Hey guys this is NotCPU and today I’m going to show you my Lava Hound Poison Deck, which got me to 4k club in the last season.
A little about me: I have been playing since soft-launch, and was F2P up until September when I spent some birthday money on those special offers. I am level 11 with average card levels of 9/7/3/1 (except for this deck because I’ve power levels those cards with requests etc) and I am a member of a clan ranked #17 NA, but joined the feeder for clan chest reasons.
I’ll give an overview of how this deck plays and then go through each card specifically.
This deck is decidedly a beatdown deck. I’ve always enjoyed decks that focus on building deathball pushes, a PPP and Golem 3 Muskies.
To start off a match, I like to pump up. If I don’t have pump in hand, I start off something slow in the back, such as Ice Wiz/MM, or cycle Gobs. However, the Pump is by far my favorite method of starting the game.
Despite its steep price, it allows me to scout the opponent’s hand and deck. Being such a passive play allows me to start the game on a defensive angle which transitions to offense in Double Elixir.
Using another card starts off the game more aggressively, which is OK due to a semi low average elixir, which I designed so that I could function without pump in the event Rocket renders it unplayable, but even then, an opponent rocketing the pump is preferable to rocketing a deathball late game.
A word of warning: NEVER start the game with the Lava Hound. This is that fastest way to lose a tower to a fast miner/hog/elite barb push. Having only 3 elixir to defend is just not a thing this deck can handle.
At this point in the game, you should be defending and building an elixir advantage. You want the largest elixir advantage you can get by the time 1:00 comes around. Here are some common deck types I face and how to defend against them.
Royal GG, Furnace, Mega Minion – This deck can do major damage if you are unprepared. This is where your Inferno Dragon shines, as it is able to kill Royal GGs and prevent a large amount of damage. Generally, you want to Poison down Furnaces in a manner that stops the fire spirits from getting to the tower/defense troops, and use iDragon, Mega Minion, and/or Goblins to stop the RG. Even Mega Minion+Gobs stops the RG pretty handily if it’s on its own.
Giant Bowler – This one is hard because of how few ground troops this deck has. Optimally, you have a poison covering their small support troops and an iDragon on the Giant, while you distract and kill the Bowler with ice wizard/mega Minion/goblins. At times this makes me wish for Fireball but Poison is more helpful in other situations, specifically in the offensive phase.
Hog Cycle/Trifecta – Old but gold, a Hog Rider deck pops up occasionally. My deck has a harder time with ultra high speed decks, but they are manageable. With a Hog/Valkyrie push, you want to get an iDragon or Mega Minion on the valk, while putting gobs on the hog on the side that is out of range of the Valkyrie. While this will result in tower damage, this deck makes up for it in Double Elixir. Pig Pushes with Hog/Ice Golem/Goblins/Fire Spirits are much simpler, as you can zap away/damage the support while killing the hog with a Mega Minion, iDragon, or gobs. Ice Wizard can also handle small support by pulling them away from the tower while your other troops kill the Hog. Most of these defenses result in one or two hits unless you perform them absolutely perfectly.
Chip Cycle – These decks are some that I come across the fewest for some reason. This is where the Poison, Zap, and Ice Wizard shine on Defense. Poison is a long-playing way to shut down skarmy, gobs, minions, etc behind a miner and control the area while you kill the miner. I like goblins on the miner for a positive trade, but ice wizard works as well. Ice wizard+zap destroys minion horde for an even trade, which works well on offense as well.
Executioner/Tornado – This one is tough because the Executioner is a hard counter to the Hound and tornado renders most supporting troops useless. In my experience, these are games that are usually drawn or lost. You absolutely must bait the Executioner and kill it before your big push. The other support commonly seen in these decks (ewiz, archers, etc) are generally weak to poison. The electro wizard can pose an issue to the inferno dragon if he is not properly dealt with, however. The goblins and mega minion should be used in advance to kill him before the inferno dragon is required.
Other Beatdown (Sparky, Golem, Hound, etc) – The iDragon is a boon against these decks. Having a multitude of ways to counter air allows great freedom in stopping hound pushes. Obviously iDragon is the best there, but if your opponent has lightning, you may want to draw it out with other troops such as MM and Ice Wizard, or even Pump behind the tower. Golems are tricky as the lack of defensive buildings means you will suffer (usually small if defended properly) damage on your tower from golemites. The idea of poisoning support works here too, and if it happens to be able to catch lava pups in the process, even better. You can even use your Hound to distract and damage their support while killing their tank, and the pups make their support easier to pick off. I only recommend this if you are confident in the amount of elixir you have being able to still defend well enough.
Graveyard – Graveyard has been picking up popularity lately and I see it more and more. I like to use Ice Wizard and then zap once the skeletons build up. Another method is to use goblins, but these are vulnerable to fireball and other spells (except zap, unless there is a large door buildup and they are overwhelmed). However spending yard (5) + fireball (4) is a lot to kill your goblins, allowing you to keep the positive trade by then dropping the ice wizard or other support. The Gravy Bowl deck is fairly simple if you can get rid of the Bowler fast, usually with iDragon or Mega Minion while IW and gobs deal with graveyard.
3 Musketeers – Geez, this one is hard. Despite all the utility poison provides, this is the one matchup that makes me long for a good old-fashioned fireball. Basically, you have to keep the musketeers out of rotation, otherwise they will sunder any air push you build up. If you manage to poison them while they are defending your push, then throw everything else you have at them. Zaps, Goblins, Wizards, Mega Minions, etc. You can rebuild your push, but that is very hard without a lava hound.
