Feather Metamorphosis: Rise of a New Archetype in Axie Infinity: Origins S4 Mystic Era

It is not everyday that we see a new archetype coming up at the Top end of the Leaderboard but today is one of those days. Feather Metamorphosis is the new archetype that uses a Metamorphosis Bug to deal massive AoE damage with insane amount of Shield from Teal Shell after playing many Feather Daggers from a Feather Descend Bird.

[Also see the Youtube video for gameplay]

How Feather Metamorphosis works?

An example of a Feather Metamorphosis team (Screenshot from axies.io)
An example of a Feather Metamorphosis team (Screenshot from axies.io)

It is easiest to explain with an example team. Metamorphosis is a Bug Mustic Rune with “Solo. When your turn starts, this Axie gains 2 Cocoon and deals DMG equal to 7% of its Shield per Cocoon stack to all Enemy Axies.”

The idea is to put a lot of Shield on the Metamorphosis Bug while it has a significant number of Cocoon stacks (usually 8 or 10) so that a significant proportion (40 or 50%) of the Shield will be retained until the start of the turn. At the start of the next turn, it will deal massive damage (56 or 70% of the Shield at the start of Turn) to all Enemy Axies.

There are a number of contributing factors to getting a crazy amount of Shield on the Metamorphosis Bug in one turn. First is Bumpy - “whenever you play a card, this Axie gains 8 Shield”. Second is Teal Shell - “Target any ally. Bonus 20 Shield per card played before this card this turn”. Both Bumpy and Teal Shell scale with the number of cards played this turn, and that is why this team runs so many 0 Energy cards including Innocent Lamb, which can turn into another 0 Energy Card, and Cloud which add a Feather Dagger (another 0 Energy Card) into the hand. The Feather Descend Bird comes into play during the “pop off” turn by playing Tri Feather (or Feather Spear) to get to 10 Feather stacks on the Bird to get many more Feather Daggers, adding to the number of cards played this turn.

With this strategy, the Metamorphosis Bug can get more than 800 Shield with double Teal Shell and it can often do over 250 DMG AoE while having a lot of Shield on the Bug. Having said that, this strategy takes time to assemble, and that is why the Top teams run a Last Stand Mech with Ant to protect the Bug and to survive as long as possible. Given that this team banishes a lot of cards, Topaz is a good option as a finisher in the late game as the 250+ AoE is not often not enough to KO the opponent’s Axies.

Matchups against Feather Metamorphosis

Given that it is such a new archetype, there is not many matches played and hence not a lot of data to work with. We do see that Sustain is the counter as Metamorphosis does not do enough damage to get through the Shields in Sustain. Note that there are only 3 matches against Sustain in the Top 100, but given Sustain’s 100% win rate at all levels in Top 1000, it seems like Sustain is an unwinnable matchup for Feather Metamorphosis. There is only 1 game played between Leafy and Feather Metamorphosis at the Top 100, so it is certainly not representative of how the matchup goes.

Feather Metamorphosis has very good win rates against the most popular archetypes, namely Topaz, Jinx, and Poison. It is certainly a great meta pick at the moment but it is not without counters.

Leech is certainly one of the best counters to Feather Metamorphosis teams as Leech steals 35% of the Shield from the Metamorphosis Bug. Feather Metamorphosis is pretty successful at the moment as the popularity of Leech falls off given that Leech is not great in many archetypes against ther matchups.

Win rates of archetypes against Feather Metamorphosis
Win rates of archetypes against Feather Metamorphosis


It is always exciting to see a new archetype comes up to take advantage of the state of the Meta. Having said that, the high leaderboard meta can shifts so quickly in Axie Infinity: Origins as top players often change their teams, sometimes multiple times a day, so do take the data presented in this article with caution.

Note that nothing in this article is financial advice. I personally would not make any financial decisions based on the extremely limited data we have at the moment. If you could like to try out this new archetype, do it at your own risk as meta can shift very quickly. My advice is to at least go and watch some games of top players with this archetype and see if you enjoy playing it. I know I will not enjoy playing with Feather Metamorphosis as the “pop off” turn requires quite a bit of mouse / hand speed which is certainly not my strength.

Let’s see how the Season 4 Mystic Era meta will shift with the introduction of Feather Metamorphosis in the mix!

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