10 Quick Clash Royale Tips for Mastering Match Play

Clash Royale has quickly become the only thing anyone is playing, but even though it just launched a month ago it may seem like early players already have a huge advantage. They don't. With a few Clash Royale tips you can easily win most of your early matches, and start climbing to those higher Arenas. In this article we'll share our Clash Royale tips for crushing towers, winning matches, and harvesting the tears of your opponent Kings - so read on.

Starting Strategies

Each match in Clash Royale, you should make some decisions early on about what strategy you want to use. The first choices you make will set the tone for the whole round, and especially in the early Arenas one could argue that many matches are won or lost with the first hand of cards played. In this section, we'll cover Clash Royale tips for getting off to a good start.

Clash Royale Tip # 1: Fear of Commitment

While there are Clash Royale strategies that involve some amount of "rushing", an experienced player is very rarely overrun with a rush play in the first moves of the game. They simply have too much Elixir and resource options available, and you have their full attention. As a result, our first Clash Royal tip is to be patient at the starting bell. Often your opponent will wait until your Elixir is completely full before acting. That is okay. Look at your cards and think about offense and defense, cast a glance at what card is coming up next... and wait. If you just can't stand the tension, it is reasonable to play first, but watch your opponents reaction and don't overcommit Elixir until you can see what strategy your opponent is using.

Clash Royale Tip # 2: Arm Wrestle Effectively: Elixir Trades

The most common opening clash comes from two opponents dumping troops onto the same side of the Arena, and letting them duke it out. Like a tug of war, troops will gradually push and retreat, and eventually one side may gain enough dominance to reach a tower and score a Crown. Since you will see this approach a lot, you are going to have to get good at it (but read on for our other Clash Royale tips about other approaches). Even though there is some placement and timing involved, this is first and foremost a numbers game. If your opponent leads with a Giant, that costs 5 Elixir. If you counter with a Skeleton Horde that costs 4 Elixir and stuff him before he damages your tower, you just got a +1 Elixir advantage. If instead, you rush your Skeleton Horde out before the Giant drops and your opponent wipes them with Arrows for 3 Elixir, you have a net -1 Elixir result. In a head to head "arm wrestle" over one lane, you need to manage the Elixir trades very carefully to try and build enough momentum to push in and damage your opponents towers when they are weak. Learn the best match ups for cards that give you trouble, and modify your deck frequently to try and create positive Elixir trades.

Clash Royale Tip # 3: Ride the Teeter Totter

At the most elite level of play, your opponent will be hard to rattle, but luckily many opponents are made of softer stuff. After you've gotten pretty good at "arm wrestling" over a single lane, you may find that even with efficient play many matches end in a draw. This isn't a terrible thing, especially as you are learning the ropes, but as you push higher you will also face off against more opponents who have a Level and/or Deck advantage on you - and in those cases the odds are stacked against you winning a straight head to head clash. Instead, consider waiting for your opponent to commit to a lane, and then pressing in the other lane. You will still need to devote some attention to defense to blunt your opponents assault, but if he has already committed to that attack you may have an easier time just containing rather than making a counter push in the same lane. Consider and opponent who opens with a Giant again. You immediately drop a Knight followed by Spear Goblins in the other lane. As the Giant approaches, you drop a cheap troop like Skeletons or Goblins to slow him down and let the towers chew him up. Meanwhile your "sneak attack" in the other lane may take a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the other towers hit points unchecked. Alternatively, your opponent may shift focus to that lane and abandon the Giant to die (an expensive loss). This bait-and-switch approach can be very effective when timed right - but just be careful to stay on top of minimal defenses or it will end in a tower trade.

Clash Royale Tip # 4: Unload Both Barrels

In more rare circumstances, you may find that you have a glut of offensive cards that would effectively form two "push" teams at the beginning of a round. In such circumstances, our next Clash Royale tip is it to send attackers down both lanes at near the same time, to try and overwhelm your opponent's ability to manage your attack. This is a risky move that will leave you with almost no Elixir, but it can prove to be a great momentum builder if your opponent doesn't think quick. One attack will very likely be blunted quickly, but if you can keep attention on the lane your opponent chooses to defend first, your other attack team may score big. Doing some damage to both towers also keeps your options open for later in the match, while your opponent may become committed to one lane if they have invested heavily in weakening that tower. An example of a double barrel assault would be a Giant down one lane, with a Knight followed by Spear Goblins down the other. The "Double Barreled" start should be used very sparingly, but in the rare cases where you get the ideal hand for it, you can deal a decisive blow before your opponent even knows what hit them.

