"The Polaris have lain trapped in the far reaches of the freezing tundra for eons, but were blessed by the unknowable Gaami with the power to expand their unnatural icy terrain farther than the weather permits.
With the might of sleds and Mamoos, the mystical Polaris are determined to entomb the Square in ice and transform the land into a frigid paradise."-Tribe description
The Polaris tribe is the third special tribe and the 15th tribe overall to be added to Polytopia. Polaris is the most unique special tribe to date, boasting powerful terraforming abilities (in place of a navy), five unique units (including units with the ability to freeze water and enemy units), three unique technologies (including its starting technology, Frostwork), and two unique buildings (the Outpost and the Ice Bank). Its unique Super Unit, the Gaami, is a powerful melee unit that freezes tiles and enemy units as it moves.
Polaris is typically considered to be an upper-mid-tier tribe comparable to Yădakk and ∑∫ỹriȱŋ due to its ability to freeze enemy units and its powerful unique units, such as the Gaami and the Ice Fortress.
Polaris is unique in that it has neither its own specific resource spawn rates nor any terrain allotted to it during world generation. Instead, other tribes in the game determine which land and resources exist, and Polaris simply freezes water and changes the aesthetics of the land in its territory, similarly to how the Freeze Area unit skill works. This change occurs during the initial spawn and when Polaris captures villages or enemy cities. (The opposite occurs when a Polaris city is captured: the city's terrain will take on the look of the capturing tribe's land.) Games where all players are playing Polaris (either mirror matches in Moonrise or by the Mixed Tribes Easter Egg) take place on Imperius land, which has the standard spawn rates for all resources.
- Fruit: Annuqi crystals
- Land: White fields (similar to Bardur's) with blue ice underneath
- Forests: Translucent blue fir trees
- Animals: Mamoo (mammoth)
- Mountains: Several sharp, pointed masses of ice
- Cities: Similar to large snowballs with windows
- Helmet: Tan-colored hood with a white-colored fur trim
- Color: Light tan
As a special tribe, Polaris has a modified technologies that unlock unique units, buildings, and abilities.
- Sailing is replaced with Frostwork, which unlocks the Mooni and Outposts.
- Navigation is replaced with Polar Warfare, which unlocks the Battle Sled and the Ice Fortress.
- Aquatism is replaced with Polarism, which unlocks the Ice Temple, replacing the Water Temple, and the Glide ability (which grants all land units an extra move when moving onto Ice for the first time), replacing the defense bonus on water,
- Archery unlocks the Ice Archer instead of the Archer.
- Trade unlocks the Ice Bank instead of Customs Houses.
Main article: Polaris Strategy
Polaris was teased by Midjiwan on Instagram on April 28th, 2017 and confirmed on the Polytopia Beta Test Discord for release in 2018. It was originally slated for release in early 2018, but Midjiwan later stated that at that time, Polaris was "not fun to play" and was pushed onto "the backburner." However, a revamp of the tribe was proposed in August 2018, and development restarted in early 2019. Polaris was teased on the website subzero.science.blog in the months leading up to its release on June 14, 2019, over two years from its initial tease.
At the time of its release, Polaris was considered very overpowered since Outposts provided two population. This not only granted cheap and plentiful population, but also allowed the tribe to upgrade its capital on turn 0 (a very potent advantage). Therefore, Polaris was nerfed shortly after its release on July 5, 2019; Outposts now provide only one population. However, the maximum level of the Ice Bank was increased from 8 to 10, which may have been to offset how the lack of Customs Houses make Polaris weak in Perfection.
- The Polaris resemble the indigenous people of Siberia and Northern Canada.
- The Gaami were inspired by Wendigo, a mythological figure from indigenous folklore.
- An early model of the Polaris tribe featured the Lantern, a building that can transform water into ice, and a unique troop with a skull instead of a head, which may have been the precursor to the Mooni.
- There is an unused version of the Polaris forest with pink trees. Some of these trees are also seen in the ∑∫ỹriȱŋ Emperor's Tomb.
|Regular tribes: Xin-xi, Imperius, Bardur, Oumaji, Kickoo, Hoodrick, Luxidoor, Vengir, Zebasi, Ai-Mo, Quetzali, Yădakk|