[Update 4 Oct 2023: New AXS Leaderboard Payout - but no change to the overall conclusion]
Season 6 of Axie Infinity: Origins in starting on 4th October 2023 and there will be 4 Eras: Rare, Epic, Mystic, Final. All Eras are 2 weeks long except for Mystic Era which is only 1 week. There are some significant changes with Leaderboard Payout Structure as well as some small nerfs to some Cards and a significant change in game mechanic. Read on to prepare yourself for the start of Season 6!
AXS Leaderboard Rewards favours Top 225 but disadvatages others
Players with Collectible Axies get Chests with AXS
Additional Card Draw only from 2nd Energy Burst (reverted to before)
Only very small nerfs to Chubby, Nimo, and Sponge (i.e. they are still very good)
Changes in AXS Rewards in Season 6
Same Amount of Overall Rewards but New Distributions
The total Leaderboard reward decreased from 85k AXS to 75k AXS (more detail below). Less rewards in Fortune Chest and more in Contests. Weekly Mission remains the same. The new category in Season 6 is for players with Collectiable Axie will get Bonus Chests (more details below), giving Collectible Axies more "utilities" and incentivising more people to own Collectiable Axies.
Rewarding Top 225 & Punishing players below Rank 225
Compared to Season 5 where Top 20000 players received AXS rewards, in Season 6, only Top 10000 players will receive AXS rewards. Top 225 players have their AXS rewards boosted while players rank between 226 and 10000 will still receive AXS rewards in Season 6 but less than what they get in Season 5. The Top 8 players in the Final Era will get additional AXS rewards from the Top 8 Tournament.
It seems like Origins is shifting into a model that rewards more to the very serious / pro players from Leaderboard and/or Contests and less for everyone else. In the ideal case, the "everyone else" are casual players who play to game mostly for entertainment and not for financial incentive. We will see how close / far we are from the ideal when we see how the player base reacts throughout the season.
Personally I usually rank around within the 351-850 brackets, meaning my AXS rewards from Leaderboard will be slashed by 13-20%. Currently my inclination is to spend less in the coming Season as I know the reward will be less. We will see if the rest of the casual player base will share a similar psychology as we see the market data during the season.
Events, Contests, and Chests
There will still be Events and Fortune Chests for the casual players as well as Contests for the more serious players to keep the player base engaged during the Season with various rewards including AXS and SLP.
For players with Collectible Axies, there will be additional Chests per Era given a certain Rank is reached for certain Era, giving Collectible Axies some in-game "utilities". With this system, we may see managers with multiple Collectible Axies "spreading out" those Collectible Axies to multiple accounts and have scholars play on those accounts to earn the Chests.
Game Mechanic & Balance Changes
Here are the additional changes before the Start of Season 6. Note that once the Season starts, there should be no changes in the Cards of the non-Starter Axies as well as the non-Starter Runes and Charms that are released (except for bug fixes). This means there could still be changes with Starter Axies Cards, Runes, and Charms as well as Runes and Charms that are not released.
Additional Card Draw only from 2nd Energy Burst
• Additional Card Draw on Odd Energy Bursts
◦ Reverted. The additional Card will be granted on Even Energy Bursts as it did originally.
◦ Dev Notes: Rushing the first Energy Burst allowed for too much consistency coupled with Retaining/Keeping Cards as well as Deck Thinning. This should allow for more variance and restore value to game elements with Deck Manipulation Effects.
This is the most significant of all the changes. No additional Card Draw from the first Energy Burst makes Curse Card teams a bit more viable. In general Aggro and Combo are more negatively affected by lack of Card Draw while "Control" (e.g. Sleep, Curse Card) and Sustain are less affected. It seems to be a needed change for the diversity of the meta so we do not just have Aggro and Combo teams.
Bleed, Ramp, and Bubble Bombs only very small nerfs
◦ Bleed Applied reduced to 5 Stacks (was 6 Stacks)
◦ Dev Notes: 1 Stack of Bleed is being reduced with consideration to the new Bleed Mechanic changes to make it more manageable
Chubby is clearly overpowered with 6 Stacks of Bleed. It will be changed to 5, but it is still going to be very sticky on all Axies. I personally think Poison-Bleed (and maybe just Bleed) will be up there amongst the Top in Season 6.
