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Clash Royale: Best Evolutions, Ranked

Evolutions are the newest major addition to Clash Royale, changing the way many of the game’s most popular cards function. While many people debate whether evolutions have been good for the game as a whole, no one can deny how powerful (and fun) they are to use

In this article, we’ll rank all the evolutions in Clash Royale from worst to best. But before getting to that, we’ll give a brief rundown of what evolutions are and how to get them. Regardless of how you feel about evolutions, they’re an incredibly important part of the game, so it pays off to know as much as you can about them. Let’s get right to it!

What are Evolutions in Clash Royale?

Evolutions were added to Clash Royale in early 2023 and have had a major impact on the game. Unlike Legendary or Champion cards, evolutions exist in their own bubble since they aren’t actual cards.

Instead, Evolutions are “upgrades” to the base version of the card they’re tied to. So, for example, the Firecracker evolution is not a new card; it’s an upgrade to the pre-existing Firecracker card that gives it seriously improved abilities.

The catch to this is that you have to “cycle” the card before activating the evolution in-game. That means that during each match, you’ll need to play the card a set amount of times (the cycle cost) before you get the evolved version.

For example, again, let’s look at Firecracker. Firecracker has a cycle cost of 2, so you’ll need to play it twice before you get an evolved one. Then after you cast it, you’ll have to do the cycle cost again. It’s a good way of keeping the evolution cards’ power in check, and it’s not too annoying once you get used to it.

Evolutions can take normal cards and make them much, much stronger, but they’re not easy to get. Let’s next take a look at how to get card evolutions in Clash Royale.

How to Get Evolution Shards & Cards

The process to unlock evolutions has been a source of controversy for Clash Royale this year. If you want to unlock evolution cards, you’re usually going to have to spend money on either the Diamond Pass or purchase them from the shop.

The bright side of this, however, is that the price for evolution cards seems to have gone down since release. You can commonly find offers for around $5 or so that will allow you to unlock an entire evolution.

How to Get Evolutions as F2P

If you don’t want to spend money, you can take a longer route to get a free evolution. Wild Shards are a currency which you can exchange for a single Evolution Shard. However, you’ll need 6 Evolution Shards to unlock a single evolution, so it isn’t exactly a quick process.

The easiest way to get Wild Shards is to buy them (with in-game currency) via the Season Shop on the events tab. They usually don’t cost too much, but you’re limited to only one per season (so far).

Ranking Every Evolution in Clash Royale (Worst to Best)

Just like with everything in these games, we’re here to rank each evolution! It’s worth noting that none of the evolutions are anywhere close to bad, so the “worst” in this list is still very good. That being said, they’re not all equal.

Including the newly released Royal Recruits, here are all the evolutions in Clash Royale from worst to best!

#7 Skeletons

  • Cycle Cost: 2
  • Base Elixir: 1

Skeletons get a pretty significant upgrade here. Instead of summoning just 3 harmless skeletons, you start out with 4 that spawn an additional skeleton each time a skeleton attacks. This turns Skeletons from a 1-Elixir cycle card that can distract some enemies, into a 1-Elixir army of endless Skeletons.

While this evolution might not get as much attention as the others, it’s surprisingly strong. Evolved Skeletons are great for taking out tanks like Giant or P.E.K.K.A. that either don’t fight back or can’t do so fast enough to avoid the swarm.

While you can’t make your whole deck about the Skeletons, they are a great asset to any deck, and the evolution make Skeletons a far more useful card than they were beforehand.

Although Skeletons are at the bottom of this list, we want to stress that they are still good. But since they don’t really make a huge impact (except in specific situations), we can’t rank them any higher.

#6 Mortar

  • Cycle Cost: 2
  • Base Elixir: 4

The evolved Mortar is the simplest one to explain. Whereas the standard Mortar fires large boulders at enemies and towers, the evolved one fires Goblins at them. It still does the same amount of damage upon impact as the boulder (let’s not question how), but leaves a Goblin behind that damages whatever is nearby

It’s a combination of Mortar and Goblin Barrel, which we never thought we’d see. It’s certainly the funniest evolution, simply for the fun of seeing Goblins flying all over the arena.

Since the evolved Mortar is still just a Mortar, you’d want to use it in the same way. If you’re going to play Mortar (evolved or not), you have to base your deck around it.

There are a bunch of Mortar deck archetypes, but they usually involve some kind of Log Bait strategy or just use a bunch of good support cards for the Mortar. It’s a powerful win con, and the evolution makes it even more powerful than usual.

#5 Royal Recruits

  • Cycle Cost: 1
  • Base Elixir: 7

Royal Recruits have an interesting evolution, as it doesn’t change them too much, but does give some extra bonuses. With this evolution, whenever the Recruits’ shields are broken, they begin to charge forward like Prince or Ram Rider. This allows them to do a bit of extra damage, move quicker, and can prevent opponents from using spells like Log or Barbarian Barrel on them.

If your opponent wants to prevent your Royal Recruits from doing the charge, they’ll need to leave those shields in-tact. That might not come into play every game, but it’s worth remembering for the half of the player-base that always uses the Log.

