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Ultimate Guide to Lavaloon Beatdown

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Hey y’all, WhiteLlama67 back at it with an in-depth guide on a specific deck style today: Lavaloon.

The combination of the Lava Hound and the Balloon was once strong enough to be called a cancer, however, with the rise of cards such as the Executioner and the Electro Wizard, the legend went from dominating to dead… Or is it?

This guide is specifically on the Lavaloon Beatdown strategy, and I will be covering on how best you can utilize its strengths, while learning to adapt to it’s weaknesses.

In past days, some called it a no-skill deck, but now in a meta full of Elite Barbarians, Mega Knights, P.E.K.K.A.s, and so on, I say this deck style requires more skill than many other decks.

Even still, I assure you that this deck still has great potential, so keep reading and you’ll believe me!

The Ultimate Guide to Lavaloon Beatdown

Background

On my main account, the Lava Hound was my first legendary I unlocked while in Arena 7, and my first level 3 legendary as well.

I quickly determined the best strategy with the Lava Hound was Lavaloon.

After some practice, I quickly landed myself in Hog Mountain, but then after facing the repetitive Elite Barbarian spam decks, I decided I couldn’t do an air-focused deck.

But even with messing around with some other decks and still not finding any success, I bounced back to Lavaloon.

It took some time, but with more practice, I have learned that it still shines as an unanticipated deck.

I still use it today as my main deck in Legendary Arena, and I hope to be able to help y’all out as well.

The Basics

Lavaloon Beatdown, let’s break that down:

Beatdown

Now what is beatdown? Beatdown is the archetype that focuses on accruing an Elixir lead, and spending it all in 1 or 2 massive pushes toward the end of the match.

Beatdown decks carry a slow, heavy tank that can soak up damage, and so Golem, Lava Hound, Giant, and P.E.K.K.A. decks typically all fall under beatdown.

Though they all fall under the same category, they are all played differently at the end of the day.

Lava Hound

Ah, the star of the show. 7 Elixir, with a hefty 3000 HP at tourney standard.

She is the only flying tank in the game and targets only buildings, and therefore has great synergy with the Balloon.

Dealing very little damage, the Lava Hound is not much of a threat alone, until she pops, that is.

She spawns 6 Lava Pups, who deal the same damage, but combined, that’s a whoppin’ 270 DPS! More about the Lava Hound here!

Balloon

Just a little skelly in a Balloon who’s been takin’ down towers since Arena 2.

As said earlier, the Balloon and the Lava Hound synergize incredibly, for these 3 reasons:

  • Both target buildings
  • Both are air troops
  • Lava Hound has high HP, low DPS, Balloon has low HP, but high DPS

Never ever use the Balloon unsupported, and only drop it behind something other than a Hound if your opponent has used their counter.

Once destroyed, the Balloon with drop a bomb with a 3 sec timer, that does around 300 damage, give or take.

Your main goal of the push is to get the Balloon to connect to the Tower, where it can deal massive damage.

More info on Balloon here!

Card Breakdown

Since this isn’t a guide on a specific deck, I’m just including cards that are found in most Lavaloon decks.

Clash Royale MinionsMinions

A trio of flying Goblins, basically.

Cheap, and great at countering swarms on defense, these guys are very good at also supporting your push.

Use them predictively to distract Inferno Towers!

Also, my favorite part, their Zap-resistance is invaluable in a Zap filled meta!

Clash Royale Mega MinionMega Minion

What a legend.

Good luck finding another card that offers this much value for 3 Elixir.

On defense, he shuts down tanks, glass cannons, swarms even.

Fireball proof, he can support your push by striking down Musketeers, Wizards, and Executioners with ease.

His ability to one-shot Minions comes in quite handy as well!

Clash Royale Baby DragonBaby Dragon

Another air troop that does a solid job for 4 Elixir.

A solid counter to Minion Horde, which is an enemy to anything air-related.

After the Hound pops, your Baby Dragon has the HP to tank for the pups, making the push all the more deadlier.

His only weakness is glass cannons such as Wizards and Musketeers, so watch out for those!

Clash Royale BatsBats

This cute little Gang of flying critters has definitely found it’s place in the meta.

In Lavaloon, they replace Minions most of the time, because they have same role, just for a cheaper price!

Unfortunately, they tend to get zapped away quite often.

Use them to cycle or just a simple Hound + Bats push can be quie threatening!

Clash Royale Inferno DragonInferno Dragon

Very common, because this guy provides the defensive capabilities that many Lavaloon decks lack.

On offense, he is like the Balloon, where once he gets on the Tower, consider it destroyed!