• Nimo (Ears)
◦ Base Shield reduced to 60 (was 65)
◦ Dev Notes: Following the changes to the Energy Burst System, Nimo (Ears) have been very comfortable to use defensively and in developing your position. A reduction in the shield they provide should allow opponents to apply more pressure on the player.
A laughable nerf on Nimo Ears from 65 to 60 Shield. Ramping with Nimo Ears + Tail was already a viable strategy last season, and now with the change in Energy Fragment requirement for Energy Burst, it will become a very strong enabler for many strategies such as Perch, Sandals, Bubble Bombs, Tiny Fan, Sustain (and maybe even Snake Jar and Goo). It is highly likely that there will be multiple archetypes running Nimo Ears and Tail amongst the Top in Season 6. Unfortunate this means teams that are not running Nimo could be at a big Energy disadvantage, especially at the lower level where teams are less optimised.
◦ Base Shield reduced to 30 (was 35)
◦ Dev Notes: With the same considerations as Nimo (Ears), Sponge's Shields have been reduced to introduce a bit more risk for the explosive Bubble Combo archetype.
Sponge changes from 35 to 30 Shield, again a very minimal change. Sure, it will nudge the win rate down by a small bit but Bubble Bombs teams are still looking very strong with Nimo Ramp.
Momo nerfed + Small changes with Mirrors & Cuckoo
• Momo's Death Shower
◦ Base ATK reverted to 20 (was 25)
◦ Dev Notes: With consideration to changes to Feather Daggers and Feathers this buff was unnecessary and is being reverted.
Death Shower deals 5 Hits. Going from 25 to 20 means a loss of 25 DMG, which is very significant. I assume this is to prevent another Era with Momo domination. Sad for Momo players but I am sure Momo will still see play at mid to low levels on the ladder (and possibly with some making it to Top 1000 and beyond).
• Red, Blue, and Green Mirrors
◦ PP Cost reduced to 4 (was 5)
◦ Dev Notes: The cost of using the Mirror Charms was a bit too steep for their effect, the reduction in PP Cost should make them more accessible.
A nice change to make the Mirror Charms more usable. It is unlikely to have much impact on the highest level, but for everyone, especially players leveling up their favourite Axies that may not be the most competitive, it will be a very welcomed change to they can be more flexible with PP for equipping other Charms.
◦ Cuckoo (Card) will now grant 1 Status of Cuckoo (Buff) with 5 Stacks.
· Each Stack is worth +15 Bonus DMG.
· Preventing Sleep will still consume an entire instance of Cuckoo regardless of the number of Stacks.
◦ Dev Notes: This change is in line with the rework of Dispel. Multiple instances of Cuckoo would otherwise be Dispelled by a single effect.
Cuckoo gets a somewhat of a small buff which now works better against Dispel effects that are less than 5. With how effective ramp can be in Season 6, we may expect some Cuckoo teams with Piranha and/or Sandals. I look forward to seeing some Cuckoo teams fighting to the Top!
In Season 6, the changes with AXS reward distribution from the Leaderboard favours the Top 225 and disadvantages the rest. Axie Origins seems to be moving in the direction where the majority of the players should not be expected to make much earnings (if at all). These changes will slowly filter out players who play mainly for monetary incentives and those who stay are mainly here for the gameplay with the additional upside of some small rewards.
This means the gameplay and player experience will become more important for the growth and survival of Axie Origins. With the changes coming in Season 6, I can see that certain archetypes, especially Bleed, will become more popular, which will simulate the breeding and trading of Axies. With how strong Nimo Ramp will be, I can imagine maybe casual players will hop on to the Ramp train after they see how effective it can be. Let us hope that we will not have a Season overrun by Nimo.
Wish you all the best with the Start of Season 6! Good luck and have fun in the Arena!
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