Explorers, welcome to our long overdue explanation behind Apex Tier from Patch 1.5’s Tier list! Before we hop into the explanations let us first clarify that although these dinos aren’t the top anymore due to the new Tyrant Tier, which was explained in this article, but are still extremely powerful and more than capable of holding their own in end game teams. Also, some guidelines as to how we determined this list.
- Head to Head Match-ups – Either through experience or running simulations by hand, we looked at how many match-ups these dinos win or lose, assuming equal levels and no set up turns. In previous lists this was the biggest deciding factor, but due to added depth via swap-in abilities, more viable hit and run dinos, and more versatile hybrids we had to weigh this a bit less heavily than before.
- Ideal Situations – Predicting the opponent, getting set-up turns, etc. We looked at how strong dinos are in the situations they most want to be in.
- Team Contribution and Utility – Swap-in Abilities, debuffs, and Hit & Run moves have certainly become staple to this meta and the fact of the matter is that each battle starts with 4 dinos on you team. So we have started to evaluate the overall usefulness of dinos to the team.
The evolution of the game has both pros and cons when it comes to formulating a tier list. On the plus side, the deeper meta allows more individual expression within teams without compromising on strength, but it also comes with the downside that our list becomes a bit more subjective, as many of you may feel. That is why the list was not the work of any single person but rather the whole team, Dwebble, Pocemon, MnBrian, Reebecca, Triceratops, JHVS, ZhengTann, Jacqueline, CHayes99, Professaurus, Antithesis, Temerity, NathanH96. A special shout out to Legomin1314 and PokeFodderYT as well for the help creating this list. Finally, HUGE thanks to our amazing artist, Orange Heart for the incredible graphics! Make sure to show him your support right here!
So without further ado, lets get into it!
Alankylosaurus being placed into Apex seemed to be a shock to many yet again. It still seems to be a weaker Tragodistis (discussed later in this article) in most people’s eyes but it brings unique utility and team play due to its Swap In Invincibility which allows it the edge in match-ups such as Indominus Rex where it can wait to confirm cloak is used and give other dinos a chance to attempt a hit through Cloak instead of being forced to predict it. Swap-In Invincibility also gives it utility by allowing it to essentially swap in for free which can definitely turn the tide of battle and it gives it synergy in particular with Dracorex Gen 2. Tanks as a whole definitely took a hit this patch with the introduction of more Defense Shattering Chompers running around but we still believe that Alankylos brings enough utility and survivability in other matchups to justify it staying in Apex tier. Speaking of, lets move on to the other tanks that people were questioning.
Lets start with the obvious Apex dino, none other than the Roofed God, Stegodeus. Although the mighty have fallen in comparison due to the nerfs to Superiority Strike and losing Armor Piercing Rampage, this dino is still very obviously still a force to be reckoned with. The place where things get interesting however is when you look at the stats and movesets of similar tanks in the form of Gigaspikasaur, Nodopatotitan, and Brachiosaurus. Due to the changes brought about in this patch all 4 of these behemoths sport quite similar stats and move sets which make very minor differences in match ups and would boil down to preference. But rather than just tell you that the stats are similar we’ve organized them here to let you look for yourself!
So long story short looking at this chart we see that all 4 have high “effective HP” (Health x Armor) which makes them vulnerable to bleed effects or suddenly less tanky when facing off against foes with Armor Piercing or Defense Shattering abilities, especially since all 4 also boast a shield move. Looking at that stat all 4 are more or less equal so far.
Next up we’re going to skip over to the speed column and we see that while they’re all close Stegodeus is definitely the slowest. Speed being close can be deceptive though since all it takes is 1 point to either force a tie or suddenly gain an extra hit on a foe (even though all 4 have the ability to slow opponents). With the new chompers that hit the scene this update that speed difference is actually important. We’re going to highlight this by looking at Thoradolosaur & Tenontorex, who clock in at 109 speed, Trykosaurus, with 108 speed, and lastly Indominus Rex with her 107 speed. Brachi manages to outspeed all of the above and at the very least score a hit if one of these chompers comes in to clean up and prepare for their next meal which may allow you to actually revenge kill them yourself with your next dino. Gigaspikasaur manages to at least tie with Thor and Tenonto to give you the same chance if you’ve got quick fingers. Meanwhile the slower of our behemoths in Nodopatotitan only manage to tie with Tryko and Stegod, who should have an advantage with its shield against Indominus suddenly is faced with a 50/50 situation.
