Original post from Reddit here. Clyde, an active player in the Clash Royale tournament scene and winner of the 1st Super Magical Cup Invitational, placed all 58 of Clash Royale’s cards into a “tier list” based on their playability and versatility. Below is his complete breakdown:
This tier list reflects my opinions on TOURNAMENT decks. This is completely different from the ladder where you might see cards such as Royal Giant very frequently because it is very easy it level up due to it being a common card. Within the tiers, I listed the cards by rarity, meaning that I put Ice Wizard first in S tier because it is a legendary card and Zap last because it is a common card and not because Ice Wizard is better than Zap. For the descriptions, I will only talk about some cards that people may be surprised to see in a certain tier, and won’t talk about the obvious ones (such as Miner being in S tier).
DISCLAIMER: This tier list is based on my opinions and it may differ from yours or others opinions. My opinion is not better than yours. Just because a card is in a high tier does not mean that every deck should have it. Vice versa, just because a card is in a low tier does not mean that it can’t be used in a competitive deck. A deck with all S tier cards will not necessarily be the best deck; the cards have to complement each other.
S – Ice Wizard, Miner, Princess, Poison, Mini Pekka, Giant, Furnace, Elixir Collector, Zap
A – Lava Hound, Guards, Hog Rider, Valkyrie, Musketeer, Inferno Tower, Minions
B – Lumberjack, Sparky, Dark Prince, Bowler, Golem, Lightning, 3 Musketeers, Fireball, Skeletons, Ice Spirit, Goblins, Fire Spirits, Barbarians, Cannon
C – The Log, Goblin Barrel, Prince, Balloon, Witch, Rocket, Spear Goblins, Archers, Bomber, Minion Horde, Royal Giant, Arrows, Tesla, Mortar
D – Baby Dragon, Giant Skeleton, Freeze, X-Bow, Goblin Hut, Barbarian Hut, Rage, Pekka, Tombstone, Knight
F – Skeleton Army, Mirror, Wizard, Bomb Tower,
The OP cards. You’ll see multiples of these cards in top tier decks. They’re either versatile and can fit in many decks (Miner, Princess, Zap) or have extremely strong stats (Giant, Mini Pekka).
- Poison – Probably the best secondary spell (with zap being the best primary spell). While poison does damage to things caught in its goo, its highlight is being able to slow their attack speed as well. It’s used in combination with all kinds of troops, from high HP (Lava Hound, Giant, Golem) to medium HP (Hog Rider) or low-ish HP (Miner).
- Giant – People are only starting to realize how good the Giant really is. Compared to the Royal Giant (which many people claim is OP), the Giant has about 1000 more HP (3520 HP to 2544 HP) and about 40 more damage per second (147 to 106) for 1 less elixir at tournament cap. The only thing the RG has is range so it is more noob-friendly, but good players will find a way to let their Giant reach the opponents towers.
- Furnace – One of the most popular, if not most popular, deck types out there right now. You can just plop a furnace down and if your opponent does not react to it over its duration, it will do over 800 damage to his tower. The high AOE damage of the fire spirits is incredibly strong at stopping your opponents’ pushes.
These cards are not seen as often as S tier cards. They’re not as versatile as S tier cards, but are still seen in many top tier decks.
- Lava Hound – It has always been good in my opinion, but has become stronger with the popularity of new combos (Miner-Lava Hound, Furnace-Lava Hound) or new cards (Ice Spirit).
- Guards – Guards became an overnight sensation because of how good defensively it is. It can hold its own against high damage cards like Mini Pekka, Prince, and Pekka and it helps protect your Elixir Collector from incoming Miners. Its shield ability makes it so that your opponent wouldn’t be able to fireball or zap it even if they knew it was coming.
- Hog Rider, Valkyrie, Musketeer – I listed these cards together because the majority of the time you see these cards is in the trifecta deck. Despite hog nerfs, this deck remains popular in tournament play because of how good defensively the deck is, and how it requires 0 legendaries. Of the three, the Musketeer has recently branched out and you can see them more often in Giant and Furnace decks.
- Inferno Tower – Rising in popularity due to the Pompeyo deck. Despite the last nerf to Inferno Tower making zap reset its multiplying damage, IT is probably the most commonly used damaging building. With more players running zap as their only spell, players who use zap to reset IT are more susceptible to high damage swarms such as Minion Hordes and Goblins.
Used right, these cards will make some great elixir trades; however, they are really situational and against some decks, these cards will be ineffective.
- Sparky – This card will either win or lose you the game. I would place this card in a lower tier because pros will easily counter it but all it takes is one mistake for Sparky to do its 1300 damage to your tower. We’ve all had that moment where we mistimed a zap or tried to surround the Sparky with Barbarians but ended up placing them where Sparky could one shot all of them.
