Clash Royale Endgame Strategy for Competitive Players

This guide was originally published on /r/clashroyale by Timelapze. All credit goes to him for this incredible guide.

Hi, Time here. I have seen a number of posts where people say… Now that I have reached XXXX trophies why should I keep playing? Note this entire post centers around ladder play.

There are two answers, one simple and one more complex:

  • Casual play
  • Competitive play

Now I don’t want you to mistake casual players as F2P and competitive players as P2W. You should however view the casual player as the player who will continue to play the game regardless of trophy count and not necessary have the goal to break their trophy high where as the competitive players are always grinding trophies. I digress, once you reach the legendary arena for example, you have gotten to the top arena, you have access to all the cards, and now you may feel like you’re in a never ending struggle for keeping the trophies you have OR gaining trophies.


If you are a casual player, I would suggest you collect your crown chests enjoy playing different and new cards/decks and continually open chests. You will gain gems and can then venture into challenges to test your skill. Eventually you will rise in trophies and your growth will be slow and steady. The game won’t feel stale as you are only playing to enjoy the game.


If you are a competitive player you have come to the right place. There are many reasons to play, I am a very competitive person. So I trophy push and finesse my play. Here are my thoughts, ways to improve, tips and more…

Basic Ladder Concepts

The ladder is a never ending climb. Since card levels are not capped like tournament play you will often face players with higher level king towers and card levels. Occasionally you will play an underleveled player. Do not under estimate a lower level king tower, if you are near your peak trophies you can almost count on them having overleveled cards to compensate for their underleveled king tower. Due to the ladder not having level caps, a typical strategy is to have a very strong defensive structure (possibly two!).

Deck Building

There are countless other posts out there talking about specific decks so I will just be brief and say this. When you build a deck, build a deck with intention. If you want to skip this section find a deck that already works for other players but also fits your play style. When you build a ladder deck be sure to consider what it would take in your deck to at least draw with a maxed player i.e. Inferno Tower a level 8 Golem… There are other posts on deck architypes, I suggest you spend a lot of time finessing your deck!

Analyzing Gameplay

Most professional sport teams watch game film. You should watch your previous games and identify why you lost if you don’t automatically realize why you lost. Also when playing similar decks often, you can try various tactics such as counter push, dual lane pressure, sacrificing a tower, etc. Chess masters learn from the mistakes. What is the definition of insanity?

Troop Placement

Focus on where you place your troops and why. You can often place a troop to soak damage or survive. Certain times call for certain strategies depending on elixir difference as well as phase of the game i.e. normal time, double elixir, overtime. The difference between good and great is a well placed troop that avoids AOE Spells and/or damage from support troops.


You will see the same decks over and over and over and over… When you notice an opening combination don’t over commit troops if you know you need to defend against an opposing tank or worse… Sparky. HA

Elixir Management

Over time you will develop a sense for when the opponent has more/less elixir than you. Occasionally it will make sense to just sacrifice your troops to the opponent’s tower or drop a well timed support/tank unit to build a push. Knowing that you only have a maximum amount of elixir during the 3-4 minute game, don’t waste it on bad pushes. Chip damage is okay. Sometimes a split push does more damage than a single lane push would have done depending on their defenses.

Tower Management

Your tower is a resource just like elixir. Sometimes its worth it to take a hit to your tower and save elixir for a push. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your tower. Usually you trade towers, but certain beatdown decks can sac a tower to achieve a 3 crown instead. Kiting also utilizes the towers well.

Mentality In Game

When I am in a game the first thing I do is check the opponent’s clan and king tower level. These are indicators of their potential. If they are overleveled or seem to be in a well known clan I will typically let them open up first. My default mode is draw against overleveled players and go for the win against underleveled or equal leveled players. I found that I tend to lose less often and stay in the same trophy range more easily. I am always looking for positive elixir trades and determining the opponent’s win condition your deck has natural weaknesses like rock paper scissors. Make sure your rock isn’t beaten by paper like it is supposed to be.

