I think most players can agree on this one. The zap was the most used card in the previous season’s global top 100 players. It is a must need card against bait decks, which also comes with an amazingly useful stun capability. It’s a great substitute for the log for F2P players, it’s also seen a lot more than the log in ladder play as it is much easier to level up a common card. The zap spell can fit into any deck and for only 2 elixir it is great for cycling and keeping the average elixir cost of a deck low.
After their damage and health increase, elite barbs have become truly devastating. It is truly a unique troop in this game. Usually they are used as a second win condition in decks. Lots of players are replacing buildings for elite barbs because of their defensive capabilities and their High DPS, capable of ripping through tanks.
Tip: If you are playing against elite barbs you must be full aware of your opponents elixir, your opponent rushing with elite barbs can deal a massive amount of damage on your tower if you don’t have enough elixir to defend. This obviously happens very often, which is why everyone thinks they are overpowered (but maybe they are!).
The Ice spirit provides great value for only 1 elixir. Here are some of it’s functions:
Help your deck cycle
Synergise really well with hog pig-pushes
On defense it can stop cards like mega minion/archers/minions from doing damage on your tower
On defense it provides great value when it freezes enemy troops, allowing more time for your troops to survive and deal damage
The ice spirit is definitely very popular for these obvious reasons.
The fourth spot on this list required some more thought. After considering archers, knight and skeletons, I finally decided that the minions are currently better. Minions have seen a rise in popularity in order to counter graveyard. Whereas the previous Meta was all about the mega minion + archers combo, in this Meta I’m seeing a lot more of minions + musketeer. For only 3 elixir they provide very high DPS, capable of shredding through lone tanks. A great support card.
BEST RARE CARDS
This was the second most used card in the previous season’s global top 100 players. Defensively it is extremely useful for tanking against support troops, allowing your own troops to kill the tank (win condition). It’s death damage synergies extremely well with the hog, killing all the skeletons from a skarmy. The ice golem also synergises very well with the zap, together they can kill minions and minion horde.
Offensively you will mostly see the ice golem used with hog pushes, replacing the Valkyrie in the previous Trifecta Meta. For only 2 elixir it can counter elite barbs with the help of an ice spirit (precisely perfect placement is needed). Overall definitely the best rare card in my opinion.
The fireball is the best card to use in ladder play in my opinion. With lots of players playing overleveled wizards, witches, barbarians and minion horde, I think the fireball provides so much value. At tournament standards, a fireball is able to kill barbarians with the help of the ice golem’s death damage, which is a common scenario with hog pushes.
Almost all of the popular graveyard decks require the fireball to kill the cards that counter the fireball (archers, minions). Defensively paired with a zap/log it can kill the musketeer, witch, wizard, archers, minions, mega minion etc. Killing these support cards is a crucial part in defending any push.
Extremely popular in tournaments. The furnace is a card that is heavily requested for a nerf. At tournament standards it is just so powerful because your opponent must react to every fire spirit spawning as each one does nearly the damage of a fireball. If left ignored a lone furnace can deal around 1300 damage on a tower. Not only does it provide offensive control of the game, it is a great defensive card with enough HP to counter a lone hog. However the furnace is not a great card for ladder play. A furnace one level below your opponent will mean that your fire spirits will not reach their tower, completely removing the furnace’s functionality.
The megaminion is just an extremely well rounded troop, effective in many areas. It has high DPS, but not as high minions. One of the reasons that makes it so good is that it can survive fireball. This makes the 3 elixir card much more reliable on defense. Against a lone hog, ice spirit + mega minion can shut it down completely. It’s present in many giant/golem beatdown decks and in all lavahound decks because it is so useful as a support card. The mega minion was in third place after the ice golem in the previous season’s global top 100.
