Artifact Playing Around High Impact Cards Guide

by DFSRJames

Since playing around cards is something I see my opponents openly blunder on constantly, I figured I’d share the table I use to reference how likely my opponent is to have a certain card.

Let’s start with the most common scenario in Artifact – playing around an impactful “3-of”. In Draft with unknown deck lists these basically come down to hero cards, but in constructed where many decks play a 3-of of their most important spells as well. I’ll also point to a few important cards that people play as less than a 3 of in constructed (like Time of Triumph) at the end as well.

Figuring out what to actually DO to play around certain things is going to be more art that science, of course, which is part of what makes artifact such a beautiful game. Sometimes you’ll sacrifice a lot to keep initiative in the first lane at the beginning of turn 4 to play around a potential Coup, and sometimes you let your opponent keep initiative to blow his Coup because you have two blue heroes there anyway.

Your opponent’s behavior will also move these numbers around as well. An opponent that is investing a lot of resources into a lane where they could get a profitable Annihilation is unlikely to have it, even if the math assigns whatever % to it. You get the idea.

The first step, of course, is going to be to simply know what the percentages are in the first place. So let’s get to it.

All of the following information assumes that your opponent hasn’t drawn any additional cards. If your opponent has drawn 2 cards (using foresight, or DR, or multiple potions), you can of course just use the %s from the previous turn. If there is a lot of demand for it I can quickly run the numbers for when your opponent does a single card draw from a potion or J’muy.

TL:DR Table for future reference, assuming your opp has 3 copies of a card:

Turn 1, 3 mana: 33.7%

Turn 2, 4 mana: 44.7%

Turn 3, 5 mana: 54.5%

Turn 4, 6 mana: 63%

Turn 5, 7 mana: 70.3%

Turn 6, 8 mana: 76.7%

The longer table, that also shows which heroes and spells come on line during that turn (so you can control-F if you’re in the middle of a game and need a quick reference).

Turn 1, 3 mana, and a 5 card opening hand.

Interactive hero spells that cost 3 or less:

No Accident (Debbi), Duel (Legion Commander), Ignite (Ogre Magi), Whirling Blades (Timbersaw), Battlefield Control (J’Muy), Double Edge (Centaur Warrunner), Aphotic Shield (Abaddon), Viper Strike (Viper), Kraken Shell (Tide Hunter), Frostbite (Crystal Maiden)

Likelihood that one of these spells is in your opponent’s opening hand: 33.7% Likelihood that one of these spells is in his hand if he has 2 of a hero (common with Debbi in draft): 57.7%

Turn 2, 4 mana.

Common interactive spells:

Gust (Drow Ranger), Allseeing One’s Favor (Omniknight), Vis54cous Nasal Goo (Bristleback), Enrage (Ursa), Empower (Magnus), Blood Rage (Blood Seeker)

Likelihood that one of these spells is in your opponent’s hand: 44.7%

Turn 3, 5 mana.

Common interactive spells: March of the Machines (Tinker), Fighting Instinct (Keefe), Verdant Refuge (Enchantress)

Likelihood that one of these spells is in your opponent’s hand: 54.5%

Turn 4, 6 mana.

Common interactive spells:

Berserker’s Call (Axe), Coup (Phantom Assassin), Eclipse (Luna), Mystic Flare (Skywrath Mage), Winter’s Curse (Winter Wyvern), God’s Strength (Sven)

Likelihood that one of these spells is in your opponent’s hand: 63%

Turn 5, 7 mana.

Common interactive spells:

Assassinate (Sniper), Thundergod’s Wrath (Zeus), Primal Roar (Beastmaster), Hand of God (Chen), Echo Slam (Earth Shaker), Chain frost (Lich)

Likelihood that one of these spells is in your opponent’s hand: 70.3%

Turn 6, 8 mana (for constructed):

Common big plays and interactive spells:

Time of Triumph, Emissary of the Quorum

Chances of your opponent drawing these as a one of: 37.5%

Chances of your opponent drawing these as a two of: 61.5%

Chances of your opponent drawing these as a three of: 76.7%

Turn 7, 9 mana (for constructed)

Common big plays: Incarnation of Selemene

Chances of your opponent drawing these as a one of: 42.5% Chances of your opponent drawing these as a two of: 67.6% Chances of your opponent drawing these as a three of: 82.1%

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