Tier List Preface
We've finally got it finished and we're extremely happy with the results. We've completed the 1.8 tier list and we cannot wait to share it with you. But before we share anything, we need to thank all those involved in the tier list.
So before we get into the list itself, let me first thank by name all of the wonderful people who took part in this list (and this isn't even all of them because I miss people every time).
From GamePress: Fur, Bart, Heather, somerandompoke, thedqk, Chrispychris27, Steph, Piere87, jimbohi, The Aqua Demon, Castal, Jacq, CincyD99, Rt, TheOneSpark, MNBrian, Reeb
From Apex Predators: idgt902, KingDreadnaught, Legomin1314, and practicekat
And our celebrity squad of PokefodderYT and Matt from the JWA Field Guide App.
Seriously, I say this every time, but it's a real process to undertake a tier list, and we're really thrilled with the results. We're pretty sure we got all but one creature pegged. Lookin' at you Tuoramoloch. Ha!
Method to the Madness
Our tier list is based on strictly even levels disregarding boosts. This is an important piece of information because eventually you will hit lesser and lesser returns on your creatures with boosts, and a tier list can help you figure out what to keep working on and what you should have abandoned long ago because it hits a ceiling that makes it a liability.
At the end of the day (in a year or twelve) we'll all hit 10/10/10 on damage, speed, and health boosts. And when that happens, we're stuck with the same relative strength as we would've been in a tournament where boosts are disabled and all creature levels are set to 26. Our tier list is meant to help you -- all things being equal -- find the very best creatures and hopefully the best investments for your boosts.
This also means rarity is not taken into consideration when discussing the tier list. Spawns change. Arena exclusives become not so exclusive. And now sanctuaries even opens up a new world of possibilities for people to attain DNA that was previously impossible to get outside of featured dinosaurs or incubators.
Our tier list is based on discussion and matchups. We run hundreds of friendly battles on our own, determining what is working and what isn't. We have a comprehensive combat simulator created by the JWA Field Guide that helps us see how every single creature stacks up against every single other creature and we run every 1v1 matchup 4000 times.
But this is not a simulation tier list. If it were, we'd have it ready for you on patch day. This is a tier list that 20+ wonderfully talented and intelligent individuals have discussed ad nauseum to get to the bottom of each creature, using ALL information at our disposal (friendly battles, simulation results, our own arena experiences, etc).
Most Discussed Award
There were a few creatures that came up early, often, and repeatedly. A few of the most hotly contested creatures were Thoralodosaur, Tenontorex, Ardentmaxima, and Quetzorion.
Speaking to Thoralodosaur - the crit nerf certainly did make Thor lose a step in friendly battles. It is not what it once was. BUT, it is a testament to the strength of Thor that even with a major component of its damage getting a nerf -- it still controls the meta and keeps a number of things from being more relevant (looking at you tanks). While not all were convinced that Thor still had a firm place in Tyrant standing, their arguments being we aren't feeling the effects of the crit nerf versus boosted super-Thor's in the arena, we did conclude that instant charge makes Thor one of the most powerful cleaners in the game and you cannot swap (without Dracoceratops) into a Thor and expect to gain anything at all.
Tenontorex was also hotly debated. It wins far more matchups in sheer 1v1 than Thor, and can effectively put the opponent in the same position (taking massive damage). It does require more prediction on a swap in, and still has struggles (Erlidom for instance), but the kit is more versatile.
As for Ardentmaxima and Quetzorion, it is common that new creatures (especially Uniques) are introduced at slightly lesser power values. It's rare we see a new unique immediately ready (without any balancing) to take the Tyrant role. This seems to be intentional by Ludia to ensure that one new creature doesn't drastically shift the meta on the whole.
Finally, there was a lot of discussion around if we could legitimately have 12 Tyrant dinosaurs. Honestly, it's our feeling that this meta has been incredibly balanced (despite boosts making that almost impossible to feel in the arena). In the end, we decided to go with this for now and to potentially consider separating Tyrant tier into high and low Tyrant. Frankly, put one Tyrant on your team and a bunch of Alpha or even low or mid apex dinosaurs, and you will feel a significant difference in capacity with them too.
Where We Go From Here
You can view the tier list by hitting the button below. Please note, explanations will be added as we go to make certain choices clearer. We will also be spending a good amount of time creating articles for how to counter the Tyrant tier dinosaurs by creating updated guides which incorporate the battle sim results (some of which are fascinating). And of course we love hearing from the community (via discord or social media) and will set up another community tier list as well to let you all vote and see where you place these very same dinos.
We're also working on boosting guides to help you make determinations on what to boost. We'll have more on that soon.
All in all, this was quite a feat and we're excited to share it with you! What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the placements? Join our discord to chat more!
Tier List Images
Back by popular demand, we've added the Tier List infographics as well thanks to the wonderful artist OrangeRex! Check it out below!