“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 Builder’s Workshop (Arena 6). 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, the player should destroy it as fast as possible. Its high damage can be devastating if it reaches their 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 impeding the Balloon's pathing and also having 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. However, these are fairly vulnerable to spells and area damage troops.
A more reliable counter to Balloons are Wizards and Musketeers, as they have a similar damage output but a higher health pool. The Wizard can also hit other units piaredwith the Balloon.
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.
The Inferno Tower or a tank + anti-air combo can counter this push, as the Baby Dragon's damage is not enough to take out anything bulkier than swarms in two shots.
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. In particular, the Balloon's bomb can defeat any unit with as much health as Archers, so the player should try to get these units caught up in the blast.
The Balloon is fairly fragile, so to compensate for this, the player can deploy a tank like the Giant in front of it, and 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 the support cards.
One expensive, but potentially deadly push using the Balloon involves Minions or a Minion Horde. Putting the Balloon in front, and having Minions or Minion Horde behind, the Balloon's speed can be increased dramatically. The player should make sure their opponent has used their splash damage air attacking troops recently, before using this push, lest they face a massive negative Elixir trade.
Since most counters to the Balloon are swarms or have low to moderate health, spells are essential to any Balloon push.
It is strongly recommended for the Balloon user to use Arrows for a quick and effective counter to Minions and the Minion Horde. They must be aware that they should also preserve their tank to maximize 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. Specifically, stunning the Inferno cards right as their attack reaches the four second mark will maximize the effectiveness of the reset timing, as they will be prevented from dealing their highest amount of damage per second. 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 becomes the primary tank.
The Giant Snowball can defeat Bats and Spear Goblins quickly, while also knocking back and slowing down the Princess Tower along with any other troops. These effects can allow the Balloon to survive long enough to land an extra shot.
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 the player has managed to build up a strong Balloon push, adding a Rage spell will make it almost unstoppable.
A similar and sometimes better strategy is pairing the Lumberjack with the Balloon. The Lumberjack tanks for the Balloon and drops a Rage spell, boosting the Balloon and allowing it to get multiple hits on the tower. However, anti-air cards with enough damage output like the Minion Horde or buildings like the Inferno Tower will be able to counter this push. If using this strategy, the player should make sure they have other alternatives to back up the Balloon, such as Arrows or a Baby Dragon. In order to pull this off, the Lumberjack or the support troop should come from a counterpush, allowing the Balloon player to start a snowball effect.
Lightning should be reserved for the sole purpose of destroying Inferno Towers and medium hitpoint ranged units. The player should aim to clip a building, troop and the Crown Tower with Lightning to maximize value. Of course, they 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 surprise the opponent and deal massive damage. Against this combo, the defending player should make sure to space out their troops so they don't get frozen.
On the contrary, the Freeze is an effective method of stalling a large Balloon push, allowing the Freeze user to target the Balloon directly and defeat it immediately. However, if the player is unable to take advantage of the freeze duration, it can end up backfiring and being a waste of Elixir. Generally, a well-placed building 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. Once the Lava Hound spawns the Lava Pups, the Balloon becomes the primary tank, allowing the Pups to deal massive damage. This is known as the LavaLoon strategy. However, this strategy is expensive at 12 Elixir, so it must be started from the back of the arena, and since both troops only attack buildings, swarms can damage down the push uncontested without a proper spell in rotation. The Inferno Tower will also burn up both troops.
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, the player will need to place the Balloon at the farthest edge.
If the player knows their Balloon is going to land a hit on the tower, they 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.
Like the LavaLoon push, both units are slow and only attack buildings, so similar countermeasures will also work here.
All wizards deal enough damage or impede the Balloon's progress enough so that it doesn't reach the tower.
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 Hunter's high close-range damage can easily destroy a Balloon in two shots. Even though he will suffer the Balloon's death damage, it is still a positive Elixir trade.
The Baby Dragon does 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).
The description is a reference to the popular Clash of Clans commercial, Balloon Parade.
Its card image is identical to the old 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.