Hello ladies, Lolman here with yet another guide and this deck guide was requested by @Three Muskateers Ftw because he/she wanted a guide for a free to play deck.
Giant Bowler Lightning Deck
Now, the deck guide I am making is not 100% free to play. I tested out both variations in 3 classic challenges and I went 24-1 with the not so free to play version and 10-3 with the free to play version.
I will include the free to play substitutions for cards as well.
Giant– Main win condition of the deck. In my opinion probably the best tank in the game in terms of cost/HP. It’s only 5 Elixir and can be played at the beginning of a game without much of a worry because it’s not as big of an investment as a Golem in the back. This makes this card far more versatile. Also Inferno Tower isn’t as bad of a counter because unlike Golem it’s a 5 for 5 trade thus even for you if you let your Giant go.
Bowler- This card is very strong this meta because despite countless nerfs around the 3000-4800 mark a lot of people use Elite Barbarians and Hog Rider along with Log bait. This card can counter those very well. The push back effect is simply amazing and paired up with the Giant this card is very strong. It moves slow as well. Now one thing you should avoid is, Bowler near Tower if opponent has a Rocket unless you’ve baited it out because this is almost free 493 damage at tourney standard on your Tower.
E-Wiz- Now here’s the first change. I actually lose my first game because I wasn’t expecting it and faced a Sparky. It was a surprise and I’d already used my Lightning so I could only really watch as it melted my Tower. That along with the added spawn Zap as well as reset because people tend to do Inferno by the river vs Lightning I decided that adding him here synergies well with the Inferno Tower. A situation where I used this tactic will be added below.
Electro Wizard at river to reset the Inferno Tower and save 2 Elixir. Although sometimes it is advisable to Lightning if they place killable troops like E-Wiz near Inferno Tower.
Lightning- This card is very versatile and should be used on pumps. This deck is very strong vs 3 muskets so don’t worry about using Lightning on pumps. Also try not to do something risky like using Lightning on a sole ice wiz on offense before 2x Elixir because that can come back to bite you in the bum if you don’t take that early Tower.
Baby Dragon- This card is AMAZING. It is highly underrated and a great support for your Giant. Bowler and Baby Dragon? What Barbarians? What Elite Barbarians? Adding this almost gives you a 100% win rate vs any sort of Log bait deck. This deck utilizes splash and uses the spells to optimize that so all the cards synergy well with one another.
Tornado- Sorry Hog Rider, sorry Lavaloon. This is probably the most skill dependent card and can cost you a game or can win you one rather easily. Now Baby Dragon alone doesn’t work too well vs Lavaloon but there is a relatively easy way to defeat Lavaloon which I will include below in matchups so stay tuned.
Log- Not a whole lot to say, Lightning + E-Wiz give enough reset but can be replaced by Zap on ladder. I would have tested this deck on ladder but ~4400 trophies with a level 7 Giant and 4 Baby Dragon + Bowler… would be suicide.
Skeletons- Cheap cycle card and also great for positive Elixir trades and kiting units.
Now this deck is very defensive. You typically want to either slowly build a push or simply defend then Giant in front of the counterpush.
Some ideal starting moves would be either Giant in the back, Skeletons in the back or even Bowler in the back.
I would avoid something like Baby Dragon in the back just in case the opponent has Graveyard because Baby Dragon is amazing vs Graveyard you want to save that, and also you want a change to build a push as well.
This deck isn’t quite an one-push Tower taker. You will want to send wave after wave of giants ultimately crushing their defenses and send them crying home. This deck excels at that.
Unlike most other beatdown decks such as Golem or Lavahound a tank in the back is not as punishing and a push like Hog + E-barbs can be countered very easily by Bowler + Skeletons or a Bowler + Tornado for a +4 or +1 Elixir trade and you will have enough Elixir to Baby Dragon behind your Giant.
I always wait till the Giant is at the bridge to place the Baby Dragon because of the different move speeds and there is a chance that the opponent might place squishy troops feeling a false sense of safety since a splasher is not behind the Giant.
So in a nutshell- Start off slow. Don’t expect to take a Tower early on unless your opponent pushes the same lane and you have an unstoppable counterpush coming. Try not to predict Lightning and DO NOT cycle Baby Dragons. That + make positive Elixir trades.
Mid game- (2:00-1:00)
Now you know your opponents deck. Try and keep track of cycle and Elixir as well. This deck you need to keep track of these things when making predictions. A guide on how to manage Elixir can be found here!
So with the cycle and who is ahead in Elixir in mind you want to then start building your big pushes.
That being said before 2x Elixir rather than spamming troops ie- Bowler, Baby Dragon, Giant to get countered by an Inferno Tower because you don’t have enough for a Lightning think what they might counter you with.
