1) Clash Royale first softlaunched on iOS on January 4, 2016, exclusively to eight select countries: Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, I lived in the United States, but was still able to download Clash Royale from the Canadian app store by changing my location.
2) You had to pay Gold to battle multiplayer or friendly battles. This severely limited playing as it meant that you would have to spend your Gold on battles, rather than saving them for upgrades.
3) January 11, 2016 – At this early stage of the game, the Prince, Witch, and Goblin Barrel were considered the best cards in the game and were immediately nerfed by end of the first week the game was launched.
4) February 2, 2016 – This was one of the biggest balance update.
5) Friendly Battles began incorporating Tournament Standard level caps for fair-play matches.
6) The Freeze Spell was the best card in the game by far due to its 4 tile radius and long duration. So it received a much needed nerf, decreasing its radius to 3 tiles. Funny thing is, even after this big nerf, the Freeze Spell was still the best card in the game for months.
7) The X-Bow was the most hated card in the game. It was a nightmare for new players to deal with as it was a highly reactive card. It was a super strong card as it only took 3 seconds to deploy and target and had lots of Hit Points and also had an insane 13 tile range. So this card received a 15% HP decrease and was limited to only targeting ground units. Yes, the X-Bow used to also target air units.
8) The Pekka went from being a 8 Elixir card to a 7 Elixir card.
9) Almost all defensive buildings had their lifetimes significantly decreased as these buildings made defending too easy, to the point where gameplay was severely slowed down, leading to lots of draws.
10) The Cannon and Mortar both used to cost 6 Elixir. Because of their high cost and inability to target air units like the Inferno Tower, they were rarely used, so their Elixir costs were significantly reduced. Cannon became 3 Elixir and Mortar became 4 Elixir.
11) February 9, 2016: The Tombstone was the strongest and most used defensive building in the game, spawning 6 Skeletons when it was destroyed. So the Skeleton count was reduced to 4 Skeletons instead.
12) The Musketeer used to cost 5 Elixir, but the Wizard overshadowed her as he was much better because he was able to do splash damage, damaging multiple units within his vicinity unlike the Musketeer, who was only a single target attacker. So the Musketeer’s cost was reduced to 4 Elixir.
13) February 19, 2016: Spell cards such as the Rocket and Fireball used to do so much damage to Crown Towers, to the point where players would just use a bunch of buildings in their deck with little to no offense and just keep Rocketing your tower to win the game. This was actually a powerful strategy and quickly became super annoying. So damage to Crown Towers by Spells were reduced by 20%.
14) With almost all defensive buildings being nerfed, the Hog Rider was the king of the game. And the deadliest combination in the game at this time was with Hog Rider and Freeze Spell.
15) February 29, 2016:
Six new cards were introduced: Princess, Ice Wizard, Royal Giant, Three Musketeers, Dark Prince, and Poison. The two new Legendary cards proved to be insanely good for the cost of only 3 Elixir, becoming must have cards.
Meanwhile the Royal Giant was considered to be one of the worst cards in the game, being laughed at by most players.
The Poison Spell was the most underrated card in the game. It was an extremely powerful card when it had the ability to slow down troops and buildings, but it was overshadowed by Freeze Spell for a very long time.
16) The Arrows card was the most used card in the game since day 1 of soft launch, but one of the single biggest game-changing balance update was made this day. The Zap Spell was given a 1 second Stun effect. The Zap Spell quickly went from being one of the least used cards to being the most used card the game.
17) At this time of the game, the most powerful deck was considered to be a deck that took advantage of both Princess and Ice Wizard along with Pekka, Prince, and Dark Prince. All of these cards are either Legendarys or Epics, which made it very difficult for free-to-play players to compete against other players who could spend a lot of money unlocking and upgrading these cards.
18) March 2, 2016 – The day Clash Royale was released globally on iOS and Android.
19) March 23, 2016 – The Princess and Ice Wizard both had their HP decreased. While the Prince and Dark Prince both had their charge speeds decreased by 13%. This was due to the popular Pekka Double Prince deck taking over the meta, being overused by top players.
20) This is also when the Royal Giant started seeing buffs. The Royal Giant was given a monstrous 20% damage increase. He became a great card, but very few people used him, and he was still laughed at. We should’ve respected the Royal Giant more.
