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Artifact: Drafting guide - Phantom and Keeper Draft

How drafting works in Artifact.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Artifact Drafting guide explains how Phantom and Keeper drafts work, and includes tips on optimising your deck as you go through the process.

A handful of Artifact game modes require you to work through a series of random packs, choose cards from each one, and repeat this process until you've assembled a pile of cards you can build a deck from.

If you're coming to Artifact from Hearthstone, it's a process you'll have some familiarity with from that game's Arena mode.

As with all things Artifact though, the system here is a lot more complex and it can be a little bit bewildering for a newcomer to wrap their head around.

With that mind, we wanted to put together a drafting guide that should hopefully take at least some of the pain out of the process.

This guide is very much a work in progress, and the first edition places a greater focus on how the drafting process actually works. Once the game has entered beta we'll add in additional insight in how to focus your draft and build the strongest possible deck.

If you're new to Artifact we highly recommend reading our core Artifact guide, which covers the basics of gameplay and will help you access all of our content for the game too.

Artifact: How To Draft

The overall objective of the drafting process is to look through a series of card packs, choose your preferred cards from each one, and then craft a deck from the pool of cards you've assembled.

  • As you look at each group, you'll only be able to select two of the cards that are contained within it.
  • Having made your selection, you'll then receive another pack that contains two fewer cards - they've been selected by someone else, just as you just did.
  • In each pass, the number of cards on offer is reduced by two.
  • By the time there are no cards left in the pool, you'll have a total of 12 cards from that pack.
  • The entire process takes place a total of five times, which means that at the end of the process you'll have 60 cards in your drafted collection.
  • From this pool of cards, you then need to construct a deck.

Our main Artifact guide contains everything you need to know about the game, but this excellent primer from Kripparian is well worth watching:

Artifact: Drafting Rules

There are a few extra rules to be aware of during the drafting process.

  • In any given pack you can only select one hero - you can't just grab two amazing ones.
  • If no hero is chosen before the end of the pack, the player will be offered a random generic hero.

Artifact: Drafting Tips

Here's a video that goes into the thinking behind a successful draft. You'll likely learn some very useful tips by watching the whole thing:

The lead designer of Artifact, Richard Garfield, has given a few tips for drafting in Artifact in recent months. Expect this section of our guide to expand significantly once we've had some hands-on time with the game ourselves.

  • Look at the heroes you're picking first. Getting a good set of heroes is vital, at which point you can then think about the deck you're going to build around them.
  • As you're making your way through the draft, it's important to evaluate the dominant colours of the cards you've picked so far, as you may want to prioritise taking heroes that support the playstyle your deck is leaning towards.
  • Garfield recommends waiting until around the middle of the draft at the earliest before picking equippable items. This allows you to look for the best way of supporting the core cards you've gathered together thus far.
  • As a very general rule of thumb, the more direct damage you can do to the enemy tower the better, and so it's worth prioritising this ability on the cards you're picking - assuming it suits your broad emerging strategy, of course.
  • It can be very difficult to draft for a single colour hero, and Garfield recommends two or three as the optimum core to build your deck around.
  • Garfield also highly recommends choosing Golden Ticket when you have the opportunity to do so, as the odds of receiving a higher value Item from the shop than the card costs are very good.

StanCifka's another Artifact player to keep an eye on, and the video below is essential viewing if you'd like more insight into the game:

Artifact: Drafting Modes

There are two modes at launch that support the drafting process: Phantom Draft and Keeper Draft. Both modes exist within the Expert Gauntlet section of the game. [UPDATE: Phantom Draft was also added to Casual Play recently].

We've got much more information on these modes in our general Artifact: Gauntlet guide (do give it a read if you're completely new to Gauntlet), but here's a very quick overview of how things work.

Event Tickets cost $4.95 for five, and you receive a bundle of them for preordering the game.

Phantom Draft

  • You build a deck by choosing cards from a series of packs, but you cannot keep the cards you draft at the end of your run.
  • You need to spend one Event Ticket to participate in a single Phantom Draft run.
  • You can win a maximum of five games. When you lose two games, your run with the deck is over.
  • 3 Win Rewards: 1 Event Ticket
  • 4 Win Rewards: 1 Event Ticket, 1 Pack
  • 5 Win Rewards: 1 Event Ticket, 2 Packs

Keeper Draft

  • You again build a deck from the drafting process, but you get to keep all of the cards that you draft.
  • You need to spend two Event Tickets and five Packs to take part in Keeper Draft. The higher cost reflects the fact that you are keeping all the cards at the end of your run and the rewards are greater all round.
  • Again, you can only win five games maximum with your drafted deck. Two losses and you're out.
  • 3 Win Rewards: 2 Event Tickets, 1 Pack
  • 4 Win Rewards: 2 Event Tickets, 2 Pack
  • 5 Win Rewards: 2 Event Tickets, 3 Packs

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