2 New Starter Axies + New Game Mode in Axie Infinity: Origins (29 Nov 2023)

Updates during Pre-Season 7 Off-Season

2 New Starter Axies just dropped in Axie Infinity: Origins along with a brand new game mode combining some Axie Classic mechanics into Origins as well as a new Shop feature! While all of us are patiently waiting for balance changes for Season 7 and Parts Upgrade, it is good to see there is finally something new to do in Origins after 1 week of this Off-season.

tldr:

  • Noir & Rouge - 2 New Aqua Bubble Starter Axies

  • Shop in Axie Origins using off-chain Gems only available with USDC

  • Arcade Retro - New casual game mode in Origins with elements of Classic

Shop in Axie Origins

The Shop in Axie Origins works similar to microtransactions in Web2 games where you can buy an off-chain currency called Gem with USDC on the Axie Gem Store. Gems can be used to buy Cosmetics, Starter Axies, and Items for evolving Starter Axies.

Based on my understanding, currently there is no other way to gain Gems other than buying it with USDC. This effectively cuts out any way for free-to-play players to participate. It is unfortunate that Starter Axies can only be unlocked from the Shop for new players, which means it is currently not possible for free-to-play players to unlock Starter Axies without paying (unless players grind for AXS and SLP rewards and convert them into USDC to buy Gems). It somewhat defeats the purpose of having Starter Axies, which are designed for new players to try the game and learn about game mechanics. I wish there are easier way for player to obtain Gems, such as converting SLP and AXS directly into Gems without the need to claim the tokens and convert them into USDC before getting the Gems.

2 New Starter Axies with Bubble Synergies

Noir and Rouge are 2 new Starter Aquatic Axies with Bubble synergies. While they are a good introduction to the Sponge archetype and Bubble in general for new players, they probably will not be as broken as some of the other Starter Axies we have seen in the past. The biggest problem with Noir and Rouge is their lack of Ramp in the form of Nimo ear and tail. Without Nimo, it is difficult to imagine Noir and Rouge replacing Double Nimo + Sponge Axies in Sponge teams at the highest level.

Noir

Noir is one of the 2 new Starter Axies planned to arrvie in Season 7. Before we go into the Cards, Rune, and Charm, note that changes can be made to the Cards before and throughout the upcoming season.

Noir is a defensive Bubble + Shield Aquatic Axie. Its Rune, Noir's Bubble Shield, gives +10 Shield at the end of the turn at a base level with +6 Shield per Bubble on the Axie. This means with 4 Bubbles, it will gain 10 + 24 = 34 Shield at the end of turn, which is comparable to that of 40+ Shield from Calcium Armor at the start of turn, but with the requirement of having Bubbles. It is for sure not a game breaking Rune and it is hard to imagine it being competitive outside of the Rare Era (unlike other Starter Runes such as Furious Fox).

The Black Bubble Charm is similar to Bubble Maker with the main difference being that Black Bubble can only be applied on non-Attack Cards and Bubble is applied to the Target per Energy spent. This is particularly good on Sponge which can add 2 Bubbles to a specific Axie, e.g. the Heart of the Ocean Aqua. I certainly imagine Black Bubble being played in the Top Bubble-based teams.

For Noir's cards, the key Card is the Power Card, Cold Fish, which has both Innate and Target any ally, with the effect of +6 Shield per Bubble & Bubble Bomb at the end of the turn for the Axie that has this Power. The natural comparison here is with Bumpy which gives +8 Shield per Card played, so typically Bumpy gives 40+ Shield during relatively early game. For Cold Fish, high Shield values only come later in the game, and it requires an accumulation of 6+ Bubbles & Bubble Bombs to be as effective as Bumpy.

Beast Bun is a very useful defensive and offensive card as it applies +2 Taunt to self and the target. Ambush allows Beast Bun to applied Taunt to the furthest target, similar to Shrimp.

Oranda tail can be a very good Shield card, especially coupling with Cold Fish, as it gives +7 Shield per Bubble & Bubble Bomb on the target on top of the 60 base Shield. It is not difficult to 80+ or even 100+ Shield from Oranda, and another 40+ Shield from Cold Fish. Having said that, with Death Mark being around so much, Shield may not be as useful unless there is Cleanser.

Gill and Ranchu mouth are Bubble generating AoE Attacks which synergise well with gaining Bubbles but not particular impactful as it only gives 1 Bubble to allied Axies at the base level. Finally Noir has Sponge, which makes it usable in Bubble based teams. Without Sponge, it will be a lot weaker and less usable compared to NFT Axies with Sponge.

Rouge

Rouge is the other new Starter Axies planned to arrive in Season 7. Rouge is a support / offensive Aquatic Axie with Bubble synergy. Its Runes, Rouge's Torpedo, adds a Torpedo card into the deck at the start of battle. Torpedo is a 1-Energy card that has Retain and Banish and can Target any ally to give it 2 Bubbles then detonates all Bubble Bombs on the target. While Torpedo does not deal damage on its own compared to other 1-Energy Attack Cards, its ability to detonate Bubble Bombs on any ally as well as having Retain improves the consistency of being able to denotate Bubble Bombs in Sponge teams.

The Red Bubble Charm is a bit underwhelming in that it can only be applied on multi-hit or AoE Attacks and it applies Shield to a random allied Axie equal to 75% of the ATK. The random allied Axie part really make this Charm very inconsistent to use, and it is usually better to use Charms to gain Bubbles than to gain Shield in Bubble-based teams.

Kind Fish is a 0-Energy Skill Card that Heals for 5 HP, but more importantly it can Target any ally and apply 1 Bubble + 2 Cleanser. It is certainly good to have a 0-Energy Aqua Card that gives Bubble, and to put White Sage for Cleanse, but 2 Cleanser is underwhelming as most Debuff applies 3 stacks, meaning it cannot be used to block Death Mark and other common Debuffs.

Lotus is pretty much a worse version of Cuckoo, and it is not clear whether the ffect can be Dispelled. Eye Wing is a worse version of Oranda horn with only Dispel 3, cmopared to 5 for Oranda. Gill and Ranchu mouth for Bubbles and Sponge is a must for Sponge teams.

Arcade Retro - New Game Mode in Origins

A new game mode was casually dropped into Axie Origins including 3 Axie Classic elements - Class Advantage, Class Bonus, and Critical Chance. Currently it is meant to be a casual mode to play for fun without any rewards.

I can see this mode as a way to get new Axie players whose first Axie game is Origins to learn some of the mechanics in Axie Classic and perhaps it may make some of those players wanting to try out Axie Classic. Class Advantage and Class Bonus are elements that I can see may have a potential to stay in Origins in a new competitive game mode. I personally am not a fan of Crits, but it can certainly be fun to increase the variability of the game even more for causal plays.

Conclusion

It is refreshing to see 3 updates that target new and casual players. It seems like Sky Mavis is focussing onboarding new players from Web2 as well as trying to get old players who used to play Axie Classic into Axie Origins. I look forward to seeing a new waves of players coming into Axie Infinity in the coming bull market, and Axie Origins will most likely be the flagship game for Axie Infinity moving forward. With Axie Parts Upgrade likely to be just over the horizon, it will be interesting to see how thing will change in Axie Origins. Exciting times are finally coming in Lunacia!


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