Rocket Cycle – Haven’t seen one of these in ages, but if you can bait the rocket onto a pump or tower you can usually destroy with a deathball push. Defense isn’t very different because their cards are usually very similar to another deck type.
Siege – Even rarer than the previous one for me, but having friends who play siege allows me some exposure. The amount of air troops you have means damage is kinda inevitable, but also means you can clean up the mortar/xbow relatively easily while distracting with what ground troops you have. Ice Wiz and Gobs distract for a good amount of time while you can use air/zap to destroy the building.
Late Game, Double Elixir, Overtime
By far my favorite part of the match, this is where the elixir advantage you have been cultivating all match comes into play most effectively.
The main push of this deck is obvious enough, basically put down the Hound and get everything else behind it.
It’s a little more technical that that, though. Before starting a deathball, be sure to bait out an opponent’s high damage spells such as lightning and rocket. As they cycle back to it, you should have also cycled enough to replace the destroyed troops.
The Poison is also invaluable in these pushes. What you want to do is get it down in the area in front of the tower while your troops cross the bridge, making sure to clip any buildings or preemptive defensive troops. This denies that area to any small troops like Minions for the duration of the spell. This is usually enough time to kill heavier defense, inferno towers (with the help of zap) or even a tower.
If an opponent drops small troops in the spell, a quick zap or ice wizard blast kills them in one hit where it wouldn’t otherwise, however the Poison kills them fast enough if you are okay with taking some damage on your troops (bringbackpoisonsloweffectplease). This is the main advantage over fireball because it controls a larger area for longer. Once you have your deathball, continue supporting it with new troops and spells.
Card Specifics and Replacements
Lava Hound – The main tank, useful even on defense for stalling opponent support. The pups do large damage to towers and opposing troops, complementing the slightly tanky aspects of the other cards.
Replacements: n/a. Maybe golem but that is besides the point of this guide.
Inferno Dragon – This card is a defensive staple of my decks, and I use it over its tower based cousin because of how it transitions to offense and can tank for lava pups. Also, it’s cheaper.
Replacements: Inferno Tower, High DPS tank busters such as Minion Horde or Mini Pekka (not recommended because weakened air defense)
Mega Minion – This card is still absurdly versatile despite the nerfs. It does big damage on defense, and transitions well into offense, where it is able to tank for pups or pick off small troops when your spells are unavailable.
Replacements: Minions, Musketeer (questionable), Mini Pekka (air defense issues again)
Ice Wizard – Another powerful utility defender that transitions well into offensive support. Ice wiz takes on minions, miner, even hog riders and then acts as a mini tank and support for a strong Lava Hound push. If your opponent drops a horde on your hound while an Ice Wizard follows, a quick zap + ice wiz blast can destroy all of them for an even trade.
Replacements: Princess, Baby Dragon (not recommended because that makes too little ground defense), archers for higher damage output
Goblins – These little guys are so versatile. They can do almost anything, from tanking enemy pups to assassinating enemy troops behind a tank. They are a serious boon to this deck’s need for ground defense, stopping hogs, princes, princesses, and many others. A nice tech after you’ve taken a tower is to drop a hound in the center a lá royal giant and then sneak goblins in along the lane while the opponent is focused on the hound. They are also great at killing enemy defense by sneaking under the hound and knifing things like Musketeer, princess, wizard, etc.
Replacements (best to worst) Skeletons, spear gobs, fire spirits, ice spirit
Zap – Zap is an indispensable tool. It stops inferno towers and retargets enemy troops on offense, and brings enemy pushes to a halt while you prepare your defense. It works great against minion hordes like mentioned above, and can kill even leveled goblins to declaw a hog rider push.
Replacements: Arrows (only for damage, as you lose the helpful stun and reset.), Log (generally a hard no, minimal damage, no air targeting, no reset)
Elixir Pump – Ah, yes, the elixir pump. This has been a source of much controversy over the last few months, but I’ve stuck with it. It is so helpful for building a passive elixir advantage, primarily. It doubles as spell bait in the late game and is a great (albeit expensive) scouting tool in the early game. In a pinch, it can double as a defensive building, but that is usually just emergency stall.
Replacements: Can be replaced with cheap ground defense such as mini Pekka or skellies if that is a concern. I don’t recommend another spell as that leads to bad starting hands (think hound + 3 spells), Tombstone, Skarmy
Poison – This card is my main source of area control. I use it over fireball because baiting it out is much more difficult and I feel that it provides more long term support than fireball. For example, while fireball will straight up kill minion horde, it then allows the opponent to put down more support unmolested. Poison controls the area and you have the choice of how you deal with the minion horde. You can let it die in the Poison or add a zap for a quick finish while assisting your push/defense with the stun effect. As for princess control, I don’t see this as a positive trade. Use gobs at the bridge or Mega Minion.
Replacements (best to worst): Fireball, Arrows, Lightning (expensive)
Some Interesting Observations
Ice Wizard + Gobs stops barbarians/elite barbs, as do ice wiz + mega minion and mega Minion + gobs
If an opponent drops a minion horde into a poison and you zap at the same instant the minions die instantly
Poisoning a musketeer level 7/8 as it starts shooting a hound means the muskie will die before the hound pops
Royal Giant is still a pain in the butt
And I guess that’s it. If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to ask them in the comments. (Especially if I missed a deck type, I’m not totally sure I got them all.)