Artifact screenshot of the Axe hero card

While Artifact is still in dire need of major updates, you might be glad to hear that Valve has now finally increased the speed of matches. The tournament timer now grants only 30 seconds per round (down from 1 minute) and starts at 2:30 (down from 3:00), while the standard timer now only grants 1 minute per round (down from 2) and starts at 3:00 (down from 5:00). Furthermore, in order to make complex decks more manageable under the new system, each time you receive the coin the clock will be extended by 5 seconds. 

Draft and Constructed gauntlets will now use the tournament timer rather than the standard timer, while the Call to Arms and Global Matchmaking will continue to use the now-updated standard timer. While these are relatively small changes in the grand scheme of things, they should hopefully prevent some Artifact matches from dragging on forever, as well as make the whole thing a bit less mentally taxing.

The update has also brought in some minor changes and bug fixes, the most important of which is the new HUD element that shows the last action taken. If you're interested in all of the details, you can find the full patch notes over at Steam.

Once Valve announces any more major changes I'll make sure to let you know, and I can only hope that will be soon as Artifact is unfortunately hemorrhaging players on a daily basis.

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