“Always save your energy.”
Everyone in Axie Infinity knows this phrase. It’s a beginner’s tactic that most of us already know about.
In some cases, it gets really hard to conserve energy in a battle. Sometimes you’re urged to play cards and end up with only two energy for the upcoming round.
This is where zero-cost cards come in.
In this guide, I’ll be talking about zero-cost cards and how significant they are in Axie Infinity PvP.
What Are Zero-Cost Cards?
The name gives it away. Zero-cost cards are abilities that don’t consume energy when played. Most of them are similar in terms of damage and shield, but they all function differently.
As of now, there are only 20 zero-cost cards in the game.
Sunder Claw (mouth) is an example of a Bug card with zero energy cost. Sunder Claw’s damage only tickles the enemy and it gives no shield.
What makes Sunder Claw valuable is its ability to randomly discard an enemy card. At the cost of zero energy, you’re given a chance to remove a battle-changing card from your enemy’s hand.
Some zero-cost cards are like sidekicks to specific Axie cards.
Third Glance (horn) is also a Bug card that discards a card from an enemy’s hand. Because Third Glance is a horn body part, you can pair it with Sunder Claw.
Voila! You built a discard Axie and I hope to never cross paths with you in PvP. Believe me, going against a discard Axie is like rappelling down a cliff without a rope.
Jokes aside, you can easily see the benefit of having a zero energy card. You’re always a step ahead of your opponent because you consume less energy.
Pros of Zero-Cost Cards
Low Energy Consumption and Energy Accumulation
It’s a given that having zero-cost cards consumes less energy. Energy is needed to perform certain combos or chains.
Famous zero-cost cards like Nimo (tail) or Cottontail (tail) can even accumulate energy. Players love full combos, so they juice the energy out of these zero-cost cards.
“Proc” Conditional Abilities
Proc is a video game term that means “to activate something.” Some Axie abilities need to be comboed with 2 additional cards to activate (e.g. Chomp, Single Impact, etc.) but it usually consumes a lot of energy to pull off.
In order to proc conditional abilities without consuming energy, players can play zero energy cards.
The Chomp ability needs to be comboed with 2 other cards to inflict Stun, so having zero-cost cards to cheaply proc its effect is a great strategy.
Imagine you have a Chomp (mouth), two Venom Spray (tail), and one Spike Throw (back) card. By putting it in a combo, you can poison and stun the backline at a cost of only 2 energy.
Duels between Axies in PvP are highly dependent on energy.
Like I’ve said, zero-cost cards can proc abilities, right? Use that strategy in a duel and you can swing the momentum in your favor.
The Terminator Reptile is an Axie that benefits from zero-cost cards in 1v1 situations. Terminators typically have Mystic Rush (horn), a zero-cost card that slows enemies down.
Terminators play this combo to cost-effectively duel enemies. It forces them to play defensively, while stunning and slowing.
To read more about Terminators, check this article out:
Cons of Zero-Cost Cards
They Only Have ONE Purpose
Each zero-cost card is given a specific action (slow, discard, poison, etc.), but that’s all it can do. It’s basically a one-trick pony card that you can use for free.
The damage of zero-cost cards is capped at 60 and those don’t even provide shields. Those that do give shields only deal 20 or 10 damage. Zero-cost cards are only built to fulfill their one purpose of utility.
Fortunately, players find creative ways to utilize zero-cost cards. Knowing what your cards do and how they function can inch you closer to triumph.
Wrong Card in the Wrong Axie
If a zero-cost ability is awkwardly placed in an Axie, there will be some mishaps.
Take this Beast Axie as an example:
You may notice that it has 3 zero-cost cards and 1 Goda ability. This is a really bad Axie.
You have 3 zero-cost cards that deal no damage. Sure you can get shields for free, but the Beast Axie fails to fulfill its main purpose of shredding the enemy Plant/Reptile/Dusk tank.
This one also has only 1 damage card, and it’s not even that strong.
To sum it up, you shouldn’t buy Axies like this even if they have zero-cost cards. The cards all need to complement each other.
A seasoned player can easily tell when a zero-cost card belongs to an Axie. Take a look at this one:
They call it a Disablosaur Axie because it can disable specific body parts. Looking at the abilities, you can find the zero-cost card Vine Dagger.
Vine Dagger gets a total of 60 shield points when comboed with a plant card. Fortunately, Spicy Surprise is a plant card that can proc the zero-cost card’s bonus shield.
To maximize the full potential of Vine Dagger, players can also combo it with Chomp. Vine Dagger can almost always proc Chomp’s effect because it’s a zero-cost card.
It’s annoying to duel a Disablosaur because it can combo Vine Dagger, Spicy Surprise, and Chomp endlessly. The zero-cost card became a pillar of the Axies’ defense and offense.
You can read more about Disablosaur Axies here:
Backline Meta Axies With Zero-Cost Cards Are Somewhat Expensive
It’s expected that common backline Axies are expensive. Being strong in 1v1s increases their value.
A famous and common Axie with a zero-cost card is a Koi Cuckoo Aqua.
Aquas are typically backline Axies that hide behind their teammates before dueling the opposing backline. Like I’ve said, having a zero-cost card makes an Axie superior in 1v1s.
Cuckoo is a meta zero-cost card. It gives the Aqua extra shields and boosts the damage of the succeeding card via Attack+. This buff can even be stacked!
With this build, an Aqua can withstand one whole combo using Cuckoo while winding up its next attack. It’s a favorable scenario for any kind of duel.
There are possible alternatives to this build, but this Axie can cost you $330+. Higher MMR Axies can even go as high as $1,000.
Zero-cost cards aren’t necessary for backline Axies, but they’re definitely a great card to have. Finding a well-built Axie has its obstacles, but it’ll be very rewarding.
Find a decent Axie with a zero-cost card if your team lacks energy-gaining moves. Having zero-cost abilities makes up for it.
I also suggest taking a look into the meta Axies of the season. It’s pretty common to have zero-cost cards on those, so it can give you a good idea of what kind of Axie you’re looking for.
What do YOU think about zero-cost cards? Did I miss anything? Comment it down below!
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