Key Balance Changes for Pre-Season 8 in Axie Infinity: Origins

New Starter, Runes, and Charms

Pre-season 8 balance patch is here with 1 new Starter Axie, 20 new Runes, and 10 new Charms. And yes, Healing Pulse is nerfed.

The balance changes will be live in game for pre-season 8 on 20 March 2024 (if all goes to plan). Here are the official key points from Axie Infinity. [Link to official changelog.]

  • The Energy Coin tool card is now available for Player 1 and grants 1 fragment upon usage.

  • Olek & Ena’s cards have been reworked to accompany the new Starter Axie Mít.

  • A total of 20 new Runes and 10 new Charms are being added to the game.

  • New [Awakening Stamp] Charms which upgrades Cards to the next Stage (up to Stage 2).

  • All S8 Runes & Charms (marked as S7.5) are available in Shop for FREE during the Preseason.

  • S7 Runes & Charms will be updated to their S8 effects to ensure a fair testing environment.

On top of that, there will be a "Runes & Charms Crafting System Improvement" as well as a "Preseason Collectible Leaderboard" to look forward to with the latter running from 20 Mar to 3 Apr with total prize pool of 4000 AXS.

One thing to note is that, as usual, further balance changes can be changed before the Start of Season 8.


  • Summon, Sleep, (and Goo?) getting some love

  • So many new Runes across all 3 Eras

  • Evolved Parts more accessible with new Charms

New and Reworked Starter Axies


Mít is the new Starter Axie coming to Axie Origins in Season 8, which I assume is a Plant Axie as Olek and Ena are reworked. The main synergy is Sleep with its unique Power, Meditate, from the Dream Eater card, which gain stacks per enemy with Sleep before each turn ends, then deal 15 DMG per stack to enemies after 11 Turns. The payoff is really very delayed, and it will likely be to slow given how fast the meta is, but it is always good to have new mechanics to play with for casual players where it has potential to deal 400+ AoE damage if you can get all opponent's Axies asleep and they choose to stay asleep.

Mít has quite a number of Attack Cards and only 1 Shield Card, and so it is more leaning towards dealing damage rather than Sustain, just makes it even harder to stay alive for 11 Turns. Daydreaming is the Card to note as it is a 0-Energy Attack Card that can target any Ally (and Enemy), quite can be valuable for self-proc effects like Spikes, Pumpkin Draw, apply debuff on ally for Rise & Ruin Cleanse etc.

Mít's Sweet Dream is the new Starter Rune that can put 2 extra Sleep turns on opponent (once a turn) as well as Max HP +8%, which is pretty low power level. However, Mít's Comfy Pillow is very likely going to see play as it applies 2 Sleep on Initial for Single Attacks, which is massive given how common Tiny Turtle was used before the last season in certain archetypes. This could be even stronger with the new Runes, Forest Aroma and Jungle Nightmare, with sleep synergies.


Olek has a Leafy now but with Beetroot. Sprout can get 2 Leaf on all allied Axies, making Olek suited also in Leafy teams for casual players. Risky Trunk seems strong with 50 AoE Shield and apply 3 Sleep to 2 random enemy Axies when next turn ends. The down side is that you may have to wake the opponent's Axies up when you attack into them during your turn.


Cub changed to 0-Energy and Retain 2 specific cards in Hand until your next turn, which can potentially be valuable, especially in the Rare Era without any Retain Charms. Mandarine being Reverse Heal is a good change so that new and casual players can have a bit of fun with Reverse Heal, though being on 20 Heal is really a bit weak. Aegis Tailsman gets a nice buff now becoming a better Pumpkin + apply Sleep to 1 random enemy Axie. With Magic Sack still there and unchanged, meaning you can still make 1 copy of a card, I think Ena has the potential to be used in certain archetypes as other Ena's Cards are also usable.

Energy Coin

The player going first will start the game with an [Energy Coin] in Hand.

[Energy Coin] 0E : <Retain>. Gain 1 <Fragment>. <Exile>.

