Luck-sack meta: PVP's biggest problem

So I’ve been dancing around the 3500-3600 trophy range for some time now, probably 3 or 4 weeks (leveling dinosaurs is slow going for me). And I’ve come to several conclusions about the meta for this arena, and endgame PVP in general. Compared to the earlier arenas, the game has become far more “sacky,” as some competitive circles call it. There are two huge offenders in this game’s meta that, in my opinion, ruin any tactics to be had: Stun, and Dodge.

Stunning Impact is a common move, which gives you a 50% chance to stun your opponent. That is to say, your opponent has a 50-50 chance of losing their turn. That’s really high, but can’t be spammed due to its long cooldown. Greater Stunning Strike/Impact/Rampage, and most recently Instant Charge, offer 75% chances of becoming free damage. This is really high, but the distribution of these moves is at least small. The real problem, is when dinosaurs have multiple high-stun moves. Stegoceratops, of course, is the first one to come to mind, but I don’t think it’s the only one with that trait. The end result is a decent chance of your opponent missing out on multiple consecutive turns, which in a game like this where most dinosaurs only live about 3 turns or less, can easily cost you the game while requiring no actual skill on your opponent’s part. You aren’t being outplayed, you’re just being out-sacked.

Dodge is another problem, for a different reason. The single biggest offender here is not the Indoraptor, but the Indominus rex. It’s quite spammable and with good luck on your part (or bad luck on your opponent’s part), you can quite easily Cloak, Rampage for a kill, switch out to sacrifice another dinosaur, send Indom back out, and repeat the whole process. This is a potentially game-winning strategy that can only be played around by a very small number of individual dinos, and without hitting through Cloak early on you can lose multiple dinosaurs easily to this. Because the chance of missing is tied to Indominus, you have few options for getting out of this coin toss. Many dinosaurs with Nullifying attacks either don’t have high attack or are stuck with a basic Nullifying Strike. This means that often, what can combat Cloak, can’t easily punish it.

I have proposals for both of these mechanics.

For Stun, I propose one of the following:
-Changing movesets so that no dinosaur has more than one Stun move.
-Adding a new mechanic where, when a dinosaur recovers from Stun, they have Immunity until after their next turn (or perhaps a new Resist status that, again, prevents them from being stunned for a second consecutive turn).
-Grant dinosaurs a 30% speed boost during the turn after they are stunned. This way they, once again, cannot be stunned for multiple consecutive turns.

For Dodge, I propose adding these possible changes:
-When hit after using a move granting Dodge, the damage taken is always a Critical Hit. This alone does not eliminate the “sackiness” of the status but adds additional risk to it, making less “free.”
-Getting hit during a Dodge-granting move now nullifies the move completely, in Cloak’s case also eliminating the damage boost.
-Add a move which acts first with nullifying properties. I also recommend the move does extra damage if it successfully nullifies anything.
-For Indominus/Cloak specifically, I recommend lowering its attack slightly, AND/OR reducing Cloak’s modifier from x2 damage to x1.5

If anyone has other suggestions please post them. This is probably the single most annoying aspect of PVP late-game, and I really hope Ludia takes effort to change it much like they did with the previous “raptor meta.”

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Don’t … just don’t touch my Stegoceratops … thanks! :rage:

Man, there will always be something a bit more strong than others … one month it’s the Raptor … next month the stunning tanks … one day crocodiles … just adopt.


Luck is part of it - with the mechanics meaning you play people with similar arena points, then you get plenty of close matches & often a bit of luck, good or bad, swings the result one way or another. The random battle team makes a big difference, if I get allocated 4 tanks & opponent has some good armour piercing Dino’s then I know its pretty much game over if stuns fail. It can be irritating when you lose a lot in succession but luck balances out. I currently bounce between arena 6 and 7, depending on game luck (& usually a few losses due to JWA bugs of battle starting without you & by time game is reloaded you have lost or are 2 Dino’s down with no win hope)

I get the distinct feeling that no one posting in this thread actually read what I had to say.

Or evolve and field dinos immune to those moves… probably why they make a few of them that way.

With respect to your argument about Indominus Rex’s cloaking ability, @Souretsu, I think that improving the nullifying attacks of certain creatures might be a better approach than nerfing I-Rex’s attack.

For some players, attaining the I-Rex is one of the greatest feats that they could achieve while playing JWA. Not only do you have to manage to get enough T-Rex DNA to get the creature itself to level 15, but it also takes 500 Velociraptor DNA per fusion to actually unlock and level the I-Rex. Due to the level of difficulty that comes with unlocking this creature, it’s important to actually unlock something with decent moves and stats.

