Cunnings shouldn't beat dodge!

Warning: Wall of Text

Tldr: Cunning and Fierce dinos being able to counter dodge goes against the class system. As such, cunning and fierce dinos with anti-dodge abilities should lose these abilities in favor of different ones. This would leave dodge bypass and removal as exclusively resilient abilities, which makes sense since Resilients are supposed to counter cunnings. If you are interested in the specifics of how this would actually work out, I suggest reading the post. I know it’s long, but hopefully that means it’s at least thorough.

Oh dodge. First we all hated it, and now we all seem to hate how easy it is to bypass or remove dodge. This post is about which dinos should and should not be able to do that.

First, let’s establish that dodge is a cunning ability. It may seem pretty obvious to some, but some people have challenged me on this in the past, so I’ll just let Ludia speak for themselves.
Screenshot_20200922-195408_JW Alive

Cool? Anyway, since it is a cunning ability, which class should be countering it? The counters for the cunning class, resilients. Now I know that the sheer number of resilients with dodge removal is problematic for many people, and I’ve offered a solution for that here. Essentially, it would make all resilient attacks precise instead of dodge-removing, and a few select resilient dinos would gain attacks that slowed and removed dodge but didn’t cleanse distraction. But overall, I have no problems with resilients bypassing or removing dodge: that’s their job. What I DO have more of a problem with is other classes doing these things, and that’s what most of this post will be about.

If you look at all the dinos with precise attacks, you’ll notice that they’re primarily shared by two classes: resilients (which makes sense) and cunnings. Cunnings having these moves seems to be a holdover from before 2.0, and attacks like Precise Pounce and Precise Rampage remain on several cunning creatures. And u kind of get why they added them. They want each class to have a neutral matchup against themselves, so they figured this would make dodge ineffective against cunnings. But this does not fit with the class system, because then cunnings have the tools to deal with their own ability. It’s not like Fierce have the ability to remove attack increases, or Resilients can break shields (well, besides Diplodocus and Gemini…). If you recall the dodge meta, certain creatures like Indoraptor Gen 2 and Procerathomimus were must-haves, not just because their dodge was powerful, but because they were the only ones with the tools to deal with dodge. Ludia seems to have realized this, greatly cutting down on the number of nullifying attacks in the game, and giving resilients the ability to directly counter dodge. But those precise attacks remain. Here are all the cunning creatures that still have precise/dodge removing attacks:



So what do I propose they do about this? It’s pretty simple actually: remove precise (and dodge removal) from these attacks, and replace this with an alternative (often new) cunning attack.

Before I get into that though, let me cover a few cunning dinos that can keep their precise attacks, mainly because they’re cunning-resilient. Eremoceros can keep shielded decelerating strike. Quetzorion can keep precise on crafty strike. And Smilonemys can keep shielded decelerating strike and precise pounce. Dilophoboa and Spinoconstrictor can also keep their precise rampage, because they inherit this move from their resilient Titanoboa ancestry.

Now, what might these new attacks be?

While the ability to distract, dodge AND do 2x damage in the same turn is quite powerful, resilient attacks should still be able to deal with this no problem.

This wouldn’t be as strong as Evasive Pounce, but it would help some slightly slower cunnings with that speed increase.

This attack would basically be like Evasive Strike and Impact, but with more damage and a delay.

Again, this would be like Minimal Speedup Strike, but with more damage.

Of course, there could also be a new cunning effect added. But this was honestly difficult to brainstorm. Cunnings are supposed to counter Fierce, but fierce are so centrally focused on doing damage that there isn’t really a way for cunnings to counter them that they aren’t already doing. Let me know if you have any ideas for a brand-new kind of cunning ability. Maybe something that disables your opponents strongest attack or the last move they used, or something else? Or attacks that lower crit chance outside of the basic cunning attacks?

From here, I’ll go move by move to suggest changes.

For cautious strike, after you take away it’s precise, there’s not much else you could give it. Some options include adding back a turn of speed increase, or adding some specific debuff cleanses (like cleansing DoT, although Velosrhacos is already immune). Some people probably think the move is still too powerful as it is, so maybe it doesn’t need anything?

