Lately, I’ve noticed several forum posts questioning the class assignments of certain creatures, and how the class system works in general. It definitely is not a straightforward system, especially with Ludia often failing to follow their own patterns. Here, I am offering my definitive take on how the class system works. This explaination makes sense to me, and it helps you understand why Ludia did what they did in many cases. But this is by no means official - it is only my interpretation of the pattern of class assignments.
Of course, since this guide makes sense, and Ludia is, well… Ludia, some of these own class assignments do not follow these rules. So I have suggested a few class reassignments below. I also discussed a few edge cases that are controversial, but that I think were ultimately given the correct classification. I won’t go over every dino, so if I don’t mention one, assume that I think it’s class assignment is correct. However, feel free to ask what my thoughts are on any particular dino in the comments, even ones I don’t mention here.
So what are the “rules” of class assignments? Class assignments seem to be based primarily on moves, not ancestry. This explains why Dracoceratops can be pure Fierce while its parents were Fierce and Resilient, and why Dracoceratosaurus can be pure Cunning when it’s parents were Fierce and Cunning. Wild Cards tend to share attributes from all three main classes, or have only “neutral” abilities (I’ll get to those later). Wild Cards are supposed to have an option for every situation, and the best way to do that is to either have one kind of move from every main class, or to have individual moves that are effective against all classes.
I’ve outlined which move effects correspond to each class below. I’ve also included a list of “neutral” abilities, which don’t seem tied to any one class. These abilities can be given to any dino without affecting it’s class assignment.
For the main classes, I’ve split their associated abilities into “Major Indicators” and “Minor Indicators”. Major Indicators are abilities that define any creature with that ability as that associated class, like Distraction for Cunning. Minor abilities are usually associated with one particular class, but often find themselves given to a variety of creatures from several classes. They can be used to define a dino as that class in an absence of other ability effects. However, they don’t define a dino’s classification if the rest of it’s kit primarily focuses on something else. For example, although Speedup is a minor trait of Cunning dinos, this doesn’t mean that every dino with Dig In is Cunning. So if a dino had Resilient Strike, Armor Piercing Impact, Instant Invincibility, and Bellow, I would probably clarify it as a pure resilient.
Here is my understanding of which abilities are associated with each class:
Major Indicators - Distraction, Dodge
Minor Indicators - Speedup, Crit Chance Decrease, Damage Increase Removal
Major Indicators - Shield Break (Defense Shattering), Damage Over Time, Rend (shield breaking version, not Savagery)
Minor Indicators - Armor Piercing, Ferocity, Crit Chance Increase, Swap Prevention (it doesn’t sound fierce, but all creatures with pinning abilities are at least partially fierce so I’m counting it), Definite (usually treated as “shield break+” rather than “dodge removal+”)
Major Indicators - Deceleration, Shields/Invincibility, Taunt (not important in arena, but all taunters are resilient)
Minor Indicators - Heal (I’ve addressed healers further here), Stun? (Stuns are mostly on Resilient dinos or are derived from Resilient parents, but Stun resistances/immunities are currently all over the place, so it doesn’t really target a specific class), Vulnerability? (shared by some resilients and some fierce, but fierce dinos cleanse and/or resist it)
Cleanse, Nullify, Dodge Removal/Precise (shared by Resilient and Cunning, or Fierce too if you count Definite attacks), Vulnerability? (generally shared by Ankylosaurs, Turtles, and Crocs), Savagery (non-shield-breaking Rend)
So, what changes?
Indoraptor: Cunning-Fierce -> Cunning
This one was close, but Armor Piercing is only a minor indication of Fierce. It being a Rampage makes a strong case, but Indoraptor fares too poorly against Resilients to have much fierce about it IMO. But Evasive Stance and Cunning Strike do give it a few points in the “Cunning” category. Some have argued that Indo should be a wild card, but I must disagree. There is simply nothing Resilient about it, no deceleration, shielding, or healing. And I already disagree with the classifications of other contentious Wild Cards (Monostegotops, Nasutoceratops, etc.), so this would refine the definition of a wild card.
Indominus Rex and Indominus Rex Gen 2: Fierce -> Cunning-Fierce
This mostly comes down to Cloak. This signature ability of the Indominus line is a huge part of their game plan. But think about how one counters cloak: dodge removal. And right now, the best way to do that is resilient attacks. It is a dodge after all, which is a primary cunning ability. Plus, only one move from each can actually break shields, each being a strike. Magna is easily a Cunning-Fierce, and it has more shield-breaking moves then either Indominus. So I don’t see why Indominus can’t be Cunning-Fierce too, especially when a dodging move is so central to its kit. It also makes Erlidominus and the Indoraptors being pure Cunning (as I suggested above) make more sense, since all three would now be fusions between a Cunning-Fierce and a pure Cunning.
Spionyx: Cunning-Fierce-> Fierce
This one is easy though. Simply put, there is nothing Cunning about Spionyx. It does have, Rend, DoT, and Definite though, which make a case for it being Fierce. If anything, with it’s precise and definite rampages bypassing or dodge, it should be Fierce-Resilient.
