Lava Double Dragon - The Aerial Army | Clash Royale Guides

Lava Double Dragon – The Aerial Army

Hello everyone, this is eysz, otherwise known as swagger in-game. This is my first guide dedicated to a deck.

For starters, this deck is my go-to, and has taken me from 2.8k to a solid 4.1k in less than 5 months (It’s also completely original). In that time, I have encountered the Ebarbs meta, Executioner bug rampage, Lavaloon, and now, the Deck will have to learn to adapt to Night Witch.

I’ve used this Deck to beat Phonecats and a few players from Arab Empire in Grand Challenges

lava dragons

Lava Dragons

Clash Royale Lava HoundClash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Mega Minion
Clash Royale ArrowsClash Royale LightningClash Royale Ice SpiritClash Royale Tombstone

Cards Breakdown

Lava Hound – The main tanker of the Deck, that really sets the premise for the rest of the cards that will support and snowball a huge push.

Personally, I believe that the Lava Hound is the best high-Elixir tank, because it is the only large air investment, has a decent death rattle that forces a response, and amazing synergy with all air troops.

Baby Dragon – I’ve loved the Baby Dragon since I began playing at global launch, having it in Giant-Baby Dragon, Prince-Baby Dragon.

Though it fell out of favor in the meta for a large chunk of time, it’s coming back due to a need for splash attackers that hit air, while also being decently tanky.

In this Deck, the Baby Dragon often gets behind the Lava Hound to take care of Minions and does general chip damage.

Even if it is not very expendable, four Elixir is a small investment to be a quick tank in many defensive situations.

Inferno Dragon – Though many consider the ID to be a terrible card though it retains the Legendary card status, I think this is because this game is a offense-oriented game; even the more defensive troops do quite well on offense (think Bowler).

However, the Inferno Dragon, quite frankly, is terrible offensively without massive support and overwhelming advantages.

The card is mainly used as a tank killer in lieu with Tombstone.

Mega Minion – Another versatile powerhouse in this Deck.

Spell resistant up to Fireball, able to heavily minimize damage of heavy pushes, and make small pushes appear scarier, the Mega Minion hold the place of jack-of-all-trades on defense. The small Elixir to place makes it easier to cycle and tank in times of dire need. On offense, it can occasionally be the last man standing, continually attacking while the opponent watches with dry Elixir.

Ice Spirit  – Your cycle card, that will allow you to quickly get back to defensive options, while also being a great damage minimizer itself. Also note that the Ice Spirit is the only ground troop in this Deck, so make sure that Tombstone and your spells are in hand when Ice Spirit is expended, as quick at-the-bridge pushes can screw you over.

Tombstone – Tombstone was in meta a few months, but it has gradually fallen out of favor because the meta has shifted to beatdown that requires Inferno Tower or another killer, and Elite Barbarians simply aren’t as rampant (still op though), which the Tombstone can completely shut down with proper placement. No matter if it is popular currently, it is extremely versatile, but to achieve its full potential, it must have correct placement. This is often the difference between two Hog shots or none.

Arrows – All-purpose spell, but takes the specific niche of quickly killing Minion Hordes, which are the bane of all air decks. In addition, Arrows prevent spell bait decks form completely destroying you. Make sure to have these in your hand as your push begins to form.

The Log or Lightning – This is where it gets interesting. For my first push to 3.8k, I used The Log because I felt I needed more defensive ground options. Having this spell in the Deck allowed me to totally destroy spell bait archetypes, since my Deck would have two low-cost spells. However, as I progressed to Legendary Arena and the Leagues, more of my opponents were using Ex-Nado and Inferno Tower, all hard counters to my Deck. Lightning, though used very situationally, propelled me to a stable position, mainly because of the reset on an Inferno Tower’s charge, and it also did heavy damage to towers if I needed that in overtime. Sometimes I switch back to my Log just because it’s a Level 3 😉

How to play this deck?

