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Minion Hordes, Balloons, Bats, you name it, every single air unit has pissed you off at some point. (Except maybe Skeleton Barrel since it can be countered with purely-ground responses, but you get the point.) Maybe it still does if you're one of those players stuck at 4/5K with shitty card levels. That darn Balloon getting a free fly to take your tower because you have nothing in hand for it, so you push opposite lane hard to tower trade, only to have Bats or a Minion Horde stop everything for 2/5 elixir...
Binary Cards are the most drastic form of potentially unfair mechanics in Clash Royale. No matter the level, no matter the DPS (unless it targets buildings), no matter how much HP they have, a Binary Card will kill any troop that doesn't hit them in return, period.
Now, I say "potentially." If your deck has 3 or 4 DPS counters to Binary Cards, you'll stand a normal fighting chance against them, and even if you have less than that, you always have your Crown Towers to pick them off in a pinch. Having Binary Card counters in your deck has become commonplace and the meta has adapted smoothly and with little trouble to deal with these Binary Cards. It always has.
However, things become a problem when the cards that counter Binary Cards... don't. Or at least, not nearly as effectively as they should.
There are certain situations where having the right counters still doesn't result in any meaningful success, effortlessly putting you in a situation where you just can't do anything to stop it no matter how many times it comes at you, such as Binary Cards under the effects of Rage/being Healed, or Binary Cards with a distraction unit in front of it (Elixir Golem Double Dragons Rage, anyone? No? Then how about half of 4K/5K Ladder decks?). In these situations, Binary Cards become immensely powerful and abuse the fact that they are Binary, which for the most part is never good for the game considering how one-sided these interactions are and how much it makes Clash Royale a game of "who can boost their Binary Cards the most in a match".
You ever wonder why so many people run max Wizard on Ladder? He stops all these Binary cards cold in their tracks in a split-second regardless of what effects they are influenced by, what tanks for them, what is behind them, or what damage spell is used on him! And he is the only one that can do it out of all 99 cards in the game! Hog Riders and Royal Giants can't kill him either, unlike Buildings, meaning you cannot bait him out as a response to let your Binary cards take the tower for free. You just can't. He is the only reliable counter to boosted Binary Cards.
Combo the status effect boosting of your Binary Cards with card level boosting of your Binary Cards and boom, you're going straight to 5K, no questions asked, leaving a trail of salty players in the process and tormenting others at 5K with a Binary strategy.
Binary Card boosting is a problem similar to Freeze Spell where it will carry you up ladder just because it breaks past most if not all and any defense. If boosting Binary Cards wasn't a thing, the game as a whole as well as the Binary Cards themselves would be in a much, much better position of balance, especially
mid-ladder and beyond. "Yes or No" cards shouldn't have tools that can make it a "Yes or Yes" card.
So what can we do?
Some situations are already being handled, such as the one where there is a tank in front of their air units. Spells slam everything all at once, leaving no chance for them to do much. Killing the tank is another option if you have a tank killer in your deck. Others can't be handled, such as card level BS. Some situations, however, can be handled and should be handled. Here are a few options that can be done to handle the rest of the situations: (1) Nerf friendly status effect cards by making them unable to buff air units.
You heard me. Make cards like Balloon, Minion Horde, Baby Dragon, etc. unable to be Raged, Healed, or Cloned. Make Rage, Lumberjack, Clone, Battle Healer, and Heal Spirit completely unable to influence their own air units. PROS:
- All current issues with Binary Cards will be completely resolved, making most attempts to boost Binary Cards impossible.
- Overall beneficial in the long term as you won't need to worry about how another card will affect these Binary Cards.
- Some cards are nerfed even though they can't afford it.
- --- FIX: Turn Rage Spell into a Rage Spirit already!
- --- FIX: Buff Lumbi-boi
- --- FIX: Clone Spell could be cheaper or bigger.
- --- FIX: Battle Healer could do more damage or have more HP.
- --- Heal Spirit would probably be fine
- Players would probably be very upset that their main strategy got nuked, and their trophies will probably dip a lot as well (like, a LOT of players).
- --- Given time, they will adjust. Their decks don't exactly need a Rage Spell to work.
////// (2) Nerf friendly status effect cards by making them give reduced buffs to air units.
A softer version of the first option. Instead of removing the ability to buff air units, it would simply buff them much less than ground units. PROS:
- All current issues with Binary Cards will be partially resolved, effectively limiting how much that boosts will affect them.
- Same Cons as Option 1, only players won't be as upset as they can still use Binary strategies, just not nearly as effectively as before.
- -- Since the issue is allowed to exist partially, it will likely still be a bit problematic.
////// (3) Introduce a Hard Counter to Binary Cards: Legendary Building Air Sweeper.
3 elixir building that does low Damage to Ground Units, Bonus Damage to Air Units, and has a special Bowler-like splash attack that knocks back all Air Units, but not any Ground Units. PROS:
- First Legendary Building.
- Nope card to Binary strats, similar to the Wizard (yet weak against Ground strats, unlike Wizard)
- Helps keep air cards from accidentally being too powerful
- It's... one card. And a vulnerable one at that. And hard to level up. And Baitable. I don't know if you can depend on one card to solve all Binary issues.
That's all I got so far. Any questions? (Will also answer tomorrow)
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