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Balance Changes - 2021 Q1 Game Client Update

March 27, 2021 · 6 min read

Mother Witch (Buff), Witch (Buff), Three Musketeers (Buff), Elite Barbarians (Buff), Heal Spirit (Rework), Bomber (Rework), Giant Skeleton (Rework), Bomb Tower (Nerf), Balloon (Nerf), Hunter (Nerf), Zappies (Nerf), Knight (Nerf), Cannon Cart (Nerf).

client update update balance
Balance Changes - Clash Royale 2021 Q1 Update
Balance Changes - Clash Royale 2021 Q1 Update

Along with the first client update comes the first balance changes of the year! There are lots of changes and we expect to see a shift in the meta. Unlike previous balances which are applied when the season changes, these balances will go live when the game client is updated — and yes, that means that it is likely that the meta will be different towards the end of Season 21.

Table of Contents

Mother Witch (Buff)

Before After
Damage +14% 96 110
Hit Time -8% 1.2 sec 1.1 sec
DPS +25% 96/1.2 110/1.1
DPS +25% 80 100
First Hit +20% 0.5 sec 0.4 sec
  • Since her introduction, Mother Witch has been a very niche Legendary card.
  • When she is able to face lots of swarms, her value is immense. But this scenario-specificity makes her a bit weak overall because she cannot shine much if these specific conditions are not met.
  • She will be getting a +14% Damage buff and a +8% Hit Time buff, which translates to an overall 25% boost to her DPS.
  • Being able to do more damage per second means that she will be much more useful as a ranged attacker and be viable in more matchups, and be able to use her unique Curse ability on more Troops.

Witch (Buff)

Before After
Range +10% 5 5.5
  • After all the rework balances and reverts, Witch has gone back to the bottom of card usages.
  • She will be getting a +10% Range buff.

Three Musketeers (Buff)

Before After
Deploy Time -50% 2 sec 1 sec
  • Three Musketeers have often been difficult to balance.
  • The Clash Royale team is giving these three ladies a significant deploy time buff. You’d likely be able to drop them in the pocket again.
  • Supercell hopes that this will allow 3M to be viable again, and hope that it brings a little bit of fun to players who mainly use 3M, e.g. Osama

Elite Barbarians (Buff)

Before After
Hit Time -7% 1.5 sec 1.4 sec
First Hit Time -20% 0.5 sec 0.4 sec
DPS +7% 318/1.5 318/1.4
DPS +7% 212 227
  • Elite Barbarians had a rework (mostly buffs) in Season 17 to make them more viable as defensive tanks.
  • They have seen a slight rise in usage afterwards and appeared in several meta decks.
  • Their usage has gradually gone down over time after that buff. They will be getting a small 7% buff in Hit Time and a faster First Hit, which would translate to a +7% buff in DPS.

Heal Spirit (Rework)

Before After
Damage +225% 28 sec 91
Heal Radius -28% 3.5 2.5
Heal Area -49% 38.48 19.63
  • It‘s been a roller coaster ride for Heal Spirit!
  • Heal Spirit went through not one but three nerfs since its introduction — Season 15, Season 16, Season 18.
  • After all of these nerfs, it’s no longer used by anyone.
  • The most significant nerfs resulted in its inability to kill off Skeletons.
  • Part of what makes spirit cards highly useful besides their unique abilities is handling cheap swarms well.
  • With the +225% buff in damage, it will regain its previous ability to kill off Skeltons (effectively reverting the damage nerf in Season 18
  • Its healing effect will remain unchanged, but its healing effect radius will be decreased from 3.5 tiles to 2.5 tiles, resulting in an overall -49% area reduction.
  • After the update, players will need to be more careful about where they place the Heal Spirit, because the area of effect will be significantly smaller than before.

