Goodbye Giant-Poison, hello X-Bow? Or Zap-bait? Or gasp, Royal Giant?!? I think I made my point. SuperCell changed the game in a HUGE way with these new updates. You don’t have to worry about seeing Giant-Poison in 10 out of 12 of your challenge games anymore (although you may see X-Bow in 7 out of 12 of your challenge games). The meta is MUCH more diverse and almost anything can be used effective. When making this list, I had to change about half of the cards’ placements. That just shows you how much Poison dominated the meta. Cards that were unfit for the Poison meta now have a place in the new meta.
Compared to the old meta, the new meta is defined by strong defensive play. It was easier to get damage in the old meta with a Giant-Poison push or a Miner-Poison play. Now, since it’s harder to build an elixir advantage with the Elixir Collector nerf, you have to be more proactive in gaining elixir advantage through smart card trades. With strong defensive cards like Skeleton Army and Inferno Tower being more effective with Poison around, cards like Royal Giant, Goblin Barrel and Rocket, which are cards that you use fairly straightforwardly to deal damage, have potential in the meta.
Note: Excited to announce that I will be trying out streaming in the near future! (Hopefully within the next couple days). With Clash Royale making a big splash in its competitive scene with the announcement of the Clash Royale North American Open, I thought the time was right to start doing informational streams aimed at helping the CR community. Tune into my twitter to see when I plan on streaming! Now for the tier list.
If you missed my last tier list, be sure to check it out here.
DISCLAIMER: This tier list is for TOURNAMENT play and 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. Within the tiers, I listed the cards by rarity, not by superiority (Legendaries first, Commons last). The cards in bold are the movers and their old tier is listed in parentheses.
S – Miner, Princess, The Log(B), Bowler, Mega Minion, Zap, Ice Spirit(A)
A – Ice Wizard(S), Lava Hound, Guards, X-Bow(C), Lightning(B), Giant(S), Hog Rider, Furnace(B), Inferno Tower
B – Goblin Barrel(C), Skeleton Army(F), 3 Musketeers(A), Tombstone, Elixir Collector(S), Fireball(C), Rocket, Skeletons, Fire Spirits, Archers(D), Knight, Minions, Minion Horde, Arrows
C – Lumberjack(A), Inferno Dragon(B), Golem, Pekka(B), Giant Skeleton, Prince(B), Dark Prince, Mirror(B), Mini Pekka(A), Musketeer(A), Freeze, Poison(S), Valkyrie, Royal Giant(D), Goblins, Spear Goblins, Barbarians(B), Tesla, Cannon, Mortar
D – Sparky(C), Baby Dragon, Witch, Balloon, Wizard(F), Goblin Hut, Barbarian Hut, Bomber
F – Bomb Tower, Rage(D)
The OP cards. You’ll see multiples of these cards in top tier decks. They’re either versatile and can fit in many decks or have extremely strong stats.
- The Log(B) – With Elixir Collector not automatically taking a slot in decks anymore, spells have been the biggest beneficiary. In this meta, its not uncommon to play 3 spell decks and The Log has probably seen the biggest jump in spell play. It’s very similar to Zap in that it gives very good elixir trades in many occasions and has a “time-buying” mechanic (stun for Zap and knockback for Log). With small zap-baiting cards becoming more popular (Goblin Barrel and Skeleton Army), running both Zap and The Log has been a good response to the newly formed meta.
- Ice Spirit(A) – Okay, okay you can put your pitchforks down. I didn’t really believe Ice Spirit was that meta-defining enough to be classified as an S-tier card, but I do have to concede and admit how good this card is. It’s similar to the pre-nerf 1 elixir Skeletons, only better. The cool thing about Ice Spirit is that in anybody’s hands (heh cool, get it?), it almost always gives at least a 1 elixir value play, but the great players will be able to make this 1 elixir card feel like a 3 or 4 elixir card.
These cards may not be seen as often as S tier cards. They’re not as game-changing as S tier cards, but are still seen in many top tier decks.
- Ice Wizard(S) – Ice Wizard is a card that really shines when paired with a high damage card. This used to be buildings, then Mini-Pekka, but now is more commonly the Mega Minion. With Lightning becoming rampant, this leaves the Ice Wizard user more vulnerable to a well-placed Lightning.
- X-Bow(C) – Will X-Bow decks become the new Giant Poison? In my opinion, it won’t reach that level, but as far as deck archetypes go, it’ll probably the closest. The biggest reason I don’t think it will be as strong as Giant-Poison was is that it has more obvious counters. With Giant-Poison, even if you played against its natural counter (Inferno Tower), Giant-Poison users still had a strong fighting chance. X-Bow has many more counters (Royal Giant, Giant, Bowler) and you could argue that they counter X-Bow harder than Giant-Poison’s counters countered Giant-Poison. That was a lot of counters in one sentence.
- Lightning(B) – Similar to how Poison was the most popular secondary spell in the old meta, Lightning has become the most tertiary spell in the new meta. The old standard for running spells was 1 low damage spell (like Zap) and 1 medium-high damage spell (like Poison or Rocket). Now it’s 1 low damage spell (like Zap or The Log), 1 low-medium damage spell (Like Arrows or Zap/The Log again), and 1 high damage spell (like Lightning or Fireball).
- Giant(S) – While the nerf to Giant was tough, the bigger factor in this demotion was the nerf to Poison. Giant-Poison defined the meta for a good month or two and it’s bittersweet to see it fall out of the meta, but people have adjusted. Giant still has incredibly strong stats for its elixir cost and Lightning has been the new favorite to pair with it. It’s also a good card in the current meta of X-Bow decks.