For precise pounce, there are a few options, depending on the creature. For some, they could simply replace Precise Pounce with High Pounce. They could also create a new kind of pounce, like “Evasive Pounce” or “Rapid Pounce”.

For Precise Rampage, most of the dinos with this move are resilient, who I have no problem with keeping this move. The ones who would require changes are Erlikosaurus and it’s Gen 2, and Spionyx. I’ll cover the Erlikosauruses first. For them, I could see them getting Evasive Rampage to gain some evasion. But this group has always been about speed, so why not embrace that with Minimal Speedup Rampage?

Spionyx is a more difficult case. Besides it’s dodge bypassing/removing abilities, it’s not really a cunning at all. So they could keep it exactly the same and just call it a Fierce-resilient. Or they could remove the dodge bypassing entirely in exchange for some other ability, which I won’t get into here. I would prefer the former out of these two options.

Last, we have Raking Claws. For these guys, I would just scrap Raking Claws entirely, and give them one of the new cunning attacks I created above. The best option is probably Minimal Speedup Rampage, because it has a lower cooldown (so Phorusrochos doesn’t have to spend two turns in a row stalling with sidestep), and it would give Kelenken a much-needed speed boost.

So that’s how I would change cunning anti-dodge abilities. But I’m not done yet, because there’s still Definite attacks to deal with. Now these aren’t common, but they do present a problem. Many of these attacks are on Fierce dinos, which is also bad for game design, since again cunnings are supposed to counter Fierce. Here is every dino with a definite attack in the game:


You can probably guess that some of these are ok. Monolorhino is a wild card, so it can keep Definite Impact. Geminititan is a resilient, so it can keep the dodge-removing aspects of Definite Shield Advantage (the shield breaking and armor piercing effects are problematic in their own right though). But what about the rest?

I’ve already talked about Spionyx, and I won’t cover it here. Removing anti-dodge from Spionyx (preferably to make it a pure Fierce) would require more of a full rework, which you all are more than welcome to share with me if you have one. But leaving it as it is, Spionyx can just be a Fierce-Resilient.

Irritator Gen 2 is easy. It’s only definite attack is swap-in definite strike. Simply make it swap in Defense Shattering Strike and it’s fine. Its a fierce, it shouldn’t be removing dodge. Similarly, Diplovenator can just swap it’s definite strike for defense shattering or fierce strike, as well as losing the precise effect on its counter. If anything, Concavenator itself (as a partial resilient) should have a precise Shattering counter, which Diplovenator could then justifiably inherit.

Now Indominus Gen 2 could also just swap Definite Strike for Defense Shattering or Fierce strike. But I feel like it needs something more. Maybe cleansing shattering strike? Or group shattering strike? Or maybe minor rending attack? Or is definite strike passable in this case?

Lastly, we have Tanycolagreus. Now it is a wild card, so you could make an argument for it keeping definite strike. But definite strike only combines elements of fierce and resilient, so shouldn’t Tany then be a Fierce-Resilient too? That just sounds weird. So I think it should lose definite strike for something else, too, and there are a few good options. The first is to give it Crafty Strike from Quetzorion. This move combines cunning (attack increase removal) fierce (armor piercing) and resilient (dodge bypass) effects. So a Tany with just this move and Nullifying Impact would still be a Wild Card. The other option is to give it evasive strike or cunning strike and make it a pure cunning. After all, Quetzorion has to get it’s cunning class from somewhere.

Now you’re probably thinking, “wow, there’s only two dinos in the game left with definite attacks now”, and you’re right. But that doesn’t mean Definite attacks have to go extinct. As I hinted at with Tany, Definite is a perfect combination of the defense-breaking abilities of fierce and resilients. So why not give them to more Fierce-Resilient hybrids? It wouldn’t need to be common, but when used sparingly, it could be quite interesting.

So THAT’S the end of my thoughts. Thanks for your time. Sorry, I know it was long. But what do you all think? Should cunning and fierce lose their anti-dodge abilities? What did you think of my new cunning attacks, and what ideas have you come up with? Which ones would you replace the existing cunning anti-dodge attacks with? Please let me know your thoughts!

