JWA Opinion: Ceratosaurus And How It Affects the Unique Meta

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We welcome guest writer, Agent Allosaurus, back to bring you all the information you need about the very new creature, Ceratosaurus. Take it away double A....

It’s your favorite agent here, Agent Allosaurus, ready to break down another meta community article! As update 2.23 was released weeks earlier, I wonder, how were your thoughts on the neotheropod Dracovenator and the long awaited Ceratosaurus? These 2 Unique creatures surprised me when they were first released, with Dracovenator being the 2nd non-hybrid creature having a Cloak ability after Tiger the Atrociraptor and Ceratosaurus having extremely overwhelming moves while I was reading the patch notes. But when compared to both of these carnivores, you could easily tell which one’s the more superior of the duo. That’s why the main creature I will be discussing is the Ceratosaurus and answer a question: How it’s moves could affect its place and for the meta-relevant creatures in the current Unique meta. Before we dive into the stats of this fan-favorite JP3 theropod, here are a few instructions:

1: The information of Ceratosaurus is last updated since the 3.0 update, and with the constantly updating meta, the information may soon be outdated. (Hopefully not!)

2: These notes are for reference on suggestions for what role Ceratosaurus is to the Unique meta and its competitiveness as well.

3: Please note that don't take complaints too seriously.

Cerato’s Stats and How Would They Work

As a Fierce Resilient Unique creature, you would probably expect Ceratosaurus to be behaving the same exact behaviors like medium theropods do due to its size, but instead, it has received the large theropod rig treatment, similarly to chompers like Rexy in the Legendary meta and Allosaurus Gen 2 in the Epic meta. Even though it may seem like a chomper at this point, it's not actually considered one! Instead, it’s one of the more versatile creatures in the Unique meta:

When compared to most chompers, Ceratosaurus has ridiculously high health at 5250. In fact, it is currently the Unique creature with the 5th most health in the game, after the sauropod hybrids and Alankyloceratops. This means that this horned beast really could withstand several hits from other creatures, particularly when equipped with 10% extra armor. (Also possibly more since there is a move I will be discussing later.) This means that Cunning creatures could have a harder time piercing through its health and armor. Next, it’s attack stat. At 1550, it’s pretty decent. But when it’s its turn to deal damage, especially when equipped with a rampage and a counter, it really could turn things upside down with it. An attack boosted Ceratosaurus could easily wreck teams with that percentage.

With those out of the way, now we’re onto some serious topic: It’s speed. If you thought Tyrannometrodon is quick with that 110 speed, well Ceratosaurus makes it look like a wimp. At 119 speed, it’s currently the quickest large theropod in the game. Although with that speed disadvantage over a meta where half of the creatures are quicker than it, the counter of its not only increases its attack but also the armor, it even attacks flock members. Implying the fact Cerato could deal more damage to the opponent. With that in mind, I’ve heard by some players that Cerato may have currently the best counter in the game, after Geminideus’s Precise Group Counter and Pyrorixis’s Ferocious Counter Stun. In fact, I think Cerato’s counter could be a mixture between the two, having the armor increasing factor as well as the attack increasing factor. Along with 15% extra critical hit chance, it just feels like an accomplishment on doing so. Now, with its stats being cleared, we’ll move on to its moves

Cerato’s Moves and How Do They Work?

Since it was released not long ago and with the fact Ludia made it an event exclusive creature, the chances of you unlocking this JP3 dinosaur may have not been high, but if you’ve faced up against one, trust me, it’ll be a deadly experience if you have the wrong creatures on your hand.

