“He throws his axe like a boomerang, striking all enemies on the way out AND back. It's a miracle he doesn't lose an arm.”
The Executioner is unlocked from the Jungle Arena (Arena 9). He is an area damage, ranged troop with high hitpoints and moderate damage. He throws his axe in a straight line; it will then fly back to him, dealing its damage twice. An Executioner card costs 5 Elixir to deploy.
Its long range, area damage, ability to attack both air and ground units, and ability to deal double damage can allow it to become a decent alternative for a Witch or Wizard in a Giant Combo.
Although his range is 4.5 tiles, his axe throw actually reaches 6.5 tiles away, allowing him to damage other units that are just behind his targeted unit. His aggression range is 4.5 tiles, so he will have to walk up to the enemy before hitting it with his axe, even though the axe can reach troops 6.5 tiles away. Taking this even further, when the axe is flying through the air it has a 1 tile radius. Thus, the Executioner can technically reach 7.5 tiles. Knowing this, when facing an Executioner, you'll want to divert him from the side to prevent his axe from being angled onto your Crown Tower.
His hit speed comes in two parts: his axe travels for 1.5 seconds and after the axe returns to him there are another 0.9 seconds where he does not attack. This sums up to an overall 2.4-second hit speed.
Rage and slowing effects only affect the 0.9-second portion of the attack where he is not attacking and does not affect the 1.5 seconds in which the axe is in motion. Hence, Rage and slowing effects do not greatly affect the Executioner's damage output as they only change the overall hit speed by about 0.3 seconds. Even when he's pulled backwards by Tornado, the axe still takes 1.5 seconds to return.
Because of its damage and other perks listed above, countering swarms with the Executioner can also be extremely effective. However, keep in mind it has a very slow attack speed (2.4 seconds), almost as slow as a Bowler's.
The Executioner could be considered better than the Wizard. They both cost the same, while his higher health allows it to survive even Lightning and an equal level Giant Skeleton's bomb, can still take down a Minion Horde and even damage both the tower and a defending swarm attacking the tank. However, his damage output is much lower when compared to the Wizard.
Since the Executioner has a linear attack similar to the Bowler, he can attack glass cannons that are behind a tank.
Like the Bowler, when the Executioner lands the final hit on a Tombstone, he will not only destroy the Tombstone but will also take out the spawned Skeletons immediately.
Like most splash units, surrounding the Executioner only allows him to target one unit at a time making his splashing mechanic useless.
The Executioner pairs well with the Bowler as the Bowler can take care of ground swarms and the Executioner can help the Bowler with ground troops and defend against air swarms. This combo is also durable, surviving Fireball + Zap or Fireball + The Log. It is, however, vulnerable to a Rocket.
The Executioner was added to the game on 27/1/17.
On 13/2/17, a Balance Update decreased the damage of the Executioner by 6%, the range to 4.5 (from 5), and the axe hit radius by 10% (from 1 tile to 0.9 tiles). This update also fixed some glitches where the Executioner's axe would hit enemies behind him, would do damage in front of him when the axe was at its farther and cause a small stun when it hit enemies.
On 13/3/17, the March 2017 Update increased the axe hit radius by 10% (from 0.9 tiles to 1 tile).
This update also changed the artwork of the card.
This update also removed all of the glitches of the Executioner mentioned above.
On 19/4/17, a Balance Update increased the damage of the Executioner by 6%.