As a player who has yet to unlock the Indominus, I’d argue that Ludia should not make any changes to Indominus Rex’s current stats. Instead, it’s more important to level up creatures with nullifying attacks–particularly in the event that they’re buffed, and even if they’re not–as to counter Indominus upon meeting it in the arena.

Furthermore, players who encounter Indominus frequently should make the necessary changes in their own teams to counter it appropriately as best they can, regardless of whether players switch it out, use Cloak, etc. It’s the same as with the raptors in the lower arenas: strategy, strategy, strategy will help win matches. Not all, but many.

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No thanks for nothing!

If you don’t like to be stunned pack your team with immune Dino. You ll never be stunned again.
Same if you don’t like dodge, pack your team with Dino with annihilate moves (remove bonus buff from opponent).

Luck has to be a part of this game like the others


constructive critique - I like it. I could even subscribe for the most part. Fortunately I didn’t have to battle many Indoraptors or other Dodgers so far, so I can’t really speak about that matter. Regarding Indominus Rex: I’ve battled many and I’ve got my own for a while now so in that matter I’ve got a tiny bit of experience. Most of the time Indominus lasts for 1-2 opponent dinosaurs. I agree that nullifying attacks should be a little bit more powerful and maybe decreasing cloaks modifier could be helpful for balancing. But in my opionon the attack stat of Indominus is already rather low and losing your modifier after a hit would greatly decrease its usefulness.

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Well I can see that I’ve gotten quite a bit of negative attention for voicing my opinion of it, so let me take a step back and try again with a more neutral tone.

I think Stun and Dodge mechanics put too much emphasis on luck. And some luck is fine, I understand that it will be inherent in games like this, but too much of it can get in the way of skill-based gameplay. I think everyone can more or less accept that as true, right?

With these suggestions I posted in the OP, I feel a portion of skill can be brought back into the game, where it requires a bit of forethought to actually use something like the I-rex effectively, as opposed to mindlessly following a flowchart to kill between 1 and 3 of your opponent’s dinosaurs.

Also, I understand that Immunity counters Stun, but there are not many good dinosaurs that have it. I think the best I’ve managed to get in my game at least, is my Lv 15 Secondontosaurus. I have yet to unlock my own Indominus due to difficulty finding T. rex (sitting at 170/200 DNA to create it for about a week).

As for Cloak/Evasive Stance, again, I do get that Nullifying attacks work to get rid of that. But Nullifying is at this point a more scarce attack property than Cleansing is. The poor distribution here makes it hard to counter these moves without losing a dinosaur in the process, and like with consecutive Stuns, I don’t think it’s fair to deny either player several consecutive turns. Is there anyone here that actually does think it’s fair?

So with that said, I put forth again, the suggestions I made in the OP. If you disagree with me that’s fine, but rather than just criticizing my opinion or skill (tbh I have probably the lowest leveled team of my ranking; everyone else I’ve played with a similar trophy count regularly has 2 or 3 levels over my entire team on average), I would much rather talk about why those suggestions would not work well for the game, what would be better, or why a balance change on these mechanics would do more harm than good to the meta.

Luck is part of it - with the mechanics meaning you play people with similar arena points, then you get plenty of close matches & often a bit of luck, good or bad, swings the result one way or another. The random battle team makes a big difference, if I get allocated 4 tanks & opponent has some good armour piercing Dino’s then I know its pretty much game over if stuns fail.

I get that perspective, I really do, but there is a difference. If your team of 8 consists of 4 tanks, you are also intentionally opting in to the possibility of 4-tank games. You are accepting the risk of this happening to you. If you then beat out an opponent that an advantageous team, because of chaining Stuns together, did you actually earn that victory? Did the opponent deserve to lose? The simple answer is no, you didn’t, and no, neither did they. If a system were in place that prevented repeated Stuns from happening, you could still very well pull out a victory with careful strategy. But the opponent still could win, too. The chance of counterplay exists, which is an important part of PVP gameplay.

So I mean, you could argue that one also “opts in” to not running a team specifically designed around countering an I-rex, but that’s not a realistic scenario either. You’d just lose to the other 3 dinosaurs. But at any rate I’m not really talking about I-rex in particular, but these two mechanics.

If that was too wordy I’m sorry, I’m just trying to get my point across.