Should Cunning creatures have anti-dodge abilities? (Not counting cunning-resilient hybrids)
  • Yes
  • No
  • In some cases (please explain)

0 voters

Should Fierce dinos have anti-dodge (definite) attacks? (Not counting Fierce-Resilient)
  • Yes
  • No
  • In some cases (please explain)

0 voters

3 Likes

I’ll pass on this for sure.

1 Like

Lol the wall of text got ya, huh?

1 Like

For cunnings: some creatures that are built in a way to specifically counter those other cunning creatures, but still loose to resil or fierce would be the exceptions. Take spinocon for example. She was brought in as a counter to indo g2 back in the day. Precise rampage, immune to distraction and a bleed that it couldn’t escape. Cases like that where the clear reason why that cunning has precise effects is to counter a specific type of other cunning are what should be allowed. (spinocon itself doesn’t need to stay this way, but it was the one case i could think of at this time)

For Fierce: Basically the same as above. but i’m leaning towards less so for this one.

2 Likes

I see that too. I just think its more of a relic of the old creature design philosophy, where everything was defined by their abilities. Distractors and dodgers were often one and the same, but not always. Dodgers and shielders were just as often grouped together as “defensive” (hence the emergence of definite attacks to counter both at once). So some creatures were specifically designed as anti-dodge. But this was before the class system, so most of these happened to be what we would now call cunning (often through nullify, but also stuff like Spinoconstrictor) or fierce (like Keratoporcus). When the class system was added, Ludia seemed to recognize that most fierce creatures should not be countering dodge, so they removed it from some fierce dinos (for example, Keratoporcus lost definite impact(?)). They also made nullify much less common, and no longer a “cunning” ability. And they infamously added dodge removal/bypass to basically every resilient in the game. But I guess they thought it was ok for some cunnings to beat other cunnings, and I kind of get that. You don’t want dodge to be too strong against other cunnings. The thing is, no other dinos (or very few), especially those that are a pure classs, are designed to counter themselves. Resilients don’t break shields. Fierce aren’t immune to DoT. I guess on one hand, you don’t want dodge to be too effective against cunnings. But at the same time, you don’t want to have cunnings be the best counter to dodge. I would treat it like shields, where members of that class can’t counter it (especially given how rare dodge is as an ability, it already has a plethora of counters in the resilients).

That said, even I identified cases where precise attacks could be kept, as long as the dino has the ancestry to back it up. For example, Dilophoboa and Spinoconstrictor keeping the precise rampage they inherited from Titanoboa. Or Erlikospyx could keep precise pounce if Spionyx kept precise rampage. Stuff like that. Plus, Resilient-Cunning hybrids like Quetzorion and Smilonemys make phenomenal anti-dodgers.

2 Likes

First of all, we need more speedup moves with higher multipliers than 10%.
Secondly, there’s actually quite a lot of creatures with stuff that helps against their own class. Apart from Diplodocus, a lot of resilient creatures are Immune to or Resistant to Deceleration, a good number of them are to stun, and quite a few Cunning creatures are to Distraction. So apparently Ludia wants some creatures to have the edge over others in their class.

1 Like

There’s also Allo G2 that’s resistant to DoT, and quite a few fierce creatures, especially hybrids that are resistant or Immune to Swap-prevention. Actually, I think all the pelycosaurs are Immune to DoT and swap-prevention, aren’t they? I know that they’re fierce.
Swap-prevention isn’t exclusively fierce, but it’s most common on fierce creatures.

Yeah, it is true that they seem to want dinos of the same class to not be weak to themselves. The thing is, those moves are all debuffs, and Dodge is a self buff. For dinos to not be weak to themselves, it makes sense that they would resist their own debuffs, and not counter their own buffs. So resilients can resist the deceleration, vulnerable, and stun debuffs. But they also are ineffective against the shield buff. Fierce resist the DoT and swap prevention debuffs, but they don’t remove the ferocity buff. Cunnings generally resist the distraction debuff, but as a self buff, they should not be good against dodge. Now being strong against dodge is technically also not being weak to themselves. But a fast dino that can’t be distracted and can bypass dodge is simply a great cunning counter, even if it is another cunning. And again, we don’t want cunnings to be their own best counters. Plus, dodge has plenty of weaknesses already.

