“The Dark Prince deals area damage and lets his spiked club do the talking for him - because when he does talk, it sounds like he has a bucket on his head.”
The Dark Prince card is unlocked from the Royal Arena (Arena 7). He is an area damage, melee troop with both moderate hitpoints and damage, and has a shield in addition to his normal health. He has a special ability: as the Dark Prince continues to run, after traveling 3.5 tiles, he will gain a speed boost and will charge up. Upon hitting a troop or building, he will deal 2× damage while immediately losing the speed bonus. However, he can regain it if he starts to move again and does not encounter another enemy for another 2 seconds. Note that his charge attack has a 360º effect, like a Valkyrie, but his normal attacks are directional like a Wizard or Baby Dragon. A Dark Prince card costs 4 Elixir to deploy. The Dark Prince takes an appearance as a man mostly covered in black armor with shining blue eyes, eyebrows, a nose visible and a part of his neck as well. He carries a spiked club and wooden shield and rides a pony the same breed as his counterpart, the Prince.
When fighting an opposing Dark Prince, an effective counter is to place a unit to tank its charge attack, such as a Knight. However, unlike the Prince, a high hitpoint troop is much more effective to counter the Dark Prince than deploying low hitpoint units to counter the card, as the Dark Prince deals area damage. Even if the player surrounds him with troops, his 360º charge attack will kill them all.
Excess damage from destroying the Dark Prince's shield will not affect his actual hitpoints. For instance, the Dark Prince has 199 shield hitpoints, and a Lightning does 877 damage to him, the extra 678 damage will be completely negated.
The Dark Prince is effective at stopping the Prince's charge attack. Due to his shield having a separate health bar from himself, it will absorb the Prince's charging attack, while Dark Prince is still alive.
Even though the Dark Prince deals notably less damage than the Prince, it is a good idea to take care of him before he reaches the tower as he can still deal a considerable amount of damage to the player's tower.
When defending against a Dark Prince, keep in mind that his charge strike will deal damage in a 360-degree radius, so it is effective to use a Zap or Zappies to stun him or waste his charge with cheap units like Skeletons, and then surround him with troops such as the Goblin Gang, Skeleton Army or Barbarians.
The Electro Wizard is effective at stopping the Dark Prince with his zap attacks, preventing the Dark Prince from charging.
If timed correctly, the Dark Prince's charge attack can take out all 3 Goblins in a Goblin Barrel.
The Dark Prince can be paired with fast-moving troops that target buildings such as Hog Rider or Battle Ram. The Dark Prince's fast charge speed will make him aligned with the troop. The Dark Prince then will eliminate any swarms, while the troop moves to attack the tower.
However this combo is very vulnerable to air swarms like the Minion Horde, since the Dark Prince can't attack air.
An attacking Dark Prince in affiliation with the Prince is immensely effective. The Dark Prince can eliminate opposing low hitpoint troops while the Prince charges towards the enemy Tower, unhindered. This is known as the Double Prince combo and is also frequently used with a tank like the Giant.
Because the Prince and Dark Prince cannot attack air units, this would be very vulnerable to a Minion Horde.
This strategy can be shut down with an Inferno Tower paired with swarm cards such as a tank and high-damage troop combo or by luring the troops to the middle. This lets both Arena Towers engage the pair, annihilating them. If you kite them far enough, they may do a lane swap and target the completely wrong Tower!
The player can also counter the P.E.K.K.A. Double Prince Combo with a cycle deck or by being very aggressive; however, they will need to adjust their play style or splash units will defeat your cycle deck, easily.
On 23/3/16, a Balance Update decreased the Dark Prince's charge speed by 13%.
The Dark Prince description changed with the May 2016 Update. It used to say, "Dealing area damage with each swing and double after charging, the Dark Prince is a formidable fighter. To harm his squishy core, break his shield first."
On 4/7/16, the Tournaments Update increased the Dark Prince's damage by 8% and made him unaffected by pushback.
On 24/8/16, a Balance Update increased the Dark Prince's damage by 7.5%.
On 13/2/17, a Balance Update increased the Dark Prince's hitpoints by 5%.
On 11/8/17, a Balance Update increased the Dark Prince's damage by 6% and increased his hit speed to 1.4 seconds (from 1.5 seconds).
On 12/2/18, a Balance Update increased the Dark Prince's hitpoints by 5% and increased his hit speed to 1.3 seconds (from 1.4 seconds).
On 25/4/18, the Clan Wars update decreased the Dark Prince’s Shield hitpoints by 25%.
On 20/6/18, the Summer Update increased the distance required for charging to 3.5 tiles (from 2.5).
On 6/5/19, a Balance Update increased his range by 20% and increased his area splash radius by 25%. The area splash radius change affects both his normal attack and charging 360º attack.
On 1/7/19, a 'Rulebook' Update decreased the Dark Prince's range from 1.25 to 1.2 (now classified as Melee: Medium). This also slightly decreased the splash radius of both his normal attack and charging attack by 5%.
On 2/9/19, a Balance Update decreased the Dark Prince's splash radius to 1.1 tiles (from 1.2 tiles).
The Dark Prince and the Mega Knight are the only cards other than death damage cards to have two types of attack; a normal splash like the Wizard, and a 360-degree one like the Valkyrie. Coincidentally, they are both splash damage troops.