You have a good thought process. I too have been sitting in the 3400 - 3600 range. I also have earned both the Indominus and the Stego the hard way without purchasing them. Both cloak and stun are statistic driven and sometimes I wipe the other guy and sometimes I am trounced. The unpredictability makes it interesting and frustrating at the same time.

My thought is to leave both of them as is. People work hard to earn them so leave them be.

Ludia will keep modifying this game as it is only months old so who knows what it will look like in 6 months. Pokemon Go has evolved for the better every month for the last 2 years and I expect the same will occur with JWA.


I dislike dodge too should removed.
Stun I think is a fun concept but unfortunately it’s luck dependant.

A cool move would be 100% stun 0.5 damage.

Lol… wait until you fight the ankyla/kentrosaur hybrid… instant cripple along side long invincibility (untouchable for 2 moves unless you’ve got a dino with nullify or defense shattering… my luck of the draw I wasnt lucky enough to get a dino in my squad that had either so that fight was beyond stupid… dodge you at least have a 50/50 shot of still hitting… go fight that hybrid and tell me what was worse lol

I just went through a match with that dodgy bird thingy… dodged 5 attacks in a row including counter-attacks… that’s a problem. Stuns have a cooldown, there was no cooldown on this dodge attack. Dodge the main attack, but don’t dodge the counter-attack.

I had a dry run of stuns too, that happens. I’m in Sorna and currently am floating between 3000-3200. It took me 5 battles to get that last incubator to fill the slots… and that was irritating because it was just a string of bad luck. That dodging bird was the most irritating.

To OP… your suggestions are a reaction to losing a lot… not an attempt to balance a game. Your suggestions are punitive not balanced. If stunning is bothersome, get a few immune dino’s built and don’t be afraid to swap dino’s in a match. I’ve seen people never swap and I’ve seen people swap way too much.

While I’ve yet to face an Indo, its still fun, even when I’m frustrated I still am compelled to click that battle button until I win.

I’ve been sitting at 3500 - 3800 as f2p and I don’t have an indominus. I think it’s balanced ok, it’s a 50/50 whether it dodges twice and kills me or i kill it before it lands a hit. If I miss the first hit I’ll swap to a sacrifice dino then easily pick one dino to kill it.
The Stegoceratops can be annoying but hasn’t given me too much worry. Just use something with a shield. It is annoying that my Stegoceratops is 15 and most I go up against is higher but thats the way it goes. Otherwise I would suggest use an immune dino as your opener.
I noticed certain trophy limits always see the same opponents, so just stack you team to counter that and assume you will see Einiasuchus, indominus or Stegocera as your opponents start. Used to do the same against raptor s and looked forward to when they brought it in, what throws me off if they use something different from the meta.

Ok I just wanted to say real quick that your numbers on the stuns are completely inaccurate. Greater and instant have a 75% chance. Impact has a 33% chance and minimal has a 10% chance. Stuns don’t work nearly as well as you seem to think they do.
Also on the point of indominus. He is extremely easy to counter. His speed is really low and his base damage is really low. Anything with a decent shield or invincibility easily nullifies the damage. Not mention if you have monostegotops and just nullify the cloak while smashing his face in. But tragodistis, gigaspikasaur, stegodeus, ankyntrosaur, monostegotops, nodopatasaurus,megalosuchus and im sure some others can simply defeat the damage boost. Not to mention simply putting out your own indo (rex or raptor and simply cloaking or evading and hoping for the dodge). Not to mention dodge itself is unreliable. Especially on indominus. I can’t even count how many times I have had indominus die simply to not dodging twice without ever once hitting an opponent.

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Minimal Stunning is 10%. Low Stunning is 20%. Stunning is 33%, you are correct there. Not something I noticed until now. Greater Stunning is 75%.

The majority of those do not counter Indominus. They either die outright to the boosted Armor-Piercing Rampage, or lack the damage output to kill the I-rex before turn 3. But this thread isn’t just about Indominus.

Yeah, they lack the damage. But their Barrier can tank their boosted hit from Cloak very well and his special is wasted.

I see where you get your opinion from. Stun has saved me and screwed me over too. Cloak I outright hate. But I also think that luck should be a part of this game. It’s part of every game. I like the idea that if hit while cloaked, the damage you receive should be critical. But I think stun should be left alone. Try putting the new ankylocodon into your team: it has 25% armor, and is immune, so his shield can’t be broken except by nullify, and he can’t be debuffed. It has low attack tho, so I don’t recommend using it as a raptor counter.