JWA Patch Notes 2.0: Raids – What We Know About Boss Battles (Part 2 of 2)

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If you didn't catch the first half of the Raids explanation make sure you check out the article below

Part 2 will focus on the following aspect of Raids:

Raids during battle

Circumstance Based, Random, AOE Targeting


Revenge Moves During Raids

The new raids feature adds a layer of complexity that is so immense – it’s left our heads spinning. Not only does this feature make battles non-binary in nature (so instead of shuffling a deck with a faster and slower player to determine priority, we’re looking at a bunch of players to determine priority), but it also requires some form of targeting – and the targeting method the development team chose leaves us with all sorts of new strategy.

Let’s dive into how raids work in battle and what we know so far.


Raid bosses begin like normal battles in a group setting, with your team and an opposing team that includes a boss. Each member of your team can choose one creature to go into the raid. The raid boss needs to be defeated in two (or more?) rounds to win, and one very important thing happens when the round resets.

  • The minions will be revived

Ludia has made it very clear that when we face off against a boss and its minions, we do NOT need to beat the minions. But it may be necessary to beat the minions to win the raid anyways.

Initiative Track

Determining move order during a raid is a complex thing – since we have a lot of individuals choosing a lot of moves. This means ties are going to be more common (primarily priority ties – where two people try to use a priority move and it has to go to the tiebreaker of speed).

One technical note – With slowing effects, speed can be reduced to zero. This effectively means that the usual tie breakers will decide who acts first. Because levels will likely be the same, that means it’ll determine speed by rarity, or if the same rarity, it’ll determine by who hit the move first.

Another CRITICAL note that was revealed in the notes – the RAID BOSS will always show its move PRIOR to players selecting their moves. This means the raid boss has an “open” hand. This will be critical to defeating raids. And it also means we should easily be able to see if the moves for raid bosses are scripted or situational.

Raid Move Order

The minions, on the other hand, will not show their moves until everyone selects moves. This means you’ll always know what the boss is doing next but never what the minions are until everyone has selected moves.

Coordination seems key in raids. We can only imagine how powerful some of these bosses might be, and with so many status effects at play and multi-status moves in this patch (just thinking of resilient strike, cunning strike, and fierce strike), there’s a lot to take in.


When we no longer have 1 creature versus 1 creature, we now have an issue of which creature should be attacked with each turn. Selecting a creature to attack may make sense, but Ludia opted for a more strategic route by building out target-specific moves that tell you up front who they are going to hit to lessen the complexity of the design.

Which creature you target largely depends on what the move you are using is built to do. One of the most interesting things in the patch notes was the note on design philosophy for targeting. I’ll copy the text here –

  • Usually Armor Piercing, Defense Shattering, and Definite Rampages will target the highest HP targets.
  • Usually, Strikes and Impacts target the lowest HP target (to let players steer the current round towards a confirmed takedown instead of spreading damage over the highest HP opponents).

This way you can surmise that using defense-bypassing Rampages will usually target the Boss, and

Strikes will usually target the Minions, since Minions have lower max HP than the Boss!

You’ll notice each move now has that subtext “Target” so that you can figure out who it will attack. If all minions are dead and only the boss remains, your target will always be the boss. But a few features really can put a wrench in the works (such as Taunts which we’ll discuss next).

Targeting is usually based on the targets HP, Speed, or Damage. Some moves target highest HP, some lowest HP. Some target highest Damage, and some lowest damage, etc. The other two types of moves will target a random target (literally called Random) and area of effect moves that target ALL opponents.


Taunts put a wrench in the targeting works. If a creature uses a move that taunts (such as taunting shields), it will force all opponent creatures to target that creature until it either dies, another taunt is used by a different opponent creature, or a  move is used (like fierce strike) that removes the taunt and frees up the party to attack the normal target.

Taunts are EXCEPTIONALLY important to the raid system, and it will be extremely important that people understand how they work to accomplish the goal of completing raids.

But you’ll notice in the moves list, things like Instant Invincibility becomes Instant Invincibility Taunt – which has the intent of bringing all the attacks to the shielded opponent to help the team overall.

More Technical Notes

There is just a ton to the raid system. It’s so hard to cover it all, but a few more notes that are important and mentioned in the notes from what we can see.

  • Turn count is an important factor. When a team of 3 uses a damage buffing move that buffs damage for the whole party for 2 turns or 2 attacks (whichever expires first), the actual turn count happens when each creature begins executing its turn.
  • Distraction/Vulnerability/Speed buffs and debuffs/Damage increase/Crit increase – all of these abilities stack. So If two players target one creature and distract it by 50% each, the creature will do 0 damage for its turn (assuming both players hit it first).
  • Attacks that attempt to perform a single debuff will be focused on the logical opponent. So a nullifying attack will be targeting the opponent with the highest number of active buff effects, and a deceleration attack will generally go against the fastest opponent. Distraction generally targets the highest damage opponent.
  • Rampage and Pounce moves generally target the lowest HP creature to “finish the job”.
  • There is always only one taunt per team. So if you are on a team of 3 and your opponent is on a team of 3, your team can only have one taunt active, and the opponent can only have one taunt active to direct the attacks of the opposing team.
  • Rending damage to a boss will be based on the Bosses maximum HP (which is the total of round 1 and 2 instead of just the total of round 1). I can’t imagine a boss that won’t have some resistance to rending because come on – if Carno can kill every boss in the game if it just lives for 3 turns, that’s insane.
  • When multiple dodge/shield effects apply to a creature, each is tracked individually and the strongest will apply first (but both will still apply). Shields and dodges count down on the beginning of the players turn.
  • “Charges” are added together. So if I use Group Invincibility (2 charges, 2 turns) and someone else uses group invincibility (2 charges 2 turns for all players) our team now has a shield that reduces damage by 100% for 4 charges but still for only 2 turns. Every counter attack and every attack reduces one “charge” (counts as 1 attack).

In Conclusion

There’s so much going on in raids that it seems overwhelming, but we’re hoping the gameplay is smooth and easy to follow. No doubt these new challenges will take some getting used to, but they certainly seem like formidable challenges and exactly what this game needed.

We just hope healers are essential in raids, because they certainly seem pretty worthless in PVP now. RIP Dilorachierus and Touramoloch. We had a good run little buddies.

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