Our last stats to look at work together, damage and crit chance. While Gigaspika and Nodopatotitan seem to fall slightly behind we have to remember that they carry a half counter and quarter counter respectively, adding a notable increase to their damage and giving them a possible utility by swapping into weak hits or run moves to get a counter attack off. All except Nodopatotitan carry Rampage, to make up for their rather average base damage and the Legendary trio also come equipped with Thago/Decelerating Impact for a 1.5 multiplier and a shield move in either Short Defense or Long Protection in Nodopatotitan’s case. Notice the lack of damaging shield and impact on Brachi and people will say “see it does less damage!” but that is where its above average crit chance comes into play! 30% is no joke, especially when you have a rampage. While this might make brachi slightly less consistent than the others we still felt that it definitely keeps up enough to hang out with them in Apex. It also allows it to sometimes set up for slower dinos by throwing out Bellow for the slow on a turn it would be outsped and killed.
Finally we would like to address the last question we heard frequently, which is “If the other tanks are so good why don’t we see them?” and the answer for that is quite simple… Stegodeus was the king in previous updates and far easier to create and power up without making other sacrifices on your team and with tanks being in the spot they’re currently in there is little reason to spend the resources on one of these competing sauropods for the many players who already have a Stegodeus that out levels most of their team already.
Other tanks residing in near the top of our list are Tragodistis, which is likely the best tank in our current patch due to its flexibility in its move set and its superior speed stat allowing it to actually outspeed a fair bit of competition. It gained some HP with the update but still is slightly less susceptible to bleeds compared to other tanks. Another is everyone’s favorite spiky potato, Ankyntrosaurus. It did not change at all in this update itself but does suffer slightly due to the bigger prevalence of bleeders and chompers but it can manage to hang with some smartly used Instant Distractions and comes with a very unique niche of also serving as a nullifying dino. Its biggest weakness? Probably the fact that its a component for Trykosaurus, which means it probably won’t be competing at team level for most players.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a Bruiser tends to toe the line between being used for simply damage or as a tank. Apex tier is quite full of them and we’ll outline them based on how they go about this role.
The destroyer of Jurassic World, Indominus Rex is the first on the list. Its inclusion as a bruiser doesn’t quite match its appearance since it appears more similar to the Tank Busters we will discuss later but it struggles vs shields. Indominus sports a high hp stat, above average damage and crit, and powerful Armor Piercing moves, including rampage. Its immunity allows it to ignore bleeds, distracts, and stuns that are very prominent in this patch’s meta and of course the powerful Cloak move that allows it to threaten one shotting most dinos while also having a chance to avoid their damage.
The first batch we are going to look at are the counter dinos. As a whole, they improved this patch due to the addition of Armor Piercing and Defense Shattering Counters, allowing them to bypass pesky armor and shields from the tanks that could previously stall them out. All of them sport pinning moves (useful for dealing with the pesky Dracorex Gen 2), a shield to stall out to get more counters in, and then they start to diverge. Diorajasaur for example specializes in swapping in to get a Ferocious buff to its damage, although its low HP stat makes that somewhat of a risk. It does especially well when you are able to predict a tank trying to set up Short Defense since you will not only take fairly little damage and also shatter said shield with your counter attack. It also has some flexibility in how it survives since it has Distracting Impact that can deal with dinos that would otherwise use a defense shattering move to remove its shield.
Next up is the new Grypolyth, the first belly crawling croc to finally make a splash on the meta. It stuggles with many of the dinos that are rated higher than it it but sports extremely good match ups with many dinos outside of them. Its power comes from its defense shattering counter paired with a ferocious buff (without it being forced to swap into a free hit to gain it) which means it effectively deals 3x damage each turn as long as it is able to survive.
The last of our counter dinos is Megalosuchus, which differentiates itself by having a higher speed stat than the previous two, allowing it to occasionally pull off outspeeding dinos that they are unable to. It also sacrifices armor in favor of a slightly higher health pool and Critical Impact, which when combined with its ferocious buff grants it the chance to land a nuke for a massive 3375 damage! These pros come at the cost of Defense Shattering Counter, although it still possesses Armor Piercing Counter and still has some ability to chew through the tanks that would try to stand in its way.
