In the short time since the release of the Axie Infinity app we have seen a plethora of different metas and tactics hit the arena. Each new find felt like it brought a small wave of outrage with it. “This NEEDS to be nerfed” could be read in multiple chats like clock work after players were defeated by a new “OP” tactic. Below I will name the different metas we have already been through and show how the game has been evolving. How innovative players keep finding the answer to the newest “OP combo” and coming up with ways to beat them.
Poison Meta—–>END Boss Meta—->Back door Meta—->Disable Meta—-> Bumpy Meta (With a healthy dose of Serious and Rimp throughout)
Lets start at the beginning. The first combo people found were self healing defenders with Yam. Players would put up multiple layers of Yam defenders and by the time you were able to get through them all you would die from the immense amount of poison stacks you would gather. There was instant outrage at “How strong poison is” and it must be nerfed.
A few days later you see the emergence of pigeon post teams along with a healthy mix of self heal moves to counteract the poison everyone was bringing with them to the Arena. It also became clear to top players that playing more passively against a Yam team often forces the Yam player to waste there poisons predicting an attack that ends up not coming. Keeping track of what cards your oponnent has played is a big part in beating any well thought out strategy. If the other player plays 1 or sometimes even both of his Yam’s that needs to be your que to attack that Axie if possible as the chance they have the card again is very low. When you attack you also need to make sure you will eliminate the target, if the target survives there is a good chance it will have self heals to bring its HP back up in which case you didnt make a very good energy trade.
As players figured out how to beat good poison teams many players stopped using them and moved on to new ideas. Due to certain combinations of moves with an above average speed End Boss Axie emerged.
I would say the general consensus was that Tiny Dino was the key ingredient for an End Boss Axie. Here are some of the High Tier moves that work very well on this type of Axie.
Self Heals/Utility Parts
-Rosebud or Shiitaki
-Zig Zag, mosquito or catfish
-Tiny Turtle (use stun to ignore shield or get +energy trade)
-Imp+Ronin “Rimp” (critical strikes along with energy gain for critical strikes)
High Damage Moves
This Meta of End Bosses again called for a different approach as it became clear beating some of these monstrosities in a 1v1 situation was not going to happen. Since a player would generally save all the cards and as much energy as possible in order to unleash there End Boss on there opponents, poison was not an answer so where to next? People started to realize there are multiple ways to take out an Axie early before they reach there super sayin lvl 3 form which was to back door or target them while standing idol.
Toothless bite and Perch were the best options in my opinion because the End Boss is just that.. At the end which entails its not generally acting the first few rounds and is the furthest enemy from your cute yet intense internet monsters hoping to do you proud. Having Toothless Bite or Perch will give you the ability to target the back Axie or an Axie that is idol in this round of combat. If you can get a clear path of attack and take out the End Boss Axie in the earlier rounds of a game you have often won the match at that point. The enemies entire plan rides on being able to have all his cards and banked energy on his last champion to take out what ever is left. Just cut the head off the snake and the body with wither and die!
The innovation continued as players found more creative ways to not only shut down End Bosses but also set up Axies for failure in ensuing rounds. Parts such as Gravel Ant, Hatsune and Kestral hit the scene allowing players to disable certain moves of there opponents.
Players figured out that if they could disable certain moves from certain Axie that it became very easy to take advantage of the missing moves in the next round. For example if you are playing against an Axie with multiple melee moves in a 1v1 situation and you use Gravel Ant to stop them from using all melee moves in the next round you found yourself in an almsot un loos able position. If you were able to survive there first onslaught the game was yours!
Ok so I hope you are seeing a pattern here. Everything that at some point was considered to be “To Stronk” has been found wanting and a counter strategy has emerged. Now we enter the newest era which we can out right call “bumpy is king”.
Bumpy is a move that allows you to reset any ability that is triggered when your shield is destroyed.
-Snake Jar (stops all incoming damage unless stuns or sleep are used)
-Carrot (Allows player to gain multiple energy in a single round)
-Bone Sail (Allows player to draw multiple cards)
-Snail Shell ( Axie can stun multiple times)
Each one of the above combos is EXTREMELY strong, but again they can all be beaten. The biggest issue players have is with the Bumpy+Snake jar combo a s it can outright shut down any amount of pure damage you throw at it, when the dust settles the Axie has not been TOUCHED. This strategy only works though if its the last Axie on the field and it has drawn all of its cards. Sounds alot like the End Boss meta right? Well thats exactly it, you can destroy the Bumpy+Snake Jar Axie quiet easily if you bring the right tools. Poison, back door or Idol attacks and disable moves can all shut down the Bumpy combos and completely throw your enemies game plan out the window.
Players need to keep in mind without this trigger ability Bumpy becomes a pretty useless card. In a game with SO MANY options and so much room for innovation I want players to see the problem and look for a solution and not complain about balance right away. Axie Infinity is still in its Alpha phase and this is not the end product of the game. Level 2 parts are around the corner and they need to see everything they have created in action in order to build the solutions which I a pretty sure will come with upgraded parts. This is crypto and we pride ourselves on being innovative so lets walk the walk and keep pushing this deep skill based game to its maximum potential and just enjoy bashing our internet monsters into one another!