Artifact: A Drafting Guide
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Many players consider the Draft mode to be much better than Constructed in Artifact for a couple of reasons:
- The games are more diverse since you don’t face similar strategies from one game to another.
- Your wallet doesn’t matter, as everyone plays the cards they draw/pick.
Drafting in Artifact is a separate skill that needs to be mastered along with playing the actual game.
There are two main Draft modes in Artifact: Phantom Draft and Keeper’s Draft. In Phantom Draft, you keep the cards only until the end of the Gauntlet, whether it’s Standard or Prize Play. Keeper’s Draft is accessible in Prize play alone, it costs 2 Event Tickets and 5 Packs to participate, but you keep all the cards you drafted and can immediately use them in Constructed.
How to Draft
Upon entering a Draft Mode, you need to draw 60 cards from multiple packs. The first pack you are given has 12 cards, and one of them is a hero. You pick 2 cards that are added to your temporary collection and move to the next pack, this time with 10 cards. Each incomplete pack you find was previously given to other players who took the cards from it. The decks you take cards from yourself are also later sent to other drafters.
With each set of 12 cards, you must pick one hero. So, if there are only 2 cards in a pack and you haven’t chosen a hero from this set, one of them will be a hero.
When the Draft phase has finished, you need to compose a deck out of the 60 cards you drew (including the heroes and items). On top of the Drafted heroes you can use the stock ones, there are three per each color.
How to practice Artifact Draft
Nothing stops you from starting Phantom Draft in Standard Play and just abandoning the Gauntlets after the Draft phase. You can also use draft simulation tools like this one to practice Draft even without running the game client.
Artifact Draft Pro Tips
- Pay extra special attention to the heroes you choose, because they contribute to 15 out of 40 minimum cards in your deck.
- Learn about the main deck cards, heroes and items that are basically auto pick in Draft. Many sites hold databases of cards broken into tiers, and you can use them as a starting point. I recommend DrawTwo.gg, a project supported by Team Liquid, as it contains expertly chosen lists.
- Keep your options open for the first couple of deck sets and pick cards that are higher on the tier list. There are no time limitations during the draft, and technically nothing is stopping you from alt-tabbing to a browser window or using the phone to consult with external resources.
- When you move to the third deck set, start looking at the cards and colors that work with the ones you’ve already drafted.
- Look for synergy. Bounty Hunter’s signature card works excellent with Payday, Kanna’s signature card excels with Diabolic Revelation. This is the kind of synergy you need.
- Keep in mind the ratios of colors and mana costs. You don’t want to end up with 30 cards and 1-2 heroes of the same color.
- Keep in mind the cost of items you choose. If you are building up a control deck that doesn’t rely on frequent kills (e.g., mono blue), you won’t have enough money for expensive items. You don’t want to sit on excess gold at the same time, so try to balance it out.
- Aim to use 2 or 3 colors and get the best cards from each color.