I feel some cunnings should have anti cunning tools so that they can beat other cunnings. Orion isn’t the only anti-speedster speedster and I think the game should stay like that.

Regarding fierces, I think that they go beyond the gimmick of just beating resilient. Despite Group Decelerating being a thing, these guys are technically the mascots for AoE damage, and the anti-dodge is part of that. It’s not big rn, but we never know what the future holds (aside from Giga getting added to the game, it’s the most requested since like ever).

I feel the class system is more of a general idea than a strict plan, and most of the balancing here rly shows that

Yeah, it does make sense to take away some anti-evasion abilities now that it’s hard-countered by resilient.

2 Likes

The thing is, for the class system to mean anything, they have to stick to it. And it is a good foundation. But saying fierce should go beyond just beating resilient is like saying scissors should go beyond beating paper. That will always fundamentally be it’s role. Thats not to say they can’t get more creative with how to do that role: Ferocity, Rend, and DoT are all surprisingly unused, not to mention creating new fierce abilities to play with. But hard-countering dodgers like that should not be one of their jobs. And I don’t think any one class “owns” AoE damage. Fierce can be good against AoE shields. Resilients can be good against AoE speed (and dodge, if that ever becomes a thing). And cunnings can be good against AoE damage and damage buffs. Each have their place.

And some fierce and cunnings will still have options against dodge. Magna and Monolometerodon have nullify. Spyx can keep Precise Pounce, if Spionyx keeps Precise Rampage. The snakes can keep precise rampage. Smilonemys and Quetzorion will keep their nullifying and precise attacks. Anti-dodge cunnings would still exist, they would just be a bit more refined. It would mostly be the raptors, Smilodon/Smilocephalosaurus, the Erlikosauruses, and Terror Birds losing their anti-dodge abilities.

1 Like

Honestly I think I’d prefer no typecast. It brought some really useful abilities like crit reduction and specific nullification, but having all those with the old case-by-case system seems more interesting.
And it’s not like the typecast helps them balance the game. They’re still as bad as ever at doing that, especially for hybrids.

1 Like

I suppose it does make things more interesting, and I’m all for that. But I still feel like Dodge is being countered enough by resilient, and I still stand by the buff/debuff dichotomy that I outlined before. At the very least, it shouldn’t be getting removed entirely by Raking Claws or Fierce dinos with definite attacks. Precise is passable in a limited quantity, like how Swap in stunning strike is on Resilients but pierces armor. But I feel like the exceptions I listed in my last comment sufficiently meet this need. The class archetypes don’t have to be adhered to exactly, of course. Look at stuff like Mammolania having a ferocious attack, or Schaphotator getting an emergency heal. But part of the class system is helping players (especially new players) figure out the game. And if they come across a dodge user, their best move most of the time should be to bring out a resilient, not another cunning.

2 Likes

It should because I like it that way. And in my system no one would be complaining about such a thing. The key thing here is I really truly believe we should petition me into power. Seriously. And give me a 2-4 update creative control trial run. For the good of everyone.

Those ablilities are remenants of the olden times, they should really be removed. Now some cunnings are fine with them, like Erlikosaurus. Does it make sense with? No not at all, but that lets them be a bit unique. They lose the distraction effect of pounce for a precise effect, its a trade off

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I agree, but aren’t there other ways to make them unique besides countering their own class?

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There are a lot more ways, I like your idea of giving them speedup rampages. They are the only class to have speedup moves, it would make them unique without breaking the class barriers

4 Likes

We need more moves that speed up by 30%, 50% etc to help with those Nitro Thors. The sloths are good at that, but they lack stun immunity.

5 Likes

I agree. I actually made a version of the rampage that sped up by 30%, I was just worried it was too much for a turn 1 move with a cooldown of 1… but then again, that’s also shared with group Acceleration.

But GA doesnt deal damage so it has that.