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Explorers, welcome to the first of our explanation articles into our recently published 1.6 Tier List! While we endeavor to produce an accurate and objective ranking; such a list will always be somewhat subjective. As such, we think it’s important to share with you how the decisions were made and be able to present strong arguments for any controversial choices.

Tyrant Tier:

Before we look at what made the cut and why, I want to address the increased exclusivity of Tyrant tier this patch. Initially, the proposed format was to split Tyrant in a similar way to Apex/Alpha. However, the idea of ‘Low Tyrant’ was at odds with our definition of Tyrant-tier dinosaurs as “the absolute hands down best in the game at this moment” and “meta defining”.

Given that we also had a High Apex category this time around, it made sense to draw the line under what were unanimously considered among our team to be the best of the best. There are (and were) strong arguments to be made in favor of many High Apex dinosaurs being ranked Tyrant, especially considering some were Tyrant-tier in 1.5 and had not necessarily lost much/any relative power. However, in each case there were also strong counter-arguments that, while may not have convinced any/all of us either way, were valid objections that none of us held towards the 5 included. We will cover these discussions in more detail in the upcoming article dedicated to High Apex, but now lets turn our attention to our 1.6 Tyrants!

Diloracheirus:

In an increasingly swap-based meta, Diloracheirus is Queen of the swap-outs; 2900 damage on her Rampage and Run is devastating on its own, let alone when followed up by an SIA! Even with a lack-luster Turn 1, Dilorach’s speed and the utility of her kit often enable her to put out 4 rampages a game. Set up on a revenge kill (which her speed and 1450 base damage allow plenty of opportunity for) almost guarantees your opponent sacrifices something to the one-two punch of this angry green chicken’s GSR and R&R. While Rach gained a couple of unfavourable match-ups this patch; the 50% slow on Superiority Strike along with 129 remaining a very important speed tier at endgame (and the aforementioned increase in swap mechanics) mean she is still in an excellent place to deal with most of the meta.

Dracoceratops:

Love her or hate her, Dracoceratops is certainly meta-defining. With a complete kit change in 1.6, Dracocera is a direct upgrade from 1.5’s infamous Dracorex G2. Not only does she of course boast the devastating Swap In Shattering Rampage, but also a versatile kit to either overcome the now 2 turn bind of SISR, or at least deal some relevant damage if she sticks around. This flexibility means that while not everyone was convinced 1.5’s DG2 merited Tyrant-tier, there can be no question that DC deserves the title. SISR is particularly relevant given the direction of the meta and the proliferation of high speed, high damage (often hit-and-run) threats that can easily be dispatched after being weakened but before they do much damage/escape.  While many detractors will call the SISR play-style cheap, getting Tyrant-tier strength out of Dracocera does require smart play. Only landing a single SISR or allowing an opponent to successfully setup afterwards does not qualify.

Erlidominus:

Exceptional damage output at that super-relevant 129 speed tier means Erlidominus makes quick work of anything without the protection of heavy armor or shields. The trade-off is a base health stat equal to her own Turn 1 damage, but that frailty is strongly mitigated through Immunity and Cloak. Minimal Speedup Strike allows her to gain priority over those few dinos that do out-speed her, making this zombie chicken a very adept revenge killer. A built-in escape means she can run from a bad match-up and take full advantage of the swap-heavy meta, coming in again and again to punish her opponents. While one could argue the increased availability and up-time of Null abilities this patch hurts Erlidom; this is a minor concern given she rarely has to rely on Cloak to be relevant. This is also insignificant compared to the gains she makes in a primarily less tanky/more swappy metagame.

Magnapyritor:

At long last, Ludia has seen the light and given our beautiful purple dragon some much needed love! Gaining 600 base health along with swapping Armor Piercing Impact for Distracting Impact gives Magnapyritor the increased survivability she was always longing for, as well as greater flexibility. The versatility of her kit means she has exceptionally few bad matchups, and is fast and powerful enough to be devastating at any point in any match. Her only real weakness is in her ability to be outsped and revenge killed by that 129 speed tier. Somehow, Magna seems to be the most controversial dino to be included in Tyrant tier; but any counter argument seems to be pinned to her inaccessibility, and how (when underlevelled) she isn’t necessarily able to put out enough damage/survive long enough to make an impact. This is irrelevant in terms of the tier list – all discussion is based on the assumption of equal levels. Accessibility is highly variable player-to-player so would prove impossible to accurately and objectively weight, as well as the fact that average team levels are always closing in on that 30 cap. Besides, while there is certainly not enough Irritator flowing our way for everyone to have a team-level Magna (without speeding A LOT of incubators), alliance donations mean that it can be a viable pursuit without spending.

Trykosaurus:

Like anything on this list, Trykosaurus’ strengths should be obvious – an excellent counter-attacker, staller, tank and chomper, she is truly a scary dino to contend with due to filling so many roles so well. 1600 base damage combined with a 0.5x counter and a 30% crit chance provides a ridiculous amount of potential damage, while 4500 health, 30% armor, Instant Distraction and Instant Invincibility means she can survive much of what’s thrown back at her. While getting the most out of her does require out-predicting your opponent, even when making the safest choices Tryko has a massive impact on any match; and although 1.6 provides a couple more options to deal with this monster, we certainly don’t see any as threatening enough to displace her from Tyrant. Her largest weakness lies in the ability to set up on the revenge kill, but, assuming competent play, by that point Tryko will have already been well worth fielding. Also important to remember is while there are a few dinos that excel at setting up on a weakened Tryko, many will risk eating a painful counter-attack from one more turn of stall.

Parting Words

All in all, we believe the decisions for what was included in Tyrant tier in this list were pretty self-explanatory and non-controversial, though I have tried to address any valid or frequently mentioned points of contention. What do you think? In the next couple of weeks, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter, Facebook page or Discord server.

We really value your input, and will try to address any valid points about any upcoming tiers in the rest of this series of explanation articles. To this end, I would particularly appreciate you contacting me through our Discord (either DM or @Antithesis me) if you feel you have a strong argument we may have overlooked. Not only that, but this patch we intend to review the tier list mid-cycle to correct any potentially erroneous placements, and see how the meta might have shifted as it fully develops.