Clash Royale First Look: Clone

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Elite Barbarians are perhaps the most underwhelming new card to be released for Clash Royale in awhile (the 80s infomercial isn’t going to make the card any better!).  There’s really no place in the meta for this 6-Elixir troop, and from the Orange Juice video you can see that there are literally dozens of ways to counter them for a positive Elixir trade.  2 weeks from now though, another new card will have the potential to change things up a bit: Clone.  Here is our breakdown of the new Epic spell.

What is it? img_4814

Clone will duplicate (make a copy) of all the friendly troops within its radius!  The catch?  The duplicate troops will only have 1 HP each.

How does it compare to other similar cards? 

Clone is a very unique spell as it doesn’t deal out any direct damage or have any effect on your opponent’s troops or tower.  The only comparables really are Rage or Mirror.  Rage costs 2 Elixir and has a much larger Radius of 5, whereas Close costs 3 and has a Radius of 3.  Mirror costs as much Elixir as the card that it Mirrors, whereas Clone costs 3 Elixir regardless of which or how many troops are clones within its radius.  Which leads us to….

What is it good for? 

Hearthstone players are probably familiar with the concept of “Deathrattle”: an effect that takes place after a troop is destroyed.  Cards like Golem, Lava Hound, Skeleton Giant and Lumberjack all have Deathrattle effects, and would be prime targets for cloning.  A cloned Skeleton Giant will almost immediately generate a bomb dishing out almost 1000 damage(!), and a cloned Lava Hound will generate 6 nasty pups that will be an absolute pain to deal with!  Clone may work well on a swarm of attacking troops, but will be extremely vulnerable to the likes of Zap, Log and Arrow.  Another drawback of the spell: the spell actually slows down the troops you are cloning!  Leak footage of the spell below (along with Electro Wizard!) shows exactly how this work (source: Clash Royale Leaks):

How do you stop it? 

As mentioned above, spells such as Zap, Log, Tornado and Arrows will make short work of the clones.  Heck, even Ice Spirit will finish off all the clones if timed properly!  The key is to figure out how to deal with the deathrattle effect: if a Lava Hound is cloned, then you’re need to deal with 2 batches of Lava Pups.  If a Lumberjack is cloned, then you’ll likely have to deal with back-to-back Rages!  Fast firing ranged defense troops such as Archers (already super popular in the current meta) and Musketeers will be very helpful in clearing off the extra set of attacking troops.

How is this going to change the meta? 

Clone will player extra reasons to use troops with deathrattle effects.  Golem already making a comeback in the current meta, so you can expect some players to experiment with adding Golem to their current decks.  Skeleton Giant beatdown decks have failed to find a place anywhere near the current meta, but with Clone (and perhaps a buff?) we may begin to see Skeleton Giant beatdown decks making a comeback.  And of course, Lava Hound… stock up on your Zap and Arrows, because you’ll likely need to deal with a lot of these little critters (+ Minions/Minion Horde) once Clone hits the store.

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