Clash Royale may be free to play, but it does a good job of keeping "pay-to-win" shenanigans at bay with the elixir system.
Read on to learn how to do use elixir effectively in Clash Royale.
Establish elixir advantage
The first rule you should learn about elixir, is that it's never a good idea to waste it by throwing high cost cards at low cost enemies.
For example, if you spend five elixir countering enemies that cost four or less elixir, you allow the other player to build up a "surplus" that they can use to pump out extra units later in the game.
Even though matches in Clash Royale last only three to four minutes at most, even the smallest elixir advantage can turn the tide.
To effectively establish elixir advantage, look at unit match ups and tune your deck so it can counter common strategies without spending too much elixir.
Some common counters that many players are already using are Skeleton Army (four elixir) to counter Giant (four elixir) and Arrows (four elixir) to counter Skeleton Army (four elixir).
Always earn elixir
At the beginning of a match, you might be tempted to wait and see what your opponent is up to before playing any units, but that can be a bad mistake.
If you ever have 10 elixir at your disposal, your bar stops filling up. As a result, you're missing out on elixir you could spend.
If your opponent takes the wait and see approach, that's all the better for you, as you'll gain elixir advantage right away, despite the fact that they're trying to even the odds by strategically countering you.
Balance your deck
The most important consideration for elixir usage should be your deck itself. Keep in mind that you want to have a good average elixir cost (which many agree right now is around 3.5 - 4.5) while still having a good set of offensive, defensive, and counter cards.
If you try to make positive elixir trades and find yourself still losing, you might want to try varying up your deck.
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Have any other tips for elixir balance? Let us know in the comments!