1v1 Matchups Are Not The Be-All End-All
As this is the second tier list we've done using a battle simulator for data, we figure it's time to start sharing some of that data with you all to show you what the battle simulator helps us with, and why it isn't the be-all end-all defacto guide to handling a tier list. And what better way to show that then to show you what the battle simulator gave us for the top 20 dinosaurs across the board and why it matters.
The first and biggest thing you have to understand when considering purely 1v1 matchups is how different that is than a 4v4 match. Winning the 1v1 doesn't necessarily give you the upper hand. Take a slow creature for example that has great matchups across the board. Say it wins a lot of matchups, but winning leaves it prone to setup turns. So even though it beats near everything in the game in a 1v1, it doesn't actually gain anything because the opponent will bring in a faster setup dino, take out your winning 1v1 dino, and be ready to lay on a much more powerful delayed move (instant charge, greater stunning rampage, rampage and run, or even a defense shattering rampage) on whatever you bring out next. Winning the 1v1 matters only when you get something out of it -- ideally more damage on the next dino your opponent brings out.
This is what makes dinosaurs with instant moves so helpful to a team. Having an instant distract and a counter attack or an instant charge is a huge advantage. We all feel that advantage when Thoralodosaur comes out late in a match, decimates our second dino, and we see all is lost - since our third dino won't survive the rampage and swapping to the fourth full health dino means taking a rampage AND an instant charge.
The point is - focusing solely on 1v1 matchups is flawed. But it can help us understand why some things feel like they win us a lot of matches and why others don't. So let's take a look at the 1v1 matchups top 20 across the entire board and talk through them.
(Psst - if you haven't checked out our tier list, be sure to do that at the link below)
Top 20 1v1 Matchup Dinosaurs
|Name||Tier (1.8)||Total Matches||Wins||Losses||Win Percent|
|Paramoloch||Apex - Low||6166||5592||469||90.69%|
|Carnotarkus||Apex - Mid||6422||5598||653||87.17%|
|Allosinosaurus||Apex - Mid||6440||5641||751||87.59%|
|Edmontoguanodon||Apex - Mid||6347||5550||766||87.44%|
|Sarcorixis||Apex - Low||6381||5520||769||86.51%|
|Grypolyth||Apex - High||6273||5427||772||86.51%|
|Procerathomimus||Apex - High||6396||5509||883||86.13%|
|Utasinoraptor||Apex - High||6423||5476||860||85.26%|
|Dsungaia||Apex - High||6440||5436||1004||84.41%|
|Tragodistis||Apex - High||6366||5320||942||83.57%|
|Quetzorion||Apex - High||6440||5312||1117||82.48%|
|Stegodeus||Apex - Mid||6391||5172||1158||80.93%|
Battle Simulator Limitations
The battle simulator has some limitations based on the parameters of 1v1 matchups.
First and foremost, moves with "and Run" like "Rampage and Run" or "Regenerate and Run" or "impact and Run" don't actually send the runner anywhere. Instead, everyone is essentially "locked down" until one dino knocks out the other.
While this may seem a small detail, it is actually quite large. For one, because "and Run" moves assume you'll be running, the cooldown on these moves is usually 1 turn. This means something with Rampage and Run gets to use a rampage every other turn without ever running away. So this tends to slightly inflate the stats of dinosaurs with "and Run" moves.
This also means moves like "Regenerate and Run" essentially become just "Regenerate" and have a 2 turn cooldown - making dinos like Edmontoguanadon and Paramoloch really annoying. Regular regeneration has a 3 turn cooldown so that difference of being able to regenerate every 3 turns versus every 4 turns is a big one - especially with 2 stunning moves like Paramoloch has.
These are still great dinos, they just end up with inflated win percentages.
With that, let's dive into this data set.
By The Numbers
You'll notice immediately that we could've just taken the top 10 dinos and called them all Tyrant, but instead in the top 10 we get a mix of various creatures and tiers.
