Editor’s Note: A major Clash Royale balance change will be dropping in two days! As usual, our contributing writer Cory is here to breakdown how each of the changes will be impacting the meta.
Elite Barbarians: Hitpoints -4%, Damage -4%, Hit Speed to 1.5sec (from 1.4sec)
CR: While these three changes are relatively small on their own, the combined effect should be noticeable and make Elite Barbarians more manageable. We don’t want to make them weak, just a bit less powerful.
Cory: Although the numbers are relatively small, this makes a huge DPS difference and changes lots of interactions. Once-popular cards Mini-Pekka and Valkyrie will now take down Elite Barbarians down with one less swing, and survive one-on-one with Elite Barbarians. They don’t want to tone down Elite Barbarians too much, as they need to fit their role (as a quick response to a heavy tank, or a ground-killer), and don’t want them to go back to their underpowered state. This should be a good way to balance out Elite Barbarians.
Zap: Damage -6%
CR: Zap has been one of the most used cards in the game for a long time. This change will stop it from one-shotting equally levelled Goblins – which includes Goblin Barrel Goblins! – and should make other spells, such as Arrows, interesting alternatives.
Cory: This is probably the biggest change in this update, and even might be the single biggest change in the meta so far. Zap has been the number one used spell and card in the game for basically half a year. It’s ability to stun and wipe out small troops makes it basically a must-have. However, with this 6% damage nerf, it will not kill equal level goblins. This makes zap users (almost everyone right now) extremely vulnerable to goblins (including goblin barrel). With this nerf, prepare to see goblin barrels flying all over the arena, and over-leveled goblins running around. Spell-bait archetypes will be very popular with this nerf. Alternatives like tornado and arrows should see much more play, and even fire-spirits can make a comeback. Zap should still be a very good card, but now zap has weaknesses too.
Electro Wizard: Hitpoints +9%, Spawn Damage -6%
CR: The big news here is that Fireball will no longer take out an equivalently levelled Electro Wizard! Spawn damage reduction is for consistency with the Zap change above.
Cory: The Electro Wizard cannot be taken out by a fireball with equal level cards. This is a large buff, but it keeps consistency with other Wizards, and now makes it more of a threat. Electro Wizard has been a decent card, but isn’t as good as Musketeer or Mega Minion as a good back line supporter. This ruins the point of Electro Wizard in spell-bait decks though, as people will think twice about fireballing an Electro Wizard in the back. The spawn-damage nerf was to keep consistency with zap.
Mega Minion: Damage -4%, Hit Speed to 1.5sec (from 1.4sec)
CR: Mega Minion is a highly used and very valuable defensive option in need of toning down. Pulling the power from its damage, instead of hitpoints, felt like a better approach and more fitting with his armored theme – he’s still a Minion, but a tanky one!
Cory: A minor nerf to a very popular card. Mega minion is the most popular air and damage dealer in the game, and this nerf was a good way to tone it down. It should still do it’s job well, and continue to be popular, but the DPS will go down slightly.
Archers: Hitpoints -4%
CR: Archers are a top tier support card in the current meta. We’re looking to pull a little bit of power from them, but also aiming to keep their interactions with Elite Barbarians and Mega Minion the same after the above two changes.
Cory: The main point of the nerf is to allow Elite Barbarians and Mega Minion to keep one-shotting archers. Basically all other interactions will be the same. There shouldn’t be a reason for archer users now to stop using archers.
The Log: Damage -4%, knock back effect reduced
CR: Reducing The Log’s knock back effect won’t change its uniqueness – it’ll still be the only card that can knock back ALL troops. Our aim here is to lower how much control and displacement it brings to the Arena. The slight damage reduction will keep its interaction with Archers the same.
Cory: Supercell really loves nerfing things by 4%! The log nerf is again to keep interactions with archers the same. It should do a little less tower damage now. The knock-back will now be comparable to a Bowler’s knockback. Log will basically still be the same.
Ice Golem: Hitpoints -5%, Death Damage radius and slow duration reduced
CR: Ice Golem is a top tier defensive option and it currently offers too much control and value for 2 Elixir. However, we like the niche he fills as a 2 Elixir tank, so we’re tackling this with a hitpoint and control reduction.
Cory: Ice Golem deserved a slight nerf, and this does it’s job. Ice Golem hitpoints will slightly go down now, so it won’t be as tanky, but it will still do its job very well. The death damage radius and duration is also toned down, but shouldn’t make a big difference. I do think that Ice Golem will still be popular, and dethrone Zap as the number one used card after this balance patch.
Ice Spirit: Damage -10%
CR: Currently a lone Ice Spirit can bring an entire horde of Minions to within one hit each from a Crown Tower! That’s a bit too much of a positive Elixir trade for our tastes.
Cory: Ice spirit can cycle your deck for only one elixir, and does decent damage to small troops. Supercell believed that doing what zap does to a Minion Horde offers to much value for one elixir, so now it will do the same as an Ice Golem. It will still kill Skeletons and Fire Spirits at equal level card standards.
Wizard: Range +0.5
CR: The Wizard’s use rate is relatively low overall. A bit more range should make him a more compelling choice when stacked up against the other ranged support options.
Cory: The wizard is still outclassed by Musketeer, so this range buff allows Wizard to have the same range as the Ice Wizard. A Wizard can now hit a Princess on the other side of the map if placed right. This is a good way to buff Wizard without completely changing the meta (for example if lowered to four elixir).