Starting off, we have Heavy Strike, which isn’t really the main problem as it has been observed to be a decent attack. Then, we have Resilient Rampage, which lets Cerato deal 3100 at one turn. Hence its name, y’all know that it is super effective against cunning creatures that try to evade you or distract you. With the latter being less of a problem due to Cerato having an impressive 75% distraction resistance, which is an extremely rare occasion for a theropod like it to have one. But since it’s a relatively common move that is seen in many resilient creatures across different metas, I’ll just move on. As both of these moves may seem to be a lesser problem you may say, but its next 2 moves really are the heavy ones, and so like Dr Emmett Brown in Back to the Future once said, “Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?” Well yes, in this case the Earth is fine, let me introduce you to Lacerate and Intimidate:

Lacerate, or I should say, Maiming Wound but better, is a move that focuses on imposing damage over time, and yet also lets Cerato deal 1.33X damage, the first instance of a creature doing so after Beelzebufo could deal 1.75X damage with Feast. Cerato may not have the best strike with Lacerate, but the damage over time does the opposite effect. The effect lasts for 4 turns, and each dealing 25% of the opponent’s max HP. It implies that even if you don’t attack the opponent for 4 turns and the opponent doesn’t cleanse or heal itself, the bleed could still get its life stolen. Meaning it could be a guaranteed kill if lucky. On par with it is No Escape, which you cannot escape from unless you have resistance or immunity to it. Making this move effective against heavy tanks with the same meta as it is in, like Ardentismaxima, Geminititan and Skoonasaurus. It could even work on certain top tiers as well, like Pyrorixis, especially when it doesn’t have the ability to cleanse it. The only downside is that you have to wait 3 turns until you can use it again.

 With Lacerate out of the way, let’s move to the other move, Intimidate. Although this move isn’t an attack based move, its priority status does make a difference. Not only does it reduce your speed by 50%, but it also increases both Cerato’s attack and armor by 10%. Making it useful against cunning flocks that rely on their distracting attacks, as well as creatures that utilize lesser damage on their attacks. As Cerato also cleanses while using this move, it makes it a better option after being affected with swap prevention.


Now onto the resistances, in which Cerato has 7 of them in total, and I have to say it genuinely, they’re overpowered. First off you have the usual bleed, stun and speed reduction immunity, which I could tell you Dsungascorpios, your Enfeebling move would be less useful against this theropod than the others. And second to both Compsoraptor and Pyrorixis, a 75% distraction resistance on Cerato and your respective dodges would not be very effective against this beast due to its precise counter. Also, a 50% resistance to both rend and armor reduction may seem extra, but it’s better than nothing even though rend usage in the Unique meta isn’t much viable as it could be only seen in a handful of off-meta hybrids like Allodrigues, Thylos Intrepidus and Indotaurus. Lastly, you have protection from a 33% resistance against vulnerability. Which makes you much of a threat against resilient creatures that focus on these types of moves. So in conclusion, I think Cerato does have useful resistances, and it could be proved useful in the next big part I will be covering later.

Unique 1v1 Matchup for Cerato - Losers

Now you may have made note of its stats and moves, to make you more familiar to how it would fit in the current meta, it is time to test the 1v1 matchups on the Unique roster of creatures! And with 51 of them to fight against, I will be showing the results below and to conclude the statement of which creatures could beat it to the ground, which ones would result in a draw, and which ones would unfortunately lose. Before I start the matchup comparison, here are a few instructions:

1: In this comparison, I will be listing all 51 Unique creatures in the game to make different matchups with Ceratosaurus. (Which ironically includes Ceratosaurus itself.)

2: As the topic revolves around Unique creatures, I will not be including any Omega creatures as they do have differences at varying levels.

3: The 1v1 matchup list is according to the alphabetical order and the default level (Level 26) of the Unique creatures.

4: The results of the 1v1 matchups will be listed and why they would win/draw/lose.

5: The 1v1 matchups by me are made possible thanks to JWA toolbox on Paleo.GG offscreen.

6: Please note that don't take complaints too seriously.

Creatures that CANNOT beat Cerato:              

1. Aenocyonyx (Only if it uses Devouring Wound in the 1st round.)

2. Albertocevia (Prone to the high damage in Cerato’s counter.)

3. Allodrigues (Prone to the group counter and Cerato’s resistance to rend.)

4. Andrewtops (Prone to bleed and lack of high HP.)

5. Antarctovenator (Prone to bleed and lack of high HP.)

6. Ardentismaxima (A low speed stat.)

7. Ardontognathus (Lacks a good turn 1 option and prone to bleed and the group counter.)

8. Compsocaulus (Lacks a good turn 1 option and prone to bleed, the group counter and Cerato’s resistance to distraction.)

