Most common dinosaurs in Jurassic World Alive (JWA) don’t see much play time among high level players, with one exception: Velociraptor (Velo). A few weeks ago, Velo was a niche dinosaur that could occasionally pull off a lucky late-game sweep due to its high speed. With the most recent update (see details here), Velo and it’s two relatives were given massive buffs. In this article I will discuss what changed and how to use or counter raptors in the arena.

What changed?

Prior to the recent update, Velo was a classic glass cannon; many dinosaurs could one-shot it if it failed to kill them first. Its skill, pounce, was able to deal 2X damage off its moderately high damage stat so it could easily pick off weakened dinosaurs. Utahraptor (Utah) and Pyroraptor (Pyro) functioned much the same but with more health, lower speed, higher damage, and a 1.5X damage-dealing attack to use after pounce. The table below shows how their stats have changed with the recent update (new stats below old stats, buffed stats in bold); Tanycolagreus (Tany) is included for reasons discussed in a bit.

Dinosaur Rarity Health Damage Armor Crit. Speed
Velociraptor
Common 1800 1150 0 5 132
1950 1500 0 5 132
Utahraptor
Rare 2400 1160 0 5 128
2400 1500 0 5 128
Pyroraptor

Epic 2280 1240 0 5 128
2580 1550 0 5 129
Tanycolagreus

Common 2550 1270 0 5 128
3210 1500 0 5 130

The stat buffs above are obviously important, but the biggest and most impactful change was that, now, pounce also cuts the opponents damage in half for one turn. This essentially guarantees that the raptors get two turns to wreak havoc and cannot be one-shot.

Tanycolagreus

This little dinosaur was once firmly seated among the most useless dinosaurs in the game (see our article on the “Carcass Tier”), but now Tany is running with the big dogs. With very substantial buffs to multiple stats, it is now the second fastest dinosaur in the game and has higher health than any of the raptors and the ability to dish out more damage with its 1.5X damaging attack, Nullifying Impact. Though not able to deal big damage as quickly as the raptors, Tany is able to stick around a turn longer with higher health and its basic lets it deal better with tanks boasting high armor stats. Our updated tier list is not yet complete, but Tany will have firmly jumped up at least two tiers when the dust settles.

How to Use Raptors

Velo, Pyro, and Utah all function in the same way. Pounce turn one and hope your next strongest attack will finish the opponent on turn two. Most occasions where this two-turn punch fails to topple your foe result in the loss of your raptor. I’ve run damage calculations for Velo and, at level 26 (with no stuns or crits), Velo cleanly kills 37 of the 90 dinosaurs currently accessible in the game and can win less cleanly against another 12. This means that Velo can now kill over half of the dinosaurs in the game at full health!

Utah and Pyro can pick off a few others that Velo can’t survive a second hit from (though they miss killing a few faster dinosaurs that Velo handles), but all three raptors fair even better against weakened teams. Their high speed (especially Velo) makes them hard to counter late-game, especially if their counters have already been removed. Tany is a little different as it does not have pounce to throw around. Against dinosaurs with shielding abilities, it is usually best to lead with Tany’s basic and save his nullifying impact to remove the shield on turn 2. Though not quite as powerful as the raptors, Tany still manages to take out almost half the dinosaurs in the game!

How to Counter Raptors

Raptors are powerful, but not impervious. They rely heavily on debuffing the opponent on turn one, so dinosaurs with immunity can take a pounce and hit back hard. Dimetrodon is a great early-game raptor killer and Indominus Rex is one of the better late-game raptor killers. Raptors also rely on striking first, so dinosaurs that can boost their own speed or debuff speed can also beat them. Stegosaurus and its relatives can use Thagomizer while dinosaurs like Proceratosaurus and Stegoceratops can use slowing impact to ensure they kill the raptors before they land their second strike. Both Erlikosaurs also deserve mention here, but you must lead with their speedup strike attack and use rampage on turn two.

Some dinosaurs have just enough health or armor to survive a second attack. For instance, T-rex gets killed by the raptors, but Allosaurus just barely survives and finishes them off. Tany is a little less straightforward, but also does poorly against speed debuffers and high health/high damage dinosaurs. One thing to remember, almost nothing can safely switch in on a raptor. If you start with an unfavorable matchup, you just have to pick something to let the raptor kill.

Parting Words

Our favorite small, speedy theropods have been given a new lease on life and, love it or hate it, are now a force to be reckoned with. Make sure you use them effectively and counter them wisely! Though many people feel they are now overpowered, I hope this helps people understand that they can still be handily defeated by nearly half of the dinosaurs in game (including some very common ones!)

Check out my YouTube video on Velociraptor for a more in-depth look and gameplay footage:
JWA In-depth Velociraptor Review

Have your own raptor war stories? Join our Discord and share them with us!