The playstyle of this Deck is reminiscent of Golem decks, which often will create big pushes only in Double Elixir, and either chip or hard defend the first three minutes.

However, the playstyle will most likely have to change depending on the archetype and core you are facing.

This is how to play with this Deck against current common meta decks.

LavaLoon

Lavaloon

Because Lightning is one of the key weaknesses of this Deck, placements are very important when defending and attacking.

Offense:

On offense, you will find it frustrating that the opponent will often place Lava Hound as a tank and Lightning to completely cripple your Mega Minion, Baby Dragon, and Inferno Dragon with just one spell.

However, note that their use of a heavy spell on defense just to minimize damage on their Crown Tower shows that they do not have many other counters available in the Deck, and prevents them from using it to stun or take out Tombstone/Inferno Dragon.

Also realize that Lightning will not kill either of the Dragons, so they will still do major damage being tanked by a Lava Hound. The essence of offense is going to be constant relentless pushes until they have no Elixir to use their spells, and you can destroy them with your own.

If you wish to minimize the amount the enemy Lightning/Fireball can hit, place Mega Minions to the edge of the map, Baby Dragon straight through the middle, and Inferno Dragon in the middle of the lane

Defense:

Defensively, the protocol is quite simple; pull just the Balloon with the Tombstone, place any number of air defense troops to take care of it (includes Ice Spirit), then the remaining cards will make short work of the Lava Hound and her pups.

If this is Double Elixir, it can also be a great opportunity to counter push with your own tank in front of those air defenders.

As I repeated earlier, placement is essential to avoid the full radius of the Lightning. The Tombstone can be placed slightly more to the other lane, since the Balloon has a larger sight range, but it is still very difficult to pull this off perfectly, and you will often find the Hound following behind. Place troops to take out the Balloon, but keep them all out of placement so the spells cannot hit all of your defenders at once.

Other options include completely switching out the Tombstone with Inferno Tower, take out the Lava Hound, then focus on a Balloon still aggroed on the building.

Splashyard

Splashyard:

Another rising Deck that solely relies on the tanking and splash of Knight, Bowler, and Baby Dragon, and placing Graveyard+Poison any chance they have. The unique matchup of the Lava2Drag and Splashyard is that they exploit each other’s weaknesses; while the Splashyard lacks a heavy air card that can reliably destroy support, Lava Hound decks are not well known for countering Graveyard.

Offense

Offensively wise, Inferno Dragon is going to have a very hard time doing any damage to a Tower or to a defending troop, mostly because of the Electro Wizard (duh). Even behind the Lava Hound, ID becomes useless, and the Ewiz will slowly chip the HP down. It is wiser to let the card do its thing on defense, and let it go instead of supporting it for a counter push. Instead, play to their weaknesses, a lack of reliable air clearing.

Splashyard does fine against Lavaloon because the Balloon is building targeting, allowing the Baby Dragon and Electro Wizard to do damage unscathed.

However, Lava2Drag is troop-targeting, meaning that their Baby Drag will be destroyed by your Mega Minion, Electro Wizard in the middle of your push is a simple -4 trade, and Poison barely makes a dent in the two Dragons.

All in all, while single Elixir pushes are plausible but difficult, Double Elixir allows you to stack, and their puny opposing defenses will be crushed in less than three seconds, guaranteed.

Defense

Defense is a tad harder, especially if the player is quite experienced with the Deck, knowing the ins and outs and the counters I can employ.

Generally, I spam my available troops to attack the Graveyard, pull the tank with the Tombstone or deploy an Inferno Drag, doing this allows me to build up enough Elixir for a counter push.

Remember, a Graveyard lasts 10 seconds, meaning you can build up 4 extra Elixir in normal and up to 8 in Double Elixir. Either option gives you a choice to deploy a tank. Never expect to get 0 or less than 600 damage on your Tower; it’s simply impossible, so just focus on a counter push that will do more damage than they did to you.

