"Artifact" (アーティファクト Ātifakuto) is an archetype of Level/Rank 5 LIGHT Fairy monsters based around artifacts and weapons of ancient history and mythology. They benefit from being destroyed by card effects, and their Main Deck members can be Set as Spell Cards.
"Artifacts" are based on different types of ancient weapons (except "Beagalltach" and "Moralltach", which are a set of twin swords based on two related swords in the same myth, and "Durendal", which is the combined form of the two prior "Artifacts") with names based on mythological and historical weapons of the same design.
Visually, "Artifacts" share the same gold and silver coloration, with a steampunk-ish motif along with a dark black circle along the central vertical axis (two circles for the Xyz) of the weapon and thick black lines engraved along the body and blade. When the monster is "active" (as seen in "Artifact Ignition"), the dark circle is replaced with a gear-like emblem shared among all the "Artifacts" with a colored glow unique to that artifact, with the black engravings sharing that color.
The colors of the glowing emblem and engravings follow the 7 colors of the rainbow and 4 colors of the CMYK color model (the exception being "Artifact Durendal," which combines "Artifact Beagalltach" and "Artifact Moralltach" colors). Along with that, a single colored glowing spirit sharing its color is holding the "Artifact" while activated. According to the Primal Origin Booster Pack Guide, these spirits are artificial wielders generated by the weapons based on their most powerful owners. These spirits bear a strong resemblance to Equip Spell Cards Summoned as monsters by Geko Tenma under the influence of "Armament Reincarnation".
The "Artifacts" are ancient relics that once were used by heroes of other ages. They dwell in a "Treasure Vault" hidden beyond mountains. Using an energy source and their memories, they are able to manifest themselves in the form of those who wielded them in the past. However, it seems many of their memories are missing, and even without knowing why, they can merge together to work as one single "Artifact", one of those being the Memory-Severing Sword, Durendal, created with the power of "Beagalltach" and "Moralltach".
All Main Deck "Artifact" monsters are capable of setting themselves as Spell Cards during your Main Phase. They also share an effect that Summons them after being destroyed during your opponent's turn by either player's card effects. Finally, all Main Deck "Artifact" monsters share an effect that triggers during your opponent's turn when it is Special Summoned by any means (except "Artifact Caduceus" , which triggers when ANY "Artifact" is Summoned during your opponent's turn), and by utilizing these effects, Artifact decks can generate massive field presences, disrupting your opponent's moves and turning the tides very quickly thanks to "Artifact Caduceus", "Artifact Failnaught" and "Artifact Moralltach". They can also protect those field presences thanks to "Artifact Aegis" and "Artifact Achilleshield", allowing you to mount massive comeback next turn.
Cards like "Malevolent Catastrophe" and "Absorbing Jar" can provide a huge advantage, as they can can speed up the Summoning and triggering of the effects of the "Artifacts", upon being activated during your opponent's turn. "Shining Angel" and "Nova Summoner" are great cards to run to allow the Summoning of "Artifact Aegis" (as a strong defense) or "Artifact Beagalltach" (to destroy and Special Summon more "Artifacts").
Recently, many decks have include a small suite of Artifact cards (usually consists of "Artifact Moralltach" and "Artifact Sanctum", but can include "Artifact Beagalltach" and "Artifact Ignition" as well) to provide powerful disruption power and access to Rank 5 Xyz Monsters such as "Constellar Pleiades" and "Number 61: Volcasaurus", since those cards are already proven dangerous on their own. These kind of practices is commonly found in Trap-heavy decks to punish their opponent and possibly deter them from using backrow destruction cards.
You could use them in a "Superheavy Samurai" deck, as they are monsters. When they are in the Graveyard they aren't Spell cards, so it won't hurt the effects of "Superheavy Samurai" monsters. Additionally, they can be used for a Synchro Summon or as Tribute fodder for high-level "Superheavy Samurai" monsters.
Despite the fact that "Artifacts" can hastily unleash game-changing plays from within their unorthodox, Spell/Trap Card Zones, they are not impeccable as far as weaknesses go. In fact, "Dark Simorgh" or "Denko Sekka", combined with any of the following, such as "Soul Drain", "Silent Graveyard" and "Light-Imprisoning Mirror" will completely shut down these Decks as the said cards combined will inhibit both their Setting and return from the Graveyard. A similarly total disabling can be achieved with combining Macro tactics (i.e. "Macro Cosmos") with anti-Special Summoning cards (i.e. "Archlord Kristya", "Evilswarm Ophion", "Majesty's Fiend", "Vanity's Emptiness", etc.) to impede them from Special Summoning themselves from the Graveyard and keeping them off the Field and their secondary effects as well. "Summon Limit" may also limit their returns, if there are any, albeit much less efficiently.
"Skill Drain" and "Angel O7" can also counteract Artifacts because even if they can and do get Special Summoned, their secondary effects won't trigger once they hit the field. "El Shaddoll Winda" can also prove catastrophic for this deck, since she's not only limiting your Special Summons, but also cannot be destroyed by your card effects, rendering "Artifact Moralltach" useless.
Finally, most "Artifact" monsters are without their effects, mediocre stat-wise for a Swarm-type deck. While many of them boast above-average stats (compared to Decks like Chronomaly), they can still be easily beaten in battle by many other superior Decks of their type (i.e. "Hieratics" and "Atlanteans".) Plus, in the event that "Artifact" monsters cannot be Set, all of the non-Xyz "Artifact" monsters are Level 5, making them a very impractical and expendable Normal Summon, if things come down to such.
- The archetype's artworks are similar to those of "Fire Fist", as they both feature corporeal and spectral figures fighting together.