Hey guys! ZephClurry here with my first ever CRA guide. I’m going to be sharing an extremely fun X-Bow deck that got me to 4.2K (painfully close to Challenger II) with card levels just 10/7/5/2 (Electro Wizard level 1).
This deck is even stronger in challenges, where it just about hard counters the popular Lavaloon and does well against bait.
The Best X-Bow Deck for Challenges
Off-meta win condition
Good at applying opposite lane pressure
Solid defense against just about anything
Great in challenges
Not easy to level up cards
Graveyard is tough
X-Bow (Replacements: None)
Your win condition and tower-wrecker. Can take a tower in one push if played right. You should always play it in one of two positions:
One tile from the river and slightly to the outside (my personal preference)
Or next to the river in the middle (better against ground-heavy/melee-heavy decks, but not my favorite).
Defend it with your life–usually. One of the best skills to learn is not to overcommit. If an X-Bow is going down, sometimes you just have to save elixir for defense.
The second skill you must learn is patience. All tanks will counter your X-Bow (including Bowler). You must be actively keeping track of your opponent’s counters and playing X-Bows when their hand is less than optimal.
Quick note: Effectiveness against X-Bow is almost entirely dependent on HP; If they have low HP troops in hand, that is very good. Also, spells don’t trade well with X-Bow unless they can catch other troops in the radius.
This card is also used for punishing your opponent. If they drop Golem, Lavahound, or even Giant or Bowler, you will usually want to push the other lane. Drop X-Bow + Ice Spirit or X-Bow + Skeletons (or just X-Bow). Not overcommitting is key here; make sure you still have elixir for defense.
Inferno Tower: (Replacements: Any defensive building, but not recommended)
Behold the defensive crutch of (just about) every siege deck ever. This will melt every tank you need it to, but beware of Zap and be ready with a quick Skeletons or Ice Spirit. (Inferno+Skeletons takes out a lone Royal Giant, even overlevelled, no matter which one they Zap)
Not used for X-Bow defense much, but if I do, I usually stay away from the standard next-to-the-X-Bow placement. Instead, I place it 0-2 tiles back and as far away laterally as possible. The tank will get destroyed with minimal risk and the Inferno Tower is harder to take out.
Defensive beast that works well with Inferno Tower (beware of Lightning). His spawn zap gives him insane versatility–especially with Ice Spirit–and best of all, he has fantastic synergy with the X-Bow.
His spawn zap can take out Minions, Goblins, and Skeletons, and he can retarget troops away from the X-Bow, while providing decent DPS and slowing down slow attackers (a certain insanely tanky blue boulder-thrower comes to mind).
Watch out for those spells though!
Knight: (Replacement: Ice Golem)
I actually originally used Ice Golem in this slot, until I realized just how good the Knight is, especially against Elite Barbarians. He’s a jack-of-all-trades value card. Use him to take out tank support, kite troops, or protect the X-Bow.
He has a surprising amount of DPS and with the help of Ice Spirit or Skeletons, can take out Hog Riders and Giants.
He provides a lot of counterpush value as well, e.g. opponent drops Hog Rider, you drop Knight + Skeletons, and then you drop an X-Bow when they are about to reach the bridge.
Skeletons: (Replacements: Goblins, Guards)
Ever since Skeletons got their buff, they have been one of the best–if not the best–cards in the game. They shine in one-on-one interactions, where they can generate positive elixir trades against a ton of different cards.
Not too useful defending an X-Bow, but can provide distraction and DPS against Prince or Hog Rider.
Practice splitting them around splashers and you are good to go!
Ice Spirit: (Replacements: Fire Spirits, Zap)
Pretty simple here. Stall card. Inferno Tower, Skeletons and Knight love this card, as it helps them take out cards such as Elite Barbarians, Hog Riders, and Royal Giants. X-Bow + Ice Spirit is my go-to push.
Super versatile and can give you loads of value.
The Log: (Replacements: Tornado, Arrows, Zap)
Pretty simple. If you don’t know how to use The Log, you probably don’t have it and don’t need to read this anyway.
Very important: X-Bow + The Log will take out glass cannons (Musketeer, Wizard, Etc.) with minimal damage, which is why The Log is a staple in siege decks.