Giant Beatdown

Giant Beatdown:

Giant is surely seen less at top ladder play, with the rise of Lava Hound and Golem. However, do not take this as a weakness; anyone still playing Giant is most likely a very good user of it, and the match will become a game of who can defend flawlessly.

Offense:

The standard ladder Giant Beatdown Deck has Minions and Musketeer, which is decent air defense, but of course your Deck comes prepared for this; they die to Arrows and Lightning respectively. And of course with great countering power comes great responsibility.

If you are unable to manage your Elixir wisely by making positive Elixir trades and avoiding small chip pushes in the first 3 minutes, you will have no juice to play a spell that would destroy their entire defense.

If somehow you cannot gain the Elixir, the push you will snowball in Double Elixir will do huge damage, if not destroy their entire Tower.

Baby Dragon destroys Minions, and Mega Minion will kill the Musketeer when it gets close. Giant Beatdown is certainly one of the easiest archetypes to play against with this Deck, because your countering cards will most likely stay alive, allowing you to place more and more.

Defense:

Defensive protocol is very simple.

As they create their Giant push, place the Tombstone in the 3-4 tile plant, which results in the Giant drawn to the building, but a Pig Pushed Hog will bypass it. Use this to your advantage by taking care of the Hog on your Crown Tower first with Inferno Dragon or Mega Minion, all while slowing down the Giant’s progress with Ice Spirit-Tombstone cycle.

The enemy Musketeer can easily be prevented from doing huge damage with a Baby Dragon planted on top of her, which delays enough for the opposing tanks to die and your cards to redirect fire on her.

However, you may have noticed this method of defense relies on placing support troops, which allows a counter push with a Lava Hound after their attack. To do this comes huge Elixir management skills, such as making positive Elixir trades and never, NEVER doing pushes without the Lava Hound. Expect a 2-1 crown win against Giant Beatdown. When they create a large push you know you cannot counter, just go all out on the other lane, and you will do just fine.

Golem Beatdown

Golem Beatdown

This type of Deck contains many similarities to a Lavaloon Deck, namely the offensive use of a Lightning to take care of your defending cards. As a result, your play against the two meta decks will be similar, except for some key changes you must adjust to.

Offense

Offense is actually much harder to execute than other beatdown decks, most notably because of the presence of three troop-targeting air cards, which are Minions, Mega Minion, and Baby Dragon.

This, in lieu with distractive Skeletons and a Golem to tank when necessary, leads to an impossible offense, unless you are able to relentlessly pound the opponent with any chance you get

Quick little pushes will never work when the opponent has so many ways to get a small Elixir advantage with Minions and Skeletons. When these negative Elixir trades keep stacking up while you only achieve about 500 damage on their crown Tower in total, you will find it impossible to stop their push.

A rule of thumb is, whenever they place either an Elixir Collector or a Golem, push on the other side with your Lava Hound. If it is not in your hand, cycle to it quickly.

The theory behind this is that because a Golem is one Elixir more than the Lava Hound, pushing with it will definitely be harder and slower.

As a result, the opponent will find it difficult to completely ignore a Hound-DD push while supporting their slow Golem.

They will be quick to defend your push, allowing you to focus on their Golem while they still work on a decent Lava Hound offense.

Defense:

Defense is where it gets easier, mainly because of there is only one building-targeting troop to deal with.

Minions and Mega Minion are only difficult when you are attacking, but when they are on your side of the field, a simple Arrows and Baby Dragon can take care of that.

The only hard part is to predict your opponent’s predictions. Some common ones they may preempt are Minions on your Inferno Dragon or Lightning on Mega Minion and Baby Dragon.

Always make sure you have counters to their counters or place smartly.

Oftentimes, your defense will cost more to make than their push. That’s fine, because if you have played smartly on offense before, your Elixir is more than enough to supplement for the loss.