Marsupial Lion: Fierce -> Cunning-Fierce
Marsupial Lion’s focus on Rend makes it easily Fierce, but it also has a dodging move in Prowl that it shares with the Cunning Smilodon.
Carbotoceratops: Resilient -> Resilient-Cunning
This was almost an edge case, but it does have distraction… and Nasutoceratops is also partially cunning now (see below). With a different basic attack, it would easily be pure resilient. (I would replace Distraction with superior vulnerability on both Carbotoceratops and Nasutoceratops, making them pure resilients).
Sarcorixis: Resilient-> Fierce-Resilient
If Ferocious Impact is good enough for Purussaurus to be Fierce, it’s good enough for Rixis. Plus it has immunity to speed decrease, helping it against resilients. It still tends to destroy cunnings though, so it could probably be left alone if they wanted to.
Pterovexus: Wild Card -> Cunning-Fierce
There’s simply nothing Resilient about it. It does have Distraction and DoT though, so there’s a strong case for Fierce and Cunning.
Monostegotops: Wild Card -> Resilient-Cunning
It lacks any Fierce traits, but does have Distraction and Deceleration. It definitely doesn’t have the high damage output typical of most fierce.
Nasutoceratops: Wild Card -> Resilient-Cunning
Similar to Monostegotops, it has no Fierce traits, but does have Distraction and Deceleration. Like Carbotoceratops, without distraction, it would be resilient. (I would rather make superior vulnerability it’s basic attack for variety, and replace Distraction with Dig In, to make it a pure resilient).
Carnotaurus: Wild Card -> Fierce-Resilient
Lacks any cunning traits, but does have a shield and rend.
Edge cases: These are situations where an argument could be made for a different classification, but I think Ludia made the right call.
Tanycolagreus: Wild Card
Tany almost qualifies for Fierce with Definite Strike, but this also removes dodge, so it’s kind of up in the air. So it’s moves aren’t solidly associated with any class, there’s a good argument for “Wild Card”. Plus it has immunity to Distraction, so it would be weird to call it Fierce with that immunity. I haven’t mentioned immunities/resistances yet, because they’re so variable within each class, but this is one case where it is deciding factor.
There is an argument to be made for it being a wild card, but I think Resilient-Cunning is correct. For me, this comes down to the lack of fierce abilities. Orion prides itself on long Invincibility and Sidestep, which are Resilient and Cunning oriented moves. Nullifying Rampage and Counter are neutral. Yes, Crafty Strike does bypass armor, but this is only a minor indicator of fierce, and the move also bypasses dodge and removes attack boost increases. All together, it’s generally a neutral move as well. Orion is definitely an unconventional Resilient-Cunning, since these classes are usually associated with Deceleration and Distraction respectively and Orion has neither, but I believe it to be a Resilient-Cunning nonetheless.
Diplodocus and Geminititan: Resilient
The question here comes down to Shield Advantage, since it does remove shields. That said, the move is still a shielding option in itself, and is clearly meant to be defensive. As for Definite Shield Advantage, the only difference besides damage is removing dodge, which it shares with basic resilient attacks. Overall, Resilient fits for them (since most of their kit is shields and slows), but that shield break does give them a distinct advantage against other resilients.
Woolly Mammoth, Mammotherium, Mammolania, and Entelolania: Resilient
The question here comes down to whether or not persitent ferocious strike makes them Fierce. Since most of their kits focus overwhelmingly on deceleration (with some shields), and Ferocity is only a minor fierce ability, I would say no. For Purussaurus, Ferocious Impact is it’s only non-neutral ability, so in that case it was enough to make it fierce, but not here.
Indoraptor Gen 2: Cunning
This is similar to the Mammoth lines, but regarding Mutual Fury. Again, since Ferocity is only a minor fierce ability, I think it gets outweighed by the rest of it’s kit. The move also speeds up Indoraptor G2, a minor cunning ability. Besides, Indo’s signature ability of Cautious Strike gets hard-countered by resilient attacks, so if that doesn’t say “Cunning”, I don’t know what does.
Diloracheirus and Diloranosaurus: Cunning
These could almost be Resilient-Cunning because of their healing abilities, but heal is only a minor resilient ability. That said, half of their kit is healing, so them being Resilient-Cunning wouldn’t be out of place.
Purussaurus Gen 2: Fierce
This is a hard one. Purussaurus G2 doesn’t really seem fierce, but it does have a pin, which seems to be mostly exclusive to fierce creatures for whatever reason. So by that logic, it can be fierce. But just barely. I almost called it a wild card, actually.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll add more if I think of them. Until then, let me know what your thoughts are on this explanation of the new class system! Does it make sense? Do you agree with my new class assignments, and are there any other discrepancies you would like discussed?
Edit: Healers are kind of weird. For my thoughts on why this is, and what to do about it, I invite you to read part 2 of “The Class System Explained”.