Jurassic World Alive – Swapping Guide Part 1: When should you NOT swap?


This guide is brought to you by a member of our Discord server: MnBrian! MnBrian is a dedicated member of the Jurassic World Alive community and is known to contribute in many ways in order to improve people’s gaming experience in JWA! Thanks!

One of the most common mistakes that one can make in the Arena, one that we witnessed in all areas of the arena, from the upper tier to the lower, is a misuse of swapping Dinos. Therefore, we’d like to discuss some situations in which swapping makes sense, and some situations in which it doesn’t. For this first part, we will be discussing five situations where swapping your Dino DOES NOT make sense. These are rookie mistakes, and if you’re on the other end of them, you get to capitalize big.

Situation 1: Looking for an ideal match-up

You battle begins, you check your line-up and you realize that you have your high-level all-purpose starter, the tried and true Einiasuchus, or maybe the Stegosaurus, or the Stegoceratops. It’s something strong with a slowing move in case your opponent starts with one of those pesky Raptors, so you go for it!

But then horror strikes. You see your opponents first Dino – Indominus Rex, and you see the death of your Dino in two moves. But you’ve got the perfect swap. If you’d opened with the Ankylosaurus or something else with a shield, you would’ve had the perfect counter because Indominus can’t hit so hard through that shield!

Let’s use a different example. You’ve noticed a lot of people are opening with armored Dinos, so you decide to open with a T-Rex or a Gorgosaurus, only this time you see a raptor come out and you know you’re toast.

In our last guide, we explained how those who move first win more often. Swapping detracts from that as it means that you lose an opportunity to hit the opponent. Sometimes you have to play the less-than-ideal option because that’s simply what you had out at the time. If you always swap to your best counter, you’re taking multiple hits that your opponent isn’t taking. Playing defense by looking for ideal counters all the time will lose you games. Sure, losing a Dino means losing a turn, but if you can follow up with a free swap after losing your Dino with something that hits faster, that means you  can gain that turn back.

Remember, one loses the match by losing three Dinos, not one. You can sacrifice one, maybe even two Dinos.

Situation 2: The swap-in can’t take the next hit

When someone has a Dino out, and swaps in another Dino that can’t take the next hit. Maybe the swap-in Dino is faster, but they still get hit once before they get to move. It’s almost never advantageous to swap in a Dino that can’t take a hit. Even if you’re intentionally sacrificing a Dino, it’s rarely a strong play.

Click on your opponents Dino. Do the math real fast. What’s the best move the opponent has at this stage? Is it a 2X move or a 1.5X move? Don’t cycle in a Raptor, even if it is faster, because it likely won’t live through. Raptors are best played as a starter or after losing a Dino to clean up; not mid-round.

The rare case when a swap might make sense is with an Indominus Rex, where swapping out of an injured Indominus might give you another shot at the two-move kill (Cloak and Armor Piercing Rampage). Even then, you’re relying on an opponent flipping a coin twice and calling the wrong side because they’ll get two attacks to hit you once and kill you. And generally speaking, dodging 2 attacks in a row is unlikely. It’s certainly not as strong a play as others.

Situation 3: Your current Dino can take one more hit (ignoring critical chance) and hopefully deliver one more hit too

This is another mistake that many can relate to. If your current Dino can take one more hit, let them. Just so long as you get one more strong hit off too. If you swap out of a Dino that can still take another hit, you’re unlikely to be in a situation where you can bring them back in and take two hits in a meaningful way. You always have the most tools at your disposal if you let your DinoS take damage and give damage back.

Let’s look at it this way. In an ideal situation, you have four Dinos and you make one swap to take advantage of your full team. You let two Dinos die max, and you let one Dino do as much damage and take as many hits as it can and then swap it out just before it dies. This way you get the most out of the health pool of all of your Dinos . So if your Dino can take one more hit (assuming it isn’t a critical hit), let them; and hit back hard too.

Situation 4: You’ve already swapped twice (or more)

Here’s another common one. The more times you swap, the more likely you will lose. Because your opponent is just hitting you between swaps. You swap a Dino and bring out a new one, your opponent hits that new Dino hard. You decide that this was a bad move and swap back, your opponent gets another free hit.

Perhaps doing so, people are looking for an ideal match-up (Situation 1) or maybe they were afraid the next hit would kill them. However, in both cases, unless you’ve already lost two Dinos and you have a tiny chance of winning by swapping a third time, don’t swap more than once or twice at most.

Situation 5: Last resort swap

The last and perhaps worst reason to swap a Dino is swapping because you know you’re going to lose a Dino and you’re not sure what else to do. Back to the original point, you don’t lose a match by losing one Dino. You lose a match by losing three. So if you’ve lost zero Dino, or only one, don’t swap.

Many can relate to this: queuing up a powerful move, convinced that your opponent will kill you with their next hit, but all of a sudden they swap Dinos; giving you a free powerful hit! Always pick a move, a strong move, even when you’re going to die, because you never know what you’re opponent is going to do!

Parting Words

So there you have it. Five reasons NOT to swap Dinosaurs. Next time, we’ll be discussing five reasons to swap Dinos, and why.

In the meantime, to get in touch with the Community or MnBrian himself, make sure to join our Discord server!