Now that the new patch notes are out for update 1.5 in Jurassic World: Alive and the new patch has hit our phones, everyone wants to know what the arena is going to look like now!
- Are tanks dead with the new superiority strike changes?
- Are bleeders the new meta-relevant monsters?
- How do the changes to stunning help/hurt the RNG problem?
- What are the new top-tier dinosaurs?
Of course, until we’ve had a few weeks in the arena, it’ll be impossible to completely predict… but where would we be if we weren’t trying to help you along the way. So here are my big takeaways for the upcoming patch and what I believe I’m seeing in the arena.
The Stegodeus Overreaction
The first thing I think we’ll immediately see is a whole bunch of teams removing tanks from their squad. Lots of people felt like the Stegodeus nerf was pretty rough, not only losing superiority strike as a general cleanses for bleed, slow, etc, but also losing its Armor Piercing Rampage to a regular rampage.
Personally, I felt it was more forcing Stegodeus into a niche than nerfing it. When you think of any other game, a tank vs tank battle is a GRIND. You’ve got two things with high armor and low attack bashing each other until one wins. But with the armor piercing and cleansing, Stegod was a multi-purpose killer. It destroyed tanks, rendering the more heavily armored Tragod useless in one on one. It beat OTHER Stegodeus by smashing through armor in four or five turns. And it cut through the armored Theropods like Trykosaurus (even if barely escaping with it’s life), despite Tryko being the one with the bigger bite and specifically built to BEAT tanks.
So yeah, a lot of utility was lost in the great Stegod nerf, but honestly Stegod does what a tank should do. It beats raptors. It survives against everything that ISN’T eating through it’s armor and ISN’T bleeding it out — which we seem to forget is a lot of dinosaurs. Like… half of all the dinos in the game. Poor poor Stegod went from beating 90% of the dinosaurs in the game to only 50% of them. Stegodeus will be just fine.
Because it still tanks better than any tank. But, people will overreact. They’ll remove it. They’ll remove all tanks and opt for the Theropod races. Which will be silly (and fun).
With the buffs to Trykosaurus, the addition of two more monstrous armor chompers in Thoradolosaur and Tenontorex, and the overall buffs to counter attacks (adding defense shattering and armor piercing counter attacks), we’re going to see a lot of big bulky chompers in this game for a hot minute.
I call it the boat-race meta because we were already watching it happen a bit in Lockwood Estates and The Aviary. The prevalence of tanks made arena-goers want to destroy the other team as quickly as humanly possible. So they’d field teams of super high damaging moves, in hopes that even if they lost a dino or two, they’d force a swap and take a large chunk of the overall health pool down a few notches.
And we’re going to see this for a bit. It’s a gut reaction to a tank-based meta. We light all our tanks on fire and bring out all the stuff that kills tanks. We saw it happen with the Raptor meta when Superiority Strike was introduced. Suddenly we all ditched every raptor we had for stuff that was bulky and could use superiority strike.
But the tough thing about the Theropod races is that they are very slow and mostly take each other down in two (or at worst, three) big blows. So, the one with the FASTER theropod wins. Lookin’ at you Thoradolosaur. So winning speed-ties really matters here.
And when people get to the top of the Theropod speed chain, it’s time to start countering those theropods.
The Hit-N-Run/Hit-N-Stun Meta
What people won’t be removing from their team anytime soon is the Hit-N-Run and Hit-N-Stun monsters. Stegoceratops lost a lot of usage when superiority strike was cleansing that slowing move. Having priority and stunning potentially more than once was what made Stegocera so useful. Well it appears that’s coming back, now that Stegocera gets two stuns at 75% and now that Superiority Strike can’t cleanse away a slow.
The same is true for those mid-tier health stunners that love to distract and swap out. Things like Diloranosaurus, Ouranosaurus, Dilorachierus, Utarinex, Utasinoraptor, they’re all going to find a nice place on teams with all those armor eaters running amok. After all, best way to stop an armor eater from eating you is to distract it, or to stun it — and to be faster.