21) Along with the Poison Spell, the Giant was also one of the most underrated cards in the game. On February 2nd, the Giant got a 5% HP increase, and on March 23rd, the Giant got another 5% HP increase. The Giant was an insanely powerful card, but most people just preferred to use Hog Rider or Golem or Pekka instead. It took a while for people to realize how crazy the Giant was, especially with all these buffs he was getting under the radar. The Poison Spell also got a 5% damage increase, but boy, if people only knew how crazy the combination of Giant and Poison was at this time.
Jason – The first Clash Royale Championship!
22) 4/16/2016 – The Helsinki Tournament
A live tournament with over 200 participants, full of top players, was held in Helsinki, Finland. The champion of this tournament was Jason, who won with an unique strategy, using a Giant beatdown deck with the Elixir Collector. Although this strategy is everywhere today, many players back then were unfamiliar with it, until Jason dominated the tournament with it in spectacular fashion. The Giant was finally revered as a top tier card. The Elixir Collector also received a lot of recognition. Many people didn’t realize it, but the Elixir Collector was the most overpowered card in the game.
23) April 3, 2016 – This was also one of the biggest balance change update in Clash Royale. Players started receiving Gold for winning battles and more Gold was placed inside chests.
24) Six new cards were introduced: Fire Spirits, Furnace, Guards, Lava Hound, Sparky, and Miner.
25) The Royal Giant was given a 1 tile range increase, which allowed it to outrange most defensive buildings, most notably the Inferno Tower. This was another big buff to the Royal Giant, and his usage started to rise and rise.
26) May 3, 2016 – At this time, the Royal Giant was everywhere. It didn’t take long for him take over the meta because he’s a Common card, making it easy to level him up quickly. The Royal Giant quickly went from being one of the worst cards in the game, to the most hated card to battle against in the game. The X-Bow was the most hated card for about four months, but to this day, the Royal Giant is still the most hated card. It’s been 10 months, and so many people still despise the Royal Giant.
27) At this time, the Miner was the best card in the game. Most top players were using the Miner in their decks. But surprisingly, he was given an additional 6% HP increase.
28) May 18, 2016 – The Cannon got a 5% HP decrease, after getting an 11% HP decrease two weeks before that, and a 10 second lifetime decrease before that update. The Cannon was getting nerfed more and more every update. Funny thing was, it didn’t stop there. A month later, the Cannon got another 8% HP nerf.
29) Surprisingly, even after the Cannon got nerfed a crazy amount of times, it was still one of the most used defenses in the game because the Hog Rider was everywhere and the Cannon was the cheapest answer.
30) Hog Rider with Freeze Spell was still super good, being the favorite combination by top players for months until this update. Freeze Spell got another big nerf, this time it received a 1 second duration decrease. This opened doors to the Poison Spell, which was hiding in the shadows for far too long. It also opened doors to one of the strongest decks in the game at that time, the Hog Trifecta, which used Hog Rider, Valkyrie, and Musketeer together with the Poison Spell. And the synergy behind this deck was crazy good.
31) While the most hated card, the Royal Giant, only received a 4% HP decrease.
32) The cost of Furnace went from 5 Elixir to 4 Elixir, which was a very big buff, but it took time for people to realize just how deadly it was.
33) June 21, 2016 – For the first time, the Hog Rider got a nerf, a 6% HP decrease. But that was very small, and the Hog Rider continued to be one of the most used cards in the game. The Hog Rider is one of the most important cards in the game, and I feel like it’s currently an untouchable card. I don’t expect it to ever get another nerf.
34) The 1 Elixir Skeletons went from spawning 4 Skeletons to 3 Skeletons. It was an insanely good card, offering so much value for only 1 Elixir, so this nerf wasn’t surprising.
35) Cannon again received another 8% HP nerf. It’s crazy to think just how much HP the Cannon used to have after getting nerfed five straight balance changes.
36) July 4, 2016 – On Independence Day, four new cards were introduced: Ice Spirit, Bowler, The Log, Lumberjack. Ice Spirit quickly became a top 5 card in the game. While The Log was surprisingly one of the least used cards in the game and was often laughed at. The Log at this time did not push back bigger Ground units such as Giant and Prince. The Zap Spell was still the most used card the game by far.
