I had been stuck around 2000 trophies for a week or so, when I got my first legendary card in a free chest. Most of the other Lava Hound decks out there I looked up included at least one other Legendary (usually Princess or Ice Wiz), so I set about finding one of my own that would work with only the Lava Hound. This deck is great for those who like to get their crown chest filled quickly as you will get a lot of three crowns if played properly.
LavaLoon Deck for Arena 7 and 8
Lava Hound – This is the card the deck is centered around. The hound will tank an insane amount of damage, and that’s pretty much it’s only purpose. You get a nice bonus when the Lava Hound pops and the pups come out, but if you don’t back it up it won’t do much damage.
Balloon – This is your win condition. Balloon does more damage per second than any other troop in the game besides sparky. When your Balloon reaches the tower, the enemy is going to be panicking.
Minions – The minion is very versatile and can be used on offense or defense if needed. Amazing counter to ground troops, can chip a tower, and do huge damage behind a tank.
Goblins – These do crazy damage for their elixir cost. Use these to help take down tanks, hogs, or distracted troops.
Valkyrie – An all purpose destruction tool. Use it to stop barbarians. Drop it behind a Royal Giant or Giant push to take out the squishy units like Wizards. Use it to clean up big pushes of small units like Gobs and Fire Spirits. It is a surprisingly good elixir trade for the common Hog + Gob rush. Another great thing about Valk is that the Valk usually defends and then requires a response from the other player or she will get significant chip damage on their tower if ignored.
Cannon – The cannon is just a great 3 elixer way to stop hogs, soak up some damage from Royal Giants, drag troops (like Balloons) to the kill zone, or any other number of things. Use it to supplement your defense to stop a big push or distract dangerous units.
Elixir Collector – The genius of the collector is two fold. It’s the perfect play to start the game if the meter goes to 10 and no-one does anything. It forces the enemy to push first at a disadvantage. It also sets you up to do monster pushes with your Lava Hound later. Always play the collector at 10 elixer unless you are under pressure from the enemy or in the middle of a big push of your own.
Arrows – You are going to see minion hordes and princesses. This is the card you use to take them out quickly. It’s also handy for clearing out groups of spear gobs behind the tower if they are taking down your air troops.
In an ideal match, you will lead by playing elixir collector and play some defense until you have two collectors down. Try to play defense as sparingly as possible to build up an elixir advantage even if you take some damage on your towers. Once you have at least one collector down and you are back at max start your push (unless your opponent is in the middle of their push). Drop your Lava Hound in the back corner and let it travel up the field while your elixir fills back up. This is a critical point in the match as you will want to play your cards very carefully based on what they do. If they push the other lane, use as few defensive cards as possible to repel the attack. It’s OK if you take some damage here as you will be able to punish them shortly.
More likely they will drop anti air troops as far back as possible to defend against your push. In many cases they will drop a building to draw your Lava Hound into the kill zone. Wait until the defenses lock onto the Lava Hound and then start dropping your other troops to destroy their defenses for elixir advantages. If they drop cannon in the middle, snipe it with the minions. If a musketeer or wizard is under the Lava Hound blasting at it, drop the goblins to rush in and take them out while they are distracted and shooting the Lava Hound. If they play minion horde drop arrows. Those are great trades so do them if you get the opportunity. If none of those easy trades are available, drop the bomb and play the balloon a little after the Lava Hound has crossed the river. Make sure you have arrows hovering if they have minions or horde, because they will come out and you can make an easy trade. This is a VERY hard push to defend against and will most likely take the tower. There will likely be a bunch of troops firing at the Lava Hound as the Balloon drops bombs on the tower, so feel free to drop troops if the Lava Hound still has life to clean them up and keep the push building. I have often carried this single push through to three crown the opponent. If the push looks like it’s dying down, don’t waste more elixer and save it for the next push.
That is basically it. Don’t try to do goofy small pushes and save your elixir for the lava hound beatdown.
How to Play Specific Common Decks
Hog Cycle – This one is the easiest to beat. Defend the hog+gobs+zap with your Valk. Your tower will take a little damage (200-500), but you will have a big elixir advantage and be ready for your push. Chip decks tend to get steamrolled by this deck, especially if they don’t respect your push and keep trying to counter push with little cycle pushes.
Royale Giant – This is a tough deck for me to counter with this deck. Best case scenario is that they drop the RG, I drop cannon to distract at the right point where RG shoots the cannon while getting hit by the tower and then I drop gobs on him. This will destroy the RG without taking any damage. Unfortunately this rarely happens. Most of the time there will be some splash unit with the RG, so I’ll have to play valk on his side to hit him and the splash unit at the same time, and then play the gobs once the splash unit is dead. This almost always results in some damage on the tower. I’m usually 50/50 against Royale Giant decks.
Hut Decks – Almost a guaranteed win. When you see a hut go down, just start pushing the other lane with the Lava Hound. They usually won’t have enough elixir to defend well, especially if they played a Barbarian Hut. Best case scenario they panic and start dropping huts near your Lava Hound on your push. I have literally had a Balloon destroy 3 buildings in one push against a hut player. If things get crazy in the hut lane during your push, just drop the valk to push it back.
Three Musketeer Decks – There isn’t much you can do against this deck. Try to play for a draw. The 3M will just toast your Lava Hound and your Balloon.
Giant Balloon – A tough one. Use cannon to draw them to the middle kill zone. Take the Balloon out with minions.
Outside of that, the hard decks tend to be the ones with a lot of air defenses. Inferno tower and Ice Wiz are total pain in the asses. If you play someone with an Ice Wiz, Musketeer, and Inferno Tower… Good luck. This may sound daunting, but a lot of decks are really easy to beat as well. I pushed to legendary with my commons at either 8 or 9, Valk at 7, Balloon at 3, Collector at 6, and my Lava Hound at 1. I’m pretty sure you could take this deck to 3300 if you took the time to level your commons to level 10, rares to 7-8, and your Balloon to 4. At this point, I beat other players with similar level cards more often than not, but lose to players with cards a level higher than mine more often than not.
Well, I hope this was helpful and is useful to some players who are looking for a deck for their Lava Hound. I have had a great time reading everyone else’s decks and am happy to have something to contribute back.