Buckle Up Explorers, you are about to swap into one of the most hotly debated dinos in JWA history!
If you spend any time on the Ludia Forums you will see the name Dracoceratops (DC for short) come up a lot and people have opinions about it. Love it or hate it, it is a part of the game and you are probably seeing it at almost every arena level. In an effort to appease both sides of the DC debate, we will be breaking this up into 2 separate articles: the best ways to utilize DC (for the lovers) and the best ways to eradicate DC (for the haters).
Since it is important to understand how a dinosaur is played to understand how to counter it, we will start with the different ways DC is played in the arena by going over strategies to make full use of this legendary’s diverse profile.
Dracoceratops is Tyrant for a reason. Its swap in Defense Shattering Rampage (DSR) can take out a dino before you can even do anything. Even a baby level 16 DC can put out 1432 unmediated damage. Regeneration can cleanse any negative effects including the swap in binding, and refill half of your health back. This often lets it get away before being eliminated. It also has a Minimum Speed up Strike (MSS) that will increase its 109 speed by 10% and allow it to out speed anything slower than 120. The Acute Stun doesn’t do any damage, but allows DC an extra turn to try and regenerate safely so it can get away. Finally, it has a Rampage move that will deal 2x damage and take a big chunk of health from the opposing dino.
How to use it
Ultimately, DC’s power lies in its swap in DSR. This is a dino you do NOT want to lead with. Remember that the swap in move only works if you manually swap to it or if you have another dino “run” into it. It won’t perform its swap in ability if you just select it to bring into the arena.
The trick to using this dino is deciding when to bring it in. If you play your team right, you might even get the chance to bring it into battle multiple times. When researching for this article, I came up with a handful of ways to use DC effectively in battle and unleash its full potential.
Save it for the end of a battle
Similar to Dracorex Gen 2, many people save DC until the very end of the match so they can swap it in for the win. The benefit of this strategy is you often take your opponent by surprise and there isn’t anything they can do when they see DC come running in to take them down.
Alternately, it is possible that the opponent’s HP won’t ever get down low enough to be able to bring in DC and you won’t get to use it at all. I have often found myself 2 dinos down with another half dead dino and only DC to use. I have also used DC as a “hail mary” when I’m down 2-2 and a crit from the DSR might actually take it out (very rarely has that ever worked out for me).
Bring it out early
I use this strategy when I am facing a dino that I am having trouble with or when I don’t have a counter for (looking at you Diloracheirus). I will bring out DC to get rid of it before it can do any more damage to my team. Once DC is out there it will depend on what dino your opponent brings out to determine what you want to do next.
Options if your opponent’s Dino is Faster than DC
- Rampage again to just go for maximum damage and possibly allow a set up turn for another dino. Unless they have a dino with very low turn one damage there is a good chance you will lose DC with this strategy.
- Try and save DC by using acute stun to give you a turn to Regenerate and then manually swap to another dino in turn 2. If you decide to try and save DC, I suggest swapping in a very low life dino so they “waste” their big hit on something that would have died anyway. That could allow you to bring out a dino that is the proper counter for whatever they have and you still have DC safe to use again.
- Use speed up strike. This move can be very helpful to gain advantage over a faster opponent and allow you to get away easier. After using MSS You can then rampage for more damage or regenerate to try and get away. This is especially useful against Thoradolosaur and Tenontorex if they don’t take you out first hit.
Options if your opponent’s Dino is Slower than DC
- Rampage to go for maximum damage and possibly allow a set up turn for another dino. Since they are slower, you might even regenerate and then rampage again since they are probably predicting the swap after the regeneration. Or you can regenerate and swap to try and save DC.
- Regenerate immediately and try to get away with before they can do much damage to you.
The downside to showing you have DC early in the game, is now your opponent knows you have it and can often swap to another dino or defeat the rest of your team before you are able to bring it out again. DC might also get knocked out in one hit if they have a faster dino that puts out a lot of damage in turn one.
Even if you are completely against using DC in the arena, it can be extremely helpful in strike towers. DC has been my saving grace with several of the level 30 towers we have had recently. If you can get their health down to DC range, you can often take out a dino you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to beat. Since you can also choose the order of your dinos in the strike towers, you can put it next to a dino with a hit and run ability so you are essentially getting 2 hits in on the opposing dinosaur before it knows what hit it.
Dracoceratops can be a real asset on a team and pairs very well with other hit and run dinosaurs. There are so many more ways to use it than what was discussed in here. Where it falls in your line up and what other dinos you have with it are all factors in the best way to use it in the game. Also keep in mind that this will take up a spot on your team so you need to decide if it is worth it overall.
Tell us how you use Dracoceratops in the arena and join us next time when we will discuss the best ways to get rid of DC when it is used against you!