Miner Control

Miner Control

Miner has always taken a certain niche in any meta, always played about 5% as a win condition, never more, never less.

In the current Deck trend, the beloved Miner-Poison is slowly dying. This is strange because control often beats beatdown just by virtue of the style of play.

Control archetypes now must run Inferno Tower to be viable defensively, and most do so. This means your Lightning must be used offensively all costs. This shouldn’t be too hard when the opponent’s pushes rely on small chip in counter pushes generally made by defending ground pushes. However, it becomes hard for the player to counter push when they have nothing to counter push against.

Offense

The only real trouble with playing offense against meta Miner decks is the presence of Inferno Tower and Electro Wizard. They can incinerate your Hound, and render your Inferno Dragon useless when placed.

And I assure you, an opponent with two brain cells will recognize the importance of having his Tower cycled and prepared for your push, no matter what.

The problem for you is having a Lightning perfectly in hand when your attack is laid out, and his defenses are also beginning to set up. A well-timed Lightning will lead to an instant Tower down.

Because Miner-Poison decks rely on a P.E.K.K.A for total ground control and EWiz – IT for air defense, their offense is somewhat lacking, especially when the base push does about 700 damage untouched.

On the other hand, your beatdown push in Double Elixir may be enough to get a three-crown in one go. Use your hitpoints as buffers and opportunities to build your Elixir.

Defense

Defense is difficult but does not need to be a primary worry against a Deck that relies on chip.

Usually, a Miner-Poison combination will be sent in only when there is a ranged troop or swarm that can be clipped with the spell, or their opponent’s defensive option to Miner includes the above cards.

Your Deck’s only troop that dies to Poison is the Ice Spirit. Poison is just a waste of card that deals about 280 extra damage to your Tower for four Elixir. Their investment to Poison puts the opponent in a Elixir disadvantage which you can exploit by placing a Baby Dragon, which can exponentially improve your pushes.

Another important aspect to this is that your defense plan is another typical trap that players of this Deck can fall into. Most beatdown players will deal with control by either completely ignoring chip damage or defending every single thing with all their Elixir. Both of these are incorrect, because completely ignoring leads to a gradual Tower down, while defending with too much Elixir leaves you dry on their next medium-size push. The correct method is to continue your offense so they have no opportunity to put their push together.

Hog Cycle

Hog Cycle

Hog Cycle is annoying, it really is, but as soon as you find the rhythm and cycle, it is really easy to win. The counters will be in your hand, and while it may be difficult to prevent any damage whatsoever, it becomes a net gain when one large push takes out an entire Tower.

Offense

This cycle Deck is easy to conduct an attack against, mainly because of the lack of air defense. The opponent will often over rely on their Musketeer to defend a Lava Hound Deck.

Now, though the air capability of Hog Cycle is somewhat subpar, it does not mean your attacks can be reckless and not well thought out. The Musketeer is a very well-rounded card that can easily counter any of your pushes with synergy including the Ice Spirit and Ice Golem.

Also note that a player that still plays this particular Deck high up in ladder is extremely skilled, and while you may have the archetype advantage, the opponent has probably gone through the same amount of Lavaloon as you and will know how to counter air-based decks to the best of his ability.

Your best bet is making sure your Lightning is in cycle with your Double Elixir push and hits all his countering cards, which include Musketeer, Cannon, and Ice Golem.

However, there is one secret that the opponent will not be prepared for.

In Double Elixir time, you will often find yourself with sufficient Elixir to defend the opponent’s Hog push decently even after you have placed a Lava Hound down.

If you have played relatively accurately until this mode, the player will rush with the Hog on the side with your Hound. Simply place defending troops behind your Tower so that they can counter the push, yet by the time it is destroyed, you have only suffered around 500 damage and a huge push consisting of LH, Baby Drag, Inferno Drag, and more spam will be a counter push that easily takes a three-crown.

