War raptor

Dinosaurs (with lasers) bring stunning power to the fight, dwarfing their opposition. - AEG

If there's one thing dinosaurs know how to do... actually, with a brain the size of a walnut, they don't really know how to do anything. But they are big. And—holy cats!—someone gave them lasers!

- Core Set rulebook

The Dinosaurs are one of the eight factions from the Core Set.

Dinosaurs feature powerful minions and actions that make them even more powerful.

Other factions from the same set: Aliens, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards, Zombies.

Cards Edit


The Dinosaurs have the usual 10 minions and 10 actions. The total minion base power (even without counting any abilities) is unusually high at 32 or an average of 3.2 per minion compared to the usual 30 and 3. When you consider the additional powerups from abilities (War Raptor, Armor Stego, Augmentation, etc.), they are easily the highest power-per-minion faction from the Core Set. (See also Robots.)

Among their actions, there are:

  • 2 play-on-minion actions: Tooth and Claw... and Guns, Upgrade,
  • 1 play-on-base action: Wildlife Preserve,
  • 5 actions that directly increase a minion's power: Augmentation (2x), Howl (2x), Upgrade,
  • 6 standard actions that affect one or more minions: Augmentation (2x), Howl (2x), Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest.

Minions Edit

1x King Rex - power 7 - (no ability) FAQ

2x Laseratops - power 4 - Destroy a minion of power 2 or less on this base. FAQ

3x Armor Stego - power 3 - Ongoing: Has +2 power during other players’ turns. FAQ

4x War Raptor - power 2 - Ongoing: Gains +1 power for each War Raptor on this base (including this one). FAQ

Actions Edit

2x Augmentation - One minion gains +4 power until the end of your turn. FAQ

2x Howl - Each of your minions gains +1 power until the end of your turn. FAQ

1x Natural Selection - Choose one of your minions on a base. Destroy a minion there with less power than yours. FAQ

1x Rampage - Reduce the breakpoint of a base by the power of one of your minions on that base until the end of the turn. FAQ

1x Survival of the Fittest - Destroy the lowest-power minion (you choose in case of a tie) on each base with a higher-power minion. FAQ

1x Tooth and Claw... and Guns - Play on a minion. Ongoing: If an ability would affect this minion, destroy this card and the ability does not affect this minion. FAQ

1x Upgrade - Play on a minion. Ongoing: This minion has +2 power. FAQ

1x Wildlife Preserve - Play on a base. Ongoing: Your minions here are not affected by other players’ actions. FAQ


Bases Edit

Mechanics Edit

Dinosaurs are great at laying down a ton of direct power on bases. It contains the highest natural strength in the game for a regular minion in the form of King Rex. Other minions and actions while not as powerful have abilities that allow them to become much more powerful and augment themselves further. Dinosaurs also have actions that play to their high power, destroying lower power minions and reducing the breakpoint by one of your minions. Because of all this, dinosaurs are excellent at getting first place on bases with an uncomplicated strategy.

As dinosaurs generally have few minion hold most of their power, they also have a degree of protection to keep their powerhouse minions on the board.

Strategy Edit

High Power Edit

The Dinosaurs' main strength is litterally their strength. They are one of the factions that can easily provide more power on a base than the average factions. They also possess the second most powerful boss minion of the entire game. High power allows you to easily break bases and to win in a comfortable position, preferably in first place.

War Raptors, while taking the place of the power-2 minions in the average factions, have a minimum power of 3 because of their abilities. That power gets exponentially higher when you have several War Raptors on the same base (two War Raptors = 8 total power, three War Raptors = 15 total power, all four War Raptors = 24 total power). So you'll usually want to play your War Raptors on one base. However, the Dinosaurs lack any extra minion plays so you'll need time to set up a pack of War Raptors. Also, while your War Raptors will usually be safe from destruction as minion destruction usually has a power limit, they are susceptible from being moved, effectively separating them and decreasing their overall power, and the worst that can happen is having them returned to your hand nullifying the time you invested to build your pack.

Armor Stego is a particular case; it gets stronger during other players' turns only, meaning it's better at breaking a base after your turn is done. If you don't manage to break a base with an Armor Stego on your turn, you'll allow at least the next player to play their cards and to improve their position there.

