To celebrate Independence Day (the B-list film or the historic public holiday in the United States, take your pick), Supercell has let free a new Clash Royale content update!

Here we'll break down each of the new cards, and what the balance changes will mean for YOUR deck.

(Not this kind of deck.)

Ice Spirit

Clash Royale

The first of four new items, this common card costs just one elixir and plays similarly to the Fire Spirit, only with less damage (boooo) and a temporary freeze effect (yay).

This slows enemy units down for precisely one second, and applies to all enemy units within its range of 2.5. Perfect for halting groups of enemies then, as it buys you enough time for your damage dealing henchmen to do their henchy business.

Bowler Clash ROyale

This epic card spawns a burly, purple dude who rolls huge boulders in a straight line down his lane. These boulders deal huge splash damage, so are great at taking out groups of low to medium health enemies. He’s got a decent amount of HP too, which you’d expect for six elixir card.

The Log Clash Royale

The first of two legendaries, The Log actually works similarly to the Bowler, but is a one-use-only spell. It will take out any weak units and push back stronger ones, all for the low, low cost of two elixir.

Lumberjack Clash ROyale

This ground melee troop will, for just four sweet elixirs, attacks enemies with a not-too-shabby 260 base damage. He’ll then also drop a Rage buffer when he dies, so any friendly units around him will receive the same speed boosts as from the Rage spell (which costs three elixir by itself!). Nifty.

Balance changes

Three of the four new cards therefore target groups of lower health units, so to compensate, many of those types of cards have received boosts.

The Skeleton Army now contains a whole extra skeleton with which to wreak bony havoc, while the Goblin Barrel now costs just three elixir (down from four). Lastly, the Tombstone has been given a substantial 9% health increase.

Meanwhile damage increases have been handed out to the Dark Prince (8%), Bomber (9%), and Giant Skeleton (a massive 20%).

There are also minor changes to the Wizard, Inferno Tower, and Elixir Collector, which you can read more about here.

But what does this all mean? Clash Royale

All the new cards, and many of the ones receiving major boosts, are ground units, with many of them being groups.

To counter these, you’ll want to make sure you’re packing Arrows, the Fireball, or some other splash area card. You might also want to exploit the lack of focus on air-attacking units by, well, using air units!

To counter the improved Dark Prince and minimise the effects of the new Ice Spirit, consider using singular units like the Knight. Failing that, beg the Clash gods for mercy?

It remains to be seen whether the newly-improved group cards or the state-of-the-art group-attacking cards will win out, but for now, as with all new updates, exercise caution, and experiment with new decks in friendly matches before heading to the ranked mode. The only guide you need… is yourself!

(Also the Pocket Gamer Clash Royale megaguide.)

The 11th elixir drop… has been dropped!

Bonus entry, this, but there’s a little known secret feature of Clash Royale whereby if you drop cards at the exact right time, you can essentially grab yourself an extra unit of elixir each time.

Or at least, you could, before Supercell decided to get rid of it altogether, saying it was far too hidden to be fair. So it’s gone, sorry folks, show’s over.

What do you think of the new cards and changes to Clash Royale? Excited to try out tournaments? Let us know in the comments, below.