During this balance change, Supercell nerfed the four most heavily complained cards–the E-wiz, Furnace, Royal Giant, and Elite Barbarians. Will this balance change bring down the usage of these cards dramatically, or will they do nothing on the usage rates of these cards?
Royal Giant: Deploy Time to 2sec (from 1sec)
SC: Tweaking his deploy time gives the defender a bit more time to react to Royal Giants played at the bridge or in the pocket (on your side of the Arena once a tower is down). Listen to the latest episode of Radio Royale for more insight on this change and some of the others below!
Cory: The most common play style of the Royal Giant is to plop him right at the bridge, then back him up with minions or spells. With this change, defenders will have another whole second to prepare against the Royal Giant. This change is most appreciated when the defender has a tower down. Since it’s almost impossible to prevent any damage from the Royal Giant when the opponent drops him on your side of the map, this one second deploy time increase will allow defenders to quickly play their defensive building or troops and prevent much more damage than before. Overall, I don’t think usage rates will go down a whole lot, but the Royal Giant will be much less effective in tournaments and ladder.
Elite Barbarians: Hitpoints -4%, initial attack comes 0.1sec slower
SC: This change will make Elite Barbarians a bit easier to deal with. They’ll still be a threat and can take down big dudes on defense before going on a counter push, but they won’t be quite as punishing.
Cory: Similar to the Royal Giant, the Elite Barbarian isn’t truly over-powered. However, being a common, it is easy to over-level (overpowering you once its level is higher than your cards). Lowering their health points will make them easier to counter; the initial hit speed nerf will not change things too much, but may make a trade difference in tight situations. Overall this is a suggestive nerf, meaning Supercell isn’t trying to discourage players from using the card, but to slightly nerf it so it’s easier to counter. Don’t expect usage rates to drop a lot.
Furnace: Hitpoints -5%
SC: Furnace offers really nice support to your offense, but its high hitpoints also make it a bit too strong on defense. A small tweak will help here.
Cory: An annoying card to deal with, a Furnace can burn and chip your tower very efficiently. A health point nerf will benefit Fireballs, Poisons, Lightnings, etc. and can even make a difference in how many waves it spawns. As with above, this shouldn’t do too much in usage rates, but the Furnace will be slightly less annoying than before.
Goblin Hut: Hitpoints +5%
SC: Goblin Hut has lived in the shadow of the Furnace for long enough! This change, in conjunction with the one above, should make them both interesting and viable options depending on your deck.
Cory: Ever since the furnace had a lifetime increase to 50 seconds, it has overshadowed the Goblin Hut. Supercell is hoping to see more people try out the Goblin Hut and use it instead of the Furnace. Overall, I don’t think Goblin Hut will come close to being in the meta, but it will be just as annoying to play against as the Furnace.
Electro Wizard: Hit Speed to 1.8sec (from 1.7sec)
SC: Electro Wizard offers a bit too much damage and control for a ranged support troop. A lower hit speed will tone him down in both areas.
Cory: This is technically a 10% dps nerf, which is a whole card level. Nerfing the health will make Fireball usage rates sky-rocket, so they don’t want to do that. Instead, tuning down the hit speed will make the e-wiz slightly less powerful, and if it’s a big enough difference, cards such as Ice Wizard and Executioner might see usage rates go up.
Executioner: Damage +6%
SC: Now that all of the Executioner’s bugs have been ironed out, we can return him to his former glory! This will also make him a great option for countering the increasingly popular Lava Hound based decks.
Cory: Speaking of Executioner, he is getting a 6% damage buff. This is an indirect counter to the popular Lava-loon combo, and if that strategy continues to be popular, prepare to see a lot of axes fly around. This can also be an indirect buff to Tornado, as people like to use these two cards together. Overall, Executioner usage rates should go up, and Lava-loon users will have a harder time to execute their combo.
Balloon: Death Damage delay to 3sec (from 1sec)
SC: It’s great to see the Balloon become a more viable offense card since the last change; however, we’d like to add a bit more Death Damage delay to allow for better counterplay.
Cory: On the topic of Lava-loon, this change will allow fast troops to escape the death damage, and troops placed in front of the balloon will be unlikely to take the death damage. Placement of troops is now even more important when it comes to Lava-loon, because you don’t want your squishy air-targeting troops (Minions, Archers, Spear Goblins) to die from the death damage. I think this will make a big impact in Lava-loon strategy, and is a good nerf to that combo.
Skeleton Army: Skeleton count decreased to 14 (from 15)
SC: Another critical change to maintain the delicate balance of “Skeletal equilibrium” within the Arena. Probably.
Cory: With spell-bait becoming very popular, skeleton army is receiving a tiny nerf. This shouldn’t change much anyway, as a couple of skeletons usually can’t hit the target due to the amount of skeletons hoarding the opposing troop. Don’t expect usage rates of skeleton army or spell-bait to decrease.
Lumberjack: Hitpoints +4%
SC: He’s strong, fast and drops an interesting Rage effect, but in many situations he simply lacks the hitpoints to be really effective. A few more will help!
Cory: I don’t really like this buff, as it doesn’t do anything to differentiate the Lumberjack at all. I still expect to see cards like Mini-Pekka and Knight to be more popular, but this buff will allow the lumberjack to take one more hit from a lot of cards.