King Rex is their most powerful minion and one of the most powerful minions in the whole game. While it doesn't have any ability, its power of 7 more than makes up for it. If you're unable to break a base with it, it will at least put you in a good position for when the base scores. Just avoid wasting its potential; you only have one of it.

Apart from their high-power minions, Dinosaurs have actions that can increase your minions' power. The two actions, which they have two copies each, are only good if you can break a base on your turn. Augmentation is very strong, essentially similar to playing a power-4 minion in addition to your free minion. Howl is more situational, being only ever useful if you have a group of minions on the same base, but the lack of extra minion plays makes it very unlikely unless you're comboing the Dinosaurs with a swarm faction as their partner.

Upgrade, while only providing an acceptable 2 power, is actually very useful in combination with some of the Dinosaurs' power-dependent actions, such as Rampage, if you manage to set it up in advance.

While it doesn't help you to change your position on a base, Rampage certainly helps you break it while maintaining the same position there. Similarly to Howl and Augmentation, Rampage is only good if you're able to break a base on your turn, so only use it if you're able to get enough VPs out of it. Since Dinosaurs also lack extra action plays, it's impossible without the right partner faction to combine Rampage with Augmentation, but Upgrade can be used with Rampage quite effectively.

Minion Destruction Edit

Dinosaurs lack extra minion plays, but to make up for it, they can destroy minions to slow down the game, allowing them more time to set up their strategy as well as improve their position on a base before it scores.

Natural Selection is a rare destruction card. In theory, you can destroy a minion of any power, provided that you have a minion with a higher power on its base, but thanks to the Dinosaurs' naturally high power, it still allows you to destroy most minion you can encounter. Similarly to Rampage, unless you have the right partner faction, it's impossible to combine Augmentation with Natural Selection, but if you can make such a combo, you can destroy even power-5 boss minions.

Laseratops, while being their power-4 minion, isn't practical to break bases. Their destruction is mandatory and it can target one of your own power-2 minions if they're the only available targets. Thankfully, your Dinosaur minions can't usually be targeted by Laseratops, but their partner faction's minions may. So if a destruction takes place, Laseratops would only contribute 2 power (or more rarely 3 power) toward breaking the base, which is lower than what the other Dinosaur minions can give you. So if you really want to use Laseratops for its power and not for its destruction, you have to find a base where there're no power-2 minions, or where there's an indestructible power-2 minion.

Survival of the Fittest is great to slow down the whole pace of the game since it can impact all the bases at once. Just make sure you don't unnecessarily destroy some of your own minions in the process.

Minion Protection Edit

Since Dinosaur minions, especially War Raptors, are susceptible to disruption, especially moving and returning, Dinosaurs have two cards that can protect them, keeping them longer in play and allowing you to set up your game more easily. But they are very limited.

Wildlife Preserve can be very useful as it can protect all your minions on its base for a long time, but only against actions. It can't protect your minions from other player's minions' abilities.

Tooth and Claws... and Guns is a tricky card. It can protect against any kind of cards (minions, actions, and bases), but it only protects one minion and it also protects against your own cards.

Synergy Edit

Dinosaurs are not the greatest teammates. In fact, they have little to offer except their raw power. More often, it will be other decks that work well with Dinosaurs than the other way around. Keep in mind that Laseratops MUST destroy a minion of power 2 or less if one exists, even if it is your own. This will never happen to another dinosaur (War Raptor is instantly power 3). So factions with low power should watch out for this.

Aliens - Since the focus of the Alien faction is generally to gain VP with the Invader, Dinosaurs does not offer much. However, if you would like to split your strategy and take some quick bases, Dinosurs are not an awful way to go.

Zombies - Zombies have great synergy with most factions, but there is little you can do with Dinos.

Ninjas - The two factions have a good amount of power and destruction that opponents will likely have a difficult time having any sort of unified front. Hidden Ninja + King Rex can be a surprisingly devestating force however.

Pirates - Pirates and Dinos have little direct synergy, though their combo has no true weak points. In addition, Howl and Swashbuckling are identical, so now there are 3 of the same weaker card.