The concept of Energy Coin is not new, and in this case, it is the dev's way to balance the Player 1 to Player 2 win rate problem. Being a 0-Energy card in itself can be a problem, having synergies with "Card played this turn". The 1 Fragment can be significant either with Ramping to Energy Burst or Cottontail. I am excited to see how many players with choose to go first for the coin.

New Mechanics + Mechanics Changes

5 new Mechanics will be added with the new Starter Axie, Runes, and Charms (see corresponding sections for details). The only 1 change is Bulwark which is a relatively minor change where Bulwark stacks lost on Allied Axie death increased from 2 to 3.

Tool and Cursed Card Changes

See above for Energy Coin. See Ena for Mandarine.


Goo is reworked yet again, and I think this time it has a good chance to succeed when combining with other Cursed Cards such as Jinx, Confused, and/or Hot Butt. Its effect can be very annoying as it forces opponent to discard a non-Cursed card from their Hand. Of course, it also helps the opponent to rotate through their deck faster by drawing 1 Card, but this could be a good thing for Jinx teams.

Forest Wrath & Venom Burst

Both added Reverse Heal with a Heal stat, which makes them more flexible, even though it will be used for damage most of the time. The buff in their damage is also good to bump the power level of these 2 Runes up. Both Tool Cards now belong to the Rune owner, which can be bad as they disappear when the Rune owner dies.

Giant Bubble

Giant Bubble is pretty much reworked in that it is always 1 Energy and the amount of Bubbles granted depend on the turns retained (cap at 3 turns, i.e. 9 Bubbles to allied Axies). I can see that it potentially used in Bubble teams now that it only costs 1 Energy.

Cards Changes


Finally Nimo Ramp is nerfed, so no more Turn 1 Energy Burst. Nimo ears cap at 2 Fragments and Nimo tail only gain Fragment with Initial. Quite a number of archetypes will take a hit, especially Bubbles, Sandals, and Perch. We will probably see non-Nimo versions of these teams come up next season (e.g. I have been playing non-Nimo Perch for last season in Top 1000).


The evolved versions of Bamboo, Spiky, and Feather Spears got a nice buff to adding 3 Leaf, Spike, or Feather to Spear Card holders if the deck has 3 Spear cards. It is probably most significant for Leafy, making a previously well bred archetype hopefully somewhat viable again.

Silence Whisper & Tiny Turtle

Silence Whisper was way too strong. It is still going to be strong but at least the Sleep is to random Enemy now (which can include Summons?).

Tiny Turtle got a little buff of +5 ATK and now one of the only options for targetted Sleep. At least it is not completely outclassed by other Card now.

Peace Maker

2 Cards that never seen much play finally got buffed to "Target any enemy". Still going to be Weak (pun intended) in my opinion, but at least it is moving to the right direction.

Curly & Fragile

Again, 2 Cards that never seen much play. Now changed to deal Pure DMG on Fragile targets. Not such how useful it is against Sustain with Cleanse and Cleanser. Not really useful against archetypes without Shields, especially when Nimo ear in nerfed.

Puppy Ears & The Last One

Puppy Ears has an interesting buff of scaling its ATK whenever the Axie heals another allied Axie ≥ 8 HP (+7 ATK for Puppy+ cap at 84 bonus ATK, meaning 144 ATK when fully scaled. It is somewhat similar to Carrot, and the probem is that it may be too slow.

The Last One is a very interesting Card to theorycraft and build around. Its new effect is 35 base ATK and "Randomly deal 2 hits. +10 DMG if you have 13 to 16 cards in your Deck; +30 DMG if 6 to 12 cards; +115 DMG if < 6 cards." Base level = 70 DMG; 2 Cards Banished / Exiled = 90 DMG; 6 Cards Banished / Exiled = 130 DMG; 13 Cards Banished / Exiled = 300 DMG for 1 Energy! Of course this would be useless against Cursed Card teams, and it is tough to fit into Banished teams as it competes with Nimo tail.

New Runes + Runes Changes

The most exciting part of Season 8 has to be the addition of some many new Runes as well as update on existing Runes. We can see that Axie Origins in moving towards increasing the importance of Runes and Charms, which of course make sense for a game economy point of view since Runes and Charms have to be crafted and traded every season. Given the large amount of changes, I will focus on the Runes that I think are most significant.