- Furnace(B) – Rising in popularity because of its use as an “opening card” due to Elixir Collector being used less. Also due to Poison nerf.
Used right, these cards will make some great elixir trades; however, they are really situational and against some decks, these cards will be ineffective.
- Goblin Barrel(C) – Zap bait decks (or The Log/Zap bait decks) lives on! And the card that best personifies Zap bait decks is definitely the Goblin Barrel. The Goblin Barrel is a medium-risk, medium-reward card. It’s relatively low cost so that you’re not at as much of a disadvantage if you make a bad play, but when you catch your opponent off cycle, you could deal a good chunk of damage to their tower.
- Skeleton Army(F) – This card went from zero to hero in one update. Okay, maybe not hero but it’s an incredibly fun card to play. It acts as a Guards replacement that also acts as a Zap/The Log bait. Also, Poison falling out of the meta was obviously a huge help.
- 3 Musketeers(A) – In a meta where many people run 3 spell cards, 3 Musketeers have an incredibly hard time even making it to the bridge. In the old meta, people’s spell choices usually meant they only had 1 spell-based counter to 3 Musketeers. Now its very likely they have 2 spell-based counters. The increase in Lightning usage also hurts. The Poison meta actually kind of favored the 3 Musketeers because Poison’s long over-time damage meant that the Musketeers could walk out of the Poison without taking the full damage which would force people to Zap them inside the Poison. This allowed you to build a strong push on the other side without worrying about him gaining value spells. May be demoted again soon.
- Elixir Collector(S) – I LOVE this nerf. I was an avid Elixir Collector player myself but I hated how it added an extra dimension of luck to this game. In match-ups where both players run Elixir Collector, the person who starts with Elixir Collector in their opening hand is at a HUGE advantage. This is especially true in mirror match-ups, which were common in the previous meta. I think it still has a place, especially as a spell bait card, because even though they’re gaining more value for their spells’ cost on your collector, you can still come out with a 1 elixir advantage at the cost of damage on your tower. It’s an incredibly be a risky card if you’re going against X-Bow though.
- Fireball(C) – Would have been the front-runner to replace Poison if it weren’t for the meta shift, most specifically the epidemic of Mega Minions. Decent card, but it’s fairly straightforward and doesn’t really promote much play-making as opposed to something like a prediction Arrows or a prediction The Log.
- Archers(D) – PSA. I LOVE ARCHERS IN THIS META. A friend (if you’re well-versed in the competitive scene, you’ll know him as Tag) told me to check out the card in the meta and I’ve used it in most of my decks since.
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.
Lumberjack(A) – This nerf is due to a combination of the popularity of smaller troops like Skeleton army, coupled with the lower frequency of Giants, along with less of a need to protect your Elixir Collectors.
Inferno Dragon(B) – A lot weaker on a counter attack then I thought. It’s worse than Inferno Tower on defense due to its lower damage and it is really hard to be able to use it on offense effectively.
Pekka(B) – It only rose in popularity as a Giant counter and now Giant isn’t as frequent, along with it being easier to distract with cards like Tombstone and Skeleton Army, which are now in the meta.
Prince(B) – See Lumberjack.
Mirror(B) – With its BFF Elixir Collector getting nerfed, one of the best plays with Mirror (Mirroring Elixir Collector) has been all but eliminated. It still can be used effectively, but it requires A LOT of tactical prowess and is very situational.
Mini Pekka(A) – See Lumberjack.
Musketeer(A) – Almost half the decks run Lightning and Musketeer is prime Lightning bait. Even though it only costs 4 elixir and Lightning costs 6, most of the time you won’t defend with just a Musketeer and its easy to get a value Lighting. Also, Musketeer shined in a counter push with something like Giant after being used on defense and most Giant decks don’t run Musketeer anymore.
Poison(S) – RIP Poison Meta. I said that the best aspect of Poison wasn’t its damage, but its slowing effects (movement, but more importantly attack speed). I would’ve like to see SuperCell just keep the movement speed slow. This nerf changed the ENTIRE meta and cards that suffered in the meta previously because of Poison (Archers, Skeleton Army, Tombstone) are making a comeback.
Royal Giant(D) – Gets a bump due to its dominance over X-Bow, which is the new most popular archetype. The current meta is defined by stronger defensive play and it’s harder to get damage on towers. With the Royal Giant, you can just plop it down and there’s a good change on getting damage through.
Barbarians(B) – Overdue demotion that I hesitated on making because it is my favorite card. Barbarians are incredibly strong, but suffers mainly due to the Bowler’s existence.
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.
Sparky(C) – At this point, Sparky is just lying on the ground as SuperCell continues to beat it up by buffing these cards that counter Sparky and Sparky is just like, “Please, mercy….” With cards like Tombstone and Skeleton Army becoming popular in this meta along with tanky ground pushes becoming less popular, Sparky is finding it really hard to stay relevant. It’s only fitting that the next card is Graveyard because that’s where Sparky is probably headed after it comes out.
Wizard(F) – Gets a small buff and some love from me because of the increasing amount of Zap bait decks/Skeleton Armies floating around.
The worst of the worst. You will rarely see these cards and it is even rarer to see these cards used effectively.
Rage(D) – The buff helped, but it’s still a card that doesn’t really have a spot in decks. You’re much better off putting in a card with concrete benefits like additional troops or damage to troops.
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