The dreaded Stegodeus can be a really pesky critter in the arena. And the higher you go in rankings, the more often you’ll see this proverbial god of the Stegosaurus breed. So let’s talk about this awesome creature and how to live to tell the tale.
King of Tanks
Let’s begin by taking a look at the Stegodeus kit and what this generally means for opposing dinosaurs.
|Armor Piercing Rampage||Deal 2x damage, bypassing Armor.
Cooldown: 1 turn Delay: 1 turn
|Short Defense||Deal 1x damage. 50% shield for 2 turns.
Cooldown: 2 turn
|Superiority Strike||Cleanse self. Deal 1x damage.
Target”s speed -33% for 1 turn.
|Thagomizer||Deal 1.5x damage. Target’s speed -50% for 3 turns.
Cooldown: 3 turn
Thanks to Orange Heart, the incredible artist partnering up with us, we now even have our very own infographic! This way, people who prefer a visual guide will be served!
Like many tanks, Stegodeus has a slowing move in Thagomizer and a shielding move in Short Defense. But that’s not what really makes Stegodeus so annoying when you’re facing him down. Sure, the shield helps immensely when facing an Indominus Rex (see my counter guide here) but what really makes Stegodeus such a thorn in the side of opponents is the easy cleansing of Superiority Strike and the high damage and armor piercing of Armor Piercing Rampage.
This makes Stegodeus unique to tanks, because it’s not only good at surviving other tank beaters like Stegoceratops or overleveled Einiasuchus, and speed demons like Velociraptor and Pyroraptor, but it also beats other tanks like Gigaspikasaurus and Tragodistis when played well. In fact, unless you’ve got a Tyrannosaurus Rex that is at least relatively close in level, Stegodeus will take it down in two moves. A level 26 Stegodeus takes down a level 22 and below T-Rex. That may seem ridiculous… but we see plenty of Stegodeus in the upper tier arena at level 22+ and not everyone has a level 18-20 T-Rex.
Upper Tier Counters
As nice as it sounds to have a Tyrannosaurus Rex ready to take on a Stegodeus, if that T-Rex takes even one hit, it’ll die before it can lay on the hurt. This means, unless you’re holding your armor eater in the wings, the best counter only really works after you lose a dinosaur or if you happen to play your T-Rex when your opponent plays their Stegodeus.
Tryostronix, on the other hand, is a great counter. It outspeeds Stegodeus (unlike Tyrannosaurus Rex) and has a defense shattering rampage that constantly annoys the heck out of me.
Rajakylosaurus (and the unique Diorajasaure) also does a pretty good job if you can land Instant Invincibility when the opposing Stegodeus uses Armor Piercing Rampage. The continual counter attacks eat away at the tanks health, and there’s no way for Stegodeus to get rid of the long protection shield. Of course, on a swap in, this is a far less effective strategy because Stegodeus will get to hit your Raja hard before you get any shield up, and you’re stuck with a 1 turn delay on Instant Invincibility.
I’ve seen some people use Ankyntrosaurus as an effective counter but I don’t like this play because it relies on using Instant Cripple or Instant Invincibility on most of the Armor Piercing Rampage moves, and a savvy player will beat this every time.
The same is true for Spinotasuchus. Because damage over time ignores shields and armor and focuses only on buffs/debuffs, stacking Lethal Wound and Swoop will get you some sneaky damage. But again, a savvy Stegodeus player will assume the damage over time is coming and just keep using Superiority Strike to cleanse away the DOT and keep priority.
Important Update: There’s a possibility Superiority Strike will be changed to no longer cleanse Damage over Time or Slowing effects. If this happens, Spinotahsuchus and Suchotator become GREAT Stegodeus counters. Will update this article if such a change occurs.
Indoraptor is also a pretty good Stegodeus counter as Indoraptor crashes through armor and shields and can avoid damage via cloaking.
Another very good option, although not easily accessible, is Trykosaurus. This creature is basically a better Tyrannosaurus Rex with the added advantage of armor and instant invincibility. If you catch Stegodeus’ Armor Piercing Rampage with Instant Invincibility, you’ll really frustrate your opponent and nearly guarantee victory, even many levels below Stegodeus. Of course, to do that, you’ll have to time your attacks wisely!
Post 1.4 Update, Utahrinex is another good… well I wouldn’t call it a counter as much as annoying as heck for Stegodeus. The distracting rampage forces Stegod to use superiority strike, and the instant charge means when you do use superiority strike, Utahrinex can burn your priority by taking control back. And they can do all that while ensuring your APR is only half-effective. At same level, I’d bet Utahrinex would WRECK Stegod. It’ll never happen, because the components for Stegod are easier to come by, but even 5 or 6 levels lower than Stegodeus, Utahrinex has a very frustrating kit for the king of tanks.
Lower Tier Counters
There are some other lower tier options to use if you’re just beginning to run into the Stegodeus issue.
Both Baryonyx and Gorgosuchus will have success eating through armor and laying on enough hurt to make cleanup easy.
Suchotator is another sneaky counter for the same reason that Spinotasuchus is, but Suchotator has the added advantage of being able to counter the shield with Nullifying Impact, and landing Instant Cripple on the Armor Piercing Rampage. Using a DOT like Lethal Wound has the added advantage of forcing Stegodeus to waste an otherwise more damaging move (like Thagomizer or Armor Piercing Rampage) on cleansing the damage over time effect.
Stegodeus is also a great counter for himself. The trick to this matchup involves insuring you get to Armor Piercing Rampage the opposing Stegodeus when their shield is down. I can’t stress this enough. Even when your Stegodeus is a lower level, you can win if you can Armor Piercing Rampage them with no shield, and have one up when they hit you with theirs.
If you have the level advantage, you need only to trade blows and try to maintain priority to win. So long as you don’t get caught without a shield, without priority, and with the opponent using APR on you, you should be fine. If you’re a level or more below, you just have the opposite goal — let them hit you with APR while you have a shield up, and hit them with APR when they don’t.
In Short: Do’s and Do Not’s
Don’t bother trying to slow down Stegodeus. They can cleanse it away. Unless that’s your most powerful move, you can count on every slowing move only lasting one turn.
Focus on cutting through armor, and on dishing out as much damage as you can. It’s not uncommon to need a second dino to finish off a Stegodeus, so don’t try to do it all (survive and kill the opponent).
And always know when the opposing Stegodeus has Armor Piercing Rampage off cooldown and is about to use it.
Now get out there and beat that tank!