Mid Game

While openers are important, they are also not that varied, and after you have a few days of Clash Royale under your belt you will probably already start to memorize them. What comes next is probably the most nuanced strategic period of the match where you try to carefully score damage on your opponents Towers without overly exposing your own. Our next Clash Royale tips will cover the tactics and strategies necessary to control this phase of the battle, and build momentum toward the explosive ending that hopefully results in a big win for the most deserving King: You.

Clash Royale Tip # 5: Drop Zone and Placement

SuperCell has always had an interesting spin on RTS-lite mechanics, and the troop AI in Clash Royale is no exception. Our next Clash Royale tip is about learning troop targeting AI, and making the most of your placement options to exploit it to your advantage. First take note that each Troop's targeting AI can be viewed on the "Info" details of their card in the "Cards" interface. Some examples are "Ground", "Air/Ground", and "Buildings". This is very important in that it indicates which targets a troop will attack and which it will ignore. You can attack a Prince with air units all day and he will just take the hits, but if you want to stop his charge, you need to drop something on the ground. Giants could care less about troops wailing on them, and only target buildings. Once you understand basic targeting, more advanced players will find that they can distract attackers by dropping to the side or behind them - especially to focus splash damage on weak opposing units, or draw opponent's splash away from yours. Valkyrie flanks can quickly blunt an enemy push and turn it right around into a push of your own.

Equally important to take advantage of are the actual areas where unit drops are allowed. Once an opposing Tower is down, you can place troops across the bridge on your opponent's side. This can be a huge momentum boost for slow moving tanking units, and even if you have trouble at your home base you may be able to rush a Crown Tower destruction win, just before your own is lost.

Pro Tip Just because you are defending your Towers, doesn't mean they shouldn't contribute! Let the enemy get in range of them before you drop a Troop, and then you will get the added Tower DPS to burn down those pesky opposing forces.

Clash Royale Tip # 6: Pushing Teams

"Pushing" is that act of moving the battle to your enemies Towers (and keeping it safely away from your own). Basic pushing involves sending one or several tanking units into enemy territory ideally with added softer DPS troops behind them. That much is obvious, but our Clash Royale tip about pushing is to have pre-baked "Pushing Teams" in your deck already thought out, so that you can play them without thinking when the time comes. Giants pair well with Musketeers because they are both tough units, and they have some versatility for offense and defense. Knight plus Spear Goblins make for a very cheap push team that is sometimes underestimated by opponents and can make a great push down an alternate lane that lies open while the other is contested. Learn the pairings that work for you well, and work to fine tune the timing of your team drops for the best synergy (Giants and Giant Skeletons need a good head start, for instance).

Clash Royale Tip # 7: Countering

An equally or even more important Clash Royale tip than "Push Teams", is to have effective "Counters" in your deck for each of the main types of offensive strategies, notably the basic variants of "Push Teams". There is a sort of Paper/Rock/Scissors in Clash Royale something to the effect of Hordes/Tanks/Splash. Hordes of low hit point troops can peck away at slow moving Tank units, sometimes without even suffering retaliation (as is the case with Giants), but a cheap splash damage Spell or a troop that deals Splash damage can wipe them out in one shot. Tanks fear Hordes, but can usually take the hit from most splash damage sources and keep on trucking. A subtlety here is that the Tanks sometimes won't directly counter Splash troops, but can distract and absorb their damage while a Tower or DPS troop burns them down. Learn effective counters to the most common cards in your Arena, and make sure you know the "answers" to look for in your deck when any particular assault is coming at you.

Pro Tip If you are having trouble countering a particular card, try it out and see how opponents counter you. If you don't have it yet, take a look at the TV Royale matches and look at the loadouts for some matches that feature it. You may not have the exact "counter" cards they use, but you can substitute similar cards and use the same basic concepts. If all else fails, leave a comment! We'd be happy to talk strategy with you and share what has worked for us.