Robots - Robots work well enough with Dinos, but watch out for Laseratops, as he can take out many of the weaker robots. Howl will be most useful with this faction, as Robots tend to have a lot of weaker units on a base.

Tricksters - Ticksters work rather well with Dinosaurs, as playing multiple minions with Enshrouding Mist is perfect for Dinosaurs, and Survival of the Fittest with multiple Gremlins can work great. Destroying your own minions may seem counterproductive, but this is one of the few combos where it's easily viable.

Wizards - Wizards and Dinos go together quite well. One complements the other as Dinos have raw strength and wizards have great abilities. While Augmentation by itself is okay, being able to play 2 of them at once with Chronomage or Archmage is a gamewinner. Or maybe Augmentation + Rampage on a King Rex! Summon to bring out several War Raptors at once, Sacrifice with King Rex, though it is a huge loss, lets you draw 7 cards, enough to turn a desperate situation around if needed.

Ghosts - Ghosts work fairly well with Dinos, but that is usually because Ghosts want the player to discard cards whenever possible, and the actions of the Dinosaurs aren't usually worth keeping. The Spirit's discard ability combined with the large amount of mediocre actions should plenty of destructive ammo.

Steampunks - Steampunk is another faction that works pretty well with Dinos. Steampunk is all about using actions like Aggromotive and Rotary Slug Thrower to raise power. Combining with the natural strength of the Dinos, this combination is quite good at raw power, but little else.

Bear Cavalry - Bear Cavalry minions also have very high natural power, so this combination has among the highest powr of all combinations, and Laseratops cannot destroy any of your minions. However, aside from power, there isn't much that Dinos add to the Bears.

Killer Plants - Plants are one of the better factions to play with Dinos. Blossom lets you play multiple War Raptors at once, and Sprouts or Venus Man Traps let you search your deck for them. Insta-Grow also lets more raw power sneak through, and plants provide enough options for destruction, drawing, and other effects to make dinos work quite well.

Minions of Cthulhu - Cultists true strength is about using actions to gain VP and passing Madness cards to opponents. Like Aliens, Dino Cultists require a split in strategy that can work, but it is quite dangerous.

Elder Things - This deck is notable for one very deadly combination. Elder Thing + Rampage essentially adds 20 power to any base of your choice. It is a one shot technique, as neither faction is good at using cards from the discard pile, but it is so powerful that it can easily win games, Elder Things work quite well with Dinos.

Innsmouth - Innsmouth has many, many weak minions, so Dinos would seem to go well with this faction. However, most of the actions rely on using weak minions. There are some strong points of using these two together, but it is difficult to effectively use this combo.

Miskatonic University - Dinosaurs do not add anything to Miskatonic University except their raw power. The combination has little downsides however.

Time Travelers - Time Travelers surprisingly have little to offer to Dinosaurs. As their main talent lies in reusing actions, and Dinosaurs do not have many worthwhile actions, this combination is not the best.

Cyborg Apes - Dinosaurs have a few actions that can be played on minions, which is the apes strong point, so this works quite well. Again however, this leads to a deck with extremely high power and not all that much else.

Super Spies - Spies work extremely well at searching through the deck for other cards, so the power of dinos work well with them. However, as several Spy cards let you use other actions when needed, Dinos are also risky.

Shapeshifters - Shapeshifters is unpredictable as part of their power is determined by the opponents factions chosen. They have somewhat of a mixed bad with Dinos. Mimics work fantastic with King Rex, but G.E.L.F. cannot search for King Rex

External Strategy Guides Edit

FAQ Edit

Questions on King Rex Edit

Q: The text is missing. Is it a printing error?

A: No. It already has 7 power. It does not need any more ability.

Rule: N/A

Q: Can I play an action that gives an ability on King Rex? (e.g. Potion of Redundancy Potion)

A: Yes. King Rex is a valid choice and will therefore get an ability.

Rule: If an action's ability says to "Play on a minion.", choose an eligible minion, and place the action card on the minion card.

Questions on Laseratops Edit

Q: When I play Laseratops, do I have to destroy a minion? Even my own minion?