Way of Aquatic is the new Bubble Shooter for Triple Owl Aqua, which aligns with the direction of having players craft or buy their Runes as opposed to using Starter Runes.

Black Ink is a new Rune with Cursed Card synergy, especially with Jinx as the Bad Luck can add up very quickly as well as the 13 Pure DMG AoE every turn. Feels like a must of Jinx teams in the Epic Era.

Calcium Armour gaining 1 Fragment while Shield is broken is a nice addition but opponents can potentially play around it.

Bombshell Maker is the new Mystic Rune for Aqua. It has an interesting new mechanic of Bombshell that does Splash DMG. It works well with high DMG cards such as Tiny Fan and Sandal but I am not sure how it compares with other Mystic Runes such as Celestial Might given that it takes time for Bombshell to stack.


Inspiration Hero is a new Rune that has an Endless Anger vibe but for the whole team. Having said that, as an Epic Rune, I am not sure if the Rage stacks are necessary with Mask of Frenzy still around. Perhaps in can replace Way of Beast in Epic as the +10% Stat whenever allies gain Fury can be strong given how often we see all 3 Axies getting to Fury in the same turn.

Reckless Hunter is now a Bleed Rune as well, which makes Bleed more playable in Epic. That said, I am not sure if it is enough to push Bleed to be viable in Epic.

Counter Stance is the new Mystic Beast Rune which has multiple effects. First, when attacked, it does Counter Attack, meaning -5% DMG per Skill or Secret Card in the deck owned by this Axie (cap at -25% DMG), as well as dealing 5 DMG per Attack Card in the deck owned by the Axie (cap at 25 DMG). The other effect is dealing +5% per Attack Card in your Deck owned by this Axie (cap at +25% DMG). The obvious way to maximise its effect is to increase the number of cards owned by this Axie via Tool Cards, in particular Feather Dagger for Attack and Strawberry for Skill. The problem with this Rune is that the effect is actually not that amazing, 25% DMG reduction and +25% DMG are good but requires set up. Certainly feels midrange but midrange has not been much of a thing in Axie Origins (perhaps except Topaz and Sturdy Fighter).


Raven's Tactic is reworked yet again, now back to Epic and have something to do with Plume, whatever Plume is. Meanwhile Sharp Talon pretty much becomes to old Raven' Tactic.

Feather Descend is pretty much unchanged except consuming 1 more Feather when getting Feather Dagger.

Flock's Might is the new Mystic Bird Rune which has Summon synergy. Randomly summoning a Little Robin or Mavis every Round seems fun and can be effective in blocking an attack except against AoE. Not sure how useful it is against Combo teams but the Fragment effects of Mavis can be disruptive.


The first Attack as Pure DMG is interesting for Blood Bettle but probably does not make much impact unless there are a lot of Shield-based teams around. With Nimo ear nerfed, it may not as effective. Having said that, the Steal 10 HP can be good enough for Rare Era as a mini Bloodlust.

Fate Maker finally is reworked and it will probably feel so bad to play against, especially if you are playing combo teams and seeing your combo cards all get discarded. I can see this even viable in Mystic just to discard all the good cards from opponent's hand. Jinx seems to be a particularly good fit but it can be viable in many archetypes just to counter combo.

Greedy Leech is the new Mystic Bug Rune with Steal synergy. I think it will be fun to try and build a team around the Steal mechanic but I am not sure if it is strong enough in Mystic, especially with the Alert mechanic. (Perhaps Cuckoo Piranha is back?)


Forest Aroma can feel quite strong against Aggro and it may be able to carry Sleep synergy to be at least somewhat viable in Rare. However, as a Rare Rune, it is probably only going to be good in Rare. Also, it is not too effective against teams with Cleanse, e.g. Gecko eyes and Confident.

Rise & Ruin is going to feel a bit better to play now with additional Forest Breath as well as one starting in hand when the game starts. Together with the increase DMG scaling and Reverse Heal of Forest Wrath, I can see Poison running it again. We may also see some sort of Aggro Sleep being viable depending on the meta. Ambush on Forest Breath is the main thing holding it in check.

