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A drastic failure in variability anticipation based on the current metrics

Metrics is very important in capturing trends and data. After 1 week of the new update, the intentions, as stated by the update 2.9 notes of expanded variability of more cunning creatures being used in PVP are explored in this metric breakdown of players teams.
The trend setters tend to be the top 50 PVP players and I did a breakdown of the metrics of those 50 players teams, which includes my team as well.
Apparently the, changes to resiliency and other creature updates have not had their intended affects. Instead of adding to variability, the variability of creatures being used has contracted drastically.

The top 7 Creatures in usage by the top 50 players, are Testacornibus, Monolorhino, Ceramagnus, Scorpious Rex Gen 3, Skoonasaurus, Mortem Rex, and Hadros Lux. The usage of these creatures is staggering, based on the stagnation it represents. The creature usage of 6 of them is approaching 90% or greater in the top 40. Only Mortem Rex is below that threshold (except in the top 10) Most likely because it needs to be level 30 to deal with Testacornibus, which seems to be the main reason why Mortem is being used.

So lets look at the main issue.
Testacornibus is dominating what it faces and winning matches by itself 3-0. If one person gets Testacorninbus, and the other person does not, it is almost an automatic win. It has no strong effective counters except another Testacornibus and it will mow through most teams like a hot knife through butter. Only Mortem Rex can beat it and usually Testacornibus will swap out to let something else deal with Mortem.
Now one could argue, a person should stack their teams with creatures that help against Testacornibus.
There really is not too many that do, and that are still viable against the other creatures used in the top 50 players teams. Even Mortem Rex has problems facing the other top 7,
Which brings us to the number 8 creature in the top 50, Grypolyth. This can stand up to a wounded testacornibus, but testicornibus, has 100% swap prevent, which brings us to the number 9 creature Compsocaulus which can deal with Grypolyth as can some of the others in the top 7.
Compsocaulus and Grypolyth are each only on about 46% of the teams. On rare occasions both are on the same team. Neither are well represented in the top 10 or top 25.

After that there is a huge distant 10th place (less than 20% usage) in Spinoconstrictor, which seemed for a while to not be matching up to what the update said it should do with Evasive wounding strike which had a delay, which was not in the patch notes.
The drop off after 10th place is staggering.
In 11th place is Antarcovenator, which has a usage in the top 50 of 12%, but it is used by some top players.
After that there is a usage of 10% for Gemintitan and Erlikospyx. These two are near the bottom of the top 50 and appear to be being phased out as they are replaced by creatures in the top 7.

After that, other creatures are not well represented at all, and that slight variability is predominantly in the bottom part of the top 50.
There are 3 Mammolania indicating a 6% usage.
2 Smilonemys indicating a 4% usage. (That update was a nerf)
7 other creatures are used only once with a. 2% usage
Gorgotrebex, Acrocanthops, Trykosaurus, Diorajsaur, Entelolania, Tenontorex, and a Titanboa.

Oh and zero Poukas even though it was buffed. It is great against Compy, but against everything else, not so much. Also the attack cool downs mean one turn it can’t attack, so it is VERY predictable.

Only one true fierce creature is being represented in Mortem Rex.

Only one true cunning creature is being slightly represented in Compsocaulus. Truth be told, the patch wanted more cunning, and it had the opposite affect, with compy usage dropping from near 90% to under 50%. One of the quickest turnarounds of a new creature ever.

I should also mention that I am in the top 25 right now (as of this writing), and I have Testacornibus at level 30 and fully boosted. If I get my Testacornibus in my team, and the opponent does not, I will most likely win. ( I have not lost yet) and I have had many players just put their phones down and walk away in protest or maybe turn off their game. I am not really sure.

That being said even though I have the best creature in the game fully boosted.
"For the health of the game Testacornibus is too powerful and should be nerfed. "

From my perspective, there seems to be a catastrophic failure in playtesting modeling as there are only a few creatures unboosted in the level 26 model that can beat testacornibus, and only 1 is a 100% victory rate (Tryostronix) assuming no run away. In boosted models, Tryostronix damage boost has to match Testacornibus health boost to maintain that 100% victory rate.
In all cases Testacornibus, when it sees something difficult will just swap out.
Maybe somebody over estimated the usage of Diorajsaur, Grypolyth, and trykosaurus, which are just too vulnerable (pun intended) to most other top creatures.
I really don’t know why Testacornibus was buffed this way, but currently, I see this patch as the worst patch in a long time, and not because there was no boost reset.