Plus, with the buff to bleeders, the hit-n-runners get the added benefit of taking a tick of lethal damage and then running for their lives before the second tick comes off, which will save them for potentially another fast attack later.
But ironically, the way to beat those hit-n-runners like Utasinoraptor and Ouranosaurus, and Diloranosaurus, is to either bleed them out, to survive stuns with immunity, or to do any damage and then send in the cleanup crew — aka something REALLY fast.
Raptors officially have a place in the “I’m faster than you” area of the meta. So they’ll be relevant for clean-up duty in a way they hadn’t before. After all, we all removed raptors when everyone fielded two… or five… tanks with superiority strike to counter them. But now? The cost-benefit analysis changes. Raptors become more useful with less usable tanks and more Theropods pushing tanks off teams.
Often the person assured of victory at the end of a tough match is the person holding the fastest dinosaur that can clean up the others. Hitting first, after all, matters most when you’re tied at 2 and 2.
Of course, all this stunning increase talk, the threat of being lethal wounded by bleeders, and the usefulness of slowing moves bringing back monsters that bugged us in the past like Stegoceratops, means we’re going to see some Immune dinosaurs come back too.
Suddenly Indominus Rex, the same monster many people removed from their teams after leveling it to 20 and holding it there, looks appealing to level beyond 20. After all, if people are getting stunned a lot more often, you want something bulky that pierces armor and is immune to save your bacon.
And with the buff to Erlidominus — that monster is going to come out in full force too for the same reasons. Sure you’re stuck with a potential 50/50 roll, but Erlidom got a speed buff so that it’s faster than most everything, and even without armor piercing it lays on a TON of damage with the 2x multiplier to cloaking. Since pretty much nothing can one-shot it, we’re going to see a lot of this green bird.
Plus, Tryostronix suddenly becomes very relevant — now outspeeding Gorgosuchus and tying Tragodistis. That puts it on a whole new level. Imagine a Trykosaurus or Allosino versus a Tryostronix. If Allosino can’t kill it on turn 2 with an instant charge, it sure as heck isn’t surviving to turn 3.
Which brings us full circle to tanks.
Perhaps we don’t remember anymore the days of the raptor meta where everyone was swapping in-and-out with Pounce (swap) Pounce (swap), but now that we have swap-in actions — it’ll be a miracle if it doesn’t return to some degree.
And perhaps we don’t remember the terrors of the Indominus Rex, and now the Erlidominus, with the raw damage and power to really crush a team if they couldn’t get a shield up.
Or maybe we don’t remember how useful doing 2k damage on turn one (because armor piercing rampage has a delay, but regular rampage does not) is useful against everything that doesn’t have armor.
We’ve grown too comfortable using tanks as a multi-purpose tool, and it’s easy to see this niche class now as useless… until you start losing to raptors, Indominus Rex, and Erlidominus, and you realize why you liked these tanks so much in the first place.
One More Thing – Swap-In Speed
What’s interesting about the speed races now is that swap-in actions could be a viable alternative. You know what’s faster than a raptor? A swapping-in Dracorex Gen-2 with Swap-In Defense Shattering Rampage.
We may see this shift instead of a shift to raptors, depending on how many people are willing to invest a lot into some of the more basic dinos and put them on their teams.
Remember, the order that turns occur is as follows –
- All swaps take place first.
- Swap in actions take place based on the speed of the dinosaurs that are swapping in.
- Instant moves take place.
- All the rest of the moves by speed.
The point is, we’ve no longer got a three ring circus. We’ve got a convoluted mess of rock-paper-scissors-bobcat-lion-screwdriver now. It’s going to be a little bit messy. And it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Just don’t go full-throttle in one direction. Remember, you need balance. Watch what other people are doing for the most part and field a team that counters that. If everyone starts losing all their tanks, you don’t want to field slow armor eaters. You want hit-n-runners, bleeders, and a hefty helping of speed to close out.
Be prepared for overreaction. We’re going to see a lot of it. And maybe don’t ditch ALL your tanks… but don’t lead with Stegodeus either…