June 24, 2024

A deeper look into Clash Royale

Author’s note: Clash Royale is a real-time strategy PVP card game where players drop cards down into an “arena” map and watch them battle. The game boasts 100+ cards, several are from Supercell’s hit game “Clash of Clans” is free to download on the app store. They’re recently released updates containing “card evolutions” and “tower troops.”

My name is Wyatt Boyle, and I survived playing against Mega Knight in 2024. Well. Survived might be a bit of a stretch. Playing against the card has absolutely ruined my night and I want to throw my phone against a brick wall then snap it in half. 

Every single day for the last week or so, I’ve opened this app and battled Mega Knight for the newly added “Lucky Drop”. I battle against twelve-year old’s, old men on their lunch breaks, and people like me with no other hobbies. What do they all have in common?

They’re all trying to make my life hell, and ninety percent of them are playing decks that require absolutely ZERO skill to play. Every game I play finds its own unique way to piss me off without fail.

But there’s also nothing unique about that Mega Knight dropping onto my push that was large enough to invade Russia during winter. There’s no way to just watch that and not immediately curse what’s coming next. You think you’ve experience crunch time before? Try scrambling to drop down cards to stop that Mega Knight from leaping onto your tower.

I don’t care if the card is “balanced” or “easy to counter.” If it’s in a quarter of all decks, it needs to be nerfed. I lose my sanity when every other game I hear that Mega Knight grunt and crush my worthless Wall Breakers. 

And while we’re on the topic, you’ll never convince me that Hog Rider is “balanced,” either. The cards entire history is “Oh hey, this card is kind of broken. Let’s play Hog Rider with it!” Any twelve-year-old can plop that RNG bullcrap down at the bridge and pray that the hog waddles on top of the tower. 

Every other game I play in “mid-ladder” — where most of us casual players who have invested time into the game sit — it’s against Mega Knight. It’s a war where I’m fighting for the losing side. It’s trying to climb Mount Everest as a paraplegic. It’s realizing I brought a knife to tank fight, and the tank already has me in its sights. 

As a proud, supremely intelligent, definitely-not-unhinged cycle deck player, let me reiterate that playing this crap sucks at times. It’s incredibly rewarding when you win, but playing a bunch of cheap cards into Mega Knight — and needing to learn in-depth card interactions to counter it — isn’t for the faint of heart.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I have a dozen knives that drip acid and slowly chip away at the enemy tank’s armor if that tank can shoot me once and blow me up to the high heavens. At the end of the day, if I don’t play practically perfectly, my entire tower is gone, and I’ve lost. My opponent, of course, can make a hundred stupid mistakes with their terribly built decks and Mega Knights, but HEAVEN FORBID I MESS UP ONCE.

You haven’t had your soul crushed until you’ve lost to someone who you know is worse than you, and they sit there, and spam stupid emotes that Supercell “didn’t intentionally create to be toxic.” 

If you’re thinking about downloading the game and playing it with your friends, just don’t. Find literally anything else. Unless you like the feeling of your soul being crushed and wanting to shatter your phone into millions of tiny pieces. Supercell tries to hook you in with the game being “free-to-play,” only for you to realize you’re at a severe disadvantage unless you break that wallet open.

(I am a firm believer in supporting developers if you’re enjoying their products, but I’m also a firm believer in being smart about it. Supercell has done some outright greedy things in the past to their player base. If you really want to spend money, do your homework and make sure that they — and any developer — have been nice to their players before giving them money.)

I’ve played this game for the better part of the decade that it’s been around and invested countless hours into playing and watching the game on YouTube. Sometimes, it feels like none of it matters because I don’t spend excessive amounts of money to access new content and DON’T PLAY MEGA KNIGHT.

This game is not free to play. I’ve lost my sanity and subscribed to season passes thinking it’ll make me happy or bring some kind of fulfillment. It hasn’t. All that’s happened is my friends have made fun of me for being pay-to-win and still only being a slightly higher rank than them anyways.

The game’s card evolutions are extremely fun to play with. But they also take six months to grind for if you’re not willing to pay anywhere from eight to eleven dollars to play them on release.

If you’re a Mega Knight player who’s read through this article, it’s never too late to get help. Go on YouTube, look for Mega Knight-free decks and become good at the game. Help is a Google search away.

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