37) A new Tournaments game mode was introduced, which is currently known as Custom Tournament. At this time players were able to create a tournament with an insane 200,000 gems, where the top player can win 15,000 cards. Fun fact, I was the winner of the first 800 player tournament by Supercell. I won 6,000 cards by coming in first place. I used a deck with Miner and Goblin Barrel. I then won 10,000 cards coming in 2nd place in a 1,000 player tournament that week with a Sparky deck. Sparky used to be a great card back then.
38) After a couple of weeks in the highly competitive 200,000 gems tournaments, a new deck rose. This was, in my opinion, the most powerful deck of its era. The Giant Poison Beatdown deck, which popularly consisted of Giant, Poison, Elixir Collector, Musketeer, Mini Pekka or Prince or Bowler. I was killing it in tournaments, until all of a sudden this deck showed up. It was the most annoying deck to face because it simply had no weakness, and if your opponent had the Elixir Collector in their starting hand, it gave them a huge advantage. And at this time, the Zap Spell was given the power to reset the Inferno Tower, making the Zap Spell even better, and Giant even better.
39) September 19, 2016 – Four new cards were introduced: The Mega Minion, Ice Golem, Inferno Dragon, and Graveyard.
Supercell finally allowed players to mute Emotes. After stating that they wouldn’t allow players to disable emotes, Supercell received a lot of criticism from the community. But Supercell did listen to the community, and they did give us the power to mute emotes.
40) Challenge Mode was added and it quickly became my favorite feature in the game. Finally, I was able to use my skill to obtain lots of cards at a great deal. Because of this, I’m almost a maxed level player right now.
41) Giant received a 5% HP nerf. This was a funny nerf because it did absolutely nothing. The Giant Poison beatdown was still super good, and even after this nerf, the Giant’s usage kept rising. More and more people kept using the Giant and Poison. More than half the players in the top 200 global leaderboards used the same deck.
42) The Log could now could push back all Ground units, big or small, which was one of the single biggest balance changes to a card. This propelled The Log from being one of the least used cards in the game to a top 5 card.
43) October 20, 2016 – Finally, after Giant Poison took over the meta for several months, Giant, Poison, and Elixir Collector were all nerfed. Giant received a 5% HP nerf, which isn’t much. But the Poison Spell no longer slowed down movement or attack, which destroyed the card. The Elixir Collector’s cost was raised to 6 Elixir, which took a big hit.
44) The nerf to the Elixir Collector was much needed because it became the most used card in the game by top players, surpassing the Zap Spell. At one time, about 90% of the top 200 players carried the Elixir Collector in their decks. So I was happy that the Giant Poison meta finally came to a conclusion and we didn’t have to carry Elixir Collector in every deck. This was a much needed balance change.
45) The Log was now able to to roll faster and further and received a 9% damage increase. This came out of nowhere, since The Log was a really good card after it was able to push back ground units. So no one saw this coming, it made no sense to make The Log even better. The Log is currently the most used card by top players.
46) Skeleton Army’s Elixir Cost was reduced to 3 Elixir from 4 Elixir, Skeleton Count decreased to 16 from 21, and most importantly, the level of the Skeletons increased by 5. This buff was huge. It quickly made the Skeleton Army from one of the worst cards in the game to one of the best.
47) November 1, 2016 – Four new cards were introduced: Elite Barbarians, Tornado, Clone, and Electro Wizard. Elite Barbarians were a very unpopular card as they were deemed too weak for the cost of 6 Elixir. Tornado was also a very unpopular card when it first came because of its weak pull. It had a hard time pulling large units.
48) Ice Golem’s damage was increased by 74%, which was huge, allowing it to one shot Skeletons. It quickly made the Ice Golem into a top 5 card, with its ability to now damage air units and kill a Minion Horde instantly with Zap Spell as well.
49) November 30, 2016 – At this time, the Mega Minion was the most used card in the game by top players. It was just too good for the cost of only 3 Elixir. It does a lot of damage, survives Fireball, flies, and is hard to pull when backed up by a large unit like a Giant.