Bomber (Rework)

Before After
Elixir -33% 3 2
Hit points -31% 398 275
Damage -32% 271 184
  • With Wall Breaker and Spell Bait decks starting to dominate the meta — especially at the very top of Ladder and highly competitive events such as CRL — Supercell feels that there needs to be more low-cost answers to handle them.
  • Bomber will be getting a rework with a lowered elixir cost from 3 to 2.
  • To compensate for the elixir change, his Hit Points and Damage will both be reduced by approximately a third.
  • The Clash Royale team hopes that this will allow Bomber to become a low-cost option to defend against spell baits while being effective as a support troop behind mid-cost win-conditions like Giant and Hog Rider.

Giant Skeleton (Rework)

Before After
Damage +29% 172 222
Death Damage -54% 957 444
  • Ever since players in CRL 2020 have discovered Giant Skeleton as one of the best cards for defense for their 2v2 sets, players have started experimenting with him in their 1v1 decks.
  • This trend has not really diminished, and has in fact found its ways in the meta for several seasons, including the meta-defining RG GS variations that have been giving admirable performances since the CRL Finals 2020
  • The death damage of Giant Skeleton will be getting a significant -54% reduction.
  • To compensate for this change, he will get a +29% damage boost, which will allow him to 1-hit Princess and Dart Goblin, making him less likely to be distracted.

Bomb Tower (Nerf)

Before After
Death Damage -50% 369 184
  • Ever since the Elixir Golem has entered the arena in Season 4, there has been a slow and steady rise of usage for the Bomb Tower.
  • Once thought to be a card for beginner players, Bomb Tower started the dominate the meta as it has shifted towards being swarm heavy.
  • Over time, players have recognized that the Bomb Tower is extremely capable of fending off all manners of attacks.
  • Like its cousin Giant Skeleton, BT will be getting a significant death damage nerf -50%
  • The balance team hopes that this nerf will remove the overly defensive meta of being able to deploy a Bomb Tower in the lane as a universal defender to eradicate any types of pushes.

Balloon (Nerf)

Before After
Death Damage -27% 272 199
  • Coinciding with the death damage nerf for Giant Skeleton and Bomb Tower, Balloon will also be getting a -27% death damage nerf.
  • Although Balloon’s death damage is not that of a defensive option, nerfing this card is an indirect balance to the Hunter nerf.

Hunter (Nerf)

Before After
First Hit +57% 0.7 sec 1.1 sec
  • With Musketeer and Electro Wizard being nerfed in previous seasons, Hunter‘s rise in usage is expected.
  • Like many cards before him, most players didn’t experiment with the card until there aren’t many reliable air defense left.
  • There is no doubt in our minds that nerfing Hunter is a direct response to the RG - Hunter - Fisherman trio, which have been in the meta since the summer of 2020.
  • After the balance update, Hunter will take a longer time to initiate his first attack — it will be 0.4 sec (57%) slower.
  • The intention is to make timing and placement more important if players want to gain value when using this card.

Zappies (Nerf)

Before After
First Hit +22% 0.9 sec 1.1 sec
  • Like Hunter, Zappies’ First hit will be increased to 1.1 sec to make it less capable as a plop-and-defend-all-pushes type of troop.
  • This change is a revert of the previous buff in Season 15

Knight (Nerf)

Before After
Hit Points -5% 1452 1380

Cannon Cart (Nerf)

Before After
Speed Fast
  • Cannon Cart has been a problematic card for the balance team for a long time.
  • It is a capable defender with very strong counter attack abilities.
  • Paired with strong backline attackers like Miner or Graveyard, it gives lots of pressure to the defenders.
  • Cannon Cart’s ability to quickly lock on and take down half of the opponent towers is one of the key aspects that makes it strong.
  • After the balance update, its Speed will be changed from Fast (90) to Medium (60) to allow a larger window for opponents to react while it crosses the bridge and before it locks on to the tower.


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Author: SML
SML (See-ming Lee) is the Founder of RoyaleAPI. He is a Clash Royale completionist, and has one of the most complete emote collections in the world. Clash Royale Creator Spotlight

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