UPDATE May 2016: This deck with updates still works really well, even though lots of new cards were released during the may 2016 update. There are lots of changes to the meta for sure, but for arenas 4 to 6 most players have informed me that they are still very successful with this deck, but it should probably be tweaked a bit to fit better into higher level arenas.
If you have issues with the new updates I suggest taking a look at the article on how to counter sparky and how to counter the royal giant. Both these cards have gotten very popular after the may update.
This is the deck that took me as a level 6 player from arena 4 to arena 6 in just a couple of hours of gameplay. I’ve tried lots of different decks while being stuck at Pekka’s Playhouse. Changing to this deck made a huge difference for me, that’s why I’m writing this detailed guide on it. Anyone struggling getting to Royal Arena should definitely check this deck out.
I’m currently at Royal Arena and have yet to find any decks that work better than this one. I’m not sure how far this deck will take me, but I believe this deck will work well up to mid 2000s as well. I’m currently level 7, but I got all the way to Royal Arena with this deck at level 6.
Lightning and baby dragon are the only two epic cards in this deck. The rest of the cards are mostly lower level cards, so they are not that hard to get. Most cards can also be replaced while without effecting the deck too much.
Tesla was changed to cannon due to the changes in the march 23. patch. The cannon fills the same role as the tesla and can be placed in the same spot.
The hog rider is very popular these days. It has a decent amount of hp and is great at making quick counter attacks killing enemy crown towers. The hog rider is used in the main push of this deck, which I talk more about below.
The Baby Dragon is one of my favourite cards and is an important part of this deck as well. The reason this card is awesome is because it is both flying and deals splash damage, which makes it awesome at taking out enemy barbarians and minion hordes. It can also do decent damage hitting the enemy tower solo.
With the March 2016 update Archers was put in the deck instead of Minion Horde. Putting in Archers lowered the average elixir cost of this deck from 4.3 to 4.0, which is good. Archers still do a lot of damage and are a lot harder to counter than Minion Horde.
This deck doesn’t use arrows, so a fireball is really needed then. You use this to take out minion horde, goblin barrel and other annoying cards. Both Arrows and Zap work really well as replacements.
Lately I’ve become really fond of using lightning to take out enemy witches, musketeers and wizards. You do this when they are just next to their crown tower to make it a profitable play. Lighting is also a great counter to X-Bow and building/zoo decks. Even though I prefer Lightning, I’ve had success replacing this card with Freeze, and many players prefer that.
Barbarians are simply great value, four troops that have enough hotpoint to survive a fireball is awesome. Barbarians are used both for offence and defence in this deck.
These guys are also in most of my decks. They are cheap and decent at taking out enemy flying units. I also often use them to distract enemy tower killing troops until I can deal with them.
Everyone always asks about replacements, so here are my suggestions for replacements.
- The best replacement for the Hog rider is the Prince, it fills a very similar role. It can also be replaced with Balloon, Giant or Royal Giant. That makes the deck bit different, but it’s still a good deck.
- Cannon can be replaced by Tesla.
- Baby Dragon can be replaced by Witch or Wizard.
- Lightning can be replaced by Rockets or Freeze, both of these options work really well.
- Spear Goblins can be replaced by Minions.
- Fireball can be replaced by Arrows or Zap.
- Archers can be replaced by by Minions.
- Barbarians can be replaced by Knight. I’ve also tried replacing them with Pekka, which makes for a weird deck, but it worked well.
Opening. (0:00 – 0:30)
My preferred option is to open with Spear Goblins behind one of my towers. Spear Goblins are cheap at only two elixir, and I will have almost all my elixir left to react to whatever my opponent is opening with. I place them behind my towers so that I can place tanker units in front of them before they reach the bridge.
If I don’t have Spear Goblins in my opening hand I will go for the tesla. With the recent changes the tesla is an amazing defensive building. It is cheap to build, has decent amount of hit points and your opponent can’t kill it with spell when it’s not active.
I will place the tesla in the middle of the space in front of my castle, not too close to the river to prevent opponents defensive buildings or ranged troops from shooting at it from a distance. Placing it further back also means opponent troops have to walk through my towers fire to get to it. The tesla is awesome at taking out enemy hog riders and giants.
The third best opening for this deck is the baby dragon. The baby dragon is moving slowly and does well on it’s own even without support. It is very hard to counter the baby dragon and come out on top.
Midgame. (00:30 – 2:00)
During the middle of the game the idea is to successfully counter your opponent and gain elixir advantage. Keep defending with Tesla, Baby Dragon and Barbarians. Make sure you use the right troops at the right place, I guess you can see what I did wrong below.
Once you have elixir advantage you want to make a push on one of his towers. Try to not be the one to push first, most games I’ve lost has been because I overcommitted in a push and got countered hard.
