Hey everyone, Norbysweg here back again with another guide!
Before I start it, let’s have a bit of background on Mortar Hog.
Mortar Hog has been a pretty annoying and stable deck since it was introduced by most likely LiquidWolf.
It hasn’t changed much since then, but it managed to hold off great in all metas.
I, myself happened to be stuck at 5500 on ladder, and I had to do some Grand Challenges for my clients, when this deck popped into my mind.
The fact that double Prince and bait runs the meta, made me think about how well this deck could be used in competitive play too!
Next three days, I’ve done 5 12 wins in a row and climbed up to 5800!
I’ll try to cover every interaction and every tip so you can try this deck out and do your best with it!
Hog Rider – Your main win condition and tank for your baity troops.
I’ve heard that the best Hog players use the Hog to apply pressure during the opponent’s attack, and lure troops back to him (e.g. place Hog to the river to kite a Minion Horde, etc.), but I personally like to use him with my small leftover bait troops after I positively defended a push!
During mid-game, you already know your opponent’s Hog counters, so you should push accordingly to get through(e.g. if he defends with Inferno Tower, place Minion Horde at the river to distract, if he defends with Mini P.E.K.K.A, send a Goblin Gang with the Hog to distract it.
Mortar – Your secondary win condition
Your Mortar is a good defense against beatdown and more because it can kill support and bait troops easily and has decent HP to survive a Balloon hit or what else, but its main use it putting pressure on your opponent, getting chip damage and hopefully mess up their playstyle or come up with an Elixir lead.
I place my Mortar like you would with the X-Bow, 1 tile from the bridge and 1 tile from the side of the arena. If your opponent has a Lightning or a Fireball and you need to attack, place it in the middle, to the river, this way they can’t hit the Tower too.
Spear Goblins – Oh my god, they should be renamed to value Goblins.
In single Elixir they offer so much value, they can chip away and pull anything well.
They are cheap, shoot fast, and do good damage on offense!
I like playing them in the front as well as in the back, and I mostly use them to kill Minion Hordes, Goblin Gangs, Knights, and almost everything else if I support them.
If they Zap them or not, you will come out positively most of the time, and they also help cycle your cards!
Goblin Gang – They counter most of the win conditions, they are cheap, do good damage, apply pressure and pair up well with both of your win conditions.
Their best uses are killing miners, Prince or Battle Ram, while you can also chip away with them to bait out your opponent’s spells.
They are your best pulling unit together with the Ice Golem, so don’t just randomly use them and get destroyed by a Prince after.
Minion Horde – Your best tank killer, and pocket card.
They have a big role vs Golem, Giant, P.E.K.K.A, and even Hog.
They are your power push together with the Hog Rider.
I prefer not to use the Minion Horde in the back, mainly because they will just get absorbed by your opponent, because they are very easy to counter, instead I drop them on defense even if they have e.g.
Arrows in hand, just so they can wipe out a Prince or half-HP Giant, just for that extra value, and also bait out their spell.
Log, Zap – Try not to mix up their roles.
If you’re playing against Giant bait and they have Bats and Goblin Gang, don’t just Zap the Goblin Gang, because you can use it on Bats and Log the Gang.
Also, save the Log for defense and the Zap for offense mid-game, of course there can be exceptions, but keep their roles in mind.
Ice Golem – Many variations use Knight or Ice Spirit
But what I love about Ice Golem is that after many nerfs he’s still holding up for his great kiting capabilities.
If there’s a Giant Prince push coming at you, the best way to defend it is to kite the Prince into the other lane with an Ice Golem, kill the Giant with the Minion Horde and use Spear Goblins to kill the Prince from distance.
Tip: Once the Prince has crossed the bridge, place the Ice Golem in the middle, 1 tile on the other side, 2 tiles from the river
Best starting plays
With Mortar Hog, you will mostly start out aggressive, but never, please never use your bait heavy bait troops in a push.
Your best starting plays are either Ice Golem in the back, Mortar in the front, Spear gobs in the front or lone Hog in the front.
Chances are, if you push with your bait as a starting play they will have an easy splash counter or a spell in hand, and you’re doomed from there.
Other plays you might have to make are Goblin Gang split in the back or Minion Horde split in the back (probably your worst starting play available).
Bait placement on Mortar
One of the most important aspects of playing Mortar, you must know where to put which cards in order to get good value.
These are my placements, you can switch them up if you want but these are the recommended ones.
Minion Horde can simply be placed in front of the Mortar, like the Ice Golem.
The best possible way to punish it is with a Hog on it, but you need to make a push out of it if you want to succeed.
I usually place an Ice Golem and Goblin Gang at the bridge, and a Hog Rider at the river, in the middle, but only if the Pump is in front of the king Tower!
If it’s not, you should go for possibly heavier Hog push, if you happen to have some extra Elixir try having a Minion Horde also, but be careful!
Always have extra Elixir for Zap!
Always remember, against most Pump matchups, your damage done to him is more important than who has the Elixir lead!
