Thoughts on Clash Royale March 23rd Balance Changes (Part 2)

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Be sure to first read Part 1 here!

9 more cards to cover for the big balance update in 2 days! Let’s take a look to see how the changes will be impacting the game:

Royal Giant: Damage increased by 20%
SC: The Royal Giant’s use rates and win rates are very low, showing that he is clearly underpowered. We wanted to give him significantly more damage, instead of boosting his hitpoints, so he could fulfill his dreams of becoming a wrecking ball.

MoEsport: Should we be worried that all 6 of the new cards will be changed within just one month?  The Royal Giant is the most significant of the changes, with a very hefty 20% boost in damage.  Just to put things in perspective, a level 5 Royal Giant will now deal more damage per second than a level 3 X-Bow!  With yet another round nerf of X-Bow, could we possibly start seeing a minion pile-up deck with Royal Giant?  With the damage increase, Royal Giant is arguably now a stronger and more effective 6-elixir troop than Giant Skeleton.

Giant: Damage increased by 5%
SC: Giving the Giant a bit more damage, instead of hitpoints, will make him a more compelling choice overall, without making him any more potent on defense.

MoEsport: I don’t feel Giant needed anymore buffs as it’s already a pretty effective high HP troop card.  The 5% damage increase will probably have a bigger impact on lower level players, where Giant is more often used and can knock down crown towers with just a few blows.  So if you’re still stuck under say 1400 trophies, maybe you should start upgrading your Giant again.

 

Rage: Gives 40% movement and attack speed boost (from 35%), duration decreased by 20%
SC: Rage can be an exciting and surprising card to see in action, but it’s currently not quite strong enough to make the cut in most decks. By increasing the boost to 40% and lowering the duration, Rage will be a more intense and stronger offensive tool overall.

MoEsport: Rage can be a very effective spell when played properly and with good timing (ie. an unobstructed P.E.K.K.A, Hut Spammers at their peak).  Still, I’m not sure if a 5% increase in speed is actually a good enough trade-off of losing 20% of the spell’s duration.  Personally I would like to see Rage to have a “sticky” effect on its effected troops like Poison, perhaps giving all troops that are “raged” an addition 5% attack boost throughout the duration of the spell, even after leaving the spell radius.  But until something more drastic gets changed, I don’t expect this change to increase Rage’s usage much after the next update.

 

Poison: Damage increased by 5%
SC: Poison has fairly low use rates. A bit of damage over time will make it a more interesting choice next to Fireball and the other damage spells.

MoEsport: Like many players, I experimented with Poison, then went back to Fireball simply because it was more effective at dealing instant hard damage.  Poison’s slowdown effect is nice, but the fact that the damage takes time to be inflicted means your opponent’s troops can still get off a few more hits before they die.  Personally I would prefer Poison to be a 3-elixir spell with decreased damage, and be an alternative for Arrow, which will likely be the most used spell in the game for some time to come.

Mirror: Legendary Cards mirrored 1 level lower
SC: The Mirror is creating Legendary Cards at a disproportionately high level (slightly). After this change a level 5 Mirror will make a level 2 Legendary Card, and so on.

MoEsport: A much needed change.  The Princess Mirror strategy is not too often played, but when you just don’t have the cards to take out the accumulated Princesses in their safety area, they can be an absolute menace to deal with.  It didn’t make sense to often see the Mirrored Princess being an even higher level than the original, and I’m glad the CR team has noticed this.

Three Musketeers: Cost decreased to 9 (from 10)
SC: Three Musketeers have a very low use rate. 9 Elixir will make them better value and less risk, hopefully increasing their allure.

MoEsport:  Three Musketeers is a broken card, and I don’t like the fact that SC is taking such a simple approach in their attempt to fix this card.  The Musketeers are a good troop, and playing 3 of them at the same time can do some pretty devastating damage.  The problem lies in the fact that the 3 troops have the exact speed and HP, and can be countered effectively by cards costing less than half its cost. As mentioned in my initial review of the card, SC should try to make 3 different types of Musketeers spawn: a melee, a tank, and a ranged.  Or maybe SC can allow the player to deploy each of the Musketeers at a different location and different time (ie. 3 taps, 3 locations), which would make the card a little harder to counter and give more variety to how the card can be strategically used.

 

Archers: Quicker initial attack (like Spear Goblins)
SC: The Archers’ use rate falls off after the early game, while the Spear Goblins remain popular across all levels. We’re making their initial attack quicker, so they’ll feel more responsive and effective.

MoEsport:  My favorite change in this whole series, as Archer has been a staple in my deck for a good few weeks now!  I did hate the fact that Archers had such a slow release, and couldn’t even get off one Arrow before taking their last hit by a Crown Tower or defense building.  The instant damage that they can now deal (keep in mind Archers deal almost double the damage per strike than Spear Goblins) will make a difference, and will probably encourage more players to invest one more elixir to play Archers over the squishy Spear Goblins.

Balloon: Hitpoints increased by 5%
SC: The Balloon has low use rates at the top, and many enemies (buildings!). More hitpoints should help it get to those towers!

MoEsport:  A fair buff for a deadly card that just doesn’t have enough HP to survive at the higher levels.  I expect more players to experiment playing with Balloon now, but won’t expect it to be cracking the Power Rankings anytime soon.

Witch: Damage increased by 5%
SC: The Witch has very low use rates at the top. She needs a bit more damage to become relevant again.

MoEsport: Another Witch buff!  5% is not a lot as Witch doesn’t deal that much damage to begin with, but I could possibly see more players giving her a try again to see how much better she’ll counter against other troops now.

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