CWA's latest video is an interview of TheRumHam (who admits he'd prefer being called Seth, so that will be what I refer to him from now on
) and they discuss a multitude of topics. It's a 30 minute video, but definitely worth watching. It includes some Goblin Giant gameplay in the background. Video is here
I'll include a summary here if you don't want to see the whole thing (though I for sure recommend it. I really enjoy hearing both prominent community/dev members speaking their minds, being transparent, and most of all respectful and humble).
Note, the summaries will be a rough estimate of what Seth said. It might be very similar to what he actually said at times, other times it might be just a paraphrase.
On Goblin Giant
Goblin Giant is supposed to replace Giant in some decks. Particularly, the ones where it's a split push/opposite lane, or bridge spam (like Giant Double Prince). Classic decks is returning to Clan Wars, and there will be new decks (including a Goblin Giant Double Prince deck)
On game balance as a whole
Around 40-50 cards are considered balanced. Most of the others right now are underpowered or underused. Even if the game was somehow "perfectly balanced" some cards would remain underused and others overused (example: Bomber underused, Zap/Log overused, Witch receiving many buffs-to be discussed later)
On Royal Giant
A rework is on the way, by the end of the year. It will change multiple stats and make it easier to react to, but be more punishing if the opponent lacks a real counter in hand. Atrocious TS User rates and win rates, as we all know. But even on Ladder, it's only really used between 4K-4.5K at average
use and win rates.
On Elite Barbarians
Trickier than RG because it's a much more popular Ladder card. Possible rework coming by end of the year. (He said more, but it boils down to that)
On other cards
Cards that have a niche role (lower use rates, higher win rates, higher skill cap) are very healthy for the game. Ideally, new cards are not supposed to be plugged into every deck, especially the more expensive cards. The team did not expect Royal Recruits to be used in all archetypes. They knew the card was strong, but figured the RR would be more niche due to its cost.
Witch is a prime example. She has been underpowered and unable to carve out a niche for virtually the whole game's existence. Small buffs continuously hadn't done much to change that, so they decided to make her skeleton spawning more prominent, as that is her main feature, rather than a lesser Wizard. In a vacuum, the Witch wasn't a problematic card. However, they also realized that Valkyrie and Poison, two of its best counters, were popular, and in CRL when those two cards got banned, she'd be used more. They decided to nerf her along with the Valk nerf.
Don't expect a Bowler or Hunter buff. The team considers those cards good in their niches.
Likewise, no Hog Rider nerf. It's a strong card that is very easy to use and pretty straightforward. Win rates are no better than 20th in the game.
The team opted to go with a hitspeed nerf to the Valk rather than an HP nerf as more people suggested because the Valk was supposed to be a mini tank that did splash. Removing her HP takes away from the mini tank role as Knight currently has a better HP per elixir ratio than Valk does. A hitspeed nerf makes her more vulnerable to heavy hitters (as she's a swarm specialist). Also, the hitspeed nerf separates her from the Dark Prince's 1.3 S hit speed.
Overleveling isn't a balance issue, it's an economy issue. The only way for a player to manipulate getting cards is through the request system, or getting lucky in a chest/the Shop. The team is introducing some "Player Initiative Measures" over the next few updates to make it easier for players to upgrade cards as they see fit and be easier to adjust decks/cards. Trade Tokens are the first in a line of changes. More will come in the next update(s).
-I (as myself) would assume that economy improvements have taken precedent over custom tournaments/heroes
On Future cards
"Never say never." Expect to see cheaper, more versatile cards coming soon, as many recent cards are costlier (Royal Hogs, Rascals, RR, GobGi, etc.)
0 elixir cards are next-to-impossible to come to the game. If they did, there'd be a "penalty" of sorts to yourself, kind of as a risk-reward factor (examples, elixir production freezing up for 5 seconds, lose some tower HP). They'd be a status card with penalties, not like 1 skeleton due to cycle reasons.
Don't rule out a Legendary building coming to CR. No concept has been explored deeply though beyond the prototype stage.