CR: The Prince

Just as a petty “I told you so” per Supercell’s latest patch notes:

Prince: Charge speed decreased by 13%

  • The Prince is currently the most used card in the game, but despite very popular opinion, he isn’t overpowered when looking at his win rates. However, his ability to take down a tower on his own when left unchecked can be quite startling. Slowing down his charge speed a notch will give more time to react and counter.

So, yeah, like I said, the Prince is the most used card in the game.

Now, they say in there that he’s not overpowered when looking at his win rates. Personally, I’d like to know what those win rates actually are. But honestly, that doesn’t really indicate to me that he isn’t overpowered. I’m no longer running my Prince because A) he’s level 1, and B) everyone specifically keeps direct counters to the Prince in their deck. For example, I’m running the Witch, melee Goblins, the Goblin Hut, and can technically toss my Giant Skeleton in front if needed. If I didn’t have to worry about the Prince destroying a tower in 9 seconds by himself, I’d be swapping out at least two of those for more offensive cards.

So, to me, a card that everyone uses is de facto an overpowered card even if the card does not necessarily guarantee a win. Good players take note of the metagame and include counters. It seems obvious said good players with said counters would win more often, bringing down the overall win rate of the most popular card. But the Prince is popular for a reason, and his mere existence suppresses the diversity of the rest of the decks. The Prince is like Hearthstone’s Dr. Boom – he won’t instantly win you the game, but every deck you create has to keep him in mind.

In any case, Supercell seems to have a monthly balance schedule, and I anticipate seeing the Prince nerfed again in April. If not because he is literally overtuned, then because he will continue being the most popular card in the game for his ability to force an answer from your opponent or die.

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Posted on March 19, 2016, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. He’s popular because people think he is strong. His win rate isn’t high because he’s not actually that strong (which is why he isn’t in every deck on CR TV, and in the decks that do contain him its almost always to combo with the other Prince). When a card/unit is actually OP, the win-rate reflects that (basically anytime a champ in LoL is a bit too strong)

    A card you can easily counter and take an elixir advantage while doing it isn’t strong, but Prince works at lower levels when people are Tobold’s in terms of strategy and/or are more limited in deck options. The fact that 1/4 (I think A1 has 4 epics) people start with him also helps both the usage rate and the power perception.

    He’s also not Boom because Boom doesn’t have a real counter that puts you ahead. He’s also not boom because it hasn’t been multiple months of being a clearly broken card that isn’t being fixed.

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    • He’s not used in every deck, yes, but every deck has to reserve cards to specifically counter him. And he is all over the place in CR TV, as I’ve pointed out before – people in the Top 100 rankings are using even level 5 Princes over presumably higher-level epics they have available (if we’re just assuming those guys have access to everything).

      As far as Boom goes, BGH kills the Boom, 3 mana vs 7. The Boom Bots are left behind to cause their mischief and they should have been nerfed long ago, but there it is. Boom’s existence causes everyone to put BGH in their decks, which depresses the selection of cards AND indirectly nerfs other big legendaries who are possible BGH targets. Same deal in CR. The melee Goblins are nigh useless in most scenarios but I have to keep them in. And when I don’t happen to have them available when a Prince is dropped? I lose that tower. The Prince’s mere existence makes my deck weaker, and everyone knows this, which is why they slot him in despite the card having counters.

      All of which is to say that he is overpowered. Or at least powerful enough to demand special attention from everyone… which is the same thing, IMO.

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      • Skels/gobs/etc counter any large single drop, like Prince, Pekka, Giant Skel, Giant, Hog, etc. They aren’t JUST a direct counter to Prince. Plus they have additional uses if you happen to face a deck without a single big drop, while BGH is worthless if a 7+ card isn’t played (and I’d argue even with BGH, Dr. Boom is still at best a break-even case, meaning even if you know someone is playing BGH, you should still bring Dr. Boom)

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      • Golem is Boom. Prince is more like Frothing Berserker: a medium costed threat that can be removed fairly easily but one that sorely punishes tunnel visioned face decks and slow control setups that fail to answer it promptly.

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  2. Hmm i think you are mistaking “powerfull” with “must counter” (and I am not even certain it is a mistake to do so tbh).

    The prince “must” be countered, but he is extremely easy to counter. Certain other cards (or combos of cards) fall into the same category (think loon, hogs, imphorde, X-bow, and various freeze or rage combos). The problem with the prince is that he is the first of them you meet i think.

    You HAVE to counter these attack combos and fast, meaning you have to keep elixir and the right troops ready. But this is sort of just how the game is played. Have enough counters for all the various attack strategies in your deck so you can counter while getting an advantage on elixir, and then attack using said elixir advantage (or a must counter combo yourself).

    I think a game like CR is the richer for having some must counter cards/combos, even if I must admit they always feel cheap, or cheesy. I much prefer winning by elixir advantage than by hoping my opponent isnt awake enough to counter my cheese attacks, but for at least the first many arenas, cheese-attacking is a rather valid strategy. Plaing counters is harder to do, but with enough skill i believe its the better strategy.

    The prince was nerfed, so he was deemed to be too good. I like the way they chose to do that. By reducing his speed rather than his hp/dam/attack speed, they made it so he is still just as mean if left uncountered (almost), but you have more time to counter him. That makes playing him a much more strategic decision, because he is countered by so low energy cards, and you have less chance now of the opponent just not having a counter in time.

    (Full disclosure: playing at around 1900-2000 trophies, lvl 7, i do not include prince in any of my current decks, and i dont register him as an “oh no” card when played against me… The TESLA though! Or those damned loon combos).

    And for syncaine: yeah the prince/darkprince combo seems to be the meanest use of him at higher arenas. i have bee wrecked by that a few times :-)

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  3. Whether in HS or CR, it’s always haste that ends up being the problem.

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