Sooooooo I’m on a bit of a kick to make suggestions I think might improve the game because I see a lot of potential in this game and I feel like Ludia gets a handful of things wrong but they are so close to getting those same things right. I’m hopeful that eventually some of the more community-agreed-upon suggestions get considered & implemented so that we all can enjoy the game that much more, invite our friends to play, and help the game thrive.
Which then brings me to one of the aspects of the game I thoroughly loathe: damaging swap-in attacks. I want these changed. I want them gone. Pretend you can hear me seething through the froth of my rabid breaths for emphasis.
But Pox, you say, changing SIAs when people have invested so much into them means those people lose out!
Personally, if you invest in what is obviously a cheap-shot mechanic that you’ve benefitted from all this time, you can lose out and I won’t shed a tear.
But I’m 99.999% sure Ludia doesn’t share this opinion, so don’t fret; like boosts, removing them isn’t going to be one of my suggestions. The door’s been opened, and it won’t be shut so easily.
Instead, I want to suggest something simple: that Swap-In-Attacks occur at the speed of the creature using them. There is no sense - whether from a creature standpoint or even a gameplay standpoint - for creatures to swap in and do a damaging, even lethal, attack at lightning speed, beating out the fastest creatures possible.
We already have double-swap-ins doing that; a Monostegotops tends to do its hit on a Dracoceratops, but that kind of planning requires that you even draw your creature of your 8 to begin with. Instead, opposition to changing SIAs has largely just been “plan that they’re going to swap in,” which firstly is nearly impossible to maintain due to the logistics of the game (as mentioned above we can’t choose our teams) and secondly would require an even narrower meta than we have now if we truly embraced it. Perhaps at the maximum levels where everyone has uniques and now even Apexes this becomes less of a problem, but up until then? In some cases it becomes a foregone conclusion if someone drew their SIAers and you did not draw your counters or your own SIAers. That kind of RNG is not fun.
I could propose weakening them all, and while the Rhino is probably the one example that might get unanimous support over, I don’t believe any creature should be able to take out 40% (nearly HALF!) of a creature’s HP when up until that point the creature’s player was outmaneuvering the opposition tactically.
To put it in other words, Swap-In-Attacks are to JWA what the blue shell is to Mario Kart. It requires no real skill to use, and can just screw a good play up until then.
I’ve also proposed before that Swap-In-Attacks should instead do no damage at all and be relegated to only providing buffs, debuffs, or other strategic options.
Instead, I’ll just make myself content - and hopefully others, enough to gain momentum for this idea - to just make the creatures do their moves at their proper speed. The switch can happen at the start of the round before moves, but then let the speed matter.
The swap-in creatures ALREADY have the advantage of swapping and taking a turn, something other creatures DO NOT GET. Any other creature essentially takes a free hit when swapping. It’s too much that they get super-priority over other creatures.
A side benefit is that to make this work Swap-In-Creatures would have to pull some HP or Damage boosts away and reallocate them for speed if they want to keep this priority advantage, meaning they may not wind up killing a still-surviving enemy allowing a proper retaliation. They might still kill a creature near-death, but I still think it’s far more fair to make people earn the speedy kill by, y’know, investing in the speed part.
In addition, I suggest the following:
- No creature with a swap-in-attack should have swap-out immunity.
- No creature with a swap-in attack should be able to cleanse their swap prevention.
- No creature with a swap-in damaging attack can use the damage portion more than once per battle (i.e., taking a Sinoceratops for example: it swaps in, does a stunning hit, stuns and damages the target. Swaps out, and later in the match swaps back in, stunning but NOT damaging the target).
- Swap-in moves (damaging or otherwise) should be increased to a 100% chance of special effect to compensate. (i.e., stunning strikes? Stun. Unless the target resists or is immune.)
Looking for feedback. Might also be looking to commiserate, because this tactic just feels cheap.