You all seemed to enjoy the last article and video, so I’m back!
This is an original deck built for challenges, and I’ve found it to be extremely fun. It’s a Miner control deck that carries Elite Barbarians, which recently received a nerf. However, this deck still gets value out of them by playing them different than before, and they are one of my favorite cards in this deck.
While this deck is strong, it does require a lot of skill to play. So buckle up folks, you’re in for a long ride.
Elite Miner – The Burning Deck
This deck is quite fun to play in challenges, and your main goal is to chip out their tower with Miner and Poison. It’s mainly a control deck, but it does have a cycle side to it. You’re going to end up playing faster than beatdown, but not as quickly as cycle. However, you have many defensive options to most cards so that you won’t get destroyed by cycle.
There are three legendaries in this deck. Miner is irreplaceable, but you can replace Electro Wizard with Musketeer and Log with Zap or Arrows.
Miner: Your main win condition. You’ll want to use him to chip out your enemy tower with his annoying damage.
Miner placement is vital to this deck, as you don’t have much else to destroy towers.
He’s your best starting card because you can find what their Miner counters are.
Depending on each counter or situation, you change the way you play him.
When you haven’t taken a tower yet, never put him close to the King or the middle because he can activate their King’s Tower or do very little damage because both towers are targeting him. If you have taken a tower, remember to place him at the bottom-left corner or two tiles to the left of the Princess Tower. Using those placements don’t allow the King’s Tower to shoot at your Miner, letting him to much more chip damage.
Elite Barbarians: These guys are one of the most fun aspects of this deck. Essentially, they’re your defensive punish card, as they can easily kill a tower if they aren’t countered. They’ve actually won me some games just because I capitalized on my opponent’s mistakes.
You will play them defensively most of the time. They are resistant to most spells, very fast, and have a very good DPS. Alone, they only allow a Hog Rider one hammer swing on the tower. While they do cost 6 elixir, they must always be addressed, making them very effective counter pushers.
Poison: Your main offensive spell of this deck. You’ll occasionally use this on defense against Lavaloon, but that’s usually the only time you’ll use defensive poison. It’s a great support card for your Miner to deal a ton of chip damage. It also supports your Elite Barbarians because it can effectively clear swarms, but you should save it exclusively to support your Miner.
If you want, you can replace Poison with Fireball for a faster impact spell. However, I believe Poison is better in this deck because it does more overall damage, has a bigger radius, and clears an area of swarm for a duration of time.
Inferno Tower: A great tank-killer and defensive building. You want to save Inferno Tower for tanks and big threats, especially against Lavaloon. It’s your only building in this deck, so play it cautiously.
If you’re down Inferno Tower, Elite Barbarians do help out because of their DPS. However, you shouldn’t rely on them and Inferno Tower is more consistent in tank-killing.
Electro Wizard: He’s potentially the best utility card in the game right now, so there’s no questioning his role in many decks. He is a great air defense and makes a good counter push with your Miner. Miner and Electro Wizard together do massive amounts of damage, so your opponent will always have to react to them.
In this deck, his on-spawn Zap is pretty important on defense because it is one of your best ways to counter Minions using this deck. You’re only other way to eliminate Minions are Poison and Ice Spirit, and those aren’t consistent all the time.
Ice Spirit: Cheap cycle card with good utility. This guy can stop pushes for some time, and give you a little time to react to threats. Paired with the spawn zap of Electro Wizard, you can take out Minions, Princess, Goblins, Archers, and other small troops. It’s great for cycling to your Miner, and Ice Spirit + Miner is one of the best starting combos you can have.
I chose Ice Spirit over Skeletons because this deck is not lacking in the distraction and damage department. Electro Wizard can distract well, and Elite Barbarians dish out a lot of damage. I tried them at first, but they seemed like dead weight for this deck. With Ice Spirit, you get better air defense and more stun utility, which I prefered more over the damage and distraction of Skeletons.
The Log: Ah, good old log. This piece of lumber is your best bet versus Goblin Barrel and Log-Bait. While this deck does have Poison, that doesn’t effectively kill Goblin Barrel. Originally, I had Zap here, but The Log is overall better in most areas. It knocks back troops, deals more damage, and rolls a good distance.
Its role in this deck isn’t much different than its role in other decks. It kills swarms and controls the game. You’ll want to use it to kill swarms in this deck more than control because you already have so many control cards. However, it’s still useful and can change the outcome of many situations.
Knight: He’s a solid mini-tank with a good hit speed and a decent DPS. Against Graveyard, he will be your best bet (other than Poison). When Elite Barbarians are unavailable, Knight can clean up many small pushes on his own. In fact, just Knight + Electro Wizard can stop most ground pushes on their own.
In this deck, his main job is defense, as Miner is better suited for offense. Sometimes, you will want him to tank for your Miner, but he usually will die while stopping many pushes. He is great versus Bowler, glass cannons, Graveyard, Lumberjack, Elite Barbarians, and many more ground troops. Overall, a solid ground defense.
