Hello! My friends at Starfi.re sent me the Battle Decks from players in the Global Top 200 at the end of last season. I analyzed the decks to produce lists of the most popular cards and decks at the top of the ladder. These lists may help you decide which cards to request from your clanmates, purchase with gold, and ultimately include in your deck.
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DISCLAIMER: Supercell just announced a new round of balance changes coming (6/12) that will shake up the metagame and affect the power level of some top cards. In particular, Night Witch, Tornado, Goblin Gang, and Skeletons are being hit hard, which means these top cards will almost certainly decline in usage.
Skeletons are by far the most-used card at the top of the ladder! Offering a cheap cycle and decent distraction, the bone brothers are well-deserving of a nerf and are widely expected to drop in usage after the 12 June balance update. We had a good run, boys! Tornado increased in usage more than any other card this snapshot, up to the #2 spot! It strictly outclasses several other defensive options like Cannon and Tombstone by allowing defenders to pull attacking troops straight onto the King Tower for early activation. The upcoming duration reduction nerf will mean it no longer kills Goblins, but I still expect it to be widely used.
The Log slipped back a bit in usage, but still ranks high at #3. It gets so much value rolling over small ground troops like the popular Goblin Gang (which comes in at #4) and Goblin Barrel (down slightly in usage). Upcoming nerfs to these two cards should slightly drop their usage, which may indirectly improve the viability of the Princess and Dart Goblin. The Knight stands ready as the stalwart defender of most mid-sized pushes. His common rarity makes him easily accessible to newcomers in the Arena, and his good sense to fight back against attackers makes him preferred to the lumpy Ice Golem. Zippy Zap still sees high use rates in beatdown decks, often as a soft counter to light attacks in the early game, and to bolster big pushes in double-elixir time.
Mega Minion faces a challenge from the Baby Dragon for airborne supremacy. While the MM swipes down ground targets and buzzes behind big bodies, the Baby Dragon is almost always paired with Tornado and some other form of splash damage so that enemies can be clumped up and burned down. The Elixir Collector remains popular for the top two heavy beatdown decks, but is a perfect target for Lightning, Rocket, and Miner, all of which are on the rise. Ice Spirit dipped in usage, but may soon make a comeback to support cycle with a drop in value for Skeletons.
Night Witch held a reign of terror for a few weeks before being nerfed. As a recently introduced legendary card, she was expensive to level up quickly but was still seen in nearly one-quarter of all top decks. Speaking of scary ladies, the Three Musketeers solidified their position as the win condition of the most popular ladder deck. As a rare card, the ladies are easy to upgrade to max level and they work very well on the counterattack against other beatdown decks. Battle Ram is their preferred escort, while Minion Horde ensures air superiority (and is now strongly preferred over 3-elixir Minions).
The Graveyard spell is a close second in the ranking of popular win condition cards. It works extremely well with beefy splash damage units that can survive Lightning, such as the Executioner. The spell is tied with Hog Rider, who suffered a setback this season and may slip even more due to indirect nerfs to other cards that play well with him. Giant is holding on strong and has been relieved to see fewer Inferno Towers built in the Arena, perhaps because Lava Hound and Balloon have fled from the sight of so many Musketeers roaming about. The same could be said for Golem, which has remained relatively stable and awaits a resurgence of X-Bow decks to pulverize.
Three Musketeers Beatdown (39 appearances): Three Musketeers, Battle Ram, Elixir Collector, Goblin Gang, Zap, Skeletons, Minion Horde, PICK ONE- [Miner] (25) OR [Knight] (13)
Golem Beatdown (18 appearances): Golem, Baby Dragon, Lightning, Skeletons, Mega Minion, Tornado, Night Witch, and PICK ONE- [Elixir Collector] (11) OR [The Log] (10)
X-Bow Siege (15 appearances): X-Bow, Fireball, The Log, Mega Minion, Ice Spirit, Knight, and PICK ONE SET- [Inferno Tower, Skeletons] (12) OR [Executioner, Tornado] (3)
Hog Rider-Lightning Control (15 appearances): Hog Rider, Skeletons, Tornado, The Log, Lightning, Executioner, Ice Spirit, PICK ONE- [Knight] (9) OR [Ice Golem] (5)
Bowler-Graveyard Control (14 appearances): Bowler, Graveyard, Skeletons, Poison, Tornado, Knight, Baby Dragon, and PICK ONE- [Mega Minion] (9) OR [Electro Wizard] (4)
Hog Rider-Rocket Control (12 appearances): Hog Rider, Skeletons, Tornado, Knight, Zap, Princess, Rocket, Goblin Gang
Goblin Logbait (12 appearances): Goblin Gang, Goblin Barrel, Knight, Princess, Rocket, The Log, and PICK ONE SET- [Inferno Tower, Ice Spirit] (8) OR [Dart Goblin, Tornado] (4)
Executioner-Graveyard Control (10 appearances): Executioner, Graveyard, Skeletons, Poison, Tornado, Baby Dragon, Night Witch, and PICK ONE- [Knight] (6) OR [Ice Golem] (4)
Giant-Swarm Beatdown (8 appearances): Giant, Night Witch, Zap, Lightning, Baby Dragon, Miner, Mega Minion, Goblin Gang
Giant Beatdown (6 appearances): Giant, Lightning, Baby Dragon, The Log, Skeletons, Tornado, and PICK ONE SET- [Night Witch, Miner] (4) OR [Musketeer, Bowler] (2)
Giant-Graveyard Beatdown (6 appearances): Giant, Graveyard, Skeletons, Mega Minion, Electro Wizard, Fireball, Arrows, The Log
Hog Rider Swarm (6 appearances): Hog Rider, Goblin Gang, Goblin Barrel, Arrows, Fireball, Inferno Tower, Skeleton Army, The Log
Lava Hound-Balloon Beatdown (5 appearances): Lava Hound, Balloon, Minions, Mega Minion, Goblin Gang, Arrows, Tombstone, and PICK ONE- [Lightning] (2) OR [Fireball] (2)
Giant-Minions Beatdown (4 appearances): Giant, Zap, Miner, Fireball, Musketeer, Minions, Minion Horde, The Log
What conclusions do you draw from these numbers? Share in the comments below, send me a tweet @Woody_CR, tune into my YouTube channel, or discuss it with me on my Twitch stream where you can subscribe for FREE with Amazon Prime!
View the raw data here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwjlik6zlomPcThpcWExTlRlbWs/view?usp=sharing
Card Popularity Table
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