A: Short answer: yes. If there are one or more minions of power 2 or less on that base, you must target one of them for destruction, even if it's your own minion.

Rule 1: If the ability doesn't say "you may", you must do it immediately.

Rule 2: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: Can I choose to destroy a minion that cannot be destroyed?

A: Yes, you can choose a minion that cannot be destroyed (e.g. due to Tooth and Claw... and Guns). In that case, the minion does not die

Rule: The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.

Q: The minion I want to destroy has a printed power of 2 but has +1 power from another card (e.g. The Central Brain). Can I do it?

A: No, the minion's power is actually 3, so you cannot even target it with Laseratops's ability.

Rule: In play, a minion's power includes all modifiers.

Questions on Armor Stego Edit

Q: It's my turn to play, so an opponent's Armor Stego gains +2 power. If it brings the total power of all players on that base above its breakpoint, do we score the base immediately?

A: No. You only check if a base scores during phase 3 of a player's turn.

Rule: Before phase 3, it doesn't matter how much power each player has on each base, they will only score if they meet the requirement during phase 3, and phase 3 only.

Questions on War Raptor Edit

Q: What is the power of one or more War Raptors?

A: In your hand, deck or discard pile, any War Raptor is power 2. On a base, a lone War Raptor is power 3. If there are exactly two War Raptors on the same base, each one is power 4. If there are exactly three War Raptors on the same base, each one is power 5. And if there are exactly four War Raptors on the same base, each one is power 6.

Rule: An Ongoing ability only becomes active when the card is in play.

Q: If I play War Raptor on a base where there is an enemy Leprechaun, can the War Raptor survive?

A: Possibly. War Raptor's Ongoing ability activates before Leprechaun's on-play reaction begins testing its conditions. This means if the War Raptor you play is the third on that base, it will be power 5 and will be safe from the Leprechaun's ability which tests the War Raptor's power after it becomes power 5. However, if the War Raptor isn't power 5 or more after resolving all applicable Ongoing abilities, then the Leprechaun will destroy it.

Rule: Resolve the played card's ability completely, then resolve any card reactions.

Q: When you play a War Raptor, it automatically becomes power 3 or more, so can I play it on Tsar's Palace?

A: No, before it's in play a Raptor has a power of 2. Its ability only happens once it's in play. So you cannot play War Raptor on Tsar's Palace.

Rule: Your minion and base choice must be a legal play.

Q: I gained an extra minion of power 2 or less to play (e.g. from The Homeworld or Zapbot). Can I play a War Raptor as my extra minion?

A: Yes. In your hand, its power is 2.

Rule: If it's not in play, a minion's power is equal to its printed power.

Q: I move a War Raptor to a base where there's a Cub Scout. If there's no other War Raptor there, is it destroyed?

A: If Cub Scout's power is still 3, then no. War Raptor's Ongoing ability remains active and gives it +1 power by itself.

Rule: An Ongoing ability lasts for as long as the card is in play.

Q: There are two War Raptors on a base, so they are power 4. I move one of them to a base with a Cub Scout also at power 4. Is the War Raptor destroyed?

A: Yes. After it moves, the War Raptor's power immediately falls down to 3 and Cub Scout's ability is triggered immediately after the move is completed.

Rule: When a card says "After X, do Y", you need "X" to happen and be resolved completely before you do the effect stated as "Y".

Q: I have a War Raptor and a Microbot Alpha. Does Microbot Alpha's ability cancel War Raptor's?

A: No. Both abilities keep working just fine. War Raptor is still named "War Raptor", it's just also considered as a Microbot.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Questions on Augmentation Edit

Q: Does Augmentation count as being played "on a minion" on the turn it is played such as with Furious George or Clyde 2.0?

A: No, because it doesn't say "Play on a minion."

Rule: Only "play on a minion" actions are played on a minion.

Q: Can I only target one of my minions or can I augment someone else's minion?

A: You can target any minion in play, not just yours.

Rule: "A minion" (or here "one minion") means "any minion in play".

Q: If I manage to play Augmentation on another player's turn (e.g. with a Mole) and target a minion that's not on the scored base, how long does the power bonus last?

