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The Elixir Golem is Clash Royale design at its most devious

Hit the decks.

The Elixir Golem isn't officially released for 18 days, but already I can't stop thinking about him. Some people in my clan already have him, which doesn't help. New cards have slowed down a bit in Clash Royale of late. But even without such relative scarcity this guy would be exciting.

Clash Royale is a game where you build a deck of cards, which represent units or buildings or spells. And then you use these cards in 1v1 - or 2v2 - matches against other players. Each player has three towers that they're protecting and you're trying to storm. The stuff that allows you to play cards is called elixir. It's basically mana. Each card has its own elixir cost, and managing this is the heart of the game.

The standard Golem has been in the game for ages. I went through a definite Golem thing a while back, but now I barely use him. The Golem is very powerful, a melee unit that does a lot of damage and has a lot of health. Before dying he splits into two mini Golems and they're a pain too. But listen: he costs eight elixir, which is almost all your pool. And he's slow. He can be whittled down quite easily by a skilled player before he's really done anything.

Enter the Elixir Golem. Still big and powerful, and still splits in two when damaged. And when those guys are damaged they both split in two as well. Lots of room to seriously hurt your foe. But here's the thing: the Elixir Golem only costs three elixir, which is practically nothing.

Cue the twist. When those final four blobs of Elixir Golem have been defeated, your enemy can cash them in as elixir for themselves. Pure evil! Elixir Golem comes at a discount, but when he's defeated he hands a massive elixir boost to your foe. He hacks the tempo for you, but you have to pay it back later.

So he's a rush baddy, I guess.That's how I've been using him so far in the special matches in which I'm allowed to try him out. Sometimes it's gone well. Sometimes it's been an absolute disaster. And that's what a new card should be like, right? Those 18 days can't tick away fast enough.

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Christian Donlan avatar

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.