Strategy and Gameplan
Before Double Elixir:
Your starting hand is important in this deck as it affects the way you start and play the rest of the game.
Your ideal starting hand should have Miner, and you should immediately jump the gun and drop him on the Crown tower. This will give your opponent two options:
If they just take the damage, then that’s free chip damage for you.
If they reveal their Miner counter, then you now know what they will be using to stop your Miner.
If Miner isn’t in your starting hand, then your next best option is to have Ice Spirit. You can drop it at the bridge to chip the tower and cycle your deck at the same time.
If you don’t have either Miner or Ice Spirit, then you should either cycle by placing troops in the back, or waiting for your opponent to make the first move. It really depends on your hand and your opponent’s deck, so adjust your play style accordingly.
Usually, I find that before double elixir, I can chip about half or more of a tower. Just Miner and Poison is really annoying for your opponent and it can do a lot of damage if ignored. In return, if I’m successful on defense, I take about 500, more or less, damage to one of my towers.
However, there will be occasions where you will actually take a tower with Elite Barbarians when your opponent makes a mistake or you make a very great play. The rest of the game, you’ll be less on the offensive and more on your side of the arena.
And sadly, there will be times where you have lost or taken massive damage on one of your towers. With this deck, one mistake can cost you a lot. You will want to focus on taking at least one tower so that you can outchip their other tower. That will be your best bet on winning when you’re at a disadvantage.
Cycle! When double elixir hits, that means you can cycle even faster and put more pressure on their towers.
Most of the time, you will only have to cycle three cards because you almost always play Miner and Poison together in double elixir time. This puts extreme pressure on your opponents and they usually don’t get to build up their big push. They might be able to send in a few mini-pushes, but those can be cleaned up with your defenses.
If your opponent does happen to build up a big push, you have plenty to defend it. However, against beatdown decks, you really want to watch out for Lightning. It can almost kill your Inferno Tower and Elite Barbarians and it does kill your Electro Wizard. When I know they have Lighting, I either space out my cards or drop all my mini-tanks in the Lightning radius. This usually protects your Electro Wizard, who is vital on defense in many scenarios.
If you haven’t taken a tower already, you will probably end up taking a tower in double elixir. Many times, I can pull out a win from a disadvantage because I cycle Miner very quickly and my opponent doesn’t have to troops to defend against it.
When you are in the situation where your opponent’s tower is very low, just remember how much damage your spells do to Crown Towers. Over the full duration, Poison does 240 damage, and The Log deals 96 damage. Combined, thats 336 damage! If you notice that your opponent’s tower is below 368, start attacking the other tower because you can easily use spells to destroy the first tower.
The worst mistake you can make with this deck is making mistakes (yes, that sounds very obvious, but keep reading).
With this deck, you cannot afford to make any mistake, because it usually tends to you losing a tower.
For example, dropping Electro Wizard when they have a Minion Horde on hand is almost asking to be destroyed. Using Poison or Knight when they have Graveyard in cycle means you’re going to have a bad time defending the mass amount of Skeletons.
Just play smart, and you’ll find that your battle will be much more enjoyable.
Another mistake I make all the time is using Miner too aggressively.
Sometimes, I’ve used him when there’s a mass push coming my way, and now I’m down three elixir to defend. If you use him too much and you’re not making positive trades, the chances of you losing is much higher. The only time you will want to be over-aggressive is at the start of the match, when you’re trying to force a reaction out of your opponent.
Overall, just play on the safe side with this deck, it’s not a spammy cycle deck after all.
This is your hardest matchup by far. Because most Lava Hound decks carry Lightning, it severely limits your placement of Inferno Tower and Electro Wizard. Your goal should be to separate the push, try pulling the support troops away from the Lava Hound. Once all the support troops are destroyed, Lava Hound on its own is easy to deal with. Facing these decks will usually be the only time you use Poison defensively, as it kills Minions and Lava Pups, and damages Mega Minion and Balloon. Sometimes, when I know their ground counters, I rush with Elite Barbarians to put pressure on their tower, forcing them to spend defense Elixir. This is your hardest battle, but I’ve still won many times using this deck.
Inferno Tower is one of the best counters to Hog Rider. Make sure you place it on the lane that their attacking. Otherwise, the Hog will just bypass your Inferno Tower. If they carry Zap or Lightning, adding Ice Spirit helps out a lot in defending him. This battle usually results in victory as almost your entire deck counters Hog Rider. Electro Wizard, Knight, Ice Spirit, Elite Barbarians all help out when your Inferno Tower isn’t in cycle or is unavailable.
A relatively easy matchup as long as you play well, as I’ve probably won 9/10 of the matches pretty easily. You want to save your Log exclusively for Goblin Barrel, or in rare scenarios, Goblin Gang. Don’t use The Log on Princess, as it’s easier just to Poison her along with the tower or just use a troop to kill her at the bridge. This deck isn’t weak to splash, so she’s not that threatening. The only times these matches have come close is when my starting hand doesn’t have The Log and my opponent throws a Goblin Barrel. That’s probably the worst thing that can ever happen to you, but otherwise you should be fine against Bait decks overall.