Healing Pulse nerfed as expected. Biggest change is Overheal now deals DMG to the highest HP Enemy instead of lowest HP, meaning it is hard to pick up early KO as the damage is evenly distributed. Splash conversion only applied to other allies reduces the DMG dealt as well, making Healing Pulse weaker in terms of DMG but still strong with healing.

Jungle Nightmare is the new Mystic Plant Rune with Sleep synergy. While there are ways to get around Sleep with Cleanse, Cleanser, and 0-Energy Cards, not all archetypes may have these tools to counter Sleep. I can see Sleep with Reverse Heal using Jungle Nightmare can be something to look out for. Silence Whisper and Strawberry Shortcake feels good with Jungle Nightmare. Overall, it is good to see Sleep some love across all 3 Eras.


Venoki's Poison nerf again, which aligns with lowering the power level of Starter Runes such that players are more likely to craft or buy Runes. Shellshock moving to Rare and reduces damage is an interesting option. Anyone wants to play Sustain with multiple Shellshck in Rare?

Desert Protector seems like an interesting option for Sustain. Guard has not seen much use, so I am not sure if it will be good enough for Epic.

Venom Master now applies 6 Poison stacks passively, which can feel better and also more consistent. Venom Burst with "belong to Rune owner" may make it harder to maximise its value, but I can see Poison being around in at least Rare and Epic Eras.

Spike Spray is the new Mystic Reptile Rune. Unfortunately it still suffers from the same problem for Spikes in general, which is that it requires opponent to proc the Spikes to be effective. It is good against certain archetypes that deals many hits, e.g. Feather, but it does nothing against Reverse Heal or big hits like Sandal and Fury Aggro. Consuming Bloodspike when hit can also feel bad as it weakens Tri Spikes damage. Being a Mystic Rune, it may not be able to compete, especially against Combo teams and many other teams that do not deal many hits.


Tiny Guardian is another Summon synergy Rune with a cute effect of the Axie's Summons gain 10 Shield when summoned and 1 Guard next turn. 10 Shield is really not much but it may make a difference in Rare. With Guard, putting more Shields on the Summons, especially AoE Shield, will become more effective. I can see Summon-based team being a significant force in the Rare Era.

Healing Force is another Rune now with Summon synergy. Allied Summons take -20% DMG from all sources can be quite significant.

Celestial Might has a Ramp buff!? Not sure why because it is already quite strong. They just want Aggro to go faster!?

Holy Guardian is the new Mystic Dawn Rune. It is a purely defensive Rune. In a way it is similar to Gaia's Embrace, which has not seen much play. I do not expect to see Holy Guardian much, maybe except as a Support in Single Carry teams.


Cursed Ritual now with self heal, which fits well with Jinx and Cursed Card teams in general.

Malediction moved to Rare and reduced to 15%, which is very good for Rare. The problem is finding the right kind of teams that it can fit in. Poison? Bleed? Sleep? Aggro with Vulnerable and Fragile?

Plague Bearer is a counter to debuff-based Aggro teams. It takes less DMG, Cleanse 2, and causes HP loss to enemies when attacked with debuffs on. The tricky part is that random debuffs gained may work against you. Against non-Attack based teams, it can be pretty useless. Self attacks seem to be essential to make the most of this Rune.

Soul Eater now does not have self HP Loss, can potentially be viable with multiple Feather Dagger, causing HP Loss of 6% of their Current HP. I assume it will work with Reverse Heal such as Strawberry as well.

Weakening Aura is the new Mystic Dusk Rune which is a defensive Rune that can be good against Aggro. Ultimately it reduces opponent's DMG by 15%, which is pretty good for defensive teams like Sustain or even Summon and Cursed Card teams. In a way it is again similar to Gaia's Embrace, but now we have more options for defensive Runes.


Zap Armor did not really see play after the damage buff was removed. The -15% DMG can be good but the condition of while Shielded is not the best. Defensively it is not as good as Way of Plant but the Reflect DMG may play a part in the damage race.

Solid Bulwark is an interesting combination of Attack and Shield. It is see Topaz potentially liking this Rune. Other more all-in Aggro teams may opt for more DMG instead, so this is more of a Rune for midrange teams (maybe Sleep?).

