The Lava Hound is one of the new legendary cards from the May 3 update, along with the Sparky and the Miner. It is the earliest legendary card that you can get in game since it is unlocked at Arena 4. It is a tanky flying troop that targets buildings and costs 7 elixir.
Similar with the Golem, the Lava Hound also splits up once it dies. The Lava Hound splits up into 6 Lava pups, similar to the Minion Horde. However, these Lava pups now targets ground and air units and not just buildings compared to its first form.
A high health flying troop that splits into a Minion Horde-like Lava pups is really strong. Without the right strategy and the right cards to counter it, you may find yourself losing an Arena Tower very easily. Luckily because of its rarity, you don’t usually battle someone with a Lava Hound deck. Though, it’s really important to know how to counter it whenever you face someone with a Lava Hound Deck.
Strategy on building your deck:
Have an air damaging troop in your deck.
It is a no-brainer to add an air damaging troop in your deck but you need to choose wisely which one is better and appropriate for your play style. The list of cards below will guide you on choosing one:
Best Troops vs Lava Hound Decks
Musketeer – One of the best troops to counter Lava Hound because it offers long range and high attack damage to a single target.
Wizard – The wizard has slightly shorter range than the Musketeer but if offers high splash damage on ground and air targets. What’s great about the wizard is that if the Lava Hound’s deck is paired up with other flying units like Minion Horde, the Wizard has no problem dealing with these troops.
Princess – At a cost of 3 elixirs, you’ll have the farthest range of all troop cards in the game plus splash damage. If you have this card, it’s really nice to counter multiple troops and buildings at a distance. However, make sure that you have an Inferno Tower to support the Princess because it is not enough to kill the Lava Hound alone.
Ice Wizard – Ice Wizard can be a good option as long as you have a follow up card to add. It can delay the Lava Hound to your Tower and enough for your archers/spear goblins to kill it. Lava Hound is a slow moving troop. With the slow on Ice Wizard’s attack, it will briefly delay the Lava Hound having enough time to kill it before reaching your Tower.
Minion Horde – It can kill the Lava Hound easily. Also, it has no problem dealing with the Lava Pups afterwards. The only problem is that it can be killed by an Arrow or if the enemy has a Wizard behind the Lava Hound. The trick in using the Minion Horde vs the Arrow is to place your Minion Horde near the Lava Hound when it is near your Arena Tower so that the Arrow’s projectile is longer to reach your Minion Horde. Deploying a Valkyrie/Mini Pekka/Knight first to attack the Wizard before placing your Minion Horde is another trick since they don’t target flying units, they will ignore the Lava Hound and attack the Wizard directly.
Three Musketeer – Thought it is very costly, it can counter the Lava Hound easily. However, it is not recommended to use if you have low level Three Musketeer because it can be killed with high level Fireball.
Have one or both of these cards
Inferno Tower – the best counter to tanks in the game. It counters all high hp troops as it deals insane amount of damage once it builds up on a single target. Coupled with Zap, use it to eliminate unwanted targets on the way like Goblins/Skeletons.
Cannon – the most versatile building with decent hp and damage at cheap 3 elixir cost is a great card to distract building targeting troops like Hog Riders, Giant, Balloons and Lava Hound. Place this around 2-3 tiles away from the tower for the Lava Hound to target. Then place a Musketeer to damage the Lava Hound together with the Arena Tower.
Use of spells and combinations
Freeze – Freeze spell can be use both offensively and defensively. It can be used to delay the enemies attack and gives you the chance to freely hit them while they’re frozen. Just watch out your elixir amount so that you won’t miss that Freeze duration. It would be useless to freeze them out without a backup card that will kill them.
Fireball – A very useful spell in all situations. This spell can finish off low health Arena Towers and troops. Having a high level Fireball is an advantage. The Lava Hound alone can’t do much damage to the Arena Tower. It could be followed up by other troops which you can finish them off by a single Fireball.
Arrows – Another useful spell to counter the Minion Horde, Lava Pups and Goblins. If you don’t have a high level Fireball, you can replace it with an Arrow.
Zap – a low cost spell that stuns the area and can kill goblins and skeletons in an instant. This is a great tool to kill unwanted units when using Inferno Tower. It can also delay the enemy troops and reset its target to the nearest targeted unit.
Now you know which cards counters the Lava Hound, here are more tips to help you with sample scenarios when facing different Lava Hound decks.
Lava Hound + Balloons aka Lavaloon Deck
- A really strong set of combo if done properly. Usually this deck needs an Elixir collector as it is an elixir heavy deck. This deck shines great in Sudden Death last minute countdown when the elixir generates faster.
Tip 1: Defend your Tower with Cannon/Inferno Tower. Using Freeze spell is also a good option to counter attack this deck. You can put a cannon to lure the Lava Hound away from your Arena tower and focus on killing the Balloons first. You can use Musketeer or Minion/Minion Horde to effectively counter attack this deck.
Tip 2: After a successful counter attack, this will leave your opponent open for attacks. This is your chance to destroy the Arena Tower before setting up another combo.
Lava Hound + Baby Dragon + Minion Horde aka Air deck
- Inferno Tower and Arrow is the best cards to counter this deck. Once the Lava Hound dies and splits into Lava Pups, the Inferno Tower will change target to the Lava Pups. Since Inferno Tower is not good against swarm troops, it will easily destroyed by the Lava Pups and Baby Dragon. Use Arrow to kill the Lava Pups so that the Inferno Tower can focus on the Baby Dragon
- If Inferno Tower is not available, use your cannon as a distraction for the Lava Hound and place your Musketeer immediately. Be careful on placing your Musketeer. Your opponent might have Lightning Spell, Fireball or Freeze. Place the Cannon and the Musketeer a little bit away from each other so that it won’t get countered easily by a spell.
- If all else fails, use a Fireball to eliminate the Minion Horde.
Lava Hound + Wizard + Mini Pekka + Goblins
- This deck counters Minion Hordes because of the Wizard. You can rely on your Inferno Tower to deal with the Lava Hound, instead. However, if he placed it with Goblins and Mini Pekka, your Inferno Tower can go down easily.
- Proper placement of Musketeer is important so that it will not target the Lava Hound first, if there is Wizard behind. Wait until your Musketeer can snipe the Wizard. However, if it is accompanied by a Mini Pekka, don’t place your Musketeer open from the Mini Pekka’s attack.
- Since the Lava Hound have low damage, you can deal with it later after killing first its backup troops.
- A good counter is to use Valkyrie to kill the Wizard and add swarm units (goblin/skeleton/etc) to distract the Mini Pekka. You can also use a higher level Fireball to kill the Wizard instantly.