Sometimes Log-Bait carries Hog Rider, which adds a little more threat to this matchup. However, Inferno Tower and Electro Wizard are extremely strong against Hog Bait pushes. Electro Wizard can easily dismantle a Goblin Gang or Skeleton Army and then start zapping the Hog Rider. Sometimes, I’ll even use my Log on the swarm troops to make my job easier, and use the on-spawn Zap of Electro Wizard to strike all three Goblins. The key is to Zap drop Electro Wiz when all the Goblins are still clumped together on the tower, so all three take the damage.
This matchup can either be tricky, or very repetitive and boring. If your opponent is smart, you will have some trouble clearing out the Musketeers. If the Three Musketeers are all grouped together, a Poison Log combo should get rid of them. If they are split, I use Elite Barbarians and Log on the two, then Ice Spirit or Knight on the last Musketeer. You have to watch out for the Elixir Collectors however, as they put the advantage into your opponent’s favor. Sometimes, you will want to use Miner, Poison, or both to get rid of it and chip their tower at the same time. If the Collector is in the middle, just Poison it to cut down it’s health. If it’s behind the Towers, Miner and/or Poison will do the trick. But remember to keep doing chip damage because it’s easy to get a draw or a loss out of this matchup if you forget about offense.
Inferno Tower. Honestly, it’s the hard counter to the armored behemoth. However, Pekka is usually paired with Electro Wizard or Lightning. Against Electro Wizard, Knight or Elite Barbarians can easily assassinate the backline support troops while the Inferno Tower burns down Pekka. Against Lightning, you can still pull and stun the Pekka easily with Electro Wizard, Knight, and Ice Spirit. Just keep chipping down the tower as you stop pushes, because she’s not much of a threat.
Almost the same story as Pekka matchups (you will play similar against all beatdown decks). He has less HP, but he is also less easily pulled. Inferno Tower and Elite Barbarians shred him to pieces, and Knight is good against support troops. Ice Spirit and Electro Wizard help out in slowing down pushes and they transition well into a dangerous Miner counter attack.
Like the Giant, but more hitpoints and more expensive. You can easily punish Golem users by rushing with Elite Barbarians just as they drop him. Golem matchups are very easy with this deck as you can take out supports quickly and destroy Elixir Collectors with Miner. The only thing you have to watch out for is Minion Horde, which is sometimes seen in Golem decks. Poison, Ice Spirit, and Electro Wizard are pretty good at taking them out and Electro Wizard turns into a great defensive card after.
Electro Wizard, Inferno Tower, Knight, and Elite Barbarians are all great against siege decks. If you’re facing Mortar, Electro Wizard and Inferno Tower can easily shut it down. You do have to be careful of distraction troops, but that’s what The Log is for, killing swarms. X-Bow is even easier at it gets distracted by Knight and Elite Barbarians as well, leaving it more vulnerable and doing less damage to towers. Sometimes, Miner even helps against siege, but avoid using him defensively because he’s much better on offense.
Poison and Knight are great counters to Graveyard, however both have drawbacks. Poison burns every second, which means that some skeletons will spawn and sometimes clip your tower. Knight tanks all the Skeletons, but your Tower has to help him in order for him to actually be an effective counter. Elite Barbarians aren’t very good against Graveyard because they still let Skeletons build up, despite there being two of them (and cost six elixir). This is because they destroy Skeletons at a rate of 0.75 seconds, and Skeletons spawn at a rate of 0.5 seconds. Usually, you will place Inferno Tower to burn down the tanks and Poison to clear out the Skeletons against Graveyard, but be prepared to out chip your opponent.
Knight is great versus Miner, as he doesn’t die to Poison and is a mini-tank with more damage and health. You just have to place him right so that the Miner doesn’t lock onto your tower. If you do this, usually you can outchip your opponent.
The nerf made them much less threatening for this deck, and Knight alone can basically shut them down. However, there will be times where your need both Knight and Ice Spirit to stop them, but that’s still a great trade. If it’s your last resort, use your own Elite Barbarians to defend your opponent’s because they too will get the job done.
This deck is great and very fun to play across all levels. Originally, it was just for challenges, but I found that with the right levels, it can be very potent on ladder too! If you want to use it on ladder, my top priority would be leveling up Ice Spirit, as if it’s under leveled, it won’t reach the Crown Tower. I’d also recommend upgrading Miner and Electro Wizard as well because they become much better when you have them at good levels.
Remember to control the game, but don’t play too over-aggressive with Miner. He’s great at chipping, but it’s very easy to slowly put yourself in at an elixir disadvantage by making constant negative trades. Miner-Poison is great, and the other cards compliment and control very well. Elite Barbarians are your secondary offense, as you can use them to punish opponents and dismantle pushes.
As always, thanks for reading! I always appreciate you all reading this and I hope you learned something while reading. This deck is great and fun, so I advise that you at least give it a try in a challenge.
This has been General NX, signing out. See you all next time.
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