“It's a Skeleton party in the sky, until all the balloons pop... then it's a Skeleton party on the ground!”
The Skeleton Barrel card is unlocked from Builders Workshop (Arena 6). It is a flying, building-targeting troop with medium hitpoints. Once it reaches a building or it is destroyed, seven Skeletons drop (in a circle), similar to the Battle Ram. A Skeleton Barrel card costs 3 Elixir to deploy. It is a spiked black barrel with a white skull painted on the front tied to three team-colored balloons.
The Log, Zap, Barbarian Barrel and the Giant Snowball are the best spells to counter the Skeletons from the Skeleton Barrel since its death damage doesn't deal too much damage, and these cheap spells can easily destroy all of the Skeletons for a positive Elixir trade. The player must account for the 0.5 second animation where neither the Barrel nor the Skeletons are considered as entities; if the spell is cast during this phase it will not affect the Skeletons. Since small spells are a cheap and efficient way to clean up the Skeletons, consider running bait cards for these spells such as Goblin Gang, Bats or Skeletons to stretch the opponent's counters thin.
During the 0.5 second animation time, the Skeleton Barrel can still be displaced by Tornado. This quirk means that the defender can pull a Skeleton Barrel close enough to their King's Tower to activate it. However, a few Skeletons will still aggro onto the Princess Tower and take up to a tenth of its health.
Similar to the Goblin Barrel, the Skeletons will only spawn when the barrel falls to the ground and splits open.
The Skeleton Barrel synergizes well with the Goblin Barrel. When used together simultaneuously, it can be very difficult or even impossible for the opponent to hit the spawned units with one spell, and may possibly force them to use another spell or to counter one of the two cards inefficiently. The Skeleton Barrel can also tank a few shots for the spawned Goblins
An excellent synergy is with Ice Spirit and Zap. The Skeleton Barrel's death damage combined with a Zap or Ice Spirit will take out Goblins and Minions. If the opponent is caught off-guard, this can inflict heavy damage to their Crown Towers. This well-synchronized combination can help protect cards such as the Hog Rider and the Lava Hound.
The Skeleton Barrel excels at distracting the Inferno Tower and the Inferno Dragon for a tank since the Skeleton Barrel targets buildings and drops several Skeletons which they cannot deal with independently. This can force out a card that the opponent doesn't want to play, such as a Valkyrie or Zap. However, be sure to time the tank placement; the tank may be targeted by the Inferno in the 0.5 seconds that the Skeletons do not exist, making it a less effective counter.
The Skeleton Barrel has excellent synergy with Miner where the Skeleton Barrel initially tanks the tower hits for Miner while it chips the tower, and after the barrel dies, the tower will lock onto the Miner in the 0.5 seconds that neither the barrel nor Skeletons exist. Other cheap tanks such as Ice Golem and Knight can tank for the Skeletons like the Miner, however, chip damage is not as guaranteed.
The Skeleton Barrel works very well with a Balloon as it can quickly push it towards a Princess Tower thanks to its melee range and Fast move speed. To do this, tap the Balloon while hovering the Skeleton Barrel, and then tap twice quickly to deploy them. The Balloon will spawn in front of the Skeleton Barrel and immediately begin rushing the tower. If the opponent uses knockback spells on the combo, they won't have those spells to address the Skeletons spawned by the barrel.
If the Balloon isn't in hand, but is next in the card queue, you can deploy the Skeleton Barrel further back and then drop the Balloon in front of it as it approaches the bridge.
This is less effective when the combo is done at the edges of the arena, as the Skeleton Barrel will move past the Balloon after pushing it halfway.
From 11/11/17 through 14/11/17, the Shop had a special offer that Arena 6+ players could buy up to six Giant Chests at the normal price that guarantees at least 40% of total cards (or 50% of all common cards) to be Skeleton Barrel.
The Skeleton Barrel was added to the game on 17/11/2017.
On 12/12/17, a Balance Update allowed the Skeleton Barrel to deal Death Damage.
On 12/2/18, a Balance Update decreased the number of spawned Skeletons to 6 (from 8).
On 25/4/18, the Clan Wars update increased the number of spawned Skeletons to 7 (from 6).
On 5/11/18, a Balance Update increased the Skeleton Barrel's death damage by 62%.
On 7/4/20, a Balance Update increased the Skeleton barrel's speed to fast (90) but decreased its hitpoints by 15%.
The Skeleton Barrel was playable in the Mirror Challenge on 17/10/17, before its release date, as an unintended glitch. Supercell fixed this glitch with a maintenance break.
The Skeleton Barrel has the same deploying sound as the Balloon.
The Skeleton Barrel and the Royal Giant are the only Common Cards that only target Buildings.
The Skeleton Barrel loses one balloon for each one-third of its total hitpoints depleted. That means a Cloned Skeleton Barrel only has one Balloon to start with. These balloons do not regenerate if a Heal spell is used to bring the Skeleton Barrel up to at least one-third (or two-thirds) health.
The Skeleton Barrel's visual appearance resembles Clash of Clans' Air Bombs and its projectiles. However, they function very differently.
The Skeleton Barrel could be inspired by Clash of Clans' Drop Ship, which also does damage and summons skeletons when destroyed. Both are called "Skeleton Balloon" if the language is set to Chinese.
The Skeleton Barrel's death damage is the same as an equal level Spear Goblin's hitpoints.