In the screenshot above you can see I’ve overcommitted with swarm troops close together, don’t do this. After that fireball hit I lost all my troops and one of my towers to his counter push.
You don’t necessarily need to kill any of the enemy towers during the mid game. What is important is that you cause more damage to one of your enemy towers than he causes to any of yours. Most games are won by taking out one enemy tower while successfully defending your own.
In the screenshot above we are 600 hp ahead at the end of the midgame. This is good situation to be in. Just keep playing the same way the last minute of the game and you will win the game.
Try to have one tesla up at all times, it’s so easy for enemy hog riders, giants, prices and other tower killing troops to run in if you don’t. If you don’t have a tesla out or in your hand, make sure you have other troops you can use to defend with.
Endgame. (2:00 – 3:00)
Hopefully you have brought one of the enemy towers down to 600 hp or lower during the midgame. If you have, you should focus almost all of your effort in defending at this point in the game. That means Teslas, Baby Dragons, Barbarians and Spear Goblins. Minion Horde is risky as it’s often taken out by Arrows or Fireball which can cause you to loose your tower.
Whenever you’ve successfully repelled an enemy attack, try to get the enemy tower down to where your fireball or lightning can kill it in one hit. Then you can just keep defending and launch a fireball or lighting at the last second of normal time to take out the tower. I would say at least 20% of my victories come from taking out the enemy tower at the last second.
If you on the other hand have a lot of hit points left on the enemy tower, or even worse, he has killed one of yours already, your gameplan changes a lot. In this case you have to take more risks. Often in this case I will go for attacks in both lanes. Elixir is increasing at double speed so players get more stressed and often miss defending the lane they are not currently focusing on.
A general rule is that more behind you are in the game, the bigger risks you should take. In same cases you will ignore defending your tower or castle completely if you believe there is a chance you can take out the enemy tower before your tower is dead.
If you do some errors and get behind from the start of the game, don’t give up. This deck gives you a good chance at a comeback if your opponent makes errors as well. The screenshots below are from one such game.
Here I first overcommit on a push in the right lane. Because of that I’m not able to counter my opponent’s Hog Rider right away.
My opponent’s Hog Rider deals 700 damage to my left tower before I manage to kill it with my barbarians. At the same time my opponent places a Prince in the right lane. This is a huge problem, because I’m low on elixir I’m not able to counter that either.
I finally get the enemy Prince taken out with a Tesla, but not until it has taken out 1500 hp from my right tower. This leaves my really far behind, and it would have been easy to give up on the game at this point. However, other players make mistakes too and instead of giving up I decided to focus and try to turn the game around.
Turns out my opponent overcommitted too on an attack in the right lane. Then he puts the tombstone down too late which enables my Hog Rider and two Barbarians to reach the enemy tower and take it out.
After this my opponent makes lots of mistakes and I keep counter pushing while defending with Tesla. In this game Tesla really shines taking out countless Hog Riders and Princes.
Just before the end of the game I take out his last tower while he takes out one of mine. A game where I was really far behind got turned around to a two crown victory.
The last thing I’d like to talk about is the strongest push of the deck. There are lots of way for this deck to take out the enemy towers, but my favourite way is to use the Baby Dragon together with Barbarians and the Hog Rider.
You start out with a normal defensive opening with your Baby Dragon behind one of your towers. Here I place it behind the left tower to take out the enemy Spear Goblins coming out of the Goblin Hut.
Once your baby dragon reaches the bridge it’s time to decide if you want to go for the push. If your opponent has played something it’s more beneficial for you to counter, you do that instead. In this case all my opponent had was the Goblin Hut, so I decided to go for the push.
Place your Barbarians in front of your Hog Rider. The Hog Rider will push the Barbarians forward making them reach the enemy tower faster. The Hog Rider will also stay out of harms way for longer and thus be able to do more damage to the enemy tower.
My opponent chose to defend with Baby Dragon and Wizard. These are decent counters, but he let my troops get too close before defending so it didn’t turn out too well for him.
Here his first tower falls just 36 seconds into the game, which leaves my at a huge advantage. Usually this deck will take longer to take out a tower, but every now and then you find the right situation for a all-in push like this.
Due to a lot of requests I have posted a video of the deck in action here. If you like the video and like me to continue doing those, please let me know by subscribing and liking the video, thanks!
This is a defensive deck that at the same time has ways to make strong pushes. The deck does well against all other deck types I’ve faced so far, and can give you a very good win rate at arena 4 and 5. At arena 6 it does well up to 2000 or so as well. If you’re struggling to get up to the Royal Arena, definitely check the deck out.
Also, please let me know if you enjoyed this format of deck guide and if you have any questions.