Clash Royale Tip # 8: Card Cycling

The final Clash Royal tip we have to share for the Mid Game gameplay, is to try and optimize your Deck loadout for Card Cycling. Clash Royale Decks don't have very many cards, so if you use all the cards in your hand quickly, you can expect that other cards you know are in your deck are likely to show up soon. First and foremost, the "next card" look-ahead function can be utilized to forecast a possible better pairing than what is already in your hand. If you know something good is around the corner, you might consider burning a cheap card like a Goblin or Skeletons, to pull in something better - especially in situations where you can reap a slight benefit by doing so (stopping a charging Prince, for example). Even if the next card isn't a game changer, keeping a good rhythm of new cards coming into your hand will keep your options open and will bring back useful cards you only just played a few seconds ago. Troops can't do work when they are stuck in your hand, so don't be afraid to make a few less ideal trades if it means refreshing your hand with better cards.

Sealing the Win

So you've followed all of the right strategies, maybe you've already built up a 1 or 2 Tower lead... but it isn't over. Turn about is fair play in Clash Royale, and you may find that as your opponent doubles down his assault (literally, given the 2X Elixir bonus with 1 minute remaining) that it is becoming hard to hold on to any advantages. This is when it becomes very important to determine a "closing strategy", and our Clash Royal tips in this section will focus on duking it out in the last minute and coming out on top.

Pro Tip Don't ever count yourself out until it is over. Many battles are one in the absolute closing seconds of the round, and Clash Royale's "overtime" mechanic to break ties can add another whole intense minute to a close match. Hang in there, have a strategy, and try to stay focused and calm and you will win or draw more matches than you may expect. In rare cases, your opponent might even disconnect - and you wouldn't want to miss that chance for revenge.

Clash Royale Tip # 9: When to Sacrifice

Clash Royale is a juggling act. Ideally you face a weak, disorganized opponent that just randomly wastes Elixir and allows you to steam roll over their Crown Tower - but especially as you climb the Arena ladder you will rarely be so lucky. More often, your opponent will make powerful pushes, even sometimes damaging your Towers only to in turn be pushed back and suffer similar losses. For most of the match, your goal will be to simply give more than you get, but in the end only towers matter. This means, that it is usually in your interest to abandon a Tower or even your Crown Tower to be chewed up with an offensive force if it means you can take down an opposing Tower or Crown Tower first.

Pro Tip Wait for the closing seconds of the round to sacrifice a Tower, and you can sometimes score a cheap victory with a one Tower lead. Shots after the bell don't count, so even if your Tower only has a sliver of health when the timer expires it is enough to seal the win. Blowing your remaining Elixir on a Fireball or Rocket is a good example of this Clash Royale tip in action.

Clash Royale Tip # 10: When to Turtle

Our next Clash Royale tip is about holding on to what you've fought so hard to earn. After a push when you finally puncture the enemies defenses and take down a Tower, you will probably be Elixir poor. You might have even taken some hits on one one of your Towers in a "teeter totter". At this point, you have to decide whether to press for more ground, or hold on to what you've got. While it isn't very glorious, sometimes the best way to ensure a win is just to pull your "turtle head" back into your shell and take a hardcore defensive approach. Drop tanks and buildings well inside your turf, sacrifice cheap troops to distract attackers, and blast spells at any hordes grouping up.

Pro Tip When turtling, be sure to take full advantage of the DPS bonus provided by your remaining towers. Don't waste precious troop hit points fighting on enemy turf... the extra little damage boost from your towers can cause you to win match ups you would normally lose - especially against troops where you have a rank disadvantage.

Pro Tip Giants and Balloons can be lethal to a weakened Tower, but other buildings are much less of a loss, especially late in the game. Dropping any building in the center front of your territory will cause them to divert course toward it. Your Towers will plink away at them, and other troops can also get their licks in for the whole trip to the middle and back out once the sacrificial building goes down.

That concludes our Clash Royale tips for match gameplay. We hope you found them helpful. See any that we missed? Leave a comment down below!