9. Diorajasaur (Prone to bleed.)

10. Dracoceratosaurus (Prone to Cerato’s stun immunity, distraction resistance and cleansing abilities.)

11. Dracovenator (Prone to Cerato’s resilient moves and distraction resistance.)

12. Dsungascorpios (Prone to Cerato’s stun and bleed immunity.)

13. Entelolania (A low speed stat and lack of good resistances to face Cerato.)

14. Erlidominus (Only if it uses Cloak in the 1st round, Distracting Rampage in the 2nd round and Cerato uses Intimidate in the 2nd, as Erlidom’s speed will be reduced to be slower than Cerato.)

15. Erlikospyx (Prone to Cerato’s resilient moves and distraction resistance.)

16. Geminititan (A low speed stat and being prone to bleed.)

17. Grypolyth (Lack of good opinions and good resistances to face Cerato.)

18. Indoraptor (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s resilient moves.)

19. Indotaurus (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s resilient moves.)

20. Lystrosavis (Prone to Cerato’s group counter and resilient moves.)

21. Magnapyritor (Lack of high HP.)

22. Mammolania (Low damage output, prone to bleed and Cerato’s high damage output.)

23. Monolorhino (Low damage output and prone to Cerato’s high damage output.)

24. Parasauthops (Lacks a good turn 1 option and is prone to Cerato’s high damage output.)

25. Phorurex (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s distraction resistance.)

26. Poukandactylus (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s resilient moves.)

27. Pterovexus (Lacks a good turn 1 option and is prone to Cerato’s resilient moves)

28. Pyrorixis (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s stun immunity.)

29. Quetzorion (Prone to Cerato’s high damage output.)

30. Scorpios Rex Gen 3 (Prone to Cerato’s resilient moves and stun and bleed immunity.)

31. Skoonasuaurus (A low speed stat and prone to bleed.)

32. Smilonemys (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s resilient moves.)

33. Spinoconstructor (Prone to Cerato’s immunity to bleed.)

34. Stygidaryx (Prone to Cerato’s immunity to bleed.)

35. Styracosaurus Lux (Only if it doesn’t get any 10% critical hits. It wins if it manages to get one critical hit on any attack.)

36. Tenontorex (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s high damage output.)

37. Testacornibus (Prone to bleed and Cerato’s armor and high damage output.)

38. Thoradolosaur (A low speed stat.)

39. Thylos Intrepidus (Prone to Cerato’s group counter, bleed immunity and rend resistance.)

40. Troodoboa (Lack of high HP and Cerato’s high damage output.)

41. Trykosaurus (A low speed stat and being prone to bleed.)

42. Tuoramoloch (Lack of good options.)

43. Utarinex (Lack of high HP.)

Unique 1v1 Matchup for Cerato - Possible Draw & Winners

Creatures that result in a possible draw with Cerato:

1. Albertospinos (Turn 1: Merciless Alert ->Turn 2: Fierce Rampage-> ABS will be taken out by the bleed after Cerato is taken out by Fierce Rampage if Cerato uses Lacerate at turn 1. If it uses Heavy Strike ABS wins this matchup.)

2. Ceratosaurus (Faster Cerato wins if both encounter each other.)

How And Which Creatures Could Outclass Cerato:

1. The Furry Red Pochita: Aenocyonyx:

As a cute and deadly wolf, Aenocyonyx has been called Pochita in appearance, but Death in disguise. And with Ceratosaurus around, it could actually either lose or win, depending on your moves. If Pochita uses Devouring Wound in the 1st round and Cerato goes for Lacerate, Pochita loses. But, if you use Crushing Prowl on the 1st round and Devouring Wound on the 2nd, you could take it out. Although you lose the cleanse ability when Lacerate hits you with that bleed, the exchange for the high damage output and devour could completely change your fate.

2. The Invincible Three Horned Dragon: Alankyloceratops:

When faced against Ceratosaurus, the heavy armor and shields of this flying dragon could make good use of repelling it, as it just makes it too hard for Cerato to chomp through you. Therefore, you could use a specific pattern consisting of armor, shields and vulnerability to defeat it as you heal in the meantime when the horned beast just tries its best on nipping through your health. As both creatures here have high health, it would take you 5 turns to defeat it. It may be long, but the result would definitely make you satisfied.