A: Good question. Presumably it is a mistake and the intention is that it lasts until the end of the turn it is played. TBD

Rule: TBD

Questions on Howl Edit

Q: If I play Howl and then play another minion afterward, does the new minion get +1 power from the Howl?

A: The official answer is yes.

Rule: Do exactly what the card official answer says.

Q: If I manage to play Howl on another player's turn (e.g. with a Mole), how long does the power bonus last?

A: Good question. Presumably it is a mistake and the intention is that it lasts until the end of the turn it is played. TBD

Rule: TBD

Q: I play Howl and boost my minions. If an opponent manages to take control of one of my minions before Howl expires (e.g. The Base Is Not Enough, Can Has Cheeseburger?), does the minion keep its boost?

A: No. Howl only boosts your minions. If one of them is later controlled by another player, it's no longer your minion and Howl doesn't affect it anymore.

Rule: "Until the end of the turn" means the effect persists even if the card is removed from play.

Questions on Natural Selection Edit




Questions on Rampage Edit

Q: It doesn't say that the minimum breakpoint of a base is 0, so can it go negative?

A: No. The minimum is stated in the rules and it is zero.

Rule: Base breakpoint is never reduced below zero.

Q: What happens if I play Rampage to reduce a base's breakpoint by the power of a minion, but then in the same turn (still during Phase 2) I move the minion to a different base?

A: The original base still has its breakpoint reduced. The effect doesn't "follow" the minion to the other base.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: What if I change the power of the minion after playing rampage?

A: The power reduction still remains the same as when Rampage was played, it is not reevaluated if the minion's power changes afterward.

Rule: On-play abilities are resolved only once and have no further effect.

Q: Can I use Rampage on a base where I cannot play actions on?

A: Yes. Rampage targets a base, but is not played on it.

Rule: Only "play on a base" actions are played on a base.

Questions on Survival of the Fittest Edit

Q: How does Survival of the Fittest work?

A: For each base that has at least two minions: Do all the minions here have the same power? If so, do nothing at that base. Otherwise, what is the lowest power of a minion there? Choose one of the minions there that has that power (possibly your own minion). Once you've done this for all the bases, destroy all the minions you chose.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: Does it also work on bases where I have no minions at all?

A: Yes, as long as there are at least two minions there, even if they're all controlled by other players, you still destroy one the lowest-power minions there.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Questions on Tooth and Claw... and Guns Edit

Q: What does Tooth and Claw... and Guns block?

A: Probably a lot more than the designers intended. See the term Affect for a discussion.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q: Can you play it on a minion you don't control?

A: Yes.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: If you play it on a minion you don't control, can it cancel the use of the minion's own ability if it counts as an "affect"? (For example, can it prevent the activation of the Pirate King special ability, since it affects itself by moving itself?)

A: Yes. "An ability" means "any ability", even the card's own ability. As long as it fits the definition of "affect", it is prevented by Tooth and Claw... and Guns.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q: If I play Tooth and Claw... and Guns on one of my minion and later play a card that affects it (e.g. Augmentation), what happens?

A: Tooth and Claw... and Guns is destroyed and Augmentation has no effect on your minion.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If Tooth and Claw... and Guns is on a minion, can I play Poison on the minion to destroy Tooth and Claw... and Guns?

A: Well, in a sense. While resolving Poison, you play it on the minion, but by attaching it to the minion, you're affecting it, so Tooth and Claw... and Guns activates and prevents that. So Tooth and Claw... and Guns is eventually destroyed, but Poison couldn't be attached to the minion so it is discarded.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q: An ability is already affecting my minion (e.g. Sleep Spores). What happens if I play Tooth and Claw... and Guns on it?


Rule: TBD

Q: I have a minion with Tooth and Claw... and Guns. Another player plays Sleep Spores at the same base. What happens?


Rule: TBD

Questions on Upgrade Edit




Questions on Wildlife Preserve Edit

Q: An opponent plays this card on a base, so if I have a minion there, it's no longer affected by my opponents' actions, right?

A: No. Your opponent played the action, so they control it, and therefore the action only addresses them and the ability must be interpreted from their point of view. So "your minions" means "their minions" and "other players" means "their opponents".

