With the release of 2.3 came 2 underwhelming uniques: Antarctovenator and Poukandactylus, but even then, one clearly stood out as potentially the worst unique in the game. While I preferred it to Entelolania at the time, Poukandactylus was easily a bottom 2 unique. Poor hp, lower damage, and weaker resistances that its legendary parent had many people scratching their heads as to why Ludia thought it could compete, especially when it had exclusive DNA in it. But after a few patches, it got a lovely buff. Better resistances, better hp, and a better counter-attack helped Poukandactylus move away from the title of a bad unique, but it wasn’t a top tier either. But last patch, Poukandactylus was fortunate to get buffed AGAIN. And now, this terror of the skies has flown into the meta with full force. But, has it flown to the top? Let’s find out.
Starting unboosted, you can tell just how far Poukandactylus has come since its initial release. With high hp, decent damage, and a moveset revolving around being a cunning tank, you NEED resilient creatures to take this bird down. You can dish out 5400 damage in 2 turns while only taking 1/6 of your opponent’s initial hit thanks to fearless flap and distracting impact. And if you want to stall, you have sideflap, which has no cooldown, or Instant group distraction to not take any damage. And while resilient creatures are needed for this bird, you also have a shattering counter, so shields are almost useless against Poukandactylus. As for slowing, with speedup abilities and a resistance to deceleration, you still have a good chance of staying ahead of the game. And as another blow to resilient creatures, Poukandactylus can resist vulnerability, making it less likely to be swapper fodder. If you throw out a fierce, it’s done. There is nothing any fierce can really do against this beast. While you may think Mortem could bypass evasion with cleansing impact to get a massive hit in, but Poukandactylus can bait it out with sideflap. Every fierce is doomed. And even cunnings can struggle thanks to its many defensive abilities and resistances.
Now let’s talk the arena. Does it do better with boosts or does It just die off? Well, to help me gain better insight on this question, I asked a few people to help out. So I would like to thank the following people for helping me in this analysis:
Prominence from Kelliance
BBell09 from Gamepress
IDGT from ApexPredators
Why is Poukandactylus good by itself? Its biggest strengths?
Poukandactylus is just so good because of its survivability. BBell points out that fearless flap takes away the RNG aspect from dodging by also including a distraction effect as well. It’s speedups also help keep it ahead of the game, even against deceleration effects while speeding past faster creatures. Fearless Flap also is a group attack, so flocks beware. If you pump it full of attack, it has a moveset that will allow it to tank hits well while dishing out massive amounts of damage. If you decide to pump it up with a lot of hp, you will probably be able to sweep a full fierce team with ease. There will be nothing they can do. Even cunnings can have a hard time if they cannot bypass evasion or are immune to distraction. And with fearless flap and distraction resistance, cunnings will also not like facing Poukandactylus very much.
What is its biggest weakness?
This should be no surprise. Resilience is the bane of Poukandactylus. While it does have a shattering counter-attack, resilience moves completely counteract all of Poukandactylus’s defensive tools. Removing evasion and cleansing distraction is something this bird doesn’t want to happen. Big tanks like Skoonasaurus and Testacornibus are going to work around Poukandactylus quite well. But even still this bird will go down swinging. Even creatures that can stand up to it like Geminititan can go down. But with Skoonasaurus being on top of the meta right now along with Testacornibus, Poukandactylus can’t fly about care-free.
How do you think it will do with these new uniques coming into the fray?
We just got the notes and the update should be out in a few hours, and there is one thing almost all these creatures had in common that IDGT mentioned: they are somewhat focused around fierce (perhaps to try and deal with a particular resilient running around). Phorurex could be an issue if it is faster and has high attack and gets an instant rampage off on Poukandactylus, but after that it will most likely never live to see a lethal rampage and run. Indotaurus may be able to get a lucky shot at it with cloak but odds are Poukandactylus can just sideflap when it tries to rampage it. Andrewtops may get lucky with the vulnerability counter and cleansing impact, but seeing as its components have lower hp, it won’t last long before being torn to shreds. As for the other hybrids introduced, none look strong enough to handle this ferocious flier.
Using it in battle
When it comes to using it in battle, the main consensus is when you see a fierce creature. Obviously, this is one of the most appealing aspects of Poukandactylus, so this should come as no surprise. The other time is to be used as a closer. With its stun immunity and a high probability it has evasion up as Prominence points out, it can handle the big swappers of Monolorhino and Ceramagnus quite well, as well as being able to potentially take Phorurex too. BBell also points out that it can be used as a swapper, but this shouldn’t be a dedicated swapper. Really only use it if you got nothing else. But with Testacornibus most likely sticking around and probably leading still, Poukandactylus will want to hand out towards the back.
At the end of the day, Poukandactylus is a very strong creature. Sure there are better cunning/fierce creatures like Scorpius Rex gen 3, but that is a whole monster of its own. Poukandactylus has really gone the distance however receiving buffs that made it into a tank that continues to push fierce out of the meta. I asked these three where it goes in terms of ranking it, and they all say fairly high, with it getting better with the new creatures coming today. If you would like to vote on what I talk about next week, head over to the Gamepress JWA discord server to vote. Have fun with the update