Supercell Defends Knight Nerf in Latest ‘Clash Royale’ Balance Changes

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The latest balance update for Supercell’s Clash Royale (Free) has players angry about nerfs to the Knight card. The balance changes just launched on February 12th, but Supercell today defended their move to reduce the Knight’s hit points by 6%. While this is a minor change, the community is angry about a common card getting nerfed, which grants more power to higher-rarity counters.

It might’ve looked like his use rate wasn’t very high, but this was heavily shadowed by the fact that the Mega Knight/Skeleton Barrel cycle decks were dominating and making everything else look relatively low by comparison.

Knight is still used quite a lot and is a pretty key component in, for example, the – still heavily used – Log/Zap bait deck with Princess and Goblin Barrel, and the fast Balloon cycle deck. For 3 Elixir he gives some extremely strong defensive power and allows for some decent cycling in fast decks.

One key reasoning for nerfing Knight now is that we had a meta where cards like Valkyrie and Mini P.E.K.K.A should be really good alternatives to the Knight, but they sit at nearly ~0% use rate in top level play. They are so outperformed by the Knight that we felt like he needed some toning down to make these other troops more comparable.

As such, nerfing this card should theoretically increase the variety of the meta, as counters become more viable to the Knight. However, Reddit users make the point that this isn’t exactly a one-to-one scenario. The Knight’s common rarity makes it easier for players who don’t spend a lot on the game to raise it up. The Valkyrie and Mini PEKKA, each being rare, are harder for players to level up to serve as an effective counter to the Knight. So, this comes across as a move that placates top-tier players who might have the time and money to level up cards with greater rarity, at the expense of the larger community.

This is the challenge with any kind of games-as-a-service title like this, though. What’s good for the high-level and competitive scenes might not be good for the plebeians, and vice versa, not to mention that Supercell is still looking out for its bottom line. It might just take time for the meta to shake out from here, and players might find a new common card that works well in the meta, particularly for those free-to-play Clash Royale players.

The February 12th balance update also started to tease a new unit, the Magic Archer. Players are starting to uncover the details for this Legendary unit. He will boast a magic arrow that damages all enemies in its path, doing area damage to air and ground units, and a projectile range of 11. The width of the projectile might make or break this new troop, though.

Magic Archer Stats! from ClashRoyale

Here’s the full list of balance changes from the February 12th update:

  • Mega Knight: Spawn and Jump Damage -25%; Deployment radius reduced (deployment won’t hit beyond bridge and river)
  • Skeleton Barrel: Skeleton count 8 → 6
  • Knight: Hitpoints -6%
  • Inferno Dragon: Switches between targets slower
  • Valkyrie: Hit Speed 1.5sec → 1.4sec
  • Bandit: Minimum Dash Range 4 → 3.5
  • Dark Prince: Hit Speed 1.4sec → 1.3sec; Hitpoints +5%
  • Magic Archer: Preparing for the Arena…

A three-stage Lunar New Year challenge is running until Friday, February 16th, at 3:00 AM EST. The first free entry stage has players collecting 10 Crowns to win 1000 coins and unlock Stage 2. Stage 2 has players fighting to get six wins before losing three times, with a top prize of three copies of a mystery card along with 600 coins and 25 cards. The final stage has players fighting to get nine wins before losing three times, with a Legendary Chest, 6000 coins, and 300 cards available for those who take home the top prize.

The Lunar New Year event and these latest balance changes are now live in Clash Royale.

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