Axie Infinity Season 18 Aqua Card Tier List

If you’ve ever wanted to buy an Aqua Axie but aren’t sure what cards to get, this tier list is for you.

I’ll be covering every Aqua move, as well as how strong they are when compared to other moves. I’ll also provide a bit of insight as to why they are strong or weak.

Take note that this tier list was made with certain parameters in mind. These cards were categorized based on their strength in low to moderate MMR (1000-2000+), pure Axies, and meta teams.

Jump to:


Cards in this tier are must-haves on an Aqua, especially for backliners.

  • Swift Escape is a great back card for damage dealer Aquas
    • It gives Speed+ when attacked that enables the user to win in 1v1 situations, especially when against faster enemies
    • It deals high damage at the cost of having few shields (Aquas are primarily damage dealers anyway)
  • Upstream Swim is a tail card that deals 110 damage and gives 30 shields
    • It also gives Speed+ on hit
    • Extremely effective in outmaneuvering opponents
  • Tail Slap is an amazing zero-cost Aqua card that generates 1 energy when played in a combo
    • Aquas are usually energy-hungry Axies, so having that extra energy gain makes all the difference
    • Not used in backline damage dealer Aquas; more suitable for midline Axies (AAP team composition)
  • Risky Fish deals 110 damage and provides 30 shields
    • This card enables Aquas to compensate for their low damage output against Plant, Reptile, and Dusk, classes against which they’re disadvantaged 
    • It’s also one of the highest-damage and most consistent Aqua mouth cards
  • Hero’s Bane is one of the high-damage Aqua cards
    • It deals a whopping 120 damage
    • It also ends Last Stand instantly, regardless of the remaining number of bars
    • Extremely good in 1v1 situations
  • Star Shuriken is a high-damage card that prevents the target from entering Last Stand if it’s the finishing blow
    • Deals 115 damage but only gives 10 shields (Aquas don’t need many shields)
    • Makes sure that the enemy won’t be able to enter Last Stand and mess up your strategy


Cards in this tier aren’t exactly the best, but they’re good substitutes.

  • Angry Lam deals high damage and gives moderate shields
    • It can serve as a replacement for Risky Fish
    • Deals more damage when the user is below 50% HP (good in 1v1s)
  • Clam Slash has the same stats as Angry Lam
    • Gives Attack+ when attacking Beast, Bug, or Mech Axies
    • Not really necessary because those classes are already at a disadvantage against Aquas
    • Still a good horn substitute if you don’t have Hero’s Bane or Star Shuriken
  • Shell Jab deals decent damage but gives good amounts of shields
    • Deals more damage against idle targets
    • Can be used in tandem with Spinal Tap for better results
    • Loses value if the target attacks
    • Good horn substitute
  • Spinal Tap deals good damage and provides little shields, but good at catching your opponent off-guard
    • If your opponent has a Beast midline, you can take them out within the first few rounds
    • Somewhat risky
    • Decent back substitute


Cards in this tier aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re highly dependent on certain builds/teams.

  • Aqua Vitality/Aquaponics heals the user for 50 HP for each “Anemone” part they have
    • Their effectiveness depends on each other and having just one tAnemone part isn’t great
    • They both need to be on an Aqua Axie Anemone build in order to work
  • Crimson Water deals extremely high damage and provides decent shields, but its effect is pretty weak
    • Targeting injured enemies is rarely useful and impactful
    • Could still work as a mouth substitute
  • Flanking Smack deals bonus damage if the user is the first to strike
    • Loses value if there are faster Axies
    • Base damage is relatively low
    • Pales in comparison to other tail cards


Cards in this tier are only good for specific situations or builds.

  • Water Sphere deals high damage and provides decent shields
    • Card effect is only good for preventing Last Stands
    • Upstream Swim is way better effect-wise
    • May work in certain teams/builds
  • Scale Dart also deals high damage and gives good shields
    • Effect is hard to activate
    • There are better and more consistent back cards
    • Still viable in certain situations
  • Black Bubble has decent damage and shields
    • Its effect isn’t as impactful as the other Aqua cards (only great against Axies that are likely to crit)
    • Water Sphere is better (Upstream Swim is still the best)
  • Shipwreck gives large shields and Attack+ if it gets broken
    • Backline Aquas don’t need shields
    • Viable on midline Aquas but you won’t deal a lot of damage
  • Swallow heals the user for the damage dealt
    • Healing Aquas aren’t that strong (they need a specific team composition to work)
    • Doesn’t deal a lot of damage
    • Probably good when paired with Anemone parts


Cards in this tier aren’t good to have on an Aqua.

  • Deep Sea Gore/Shelter isn’t great cards on Aquas, which are primarily built as damage dealers
    • Shields aren’t great on Aquas
    • These cards are more suitable for hybrid defense Axies
    • Preventing critical strikes would only be useful in certain situations (e.g. Single Combat)
  • Chitin Jump targets the furthest enemy from the user
    • Aqua’s don’t have a lot of extremely high-damage cards that can assassinate the enemy backline
    • It is highly dependent on card draws and combos
    • Most tail cards are better

See all season 18 card tier lists here.

Did I miss anything? Do you think the list could be improved? Comment down below!

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