Usually the offensive push consists of a simple Hog & Ice Spirit combo with spells to support. It’s generally not a good idea to stack up a bunch of units and try to break through your opponent’s defense rather than sneak in to get a Hog Rider hit or two. The Ice Spirit plays a very important role in protecting your Hog Rider by freezing your opponent’s counter-troops.
Hog Rider – It’s the core of this deck. Pairing him with the Ice Spirit is very important in order for your push to work well. Make sure to place down the Ice Spirit after the Hog Rider, for two reasons;
Pig pushing is no longer beneficial
It cycles your deck
Since you don’t need to pig push, your opponent must always place their buildings closer to your Hog, which allows you to easier get a Fireball on their defensive building and arena tower. Although he’s mainly used offensively, though it can be useful to place him in the center to kite an enemy unit or distract them for a second, allowing your arena tower to get a few extra shots off.
Note: I will later in this guide talk about pre-casting spells in combination with your Hog Rider.
Kiting a Mini P.E.K.K.A with the Hog Rider
Ice Spirit – Probably the best card to pair with your Hog Rider. Freezing enemy units for 1,5 seconds, just allowing your Hog to get an extra hit in. I listed this as an offensive card, since I usually save it for when I go offensive, but I won’t hesitate to freeze a Royal Giant in order to re-target him onto my late placed Cannon. The Ice Spirit can also absorb an enemy Ice Spirit then jump to freeze another unit which makes the Ice Spirit the best counter for another Ice Spirit. It’s very easy to use and you should be able to learn it soon. You can’t really replace the Ice Spirit because of how versatile it is.
Fireball – The Fireball is such a great card because of how many different types of cards it counter. Most of you probably know how to use Fireball, but I’ll go through it anyway.
Here’s a list of cards you wanna use your Fireball against;
Always try to hit your opponent’s arena tower too, for 229 free damage. Only use Fireball against these cards if they’re placed in the back and you can hit their tower;
Executioner (only if you don’t have any better play)
Elixir Collector (will talk about that one later)
You can even use it against a Goblin Barrel if you don’t have The Log in hand. You can replace Fireball with Poison if you have it higher leveled.
The Log – I recently switched out Zap for The Log, when got it to level 3, and, when I started facing Goblin Barrels that my Zap wouldn’t kill. It definitely disable some of the synergy in my deck, especially between Zap and Ice Spirit. And since this deck is really. I mean really weak to air, I personally think you should use Zap instead of The Log if you’re new to this deck. If you know how to use The Log, you can skip this part and go straight to the defensive cards.
The Log is great against ground swarm cards like Goblin Gang and Skeleton Army, but also to counter Goblin Barrel for a positive Elixir trade. When using The Log on defense, always try to hit your opponent’s tower for 96 free damage. Here’s a list of cards that you wanna use your The Log against;
Archers (if they’re placed in the same lane)
Ice Spirit (if behind a something else, f.e a Hog Rider)
Tombstone (will talk about that later)
Dark Prince, Prince or Battle Ram (to cancel their charge)
Barbarians (with Fireball when predicting)
Graveyard (if you don’t have a counter or need to cycle to it)
Three Musketeers (with Fireball)
See? This is why The Log is such a popular card. You can even use your The Log to knock back enemy troops into a Fireball!
Triangle Defense (Trifense)
This is what I call my typical defense. As shown in picture 2, I place my Cannon, Knight and Archers in a triangle. This is the most effective defense since I’m not weak to any particular spell and it shuts down most enemy pushes with ease.
Cannon – Ah, the Cannon. My favorite defensive building, used since I was in Builders Workshop with the Trifecta deck.
Anyway, the Cannon can be quite tricky to use because it’s so squishy, but the trick is to pull your opponent’s troops as far as possible, in order for it to get off as many shots as possible. Do the 4-3 plant vs. Giants and 3-2 plant vs. Hogs. You can also protect the Cannon with an Ice Spirit, allowing it to get off more shots before going down.
Cannon can be replaced with Tesla if you feel like you’re a bit weak to air.
4-3 Cannon plant vs. Giant pushes
3-2 plant vs. Hog
Knight – Knight is the second part of my triangle defense, and I really can’t play without this guy.
He is the best card for taking out enemy support cards like Wizard and Musketeer while still having enough HP left to slice away the the enemy tank. You can put him in almost any situation and expect at least a decent outcome.
For example, if I use my Hog Rider and Ice Spirit combo, and my opponent counters with The Log and Barbarians. He overspent by two Elixir, but still has those full HP Barbarians on the field. I don’t have Fireball in hand, so what I do is I place Knight in the center of the Arena to pull the Barbarians towards him, letting my arena tower get off a few more shots. He will take out the Barbarians with slight/no HP left.
The Knight can counter any of these cards while on your side of the arena:
Hey that’s a pretty long list right?
For the love of God do never replace Knight.
Archers – The third and final part of my triangle defense. They can be used to counter almost any flying unit with no/barely any damage on your tower.
I’m not gonna go through a list of cards which they can counter because it’s gonna be way too long, but hey, that’s what shows how versatile they are.
Behind a tank, if not dealt with, they can do thousands of damage to a tower. Together with a Knight, they can completely take down an arena tower from your opponent, not that they would ever ignore that, but I’m just saying to give you a perspective of how powerful they are.
Even a single Archer can snipe the tower during the whole time the Hog stays alive, and it’s gonna be devastating.
Archers can be replaced with Electro Wizard and I’m personally gonna do that when I get him to level 3 (I only need one more!). If you don’t have Electro Wizard you can use a Musketeer instead.
