I am about a week late into this one but I think it is important to test out the changes and see how do people respond and react before giving my opinion on things.
The first most important change is the nerf to hog rider. Hog riders lvl9 received a 30 hp nerf from 920 to 890. Despite being just a 4% nerf, it makes hog riders far less reliable to me and this sentiment is shared with players of average skill. 3 stars now depend much more on base design and timings. Without heals, they just melt much more quickly now and they will stutter and fail at the last few defenses in the base. Looking at those with high skill, it seems like there is not much difference. This change is the most annoying especially with the risk:reward ratio, it has a great chance of 1 stars now, much more than in the past. With only one attack in cwl, I will definitely skip this army next season.
The hog nerf is also very palpable with the mortar and tesla buff to their hp. With one more hit to kill them and one less hit to kill hogs, my hog attacks generally fizzle out with just 2-4 defenses remaining, resulting in a 60-80% 2 star instead of a full 3 star.
Golem rebalance. At higher levels (lvl8/9 for TH12), now they spawn 3 golemites instead of 2. This is the sort of change we need for most, if not all troops at TH12 level, big changes instead of small increase in numbers. Imagine if balloons or valks attack faster without decreasing damage per hit, this would make them much stronger than they are right now. Warden also needs a buff to his AoE for TH12. Big changes like this would make each TH level distinct and stronger rather than mostly the same.
Despite this change, golems are still subpar when compared to other tanks because their hp is still nowhere near high enough to tank against maxed TH12 defenses. They need almost 10k hp to make them worth it otherwise ice golems have almost the same hp as the golem. The golem and golemites still fall behind the troops they are supposed to protect. Imagine trying to tank for a wall wrecker which walks faster than you. Tanks need to walk faster otherwise they are just useless at the current state of the game.
100 extra hp to valks. This change is very redundant as they still succumb to spring traps which are their bane. With electro dragons, people are designing their bases so that electros cannot do well. Since valks have much smaller AoE, they are affected even more by base design. 100 hp just increases their longevity by 1 second, definitely not enough to deal with spread out base designs. And if the base design is kind to valks, why would you choose them when electro dragons are much stronger?
Dragon hp buff. Now this is an interesting change, it makes drag bat a little stronger now. Dragons can survive one extra hit from air defenses and a few more seconds against other defenses. I have no experience with drag bat but others have found relative success using dragons now. They are nowhere near strong enough to replace hogs but
Hog glider nerf. This is probably the most infuriating part of the update. I went from decent 3 stars one day to 40% no stars the next. Hog gliders got a 10% cut to their hp which makes them far weaker than before. They used to take some amount of skill to use and are highly rewarded, now they are too weak to be used against maxed BH9 bases. I don’t understand SC’s logic by nerfing troops that take skill to use.
Rant over I guess. With the nerf and my experience using hogs, I now hesitate to max out hog riders. Three star rates are still similar in the top tables but I don’t find them good for lower leagues now. I rather go back to pekkabobat and get the reliable high 2 star with good chance of triple. Now I need to think of which troop to upgrade after hog riders lvl4 are done. I probably won’t use books to complete hog riders quickly now so I need to find some other troop to upgrade