Ie – If they use swarmy troops and Inferno is out of cycle then go all in with maybe Tornado in hand.
If you just defended a push like Hog + Horde and only counter is Inferno then try not to spend Elixir because you want Lightning vs that Inferno Tower etc.
Also one thing to keep in mind is damage is okay with this deck because you want to counterpush. Ie- Hog + gobs coming in but you can nado it or Bowler it. Nado = no damage Bowler = 1 swing.
Take that swing and invest in your push.
TL;DR: Counterpush and don’t overcommit saving Elixir for what you need. Ie – Rather than spamming troops you can simply Giant + Baby Dragon and save for Lightning if they only have Inferno as a counter rather than getting hard countered by the Inferno Tower.
Late Game (1:00 – OT)
Here you amp things up. That being said build up slow pushes. You want to put as much Elixir behind your Giant as possible. (Assuming they don’t have Rocket- In which case space out your troops).
You will need to play your defense smart because this deck has cards that are very defensive in specific areas.
Ie- Bowler instead of Exe means it cannot hit air but it has pushback so it’s strong vs ground, unlike an Exe you need a Baby Dragon with your push if they use Minion Horde to counter you. I hope that makes sense.
So in this situation if you have to choose between Tower damage or saving the troop essential for your push just tank the damage. Judging when to take damage and when not to is a key skill you need to develop, if you want more about that let me know I can make a guide on it.
In a nutshell, Play smart and let all hell break loose. Or you can simply Lightning cycle them to death by making your impenetrable defense. E-Wiz, Bowler, Baby Dragon + Tornado.
Ah finally the big question. How do I beat spell bait and Lavahound? Miner cycles with Inferno? Graveyard? The answer is… very easily. Sorry I’ll shut up now. Onto the match-ups.
Vs this match-up honestly just keep this in mind Lavahound + Balloon alone cannot 3 crown in a push. However you can.
So I usually like to go for a Tower trade because It’s far easier to play this deck a Tower up. That being said a cool little defense I learned was to Lightning + E-Wiz if the Balloon and Lava is unsupported and this shuts the whole thing down.
Try and keep E-Wiz out of the Balloon bomb radius though, that being said it’s very difficult to do so.
Going all in.
That match ended up 3-2 because this deck is simply much much faster at 3 crowning to begin with and a defensive Lightning was all it took me to keep the Balloon from getting to the king Tower.
There are games where you have to go all in I will include some more images of me vs Golem Lightning where it was a base race.
Activate your king Tower and Tornado the Hog repeatedly.
Early game you will most likely not make it to the Tower because it is hard to really Lightning and Log etc in the same offensive push with Giant + support but ideally you want to defend, not lose your Tower and counterpush early on but in late game it is very easy because you really just need Baby Dragon, Giant, Lightning and Tornado to melt all their defenses but truth be told you will have a Bowler behind the Giant as well.
Also vs this matchup please don’t keep putting Bowler behind Tower if they tend to Rocket it. Other than that this is a very easy match-up.
Before I begin wanted to include a screenshot of the base race I said, this guy was a good player. Trophies well over 4k but big mistake he made was not defending.
Giant being cheaper allowed me to simply rush him and take the Tower. Lower HP sure but that being said I was able to build more troops up behind him.
Vs this match-up you ideally want to Lightning the pumps and prevent giving them Lightning value. Try not to face Golem head on as the Giant is the smaller tank. It’s best to trade a Tower early on, preventing damage on the king Tower though then go for the 3 crown.
Golem being more expensive means that it’s pushes cost a lot more for basically same DPS.
Ie- Golem + Baby Dragon= 12 Elixir while Giant + Baby Dragon + E-Wiz almost the same cost but far higher damage output.
This is meant to be a bit of a joke because Bowler + Giant honestly…. Siege doesn’t stand a chance. Just don’t do something stupid like Bowler in the back if it’s Mortar 2.9 because they have Rocket and also this can allow opponent to get Mortar or X-Bow to lock onto the Tower.
You will be out cycled but that’s fine because in 2x Elixir there’s really not much these cheap cycle decks can do, even X-Bow as it relies on Inferno and you have Lightning. Baby Dragon and Bowler for the troops behind. Try not to clump troops together if opponent has the Rocket.
Save Baby Dragon for defense when tank reaches Tower you can Tornado and clump Skeles+ tank together, you will need to deal with the tank with a Bowler or E-Wiz however and you can shut down almost any Graveyard push.
This deck is super strong and shout-out to Three Musketeers ftw in again for bringing this deck to my attention.
I understand it’s basically the Bowler Graveyard Tornado deck but with Giant + Lightning. Both decks work so well because of how well the cards synergize with one another and I believe this deck will bring you a lot of success. It’s really fun to play and easy to use and counters the current meta well.