Defense

Hog Cycle features a cycle (duh) of cheap and expendable cards to reach the Hog Rider again, so as to outcycle your counters, leaving your Tower with very heavy damage. This style of play works beautifully against ground beatdown and cycle decks because they usually only have one dedicated counter.

The beauty of the Lava-DD is, quite simply, there are no dedicated counters.

Almost all Hog pushes will get one shot off. As a result, minimization of damage is your main priority, with a close second being the ability to create counter pushes.

In general, do not overcommit to your defense, don’t be overly critical of the hitpoint loss, and focus on offense.

Max RG + EB Players

Max RG + EB Players

Okay, in all seriousness, anyone who is up at Leagues and has spent less than $200 on the game can counter Ebarbs and RG with their eyes closed.

If you really need help, use Inferno Dragon and Tombstone to distract and RG, and make sure Tombstone is always in the ready and in your hand against Ebarbs.

Offense is a breeze, even against skilled cancer players. Build your push by snowballing your defense, then placing a LH in front of everything.

Offense: anything
Defense: anything

3M Beatdown/Cycle

3M Beatdown/Cycle

Three Musketeers is really taking off these days, and there’s a few reason for this. The may reason is Lavaloon. The response to this response: Lightning.

Offense:

I regard a 3M matchup being the hardest one possible, especially when they are defending as the decks usually have Minions or Minion Horde as supplementary and cheaper air defense. Just having these in cycle is not enough and ready when the counters are placed is not enough. By the time you have enough Elixir to counter, these high-DPM troops will have easily taken out a large chunk of your offense.

In addition, your protocol double-Elixir counter pushes will lack a Lightning because you have most likely used it defending Three Muskies. The only solution is to push in single Elixir mode.

It has been postulated that the effectiveness of cards becomes exponentially higher the larger the cost for the single card is.

While both cores of the battling decks (Lava Hound and Three Musketeers) are very expensive, the 2 Elixir difference results in a significant gap when enough pushes are made.

Eventually, your constant cycling towards your half-push of LH and Baby Drag should outpace how fast 3M can show up in your opponent’s hand. Another advantage to single-Elixir pressure is that it forces the opponent to place all their Musketeers on one side. They cannot split because it significantly reduces the defensive power, and even if one does travel to the other lane, your Ice Spirit can easily take care of the blunt of the damage.

Defense:

Unlike other matchups, your Lightning is solely reserved for the 3M. No exceptions.

Whether they are used on your offense or your defense, your Deck has no other counter to these purple-haired women of destruction.

Also significant is to never lose a Tower. Do everything in your ability to not lose a Tower, because as soon as that first Crown Tower is gone, consider the second also destroyed.

Also important to note of other counters. Tombstone counters Battle Ram well, and so does Ice Spirit+MM, but a lone Battle Ram is never placed. There is usually going to be Musketeer behind, so Lightning goes straight for the Ram and Barbarians instead of the ranged troops. Baby Dragon provides decent tanking ability in this situation.

If the opponent happens to create split pushes, focus on the two-Musk push with troops, and delay the other side with Ice Spirit and Tombstone.

Spell Bait

Spell Bait

This cheap sub-archetype relies on three core cards to deal damage on the Tower. All are significant threats that will deal large damage when not responded to, so cheap spells or cards must be used to eliminate the troops.

If a spell is used, the other threats can be placed and will almost certainly do damage regardless of what troops you place.

The decks that fit this category normally chip, but aim for consistent damage from a Goblin Barrel.

Offense

Though a Princess and the two Spear Goblins from Goblin Gang provide support and distraction respectively, they are no match for an all-air Deck that specializes in destroying weak troops

Sure, some variations carry the Inferno Tower. Lightning is your friend, and use it to hit the Tower, the Inferno, and a distracting semi-tank like the Knight or Ice Golem to clear the path.

