Parts Evolution is finally here and of course the first utility of Parts Evolution is Axie Infinity's Flagship game - Axie Infinity: Origins. In Axie Origins, levelling up your Axies and evolving Axie Parts can give a competitive advantage in its game play. Here I will look at the impact of Parts Evolution on the game play in Axie Origins.
Certain cards have better improvement than others when evolved (Mavis?)
HP increase when levelling up can be significant at high Axie level
Parts Evolution will likely lead to changes in market activity, pace of Origins meta, and player mindsets
Stats and Effects Changes with Parts Evolution and Axie Level
Axies will receive an additional +1 HP per level, and an extra +2 for every Ascension level (e.g. lvl 9 to 10 grants +3 total bonus HP).
Of the 192 parts, 42 will be receiving an Effect Improvement, while the remaining 150 will receive a Stat Boost. The average Stat Boost for these cards is 15%.
HP bonus per Axie level is a nice addition which gives a nice feeling that your Axies become stronger every time they level up. Small incremental and achievable goals keeps players playing. The Max HP increase from 400 to 471 is very significant. I would expect top players will need to use high level Axies to remain competitive. For casual players, the system rewards players who play consistently, though it may make it harder for new players to catch up unless they are willing to spend to buy high level Axies from the marketplace.
The bigger impact of leveling up Axies is the ability to evolve Parts after each Ascension. Evolved Parts have on average a 15% stat boost. Some evolved parts have improvement effects, which have further impact besides numerical values.
Below I will highlight some evolved Parts that could have significant impact on Axie Origins. See this link for the full list of evolved Parts. Note that everything in the list is subject to changes before the Season starts.
Significant evolved Parts in Axie Origins
Effect Improvements are the most interesting type of change as it potentially changes the way those Cards are played. Having said that, many "effect improvements" are numerical in nature, which makes them less exciting. A total of 42 cards received Effect Improvements upon Parts Evolution, some are more significant than others.
Navaga and Tassels are now faster to trigger thanks to the improved effect from Parts Evolution. Navaga effectively goes from 25 to 22 Fragments, potentially making it 1 turn faster. Tassels changes from 300 to 250 Shield, again making it faster to keep it to the earlier Bloodmoon. For these 2 Power Cards, I think it is a priority to evolved these parts before other Cards with only numerical improvements.
Sakura and Bumpy go from 8 to 10 Heal / Shield upon Parts Evolution, which can be significant but probably not a priority.
Unstable improves to Banish
Cottontail, Clear, Pink Cheek, and Nerdy all improve from Unstable to Banish. This is particularly important for teams that rely on Banish synergy, e.g. Topaz. For other teams, it should be less of a priority compared to stats change.
Class Card Tutors
All Class Card Tutors, e.g. Telescope for Aquatic, can draw from Draw Pile or Discard Pile without Initial, which is very significant because it now means you can play a card and immediately put it back at the top of the Draw Pile. Imagine playing Tiny Fan and draw it back again. This will make many strategies a lot more consistent.
Poison - Reverse Heal & more
Green Thorns, Small Frill, and Friezard all have Reverse Heal when evolved, making these cards a lot more flexible and allowing Poison to go faster in the damage race.
Yam goes from 3 to 4 Poisons when evolved, making it on par with the increase in Poison for Green Thorns and Small Frill evolutions.
Evolved Grass Snake increases Poison on target by 75% (from 50%) which is a very significant increase. The main problem with Poison is that ideally your would like to evolved many parts, which will require a lot of time for grinding AXP.
We may see evolved Rosa being played in Poison teams as it applied 3 Poison after evolved. In non-Poison team, the 3 Poison on evolved Rosa is also a very big buff as it makes it more difficult for the opponent to Cleanse off the Sleep.
A numerical change but a significant one as the threshold goes from 90 to 105 for Shoal Star, making it a 1-Energy 105 DMG card with Retain.
Innocent Lamb has always been one of the best Cards in Origins. Upon evolution, it gives a +10% bonus stat to the copied card, which can be significant for some cards such as Strawberry Shortcake. However, the copied card does not have any Charm effect. Even with the 10% bonus stat, the copied card is likely to be worse than the original copy with Charm.
