This list of the Best 20 cards in Clash Royale is based on decks used by the Top 150 players in the world. I will update this list after every major update to the game, and the last update was made 10 days after the May 2016 patch. Waiting a week or two after a new major patch before updating this list is a good idea, as it gives the top players time to make the best decks first. The data this list is based on is collected by ku-haku and posted Reddit (1).
The top 8 most popular cards will not make the best deck obviously, but when it comes to deciding which cards to use your gold to upgrade I suggest you take a look at this list. If you spend your gold updating the top 20 cards here you are able to create most of the decks used by the top players in the world.
The new cards from the may 2016 update are not used a lot among the top players yet, none of them made the top 20 list. We find the miner at 21st, sparky at 33rd, fire spirits at 34th, guards at 38th, lava hound at 48th and furnace at 49th.
At lower arena levels this might not necessarily be the best decks, but as you move up the rankings you will be happy you have these cards at high levels. The more quality decks you can use a Clash Royale card in, the better the card is. I will start with he 20th best card and move up the list.
20. Goblin Hut
I hardly ever use the goblin hut, but it’s used in a lot of swarm decks. I do face the goblin hut fairly often and it can be hard to deal with all the incoming spear goblins if you start falling behind. The goblin hut can spawn up to 13 spear goblins as long as it is not destroyed, this will give you a profit of 3.7 elixir. Often these spear goblins are ignored by your opponent so each of them will deal a little damage to the enemy tower before dying.
19. Ice Wizard
This is the first legendary card I got and I’ve used it quite a bit. The ice wizard doesn’t deal a lot of damage, and it can be hard to even notice what he is doing. In big battles however, having an ice wizard on your side will help you a lot.
18. Royal Giant
The royal giant has been buffed twice, in two separate updates! After these two buffs he is very strong, and I suspect we will see him used even more in the coming months. The royal giant can now stand at the bridge and deal a ton of damage to enemy towers and buildings.
He is responsible for almost removing the mortar from the game completely, which I am very happy with. The royal giant will outrange most defences and can take out bomb towers and cannons without being hit.
I am very fond of minions and have used them in several decks. Even though you don’t get as much value as you do with the minion horde, 3 flying troops at 3 elixir is still quite strong. The minions do a lot of damage, and if they get to the enemy tower they will take it down fast. Costing 3 elixir they will trade evenly with arrows.
16. Mini Pekka
This is another card I rarely use, but it’s low elixir cost compared to the high damage it deals makes it a good card. It’s great at taking down high hp single targets and if it gets to the enemy tower it will take it down in no time.
Goblins is another of these cards that I didn’t see much value in when I first started playing the game. They just run to the enemy tower and die. However, once I got more experience I started to see how well they fit in a lot of decks.
First they do deal a lot of damage if they survive long enough to actually deal it. If you get the enemy troops or tower to focus on something else the goblins can deal damage. You can also use goblins to distract high dps troops while you find a way to deal with them.
14. Minion Horde
Minion horde is another strong card. The damage these 6 minions will deal is incredible, and if your opponent is out of counters like arrows or fireball he is in big trouble when you play the minion horde. Even if he does have arrows or fireball ready, the minion horde will take out most troops before the spells land.
13. Spear Goblins
Spear goblins is the cheapest anti-air troops out there. At only 2 elixir they provide great value and can be use both as offence, defence and distractions for dangerous troops. I have spear goblins in most of my decks and I face them a lot as well.
Fireball can give you positive elixir trades with a lot of troops. Depending on card levels fireball can take out barbarians, wizards, witches and musketeers. If two of these troops are close together the elixir advantage you gain will be huge. Also the release of the three musketeers card made fireball even stronger, if you take out the three musketeers with a fireball you will gain a 5 elixir advantage!
The May 2016 patch just made the skeletons even better. It’s awesome to be able to distract enemy troops with 4 skeletons that only cost 1 elixir. Place these on top of a sparky and you can take it out together with your tower for a 5 elixir advantage!
Barbarians give you a lot of value compared to what they cost. Combined with skeletons for distraction these are great at taking out the new and annoying sparky. Barbarians also have a tons of other uses, both in offence and defence. They have high hp and deal a lot of damage, great at taking out tanks like golems, giants and pekka.
I have used zap a lot lately. It will take out most 2 elixir troops for an even trade and damage minions enough so that your tower can take each of them out in one hit. Another advantage with zap is the one second stun it gives, this will let your hog rider damage the enemy tower for one more hit and also reset the charge of sparky.
Princess is the best legendary card currently out there, and I am very annoyed that I have not been able to get her yet. Arrows can counter her for an even elixir trade, but often you need arrows to counter minion horde or other troops so you have to find other ways to deal with the princess.
The valkyrie was recently buffed, and she is currently very strong. She deals really well with swarms of troops like goblins and spear goblins and will take them out in one hit. She can also tank the damage of the prince and dark prince for a long time while your tower takes them out.
The musketeer is great at backing up tanks, just standing behind them dealing a lot of damage to whatever approaches. She has a long range and is thus able to hit enemy crown tower without the king tower being able to hit her. The long range also enables her to take out defending cannons without behind hit at all, so you have to make sure you place your cannon in range of your crown towers when facing the musketeer.
5. Hog Rider
The hog rider is my personal favourite card, and it’s nice to see that the top players in the world agree that it is a good card. Almost all my decks are based around the hog rider taking out the enemy towers. The high rider has a lot of hp and can take out a crown tower completely if the enemy does not counter it. It moves quickly and will not be distracted by enemy troops. You can find a great hog rider deck here.
The hog rider is often combined with the freeze spell. I use freeze in some of my decks and as long as you are able to place it well it is really powerful. The top players in the world are obviously very good at spell placement, so for them this card will be more valuable than it will be for the average player. The freeze spell can also be used in defence if you know what you are doing.
Arrows are used a lot in all arenas, it was the first spell I started using and it is used all the way to the top. Therefore this is definitely a card you want to upgrade as much as possible. Arrows will fit into almost every deck and will almost always give you a positive elixir trade when you use it. The most common trade is using arrows to take out minion horde, giving you a 2 elixir advantage.
The cannon takes the 2nd place! The cannon is a card that I have used a lot over the last couple of months, and even after two nerfs to it, it is still going strong as you can see. What makes it so strong is that it only costs 3 elixir and has quite a lot of hp. Because of this it is a great counter to the very popular hog rider, distracting it with hitting the cannon instead of your crown tower. The cannon was used in almost 2/3 of the decks the top 150 players use.
1. Elixir Collector
And the winner is…. the elixir collector! Over 80% of the top 150 players in Clash Royale are using the elixir collector in the deck they are currently playing. This is huge and I believe the elixir collector will be nerfed again very soon, so definitely use it while you can.
What makes the elixir collector even better now than before is the buff the 6 elixir cost royal giant got, as well as the release of the new high elixir legendaries like sparky and lava hound. Good high elixir cost troops makes a building that generates elixir even better. Even in low elixir decks the elixir collector is working well, and I’ll the deck I am currently using with the elixir collector in it very soon.
I would love to hear what you guys think about this list of cards though. Is there any interest in the list of the top 20 worst cards as well?
(1) Ku-haku’s cards collection on Reddit.