Hey whats going on guys, RohanReigns here back again with another guide for you all. This time, it’s the golden Hog Exenado deck!
Before getting into the guide, I quickly wanted to mention that I reached 4980 trophies, my new personal best last season rocking my Hog Exenado deck that I started playing since when I was at 3.2k.
Although not the best, I think myself as a decent Hog Exenado player due to the fact that I’ve played with it a lot in ladder, tournaments and challenges. I kinda have understood the mechanics and the way this deck works, both in ladder and tournament standards.
So, I will try my best to explaination the gameplan, mindset and give you some tips to play this deck as effectively as possible.
Lolman, one of our reputed guide writer, had written about this deck already back when it was more overpowered than it is right now.
But I think the meta has shifted a bit right now, lots of cards have changed stats and so I think there needs to be an updated guide for one of the greatest decks of all times, the mighty Hog Exenado.
So whether you’re searching for a reliable deck for ladder, looking for tips to play Hog Exenado or are just trying to switch to a new deck, this guide is for you!
By the way you can read Lolman’s deck guide about this deck here!
Without any further discussion, lets get into the deck right off the bat!
Hands down, this deck has the best synergy in defense than any other combinations in Clash Royale, the Executioner+Tornado combo!
Basically this is a control deck where you get value in defense using Exenado and counterpush with your Hog.
The interesting thing is you can play this deck the way you want – control, cycle, beatdown, the choice is yours!
The way you play your deck depends upon the deck you’re facing against. I’ll explain this in the matchups section below.
Talking about the offense of this deck, Hog is your main damage dealer, but not the only one.
There are some scenarios where you just have to Lightning cycle and defend. Don’t only rely on your Hog to deal damage – the best tip I can ever give!
Due to lack of building, this deck struggles against Royal Giant Lightning decks.
Moreover, having three spells can often bring you bad hand, where you can’t play a card before your opponent (Ex: Lightning, Log, Tornado, Executioner).
Apart from this, this deck is pretty solid and insanely reliable! P
Hog Rider: Your primary win condition.
Use it to counterpush or chip down their tower, again depending upon the deck you’re facing against.
There are few other utilities of this card apart from being a win condition.
You can quickly drop a Hog Rider in the opposite lane to the lane your opponent is pushing, to force them to use elixir and prevent them from lightning-ing your Executioner.
You can even use it defensively to kite away fast units or even take few hits off. Against beatdown decks, pushing the opposite lane with your hog is vital to prevent them from building up a monstrous push.
Knight: His mustache says it all. Bold and trustworthy.
Seriously this card is overpowered for a 3 elixir cost.
I remember when Knight was not used at all until the Ice Golem got nerfed and Knight’s usage rate skyrocketed! Now it is in almost every deck out there!
Use it to magnify your Hog push and defend along with your Executioner. That’s honestly everything he can do.
Wanna know the best ways to use this brave warrior? Read the Ultimate Guide to using Knight here and thanks me later! 😎
Ice Spirit: One of your two cycle cards.
Synergizes really well with Hog as it freezes everything your opponent places to defend your Hog.
Tornado+Ice Spirit in defense is life-saving.
My favorite thing to do with it is to kite the mortar’s target long enough to cycle back to a tank.
When timed right, you can tornado opponents’ Hogs to your King’s tower without taking any hits at all.
There’s already a post on Ice Spirit, so I guess I don’t need to explain it much. Read the guide yourself at here!
I prefer Goblins over Bats and Skeletons because they are unzappable and can give so much value in defense.
You opponent Logs or Zaps something else? Hog+Goblins the next time you push and watch everything getting wrecked on its way as the Goblins stab everything in light speed!
Synergizes quite well with Ice Spirit. On defense, Ice Spirit+Gobs are enough to take out a lone Hog and same applies to a Giant.
I love to use them as a starting hand on the bridge as it forces your opponent to react or take some hundreds of damage.
Tornado: A utility spell.
Pair it with Executioner and nothing can break through your defense.
Make sure you always activate your King’s tower by tornadoing their Hog, Miner, Giant, Golem and even Balloon.
One great tip that I discovered is activating your King’s tower with the Skeletons from enemy Graveyard.
Use it in the exact same tile that you use to pull Hogs in, and the Skeletons should collide with your King’s tower at least once and thus activate it.
This is really useful to mitigate most of the damage from Graveyard pushes since you’ll have an extra cannon sniping those Skeletons.
Executioner: The Ultimate Defensive Troop!
He is by far the best splash attacker in the entire game due to his decent DPS and spell-resistancy.
I always recommend to save your Executioner for your opponent’s main push and one wrong move with him can change the fate of the battle.
Your opponent has Barbarians and Minion Horde coming from both lanes?
Place him in front of your King’s tower and Tornado both of them in the middle. Use your Goblins or Ice Spirit to gravitate them in the middle more easily.
That is an example of how you can handle split pushes using the mighty Exenado combo.
