Hey guys, D-mate here, with my first true strategy guide in months.
Today I am going to share with you how to play the unique deck the: Hog Freeze. This guide will be about Control Hog Freeze. There is a cycle variation, but it won’t be discussed in this article.
The Ultimate Guide to Control Hog Freeze
This is my favorite deck because it works unlike any other deck, requiring a huge amount of skill in a very specific technique: Elixir tracking.
This guide will show you what to do, what not do to, gameplay strategies, and tips on how to counter it. I hope you enjoy it!
One of the biggest reasons people choose a deck is because it offers potential. I am going to share with you the biggest advantages of Hog Freeze.
Why you should use Hog Freeze
It scales better than any other deck on ladder
Seriously. Why, you ask? Because a well-played Hog Freeze will always do the same damage no matter what.
You don’t have to worry about if your P.E.K.K.A can one-shot Barbarians, or your Royal Giant is 12 levels higher than it should be to make up for how bad it is, or that your Zap is at a high enough level to kill Goblins for your Hog.
Because the Freeze spell does just that: It Freezes!
It won’t Freeze for less time depending on their card levels, which makes it just as effective no matter their card levels.
It also helps that an over-levelled Freeze can become a huge advantage, but even an under-levelled Freeze will function just fine.
It can almost always pull out a draw
Hog Freeze is the ultimate control deck.
This is because the only units specialized in offence are the Freeze spell and the Hog Rider. Every other card is made to be able to give a perfect defense.
In fact, sometimes playing for a draw allows you to win better than if you played for the win! Most defensive units are less effected by scaling, which can help you wait out those four minutes against an over-levelled player.
It requires mastery of one skill, not knowledge of multiple
The most important word with Hog Freeze is Elixir. Tracking Elixir throughout the game is absolutely crucial to pull out a win. Without it, you will be crushed by over or under spending.
This makes the deck become very easy once the skill is mastered.
Once you get to the point where it comes subconsciously without even thinking about it, Hog Freeze becomes a very easy to play allowing you to use a high skill deck effortlessly
It is not weak to any deck type
Because Hog Freeze is so defensively built, you are free to choose 6 cards to work as perfect counters to all your biggest problems.
No need to worry about pesky Elite Barbarians: you can easily carry two or more counters.
Hound bothering you? Choose from the wide selection of flying or ranged defensive units.
No matter what the deck type, Hog Freeze can stop it.
As with any deck, it isn’t perfect. Keep these thoughts in mind when deciding whether to use Hog Freeze
It requires a finicky play style
Hog Freeze is a tricky one. It requires a player who excels in one skill and one skill only.
No matter what deck type you were playing before, it will definitely be going to be very different from Hog Freeze.
Only players who are good with tracking Elixir and willing to forgo counter-pushing, push building, empty pushes, and all the other common strategies will truly excel with this deck
It takes a lot of time to learn
As stated above, Hog Freeze doesn’t compare to any other deck type. Because of this, you will always enter playing it with next to no prior knowledge to support you.
Be ready to lose a ton of trophies when you first try it to make up for this.
It is repetitive and can be easy to counter in the late game
A big playing aspect is how every push is the same.
Due to the lack of offensive units, a skilled player can easily catch on and prevent the Hog from getting time tower.
This can limit you to one or two pushes, which can be tricky to be compensated by chip.
This is good to know, you may be saying but how does it actually play out?.
Well, here’s how.
How to play Control Hog Freeze
I will go over how the deck should be played for every minute. And remember, take this with a grain of salt. Every game is different, and many will be excluded from these guidelines.
3:00 to 2:00
This is a testing phase. The Freeze spell should not be shown yet so they won’t adapt too early in the game.
My favorite move is to send a long Hog in and see how they react. You can use this to get a quick idea of there deck so you can defend it better.
- If you see Goblins you can assume chip cycle decks.
- If you see Barbarians your looking at a higher cost defensive deck
- If you see Elite Barbarians, you can expect a Royal Giant.
Any play goes, but don’t over play. You want to see how they play so you can defend for longer and have more successful pushes.
A good guideline is to never spend more then 6 Elixir at a time.
So for example, put a Ice Wizard and Mega Minion to stop a Royal Giant, but don’t also but an ice golem to counter push.
2:00 to 1:00
This should be your chip phase. You want your defensive units to get there limited DPS in as well as a few Hog attacks.
This will make it a quicker endgame once you use the Freeze spell to avoid repetition.
Hog Freeze games usually end with close 1-0 matches; so don’t let any chop you can get to it waste.
If you have an Ice Wizard or an Electro Wizard and the counter with a Skeleton Army, this is when you Zap it offensively to get the extra 300 tower damage chip it.
Consider it this way: every 250 damage you do it 4 less Elixir you have to spend Fireballing their tower.
Certain decks may try to prevent you from the chip damage, primarily cycle decks, but to counter that just learn their rotation and pre-spell instead.
1:00 to OT
This is where the Freeze comes out. Or have learned their rotation, seen ere counters to all your units, now your ready to start a push.
My favorite thing to do it to use a Hog then cycle in a cheap rotation back. This will often catch them off-guard because it will go faster then before the slow Control phase and make them use their secondary counter.
