Thoughts on the latest Clash Royale Balance Change (2/13)

Editor’s Note: The introduction of the Executioner has completely changed the game’s meta, and the Clash Royale team is acting fast to tweak the card as well as buff up some underused classics.  As always, here’s Cory with the full breakdown of all the changes:

Executioner: Damage -6%, Range to 4.5 (from 5), axe hit radius -10%

SC: Executioner’s power level is clearly too high for a troop that does it all. However, this is partly due to a few bugs that we’re fixing in the next update, so we’re taking that into account with these changes. Reducing his damage, range and the amount of stuff his axe can hit at once should rein him in.

Cory: The Executioner is debatably the most overpowered card in the game right now. Along with a couple of bugs that allowed the Executioner to stun and hit all troops around it, this change will try to bring down executioner usage rates (which is extremely high). The damage nerf shouldn’t change too many interactions, but should make it less of a threat to deal with The range decrease and hit radius will make the area denial smaller, so swarm troops will have an easier time with Executioner. Overall, this Executioner will not be the same after the update, but will continue to be one of the best splash cards in the game.

Poison: Duration to 8sec (from 10sec), Damage per second +24%

SC: After this change Poison will be more reliable at getting its damage down. It’ll deal more damage with each tick, but roughly the same damage over the duration. Skeletons will pop in one tick (instead of two), making it much better against Skeleton Army and Graveyard – and a viable alternative to Fireball again.

Cory: Supercell didn’t want poison to be the same poison it was during the Goison era, but Poison has still be underused ever since the nerf. With this buff, Poison will now be a hard counter to the popular Graveyard, and make it take down troops faster (Skeleton Army, Archers, Minions, Guards, Goblins, etc) than before.  This makes Poison competitive against Fireball, and you should start seeing a lot more Poisons around the arena.

Witch: Damage +6%

SC: Her use rate is really low in the later Arenas and high-win Challenges, but it’s quite good elsewhere. We’re looking to give her a small boost without overpowering her in the early game. This change will allow her to one-shot equally leveled Skeletons.

Cory: This damage buff made Witch a whole lot better. Being able to one shot Skeletons (Skeleton Army, Graveyard, Tombstone, etc.) makes Witch efficient against Graveyard and Skeleton Army, two very popular cards right now. She should be much more enticing to use, and maybe a good alternative to the Executioner.

P.E.K.K.A: Deploy Time to 1sec (from 3sec)

SC: We’re aiming to make P.E.K.K.A feel more usable and a bit more nimble to play, without breaking her identity as a big, burly robot.

Cory: Although P.E.K.K.A. was a good counter to many cards in the game, its long deploy time made it worse than cards such as Mini P.E.K.K.A. that are able to clean up cards faster. With a deploy time to 1 second, you can drop it on cards like Elite Barbarians, Hog Rider and Battle Ram, and be able to completely deny damage. If tanks such as Giant and Royal Giant continue to be popular, P.E.K.K.A. should see a rise in usage.

Dark Prince: Hitpoints +5%

SC: He’s been considered a lower tier card for some time, as his stats aren’t quite there when compared to other 4 Elixir options. More hitpoints should allow him to charge around the Arena with a bit more success!

Cory: The Dark Prince has always been a bad splash card, and the low hitpoints along with mediocre damage makes other splash cards look more enticing. A small hitpoint buff shouldn’t make a difference, but players that are using the Dark Prince currently should see it get a few more swings on the field.

Baby Dragon: Range to 3.5 (from 3)

SC: Baby Dragon is a fun and iconic card that doesn’t see a lot of play. A bit more range should make it more appealing.

Cory: The Baby Dragon is outshined by cards such as Executioner, Valkyrie, and Ice Wizard. A range buff will make it stronger against Minion Hordes, and it will hit the tower from further away now (and with its fast speed, the Baby Dragon should be able to get to the tower pretty fast).

Skeletons: Skeleton Count to 4 (from 3)

SC: Since Ice Spirit joined the Arena, the 1 Elixir slot has become more competitive, so we’re bringing back the 4th Skeleton! This change (aka, +33% more calcium) will give Skeletons a lot more value as a distraction tool. Ledoot returns!

Cory: The Ice Spirit has been the prevalent 1 elixir card since July of last year. Even after multiple nerfs to the Ice Spirit, Skeletons have always been outclassed. With Ledoot returning to join his mates again, Skeletons will now be 33% stronger than it was before, and a nice alternative to not only Ice Spirit, but Goblins, Guards and even Skeleton Army. We hope that Skeletons won’t get too out of hand like before.

Skeleton Army: Skeleton Count to 15 (from 16)

SC: A critical change to maintain the delicate balance of “Skeletal equilibrium” within the Arena.

Cory: After Ledoot goes back to his other friends, the skeleton army will be missing one member. This shouldn’t change much, and skeleton army should continue to be popular (unless poison or the new changes to Witch, Dark Prince and Baby Dragon completely shut it down).

Final Thoughts: With changes to FOUR splash cards, Supercell should really stop releasing splash cards. One is always going to be prevalent above others, but hopefully this change will even out the competition. Along with stronger splash cards, and a better Poison, will Skeleton Army still be good? Will guards come back to the meta? We’re excited to find out.



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  2. Gavin

    I know it’s a bit old, but
    ” The Dark Prince has always been a bad splash card”
    i disagree, dark prince is a very powerful but very underrated card, he can take out the entire elite barbarians alone! yes, weaker than the prince twice, but he can actually do a lot of damage alone, can take out the witch without supports, if he is not underrated, he can be quite great

  3. nonudechan

    The biggest complaint I notice throughout the community right now is people saying the royal giant is OP. The new balance change is going to make him.


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