Our next group can be quite stunning with the change of removing 33% stuns in favor of making them 75% instead! Monostegotops boasts an above average damage stat combined with a flexible mix of Impact moves and an above average crit chance. Its a very powerful jack of all trades dino due to being able to Slow, Stun, or Null while being tanky with its above average HP and 30% armor. Contrary to popular belief we don’t hate Monostegotops here at Metahub, and fully recognize how strong it is in the current meta. However, its component Stegoceratops competes with it heavily by trading off the chance for crits and flexibility in moves by sporting a higher HP stat and specializing in stunning the enemy for two turns while still putting out enough damage to take down most foes. These two are much less susceptible to the new big chompers since they’re able to prevent them from even having a chance to fight back. Speaking of… lets move on.
Next up is one of the dinos we had some people doubting us about, and that is placing Thoradolosaur in Apex alongside its component Allosinosaurus. Thor trades off some survivability by losing HP and Armor compared to Allosino in exchange for more speed, and 109 is a very important tier vs tanks and Trykosaurus, slightly more damage, a defense shattering rampage instead of an armor piercing impact, and most scary of all a 40% crit chance. We did look at putting it into Tyrant Tier but we felt that it just barely falls short and while it is better than its component, its not to a large enough degree that we felt they deserved to have a tier between them. Both of them are extremely scary in the scenario that they manage a revenge kill and are suddenly able to threaten even the dinos that out speed them with a crit Instant Charge or other dinos that may not be able to distract them with a devastating Rampage or Impact.
The other tank buster that resides in Apex is none other than the zombie dino Tryostronix. Unlike other tank busters it is quite fast, sitting at 124 and managing to tie with Tragodistis while outspeeding all other tanks. More importantly it also has immunity which means that it doesn’t get slowed or stunned to prevent it from outputting massive damage despite having a bit of a low health pool. It functions as very powerful Trykosaurus counter since it remains unaffected by Instant Distraction and is able to smash through Instant Invincibility. It can even avoid a counter by using Ready to Crush instead of Ferocious Strike to set up, although it has to be wary of Tryko choosing to instead just take a big bite out of it. Its optimal use however is by coming in for a revenge kill with Ferocious Strike and threatening whatever the next dino your opponent chooses with a devastating Defense Shattering Rampage that is going to deal 3x damage.
Our last group of dinos are quick, high damage dinos. The fastest of the bunch are the Dodgestrich, Monomimus, and Kung Fu Parrot, Pyrritator. Both clock in at 129 speed, tied with the fastest dinos of the upper tiers but achieve success differently. Pyrritator excels as a clean up dino, sporting 2 rampage moves and the potential to set up with Ready to Crush if you make the proper prediction. It struggles vs tanks with Superiority Strike like most raptors but can surprisingly one shot them if it managed to get a proper set up turn combined with a crit on its Armor Piercing Rampage. Monomimus on the other hand relies on a combination of distracting and dodging to stay alive while still outputting rather high damage with double impacts. It also brings utility other speedy dinos lack due to its immunity, ensuring it maintains its speed advantage, and nullifying moves that can remove the buffs, shields, and most importantly the evasive moves that are a source of frustration for many players. This one was a bit debated and we seen other feedback initially that it was too high due to the massive HP nerf that it was hit with in 1.5 however, due to the combination of distraction and dodging it largely mitigates its frailty. It does require some smarter play than previously since you do have less HP to work with but the other reason we kept it in Apex was the fact that had it not been nerfed it would have been Tyrant! So in reality, it did “drop” a tier because of that nerf but it is definitely still a force to be reckoned with.
Next up is our 128 sailed beauty, Magnapyritor. It maintained its spot in Apex but that does not mean it was not a victim to the 1.5 meta. Many of the other Unique dinos seen buffs while Magna itself received no changes whatsoever. It has always lost to dinos that outspeed it or have Instant Charge and unfortunately in Magna’s case the meta is currently full of those. Magna still does have merit though, since often times even if it cannot secure a kill in a clean matchup it leaves the enemy crippled for your next dino to come in and set up. It can also function as a pseudo tank buster and a null dino and most importantly, is able to come in and clean up Tryko due to being able to ignore Instant Distraction and Shatter Instant Invincibility. Fingers crossed that Ludia will give Magna some love in the next update.