3. The Swampy River Dragon: Albertospinos:

If the flying dragon can defeat Ceratosaurus, can the river dragon do the same? The answer is yes, but with the cost of its own life. Since the majority of Albertospinos’ s moves involve it bypassing armor, shields and imposing bleed, it does make good use on Cerato’s kit. Despite Cerato’s immunity to bleed, ABS still has the speed advantage and thus the immunity to speed reduction. And along with the high damage output from a combo of both Merciless Alert and Fierce Rampage in 2 turns, it could take out Cerato easily. But one thing to note is that ABS would go down with the bleed with Cerato if the latter uses Lacerate on the 1st round after it is taken out by Fierce Rampage.

4. The Top Tier Resilient Armored Angel: Atrocodistis:

Well, despite Ceratosaurus striking everything it sees, it flees when it sees this Atrociraptor hybrid’s abilities. Since Atrocodistis focuses on a healing pattern while having a decent amount of armor, a counter and a priority shielded distraction move, which all are Cerato’s main flaws. So Atrocodistis could not only survive 3 turns in this encounter, but to also take it out as well. So congratulations Atrocodistis, you could still continue to keep your fame as a top tier Unique creature without getting replaced.

5. The Playful and The Deadly: Compsoraptor:

Despite Compsoraptor’ s Playful Pounce won’t have much impact on the kit Ceratosaurus as it could just ignore the dodge and apply bleed on you, the real weapon against Cerato here is Alert Shattering Impact. Not only do you rally heal a new member of the flock, but you do have enough damage to bypass Cerato’s armor and to take it out in this turn. Although Cerato is designed to be a flock demolisher, it appears that this Beta flock really saved itself through the usage of its turn 1 option and Alert Shattering Impact that could again, take out Cerato in 2 turns.

6. The Everlasting Green Chicken: Diloracheirus:

I guess a majority of players know how annoying Diloracheirus is after it’s buff in 2022. Now equipped with 2 healing moves, a decent rampage, a darting counter and even immunity to bleed and stun, Ceratosaurus just cannot do anything to it if this green chicken just heals over and over again while it attacks you with a counter that deals full damage. And once you take it to low health, you could use Revenge Cunning Rampage to take Cerato out. So even though Cerato is a Fierce Resilient creature, this time, it was beaten by a pure Cunning creature in a matter of 3 turns. With the pattern of Tough Group Cunning Strike, Distracting Team Heal and Revenge Cunning Rampage along with the Darting Counter.

7. The Ferocious Distracting Speeder: Erlidominus:

Like Diloracheirus, this old therizinosaur hybrid also got a buff in recent updates, and it’s here to defeat Ceratosaurus with its new weapon, Ferocious Cunning Impact. Here, Erlidom’s high damage output would reduce Cerato’s HP to below half health, and therefore you can take Cerato out with Distracting Rampage almost immediately in 2 turns. Another way is to use the classic way of the Cloak and Distracting Rampage combo, but now this method could be backfired once Cerato uses Intimidate on the 2nd turn, and even if you get a critical hit you say, it leaves Cerato at 50 health. As speed reduction is what Erlidom is prone to, you do have to play carefully when the theropod is around.

8. The Return of the Unique Gigachad: Giganyx:

If Albertospinos is an off-meta creature that could beat Ceratosaurus, then certainly this old Unique tyrant of the days of the 2.16 update could do so as well. With bulky health and damage output from the Epic chomper it fuses from, Giganyx could just shed through Cerato’s health through the use of Obstructing Fierce Impact, which guarantees a lockdown on Cerato, then use Ferocious Restore to buff and cleanse yourself from the wrath of Lacerate, and finally, Fierce Devouring Rampage to end everything in 3 turns. Although Giganyx isn’t performing well against meta-relevant creatures these days, this matchup certainly makes Gigachad a threat to this JP3 theropod.