In simple terms, this awesome wonderful, yet complicated game, has turned into “I win based on a coin flip”, of me getting my Testacornibus.

Not only is it too powerful, it has caused other players to try to adjust their teams with boost and such to deal with it and they have still failed. I dislike wasted resources, especially in fruitless endeavors that leave a player feeling bitter.

Than there are the painful Testacornibus versus Testacornibus long time consuming matches that can end in a draw… It is almost like Grypolyth versus Grypolyth all over again, although some mind games are involved, if you swap out, you will most likely lose the match, as opposed to grypolyth where neither person could swap out.
I don’t want to play for hours at a time to get my 10 victories. I think others share that point of view.

Thank you for the long read.


Thank you for that. There’s no defending this Testa mechanics. It’s in need of an emergency fix more than when they did once to Maxima for being too OP and to Grypo for the Grypo vs Grypo situation.


That is a great analysis.

Can Ludia have a testing environment to test these changes first?


Great analysis.

Also… I didn’t download a dinosaur game to play with a bunch of deer …



Yeah, I know that ship has sailed but they should never have added mammals to the game… Birds, reptiles and amphibians I can take… but mammals are so “not Jurassicky”… They could totally keep things fresh with just dinosaurs, especially now that they introduced GEN 3.


I believe there may well be a testing area but the problem is they can’t log in to test it out!


It should be noted that Testa went from underused (but good) to the top of the meta NOT because of deceleration, but because of stat increases and especially the new healing counter. Just goes to show that decel was never really the core problem with resilients, it only sometimes helped them to exploit other traits that were already too strong.


I mean technically speaking, something like Diplocaulus or Dimetrodon lived as far apart in time and are as distantly related to dinosaurs as any mammal. Yet no one has a problem with Dimetrodon or Diplocaulus being in the game. That tells me that people’s issue with mammals is mostly aesthetic (not that you would disagree with that). I don’t mind, because I love all prehistoric life, but realistically if people ONLY wanted dinosaurs and their reptilian contemporaries, technically the game was broken from the start in this way.


I don’t know, personally I’d rather see pretty much any new mammal over a Gen 3 of a dino we already have two of. Like would you rather have a Mastodon, Paraceratherium, Uintatherium, Deinofelis, etc… or Triceratops Gen 3? I wouldn’t mind a paleo-accurate Spinosaurus Gen 3, but other than that I see no reason to make any. Ludia has already shown they have no problem piling hybrids onto dinos that already have plenty of them.

Don’t get me wrong though, I would LOVE to see more dinosaurs in the game: ANY dinosaur really, as long as they’re original.


While I believe that Testacornibus was probably overbuffed, and should either lose the counter or the stat buffs to balance out it’s strength, I don’t think that it’s buffs are solely responsible for it’s dominance. Not only has it received these buffs, but Vulnerable in general has become more viable, which is an indirect Buff to Testacornibus, who was one of the only creatures who relied on it before the changes.

The absence of viable Fierce creatures means that nothing can actually kill Testacornibus. We’ve continuously released Cunning after Cunning that can stand against Resilient overabundance and a few edge cases of overtuned damage, and these Cunnings (SG3, Compsocaulus especially) continue to choke out any possible Fierce answers to Testacornibus. Add in the sudden abundance of vulnerability, the continued prevalence of Swappers, both with damage or distraction/dodge, and the continued existence of Resilients that are able to kill their Fierce counters (now with 50% more damage!), it’s impossible for Fierce answers to actually kill Testacornibus.

The deer can only be killed through High damage that ignores armor, and almost all sources of that lose to everythings else that’s meta, which subsequently loses to the deer. It’s a vicious cycle.

Buff. Fierce.


It IS aesthetc. That’s why I said I don’t have problems with reptiles and birds… Don’t have to go as far as Dimetrodon. We’re closer to the T-Rex than the T-Rex was from the Stegosaurus.

But still, mammals with dinos feels weird to me… Like, if I came totally uninformed to the game and saw a snake or a terror bird I’d say “well… I get it”… But when I saw a deer I would go “wut?”


I know when I used to play Zoo Tycoon 2 I never made zoos where I mixed dinosaurs and cenozoics or dinosaurs and contemporary animals, so I totally understand that perspective. The snakes, terror birds, and stuff like Dimetrodon feel just as weird to me though. Even Purussaurus and Gryposuchus lived during the cenozoic, so for me even though they’re crocs they’re in the same boat as Mammoth and Smilodon. You can’t really divide up JWA though, and I like cenozics enough that I’d rather have them mixed in with the dinosaurs than not at all.