Another card that can net you insane value if played right. Use this to punish troop-spamming on the part of your opponent and use The Log to finish off glass cannons.
Backup defense against Goblin Barrels, and also really useful against Lavaloon; it can take out the pups, the backup, and knock off much of the Balloon’s health if timed right.
Early Game: 3:00 to 2:00
You have two options here.
Play cautious and feel out your opponent’s counters. This deck doesn’t have many good delay/ investment cards, so I usually opt for
Drop small X-Bow pushes and try to catch your opponent on a bad cycle. If I have Ice Spirit and X-Bow in my starting hand, I play X-Bow + Ice Spirit to start the game. You can sometimes get punished by doing this, but generally that’s only against Golems and Royal Giants (one of those games, you’re going to lose anyway: guess which one).
Mid Game: 2:00 to 1:00
Try to catch your opponent in a bad cycle here. It’s much harder to stop their X-Bow counters in double elixir, so this is often where I win games. Don’t overcommit, though (can’t stress that enough). Then, move right in to
End Game: 1:00 to End
Once again, you have two options:
Against lighter decks (Hog Rider and the like) do what I like to call “shoving X-Bows down their throat”. Play very aggressive and stop them from attacking you.
Against tankier decks (Giant and co.) play patient, wait for a good moment to attack (either you have a lot of troops on the field or their tank is out of cycle), and quite possibly play for the draw–I don’t do that because draws are boring, but it’s a good idea–in which situation defensive X-Bows can get surprising value.
Lavaloon: Probably the easiest matchup. They usually use squishier troops on defense, which are easily Logged or Fireball’d, and their spells get very little value against X-Bow. Also, they are very prone to opposite lane pressure, which this deck happens to be very good at. Use Inferno Tower+Fireball as your main defensive combo (try to time it right so you take out the pups) as well as Electro Wizard and Ice Spirit as needed.
Bait: Any bait deck without the Goblin Gang is basically an automatic win for you. Save your Log for Goblin Barrels unless you can get good value while defending an X-Bow. Electro Wizard shuts down Inferno Tower and his spawn zap will get you tons of value. Goblin gang can resist his spawn zap, so you have to get valuable fireballs/logs to clear the way.
Hog Cycle: Usually pretty darn easy. These decks don’t pack a lot of tankier troops, so just use Knight, Fireball, and Electro Wizard to clear the way for your X-Bow.
Golem: This one can be tricky. Use opposite lane pressure to catch them low on elixir and don’t let them snowball. Sometimes this can turn into a “patience test” though; you won’t be able to get an X-Bow past their Golem, and they won’t be place a Golem for fear of the punish. Don’t give in.
Giant Beatdown/ Giant Hog: A tricky matchup due to the low elixir cost of the Giant. Punishing them like you would a Golem can help, but you’ll need to play smart to get past them. Giant Bowler Lightning? You better hope they goof big time, because bowlers are almost as bad. Speaking of bowlers,
Graveyard: You don’t have any hard counters to the Graveyard here. I use Knight to take out their tank, while Graveyard can be countered thus:
Wait a little while, then Log the graveyard. You’ll take a bit of chip damage, but that’s OK because you’re reducing the value of a Poison or possibly causing them to freeze to early.
Drop another troop–preferably Electro Wizard–to clean up the last few skeletons. If it is Electro Wizard, use his spawn zap to gain some value.
Other than that, just counter their X-Bow Counters and try to get Bowler out of rotation.
Chip Cycle: Similar to Hog, these decks rarely use tanky troops and you should be able to counter their X-Bow counters pretty easily. Knight is fantastic against Miner.
3 Musketeers: These decks rarely pack big tanks, but are still hard to beat. Elixir pumps are a dilemma here. You can try to pressure them right after they pump, but they may end up with two pumps on the field, which is (almost) GG. You need to take a tower or get really close before they start pumping, then turtle up in double elixir.
Siege: A rare sight, but the key here is getting value out of your Fireballs. They will usually pack a Rocket, so it is likely going to be a draw. Play defensive X-Bows and be comfortable with not winning. Get enough value or catch a big mistake from them, and you might win.
Royal Giant: Try to use the same strategy as Giant decks, but this one is basically a loss. Unless you pull off a miracle, you’re going to have to settle for a draw at best.
That’s all for this deck! Good luck in all your Clash endeavors!