Mosquito has been a strong card and now with Parts Evolution, it applies 3 Poison and 3 Bleed to enemy, which takes away 6 Cleanser on the enemy in 1 go! With a Debuff or Dispel Charm, it can remove even more Cleanser stacks with just 1 card. Remember the Max Cleanser stack is going to be 10 in Season 7.
3 Poison + 3 Bleed in itself is already very good even if it is not against Cleanser teams. Poison-Bleed teams may want to look into evolved Mosquito.
Evolved Square Teeth deals bonus DMG = 70% of consumed Shield instead of 50%. With the cap of consuming 60 Shield, evolved Square Teeth can now do 42 DMG for 0 Energy not including Charms. It is effectively a 12 DMG buff on a 0-Energy Card, making it a priority to evolve compared to other cards with numerical increase.
Leafy & Tri Spikes
Evolved Leafy is back to the pre-nerfed Leafy, only need 3 Leaf to get to 150 DMG instead of 4. It will certainly help Leafy teams but it is probably not enough for Leafy to get back to the top without other buffs.
Tri Spikes has a much bigger potential with Parts Evolution making it +1.5 DMG per Spike or Bloodspike (from +1 DMG). Even with 10 Spikes / Bloodspikes, it will make a 15 DMG difference, and the scaling can go crazy in certain matchups especially with Prehistoric Armor. Evolved Tri Spikes is potentially archetype defining as there are already teams based on Tri Spikes in previous seasons, some of which were pretty successful in Rare or Epic Era. Of course the downside with Tri Spikes is that it takes some time to set up, but it is surely fun to see massive damage for casual players.
Another evolved part that can scale is Carrot, which now get +8 ATK when healed >=8 HP by an ally, capping at 120 bonus ATK (+6 ATK cap at 90 before evolving). There is also a buff from 60 to 65 when evolved. With the improved Shiitake and the flexibility of many Reverse Heal cards, it may not be too difficult to scale Carrot to 100+ ATK. Even at a base level, 65 ATK with +1 Fragment could be good for Ramp / Fragment gain, so we may see some teams rely on evolved Carrot to deal high damage late game as finisher, similar to how Tiny Dino is used.
Bonus Stat +10
Many 1-Energy Single target Cards get +10 bonus stat when evolved. For some cards, the +10 stat scales with other card effects, making the +10 stat more effective than just +10. For high damage Aggro teams, e.g. Anemone, having +10 on even Attack Cards will make it even faster, especially with Vulnerable and Fragile.
Below I will highlight some cards that have the potential to go beyond to +10 stat.
2-Energy Cards - Sponge, Strawberry Shortcake, and Gila
Sponge gets +10 for its AoE Shield when eovlved, which is probably the least effective out of the 3 2E cards.
The +10 for evolved Strawberry Shortcake feels good as one often gets the full +30 value (1 from playing the Card and 2 from the 2 Strawberry). It adds significantly to the burst potential, making it a high priority in evolving.
Gila is already a very good card. With +10 for evolved Gila, it is going to feel even stronger. Having said that, there are other cards in Poison teams that may have a higher priority in evolution, espeically ones with Reverse Heal.
Piranha & Razor Bite
Stealing 25% of unblocked DMG for Piranha and Heal 50% unblocked DMG for Razor Bite scale well with +10 from evolution.
Rice now has +10% DMG per Cunning. With the +10 from evolution, it can become +20 with 10 Cunning stacks.
Shiitake & Clover
Shiitake probably has one of the best +10 effects as it not only adds to the Heal when playing the Card, but also the AoE Heal of Mushroom at the end of turn as well as just making Shiitake a bit harder to kill with higher HP. Clover also gets +10 Heal when evolved, which translate to +10 Max HP, but its effect is less significant compared to evovled Shiitake.
The +10 on evolved Hot Butt is at a similar level as Shiitake, if not better because the +10 translates to +5 AoE DMG for each Burn Card, meaning +30 DMG from the +10 assuming opponent has 3 Axies. It should be a high priority to evolve in Hot Butt teams given the change in Bloodmoon making the game faster.
