“The bigger the skeleton, the bigger the bomb. Carries a bomb that blows up when the Giant Skeleton dies.”
The Giant Skeleton card is unlocked from the Bone Pit (Arena 2). He is a single-target, melee troop with high hitpoints and moderate damage that deals very high death damage when defeated. A Giant Skeleton card costs 6 Elixir to deploy. He appears as a colossal skeleton with a large barrel on his back, presumably filled with gunpowder, and holding a large explosive, which, upon his death, is 'carelessly' dropped, dealing an enormous amount of damage to all enemy troops/buildings in its blast radius. The bomb explodes 3 seconds after it is dropped and targets both ground and air cards.
The Giant Skeleton is effective to use as a meat shield for other troops. This makes it a good card to use as a buffer for spawner buildings, as any unit that takes out the Giant Skeleton will be taken out by its bomb afterwards while the spawner cooks up troops. They will continue unopposed to the Crown Tower. However, it is not very interchangeable with a Giant, as the Giant Skeleton will attack any ground troop, not only buildings.
It is excellent for taking out large swarms of troops due to its death damage, completely wrecking pushes. The Giant Skeleton is very effective as a distraction card, as most cards that your opponent deploys to counter it (i.e. Barbarians, Musketeer, Valkyrie) will be taken out by the death damage for a positive Elixir trade if more than one card is on the battlefield.
If the player is stopping a push that has fast troops such as the Lumberjack and Elite Barbarians, they can use the Tornado to pull them and/or any other support troops to the bomb.
The Giant Skeleton is also useful for taking out Crown Towers since when the bomb explodes upon the Giant Skeleton's death, it will deal a lot of damage to the Tower. He is slow, easily distracted, and does low damage unlike building-targeting troops, though, so it could be hard to get it to the Tower in the first place.
Casting a Clone spell when the Giant Skeleton reaches a Tower will double the already devastating death damage. This can also be good for defense since it will stop all troops but tanks but make sure you get a good elixir trade because it does cost 9 Elixir.
It is imperative to eliminate troops that may attack the Giant Skeleton so that it can get the giant bomb to the enemy Crown Tower and deal immense damage.
If a Mini P.E.K.K.A. is placed behind a Giant Skeleton it will deal heavy damage to the tower. The Giant Skeleton can blow up the tower and act as a tank while the Mini P.E.K.K.A. pushes it forward and deals high damage. However, this combination is very weak to swarms, so a good spell is recommended.
The player can devastate an enemy's Crown Tower by placing the Giant Skeleton with the Balloon so that the opponent is forced into trying to distract and kill both of them.
The Inferno Tower is an effective counter, as it can easily take down a Giant Skeleton without a large group of troops and unnecessary usage of Elixir. If the player needs the Inferno Tower for a later defense, they can pull the Giant Skeleton, and thus his death damage, away from the Tower with cheap units like the Skeletons.
Giant Skeletons are also effectively countered by swarms of troops like Barbarians, Minions, and the Minion Horde, or troops with good hitpoints and damage like the Knight or Mini P.E.K.K.A. However, Barbarians must always be placed behind the Giant Skeleton so that they have enough time to run away before being blown up.
A reliable but not a very efficient way of countering (or at least delaying) a Giant Skeleton is to drop a Giant in front of the Crown Tower he is approaching. The Giant will ignore the Giant Skeleton's low damage per second and trundle onward, luring the Giant Skeleton (and more importantly, its bomb) away from the Crown Tower.
The Giant Skeleton was added with Clash Royale's soft launch on 4/1/16.
On 2/2/16, the February 2016 Update added the death damage on the Giant Skeleton's card info screen.
On 29/2/16, the March 2016 Update increased the Giant Skeleton's hitpoints by 11% and bomb timer to 3 sec (from 1 sec).
The bomb and barrel of the Giant Skeleton appear to be taken from a Giant Bomb trap from Clash of Clans.
The Giant Skeleton sports a team-colored ushanka (a Russian fur cap) on its head. He also appears to have an underbite as his card picture shows. The Guards and Minions share the same trait as the Giant Skeleton.
He, the Goblin Giant, and the Mega Knight are currently the only tanks to move at medium speed, making them the fastest tanks.
As of the November 2016 update, the Giant Skeleton makes a laughing sound when deployed, possibly a reference to the Clash Royale commercial, Giant Skeleton.