Lightning: Your Heavy Spell and secondary win condition.
Always try to get value out of this spell.
Don’t use it with your Hog pushes in 1x elixir as you won’t have elixir to defend.
Against 3M matchups, you can lightning their Pump and Tornado the 3M in one lane for your Exe to clear them all.
Make sure you always Lightning their pump because being a control deck, you can’t or shouldn’t let your opponent have elixir advantage over you.
Feel free to use your Lightning often in 2x elixir even if you’re getting elixir deficit. You can gain elixir surplus with your Exenado combo on defense easily.
Mindset and Gameplan:
Your mindset in 1x elixir will be to always play defensively and use your Hog after their push.
1x elixir is when you should get most of the tower damage because it is nearly impossible in 2x elixir for your Hog to get any hit.
Also 1x elixir is when you try to gain as much elixir surplus as possible.
Always wait for your opponent to overcommit and quickly drop a Hog in the opposite lane.
NEVER overcommit in your Hog pushes in 1x elixir. This is the biggest mistake that I realized later on.
Try to know the counters to your Hog, their main win condition and most importantly their Spells.
As soon as 2x elixir hits, you should have gathered a lot of info about the deck your opponent is playing.
This is when you decide to either spell-cycle or use your Hog offensively.
Because you have known about their offensive combos, you can place your cards tactically to counter them.
For instance, if their combo is Hog+Freeze, you would always want to tornado their Hog after they use their Freeze and use your Goblins to counter it. If he has rocket, you wouldn’t want to place your Exe anywhere near your Tower.
If they have troops like Musketeer, Lumberjack, MiniPekka, Night Witch etc. to defend your Hog, use Hog+Lightning take them out and dish out some damage.
To be straightforward, you can kinda overcommit in 2x elixir 😉
Whenever you notice your opponent using a lot of elixir in a short of time, quickly sneak in a Hog Rider to force them split their elixir into defense.
After you’ve taken down their towers to 700 hp or around, switch into defensive mode and lightning-out their towers for the win! Easy!
Beatdown: Probably the easiest matchups of all.
If it’s Golem Beatdown, punish them hard in the opposite lane with a Hog+Knight combo. That’s almost always a tower down for you.
Now because they should have used some elixir to defend your Hog push, they wont be able to support their Golem push.
Against Giant beatdown, the timing of your Hog varies slightly.
Let them support their Giant and as soon as it crosses the bridge and you have Knight+Executioner in defense, sneak in a Hog in the opposite lane.
This way, you can always defend their push if they decide to defend your Hog. If they commit to their push with Spell, your Hog should get enough damage. Win-Win either way!
In 2x elixir, you can cycle two Executioners and it’s always an easy defense
Make sure you always pressure them in the opposite lane with constant Hogs whenever they try to build up a push.
Against Royal Giants
They might trouble you to be honest.
Save your Executioner and Knight combo for their Royal Giant and this is only possible if you avoid overcommitting.
Don’t play your Hog in the opposite lane after they drop their RG. Defend first. You should now have a Knight+Executioner push in one lane.
You’re gonna play your Hog in the same lane right? Well, it’s not always a good idea. 9/10 times your opponent will use his Hog Counter for the Knight+Exe combo, and when they do so, it’s time for a Hog in the opposite lane.
And now you’ve got the plan, rinse and repeat.
The exception is when they are playing a Spell-Bait RG deck. If that’s the case you’ll always want to use your Hog in the same lane after defending with knight+exe combo.
Log their Goblin Barrels. Use your Executioner often to get elixir advantages. Lightning their Inferno Towers to let your Hog pass through.
It’s all about building up a Exe+Hog push with Lightning ready.
Chances are your Hog will connect to their tower and deal insane damage if you succeed in doing so.
Against Siege decks
Exe for their siege weapon and Knight to tank, always.
Make sure you push the opposite lane with your Hog after defending.
Sometimes, you can use your Lightning to deal with their siege weapon and get free damage on their towers.
Against Graveyard Decks
Make sure you always activate your King’s tower using the trick I mentioned above. After that, your goal will be to never let their tank cross the bridge.
This way their Graveyard will deal Zero damage.
Some Extra Tips:
Against Spellbait, you can use the Log offensively and use Tornado to deal with their Goblin Barrel.
If they have Bowler or Mini Pekka as your Hog counter, you can drop a lone Knight at the bridge to imitate a Hog push and most of the time, your opponent will use his Hog counter in that lane. This is a simple yet effective way to outplay your opponent.
Sometimes it’s a good strategy to use your Hog behind the King’s tower. This helps you to cycle back to your Hog relatively faster and thus, outcycle your opponent as to say.
Against Beatdown decks, drop your Executioner at the back before pressuring the other lane with your Hog as it helps to cycle back to your Executioner one card faster.
It’s better to drop Knight at the bridge after they drop the collector. This way you can Lightning their collector, tower and the troop defending your Knight. You can do this your Hog too but is kinda more risky.