Find out how Season 9 changes the Clash Royale game ahead of Red Bull MEO
Supercell has shaken things up for Season 9 of Clash Royale and we're here to give you the skinny on the new meta going forward.
Since launching in 2016, Supercell's Clash Royale has gone from strength-to-strength. It may well be the best example of easy to pick up, but difficult to master games out there, as its strategic real-time gameplay mixing elements from MOBAs, card games and even tower defense titles always has us scratching our heads for ways to improve.
One of the best things about it, though, is how it's a mobile game, meaning anyone can play it, anywhere, any time. With that in mind, Red Bull's MEO competition is open to all, with season two underway. To go all the way to the grand finals at the end of April however you'll have to be on top of the meta.
The newly announced Season 9 of Clash Royale is celebrating the game's fourth birthday, but also brings a whole host of changes outside of the cosmetic birthday fun to keep things interesting. Let's get you caught up.
Royal Delivery is a potent new spell for defensive players
As you'd expect, a new season means a new card and the Royal Delivery spell is a huge boon for players who like using defensive decks. You can only use it on your side of the arena, but this spell rains from above and one-shots minions with massive area damage (three tiles). On top of this, it has a knock-back stat on it, so even if you don't take the enemy out, you can push them. It's also boosted to your King Level for the duration of Season 9, so that's helpful, too.
At a cost of three elixir, you might think it's a bit expensive and should be lower, but this spell is in its element if you've got an amazing defensive deck, so the elixir cost makes sense. That said, even though it leaves behind a Royal Recruit, the deploy time is on the slow side, so it's possible Supercell may address this in future updates. Not exactly overpowered, then, but not a waste of elixir, either.
Double-buff to Cannon makes it a viable option
Previously not used in most of the best decks (Pigs on Parade, PEKKA Ram and so on), Cannon Cart has had not one, but two buffs with the Season 9 update. The Cannon and Cannon Cart have both received a five per cent increase to damage. What this means is that Cannon overall can now keep troops at bay and is far better at killing tanks. It's also going to improve an already popular deck, Hog 2.6, which contains Fireball, Cannon, Hog Rider, Ice Golem, Ice Spirit, The Log, Musketeer and Skeletons.
Cannon hasn't been a hugely popular choice among players for a while, so the fact it'll now take one less hit to destroy enemies such as Mega Knight and PEKKA will certainly mean that it's included in some test decks as Season 9 gets underway.
Golem strats might actually be viable now
While on first glance, having a -22.5 per cent debuff to Golem damage might seem like a harsh move, there's more to this meta change than meets the eye. Along with this change, Golem has also had a massive +55 per cent buff to its damage upon death. This is significant, because the strat will now be to clear a huge swathe of defending units with Golem's death, which gives a much better chance for the second Golem to get in and deal some tower damage. Sacrificial Golem strats, anyone?
Miner's nerf appears minor, but it's major
A popular card to play and tank towers with, many feared Miner's health would be nerfed, but instead Supercell has given a minus five per cent debuff to his Crown Tower damage. Miner's damage reduction actually doesn't much affect his use as an all-purpose mini-tank, but it hurts decks that rely on the card for damage, as this is a card that already did pretty low damage numbers. Crucially, the new Royal Delivery card is itself a nerf to Miner. Interesting times ahead for Miner, but we don't see him being used any less in the short term.
There's more to come
So there you have it: these are the big changes for Clash Royale in Season 9. A lot of defensive buffs, but a major change with Golem's death damage. Of course, Season 10 is just around the corner in April, but with our advice above, you should be able to get practicing and get yourself ready for the Red Bull MEO grand final.
The Red Bull MEO Clash Royale grand final takes places on April 26. Get all the details on how to join and watch here.