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Hog Rider Deck Which Counter Tanks and Barbarians


With the fall of Goison, the rise in popularity of Royal Giant and Hog Rider decks was inevitable, and this rise led the way to a surge in Barbarians which deal with both the Royal Giant and Hog Rider (and others) very effectively, in fact the Barbarians is probably one of the best defensive cards in the game. Upon stumbling across many Royal Giants and hordes of Barbarians I decided to take advantage of this. So if you’re looking for a counter to the Giant, Royal Giant (other tanks even the Hog Rider) and Barbarians, look no further, this deck consists of tournament level cards (with the exception of level 11 Zap, to take care of pesky over leveled goblins) and I am currently playing it at 3550 trophies. It should be noted that this deck generally plays well and doesn’t just win against Royal Giants and Barbarians, which is a given when considering the trophy level.


Clash Royale Hog RiderClash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale PrincessClash Royale Zap
Clash Royale fireballClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale TombstoneClash Royale Ice Golem

I have reverted back to the old school zap and fireball combination which as most of you will know one shot barbarians, however you can also do a Princess arrow attack and Fireball which does the same thing. The slight issue/risk with this strategy is that you need to premeditate the barbarians being played, but do not fret, people really are easily read and so long as you bear in mind your opponents’ cards rotation you should succeed on your first fireball zap combination attempt. To deal with the Royal Giant and other tanks I included the Inferno Dragon and Tombstone which shuts those done very effectively, please note that normally one of these defensive cards is suffice.

The three tricks to this strategy are:

  1. To ‘scout out your opponent’, know what cards he/she has and what they use defensively (and offensively), to be honest this you should do with every deck but is imperative to this one, more on this later.
  2. Play your opening hand correctly which will nearly always be as slow as possible whilst not wasting elixir, more on this later.
  3. Not becoming readable yourself, you only really need to hit the Barbarians with either a ‘Fireball & Zap’ or ‘Fireball & Princess attack’ once to destroy a tower. Take care when repeating, more on this later.

Starting hand

Most of the time you will play as defensive and slow as possible. That means starting from the back with Ice Golem, Princess, or Mega Minion. The only time you don’t play slow is when you have a hand consisting of: Hog Rider, Zap, Fireball, and Inferno Dragon, in which case you immediately drop the Hog Rider and if the opponent responds with Zapable units then kill ’em! It can be quite nasty if they have a direct counter straight away like Barbarians but don’t worry you should be able to clean the counter push up easily and when you next push out with your Hog Rider you can nearly be certain the opponent will drop Barbarians as they did so well last time (why wouldn’t they?!), enter fireball zap gnom gnom gnom 🙂


  • Use Hog Rider to push Ice Golem to tower with Fireball and Zap at the ready. If the opponent drops Minions or Minion Horde you can use zap in conjunction with the Ice Golem’s death to kill them off. If you know the opponent will drop barbs, hit them with the fireball zap combination.
  • I prefer to have my princess pushing the other lane but if the opponent doesn’t have a satisfactory way of dealing with her, push her down the same lane as her arrows in conjunction with fireball is enough to one shot Barbarians.
  • If the opponent is using Tombstone to defend place an aggressive princess down with Hog rider, one swing from the Hog rider and one attack from the Princess is enough to kill the tombstone and the princess will then target the skeletons.
  • If the opponent is dropping Canon to defend versus your Hog Rider, counter attacking with your defensive Mega Minion works well, the Hog Rider taking the tower damage.
  • You may get lucky enough to get your inferno dragon to do some damage to tower which is a bonus, don’t force/try to make it happen though, it is a bonus.
  • Be aware of not becoming predictable, when I pull off the Fireball Zap combination I won’t repeat the same strategy again but make sure to save your fireball for when the Barbarians just cross the bridge for maximum (potential) value.


  • Use the Inferno Dragon to kill off high hit point targets, be aware of opponents’ method of dealing with your Inferno Dragon: Zap, Lightning, Minion Horde, Musketeer, etc and react accordingly.
  • Use Tombstone to pull Hog Rider or delay/kite tanks.
  • Use princess or zap versus Skeleton Army or unguarded Minions / Minion Horde. Against guarded Minions / Minion Horde use Ice Golem with Zap or Fireball, you can use Princess with Zap but the Princess has to be placed perfectly which can be tough, best not to risk a misplacement.
  • Use Mega Minion to deal with medium health troops, generally I only use Mega Minion defensively, you can counter attack using Hog Rider and or Ice Golem but do not be distracted from your main push unless that is not working.
  • Ice Golem can be used to pull Barbarians, Mini Pekka, Pekka, LumberJack, and others into the other lane. Hog Rider can also be used to delay using similar technique.
  • Obviously Fireball and Zap is a fantastic counter to the Three Musketeers.


This deck has great cards which can just about deal with anything, in fact the only card which I have trouble against has been versus a Graveyard deck which I find entertaining given my low opinion of the Graveyard, thanks Karma. Give this deck a go, be patient with understanding your opponent and then counter their predictability, like I just said this deck can defend exceptionally well and all it really needs is for opponent to presume that just their Barbarians is enough to defend versus your Hog Rider for you to do serious damage/destruction to their tower. For visual aid of how this deck works as well as an awesome minute montage of barbarian destruction at the beginning please see the video below, enjoyJ!!


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