For example, if my opponent pumped up on the other side, he has an 1-2 Elixir lead but I do an Ice Golem Hog push on the side with 1000 HP, I will take it out and I’ll have high chances of winning the game, because I can defend his musks and Battle Ram with Mortar, and also use my bait and swarm killers effectively, even if he has the lead.
Goblin Hut, other spawners
As their first play of the building, chances are, they will play it in a 2-3 placement, 2 tiles from the arena Tower on the side they want to attack on, and 3 tiles from the king Tower, which means you can bypass the building on the other side with your Hog!
Always play your Hog on the edge of the arena, on the side, if else it won’t bypass.
I usually send a Hog and Spear Goblins in that placement, and prepare any spell I have in hand.
You can counter spawners with your Mortar, but you have to watch out for the timing, so the Spear Gobs don’t distract it forever.
If they Poison your Mortar, or Fireball it, you must punish the other lane with Hog and Minion Horde! That’s the biggest fear of P.E.K.K.A Hut decks, and many more!
In this meta, the most powerful win conditions and attacking cards must be the Dark Prince, Prince, Hog, Giant, P.E.K.K.A, 3M, but I’ll just go over the best possible defense you can do with this deck, every placement and every tip you want to know.
Can be decently defended with proper use of bait and Ice Golem.
In this matchup, I wouldn’t recommend going for the same lane as them, because they have higher counterpush potential than you do.
For a regular BS push, let’s say Bram Dark Prince and Bandit, you want to place the Ice Golem in the middle, 1 tile in the other side, 4 tiles from the river to kite the Dark Prince and the Bandit, defend the Ram with a Goblin Gang (your best Ram defense imo), and either use a Log with Spear Goblins, or a Minion Horde on the kited troops.
If they have Ice Golem tanking for the Ram, you must Log the push.
Defensive Mortar can be used relatively well in this matchup, either to tank the Ram hit and kite everything with an Ice Golem and chip with Spear Goblins, or just for an extra source of splash damage on their pushes.
Dark Prince, Bandit, Dark Prince, P.E.K.K.A, Mega Knight can be defended easily with a Goblin Gang in this placement, what they do is split up, then come back to the pulled troop, so they don’t get killed in one hit.
Always try to mess up your opponent’s cycle, since they have 3 spells, try not to give them value.
Use Spear Goblins when they have Fireball in hand, use Goblin Gang when they have Arrows or Zap in hand, and the Minion Horde shouldn’t even be used that much, only for blitz reactions, mostly against Inferno Dragon.
You do have Hog, Log Zap, Mortar, and a lot of bait!
One of the most important tech tips I can give you regarding this matchup is: Always place your defensive Mortar 4 tiles from the king Tower, and 3 tiles from the arena Tower they are attacking!
What this placement does is to prevent the opponent’s Fireball from hitting both your arena Tower and the Mortar.
Another great tip is: Use your Hog a few times on the X-Bow, and once you get enough damage on his Tower and it seems like you cant push at all, you can try pushing other lane with a simple Hog and prepare Zap!
They will most likely pre-place Tesla on the X-Bow side, and have no Hog defense left!
Your Spear Goblins are one of the best X-Bow takedown cards, always place them crowded on the edge of the arena, so the enemy’s Log will probably miss one of them.
Only play them if they are tanked by an Ice Golem or Mortar.
Goblin Gang isn’t worth using, only if they waste their Log, and only use Minion Horde as a second resort to take out their Tesla, minipush or X-Bow!
Always tank the Tesla with an Ice Golem before using the Horde, otherwise it will just get easily taken out.
A Mortar in offense is usually a good play, but in Double Elixir you don’t really want to do it, because they can tank its shots forever with their cheap cards.
Always watch out for Tesla on your Mortar.
You will be mostly relying on Miner and Goblins chip, you mostly want to push the same side as them, only because you can get Log Zap chip&value on Archers, Skeletons or whatever else they have.
Any kind of bait
It seems easy, but I’ve been outplayed many times by bait only because I kept a bad rotation for myself and I kept going in with Mortar.
Your absolute best value card vs bait is Spear Goblins, they can take out a Minion Horde on their own too!
If you’re playing vs Tornado bait, try not to use Hog Rider, or if you have to, only use the Hog Ice Golem push, because he will have to kill the Ice Golem first, otherwise the Tornado will barely pull the heavy push.
A defensive Mortar is one of your best weapons vs bait if you think they have an Elixir advantage and want to attack. It takes out Princesses, Goblin gangs, and even Goblin barrels if not placed in the center of the Tower!
Always try to keep Ice Golem and Zap for defense if they do heavy Horde pushes.
Otherwise, just protect your Mortar and place your bait well, Log the barrels and you can easily win.
Tip: Sometimes, if you have Goblin Gang or Zap in hand, use your Log offensively to help the Mortar! It can get you amazing value, while still having good answers for their afterpush.
Other Mortar Bait Variations
If you feel like this variation doesn’t match your playstyle, be sure to try these decks out!
They have been working really well in top competitive play, and I gladly recommend you check them out! Until the next time, Norbysweg out.