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.
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!
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