The Art Of Drawing

Why lose 40 trophies and then win 20 trophies when you could draw and then win and be ahead? Being overly aggressive leads to losses against skilled players. I see it all the time when the opponent opens with a Hog push and it gets shut down leaving a clear elixir disadvantage for the entire game resulting in their loss. I have had 5 draws in a row when within 100 trophies of my max trophies. A draw as a level 11 against a level 13 feels like a win in my book.

Trophy Management

Don’t tilt. Review the previous sections. You should steadily progress with little variance. Know where you are in the season. If your highest ever trophies was 5k before reset and you are 7 days into the 14 day season and you are at 4500 you are right on track if you drop to 4300 don’t get discouraged, every day it gets easier to win trophies.

Approximate Skill Level Formula (Setting Expectations)

Here comes some math… I am a Mathematician after all this is my focus. I will first explain the terms: N, S, F, W.

N is the level of your deck found by calculating the average level of your deck through converting all cards to their common level equivalent and summing them up then dividing by 8. Tournament standard decks are level 9. My deck is a 10.5 it consists of two level 12 commons, four level 8 rares, one level 5 epic, and one level 2 legendary the sum would be 84 = 2(12)+4(8+2)+(5+5)+(2+8).

S = 6000/13 = 462 which is the target/relative max skill number. This number only represents a relative maximum skill level it still allows for a standard deviation above or below based on your relative skill in your trophy range.

F = (Peak Trophies)/N = Approximate Current Skill Number

W = (6000)*(N/13) = Approximate Trophy Wall (Your Theoretical Max Trophies), note that 6000 was chosen as the theoretical maximum trophies achievable in the current build of the game it is also a nice round number.

My N = 84/8 = 10.5

My F = (4779)/10.5 = 455

My W = (6000)*(10.5/13) = 4846

What does this mean and how can these approximates help you? Knowing your deck level only helps you realize where you are in the spectrum from starting to maxed out. However knowing your deck level helps you realize what your skill number and trophy wall are which is what really helps your mentality. For example, if I am at say at my personal best of 4500 trophies the last day of the season and my deck is level 10.5, then my current skill level is 429 and my trophy wall 4846. I should keep pushing toward 4846. Those last 350 trophies are attainable and takes a higher degree of skill but as a competitive player, you should practice and continue to increase your skill level.

Now another example say I am at 5000 trophies with a level 10.5 deck on the last day of the season. I would recognize that you are in the inflated trophy range and it will be quite difficult to continue to push. Also recognize that if you lose, you were in “uncharted” territory and you should be proud of your accomplishment.

Disclaimers… This system assumes you’re using a very competitive deck, however you may achieve higher trophy counts with say a meta deck than an off meta deck but you are the same player. You may have a higher degree of skill with some cards than others. A well rounded player in a perfectly balanced environment should achieve similar results with a variety of decks.

TL;DR (for this section only) determine your NSFW numbers and compare F to S as well as push for W.

Trophy Wall

When under your trophy wall as a competitive player you should press on. However when relatively close to your trophy wall you should begin to play increasingly more defensively and time your pushes well. You may barely win games however you should be able to force draws as a main goal until an opportunity to push presents itself due to an opponent’s mistake.

Overleveled Players

As you near your trophy wall you will begin to play an increasing amount of overleveled players. Typically overleveled players have a lower skill number than you if you are near your trophy wall as the game is comprised of a mix of competitive and casual players however you may face overleveled players on the rise who haven’t hit their trophy wall yet. Your goal should be to draw and make them face someone else to earn their trophies and don’t let them make you go on tilt/make poor decisions. If you happen to be the overleveled player on the rise, don’t BM… just play a good game and say good luck to your fellow player.

What Not To Do…

Do not tilt. Do not give up. Do not change decks all the time since you won’t develop a complete understanding of the decks. Do not play overly aggressive when within 100-250 of your personal best as you need to focus. Do not give up mid-game since a draw might be possible.


I would love to hear some feed back from others as well as items that should be added. I will continue to leave edits in this section with your great feedback. I am very interested in hearing about your N and F numbers, for those open to sharing please comment below!

This guide was built to reinforce good habits and a strong mentality in and out of the game. Take the thoughts with a grain of salt but focus your energy where you an make the biggest improvements.


Benchmark your progress so that you know what it is that you are aiming for as well as know how to set expectations and make improvements along the way!