“As pretty as they are, you won't want a parade of THESE balloons showing up on the horizon. Drops powerful bombs and when shot down, crashes dealing area damage.”
The Balloon card is unlocked from the Bone Pit (Arena 2). It is a building-targeting, flying troop with moderate hitpoints and very high damage output that deals moderate death damage, in the form of a bomb, when defeated. A Balloon card costs 5 Elixir to deploy. It is a hot air balloon held together by patches and ropes, and piloted by a Skeleton with an aviator cap. The bomb dropped upon defeat detonates after 3 seconds.
The Balloon is most effective for destroying Crown Towers because of its high damage. Its damage potential is best exploited by shielding the Balloon with a tank and supporting the two with spells.
When an opposing Balloon is deployed, destroy it as fast as possible. Its high damage can be devastating if it reaches your buildings.
The Balloon will drop its first bomb instantly once it reaches a building, so be sure to take it out before it reaches important buildings.
The Balloon will drop at least one bomb if left alone, which can cause devastating damage.
Minions and the Minion Horde are very effective at taking out Balloons because of their large numbers and high damage per second. Since the Balloon’s death bomb takes 3 seconds to explode, they will usually escape it and create the opportunity for a counter push.
Wizards and Musketeers are excellent at taking down Balloons due to their high damage per second. Wizards can also effectively damage other enemy troops around the Balloon due to their area damage.
Archers are a good counter too because of their moderate damage per second and fast hit speed. However, when the Balloon is defeated, its bomb is strong enough to defeat the Archers.
Support the Balloon with a Baby Dragon. It has moderately high health and deals area damage, meaning it can easily defeat Minions or Spear Goblins while simultaneously tanking damage for the Balloon. Also, the Balloon reaches the tower faster if the Baby Dragon is deployed behind it, as the Baby Dragon is a fast unit and pushes the slow Balloon toward its target faster. In some cases, this results in the Balloon getting an extra hit on its target before being taken down.
A Musketeer, Wizard or Inferno Dragon can counter this push effectively.
Balloons can be distracted by deploying buildings like the Inferno Tower, which has an added bonus of the capability to destroy the Balloon.
Like the Giant Skeleton, it can be used as bait for enemy ranged troops that can target the Balloon since when it is destroyed, it drops a bomb that deals moderate area damage.
The Balloon is fairly fragile, so to compensate for this, deploy a tank like the Giant in front of it. Support it with other cards like Minions for high damage output or the Electro Wizard for Inferno Towers or Dragons. Something to be wary of is that large pushes usually clump together so a Fireball or Rocket can easily cripple, if not destroy, all of your support cards.
Spells are essential to any Balloon push.
It is strongly recommended you use Arrows for a quick and effective counter to Minions and the Minion Horde. You must be aware that you should also preserve your tank to maximise Balloon damage.
Zap is a strong and versatile card. Its brief stun can reset channeled attacks or abilities such as the Inferno Dragon and/or Inferno Tower. Knowing when to zap an Inferno Tower or Dragon is important as you don't want to do it too late or too early. If the Balloon and the tank have both reached the Crown Tower and the tank has low health, consider zapping the tower so the Balloon tanks while the tank deals additional damage.
Rage is a powerful spell in any push. It will dramatically increase the movement speed and hit speed of all troops under its effects. If you have managed to build up a strong Balloon push, a Rage spell will make it almost unstoppable.
A similar and sometimes better strategy is pairing the Lumberjack with the Balloon, in which the Lumberjack is in front, tanks for a little, and when dies, drops a Rage spell. The Balloon gets boosted and can easily get several hits on the Tower. However, this strategy can be easily countered by the Minion Horde, or even an Inferno Tower and a Freeze spell. Minions cannot counter this push because it will only focus on one of the two, in which either the Lumberjack or Balloon could get a few hits on the tower. If using this strategy, make sure you have other alternatives to back up the Balloon, such as Arrows.
Lightning should be reserved for the sole purpose of destroying Inferno Towers and medium hitpoint ranged units. You should aim to clip a building, troop and the Crown Tower with Lightning to maximize value. Of course, you may target just troops if that is the main threat. Since Lightning is so expensive, it is rarely used until double Elixir.
