Thoughts on Clash Royale March 23rd Balance Changes (Part 1)

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Clash Royale’s first balance change since the game’s global launch is coming, and it’s going to be a big one, with a total of 17 cards to be tweaked.  Here is the first part of our thoughts on the upcoming changes:

X-Bow: Range decreased to 12 (from 13)
SC: We want to open the X-Bow up to a little bit more counterplay. A range reduction will mean you can no longer position it behind a Tesla, as well as across the river, and still hit your opponent’s tower!

MoEsport: Will this finally be the end to X-Bow dogpile?  Some players have mastered the timing/placement of X-Bows with Tesla/Inferno Tower/Cannons, so the decreased range will definitely have an impact on their play, if not destroying their deck strategy altogether.  Not the end of the world for X-Bow, but it’s a change that’s needed as X-Bow decks are still one of the most effective to this date.

Tesla: Hit speed decreased to 0.8sec (from 0.7sec), lifetime decreased to 40sec (from 60sec)
SC: The Tesla’s use rates and win rates don’t show it as being overpowered; however, another of core design principles is that all cards should have weaknesses and counters, whereas the Tesla doesn’t clearly have any. A lower hit speed will reduce its DPS versus bigger targets significantly, and also make it more vulnerable to groups of troops.

MoEsport:  Many players will be happy to see this as Tesla is arguably the hardest tower to counter against in the game.  Even as a Tesla user, I feel the nerf is pretty fair, and will make the game a little more fun for players at lower levels.  But even as SC continues to preach “offense over defense”, players will at the end of the day need defense towers, and I’m ready to switch back to playing Bomb Tower after this nerf.

Cannon: Lifetime decreased to 30sec (from 40sec)
CR: The Cannon offers a bit too much defensive power and value for 3 Elixir. A lower lifetime will reduce its staying power.

MoEsport: Cannon itself is not a problematic card, but it’s cheap deployment cost makes it a valued (and annoying) addition to building-heavy decks such as X-Bow Dogpiles.  The 10 sec lifetime decrease will make it slightly more difficult for these decks to stack their buildings on top of one-another.

Princess: Hitpoints decreased by 10%
CR: When playing with Tournament Rule card levels, as a baseline we think Arrows should be able take out the Princess for an even Elixir trade. This hitpoint reduction ensures that’s the case. Additionally, the Princess has a very high use rate and could do with some added vulnerability overall.

MoEsport: Big win for Arrows, and this will undoubtably make the popular spell even more used by top players.  I was skeptical that Princess would never get nerfed as the Legendary card is considered to be the most valuable card in the game, and high paying players have spent a considerable amount to get/upgrade the card.  I like the nerf, but not sure if top players/payers will be too happy about this.
Ice Wizard: Damage increased by 5%
CR: The Ice Wizard’s main strength is control, but he could do with a little bit of extra damage to increase his value and make him more of a threat.

MoEsport: The Ice Wizard may feel like the inferior Legendary card, but it’s slowdown effect is quite effective (especially behind a big troop like Giant/P.E.K.K.A/Golem), and he is not as squishy as Princes.  Personally I’m not too happy about Ice Wizard getting a buff (albeit only a small one), and I would like to see its HP decreased to the point where a high level Fireball would be able to take it out.
Prince: Charge speed decreased by 13%
CR: The Prince is currently the most used card in the game, but despite very popular opinion, he isn’t overpowered when looking at his win rates. However, his ability to take down a tower on his own when left unchecked can be quite startling. Slowing down his charge speed a notch will give more time to react and counter.

MoEsport: It’s hard to grasp at this point how much a 13% decrease in charge speed will hurt the Prince.  There are many instances where I just needed an extra 1/2 second to play Goblins/Barbarians to stop the Prince’s charge towards my open Tower, and this 13% speed decrease should give more than enough time to get these cards out.

Dark Prince: Charge speed decreased by 13%
CR: Both Princes ride the same breed of horse, and therefore it makes perfect sense that they move at the same speed!

MoEsport: I personally hate the Prince/Dark Prince combo so I do like the fact that both are getting a small nerf at the same time!
Valkyrie: Hitpoints and damage increased by 10%
CR: The Valkyrie’s use rates are quite low, as she still needs to find her place in the world. More damage and health should help her get there.

MoEsport: Another instance where I feel the Clash Royale team just pulled a number from out of nowhere to increase a card’s usage rate.  I agree that Valkyrie is a little underpowered for a 4-elixir troop, but have also previously suggested other ways to improve on the card like giving Valkyrie damage protection from towers or flying troops.  Dare I say this, but a 10% increase in HP and damage could instantly make Valkyrie an overpowered troop, and a better alternative at the melee troop spot than Mini P.E.K.K.A or Knight.  I still wish that one day the CR team would try doing something different with this card, because I foresee another Valkyrie balance adjustment sometime in the near future.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2, where we will talk about the big buff for Royal Giant and much more!

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