So over in the Gamepress server, there was this thing called the challenger series. This basically is when the mods of the server come up with challenges that are done during friendly battles that have specific conditions. Like for example, one person had a format that only used revenge creatures or another only had creatures that start with a letter of your name. If you won, you got a special title in the server. Generally both the combatants had the same list to pick from. I did not. Instead, I decided to do an experiment to show just how bad powercreep has gotten. This is the story of the title of 'Catfish Champion'.
So, what was my challenge? I had special conditions. Instead of giving the combatant the same roster as myself, I wanted to be lazy and mean. I could pick from the creatures in my "Knocking them down a Peg" article. Meanwhile, my opponents had to use any creature featured in my "Buffing the Little Guys" articles. We would do 5 rounds, and if you won a singular battle in said 5 rounds, then you would win the challenge and my title.
I used the following creatures:
I decided to not use Fukuimimus because no one wants to sit around while it just constantly heals over and over again. I also decided to make the rule a little more fair by saying that in 3 battles, if my opponent got one victory, they'd win the title. So, with all that out of the way, let's go over how it went.
Before I get into how it went, I also needed to come up with ways to get around some of these uniques and Arctovasilas. While they all kind of suck, they are still pretty strong and could easily take a KO at a moment's notice. So here were my strategies for some of the creatures involved:
Arctovasilas: Swap to Spinoceratos, Rexy, or Thylaconyx. All 3 of these can win when they swap in on the bear. Thylaconyx is most at risk, but it lives on enough hp usually to not go down to an OE strike from Spinoconstrictor or Pterovexus. Rexy can swap in, and then fire off a shattering impact. If you get a crit on said impact, Arctovasilas will always die to an OE strike. Spinoceratops was the easiest thing to swap in on it. If you miss the stun, you bleed, brace, then rend and win. Stunning takes out the brace part.
Indoraptor: Swap to Atrocodistis, Pulmonoscorpios, or Dsungascorpios. Indoraptor struggles against flocks, and Atrocodistis is Atrocodistis, so that is pretty easy to work around
Spinoconstrictor: Swap to Diloracheirus, Pulmonoscorpios, and Dsungascorpios. If you can't bleed it, Spinoconstrictir has a bad time. And with Atrocodistis, your OE strike is many times more detrimental because my counter does more to you in the end.
Trykosaurus: Swap to Pulmonoscorpios or Dsungascorpios. I find it funny that Pulmonoscorpios can always swap in and kill Trykosaurus as long as it has 801+ hp.
Poukandactylus: Swap to Atrocodistis, Dsungascorpios, or Diloracheirus. Due to how passive it is, these 3 can take advantage of it and just stick around and wear it down.
Smilonemys: Swap to Spinoceratops, Dsungascorpios, Atrocodistis, or Pulmonoscorpios. Smilonemys's pin resistance can be a big issue for me, but because it is not that offensive, many of these guys can just shut it down.
Pterovexus: Swap to Diloracheirus or Atrocodistis. Pterovexus was actually really dangerous because if Pulmonoscorpios so much as touched it, I would automatically lose thanks to the counter. And with that OE strike, I would always need to prep for it. However, its 1v1 matchups were not all that great.
Grypolyth: Swap to Thylaconyx, Rexy, or Diloracheirus. Grypolyth is good, but if you can resist rend, especially by 75%, you're in big trouble. And because Diloracheirus doesn't really ever touch Grypolyth while using constant distraction, it can easily just eat away at it.
Ardentismaxima: Swap to Diloracheirus, Thylaconyx, or Atrocidistis. Maxima was a tricky one, but seeing as most people led with it, it was much easier to play around and Atrocodistis could easily wear it down. However, as long as the group rampage was down, my scorpions could also take advantage of it.
Now, onto what actually happened!
My first opponent went by Inflict. Inflict had a team designed around bleeding and trapping, which is pretty good against creatures like Atrocidistis and Panthera B. However, after the first few battles against Inflict, I knew something needed to be changed. Here I decided to completely overhaul my losing requirements. Now, my opponent needed to secure at least 1 KO. I also had the added clause that if I lost a battle, even if you were down 1-2, you'd win the title automatically. (SPOILER ALERT! That doesn't happen). So after this, I rematched Inflict and won all 3 matches. The first of many good opponents to suffer this surprisingly lopsided challenge. However, Inflict was missing some key creatures that could make this challenge tough.
Next up was Widow, and unfortunately Widow again was lacking some key creatures, so these guys blew through that team fairly easily.
Now onto my first bump in the road. Our very own dataminer Jimbohi. Jimbohi, unlike my previous opponents, had all the creatures in the list available to him. I went into battle against him and lost round 1. Maybe these creatures weren't as broken as I thought. I was now on the back foot a bit and could possibly lose. Luckily, that was a fluke. I proceeded to then take him game 4 and won the best of 5. Despite being my first loss, it would not be my last.
Up next was Ghastpixel, and this was just a standard team of uniques. A good amount of swap punishers and other powerhouses like Trykosaurus and Ardentismaxima. However, this was no help and Ghast unfortunately couldn't get a single KO in all 3 rounds.
Giga Chadontosaurus was next, and unfortunately they didn't stand a chance. While they put up a good fight, an error in this experiment is based off what the player has. This challenge already required basically a full team of uniques almost, and without some key players, the OP creatures, it was just too much and they fell again.
