creeps are the more basic variant, automatically spawning to reinforce lanes.
Spells Spells carve through swathes of enemies, bestow power, or summon reinforcements.
Improvements Improvements apply some sort of continuous effect to a lane permanently, unless/until they are destroyed by the opponent. Due to their nature, improvements often have the potential to snowball a lane out of control over time.
Items Equipment items are bought from the Shop at the cost of gold and generally serve to increase a hero's Attack, Armor, or Health. Some items bestow additional powerful special effects or abilities. Consumable items are single-use only, and allow the player to heal a unit, teleport a hero, or draw an additional card.

Structures[ | ]

Mechanic Introduction
Towers Gatekeepers of the Ancient, Towers act as each lane's health total. Towers start with 40 health. Players win if they destroy two of their opponent's towers.
Ancients A player's stronghold. The Ancient appears in a lane when that lane's Tower has been destroyed, except with 80 health instead of 40. Destroying the Ancient also wins the game.
Fountains The invulnerable sanctuary where heroes are sent when they die. Dead heroes must spend the rest of this round and the entire following round in the Fountain before deploying back to battle.

Gameplay[ | ]

Mechanic Introduction
Phases A single round in Artifact is composed of multiple phases such as Deployment, Action, Combat, and Shopping.
Pathing Unblocked units select a random combat target at the start of the round or when newly spawning in to the battlefield. Units have a 2/4 chance to attack the tower, 1/4 to curve left, and 1/4 to curve right. If there is no unit there when the attack curves, the unit will attack the tower.
Damage Most attacks and effects in the game deal Normal Damage, which get reduced by positive armor and amplified by negative armor. Piercing Damage is special in that it ignores positive armor, but still benefits from negative armor.
Stats All heroes and creeps have the three primary stats, though armor is simply unlisted when a unit has zero innate armor. Attack refers to how much damage the unit deals to its target in combat, Armor reduces each incoming damage instance by that amount, and Health refers to a unit's life total -- if it is reduced to 0, the unit dies.
Bounty Bounty defines how much Gold a player receives for the death of an enemy unit -- by default, this value is 1g for creeps, and 5g for heroes. Bounty is awarded on-death, and does not depend on how a unit dies or which player killed it.

Keywords[ | ]

Mechanic Introduction
Condemn Immediately destroys a target. Gold bounty is still granted to the appropriate player if applicable. Can be avoided by Death Shield.
Cleave When blocked during combat, also deal X damage to the blocking unit's neighbors.
Damage Immunity Causes a unit to ignore all damage that it receives. It is still affected by all other effects normally, such as condemn.
Death Shield If a unit would die, instead remove its Death Shield and have it survive with 1 health. A unit may only have 1 death shield at a time.
Disarm Prevents a unit from attacking.
Heal Immediately restore X health.
Lock Cards cannot be played as long as they are locked. Lock is applied for a duration in rounds. At the end of each round, all locked cards lose 1 Lock.
Modify Gives a unit a permanent effect.
Neighbors Allied Neighbors = allies directly adjacent to the unit, on its left and right. Enemy Neighbors = the enemy units occupying the slots diagonally left, directly across, and diagonally right from the unit.
Pulse Updates the game state before continuing.
Purge Removes enemy effects from a unit.
Rapid Deployment When a hero with Rapid Deployment dies, it is immediately ready for deployment, so it can be deployed at the start of the next round.
Regeneration The unit heals for this amount during the combat phase. Regeneration is applied before checking for death.
Retaliate When attacked, deal X damage to the attacker(s).
Siege When blocked during the combat phase, also deal X damage to the tower.
Silence A silenced unit cannot use its active abilities or active item abilities. A silenced hero cannot be used to play cards of its color.
Stun A stunned unit is both Silenced and Disarmed.
Summon Create a unit and immediately place it in a random empty combat position.
Swap Exchanges the position of two units.
Taunt When a unit taunts, all of its enemy neighbors change their attacks to that unit.