Welcome to the first round of balance changes since global launch! The way we approach card balance in Clash Royale is a combination of playtesting and looking at the stats – in particular, card use rates and win rates across all levels of play. You can expect monthly balance changes to keep gameplay fine tuned and as fun as possible.
One of our core design principles is “offense over defense”, which you’ll no doubt hear us reference many times. We’re not entirely there yet, but we’ll be vigilantly tweaking and tuning cards in that general direction.
In this batch of changes we’re primarily looking to address a few frustrating defensive combinations and some underused cards:
X-Bow: Range decreased to 12 (from 13)
- We want to open the X-Bow up to a little bit more counterplay. A range reduction will mean you can no longer position it behind a Tesla, as well as across the river, and still hit your opponent’s tower!
Tesla: Hit speed decreased to 0.8sec (from 0.7sec), lifetime decreased to 40sec (from 60sec)
- The Tesla’s use rates and win rates don’t show it as being overpowered; however, another of core design principles is that all cards should have weaknesses and counters, whereas the Tesla doesn’t clearly have any. A lower hit speed will reduce its DPS versus bigger targets significantly, and also make it more vulnerable to groups of troops.
Cannon: Lifetime decreased to 30sec (from 40sec)
- The Cannon offers a bit too much defensive power and value for 3 Elixir. A lower lifetime will reduce its staying power.
Princess: Hitpoints decreased by 10%
- When playing with Tournament Rule card levels, as a baseline we think Arrows should be able take out the Princess for an even Elixir trade. This hitpoint reduction ensures that’s the case. Additionally, the Princess has a very high use rate and could do with some added vulnerability overall.
Ice Wizard: Damage increased by 5%
- The Ice Wizard’s main strength is control, but he could do with a little bit of extra damage to increase his value and make him more of a threat.
Prince: Charge speed decreased by 13%
- The Prince is currently the most used card in the game, but despite very popular opinion, he isn’t overpowered when looking at his win rates. However, his ability to take down a tower on his own when left unchecked can be quite startling. Slowing down his charge speed a notch will give more time to react and counter.
Dark Prince: Charge speed decreased by 13%
- Both Princes ride the same breed of horse, and therefore it makes perfect sense that they move at the same speed!
Valkyrie: Hitpoints and damage increased by 10%
- The Valkyrie’s use rates are quite low, as she still needs to find her place in the world. More damage and health should help her get there.
Royal Giant: Damage increased by 20%
- The Royal Giant’s use rates and win rates are very low, showing that he is clearly underpowered. We wanted to give him significantly more damage, instead of boosting his hitpoints, so he could fulfill his dreams of becoming a wrecking ball.
Giant: Damage increased by 5%
- Giving the Giant a bit more damage, instead of hitpoints, will make him a more compelling choice overall, without making him any more potent on defense.
Rage: Gives 40% movement and attack speed boost (from 35%), duration decreased by 20%
- Rage can be an exciting and surprising card to see in action, but it’s currently not quite strong enough to make the cut in most decks. By increasing the boost to 40% and lowering the duration, Rage will be a more intense and stronger offensive tool overall.
Poison: Damage increased by 5%
- Poison has fairly low use rates. A bit of damage over time will make it a more interesting choice next to Fireball and the other damage spells.
Mirror: Legendary Cards mirrored 1 level lower
- The Mirror is creating Legendary Cards at a disproportionately high level (slightly). After this change a level 5 Mirror will make a level 2 Legendary Card, and so on.
Three Musketeers: Cost decreased to 9 (from 10)
- Three Musketeers have a very low use rate. 9 Elixir will make them better value and less risk, hopefully increasing their allure.
Archers: Quicker initial attack (like Spear Goblins)
- The Archers’ use rate falls off after the early game, while the Spear Goblins remain popular across all levels. We’re making their initial attack quicker, so they’ll feel more responsive and effective.
Balloon: Hitpoints increased by 5%
- The Balloon has low use rates at the top, and many enemies (buildings!). More hitpoints should help it get to those towers!
Witch: Damage increased by 5%
- The Witch has very low use rates at the top. She needs a bit more damage to become relevant again.
Please leave your thoughts and feedback.
See you in the Arena,
The Clash Royale Team
Please note: These changes are not live yet – they’re coming on 3/23.