Article Written by: Antithesis
With speculation mounting that patch 1.9 is likely to be just around the corner, we are all aboard the hype train and here to discuss what changes we’d like/are likely to see! This is our first in a series of articles planned in the run-up to the new patch, so stay tuned for more coming soon!
Today, we’re taking a look at the relative strength/utility of creatures in the current meta and trying to identify those who we believe are most in need of rebalancing moving into 1.9. We have chosen to focus on a few clear outliers to give more scope for explaining our suggestions, rather than very briefly mention more possibilities. This means there are plenty of creatures that could probably do with a slight rebalance that we haven’t mentioned. Please be aware this is purely speculative, so should not be taken as suggesting these changes will occur. However, it is intended to be an objective analysis and not just a wish list of what any of us would simply like to see.
Crafted from a Daily Epic, Local Epic and Arena Exclusive common, this Unique has good reason to be much higher on our Tier List than she currently stands. Relatively poor base stats let Pterovexus down, though she remains viable due to the varied utility her kit provides. As such, any buff would need to be carefully balanced otherwise could easily be a step too far. Increasing her base damage by a moderate amount should bring her more in line with similarly difficult to obtain uniques, allowing Vexus to better capitalise on her two useful Impacts and high speed.
As a Legendary crafted from an Arena Exclusive Rare and a Global Epic, Onyx deserves to be terrifying in her own right, and not only desirable as a building block to Erlikospyx. While on the face of it, access to Lethal Wound and two strong Rampage abilities should make her a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, it is again a low base damage that lets Spinonyx down. While it may seem lazy to suggest a damage buff again, it is the most congruous with their components while taking into account the creature’s kit/’identity’ and current place in the meta.
Our other Unique flyer, Daryx boasts even stronger utility, but again feels rather lackluster for a Unique. Also sitting in Low Apex on our 1.8 Tier List, she is at least more accessible, requiring the same Daily Epic, but beyond that a Daily Common and Arena Exclusive Common completes her makeup. Again, she is a difficult case to balance given her kit, but her lack of ability to prevent or punish swapping away from her bleeds means she often doesn’t have enough impact in battle. Given she also has less base damage than either of her components, increasing her base damage and altering her kit to include another direct-damage ability may be the best way to address her weaknesses.
Created from an Anytime Local Rare and a Daily Common, Eddie is an incredibly easy Epic to invest in. As such, we would not expect Edmontoguanadon to be remotely viable when approaching endgame. However, a massive health pool combined with Regenerate and Run allows too little opportunity to stop her gaining an oppressive amount of value out of her kit. A moderate reduction to her health pool would bring Eddie more in line with other epics and still be very viable at earlier stages of the game.
Slowing, Stunning, and Regenerating all within a high-damage, bulky frame, Eina may now be a little less accessible than she has been in the past, but has steadily become stronger. A Rare created from an Anytime Global Common and Anytime Local Common that can compete with (or even outperform!) Legendaries does need to be toned down a little, and would remain very viable among other Rares/Epics with a moderate damage reduction.
While Arena Exclusive, and not particularly competitive in the later stages of the game, the addition of Shielded Decelerating Strike added speed control to an already oppressive kit. This made Mira substantially stronger than almost all Rares and even most Epics. Available from the very first arena, this imbalance should be addressed to set the tone for newer players that they should look to higher rarities for greater overall strength. This could be achieved by a moderate damage reduction, or a rollback of the Shielded Decelerating Strike addition.
With extremely high damage, good utility/survivability and the highest base speed of an endgame relevant dino, Yoshi can truly be a terror to deal with. This is particularly problematic due to how much more accessible Procerathomius is than many of the Legendaries and Uniques that she outperforms. While she does require Arena Exclusive (albeit frequently featured) Rare DNA to be fused, the other component is a Global Rare, and she can also be darted herself as a Daily Epic. Exchanging her Distracting Rampage for Distracting Impact (or alternatively, giving her Distraction and Nullifying Impact) would keep Yoshi relevant while making her more manageable.
Once meme-worthy for her weakness, Suchotator has long been a dominant force right up to endgame due to a very versatile kit, particularly the combination of Lethal Wound and Instant Distraction. It is surprising this strength has not been directly curtailed before now, given the ease of levelling a Rare creature comprised of two Anytime Commons, one Global and one Local. To properly address her imbalanced strength, the aforementioned combo needs to be changed; either a weaker bleed, or less ability to stall.
The Elephant Sized Rat in the Room
Not including the infamous Dracoceratops in the Nerf list is sure to be controversial, so has to be addressed. While many argued that the removal of Defense Shattering from its SIA was offset by the slight base damage increase, given DC’s primary usage was against unarmored/shielded speedsters, this is a short-sighted assessment. The lack of DS, combined with numerous other changes across the board, means there is a lot more counter-play available and many more means to punish sub-optimal usage of the much-maligned rat. In 1.8, I would personally not even consider her to necessarily be Tyrant tier (though I have always argued for a much more exclusive group to be considered top of the meta).
That said, given Dracoceratops is a Legendary crafted from Common components (and absolutely remains meta-defining), surely the accessibility argument is reason enough for a nerf. The counter argument to this is the sheer amount of Daytime only spawns across 2 different Locals required for levelling. It is certainly very farmable, but does require a massive time investment. None of this is suggesting that Dracoceratops shouldn’t be nerfed, just that when attempting to take an objective view it is not a stand-out candidate, and thus not included above. To improve balance/diversity, it would arguably be better to either remove such high damage swap-in moves entirely, or distribute them across a wider range of creatures.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but with some exceptions we genuinely believe there has been a positive shift to a healthier, more diverse meta as the game has developed. Therefore, while this article might totally miss the mark, we can almost certainly expect a wider variety of creatures to be relevant post 1.9. Beyond that, anything that is overly oppressive whilst being easily accessible is likely to be toned down; as Ludia have explicitly stated they do consider how easy a creature is to level when making balancing decisions.
It is also important to remember the above judgements are based on there being no major changes impacting creature accessibility or how battles play out. Should such change occur, certain arguments may no longer be valid, but we can only base the discussion on current knowledge.
We hope you found this article useful, and are excited as us about what 1.9 might have in store! If you are, be sure to check out the rest of our 1.9 Speculation coverage. To join the hype train and discuss these possibilities, as well as getting the latest news and any forthcoming details, be sure to join our Discord server by following the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!
And Huge shout out to Antithesis again for writing this article!