Artifact game screenshot of the Axe hero

After a lengthy and far too secretive beta, it would appear that Valve and Richard Garfield's card game Artifact is now just about ready to release. To be more specific, you'll be able to experience experiencing a Dota 2 match from a bit of a different perspective this November 28th at a €18 price tag.

Your initial purchase will include 10 card packs filled with 12 cards from the Call to Arms set, 5 event tickets that you can use to enter the various game modes, as well as two complete starter decks: Red/Green Brawler and Blue/Black Control. Everything else you will need to acquire by either purchasing card packs, winning games in the Expert Gauntlet modes, or just by buying and selling individual cards on the Community Market. There will be no player-to-player trading at launch, so if you're planning on buying Artifact, do bear in mind that building a good deck will likely require you to open up your wallet once more.

If you're wondering what exactly these Expert Gauntlet game modes even are, as well as what Artifact as a whole has to offer, you'll find some of the answers you seek over at the official FAQ. On the other hand, if you're more interested in how an actual match plays out, I'm afraid Valve has not released any gameplay trailers or tutorials just yet. As such, my advice would be to head on over to Youtube in order to find some footage from the closed beta, though given the complexity of Artifact, don't be surprised if it takes you a couple of matches to figure out just what is happening.

Artifact screenshot of the three different boards

With three different boards things can definitely get a bit hectic

Personally, and as a big fan of card games this really pains me to say, I simply cannot muster any excitement for Artifact. The gameplay looks genuinely interesting and it's always good to see Richard Garfield fully invested in a new project, but the idea of having to spend money so I can spend even more money to stay competitive just doesn't appeal to me anymore. I've already been down that rabbit hole once with the physical version of Magic: The Gathering, but at least there I was able to gift my collection to my younger cousins so that they could continue having fun with the cards. Maybe I'm just being overly paranoid, but either way, I would recommend doing a bit of research before diving into Artifact.

My little musings aside, you can find out more about Artifact, as well as secure yourself a copy, by visiting Steam. If Valve decides to release any more information, or ideally a new player guide, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, I'm afraid all we can do is sit and wait to see how all this plays out.