This evolution is best used in any deck where Royal Recruits are already a good option. Since it doesn’t change what they do in general, you don’t have to adapt your playstyle to them too much.

The most exciting deck archetype to try this evolution in is definitely Log Bait, as that’s where the evolution’s effect will be most likely to come into play. Since Log Bait decks want their opponents to use Logs, you’ll be able to take advantage of the charge more often. Once the Recruits’ shields get broken they go into charge mode, which is easy to do with the Log in play.

You can also use this evolution in any deck where you need an expensive swarm or defense/counterpush card. It doesn’t have to be all about the Recruits. They are just recruits, after all.

#4 Knight

  • Cycle Cost: 2
  • Base Elixir: 3

The Knight is one of the best cheap tanks in Clash Royale, and his evolution makes him even better in that role. The evolution for the Knight gives him an upgraded shield which grants 60% damage reduction while he’s moving and also generally improves him in most ways (more melee damage, faster hit speed, more HP, etc.). All in all, this evolution is pretty straightforward and makes the Knight an even more effective tank.

Since the Knight’s evolution just makes him more tanky, he fits into the same decks as usual. Cheap tanks are always helpful in Clash Royale, as they’re essential for distracting dangerous troops when you’re low on Elixir.

The evolved Knight is perhaps the most efficient tank in the game, especially considering its low cost. You don’t have to build around the Knight or its evolution. You can just put it in any deck and it’ll always be an S-tier tank. It might not be flashy or game-changing, but it’s consistent and very powerful for the cost.

#3 Barbarians

  • Cycle Cost: 1
  • Base Elixir: 4

Since Barbarians are more expensive and the evolution isn’t quite as strong as some other ones, it only has a cycle cost of 1. The evolution itself is pretty strong, as it gives the Barbarians more speed and allows them to boost their hitspeed after each attack.

This allows the Barbarians to turn into a tank destroying machine, and they’ll also be able to take out towers much easier than before. It isn’t necessarily a game-changing buff, but for decks where you want Barbarians anyway, it’s really strong.

One of the strengths of the Barbarians is that they can have a major impact on the game without requiring much support. You don’t really have to do much to get a ton of use out of the Barbarians, and the use you get out of them is fantastic.

They’re great for taking out any tank, they can handle big groups of enemies, and they can be used for split pushes. Their versatility really is their biggest strength, in addition to the damage upgrade the evolved version gets.

Since Barbarians are so easy to use in so many decks, and because the evolution is seriously powerful, Barbarians are in the upper part of this list.

#2 Royal Giant

  • Cycle Cost: 1
  • Base Elixir: 6

Royal Giant is always strong, and his evolution has only made him several times stronger. At his core, the evolved Royal Giant is still pretty much the same as the normal one. It moves forward slowly and only targets buildings, to which he delivers massive chunks of damage.

However, with the evolution he also protects himself. With each cannon ball fired, the recoil does AoE damage around him. This clears out weak swarms, making the Royal Giant even more difficult than usual to counter.

It’s not hard to see why Royal Giant’s evolution is so powerful. All you have to do to get max usage out of the evolved Royal Giant is play it in the same kind of deck as before. The main change you can make, though, is that you don’t need as much swarm control. So you can perhaps cut a card like Ice Wizard or standard Firecracker, since Royal Giant is capable of defending itself somewhat.

You still need a good lineup of support cards, so you can’t cut them all, but it does mean you get more space in your deck for other stuff like better defense. Royal Giant’s evolution was one of the first ones that caused outrage due to how overpowered it originally was. Thankfully it isn’t that strong anymore, but it remains one of the best.

#1 Firecracker

  • Cycle Cost: 2
  • Base Elixir: 3

Firecracker’s evolution is our pick for the best evolution in Clash Royale overall. Where the normal Firecracker shoots a rocket that splits off into a cone of extra damage, the evolved Firecracker is much more explosive.

Instead, it shoots a rocket which leaves a trail of sparking damage behind. At level 11, this trail of damage does 192 DPS to troops and 60 to Crown Towers. It allows the Firecracker to play a much more dangerous role, as her damage is long-range and much more threatening than before.

Luckily, you can use Firecracker as a much more serious threat with her evolution. Whereas she’s usually just a support troop, the evolution makes her a much bigger threat. That being said, she still is a support troop, as she’s still too easy to kill to be considered a win con.

As long as there’s a tank in front of her, evolved Firecracker should be able to do tons of damage. From towers to swarms to random enemies, she’s the perfect answer to them all. Just watch out for Arrows and Logs.

Firecracker is a key part of so many decks that it’s hard not to consider her evolution the best overall. This evolution’s existence has drastically impacted the game, even though it isn’t a win con. That makes Firecracker an easy pick for the top of the list and as the first evolution you should get in Clash Royale.

Join the High Ground

That concludes our ranking of every evolution in Clash Royale. Evolutions have changed Clash Royale in a significant way, so it pays off to be aware of which ones are worth seeking out.

Let us know which evolutions are your favorite in the comments below, and make sure to subscribe to the High Ground for the latest on all of your favorite games!

Happy gaming!

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