9. The Ceratopsian With Luck and Pluck: Styracosaurus Lux:

Released several weeks after Ceratosaurus and Dracovenator, Styracosaurus Lux is a formidable opponent to be faced against. This new unique Ceratopsian really packs a punch when it comes to its moves. Although having Goring Charge as the best case scenario at turn 1 when it faces other creatures, Cerato is, of course, immune to it. And if not careful enough Styracosaurus Lux can even be taken out by Cerato. But the real danger Cerato has to face is its critical chances alongside Instant Fierce Rampage. As Styracosaurus Lux has a 10% critical chance (Pretty high when it comes to Ludia’s RNG.) and with the high damage output Instant Fierce Rampage deals, it could be an end bringer to Cerato in a matter of 2 turns if it gets lucky on critical hits and plays right.

10. The Unique Devouring Tyrant of Destruction: Tyrannometrodon:

Remember the time when Lacerate could potentially one-shot this oppressive tyrant when a bug on this move occurred, causing the bleed from imposing it 25% for 4 turns to 50% in 2 turns? Well that certainly wasn’t a good time for Tyrannometrodon. But with that move being fixed once again, T-Met just reclaimed its spot as the devouring tyrant amongst the fierce Uniques. Despite the bleed resistance from Rexy has been nerfed from its transition, T-Met is still very powerful even when facing Lacerate now. And it could now take out Cerato in 2 turns, like fellow fierce allies Aenocyonyx. From the attack buff of Ferocious Cleansing Strike or the devour from Group Devouring Impact, combined with the priority from Tyrant’s Roar when threatened, the moves from this tyrannosaur hybrid are truly a menace to be faced against when Cerato is around.

Results and How It Affects the Unique Meta

After doing 50 matchups with all of the Unique creatures with Ceratosaurus, a shocking result shows that among all 50 matchups, only 9 of them could win without dying in the process. (Albertospinos dies in the process, if not that makes 10.) While this may have proved that Ceratosaurus sure is powerful, if you look carefully in the list of creatures that could beat it, almost all of the creatures are meta-relevant right now. Although Ceratosaurus may had beaten the venomous arthropod Dsungascorpios and the assassinating nuke Pyrorixis, both being relatively high ranking meta-relevant creatures, it’s still prone against other high class fierce creatures, like Aenocyonyx, Tyrannometrodon and even Giganyx, also with shields, like Atrocodistis and Alankyloceratops. This proves that Cerato may have beaten the creatures that aren’t relevant to the game right now, but it still has the main weakness against creatures with the best kits in the game.

To me, what Cerato is best against, is actually droppers that rely on using off-meta creatures against creatures that right now dominate the arenas as it has proved the ability to do so. Well, this may have let us determine the role of what Cerato is in the Unique meta, but which position of the tier list would I place this fan favorite theropod? I’d place it somewhere in the mid to low tyrant tier. Yes, it sure is powerful, but it’s not there to meet up with the ones that dominate the arena. You may have Lacerate and Intimidate that could deal with creatures without those resistances, but you yet don’t have the power to deal humongous damage to shields and armor. So you're almost there, but not quite there yet. And yes, to answer the question in the beginning, Cerato does have a big impact and change to the Unique meta, but it’s not really the one causing serious power-creep. As in the meta right now, it’s still fine for the creatures within it. Again, there are still creatures that could manage to beat Cerato without much effort. While it beats some top tier creatures, it still struggles against some of them. Thus, the question has been answered.

Parting Words

That’s all for Ceratosaurus, and thanks for reading this community article and to everyone who took part, and picked this idea in the voting poll, thanks for bringing yourselves such a wonderful community to do so and enjoy it. It has been great fun for me pitting matchups with Cerato while writing this article. In the meantime, I hope you can get to know the answer on how this fan favorite JP3 theropod affects the Unique meta right now. Lastly, if there’s anything you would like to discuss with us, feel free to comment on the server, wherever it’s about Ceratosaurus, the current meta or anything related to JWA. Good luck and have fun playing during the 5th anniversary!

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About the Author(s)

Kelly resides in Scottsdale, AZ, proud cat mama of her girls, Payton & Cat Tillman. A JWA player since about day one, she spends much time hunting in the park outside her home and thrives in leading the great folks of Kelliance.