Nitrome95 here coming at you with the Hog Log/Spell Bait Deck that won me the 1k man Clash Royale Arena #1 Tournament!
It is super easy to pick up, fun, and extremely powerful in the current meta. It is a hybrid between Hog control, spell bait, with a bit of beatdown spice if needed.
So let’s get into the cards!
Hog Log/Spell Bait Deck
The main mistake that a lot of players make with this deck is that they play it like a Hog control/cycle deck. That is exactly the wrong mindset that you should have while playing this deck. Instead, think of the Hog Rider as a tank that applies lots of pressure to your opponent with its speed and high damage output.
When playing the Hog Rider, you want to play it against the left/right wall right at the bridge. That way, the Hog Rider jumps over the river and makes it harder for your opponent it counter it. Once you have a tower down, you will want to play the Hog Rider in the pocket so that it can tank both arena towers.
If your opponent plays a tank in the back and you are not behind on elixir, you can attack the opposite lane with it.
Goblin Gang/Skeleton Army/Goblin Barrel
These three cards all have the purpose of baiting out your opponent’s spells, while punishing them if they do not have their spells in hand. Skeleton army is best used in defense because it has the highest DPS. Goblin Barrel is best used on offense because it can be placed directly on top of the tower. Goblin Gang is a hybrid of both, not having the best offense or defense, but it is well rounded.
This card is sooo good. It is your secondary defense against hog rider if you don’t have inferno tower. With decks like these becoming popular, a Goblin Gang Hog Rider combo is countered by an Electro wizard for a (OJ) positive elixir trade. Usually, you will want to utilize the spawn Zap to get +2 elixir value out of the troop. However, if the push has tons of high DPS, you might want to use the Electro Wizard’s long range.
On offense, this card is also a threat because of its fast speed and retargeting abilities.
Good against any tanks, decent against Hog rider and Miner. Just make sure that you keep it away from your other defensive troops or else your opponent can get a value spell.
I chose Fireball over Poison to take out Minions faster when dealing with Royal Giant so that your Inferno Tower can lock on. If and when possible, it is worth it to take a -1 elixir trade to hit the troop and tower. However, if you are behind on elixir, don’t do so.
Don’t be stupid with it. If a Goblin Barrel is coming at you, track the Goblins so that you don’t miss a trickster barrel.
Simply put, this is a spell bait deck, meaning that you bait out your opponent’s spells and punish them for doing so with a Goblin barrel, Goblin Gang, or Skeleton Army with a tank. Your tank is usually the Hog Rider, but Electro Wizard is sometimes a good tank on a counterpush with goblin barrel.
The best opening move is Hog Rider so you can see your opponent’s response to your Hog Rider. Once you defend their push, you will most likely have cycled to your Hog Rider again.
If you do not have the Hog Rider, a Goblin Barrel is your next best move. Otherwise, wait for your opponent to make the first move and react accordingly.
Unlike a beatdown deck, you can play this deck in single elixir.
If your opponent uses their spells only on defense, you will wait until double elixir to be aggressive. If they use their spell on your Skeleton Army on defense, use your Goblin Gang to continue defending, then punish them with a Hog Rider Goblin Barrel.
You should be able to take down a tower easily or at least chip it down fairly heavily.
At double elixir, you have to assess the situation.
If you have the tower already, defend the crap out of your tower. However, you should know when your tower will probably go down so that you can apply bonus damage to the opposite lane.
If you have the tower down to critical hp, a few Fireballs and a Goblin Barrel here and there should do it.
If you still do not have much damage on the tower, you have to play mindgames with your opponent. Try to make it seem like you will make one play, and then quickly switch it up, hopefully for some good damage.
If the game is 1 tower to 1, this is where you go for the ultimate push. Wait for your opponent to have wasted at least one of his spells and immediately do a Goblin Barrel Hog Rider Goblin Gang Skeleton Army rush(Will go more into detail). When doing so, make sure your opponent does not have some major splash like a Valkyrie or Bomb Tower.
Plain Hog- Used to scout out your opponent’s counters.
Plain Goblin Barrel- Used to scout out your opponent’s counters.
Goblin Barrel Hog- The ideal way to play this is to play the Goblin Barrel, immediately followed by the Hog Rider. Used to quickly punish your opponent for misusing spells or wasting elixir.
Goblin Gang Hog- A less ideal version of the Goblin Barrel, as Goblin Barrel is used to bait out spells. Do not place the Goblin Gang too close to the Hog Rider or else the Hog Rider won’t pig push.
Skeleton Army Hog- It is a better protector of the Hog Rider from the Inferno Tower.
Ultimate Push- Do your Goblin Gang Hog Push with a Skeleton Army in the pocket to distract any defenses/troops. Once you have enough elixir, drop the Goblin Barrel.
In general on defense, you want to use your spell baity cards when your opponent does not have any splash and Inferno Tower and Electro Wizard if needed.
This one is tough because the poison counters your Skeleton Army and Goblin Gang, some of your main defense. Wait for some skeletons to spawn before you place the Electro Wizard to take advantage of the spawn zap. You have to judge on your own when to log to clear out Skeletons.
Use your inferno tower! By placing the Inferno Tower, you are practically denying your opponent from placing a miner without killing the Inferno Tower first.
Hog Rider Cycle/Control
It is important to know how much you should defend without overcommitting. On a lone Hog Rider, you should only use Electro Wizard, not Inferno Tower to save your elixir. If your opponent does not have any spells in hand, you are always free to use your Skeleton Army or Goblin Gang. You should only use your Inferno when the Hog Rider is accompanied by a good amount of support
Make sure that they do not build up their pumps! A good technique that I use is to Goblin Barrel the Collector. Since they can’t log it, they will have to place down a troop. Pre fireball for great value. And of course, pressure the other lane if they drop a tank in the back.
Don’t be afraid to only use your log offensively. This deck has enough Goblin Barrel counters with your Skeleton Army, Goblin Gang, and Electro Wizard.
This matchup is like a “hurry up and take down their tower at any cost”. Once you take down their tower, they will have a lot harder time attacking, forcing them to switch lanes. Don’t attempt to use the Inferno Tower to kill the Xbow, only use it for its hp pool in between your towers.
You want to apply as much opposite lane pressure once they drop the tank in the back without overcommitting too much. You can lean on the Inferno Tower to kill the Lava Hound, but you need to an Electro Wizard and Goblin Gang or Fireball to deal with the Balloon. Based on this, save the required amount of elixir needed to counter.
Here are some of my good replays from the tournament I won narrated by my fellow clanmate, GeneralNX. You should really check him out if you like his content here:
Whenever I know my opponent has a spell on them and I want to play a Goblin Barrel, I place the Goblin Barrel 2 tiles behind the tower. Also good when doing your Goblin Gang Goblin Barrel push as a surprise.
Thank you for reading this guide. I’m am very passionate about this deck and hope you all learned something valuable today. Bait out your opponent’s spells, punish, and you should be fine!