A Balloon can also be paired with the Freeze to deal massive damage. Against this combo, make sure to space out your troops so they don't get frozen.
The Freeze is also an effective counter to the Balloon, since it will freeze the Balloon and the troops supporting it, preventing massive damage from being dealt to the player's Crown Towers and creating an Elixir advantage. However, a Freeze by itself might not be enough, resulting in spending more Elixir to destroy the Balloon. Generally, a defense like the Tesla or the Inferno Tower is better.
A Balloon paired with a Lava Hound can be very powerful. The Lava Hound will absorb the upcoming hits while the Balloon deals damage to the Crown Tower, and the Lava Pups do extra damage to the tower and surrounding troops. This is known as the LavaLoon strategy. However, this strategy uses 12 Elixir and is vulnerable to troops like Minions and Minion Horde. However, splash damage troops, like the Executioner or Wizard, or area damage spells like Arrows, eliminate this weakness.
If a building is placed at least 3 tiles away from the river, a Balloon placed at the leftmost or rightmost end of the Arena will be able to bypass that building. On the side where it is only 2 tiles from the Arena Tower, you need to place the Balloon at the farthest edge.
If you know your Balloon is going to land a hit on the tower, you can Clone the Balloon once it is close to the tower so that it can attack twice in a single burst with the added death damage.
The Giant and Balloon combo costs a heavy 10 Elixir but is hard to defend and can catch the opponent off-guard, especially if they tried starting a push in the other lane.
It is most effective to start this push in the corners of the bridge to let the Balloon ignore some defenses.
An Inferno Tower and Ice Spirit combo is enough to defeat this attack.
A Minion Horde will also nullify the push's damage.
The Electro Wizard is also an effective counter to the Balloon because he constantly stuns the Balloon and does quite a bit of damage.
The Mega Minion is a very effective counter to the Balloon for a positive Elixir trade, as it can survive a Fireball 3 levels higher and will defeat the Balloon before it reaches the tower. It can then be used in a counterpush.
The Baby Dragon and/or Witch do not do enough damage to stop a lone Balloon from reaching the Princess Tower.
The Balloon card was added with Clash Royale's soft launch on 4/1/16.
The May 2016 Update increased the size of the Balloon's hitpoint bar from looking like that of an Archer's to one that was bigger, like that of a Knight. (The actual hitpoint value did not change.) This was likely changed to remain consistent, as the Balloon has health comparable to that of a Knight but its hitpoint bar was previously much smaller than that.
On 15/12/16, a Balance Update increased the Balloon's death damage by 105% and its death damage explosion radius by 50% (from 2 tiles to 3 tiles).
On 19/4/17, a Balance Update increased the Balloon's death damage delay to 3 seconds (from 1 second).
Although the Balloon attacks by dropping bombs, it does not deal area damage. This is unlike the Bomber who deals area damage by throwing bombs.
Its card image is identical to the image of the Balloon in Clash of Clans, except for the re-skinned envelope and color change.
Unlike its counterpart in Clash of Clans, the Balloon attacks instantly when it reaches a building and its basic attacks do not deal area damage. In Clash of Clans, the Balloon's death damage will only affect ground troops and buildings, which is unlike the Balloon in Clash Royale.
It can be thought of as the opposite to the Giant Skeleton, as the Giant Skeleton is a ground troop that does little damage with its attacks and deals a lot with its Death Damage, while the Balloon is an air troop and does most of its damage from its attacks and quite little with its Death Damage. The Balloon is also a flying troop that targets buildings, and the Giant Skeleton is a ground troop that targets anything it can hit.
It has the second highest damage per hit, topped only by the Sparky. However, the Balloon has the highest damage per hit for air. Sparky has the highest damage per hit for ground. In terms of damage per second, the Balloon and Sparky have similar damage per second at tournament standard since the Sparky has a slower attack speed.
Despite appearing to be the same type of bomb, the Balloon's regular attack does much more damage and is single target, whereas its death damage does less damage in an area.
The regular attack, however, is dropped directly on top of buildings and never on troops or buildings other than the Balloon's target, while the death damage is dropped to the side of buildings.