'Artifact' Card Prices Soar After Release, Some Worth More Than $20 Base Game Already

Artifact has officially released, and now fans of DOTA 2 and those curious to see what a Valve TCG can be can finally sink their teeth into the game. With around 40,000 to 60,000 concurrent players, the game seems to be attracting a sizable audience. Players have been enjoying the three-lane combat and unique game mechanics, but have still struggled to adapt to the confusing economic system.

$20 gets you the game, two starter decks and 10 packs. Additional packs can be purchased for two dollars, but you'll need to head to the Steam Marketplace if you are looking for any specific card. Unlike fellow card-game competitive Hearthstone, which allows you to craft any card in the game by recycling cards you don't need, Artifact requires you to spend real-world money. This has caused quite the market surge, with some cards fetching a higher price than the actual base game.

Here are some of the priciest cards in Artifact right now. Keep in mind, that these are the prices sellers are asking for on the Steam Marketplace and a card is only worth what people are willing to pay for it.

Axe: $22.82

Drow Ranger: $15.69

Annihilation $7.47

Time of Triumph: $7.88

When a new set of cards is released for a game, their prices can be highly inflated. With players wanting to get a jump start on the undefined meta, some with deep pockets spend whatever they have to to get the best cards. This causes the price to inflate and can potentially cause others to pay more money. Sellers, seeing an opportunity to make a buck, can start to buy the card in droves, hoping its value doesn't depreciate. Artifact doesn't allow you to make real money in-game, but resellers will always try and maximize their profits.

When I was a teenager, I was heavily into Yu-Gi-Oh! When a set would release, Konami would allow stores to run Sneak Peek events, where players could get packs from a set before release. Cards from these packs had massively inflated values, because some players were willing to spend whatever they had to to have the best cards. During a Sneak Peek, it wouldn't be rare to see an exclusive holo crucial to a powerful deck go for hundreds of dollars. The next week, that card had (most likely) massively depreciated in value.

Cards like Axe will only go down in value over time. Though he's a beefy boy right now, newer, more powerful cards will come out and replace him. We've never seen an online card game like Valve's before, but it's unlikely that it's going to break the system.