Cards are the pieces that make up the game of Artifact. There are five main types of cards:
There are 44 heroes and 280+ cards in the base game. The game also features uncollectible cards which can only be created from spells or items.
All cards feature a color bar in the top side with their name printed on it. In addition, mana costs are featured in the top-left corner, on the color bar. Optionally, a global modifier represented by two arrows might be printed. This allows the cards to be played globally, on any lane.
The card type icon is printed in the top-left corner, under the color bar. This allows players to quickly recognize the category of the card.
The remaining space of the card is equally divided into two parts: the artwork and the description. The description contains the effect or behavior the card will have on the battlefield.
Item cards also feature a gold cost in their bottom right corner, in the description tab.
There are four colors in Artifact that categorize cards, depending on their playstyle. In addition, spells can only be played in lanes where a hero of the same color is present.
Red cards cater to an aggressive playstyle, featuring cards with high health and armor to assert lane dominance. However, the spells are often weaker, in order to balance out the stronger heroes and creatures.
Black cards cater to an assassin playstyle, featuring cards with high damage or powerful effects such as Condemn. Spells focus on mobility and generation of gold to snowball the enemy.
Blue cards cater to a control playstyle, featuring abilities that allow for the mitigation of attacks. Spells focus on controlling the board with methods such as AOE, board clear, stuns, disarms etc.
Green cards cater to a support playstyle, featuring cards with summons or buffs to overpower the enemy. Spells focus on keeping the board alive or buffing it, with heals or buffs.
Cards may be categorized by their type into 5 types, depending on their ruleset.
Hero cards are often the most powerful cards. They have equipment slots and possess unique ability cards, powerful spells that can turn the tide of battle. There is both a limit and requirement of 5 heroes per deck.
Spell cards are cards which impact the lane or units in a certain manner. They can range from buffs to crowd control to summoning of units.
Creature cards are similar to heroes, except they are weaker and do not normally respawn. They can be played from the hand, summoned or spawned (like creeps).
Improvement cards are cards that positively or negatively impact a lane. They are persistent throughout rounds and can only be removed by certain effects.