Buckle up Explorers! In honor of this week’s Fallen Kingdom theme, we are going to come face to face with one of the most iconic dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise and even, dare I say… the world! Since John Hammond and InGen brought the Tyrannosaurus Rex back to life in 1993, it has terrorized several blockbuster films and countless games. Here we are over 25 years later and this hasn’t changed one bit. While the Tyrannosaurus may have the most ferocious bite in Jurassic World: Alive™, its hybrid legacy is what makes this epic dino so valuable.
Even though the T. rex called most of what is now the western United States home, stories of its legend have become a worldwide phenomenon. The Tyrannosauridae family were a group of large carnivorous therapods that also included the familiar Gorgosaurus and Tarbosaurus (a quick look at these two and you can understand why!) Towering over 15ft tall and reaching lengths past 40ft, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a force to be reckoned with and even though larger dinosaurs with “more teeth” have been discovered since its discovery in 1905, I’m sure hearing Dr. Malcolm yell “Must go faster!” will bring a very vivid image to your mind. While it was disappointing that the digital version of Tyrannosaurus was nowhere near as fast as Spielberg made it seem, University of Berkeley paleontologists applied biomechanics to fossil evidence of T. rex’s stride and presumed weight and claimed its speed was unlikely to exceed even 20mph. Yup, no speeding tickets for this guy! It seems Ludia did their homework when they kept him on the sluggish end of the spectrum. Though the 1.5 update did give the 2nd generation much needed love, we’ll look at what makes the 1st generation’s super-hybrids so drool worthy.
The Indominus Rex
This beast was a game changer for film buffs and gamers alike. The Indominus Rex became the foundation for Jurassic World: Alive™ when it proved that we could take Dr. Wu’s mad science and combine two dinosaurs and create a hybrid showcasing (and in some cases, amplifying) its’ ingredients traits. Designed from the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor, the Indominus Rex is one of the first legendaries most explorers will have the pleasure of making. It has become a milestone and a necessary team component to advance in the middle tiers of the arena, but most importantly, its the first dino that gets you hooked to the game!
Its immunity and assortment of armor piercing attacks make Indominus an extremely valuable creature against tanks that can stun/slow (looking at you stegoceratops, nodopatosaurus, amargocephalus…) But buyer beware, instant invincibility can stop this beast in its tracks and negate its cloaked 2x armor piercing rampage to zero damage! Other common counters include nullifiers and dinos with defenses, so be careful when you decide to go invisible! Since the Indominus is on the slow side, your opponent can easily swap in a dino to break your cloak or throw up a shield. While many players decide to give it a rest on its 20th birthday to focus on Indoraptor, make no mistake, a high-leveled Indominus is capable of some serious destruction.
There’s a reason the Indoraptor was designed with the military in mind. This unique is amongst the most versatile creatures in the game. Dr. Wu was at his old tricks again when he felt the Indominus wasn’t enough and decided to give it even more Velociraptor DNA. At 2000/fuse, it’s not a small amount either! This excludes what you need to make the Indominus in the first place. (Make sure you take advantage of every Velociraptor event people!) In return for all that grinding, you will get a dino that’s well deserving of a spot on your “Endgame Team.” Lucky for us, Ludia has given us plenty of chances to dart all of its ingredients, and on a few occasions, even the Indoraptor itself!
A “Jack of all trades,” this tyrant can holds its own against almost any dinosaur in the arena. The added Velociraptor DNA gave it a significant speed boost to help fight the shield bearing dinos the slower Indominus struggled against. Its cleansing impact helped get rid of bleeds, distractions or decelerations and evasive stance added one more turn of invisibility than what cloak offered. Even though it doesn’t inherit the 2x damage from cloaking, Indoraptor’s call to glory is the defense shattering rampage which renders shields and invincibility useless.
All of this sound pretty fantastic, but new players may ask: where does the Indoraptor fall short? Unfortunately, when you’re a Jack of all trades, you’re also a master of none. 128 is fast, but it’s far from the fastest. Spinotasuchus, Monomimus, Erlidominus, Diloracheirus and Tanycolagreus are just few that would land the first hit. And while cleansing is great, if used at the wrong time against a strategic opponent, there is still a good chance you can still get bled or distracted (a 2-turn cooldown will not help your recovery here).
Evasive stance can be a Hail Mary to help save you in a bind or, as some choose to use it, a risky RNG-dependent way to start a battle, but it is far from fool proof. You still bear a 50% chance of failure and nullifying will render it completely useless. Even despite its faults, the Indoraptor is a very versatile dino that is likely to be the key to many victories!
Erlikosaurus may not have been the first to come to mind when designing a Tyrannosaurus-based hybrid, but the Erlidominus has become an extremely coveted dino in this meta. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most challenging to create. Erlikosaurus has evaded all of the themed events so far, and even for L3 locals, it is no common find. While its design is well deserving of its tyrant distinction, the difficulty in leveling this unique is where it falls short.
In the 1.5 update, Erlidominus saw its speed boost from 126 to 129. This was a rather confusing adjustment as it was already equipped with a speed up strike (potentially making it the fastest creature in the game). Bundled with an immunity that prevents it from being slowed, the appeal for the tyrant is easily understandable. Its strengths don’t end there, Erlidominus has the 2nd highest first turn damage of any creature in the game (let that sink in for a second). This thing is an absolute beast! And if it manages to cloak and then land a 2x rampage, you are all but guaranteed a kill.
Where does Erlidominus go wrong then? It can’t be all good. Sadly, it is not. Sure it lacks armor piercing/defense shattering attacks (it’s high damage output is some consolation). The major problem with Erlidominus isn’t much fault of its own. It’s fragile health, accompanied with the rarity of its token ingredient, make Erlidominus extremely hard to level. If that cloak doesn’t save its behind, there’s a good chance it will be served as wings and drumsticks by most dinos in the arena. If you are among the lucky few that can level it enough to get out of “one-shot range,” you’ll find that Erlidominus is a great counter to the dreaded Diloracheirus and was well worth the struggle to create.
Here it is! The big cahoona. The top dog. The super-hybrid everyone wants (the only ones who don’t, are the ones who already have it). The Trykosaurus! Once you see this tyrant walk out on the field, you know your opponent means business and you better play your cards right. After the 1.5 update, Trykosaurus became one of the most formidable creatures out there. Losing its armor piercing rampage for instant distraction also made it one of the strongest tanks (yes, technically it counts as a tank: armor, distraction and invincibility. It’s hard to argue this part). And with two defense shattering attacks, it is also the best protected tank-buster as well. So what makes a T-rex wrapped in kevlar so desirable?
Now faster and with a stronger counter, Trykosaurus has a few new tricks up its sleeve. For one, it outpaces Stegodeus which ran rampant in 1.4. And with a 0.5 counter in place of the 0.25 it had before, this chomper hits hard, even when it’s receiving. This can do some serious damage when combined with its pair of priority moves. Instant distraction and instant invincibility can make a match last longer, but at the same time, can mean the difference between a victory and a loss, especially when used to get rid of the turn-one delay on its defense shattering rampage. With an option at darting 12 Tyrannosaurus this week, expect to see plenty more of this tyrant in the arena. And definitely put the Trykosaurus counter-guide on your weekend reading list!
The Fallen Kingdom week has given us a great start to the new year. For new players, we wish you the best of luck in unlocking Indominus. For rising contenders, go get that Indoraptor! And all you seasoned veterans, tell us in the comments below where your Tyrannosaurus DNA will be going!