When Battling in Axie Infinity, the player is allowed to play 3 Axie’s at a time. These axies are placed on the board, at the players discretion, in whatever arrangement suits the team best.
Typically, this team is arranged with tank Axie in the front, and either two DPS (High Damage) Axie behind, or a DPS and a support/healer Axie behind. The role of the tank is to shield the primary attackers from damage done by the opposing team, long enough to kill the opposing team first.
What makes a Great Tank?
Great tanks are determined with a combination of 3 things:
- Defense (shield/damage reduction)
- Sustain (healing)
- Offensive disablement
Since a tanks #1 job is to protect the important damage dealers from taking damage themselves, it needs to be able to soak up damage. The first way it can do this is via its health pool.
Typically, Plant or Moon class Axies are chosen as Tanks as they have the highest base health pool (43 HP). This is followed by Aquatic and Reptile Axies (39 HP), Bug and Star Axies (35 HP) Beast and Nut Axies (31 HP), and lastly Bird Axies (27 HP).
Next, each part on the Axie contributes in part to its base stats. Plant or Reptile parts each add +3 base HP to the Axie, regardless of overall class. There are 6 total parts on each Axie, so one with only Plant and/or Reptile parts would have an additional 18 HP.
Adding these together, and the max base HP an Axie can have is 61 HP. Note that in PvE, there is about a compounding multiple per each level the Axie increases, so at level 20, your health will be much higher than when you started the game.
Now that your tank has a high starting HP, it needs to defend itself. All that HP isn’t that helpful if you have an equally strong attacker on the enemy team who can wipe it out in one turn! Fortunately for us, each part (not including eye and ear parts) has a card associated with it that allows you to Attack and Defend against the opposing team. For this example, we are looking at the lower number within the green shield.
If you select a card with a high Defense number,your Axie is shielded from that number of damage for that turn. Some noteworthy, high defense, cards are listed below:
- Red Ear, Back, Reptile Class, 130 Defense, Add 15% of this Axie’s shield to adjacent teammates.
- Indian Star, Back, Reptile Class, 110 Defense, Reflect 20% of melee damage received.
- Teal Shell, Horn, Aquatic, 80 Defense, Add 30% to this Axie’s shield when attacking.
- Tiny Dino, Tail, Reptile, 80 Defense, Deal 200% damage after round 3.
- ZigZag, Mouth, Plant, 80 Defense, Heal this Axie by the damage this card inflicts.
- Find more at: Axie Trait Sorter
Now, no matter how well your defended, some damage is going to get through. Sometimes the cards you are dealt don’t match the attack from the enemy team and injuries happen. A tank that is able to heal itself (or sometimes get help from a supporting Axie) is going to last a lot longer than one that isn’t.
Fortunately, the game creators had this in mind and created moves for sustain purposes also. The ZigZag mouth part from above is a good example as it heals the attacking Axie the same amount as it damages the enemy Axie! See a few additional examples below:
- Rosebud, Horn, Plant, 40 Defense, Heal this Axie by 25% of its max HP.
- Mosquito, Mouth, Bug, 50 Defense, Heal this Axie by the damage inflicted with this card.
- Herbivore, Mouth, Plant, 80 Defense, Heal this Axie by the damage this card inflicts on a Plant target.
- Find more at: Axie Trait Sorter
The tanks job is to prevent damage from hitting your backline, correct? In some scenarios, you want to shut down an oppressive enemy altogether. We have parts/moves for this as well, here are a few examples:
- Hatsune, Tail, Plant, 80 Defense, Disable target’s ranged cards next round.
- Humorless, Mouth, Plant, 80 Defense, Steal 1 energy from your opponent.
How you play your tank will depend a lot on the enemy you are matched with. Seasoned players will be able to look at the opposing team to get a feeling for the damage output potential and plan accordingly. You may want to base your playstyle on a few factors: turn positioning, your own team strength, and card draw.
Each Axie’s speed will determine the order they get to attack and/or defend. When you have the advantage, it may be worthwhile to try and take out one of the enemies axies first by using more of your DPS type cards rather than trying to keep everyone safe with your tank. When the other team gets to go first however, or you know that they have a large amount of damage, it may make sense to protect your front line and save some energy for the next turn. In these cases you may want to keep your team safe, disable an enemy attacker, or maybe just save your energy for the next round.
Need to add a Defender/Tank Axie to your team?
Check out our Pre-Vetted Defense Shop!