BEST EPIC CARDS
This was the most used epic card, and the sixth most used card in last season’s global top 100 players. For only 3 elixir the DPS that it offers is extraordinary, the skeletons are capable of shredding any tank if left alone. Skarmy not only is used for killing the tank, it is also great for killing the tank’s support cards. Obviously zap/log/ice golem are this card’s main weakness. Because of this, skarmy shines in spell bait decks. If your opponent has no zap/log in cycle, the skarmy can counter almost everything!
Bowler graveyard is the deck archetype that I see most often winning tournaments/top of ladder. The bowler is a tank for the graveyard, just like the giant, but it can also defend very well against ground troops. The rise in Elite barbs has led to the rise of the bowler as the bowler is a hard counter to it. In my opinion you have to be very skilled to use the bowler, as it is a very slow card and very weak to air so in order to win with it you must be very good at controlling the game.
Surprisingly the freeze is making a come back! The freeze is more effective the higher you are in ladder, because just like the rage spell it increases by time every time you upgrade it. For those you can’t picture this, let me explain this hypothetical scenario (All numbers are made up):
At lvl 4, assume a freeze can freeze a crown tower and allow your hog to get 4 hits on its own dealing 30% damage on the tower HP.
At lvl 8, freezing a tower allows 6 shots from your hog. Dealing 50% damage on the tower HP.
So even though your freeze isn’t overleveled at lvl 8 because you are playing against lvl 13’s, it is more effective than a tournament standard freeze as it allows your troops to get more shots. The freeze spell is now often seen in hog/elite barbs decks, balloon decks, and of course graveyard freeze. So overall a great card if used correctly!
The recent update was big, changing lots of cards, so the balloon buff almost went unnoticed. Eventually, people realised that it is very good, it’s now increased death damage allows it to kill minions/princess/skeletons and damage the crown tower (250 damage I think). The balloon ice golem combo has been appearing in tournaments and at the top of ladder play. The balloon most evidently synergises with the lavahound, the balloon lavahound decks consistently works in tournaments, challenges, and at the top of ladder.
BEST LEGENDARY CARDS (GETTING SERIOUS NOW)
In competitive tournament play, I would say roughly 50% of the top 10 players in each tournament is using a graveyard Deck. The recent Crown Duel tournament was also won by backtabx, a graveyard player. It can synergise very well in a variety of decks, for example bowler graveyard, giant graveyard, barb hut graveyard, elite barbs graveyard; although the popularity in elite barbs has killed the usage of hog graveyard/miner graveyard. Graveyard skeletons will always get one shotted by the crown tower anyways (unless your crown tower is a lvl 1 or something), so in theory each upgrade of this legendary card increases its effectiveness exponentially, similar to the freeze and rage theory, but more difficult to understand.
The legendary rival of the zap (intended pun) is extremely similar, and it can fit into almost any deck. Although it cannot target air, it is more effective at pushing ground troops back, basically giving an even longer stun effect than the zap although it won’t reset sparky/inferno. It also does more damage than the zap, allowing it to take out princess and the newly released dart goblin. Overall it is just extremely useful in so many scenarios, there’s no need to talk about it more.
Although the rise in the log meant a decreasing popularity with the Princess, it is still one of the best cards in the game, you mostly see it in bait decks these days.
It’s formidable tower escaping range makes it so effective as your opponent must respond to it.
She is always one of the best Legendaries in Clash Royale.
This was a hard choice between the miner, but I settled for the lavahound as the miner has seen a big decrease in popularity. The lavahound is one of the least versatile cards in the game, if you choose to use it in a deck, the cards you build around it are very specific (miner, balloon, inferno dragon, minions, mega minion etc.). Yet these decks are so effective, they have been consistently present on the leaderboards for quite some time now. Some effective combo’s:
Hound + Miner allows the miner to tank for the lava ups
Hound + Balloon is very powerful, the balloon is already such a powerful card on it’s own, paired with the lavahound makes this combo very hard to stop
That is it guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this post! I’m sorry if I missed any of your favorite cards!
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