Season 5 is here with many exciting new things! First is of course the 3 new Starter Axies which I will give a quick first impressions. The other in an upcoming Contest with up to 100 AXS as reward with the theme of winning with the 3 new Starter Axies in Ranked Arena! I am happy to see that there are more way for casual players to earn and enjoy the game, especially with the release of 3 Starter Axies!
With the new Contest in sight, let’s look at the 3 new Starter Axies and see how we can make them in good use!
First impressions of the 3 Starter Axies
First up we have Momo who is a Bird that focusses on Feather Daggers and dealing massive DMG to opponent with multi-hit attacks scaling with bonus DMG. The Rune, Momo’s Dagger, allows Momo (and birds in general) to get 4 free Feather Daggers (but they get Exiled instead of Banished when played). Obviously Momo goes well with Feather as Feather Daggers add to the Feather bonus DMG. The Charm, Feather Earring, is a good way to gain Feathers in Rare Era but having teammates with Tri Feather is probably a more efficient option.
As for the cards, Concentrate is an interesting Power which focusses on individual enemies. Note that it does not say Target any ally, meaning it can only be applied to Momo but not any other Axies. It synergises well with the 3 multi-hit Attack cards that Momo has and the Feather Daggers as well. The downside is that the scaling does not carry over to different enemies.
Feathery Dart and Death Shower are very strong Attack cards, which can even be good in the Mystic Era because they can Target any enemy. Of course Taunt is still going to be annoying to play against, but the ability to snip an opponent’s Axie is very powerful. Feathery Dart does 75 DMG at the base level, but with 20 bonus DMG (max from Feathers) it can deal 135 DMG to a single target with 1 Energy! Death Shower is effectively Momo’s version of Feather Fan. It does 5 hits instead the max 7 for Feather Fan which makes it less good for scaling with bonus DMG but it does not consume Feathers AND it gets +5 DMG per card Exiled which is up to +45 DMG with 9 Feather Daggers (assuming it only counts the Feather Daggers Exiled for the effect of Death Shower), that is 350 DMG without counting bonus DMG. Effectively each Feather Dagger Exiled gives +25 DMG for Death Shower as it deals 5 hits. It is for sure a very strong finisher, especially when it can target any enemy.
Brimstone is an amazing card draw that allows you to get a card from the Discard pile directly back to hand. It has good utility outside of Momo itself as it can be used to tutor for a specific card that was just played and play it again in the same turn! Brimstone itself can already be a reason for running Momo (similar to Magic Sack for Ina).
Big Sister and Little Bro are okay before Mystic as there are not many ways to generate Feather Daggers other than Wing Horn. With Feather Descend in Mystic, they become less good as there are easier ways to get Feather Daggers. Big Sister being a Heal card is good with White Sage for Cleanse. Lil Bro can be a bit slow as it hits random enemies and the Feather Daggers only come next turn. It depending on that matchup may not be a good idea to add too many Lil Bro to the Discard Pile as it slows down your draw into Feather Dart and Death Shower which are arguably stronger as they can target any enemy.
I can see that there are at least two ways of playing Momo. The most common way is to use Momo is the carry (similar to the Triple Owl or Glorious Mane Axie) with other support Axies to protect Momo and get Feathers (+ Rage and Bubbles) for maximum damage. Another way would be to use Momo as a support by generating Feather Daggers and use Brimstone to play an insane number of cards in one turn for combo such as Metamorphosis with Teal Shell.
Pomodoro is a Bug which is good at granting Shields and using that to buff its Single Attack. The Rune, Pomodoro’s Pan, buffs the Bug Axie’s Single Attack up to +40 ATK whenever it grants Shield to other allies. While it fits the Bug class well, it can be awkward to use because it requires the Bug Axie to have both Shield and Attack cards for the Rune to be effective. By design, the Rune is for some sort of Midrange team with some Shields and some Attacks. The game has to go look enough for the ATK buff to be good, but then Sturdy Fighter is probably better in Epic for Shield-based Attack Axie. Perhaps it can see play in Sustain teams with big finisher Attacks like Tiny Dino (or Village Hero for Pomodoro). The Charm, Cocoon Whistle, is on the weaker side as there are much better ways to gain Cocoon stacks like Leaf Bug.
Double Leaf Bug makes Pomodoro okay in Sustain teams but that can be said for other double Leaf Bug Axies out there.
Passion is a nice Heal with in-built Cleanse, so you do not need to spend the 3 PP on White Sage (or Cleanse 2 times with White Sage is also pretty good against Poison). Interesting to see that it is a Bird Card which probably makes it worse.
Platypus is the Shield version of Cucumber Slice. Putting a White Sage per AoE Cleanse is a pretty good option but shielding against Poison is a bad idea. Maybe good to Cleanse away Vulnerable against AoE. Also good to couple with other Axies with Square Teeth to make use of the Shield. 1 cost 180 Shield (more if there are Summons) sounds good but it is very situational and hard to get much value.
