[Reposted from my Axie-specific blog (Diary of a Lunacian).]
If you are looking for a team that can perform in all 3 Eras, Leafy is certainly one of the top choices (the other big one being Poison). I have played a fair amount of Leafy in Axie Infinity: Origins for the past few seasons. Leafy teams had pretty good success in Season 4, especially in the Epic Era. It seems like Season 5 is going to be a good season for Leafy players, so hopefully this guide would help you get started with your Leafy journey.
Disclaimer: I am by no means a pro player and I still have a lot to learn on how to play Leafy teams. This guide serves as an introduction for those who are new to Leafy and would like some guidance to start. Also, nothing in this guide is financial advice. Please do your own research and make decisions at your own risk, especially as there can still be further balance changes before Season 5 starts.
This guide focusses on Leafy since Season 4 of Axie Infinity: Origins with the changes with the Spear mechanics. This guide should apply to future season unless there are some big changes in the cards involved.
How does a Leafy team work?
Key cards in Leafy teams
The key card of Leafy teams is of course Leafy which is an 1-Energy multi-hit attack card that random does 20 base DMG 3 times. At the base level, it does 60 DMG in total which is not impressive, but Leafy can consume up to 3 Leaves where each LEaf consumed gives +10 DMG for each hit, meaning it can deal 50 DMG 3 times for only 1 Energy if your Axie has 3 Leaves.
The question is, how do you get the 3 Leaves. There has been different ways to obtain Leaves, from Cards, Runes, and Charms. Currently the most efficient way to obtain Leaves is from the Bamboo Spear card. Bamboo Spear gives all your Axies with Spear part 1 Leaf per Spear card in your deck. This means if all 3 of your Axies have Spear parts (this can be any Spears including Bamboo, Scaly, and Feather Spears), playing 1 Bamboo Spear card will give all your Axies 3 Leaves when all your Axies are still on the field. This is 9 Leaves in total by playing 1 card which is amazing value.
There are other types of Leafy builds that rely on other ways to generate Leaf such as from the Leafy Pot Charm and the Leaf Cloak Rune. I have seen players experimenting with a more defensive Hot Butt team which Leaf Cloak and have Leafy as finisher but this guide will mostly focus on the main stream Leafy build with Bamboo Spear.
What are some good cards for Leafy builds?
Shrimp is one of the key cards in a lot of Leafy teams. One of the problems with Leafy is that the 3 hits are random, but sometimes you may want your Leafy to hit one particular target. Shrimp allows you to target the closest or further target and apply Taunt to that target. By applying Taunt, you can ensure all Leafy hits to hit the taunted target (assuming there is only 1 target with Taunt). Shrimp often allows you to pick up KOs with Shrimp + Leafy + Leafy. Pocky is another card that applies Taunt to the target but it competes with Spears in the horn slot which makes it difficult to fit into Spear Leafy teams.
Another good card to have in Leafy teams is Cottontail. Cottontail consumes 8 Energy Fragments and gives you 1 Energy. While not essential, Cottontail is good to have to gain some tempo around Round 3-4, especially in combination with Shrimp where you can have a 4-Energy turn with Shrimp + Leafy + Leafy + another attack card to one-shot a full health Axie, which may allow you to win the game on the spot if you manage to snipe off opponent’s key Axie. With the current meta, running 1 Cottontail is enough as the game is usually over before you can get another Cottontail off.
Other good to have cards in Leafy teams
Cards with Taunt are often very useful in Leafy builds because you want all your Axies to be alive for as long as possible so that you can get value from the Spears, Leafy, and healing from Leaves. You often see players run a 4-turn Taunt card (Ant or Cattail) but it is not as necessary as the cards mentioned above.
Card draw can also be good in Leafy teams to make sure you draw into the good cards when you need them. Clear and Nerdy are good eyes to have for card draw. Blossom is also a very good card to increase consistency in your next draw or trying to get something back from the discard pile.