50) Mega Minion received a 6% damage nerf, and a hit speed reduction to 1.4 from 1.3. Which is a very small nerf and the Mega Minion continued to be the most used card by top players even after this nerf.
51) Graveyard was also recently unlocked and it became an instant success. The Graveyard quickly became one of the deadliest cards in the game. Top players stopped using Ice Wizard and Musketeer and instead carried Archers to counter Graveyard. But it still wasn’t enough when you could support Graveyard with Fireball or Freeze.
Clan Chest was introduced on December 15th 2016.
52) December 15 2016: New Clan Chest feature was added, allowing clan members to work together to complete a treasure trove of rewards. Players were also given the ability to request for Epic Cards on Sundays.
53) Elite Barbarians were given one of the biggest buffs ever in a single balance change. They received a 19% HP increase, 14% damage increase, and Hit Speed increased to 1.4 from 1.5. They quickly proved to be too good.
54) January 23, 2017 – Elite Barbarians received a 4.4% HP decrease, 4% damage decrease, and hit speed decrease to 1.5. This made them more balanced.
55) Electro Wizard received a big buff, a 9% HP increase, which meant that he could not be one-shotted by Fireball anymore.
56) This is when the Executioner started to take over the meta. After the Executioner was released, he instantly proved to be too good with his large splash radius and range, high HP, and his odd ability to stun units, which was later fixed.
57) Zap Spell receives a very big 6% damage decrease, which means that it can no longer one shot Goblins.
58) February 13, 2017 – After the Executioner ruled over the game for a few weeks, he was nerfed significantly, damage decreased by 6%, range decreased by 0.5 tiles, axe radius decreased by 10%, and removal of his stun effect. He’s no longer overpowered.
59) Poison received a significant buff, in which its damage per second increased by 24%, meaning it now lasts 8 seconds instead of 10. This was huge, allowing Poison to one shot Skeletons and build up damage quicker. Poison now has a home to many top decks.
60) 1 Elixir Skeletons once again spawn 4 Skeletons. With so much competition with Ice Spirit, the 1 Elixir Skeletons are finally back. They do a lot of damage for only 1 Elixir and are excellent for cycling cards and keeping your average elixir cost low.
61) February 23, 2017 – Goblin Gang makes its appearance and quickly finds a home in decks that utilize the Goblin Barrel and Princess thanks to Goblin Gang’s ability to bait out The Log or Zap Spells.
62) Currently, the most used card by top players is The Log. Zap Spell used to be the most used card for a very very long time, but now since Zap Spell no longer one shots Goblins, it’s not the cheapest answer for the Goblin Barrel anymore. And with so many players now using bait decks with Goblin Barrel, it’s just so important to carry The Log in your deck.
After over a year of balance changes, the game is currently very balanced with tons of diversity. There are many different great decks that you can use. Unlike previous metas where one or two popular decks are used by top players, the current meta is a lot more diverse. I’ve never seen so many top players use so many different decks.
So what can we learn from the history of Clash Royale? Well there’s actually a bunch of things we can learn from it:
If a card isn’t good or very few top players are using it, then it will get a buff. If the card was really bad for a very long time, then expect it to get a huge buff. The Royal Giant was considered to be a horrible card and no one used it, but then it got a huge buff and now it’s one of the most hated cards in the game for over 10 months now. The Skeleton Army was also considered one of the worst cards in the game for about 8 months, until its big buff. The Log was considered to be the worst Legendary card for a long time and was rarely used, and now it’s the most used card in the game.
Supercell does listen to the community, as they do make balance changes from popular demand. Sometimes it takes awhile, but they eventually get it done. People wanted more Gold, Supercell gave more Gold from battles and chests. People wanted to obtain Legendary cards easier, so Supercell increased the drop rate of Legendary cards. Supercell increased the number of cards you can donate and received. They introduced more new chests such as Epic and Legendary Chests. And so on.
New cards that are introduced usually are either really bad or really good. Cards such as Elite Barbarians, Tornado, Bowler, and Ice Golem were all considered bad cards when they first came out and required some key balance changes to make them good. While cards such as Mega Minion, Graveyard, and Executioner instantly changed the game when they were first introduced.
So hope you guys enjoyed this and found it interesting!
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