“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 travelling 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 shiny 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 damage them all.
It can be beneficial to deploy a cheap unit to absorb the Dark Prince's charge attack before deploying your tank counter, as it will preserve more of your defender's health for a possible counterpush. You can also use a stunning card like a Zap to reset his charge and deal a bit of damage to him.
Barbarians and Rascals are still a good counter as their staggered deploy means the Dark Prince's charge attack will only hit one of the units, allowing the others to stay alive and attack.
However, cheaper staggered swarms will still die to the Dark Prince fairly quickly, so it's not recommended to use them as a counter.
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, making it ineffective to use high Elixir spells on him. The shield also makes him effective at countering high single damage units like the Prince or Sparky.
The Dark Prince fills multiple roles within one deck due to his moderate-high hitpoints, strong splash attack, and shield. He can be used to take out support units like a Musketeer behind a tank, absorb damage from big units with his shield, support pushes, and rush from the bridge.
Even though the Dark Prince deals 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.
The Electro Wizard is effective at stopping the Dark Prince with his stun attacks, preventing the Dark Prince from charging at all.
The Dark Prince can be paired with fast-moving troops that target buildings such as Hog Rider. 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 toward the enemy Tower, unhindered. This is known as the Double Prince combo and is also frequently used with a tank like the Giant.
This combo is vulnerable to air cards, so be prepared with the proper spells.
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.
Since this combo costs a lot of Elixir, attacking in the other lane can be a good way to prevent the opponent from effectively executing it.
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.