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Mechanics are the inner workings of Artifact.

Game board[edit]

Artifact is played on a board that is divided into 3 sections, called lanes. Each lane has one tower, which, if destroyed, exposes the Ancient. The game ends if 2 towers or the Ancient is destroyed by either party.


Passing is the act of ending the turn without playing a card. The game advances to the other lane when both players pass, after the Combat Phase.

Game phases[edit]

The game is divided into multiple phases, each with their own unique gameplay. Each lane plays out into 2 phases: Action Phase and Combat Phase. After the the 3 lanes have been played out, the game round concludes, and the Shopping Phase begins. Afterwards, comes the Deployment Phase. Then, a new round begins.

Action Phase[edit]

This phase is the part in which most of Artifacts gameplay takes place.

One player gets to go first. This is decided randomly for the first Action Phase of the match, and then decided by initiative for the rest of the game.

Whenever a player plays a card, the turn goes to their opponent, allowing them to react and counter the play that was made. This can go on indefinitely, allowing for quicker, back-and-forth gameplay for both players.


If a player no longer plays any cards (due to being out of mana, having no more cards in their hand, or simply deciding not to play this turn), they have to pass instead.

This hands the turn to their opponent, who has the same choice of either playing more cards or passing. If the second player responds by playing more cards, the Phase continues as if nothing happened. If they respond by passing (in other words, two passes happen in a row) the game moves onto the next phase.


Initiative is a concept that decides which player gets to go first in the next lane.

The simplest explanation is this: Out of the last two passes that ended the previous Action phase, the player that made the first pass out of those two gets to go first in the next Action Phase.

Combat Phase[edit]

In the Combat Phase, heroes and creatures attack automatically, dealing damage to other units or structures. The game then moves onto the next lane, or onto the Shopping Phase after the third lane. The player has no control in this phase. (But it can be affected by your actions from the Action phase)

Shopping Phase[edit]

In the Shopping Phase, players purchase from a selection of 3 item cards, using their earned gold. one card is taken from their item deck, one is from the secret shop, and the last one is always a consumable item card.

Deployment Phase[edit]

In the Deployment Phase, also known as Hero Deployment, players position their heroes on the lanes. Additional creeps are also spawned and randomly assigned to lanes.

Game Round[edit]

After the 3 lanes have been played out the rounds ends. After the Shopping and Deployment phases, a new round begins. Players draw 2 cards (confirmation needed). Players gain an additional mana point.


Cards are the main tool players use to compete in Artifact. They have different effects, descriptions and stats which contributes to the overall diversity of the game.


Stats are properties that heroes and creatures inherently possess and can be improved by items.

Stat Description
The amount of damage an unit can take before dying.
The amount of damage an unit subtracts from an attack.
The amount of damage an unit can deal before reductions.
The amount of damage which a tower or Ancient will take without blocking.
Deal damage to nearby units (confirmation needed)

Ability types[edit]

Abilities are either innate, or can be granted by items and spells. They fall into one main category, depending on its behavior.

Ability type Description

Ability effects[edit]

Abilities are unique powers or behaviors that are provided by spells, items or innate skills. They provide certain effects which can impact the battlefield.

Mechanic Description
If killed, return this hero to play at the the start of the next round.
Move a Hero to another lane.
Restore full Health to an unit.
Create a Summon.
Exchange the positions of 2 units.