There are many other good cards you can fit into Leafy builds and currently there are different ways to build Leafy teams for the back, mouth, and eye slots. Use your imagination and maybe you can build a Leafy team that can break the meta by teching certain cards in the back, mouth, and eye slots!
Runes and Charms for Leafy teams
Runes and Charms for Leafy teams
For Rare Era, pretty much anything goes really. If you have a Plant, putting The Protector at the front is a good option with 15% DMG reduction. Way of Beast, Aquatic, and Bird are good for giving you more DMG. Frail Egg can be good to put Weak on opponents, allowing your Axies the survive longer. Spring Leaf could be good to give you 1 Leaf on your back Axie where you may run out of ways to gain Leaf in the late game.
Miracle Leaf and Leaf Cloak are both very good in Runes for Leafy teams. Miracle Leaf gives you so much bonus DMG and DMG buff which scales well with multi-hit cards like Leafy. Leaf Cloak gives you more ways to generate Leaves for your other Axies and tanks very well when you have Leaf on the Leaf Cloak Axie. One thing to note is that you may need to be careful in managing your Leaf stacks on your Leaf Cloak Axie as it can run out of Leaves to buff your Leafy.
Depending on your Axie class, there are other Epic runes that are good in Leafy teams depending on the meta. Prehistorical Armor can be good if you run a Leafy + Tri Spikes Reptile, which is particular good against Jinx. Energy Guru could be good for Energy Fragment gain, allowing you tempo faster. Leech is a good option against Shield-based teams like Sustain and Sturdy Fighter.
As for Charms, Ancient Root is close to essential to let you keep your Leafy cards in your hand. Scotch Tape or Sticky Octopus to retain your Shrimp is also good. The rest is pretty much up to your specific team.
Last Stand is still going to be a very strong pick for Leafy teams, allowing your Mech to survive for 1 extra turn to deal massive damage. I can be a disadvantage to not have Last Stand in a mirror match. (Note that the graphic of Last Stand is an outdated version. It now removes Taunt on activation.)
Endless Anger is another strong pick for Leafy teams as it gives you an extra Energy and DMG buff on your Beast when it enters Fury. Entering Fury can be a huge tempo swing with potentially a 5-Energy turn with Cottontail which can be game ending.
Collect & Protect is a good Rune to have for the extra card draw, allowing you to rotate your deck faster and get to your Bamboo Spears and Leafy faster and more consistently.
There is not really any essential Mystic Charm for Leafy team. Rocket Stamp on Shrimp is a good tech if many opponents have their key Axie in the mid (e.g. Axies with Heart of Ocean, Paralyzing Glare, Endless Anger etc.).
How to pilot a Leafy team
There is a lot of skills involved in piloting any teams in Axie Origins and I am nowhere near good enough to give a detailed guide. Here I will only touch on some basics that hopefully will help beginners who have never played Leafy before.
First is to play Bamboo Spears early. When you draw Bamboo Spear in the early game, you should prioritise playing it because it will give you Leaves that you need for your Leafy. The Leaf buff itself is also very good to have with passive healing and even Shield when overheal.
You should try not to play your Leafy in the early game if possible. When it may be tempting to play Leafy early to do massive damage, in some scenarios, you may want to keep the Leafy until later so that you can focus you Leafy on a key Axie with Shrimp. By not playing Leafy early, you have keep more Leaves on your Axies which give you more passive healing.
Identify your win condition and see if opponent can disrupt your plan. For some matchups (e.g. against Glorious Mane or Triple Owls teams), you may want to keep your damage to focus on KO-ing the opponent’s key Axie. I often fall into the trap of looking at my hand and just play the highest damage cards while I can instead of looking at the big picture on how to win the game.
I hope this guide is useful for you in building and playing your Leafy teams! Enjoy plaing with Leafy! Good luck and have fun in the Arena!
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