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. In our previous article, MnBrian discussed five of those times when you definitely shouldn’t be swapping Dinos. You can find the guide on When NOT to Swap right here.
This article will talk about the reasons why you SHOULD swap Dinos.
Situation 1: Taking advantage of your full health pool and moveset
Think of the combined total health of all of your dinosaurs. Not swapping Dinosaurs cuts down your health pool by 1/4! You have four Dinos on your team, and in order to win a match, you can and should allow yourself to lose two of them. In order to take full advantage of your entire health pool, the ideal and very unlikely scenario is allowing one Dino to go down to literally 1 health point, and then swapping for another. Since this rarely will ever happen, your alternative is to allow one Dino to get within one shot of dying, but then get swapped.
In order to take full advantage of all four of your Dinos, you should be swapping one time minimum during a battle. The best time to swap is after one of your Dinos has taken a real beating, but barely survived. That gives you the maximum number of times to hit your opponent, essentially for free, because you swapped into another Dino to finish the job.
[Side note: This is also why the Ouranosaurus gets so much use in the upper-tier Arena tank-heavy lineups. It gives you one free swap, meaning you get to take advantage of the full health pool without even paying the cost of a swap. It’s a pretty brilliant strategy, and one I personally use whenever I can.]
Situation 2: Saving something for re-entry after losing something else
A really common (and smart) Raptor strategy is swapping out to maintain priority. A Velociraptor comes in, throws Pounce, kills the opponent with it or on the next Strike while still maintaining a small amount of health. Then, you swap for something that is quite tanky. Why? Because even though the Raptor gained a move (by killing the opponent) and subsequently lost that same move (by swapping for another Dino) it is guaranteed to get one more hard-hitting Pounce in before it dies. This means, the ideal time to use this beat-up Raptor again is as a finisher after you lose your first Dino (because you’re basically guaranteeing the raptor is your second lost dino).
Theoretically, you can use this same strategy one more time, but the proliferation of Raptors in the Arena means a lot of people stack their teams with raptor killers. So it’s a risky move to gain a turn and lose a turn more than once. But it does work.
Another common and smart swap is with the Indominous. You open with Indom – use Cloak that makes it so your opponent only has a 50/50 shot at hitting you, and do your big armor piercing rampage move to essentially one-shot your opponent. Then you swap into something quite tanky that can take a few hits, and basically repeat the same strategy as used with Raptors.
The only issue with either of these strategies is you’re handcuffed to losing a Dino in order to bring back the Raptor or the Indominous. So if you make any other mistake, you’re pretty much toast, and it is a gamble. You’re assuming that the opponent can’t swap into something that can take two hits from the Raptor and live, or that can shield and take a hit from Indominous and live (and still kill you in either case).
Swapping to maintain speed priority or to give you one more potential ace-in-the-hole is an excellent strategy. However, it also highlights the importance of having a well balanced variety of Dinosaurs on your roster.
Situation 3: Already lost two, guaranteed to lose a third, but your last Dino gives you a shot at winning
Finally, there comes a time when you just need to swap because it’s your only hope. Perhaps you’ve got a dino left that took a beating but might, maybe, just might, live if you put them in. Give it a shot. Swap in if you’ve lost two and you have something with just enough health that it MIGHT win if the wrong move is chosen. It’ll rarely ever work, but never take a loss for granted. Always play as if your opponent is going to do the worst possible thing in any situation, because every once in a blue moon, they just might.
Situation 4: Taking the bullet (Thanks to Bemxuu for this one!)
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situation where it’s no longer up to you whether your Dinosaur gets knocked down, but even then it might be up to you to choose which one takes the lethal damage.
For instance, there are multiple Dinosaurs whose damage comes in form of one huge burst, Indominus Rex being the most prominent example. Say, he dodged through your first Stegoceratops attack and, therefore, even if you land your second one, your high value Dinosaur most likely will go 100 to 0 percent hp in next attack. However, you have a damaged Ouranosaurus and you are not at two Dinos knocked out. Therefore, you can swap in Ouranosaurus to take the devastating blow and then switch to another Dino that can take out cloakless Indominus.
Less obvious cases include swapping out to save your only counter to already seen opponent’s dinosaur, but such cases are very specific and, fortunately, very rare
In short, the biggest thing to remember when swapping is this – swapping out of a Dino that has virtually no health left doesn’t magically give you 4 healthy Dinos. If you keep swapping just before your Dino is killed entirely, you’ll end up with a team of four Dinos that aren’t even going to get a move off before they are killed. One faster Dino will take all four of them out without a problem. Furthermore, swapping three times just means you’ve given your opponent 3 free opportunities to hit you. So don’t be a serial swapper. Lose a Dino; hell, lose two! Swap once. Just don’t lose three.
So there you have it. Four reasons to swap Dinosaurs. In the meantime, to get in touch with the Community or MnBrian and Bemxuu themselves, make sure to join our Discord server!