The first non-tyrant dino is Paramoloch in the 4th slot overall - and we already covered why that particular creature gets inflated by the stats. But beyond the inflated stats, considering what counters Paramoloch (immune dinos, bleeders, and big chompers) you can also see how the meta isn't exactly friendly towards Paramoloch. In fact, even with those incredibly inflated regenerate principals at work, it still only beats 33% of the Tyrant tier more than 50% of the time. Still, that's a special case.
The next non-tyrant dino is Carnotarkus which we've placed in Mid Apex. The biggest reason for this has so much to do with what counters Carnotarkus and so little to do with what it beats. The easy comparison is Dsungaia and Carnotarkus. While Carnotarkus and Dsungaia both lose to a few of the same tyrant dinosaurs consistently (Magnapyritor, Trykosaurus, Monostegotops), there's a handful of matchups that give Dsungaia the upper hand. For one, the only matchups that Carnotarkus wins handily are Ardentismaxima, Dilorachierus, Erlidominus, while splitting relatively even (or losing more often than not) with Thor, Gemenititan, Diorajasaur and Utarinex. Carnotarkus also gets crushed by Erlikospyx, Tenontorex, and (believe it or not) Dsungaia.
But Dsungaia handily dispatches Erlidominus, Tenontorex, Erlikospyx, Ardentmaxima, and beats Diloracheirus and Diorajasaur relatively evenly. These are pretty crucial matchups in the Tyrant and High-Apex tier that give Dsungaia the edge.
Furthermore - while boosts are not taken into account in the tier list, it’s important to point out that the base counter attack for Dsungaia is actually HIGHER than 33% damage for more than 50% of the dinosaurs it faces. So before it uses ferocious, it is already doing more damage on each counter than Carnotarkus. After it uses ferocious? The only dino that it doesn’t do more than 33% damage on is Geminititan. In every other case each counter is doing more damage than Carnotarkus. And boosting damage on Carnotarkus will never help its tending counter attack do better, whereas it will help straight counter attackers like Dio and Dsungaia twice for each additional point of boosted damage (once on the attack and once on the counter).
Tiers aren't just focused on what wins matchups. Which matchups a particular dino wins are equally as important.
The simulator also shows us some interesting things for Thoralodosaur versus Allosinosaurus that resemble the very same concepts in Dsungaia and Carnotarkus. That 15% armor on Allosinosaurus is 100% effective against a whole bunch of dinos, improving the matchups Allosinosaurus wins consistently over Thor, but we all see a lot more of Thor in the arena for a reason. Trykosaurus and Tenontorex are both faster than Allosinosaurus and can easily dispatch it, as well as distracting dinos like Utarinex and Magnapyritor. So even though in sheer 1v1's, Allosino can do better than Thor, a few crits going the other way can make Thor easily the strongest dino in the game, and what matchups a dino wins is as important or more important than that it wins a lot of 1v1 matchups.
Now, this cross section of information from the simulator is about one of twenty or so various datasets we have. We also compare things like All dinos versus just specific rarities, or all dinos versus just specific tiers. We compare all dinos versus all tiers to see how well each dino does against a given tier. We compare all tiers versus all tiers to see how well each tier on the whole does against another tier. But all of this means nothing without running friendly battles, running different variations of different matchups by hand, and without personal experience in the arena to help guide us in what creatures are working and which ones aren't.
If nothing else, the battle simulator does a wonderful job at pointing out dinosaurs we hadn't considered and helping us to digest enormous changes like a global change in crit rate or a change in how dodge functions. Which you'll notice by Indoraptor no longer making the top 20, was certainly damaging to a LOT of matchups for our poor Indoraptor friend.
We'll do more articles like this one and discuss more specific reasons for particular choices in the tier list as we go forward, sharing more on the simulator as well and some of the other tables we set up to help us analyze matchups more thoroughly.
And as always, we want to hear from you! What do you think of our interpretations? Do you think we're way off base? Or do you agree that 1v1 matchups can't be the only piece of data used to determine tiers? Join our discord to jump into the conversation!