Usually this counter is weak to spells, which allows you to take less of a punishment for spending 8 Elixir with no damage against units because you can easily spell out their defense.
The last chip phase. Almost half of the matches here end in spell chip damage because of there increased defense against your offence.
Here your job is to just wait it out, watch the timer, and defend, cycle, spell, repeat. However sometimes this may not work due to large amounts of HP on their tower.
Another technique you can try is the sneak Hog attack. This works by waiting until they have a big push on the side of the tower you want to take out. As there mounting a huge push that could easily take your tower, you place a Hog in the middle slightly closer to the tower you want to take out. The units will attack him but then retarget once he starts to jump over the river, allowing him to get right past their offence for that precious tower damage
How to build a Hog Freeze Deck
Now we’re onto the fun part: Making a deck. I will show a step-by-step guide on how to build a reliable Hog Freeze deck.
Step one: Hog and Rocket just kidding, Freeze of course XD
It’s a Hog Freeze deck, so naturally, it kinda sorta needs the Hog and the Freeze.
Step two: Spells
For spells, you want to cover as many weaknesses as possible.
There are 2 main spell combinations I would suggest you use. The first is a Fireball and Log/Zap combo. Zap covers more weaknesses than Log but doesn’t work as well against cards such as Goblins and is level dependent.
The second choice is Arrows. The first option is a much stronger choice, giving you defense against glass cannons and swarms, but the second option allows more variety with other units.
I do not suggest using Rocket or Lightning, because this just makes the deck too spell heavy and doesn’t aid as well in defense after a Hog push due to their high cost and limited units to counter
Step three: Buildings
Buildings are a crucial part of defense, so naturally Hog Freeze should have one.
Any defensive building works well other than Bomb Tower for different roles.
Inferno is for tanks, Tombstone is for swarm, Cannon is somewhere in the middle, and Tesla is an air Cannon.
Another option is Goblin hut for chip damage, but it lacks the strong defense required by a defense, so it is less recommended
Having units that are air and counter air are crucial for a good deck.
All air units are high risk high reward, and countering them for a positive trade can win games.
I suggest using 1 flying troop, preferably Minions, Minion Horde, Mega Minion, or Baby Dragon. These units can both help with stopping air while killing certain ground units unscathed.
Then, you should have a ranged support unit. This adds to your defense against air and has better direct stats for stronger ground units. I do not suggest more than one of each. So for example, Ice Wizard and Minions works, but no Ice Wizard and Musketeer or Minions and Mega Minion. This keeps variety to defend against more units
The last few spots should be for a melee unit that fills in for your biggest weaknesses.
A few good choices include Mini P.E.K.K.A, Valkyrie, Knight, and Goblins. These units are all very versatile in their usage, and can get decent ship damage in when left alone. Always look for weaknesses.
If swarms are bothering you, try Valkyrie or Fire Spirits. If Hogs keep getting past your defense, use a Mini P.E.K.K.A. These cards are crucial to fill in those gaps
My Favorite Hog Freeze Deck
I am going to share my current deck here as well and a brief overview of every card and why I added it into the deck.
Hog Rider: High DPS, mediocre HP, targets only buildings, and needed for Hog Freeze
Freeze spell: Allows your Hog Rider to get maximum value out of his high DPS. And needed for Hog Freeze. Duh
Fireball: A great spell for defense, its high damage offers great value to take out nearly any unit, be it Barbarians, Mini P.E.K.K.A, Minions, glass cannons, and more. It also has decent tower damage, and is great for end-game tower finishes.
Log: My preferred spell mainly because it helps me avoid level dependencies in the deck unlike Zap, and the pushback is much stronger than the stun IMO. It’s great range also allows it to wipe out bigger pushes at once, and at 100 damage for 2 Elixir, it has that as another good usage.
Mega Minion: My flying unit of choice, I love the Mega Minion. Being spell- resistant is a huge bonus, and its low cost to DPS rating is great. I also like how it is slow, which allows me to use it to defend then do a Hog push while having that extra second or two to save for a Freeze spell if the opportunity pops up.
Ice Wizard: Part of the Freeze fam, the Ice Wizards slow effect is a life saver. For 3 Elixir, I can remove 30% of the damage from any push. This is incredible to keep your towers up all the way into OT. The splash damage is also nice, especially on the ladder when most skeletons are under-levelled (at 4K it’s a 50/50 split between level 9 and level 10+). This helps him eliminate swarms very effectively, and similar to the Mega Minion, his slow speed helps to get some Elixir saved before a push.
Tombstone: I only use this because if not, my triggered levels will be insanely high every time I see Elite Barbarians. It’s also a strong card because of its cheap cost and after value, which is great for last second defensive plays after a Hog Freeze push. Overall, a strong card that counters my weakness
Knight: A very versatile with enough damage and HP to do anything. He kills swarms, serves as a tank, he kills glass cannons, he kills tanks, there’s nothing you can throw at him he can’t handle (other than Elite Barbarians :o). My deck has no big weaknesses so knight works well to increase the strength of any defense.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and as always, please share your thoughts down below. If this picks up I will do another one of these for a different deck type (feel free to recommend a deck, but as the master of Freeze, I would like Freeze in there ;D). Let’s see if I can get my goal of u/yyarn making an OJ video with one of these.