While the opponent may be churning out his light chip pushes, utilize those hitpoints as a time buffer to replenish Elixir, and the punishment can begin even before Double Elixir time.

Now for the more specific interactions and how the opponent might play his defense against your root Hound+BabyD push.

Generally, the semi-tank will be placed to distract your splash and minor support cards, while Inferno will hold its own again the Hound.

In the case you can’t procure your Lightning, almost no damage will occur on your Tower as

  1. Baby Dragon does minimal damage and
  2. Some Lava Pups will target the semi tank, leaving the Inferno Tower to pull and destroy leftover units.

If you somehow are down a Tower in Double Elixir, it’s very hard to come back because your opponent’s cheap troops have ultimate distraction power and enough cycle in them to always get to Inferno in time. You will most likely not have time to play a Lightning when you are busy dealing with the troop cards.

So please, please use your Lightnings wisely.

Defense:

I personally apply the same rules of defending chip to spell bait, but of course, certain interactions and trades are matchup-specific and will be covered here.

Keep your Arrows for the Goblin Barrel. It’s common sense because the Goblin Barrel appears as an instant threat to your Tower’s hitpoints, whereas the other baiting troops like Princess and Goblin Gang come from the bridge and provides you with time to react with troops and make positive Elixir trades.

In addition to this, Princess and Gang damage is really nothing compared to a tanked-for Barrel. When the opponent throws out their classic Knight-Barrel push and you are somehow caught without a spell, you must deal with the Goblins first, which I usually do with a Mega Minion and Baby Dragon.

The rest of the defense really plays our naturally from there; Knight will die to your defending cards and you have an opportunity to counterpush.

There is one exception where you may use the Arrows on defense. Unskilled players may spam Princess and Goblin Gang right at the bridge after you have burned your Baby Dragon, even before they have scouted for spells. Using Arrows would provide a +3 trade, so take it!

Regarding New Cards

Read more about all of the new cards at here.

  • Bats: are going to be the a pain in the ass for this Deck, not just because of this Deck’s air core, but also because of the sheer defensive value it serves for only two Elixir. For little more than Skeletons it can deal heavy damage to your Mega Minion, Inferno Dragon, and Baby Dragon when it is helping on defense. This Deck may perhaps have to switch out the Arrows for Zap as Goblin Gang sees a decrease in usage, and Bats will certainly be meta.
  • Skeleton Barrel: Though easy to counter on your side of the field (pretty sure Baby Dragon and Tombstone do just fine), I may actually consider placing this in my Deck by substitution out either Mega Minion or Tombstone. They are both 3-Elixir cards, and while they provide incredible offensive value, do not perform as well on offense. I experimented with a Hound-Graveyard Deck, and I was amazed at its effectiveness. However, the one main flaw was that the Graveyard was too expensive. The Skeleton Barrel provides a neat substitute that also has value on defense against other air decks.
  • Flying Machine: This is the laughingstock of the newly announced cards: four Elixir for a fragile air Musketeer simply does not fit in the meta, especially after Bats are released. It could replace Inferno Dragon as defensive options, but the Dragon is more spell-resistant, which is a key factor in defensive ability. The Machine could pose problems when they are used to defend against your push, but I’m pretty sure a Mega Minion can solo against it.
  • Mega Knight: Over-hyped but seeing the leaked gameplay tells me that it’s not too much of a problem to counter in this Deck, mainly because of your Tombstone and Inferno Dragon. You have no cards that will warrant a damage-boosting jump from the Knight, and the spawn damage won’t affect any air troops. I also highly doubt this legendary will be used too often in ladder.
  • Cannon Cart: Seems too expensive, but apparently it can take out an entire Tower on its own, so it should not be ignored. A fast movement speed means that the Inferno Dragon might struggle with retargeting issues, so your best bet is Tombstone combined with anything else for extra firepower.

Alright folks, that’s it for now! Any feedback and support is welcome, and look forward to more Deck guides in the future.