Dealing with Dracoceratops
Dracoceratops (DC) is the dino everyone loves to hate. Since its move rework in patch 1.6, it has been a hotly debated subject on the forums and our discord. Its swap in shattering rampage move allowed it to take out many dinos and boosts only enhanced the problem. Now in 1.8, Ludia decided to take away the shattering portion of the swap in move and it is simply swap in rampage now. They also, however, increased the base damage from 1160 to 1220.
Nerf or Buff?
As is with everything about this dino, there is debate on whether the change to its swap in ability is a nerf or buff. We believe it’s a little of both. While it isn’t able to bypass armor or shields anymore, it can still take out the faster low health dinos like Magna, Diloracheirus, and Erlidominus. The problem is, most people weren’t bringing it in against armored dinos. They usually brought it in against the frailer faster dinos (at least from my experience). Because of these changes, people are going to have to adjust their play style a little bit to deal with this still very viable little monster. And people who are using it will have to remember that it doesn’t break shields and armor now matters. So stop swapping it into a Tragodistis with its shield up!
Predicting the Swap In
As of right now (unless they make some major move changes) the only way to truly “counter” this dino is to predict the swap in. After playing with and against this dino for the past few patches I have come to see a bit of a pattern to predict if they have DC on the bench. Now these are just my observations so people may not always play DC this way, but there is a good chance you might see some of these scenarios.
The biggest predictor seems to be if they make a move simply to do damage without the intention of killing you or make a damage move instead of a “counter move” or smart move. Prime example is if they have Thoradolosaur out with Rampage up and you bring out a faster dino like Diloracheirus. If they go for Instant charge instead of the high damage move, there is a chance they are just trying to set up their DC for a swap in.
Another example is with Indoraptor. If they use a cleansing move against a slower dino that has distract or slow there is a really good chance they are going to bring in DC. They are trying to do maximum damage to get the HP down enough for DC to come in and clean up. Or if a Stegodeus rampages a faster dino instead of using a slow move. DC is most likely coming in next.
For a full list of dinos and how they are ranked make sure to check out our Dinodex and Tier List!
Cleaning up After Swap In - Guaranteed Counters
The most likely scenario of dealing with DC will be AFTER it has already swapped in. Ideally, you want to take it out before it can regenerate and run to come back again. The following dinos are the only ones that are guaranteed to kill DC in one shot on first turn. The dinos must be at least the same level and this is without any boosts taken into consideration.
Geminititan is slower than DC so it would have to take a hit first but with its attack buff to 1500 the decelerating rampage is just enough to take it out. Plus Gemini's very large HP pool allows it to take a hit without a lot of worry.
If you don’t have any of the dinos listed above, your next best chance is to deal as much damage as possible before it can run away. Or allow yourself to have the ability to set up another dino. With a 40% chance to crit and the buff to its attack, Thoradolosaur is still a very good option. If it crits, it can often one shot DC. And if it doesn’t kill it, Instant Charge can often take it out before it gets away.
Another option is to bring in a dino that has a distracting move turn one. Dino like Utarinex, Diloracheirus, or Diloranosaurus. Hit them with the distracting move and if they rampage it will only be half damage. Usually you can then take them out with your bigger second move before they get away. If they regenerate and swap out then their next dino will be coming in to a very big hit.
If they acute stun, swap to Trykosaurus or another counter attacking dino like Megalosuchus or even Miragaia. Most of the time, they will still rampage after the stun, and the counter attack will take them out. This has been my new favorite way to deal with them and it has been quite effective.
It’s obvious that DC will be around at least for another patch. While the nerf to the swap in helps in some situations, the buff to its damage made it worse in others. Start to pay attention as you are battling to try and find similar situations to when DC is brought in. If you can predict it, you are more likely able to counter it. Try not to get too frustrated when they do take you down, however. Just try to remember for every one that gets away, another is getting taken down hard (check out the Ludia forum for photo evidence of that). Have fun out there explorers and make sure to join our discord for more discussion!