Lost Dream is the only card with Ethereal which means “When your turn ends, if this card is still in Hand, Banish it”. It is a nice card for immediate Card Draw for Shield-based teams, and it also automatically thins out your deck (and grant 25 AoE Shield) if you do not play it. I like the flexibility of this card as you can play it if you need resources or Banish it if you want to thin out your deck.
Village Hero is the finisher Attack for Pomodoro which is a 60 base ATK card with +10 ATK whenever it grants Shield to other allies, cap at +60 ATK meaning a maximum of 120 DMG for 1 Energy. Having 4 Shield cards, Pomodoro should be able to get Village Hero to 120 DMG in the second rotation of the deck. It is effectively a more situational Tiny Dino that does not have Retain. It is still good to deal 160 DMG with 1 Energy if you get the ATK buff from the Rune as well given that it is the only attack only for Pomodoro.
Pomodoro can go into teams with Shield synergies. Certainly good to pair it with another Bug with Way of Bug to get more value from the Shield. Square Teeth on your other Axie would be nice to make use of the AoE Shields from Pomodoro if you are playing a midrange team. Having Taunts, especially 4-turn Taunts like Cattail or Ant, would be extremely useful as you can be sure to get value from your Shields on the Taunted Axie. The best existing archetype that Pomodoro fits in for the Rare Era is probably Sustain.
Last but not least we have Venoki which is a Reptile that focusses on Poison. This is the one that potentially can cause the most trouble given how strong Poison already is in Season 5. It fits very well in existing Poison teams. The Rune, Venoki’s Poison, applies 4 Poison for the first 4 turns which gives a total of 16 Poison stacks. It seems pretty strong in the Rare Era as it allows Poison to be stacked a lot quicker in the early game. Having said that, it does not have any other effect outside of the first 4 turns, which makes it not as good in the other Eras as there are better Runes in Epic and Mystic. The Charm, Poison Vial, only applies a maximum of 3 Poison for 4 PP, which is pretty much a weaker version of Viper’s Venom.
Punky is a Power card for Venoki and Venoki only (no Target any ally) which applies 4 Poison every Round. With 6 Rounds, that is 24 Poison stacks for 1 Energy! The main down side is that it happens at at the start of your turn meaning you will not get the 4 Poison in Round 1.
Chemical Fang and Chemical Tube are two 1-cost 60 base Attack cards that scale with Poison stacks on the target. Chemical Fang heals 1 HP per Poison on target which is not too exciting as it heals a maximum of 40 HP. Still not a bad card given how quickly you can stack Poison with Venoki. The more exciting card is Chemical Tube which gets +2 DMG per Poison on target which is a bit much. I think +1 DMG is still not bad with 90 DMG on target with 30 Poison. Now with +2 DMG, it does 120 DMG to target with 30 Poison. Even on targets with 20 Poison stacks, which is quite common during mid-game against poison, it already deals 100 DMG. I think they are definitely trying to push Poison and Venoki in Season 5.
Venom Nail is a 2-cost 40 AoE Heal card with Retain. The interesting effect is that it can target any enemy (and it is not affected by Taunt as it is a Skill card) to Double the target’s Poison stacks. 2 Energy apply potentially 20 Poison to a particular is pretty good as it comes with a 40 AoE Heal. Venom Nail combos very well with Venom Burst in Epic Era to take out opponent’s carry which has very little counter play besides a lot of Cleanse (and maybe Silence Whisper to some extent).
Death Shroom is a more normal looking Poison card with 30 Heal and apply 3 Poison to random enemy 3 times. An average Poison card that you do not mind playing.
Centipede is an interesting 0-cost 5 Shield card which applies 3 Poison to a random Enemy. The interesting part is that every time it is played, it adds 1 Centipede to the Discard Pile (and has Limit 3). The big down side is that it dilutes your deck, which is not great. The upside of this card is that it is a 0-cost Shield, so White Sage could be good for mirror matches. Being a 0-card cost also allows Venoki to get out of Sleep without using Energy, which is good against Sleeper Poison.
Venoki is definitely very strong in more Attack-focussed Poison builds like that the ones with Sidebarb. I can see that there could be teams that run Venoki even in Mystic to counter teams with 1 carry with Venom Nail followed by Venom Burst to take out the carry (though it may be slightly too slow for Mystic?). I can see the Venoki will be running everywhere in Rare in Poison teams especially with the Contest Missions coming up.
Contest with AXS reward: Let the Starters Bring you Fortune
The Contest starts on 28 July 2023 3:30am UTC and goes until 1 August 2023 3:30am UTC. That is 4 whole days of grinding on the Arena. The top prize is 100 AXS with some Rare Runes and Charms Choice Boxes.
The important Missions are to win Ranked or Blitz Arena with the new Starter Axies. These are the ones wihtout limit, meaning whoever grinds the most will claim the top spot! Given that it is Ranked or Blitz, most players will play in Blitz to get quick (and hopefully easy) wins without affecting their Arena ranking. Get new Starter Axies ready and be prepared to grind for the Contest!
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