Iceblaze was next and, while a good combatant, was no match for these stupidly good creatures. Even with Arctovasilas and Trykosaurus, it is just way too difficult to break through these newer and more OP creatures. I remember Ardentismaxima wearing down Atrocidistis with 2 critical hits, but that was not enough to break it. And when Spinonyx walked in, it was an easy swap to Pulmonoscorpios to then pivot to Rexy.
Carnotaur was another good combatant, but like some previous contenders, it was too much and they fell.
Basically you start to see how this challenge is going. Someone walks in, may take a win off me, but they then end up losing.
Trykonator was up next, and he really put me on the back foot. A team like this is already difficult to go up against, but I was determined. However, Trykonator actually won the first 2 rounds. Now I was really on the back foot. However, my scorpions came in and clutch and pinned Poukandactylus because they are 100% fair and balanced. And while he did do very well the first 2 rounds and almost actually won a match in those 2 rounds, I was able to secure a 3-2 win in my favor.
Again, like so many before, DinosaursRCool came up to the plate and struck out. However, the lack of Monostegotops usage in this challenge surprised me as getting a KO is all that mattered, and that could really come in handy against something like either of the scorpions or Panthera B. But once again, these new creatures just break everything and I walked away on top.
I'll basically summarize the next few matches because SPOILER ALERT no one managed to win the title. Alukslice came in and managed to take a win off me. Slushrush did the same with the very unconventional Parasaur Lux and Ovilophomoloch pick and I goofed with Atrocodistis and decided that I could go for a resilient rampage only for Spinoconstrictor to come in and shut me down. xEmilyxWoodx tried by was unable to take a KO. However, no one has been able to take me down.
So after all these competitors tried, some of the Gamepress server JV and mods tried, and well.......they all failed. Jcoleman accidentally used Magnapyritor, but I let it slide because that thing also sucks. Did this help? No. Martian tried and lost. BigBangScience also tried and again, lost. I would like to go in depth more about these battles, but after the first few, you get the picture. This challenge was almost unwinnable, because even if you can match up well into everything, these broken guys still had some dumb trick up their sleeve to guarantee a win for me.
Results and Conclusion
So, what does this actually prove. Well, it just goes to show how bad the powercreep has gotten. At one point in time, almost all of these creatures were top tier threats. While Trykosaurus and Ardentismaxima were toned back a bit, they later got buffed soon after to no avail. But Grypolyth, who was once a proud trapper, gets absolutely DEMOLISHED by many legendaries today, not just Thylaconyx and Rexy. Ankylodactylus, Lystrosuchus, and Tarbognathus are just a few creatures that came in and can just walk all over it. And as for trapping, we have creatures who do that but so much more. Imperatosuchus is basically miles ahead of Grypolyth while other creatures like Compsoraptor do so much damage with a better set of resistances and a strictly better on escape move. Poukandactylus was a solid cunning tank, but what can it do when something like Diloracheirus exists? Pterovexus, while not as good in the past, would have a deadly kit back in those older days, but now is outshine by Dimodactylus, which is an epic. Smilonemys was nerfed for some bizarre reason, but it used to be good. I used to use it and paired it with Dracoceratosaurus back in the earlier 2.0 days and could easily top cut top 10, so it was no pushover. But how is is able to compare with Atrocidistis, who can just soak up hits and then heal back up with an impact. Even creatures like Scaphognathus used to have a solid argument for using it. And for the grizzly bear in the room, Arctovasilas, that thing dropped like a rock. First with Imperatosuchus, but then with more fierce like Pyrorxis, Rexy, Spinoceratops, and Tyrannometrodon, it cannot keep up. And now with Geminideus existing, what's the point? This is a fusible apex getting its rear end handed by 3 different LEGENDARIES. And not in just a raw 1v1, as there are some 1v1s out there where a lower rarity creature beats a higher rarity one, like Glyptodon vs Erlidominus. But these creatures don't only easily win in a 1v1, but SWAP IN and win. And the funny thing is, these legendaries were introduced a few months after Arctovasilas, so it barely got any time to shine. And this is the state of the game. Something does well, so Ludia wants to one-up it and it creates this vicious cycle. Should some creatures be better than others? Yes. Will some creatures be better than others? Of course. That's just a simple fact of the game. But when there are creatures that are struggling to get a singular KO on a team of creatures that are mostly a rarity lower, then there's a problem. And while powercreep is bound to happen, it has never been this bad. Back in the day before 2.0, there were issues mainly regarding creatures like Indoraptor gen 2, Geminititan, and especially all 3 of the mammoth hybrids. But even in the lower tiers, creatures like Purutaurus or Brontolasmus all had something to offer. But These days, not even something like Trykosaurus or Grypolyth can bring something to a unique format, despite that's the only tournament format it can compete in. So the only thing these uniques do now is collect dust.
So that was the story of the 'Catfish Champion' title. In the end, no one won it. It just goes to show how accelerated powercreep has become, and I fear for what is next. Luckily the most recent additions or changes to the creatures in game haven't been too bad so maybe it's a sign of things to change. However, like everything with Jam City, I doubt it. I thank you all for reading, and Jam City I hope you read this and realize "hey, maybe we shouldn't be making everything new the next most OP thing in the game", because the more you accelerate powercreep, the faster this game plummets into its grave.