Another dino that people seem to think we hate received some nice buffs this patch, bumping its speed up to 127 and giving it more damage in exchange for taking the small stun chance from its strike move is Utasinoraptor. It serves as a more offensive yet more frail Utarinex, trading off the utility of Impact & Run for a chance for a devastating Critical Impact, and only possessing a Distracting Impact instead of the Rampage its relative carries. Its combination of Distracting Impact and Instant Charge leave it virtually immune to Superiority Strike, which would otherwise counter it like it does most raptors and 127 speed is an interesting tier that doesn’t see much competition. In fact, its extra point of speed actually allows it to beat its Unique relative in the head to head matchup and its flexibility allows it to either serve as a flexible lead or a fearsome clean up dino at the tail end of a match.
Last but certainly not least of our more agile Apex dinos is Diloranosaurus. It carries a similar, if not better, moveset of Diloracheirus, one of the strongest dinos in the game, but trades out some damage and speed for extra bulk. It possesses a higher turn 1 damage but loses out overall due to its lower damage stat. In fact, it plays almost like a middle ground between Diloracheirus and Utarinex and does well in a variety of matchups due to its flexible kit. Even Superiority Strike users aren’t too much of a threat since they don’t typically have the damage to kill Dilorano turn 2 and instead they get stunned and give it a free turn 3 more often than not. Even in matchups such as Indoraptor it forces Indo into a strange spot where if it doesn’t Evasive turn 1 it cannot kill Dilorano until turn 4, provided it survived by dodging a couple times.
Remaining Apex Dinos…
Our last two dinos rounding out Apex Tier do not quite fit the mold like any of the other dinos do, and interestingly enough are the lowest rarity dinos in the tier. Suchotator, is here for obvious reasons due to the buff to bleeds due to the nerf of Superiority Strike, allowing it to put your opponent’s dinos on a timer before they bleed out. Combined with its naturally high HP and Instant Distract it is able to stick around and watch its foes succumb to their wounds, and possible inflict a second bleed on the next dino. It’s slow compared to many dinos in the top tiers but that actually works in its favor, since it is able to apply the wound after the enemy takes an action, meaning they will take a tick of damage before having an opportunity to cleanse it away. It also carries a Null Impact and Superiority Strike, giving it good flexibility although its damage stat is so low that it leans heavily on its bleeding to do real damage.
Last and certainly not least is the dino that the team still debates almost on a daily basis, none other than the Swap In king, Dracorex Gen 2. Its the only common to make it this high and it does it solely on the merit of its one of a kind Swap In Shattering Rampage. Due to the way Swap In Abilities work, it is able to come in and deal massive damage before you opponent has any chance to react to it! The only way to save their dino is by swapping it out on the same turn but there is no reliable way to know if your opponent has Draco waiting in the wings for its chance to clean house. It currently is only bound for one turn after performing this move so often times it is able to swap in and land rampage for a kill, strike the next dino, and then swap back out and wait for another chance to shatter its foes. Its HP stat isn’t anything special but is enough for it to survive against most dinos for that one turn although it can be counter by a few high damage dinos, or pinning ones. While Draco seems simple to use it isn’t so cut and dry. It can be used to bust a core dino of your opponent that would otherwise dismantle your hand, used twice to secure kills, land a sneaky finishing blow, or simply prep an enemy dino to be set up on by your next dino. It also pairs well with other dinos that have Hit & Run moves since it sets up potential one shot scenarios and dinos such as Alankylosaur can swap in essentially for free while Draco retreats back to your hand for its next swap in. It does bring some downsides however since you are sacrificing a spot in your hand for another dino that may be more flexible in battle on its own. Also, if you use it early on your opponent may be able to bait it out later since they are aware you have it at that point. Dracorex Gen 2 was just barely voted to be Apex and not Tyrant so don’t let its rarity, or lack thereof, deceive you. This common creature can definitely hold its own and win games that may have otherwise been lost.
So there you have it Explorers, some of our thoughts about our 1.5 Apex Tier Dinos. Hopefully we were able to convince you that these dinos are certainly strong and a threat at the top of the leaderboard. Let us know what you think in the comments below or join us on discord and feel free to discuss the tier list with us there! Stay tuned for one last article on our Alpha tier dinos!