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Supercell Shakes Up the ‘Clash Royale’ Metagame Ahead of Launch

Clash Royale has been a fascinating game to watch evolve if you’re into the crazy spectator sport that is watching trends on the App Store. Obviously, being from Supercell there’s some massive expectations on the line when the game goes worldwide next month, but it’s also interesting to see how much they’ve been aggressively tuning the game during its soft launch period. Typically, when a game soft launches, at best you’ll see some very minor tweaks as a developer prepares for the influx of millions of players when the game goes global, but that’s not the case with Clash Royale, particularly with the latest update which once again has sucked me back into the game.

If you listen to our podcast, you’ve undoubtedly heard how much my jets had cooled on Clash Royale compared to when I was playing it practically 24/7 when it first appeared for download on the New Zealand App Store. A big reason for that was at my particular trophy level, nearly all the decks I was running into was the same old same old building-centric defense deck. If you hadn’t played against one of those, yet, here’s the gist-

Goblin Huts, Barbarian Huts and Tombstones spawn various units, and come with a very efficient elixir cost if they’re able to survive long enough to spawn a few waves of dudes. These cards are then supported by units like the Witch which also spawns skeletons. You get your defense in order, then get lucky enough to drop an X-Bow that goes unchecked long enough to knock down a tower, or just slow attrition via using spells, Goblin Barrels, and others. Most games against decks like this either end in stalemates or maybe with someone losing one tower, which not only is pretty boring but also makes grinding up your ten crowns for the crown chest feels like it takes way too long.

Well, a new balance update hit this morning, which already is going a long way in getting back to the original design idea behind Clash Royale, which Supercell points out is “offense over defense." Spells got nerfed pretty hard, and now do 20% less damage to towers, the Tombstone now only lasts 40 seconds down from 60, and the previously entirely-too-good Inferno Tower saw a similar duration nerf along with its HP getting reduced by 6%. Golems and Golemites got a tiny nerf too, with 5% of their HP getting chopped off.

Meanwhile, Skeletons themselves get a huge buff, with an 11% increase in both damage and HP, which pairs nicely with the Witch unit who gets her damage increased 3%. The Musketeer, which previously got nerfed a bit has since had her damage increased 11% as well.

It’s rad seeing the game getting actively tuned so quickly like this, as I’m a veteran of Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone, two games which are notoriously slow when it comes to responding to problem cards. In the world of Magic, you have to wait for them to ban a card that’s a problem which can leave broken decks unchecked for months, and Blizzard is similarly super slow to address problem cards/decks like Frothing Berserker and Patron Warrior.

Anyway, it seems like right now there’s two distinct groups on TouchArcade: Those who have played Clash Royale and love it, and people who haven’t downloaded it yet. If you haven’t tried the game yet, I really recommend following Carter’s guide on how to download soft launched games and give it a shot. There’s a reason everyone is so excited for this game to launch, which will be immediately apparent.