Metal Face intensifies

In all seriousness though, the fact that Testa was given 2 cleanses, 4 ways to heal, one of which strips away what little counter play Testa has, on top of insane bulk, good output, and a resistance pool that makes me wanna scream. Only Mortem can truly reliably counter it and only at the same level as Testa, shows just how busted Knockoff Xerneas truly is. Seriously, Nitro Mortem seems like the only thing that can truly beat this thing. DoT? Let’s just cleanse it off. Rend? Oh I’ll just heal. Swap in Damage? Forget it.

I’m just gonna leave this last bit here if anyone needs more proof why Testa is busted.


-Great Stats, especially that armor
-Busted movepool and resistances
-Ridiculous Bulk, having everything a resilient uses except for speed increase removal
-2 full cleanses, both on only a 2 turn CD
-4 ways to heal, including all 3 possible passive types
-Dig In allows it to speed up, potentially letting it outspeed Mortem

-Can’t pierce shields or armor
-Testa v Testa is almost like Grypo v Grypo

Now where have I seen this before?


At least they didn’t test well…

As someone who used Testa ever since it was released I will say that I very much prefer it being underutilized, if I could suggest some changes I would revert the buffs to its stats to how they were prior and maybe replace the impact with something else.
Maybe they could bring back the distracting shield testa had on release.
I think the healing bits can stay though makes it very interesting to play with.

Another suggestion is to add some proper endgame pure fierce hybrids, it’s jarring that Thor is the only pure fierce unique.


Testacornibus is not that good, it never has been, compared to the previous update if it is because it can counter cunning, something that many resilients cannot do today due to the nerfs, Mortem Rex, Thoradolosaur, Thylacotator, the Long necks like Ardentismaxima, Geminititan, and Skoonasaurus could, and should, counteract it, obviously speed is key in many circumstances these days, and everyone should be immune to slowing down. The problem is that there are many exchangers that do damage, Rhinos, Ceramagnus, rats, etc, and those exchangers make the deer good in a team, it is more with the vulnerability system, the damage exchangers are still the great beneficiaries of the game , and the meta.

Compared to the update before this one, it has received a benefit, but it has not been as great as some say, the healings when entering and leaving it already had them incorporated before, the counterpower healing is a good thing, but it is not anything to write home about .

Testacornibus: Before and After. Skills: Resilient impact changed to Cleaner deceleration impact Added Skill: Healing Counterpower Attributes: Attack: 1000 changed to 1100 HP: 4050 changed to 4200 Speed: 127 changed to 128 Armor%: 40% changed to 45% 5% critical chance

I made an entire post saying differently. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree.
I have said what the top 7 creatures that are being used.
I have said that Testacornibus beats 6 of the 7. This includes Skoonasaurus. It also beats Gemintitan and Ardentismaxima.
Now granted you might think Thoradolosaur might have a chance, but Thoradolosaur is not very viable in the upper tier department. There is a reason why nobody in the top 50 is using it. This is what happens with Thor versus the Testacornibus.
First turn. Your low health but faster Thor does its shattering impact. Testacornibus does superior vulnerability reducing Thors speed, and making your low health but high speed Thor vulnerable. (This is mitigated by Thor’s 50% to vulnerability)
If this was a first turn meeting, then Testacornibus swaps out, and in comes a swap in creature to hit Thor like a mack truck and stuns thor, or it distracts or comes in cloaked. Thor is doing her rampage not her charge stun, because its Thors only chance
If this was not a first turn meeting than Testacornibus will have devastation up and destroy Thor.
The reason why this doesn’t happen to Mortem Rex, is because Mortem Rex does not get slowed.
Of course Mortem Rex is still going to have to face swap ins, just like Thor,
Those likely swap ins are going to be SR G3, Monolorhino and Ceramagnus which are on almost every team out there. People play Compy just for Mortem.
I hope that helps explain my perspective.
If and when you actually run into, a level 30 fully boosted Testacornibus, please post and tell me how it went.


I’ve had my team single handedly destroyed by the monster deer that roam the shores. I can assure you the deer is insanely OP. Its healing and damage output are astounding. Its able to easily survive long enough to begin cycling its devastation, which means being on the receiving end of 5000-6000 damage every other turn, while being able to heal no matter what you do. Even morty struggles if the deer has a devistation available.

And lets not forget that you can’t effectively pin or bleed the thing. If the deer is somehow compromised it can easily swap out then swap back in (while healing). As it stands it needs a nerf.