The reflect on Indian Star makes the +10 on every Shield Card more effective as it adds to the reflect damage from Indian Star.
Bonus Stat +5
Many AoE, Multi-Hit, and Hybrid cards get +5 bonus stat when evolved. Naturally, the more hits an attack does, the more significant the +5 stat is.
Little Owl & Feather Fan
As number of hits goes, the +5 for Feather Fan and Little Owl are the most effective when scaled. For Feather Fan, it goes from 175 to 210 for 7 Hits when evolved, which is +35 DMG. For 6 Hits Little Owl, it is arguably even effective with +30 DMG per Energy. The challenge for Triple Owl is that ideally one would want to evolve all 3 Little Owl (and Feather Fan), which means it will be a long grind for AXP. It also means that high level Triple Owl Axies could sell for significantly more compared to similar level Axies.
Eggshell & Turnip
The +5 in evolved Eggshell not only adds to the 3 Hits but also to the Shield from the Egg Shell buff, making it more effective than other +5.
Turnip stands out from the other hybrid cards in that its +5 from evolution is also applied to the Turnip Rocket, effectively giving it +30 (5 Heal + 5 Shield + 4 x 5 Turnip Rocket).
Bonus Stat (Others)
Perch goes from base 15 to base 18 when evolved, which may make it better in the Rare Era depending on the break points, but it is unlikely to too much of an impact as it often has enough damage once setup. The challenge for Perch teams are usually not the damage breakpoint, but surviving until it is set up to get the Perch off.
2-Energy Attack Cards
Many 2E Attack Cards has a +20 Buff when evolved, including Koi, Little Branch, Shiba, and Beech, similar to how 1E Single Attack Cards get +10. Sandal was given a +15 Buff instead, which I assume is because of the scaling with bonus DMG on Debuffed enemy.
Mavis was given a +15 Buff when evolved, which has the potential to become OP. Evolved Mavis has a base attack of 55, which is close to a normal attack, with the additional effect of making a Summon which deals another 55 DMG to the closest enemy at the end of your turn in Season 7. And let's not forget the primary effect of Mavis with Energy Fragments. I think the +30 DMG on evolved Mavis is too hard to resist for many players. I will not be surprised if Mavis will get nerfed before the start of Season 7.
Finally we have Nimo tail which becomes a Shield card when evolved, allowing it to equip certain Charms such as White Sage.
Potential Effects of Parts Evolution on Meta, Market, and Players Mindset
Parts Evolution will for sure change the dynamic of how players play the game, which will affect the meta and the market activity. My spectulation is that most players will focus on leveling up a few Axies and will focus on playing one or a few archetypes to gain AXP for specific Axies, as opposed to trying out different Axies and archetypes from the marketplace. Significant market activity will turn from shopping Axies to try out different archetypes to buying Axies to get material for Parts Evolution. We will have to see how the two factors affect the overall market activities.
Given the resources required to level up and evolve Axie Parts, it will be very likely that the meta will shift slowly as players are less willing to shift archetypes. This may even apply to pro players as the availability of high level Axie with optimal Parts will be very low. With the demand on high level Axies, I will not be surprised to see more scholarship programmes will start to have scholar grinding for AXP.
For casual players, I believe Parts Evolution will make the game more engaging as there is a constant progress in levelling up Axies, which will lead to a deeper connection between players and their Axies. The downside is that it may disincentivise players to try out new archetypes and new teams, making the game repetitive after awhile. It will be interesting to hear feedback from players as the next Season goes on.
While it may be slightly disappointing that many changes with evolved parts are simple numerical advantage, there are a small number of evolved effects that are potentially exciting in terms of Origins game play. I can see that Parts Evolution will increase the longevity and complexity of Axie Origins in that it creates an extra layer for designing new game mechanics as well as more for players to play for. It will for sure change the way players play the game. We will have to see how differently will new, returning, and existing players react to the introduction of Parts Evolution to Axie Origins.
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