Rule: "You" on a minion or action means the controller of the card.

Q: Does Wildlife Preserve protect my minions against other player's minion abilities?

A: Unfortunately no. This means Tiger Assassin, Collector, and others can still target your minions.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: An opponent plays Bear Hug (or Unfathomable Goals, Griefer, Out of Sight), forcing me to affect one of my minions. Can I choose one of my minions on the same base as Wildlife Preserve? If so, does Wildlife Preserve protect it?

A: First of all, you can indeed choose any of your minions, but you must choose one if you have any in play. Secondly, since the cause of the affect is "another player's action", then yes, Wildlife Preserve protects it, even if the card makes you do the affect.

Rule: The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.

Q: I'm prevented from playing Dinosaur minions because of Block the Path. I play Wildlife Preserve there. Can I now play a Dinosaur minion there?

A: No. Wildlife Preserve protects minions that are already in play. And before it's played, you cannot choose to play it there because it's not a legal choice of base. Besides, Block the Path does something that's not listed in the definition of "affect" anyway.

Rule: Choose an eligible base in play. The base choice must be a legal play.

Q: I play Wildlife Preserve on a base with an opponent's action there that affects my minions. (e.g. Sleep Spores) Is their action discarded?

A: No. Sleep Spores no longer reduces your minions' power there, but it remains in play.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: I play Wildlife Preserve on a base where I have a minion with an opponent's action attached to it. (e.g. Poison) Is their action discarded?

A: Yes. Since the action is currently affecting the minion ("having an action attached" is considered as affecting), Wildlife Preserve prevents that action from affecting your minion any longer. So it can't remain attached to it and is therefore discarded.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q: I'm given control of another player's minion because of their actions. (e.g. Repaying Debts, Hostage Exchange) If I play Wildlife Preserve on the same base, does it retroactively give them back control of their minion? As "affected" includes "changed in controller" and because control was changed because of another player's card, Wildlife Preserve should restore control of this minion to their original controller, right?

A: No. Those cards did a "punctual" change of controller and are no longer "maintaining" it. This is different from Make Contact which actively maintain the change as long as it remains in play, but those cards changed the control and then no matter what happens to those cards (in fact, they are discarded after use), the change of control still remains. So, a change of controller (except for Make Contact) isn't a continous "affection", and playing Wildlife Preserve doesn't retroactively undo that like it does with continuous effects, e.g. Sleep Spores or an action attached to the minion.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q: I have Wildlife Preserve in play and my opponent has Steam Queen in play. If my opponent tries to affect my minions on the base with Wildlife Preserve, does Steam Queen prevents Wildlife Preserve's protection?

A: The Steampunk player can try to affect the protected minions with their actions, but Wildlife Preserve still prevents it. Blocking the effect of an action does not count as affecting it.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Trivia Edit

  • The artist is Saliym McCullin.
  • Some dinosaurs have a serial number on their equipments that are references to characters from the TV show Dinosaur Train:
    • The pteranodon in Natural Selection has an armor with the serial number "71N4", i.e. "Tiny"
    • The corythosaurus in Howl has a parabolic dish with the serial number "C0RY", i.e. "Cory"

In other languages Edit

Language Name
Chinese 恐龙
French Dinosaures
German Dinosaurier
Greek Δεινόσαυροι
Italian Dinosauri
Japanese 恐竜
Polish Dinozaury
Portuguese Dinossauros
Russian Динозавры
Spanish Dinosaurios

Core Set

Factions: Aliens  •  Dinosaurs  •  Ninjas  •  Pirates  •  Robots  •  Tricksters  •  Wizards  •  Zombies
Mechanics: Titans


Main: Core Set  •  Awesome Level 9000  •  The Obligatory Cthulhu Set  •  Science Fiction Double Feature  •  The Big Geeky Box  •  Monster Smash  •  Pretty Pretty Smash Up  •  Smash Up: Munchkin  •  It’s Your Fault!  •  Cease and Desist  •  What Were We Thinking?  •  Big in Japan  •  That ’70s Expansion  •  The Bigger Geekier Box
Promotional: All Stars Event Kit  •  Sheep

References Edit