The Balloon targets buildings (such as Crown Towers). It deals a massive amount of damage with its dropped bombs.
When the Balloon is destroyed, it drops an area damage bomb which damages nearby troops and buildings.
The Balloon is most effective for destroying Crown Towers because of its high damage. Its damage potential is best backed up with the Freeze which if used properly can completely disable all resistance to the Balloon.
Using a Rage in conjunction with the Balloon will punish the enemy, as the Rage allows it to reach the tower faster and also quickens its attack to 1.6 seconds.
This strategy is especially powerful at the last minute of the match or during Sudden Death since the player will have additional Elixir to spawn support troops (such as Spear Goblins or Mini P.E.K.K.A.) to back it up.
This combo will give the player 3 remaining Elixir if you start with full Elixir. For backup, Minions or a Knight that is put in front could be used. An attack like this could get the player an easy Crown Tower at the very start of the game.
However, this strategy is risky, as it leaves the player's other Crown Tower wide open for attacks. It might result in a Crown Tower for a Crown Tower trade-off. Take careful consideration when using it.
The strategy can easily be countered with the Minion Horde unless a splash damage card is used in the push,
A similar and sometimes better strategy is Lumberjack and Balloon, in which the Lumberjack is in front, tanks for a little, and when dies, drops a Rage in which the Balloon gets boosted and can get several hits on the tower. However, this strategy is easily countered by Minion Horde, or even Inferno Tower and Freeze. Minions cannot counter because it will only focus on one of the two, in which either Lumberjack or Balloon could get a few hits on the tower.
When an opposing Balloon spawns, destroy it as fast as possible. Its high damage can be punishing 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 get at least one hit if left alone, which can cause devastating damage.
Minions and the Minion Horde are very effective at taking out Balloons since their large numbers and moderate damage per second allow them to quickly eliminate the Balloon. However, due to the Balloon's Death Damage Buff, the Bomb will destroy the units, preventing a counter push.
Wizards are excellent at taking down Balloons due to their high damage per second. They can also effectively damage other enemy troops around the Balloon due to their area damage.
Back the Balloon up with a Baby Dragon. It has moderate to high health and deals area damage, meaning it can easily kill Minions/Minion Hordes or Spear Goblins while simultaneously tanking damage. 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.
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, as when it is destroyed, it drops a bomb that deals area damage.
The Balloon has low hitpoints compared to more tanky troops like the Giant, so make sure that it is protected by other troops as the backup while it is heading to the opponent's Arena Towers and/or any buildings.
Using a Zap in conjunction with a Balloon is also a good strategy since it will briefly immobilize the Arena Tower and any nearby defending troops or buildings giving the Balloon an extra half second to attack, plus destroy some smaller units like Spear Goblins.
An alternative to the Zap is the Arrows, which can kill Minions but can't stun them.
Another alternative is the Ice Spirit which if ignored can stun for 1.5 seconds.
An effective counter to the Balloon is the Freeze 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 like a weaker Minion Horde. It is known as the LavaLoon and happens to also be a good strategy in Clash of Clans. However, this strategy uses 12 Elixir and is vulnerable to troops like Minions and Minion Horde.
If a building is placed at least 3 tiles away from the river, you can bypass it by placing the Balloon on the edge at the bridge. 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.
A working strategy is a Giant-Balloon combo. It does cost 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 a good counter to the Balloon because he constantly stuns the Balloon and does quite a bit of damage.
The Balloon 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).
The Balloon is the only flying troop that has a melee range.
The description is a reference to the popular Clash of Clans commercial, Balloon Parade.
The Balloon is also the only flying troop to deal Death Damage.
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 levels.
The death damage does less damage than the attack itself considering they are the same type of bomb. It is also strange that the normal attack is single-target while the death damage is area damage.
The Balloon's regular damage is the same as an equal (not equivalent) level Mini P.E.K.K.A.'s health.