November 8, 2021 · 4 min read
How do champions perform before and after the balance changes?stats opinions infovis
Champions were introduced into the game in the most recent Clash Royale game update. After a week, the game announced balances for the Champions. We have been collecting data behind the scene and so we’re able to produce a chart plotting the Champions use rate and win rate before and after the balances.
Table of Contents
- Introduction of Champions
- Use Rate
- Win Rate
- First week
- Champions Balance
- Post Balance
- Best Decks
- End Note
Introduction of Champions
Like all new card releases, the introduction of Champions was met with much enthusiasm from the community. Champion is a new card rarity, and is harder to obtain than Legendary.
Unlike other rarities in the game, champions are unlockable by players with King Level 14 (KL14) only. However, the new game update has changed the rule of challenges and allowed everyone to player with all cards unlocked at the Tournamment Level. In turn, every player gets to play with Champion cards even if they’re below KL14.
This means that Grand Challenge and Classic Challenge are now the fairest modes in the game and are thus the best game mode to use for analysis. And that’s why we are using Grand Challenges to analyze the card trends in this analysis.
We set our baseline for use rate analysis to 7.5%. There are 106 cards in the game, and 8 cards per deck. By calculating 8 / 106, we obtain the normal use rate of a card (7.5%) if they are as likely to be included in a deck as all other cards.
Our baseline for win rate is 50%. This should be easy to understand — if all cards are equal, every card has a 50/50 chance of winning or losing. If a card is significantly above 50% win rate, it is considered overpowered (OP). If a card is significantly below 50%, it is considered weak.
At Supercell, the Clash Royale team considers win rates of 45-55% to be acceptable. Cards with win rates that are below 45% or over 55% usually will be considered for balances.
The introduction of the Champions coincide with the end of the October 2021 season. Possibly because of the her versatility, the Archer Queen has quickly found a place in many established meta decks. Other champion cards remain low in usage in the beginning. Golden Knight’s use rate was slightly higher than the baseline, and Skeleton King’s usage stayed below the baseline through the entire week.
Although Grand Challenge is the preferred game mode for good players to test decks, many top players maxed their champions on Day 1 and tested the Champions in Ladder battles instead. Early success of Archer Queen’s performance had led to many players finishing the their season with decks that featured the queen.
At the conclusion of the October season, Archer Queen was found in 30% of the final battles where players obtained their ranks. See: Leaderboard Decks: Season 2021-10
While Archer Queen received most of the spotlight throughout this period, players continued to look for ways to utilize the other champions, so although the win rates for Skeleton King and Golden Knight remained lower than the baseline, they were in fact steadily rising.
As we have observed in many seasons, the vast majority of the players tend to copy decks played by the top players. Casual players also tend to pick up decks played by the top players after the meta is stabilized. Perhaps they looked for meta decks in our Deck Search. Or perhaps they have watched a video from a top player on YouTube, which are usually posted a few days after the top player has obtained a record. All of these contribute to the eventual win rate drops and use rate increase of decks. It also explains the slow decline in Archer Queen’s win rate.
Noting the extraordinary win rates and the high usage of the Archer Queen across all game modes, Clash Royale announced balance changes for the Champions shortly after the season has ended.
Unsurprisingly, usage of Archer Queen’s usage went down sharply following the nerf announcement, with Skeleton King’s usage started to rise.
It’s interesting to see how Archer Queen had maintained her popularity throughout. Even with her now significantly lower win rate, her use rate remained the highest of the three champions. The most reasonable explanation is her versatility — unlike the two other cards which have very specific functions (Golden Knight is great with swarms, Skeleton King’s true potential is unleashed when he can collect many souls), AQ’s ability is useful in most situations.
Additionally, many players might not even know about the balances, and could be blindly copying decks recommended by videos published before the balances.
The true winner of the champion may be the Golden Knight! He has not been touched at all in balances, but players have found successes with him and are winning battles more so than ever.
That just shows you how the meta game evolves very organically and sometimes it takes time for a card to shine!
Want to find a good Champion deck? Use our Deck Search and find the best decks!
|Deck Search: Archer Queen|
|Deck Search: Golden Knight|
|Deck Search: Skeleton King|
At RoyaleAPI, we take pride in collecting battle data round the clock so that we can provide the best-in-class meta analysis for you. What do you think about the Champions’ card trends? What else can you gather from the data? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.