- Bowler – A relatively new card so many people don’t have it to tournament cap yet; however, I believe that it will be a strong niche card when people get used to using it. Its high elixir cost makes it a heavy investment for a push, but I see it becoming a strong combo card with the Giant, similar to Giant-Balloon.
- Lightning – With the increasing use of medium HP cards, Lightning has become an option to gain a quick elixir advantage. On a push, if you can Lightning the opponents’ tower along with two troops, such as Furnace and Musketeer or Elixir collector and Ice Wizard, you get a good elixir trade and are able to deal damage to your opponent’s tower.
- Cannon – The nerf definitely hit the cannon hard, but probably the bigger factor in the cannon’s lower frequency is the type of decks in the meta right now. Hog and Royal Giant were the two cards which the Cannon was most effective against and those cards have become less frequent in tournament decks. Miner cycle and Furnace decks have taken their places and these decks are effectively less countered than those decks.
Most of these cards shine when they’re used in combination with a certain card or deck. Individually, these cards can be lackluster or even useless.
- Log – Possibly the worst legendary in the game. Its main use is to either clear Goblins on a Miner or Hog push or to trade with Princess for a 1 elixir advantage. This second use may seem OP seeing as how commonly Princess is used, but this only works if people place her on the bridge and most people place a Princess defensively behind their tower to deal with swarming troops.
- Prince – It may seem counter-intuitive to place Prince in a lower tier than Dark Prince, seeing as how both are usually used together; however, individually, Dark Prince is more a more versatile card with its shield and AOE while Prince, despite its high damage, is less effective than Mini Pekka at dealing consistent damage against cards such as Giant while still being easily distracted by low elixir swarming troops.
- Royal Giant – The biggest difference between tournament play and ladder play personified up in one card. In ladder, RG is difficult to deal with because it usually is higher leveled than your rares and epics because it is a common card. At tournament cap, the RG is easy to deal with because of its high elixir cost. If dealt with correctly, RG will deal a medium amount of damage to arena towers. On the other hand, the person defending will have a strong counter push because they still have the troops he used to kill the RG.
- Mortar – While some players have had success with this card (I’m looking at you /u/Wwoody123), I’m still not convinced in it. Watching Woody’s matches, I felt like his deck masquerades as a Mortar deck because most of the time, it’s not even the Mortar dealing the most damage. Woody usually wins off of one strong aggressive push such as Miner-Minion Horde.
These cards either have bad stats, are easily countered, or are just outshined by other cards that do a better job. You’ll see them sometimes, and they may even help win a game or two, but not consistently.
- Baby Dragon – Incredibly underwhelming damage. Once upon a time, it was paired with the Lava Hound because it could deal with minions and it was one of the few AOE damaging troops. Now there are so many AOE damage dealing troops that Baby Dragon has fallen out of favor.
- Pekka – The odd man out in the PPP deck (Pekka, Prince, Dark Prince). The high cost of the combo is highly reliant on building elixir with collectors, which have become so much harder with the prevalence of Miner and Poison. Instead, people have just been playing double Prince decks without the Pekka.
- Knight – It has pretty good stats for a 3 elixir card that may warrant a higher tier. The reason that the Knight is in such a low tier is that it’s hard to find a role for it. It has too little damage to be used to defend building-targeting units, it has too little HP to be used as a main tanker, and it’s too easily distracted to be used as a pusher. Probably the biggest reason it’s in such a low tier is that its stats are similar enough to the Miner that the Knight is redundant. Whenever you would use the Knight, you could use the Miner and it would be just as effective. The Knight may have a little more HP and deal more damage to towers, but the Miner’s ability to be placed anywhere outclasses the Knight.
The worst of the worst. You will rarely see these cards and it is even rarer to see these cards used effectively.
- Wizard – Many people are probably surprised to see the Wizard in the lowest tier. In my opinion, the Wizard is a huge investment that only comes out with an elixir advantage in the rarest of occasions. It trades well with Barbarians and Minion Horde, which are used a lot less than in the past. The theme with the current meta decks is to use low elixir troops, such as Ice Wizard, to defend so you can have enough elixir to counter push and the Wizard doesn’t fit this trend.
- Bomb Tower – One of the most annoying cards to play against. Although the concept of the card and its stats are not bad, its usefulness in helping you win the game is low. Its high elixir cost will result in a negative elixir trade more often than a positive one, compared to the Inferno Tower which trades positively with cards like Golem and Lava Hound or Cannon with Hog Rider. The best way to describe this card in my opinion is that it’s not a card that is designed to help you win, it’s designed to make you not lose.
If you have any questions or comments or just want to yell at me because I’m delusional (which might be true), I will do my best to respond. If these tier lists become popular and the community would like me to do more for each new update, I would love to oblige!
You can find Clyde on Twitter, or look for him in his clan Elite Gaming 2!