Shield Backup is going to be really annoying to play against. I can imagine teams just losing to this Rune alone if they have no way to get through the Shield. Sustain players will love this change.

Rocket Barrage is the new Mystic Mech Rune which is all about Rocket and DMG. It basically increases the DMG of Attacks by 20-35% from Rocket and another 7-12.25% from Big Rocket. A 27-47.25% Attack buff for the whole team is very significant, but the damage only comes every 3 (and 9 for Big Rocket) hits, which can be a bit delayed. The good side is that Rocket hits the lowest HP Enemy Axie, so it can help to pick up KOs faster. I think it will certainly be fun but also strong for Aggro teams like Anemone with big hits after big hits.


For Rare Neutral, we have Evolution Stone which becomes more powerful for each Burst level. It is not going to be as easy to Burst with the nerf on Nimo, so I do not expect this to see much use.

Pure Luck now feels like a Holy Prayer. Sure, it is now nerfed to +10% Value but it is for all allied Axie's Card. Definitely expect it to see some play, especially if Jinx or other Cursed Card teams are popular.

Vengeful Soul is the new Mystic Neutral Rune with a Last Wish vibe. It has the increase Max HP, in this case +12%. Gain Vengeance = 15% max HP on death can be a bit weaker than the 40+ AoE DMG from Last Wish, but Cards in deck +15% Stats is pretty powerful. Not sure exactly how the scaling works but I can see +15% on Perch can scale quite a bit.

New Charms + Charms Changes

To make evolved Parts more accessible, 9 new Charms will be added, 3 Neutral (1 Rare, 1 Epic, and 1 Mystic) and 1 Mystic for Beast, Aquatic, Plant, Bird, Reptile, and Bug. All of them have the effect of Card Level +1 (cap at Stage 2). With the exception of the Rare Neutral Charm, which is 5 PP, all other ones are 4 PP. The class-specific Charms add 1 class-specific buff to Allied Axies, while the Mystic Neutral one gives Card Stats +10%. I personally think it is great for making evolved Parts more accessible but the Mystic ones might be too difficult to obtain for many casual players. The 4 PP is very significant for competitive play, and it is unlikely for these Charms to see play at the very highest levels given that players will have high level Axies and 4 PP can be used in much better ways.

Last Gift is the other new Charm sepcifically for Summons. Being a 3 PP Epic Charm, it is unfortunately not usable in Rare, where Summons usually have the most impact. Having said that, deal 50% of the Summon's max HP as DMG to all Enemies when the Summon dies (Cap: 25 DMG) may push Summons to be viable in Epic together with some new Runes with summon synergies.

Novice Spell, Purifying Incense, and Deadly Spell all got a buff of guaranteed deal DMG, Cleanse / Dispel, and add Confused respectively. Deadly Spell in particular can be very strong AoE DMG once opponent's Deck has more than 5 Cursed Cards. Bing's Ice Cream buffed to Heal all Allied Axies for HP = 20% of ATK, which can be good on Little Branch and Shiba.


A lot of new toys to play with, especially with so many new Runes. It is going to be a fun time theorycrafting different possibilities. Summons, Sleep, and possibly Goo are given a bit of a pushed up. Nimo getting nerfed is also good to see as it opens up more possibilities as the meta should be a bit slower with less Ramp. I am excited to see what difference will the Energy Coin make and how players will adjust their choice of going first or second.

Finally, as another reminder, further changes can be made before the start of Season 8, so theorycraft and proceed with caution. "All S8 Runes & Charms (marked as S7.5) are available in Shop for FREE during the Preseason", so hopefully we will get a more balanced meta in Season 8.

Thank you so much for your support! If you have any comments and/or suggestions, please feel free comment or reach out to me on X (Twitter) or Discord @mauriceccy.

If you find the post informative and would like to see more, consider the following: Collect this post, Subscribe to this blog, Check out my YouTube channel, and Use my Lunacian code: maurice.

Collect this post to permanently own it.
Diary of a Lunacian logo
Subscribe to Diary of a Lunacian and never miss a post.
#balance changes#new starters#axieinfinity#axieorigins#season 8