Skeletons – One of the hardest cards to use – and to counter, in the game.
Got two Elite Barbarians rushing at you? Place a Knight in the middle and Skeletons to distract the outer Barbarian. Positive Elixir trade!
Surround a Wizard or Executioner with 4 Skeletons is very hard to do, and that’s one of the key tricks when using Skeletons. You must also know how far you can pull units.
For example, I almost let the Mini P.E.K.K.A get to my tower, and then I draw him away with Skeletons. This is to minimize the risk of my opponent predicting them with Arrows or The Log, and to give my opponent a feeling that they’re safe, and their Mini P.E.K.K.A will get to their tower, but it’s not! Skeletons can be substituted with Goblins but I definitely recommend Skeletons because of their cheap cost.
Fireball and The Log, have on of the best, if not the best synergy in the game.
This combo completely shuts down all glass cannon support cards (Wizard, Witch etc.), does a fairly good job vs. Elite Barbarians and does 325 damage to a crown tower.
Spells are generally very easy to use in combination with each other.
Fireball and The Log are my highest leveled cards since they’re the most level dependent, with Fireball at level 9 and The Log at level 3. It’s very important that you level up the spells you use.
This is a more advanced technique that you might start using when you become a ‘’pro’’.
When doing this it’s very important that you keep track of your opponent’s Elixir and card rotation. I’ve started to try and track their card rotation but it’s hard, and most of the time I just have a feeling they’re low on Elixir, but not their exact Elixir, and it’s at least a start.
As you can see in the pictures below there are three examples of predictions and the one I encourage all of you to try is picture 7. Losing one Elixir basically means nothing and you can just move on with the battle if you fail. But the prediction in picture 5 i devastating if you miss, and can even lose you the game.
Picture 5 – Fireball & The Log prediction vs. Barbarians.
Picture 6 – Predicting a Skeleton Army from my opponent.
Picture 7 – Placing Skeletons in the center to distract an Inferno Tower.
Playing over-defensive decks & Dealing with buildings
It can be a pain for this deck to get through a defensive building of your opponent, but there are a few ways around it.
3:00 – 1:00
In this period of the game there’s not much you can do about a defensive building, other than try to get an Elixir lead and prepare for x2 Elixir time. Use your Hog Rider only when you get to full Elixir and try to counter what your opponent is doing, unless your opponent used LavaLoon, then hard pressure them with constant Hog attacks on don’t let them get their Balloon down.
1:00 – Overtime
Here is where you can really start out-cycling your opponent and keep the pressure up, not letting them build up a push at all. Fireball down their buildings, place a Knight in front of your Hog Rider and do whatever you need to get to their tower, and overspending Elixir is usually not a problem.
Picture 8 – It’s best to go for the draw
Countering opponent’s win condition
3:00 – 1:00
Defending is usually not a problem with this deck, since you have the Trifense which shuts down most ground pushes. Pictures 9-12 show you how to counter the most common win conditions.
1:00 – Overtime
If you still haven’t taken down a tower, which is completely normal, you x2 Elixir, you can start sacrificing some damage on your towers in exchange for damage on your opponents. Just remember to take good trades and always be one step ahead of your opponent.
Picture 9 – Defending against Mortar.
Picture 10 – Defending against Golem Baby Dragon.
Picture 11 – Defending against X-Bow
Picture 12 – Defending against Three Musketeers split.
Hard matchups & Deck weaknesses
This deck has no real hard counters other than LavaLoon, I usually even beat Lava Hound decks unless they have/use Balloon. And that’s what makes this deck so good. One thing I wanna point out is that it’s sometimes very hard to get through defensive building, especially Inferno- and Bomb Tower. Barbarians are also a pretty hard counter.
This deck isn’t weak to the Musketeers, but rather the Fireball-bait strategy that Three Musketeers decks use. But you really have to Fireball the pump, because otherwise you’ll get so far behind in Elixir that your opponent will just spam Three Musketeers in the middle of their map until you eventually go down. You can’t let them get that Elixir advantage and you always have to keep up the pressure.
Some Three Musketeers decks even run Minion Horde, and that’s an even bigger problem since that’s also Fireball bait.
If you run into/struggle against Three Musketeers, I highly recommend you replace The Log with Zap so you can use Ice Spirit + Zap to counter their Minion Horde.
Note: With the Heal spell released, I think we’re soon gonna see Three Musketeers Heal decks, for that reason, it’s best to use your Fireball & The Log at the same time so they won’t have the option to heal their Musketeers back up to full HP.
This is the main weakness of this deck, and a deck you won’t beat a lot, but hey, on the positive side, it’s not that common on ladder.
Try to get the tower trade and keep the pressure up with constant Hog pushes. You’ll need a lot of skill and luck if you’re gonna beat this deck.
Barbarians are mainly a problem because they can shut down your Hog Rider without even allowing him any hits on the tower, and you’ll end up with a negative Elixir trade no matter what. Wait until x2 Elixir then go for a Hog, Fireball & The Log combo in order to perfectly shut down their Barbarians.
Inferno- & Bomb Tower
Bomb Tower is very rare to face, so I’m gonna skip that one, but Inferno is pretty common in X-Bow decks and Miner control decks. Same as with the Barbarians, it’s hard to get through, but there’s another problem; it’s not weak to spells. What you’ll have to do is out-cycle it with your cheap cards.
Off-topic: Inferno Tower shouldn’t be a counter to Hog decks. It’s the big heavy beatdown counter. #NerfThe’Ferno
That’s it for me guys, hope you learned anything and don’t forget to race for the first comment. Have a nice day and see ya in the comment section.