Pre-Season 20 Balance Changes

So, your Axies got nerfed again huh? I know how you feel…

However, the show must go on! Fortunately, these preseason balance changes are still tentative and the developers are still in the process of play-testing whether these changes will push through once Season 20 starts.

Sky Mavis also announced that the changes were inspired by community inputs and suggestions, which means that they were made with the players in mind.

Here is the link to the complete table of balance changes: 

Jump to:


A huge wave of Axies and builds got nerfed. 

Bugs, particularly the discard variant, dominated the leaderboards after the buffs they received back in Season 19. Unfortunately, they were deemed too strong and needed to be toned down to keep the game fair and balanced.

Another indirect nerf to Bug teams was made on Sugar Rush. While it is a Beast card, its effect greatly benefits from Bug allies, which made it a candidate for nerfing.

Another dominant team composition was the Bird-Mech-Plant (BMP). The sheer speed and damage of the Bird and Mech combined made it extremely hard for the opponent to keep up.

Staple Bird cards such as Eggbomb and Dark Swoop, as well as the Mech’s Hare Dagger and Heroic Reward, got nerfed to keep things competitive in the arena.

The Anemone Aqua and Backdoor Bird Combination also made it hell to climb the leaderboards for everyone, including myself. Both Anemone cards received the nerf treatment on top of the nerfs last season.

Some buffs from last season also got reverted as it was deemed too broken if they were to continue. We’re looking at you, Prickly Trap.

Finally, a new type of Axie that emerged from the flames of Season 19 known as the “God Mech,” was slightly nerfed. It’s a Mech build that centers around Juggling Balls and Twin Needles to deal insane amounts of damage.

Twin Needle got nerfed to keep the God Mech from being too godly.

Here’s a complete table of the nerfs done for the preseason:

Old ValuesNew Values
Part/Card NameClassDamageShieldsChanges MadeDamageShieldsChange to Description
Anemone – Aquaponics/Aqua VitalityAqua8035Reduced Damage and Shields7530N/A
Oranda – Hero’s BaneAqua12030Reduced Shields12020N/A
Shrimp – Chitin JumpAqua3030Reduced Damage2530N/A
Hare – Hare DaggerBeast12030Reduced Damage and Shields11520N/A
Hero – Heroic RewardBeast600Reduced Damage550N/A
Pocky – Sugar RushBeast12520Reduced Damage12020N/A
Eggshell – EggbombBird1200Reduced Damage1100N/A
Little Owl – Dark SwoopBird250Reduced Damage200N/A
Wing Horn – Smart ShotBird5010Reduced Damage; Increased Shields4020N/A
Fish Snack – Anesthetic BaitBug6090Reduced Shields6080N/A
Gravel Ant – Numbing LecretionBug3030Effect needs to be played in a combo3030Disable target’s melee cards when comboed with another card
Parasite – Third GlanceBug9050Reduced Damage; Effect needs to be played in a combo8050Randomly discard 1 card from your enemy’s hand when comboed with another card
Pincer – Sunder ClawBug200Effect needs to be played in a combo200Randomly discard 1 card from your enemy’s hand when comboed with another card
Pupae – Grub ExplodeBug700Reduced Damage650N/A
Twin Tail – Twin NeedleBug400Reduced Damage350N/A
Bidens – Cleanse ScentPlant050Reduced Damage045N/A
Cactus – Prickly TrapPlant11520Reduced Damage11020N/A
Hot Butt – Spicy SurprisePlant9050Reduced Damage8050N/A
Zigzag – Drain BitePlant6060Reduced Damage and Shields5555N/A
Bone Sail – Ivory ChopReptile8080Reduced Damage and Shields; Bugfix7070Fixed a bug where playing 2 bone sails and having shield broken only resulted in drawing one card
Cerastes – Surprise InvasionReptile9060Reduced Damage8560N/A
Grass Snake – Venom SprayReptile2030Reduced Damage2020N/A
Toothless – Sneaky RaidReptile2040Reduced Shields2030N/A


As with any balance changes, buffs to cards that were a bit lacking during the season were expected.

via Giphy 

Good news to Aqua players out there, a few nerfs were slightly reverted from last season, namely nerfs to Risky Fish’s shield and Shoal Star going back to its values before the Season 19 nerfs. 

Underrated Beast and Bird cards were also given some long overdue buffs. Puffy Smack, Insectivore, Ivory Stab, and Night Steal are to name a few.

Mystic Rush also received some love after getting crushed by nerfs last season. Grub Surprise also received significant buffs to both damage and shields.

Lastly, unpopular Plant and Reptile cards also got buffed in order to make them more appealing to players.

Here’s a complete table of the buffs done for the preseason:

Old ValuesNew Values
Part/Card NameClassDamageShieldsChanges MadeDamageShieldsChange to Description
Catfish – SwallowAqua8030Increased Damage9030N/A
Hermit – ShelterAqua0115Increased Shields0120N/A
Risky Fish – Fish HookAqua10520Increased Shields10525N/A
Shoal Star – Star ShurikenAqua11010Increased Damage and Shields11515N/A
Confident – Self RallyBeast030Increased Shields040N/A
Gerbil – Gerbil JumpBeast4020Increased Damage5020N/A
Imp – Ivory StabBeast8030Increased Damage9030N/A
Rice – Night StealBeast8010Increased Shields8020N/A
Timber – Woodman PowerBeast8080Increased Shields8090N/A
Cloud – Puffy SmackBird10050Increased Damage; Reduced Shields11040N/A
Cuckoo – CockadoodledooBird030Increased Shields035N/A
Cupid – Heart BreakBird12020Increased Shields12030N/A
Feather Fan – Sunder ArmorBird4090Increased Damage; Reduced Shields8050N/A
Hungry Bird – InsectivoreBird11040Increased Damage; Reduced Shields12030N/A
Raven – Ill-omenedBird11030Increased Damage12030N/A
Trump – Air Force OneBird12030Increased Damage12530N/A
Caterpillars – Grub SurpriseBug10050Increased Damage11050N/A
Lagging – Mystic RushBug300Increased Damage350N/A
Bamboo Shoot – Bamboo ClanPlant8070Increased Shields8080N/A
CarrotPlant7040Increased Damage8040N/A
Potato Leaf – Aqua DeflectPlant7080Increased Damage8080N/A
Silence Whisper – Forest SpiritPlant040Effect Changed040Heals front teammate for 120 HP. If there are no teammates, heal this Axie instead
Gila – Neuro ToxinReptile10055Increased Shields10060N/A
Tiny Dino – Tiny SwingReptile8040Increased Damage8540N/A

Mechanic Fixes

There were also a few fixes made to cards that previously didn’t work as intended. 

via Giphy 

Aqua’s Shipwreck was given significant buffs to both damage and shields, and its description was changed to reflect its effect better.

Beast’s Acrobatic and Little Branch also received some changes. Acrobatic now requires it to be comboed, while Little Branch’s description was changed to accurately depict its actual in-game effect.

Finally, Scarab Curse is now treated as a real debuff, meaning that it can be transferred/cleansed with Black Mail and Refresh/Cleanse Scent respectively. This is fortunate news for healing + Bidens plants that struggle against Bugs.

Other News

Like I’ve said previously, these balance changes were made with the input of the community, and would likely remain tentative until Season 20 arrives. Nothing is set in stone as of yet!

The article was posted on January 17, 2022, and they announced that Season 20 will arrive in 2 weeks. It’s safe to say that it will probably arrive come February.

Do you agree with these changes? Comment down below what changes you liked or would love to see in the future!

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