Clash Royale BanditBandit

Instantly after her release, I threw her into my Lavaloon deck, and she fits perfectly!

In a primarily air deck, a lot of your opponents won’t notice her dashing around under the Hound, knocking out glass cannons.

Similar to the Baby D, she can tank for the pups as well once the Hound pops.

Clash Royale TombstoneTombstone

Whoever first put this in a Lavaloon deck, they’re a genius.

Cheap building, skeleton swarm, or distractor, this card provides all 3!

In the event that you get rushed with a Hog or E-Barbarians after placing your Hound, this is your answer!

Clash Royale elixir collectorElixir Collector

A card found in many beatdown decks, because of it’s ability to give you an Elixir advantage.

Every Pump that you get the full value of is a free 2 Elixir you can use in your pushes!

Place in front of the King Tower to avoid giving Rocket value.

Clash Royale fireballFireball

A staple in Lavaloon decks, IMO.

A few of the hardest counters to Lavaloon can easily be taken care of with a quick Fireball.

Even if your Fireball can’t instantly kill Wizards, Musketeers, etc, do it anyways because your Pups or other support can then easily kill them.

Clash Royale PoisonPoison

A lot of players end up being indecisive whether to go Poison or Fireball in their decks, because they deal similar damage for the same cost.

Poison has a larger radius, and deals DOT (damage over time). Fireball is more instantaneous, but with a smaller radius.

Both will accomplish the same tasks, just it’s your preference whether you want value, or time.

Clash Royale LightningLightning

I was a little sad when they nerfed it, because Lightning was the hardest counter to Infernos, which are the hardest counter to Lavaloon.

Nonetheless, you can use Lighting to shut-down IT’s and ID’s pretty well.

Also works well to knock out those glass cannons, but since it is 6 Elixir, you might not always have it when you need it.

Clash Royale ArrowsArrows

Arrows have one job, and that’s to take out Minions and Minion Hordes in a cheap and effective way.

Simple as that

Clash Royale ZapZap

The most popular spell in the game at the moment, and in Lavaloon it has 2 main jobs.

Numero uno, to Zap away those pesky Bats. More importantly, to reset Infernos, so that your push has more time to overwhelm their ID’s or IT’s.

Clash Royale Goblin GangSkeleton Army/Goblin Gang:

You typically see one of these in a Lavaloon deck, to make up for the lack of ground troops.

Goblin Gang is Zap resistant, but Skeleton Army has greater DPS, so it’s your choice.

Use them to tear down Giants, Golems, Hogs, etc, or just to cycle.

Gameplan

In a nutshell, you will defend with your cards until you have a sufficient Elixir advantage, or until your opponent plays their win condition, which then you will place a Hound in the back.

Continue to support the Hound, or place a Balloon behind, and have your spells ready.

Opening Moves

Your best opening moves will be as follows:

  • Place Elixir Collector in-between the Princess towers, if you are using it
  • Place Tombstone in the middle, 3 tiles from the river
  • If you don’t have either of these, cycle Minions, Bats, Mega Minion, etc, in the back

Never start off by placing a Balloon or a Lava Hound, because they can likely shut it down for a positive Elixir trade

Opponent’s Opening Moves

Buuuuuuut, your opponent may do any of the following 4 moves before you do:

  • Rush attack (Hog, E-Barbarians, Miner, Mortar/X-Bow)
  • Place a support card in the back (Wizard, Mega Minion, etc)
  • Drop a heavy tank in the back (Giant, Golem, Lava Hound)
  • Place a building (Pump, Spawner, Etc)

If they rush you with any of the following, use Tombstone or Skeleton Army/Gang, but be ready for them to be spelled off.

If this happens, use your other air support, and then after defending, place a Hound in the back.

If they place a support card, drop your Tombstone, or if not in your hand, place one of your support as well in the back, i.e. Mega Minion.

If they drop their tank in the back, do the same with your Lava Hound, and defend accordingly.

If they place a Pump, or a Spawner, Fireball/Lightning/Poison it, unless it’s a Tombstone

When to Place Lava Hound

The Lava Hound is nowhere near cheap, at 7 Elixir.

Yet, she isn’t as expensive as Golem, fortunately, which gives you a bit more freedom in playing her.

If using the variation with the Elixir Collector, placing down those is more priority than your Hound until Double Elixir.

However, if you know cycling back to another Pump won’t be worth it, i.e. your opponent will just generate an Elixir lead from all your cycling, then don’t.

If not playing with a Pump, then their are 3 situations I would drop a Hound before double-Elixir:

  1. Your opponent just rushed with Hog, E-Barbarians, Miner, etc. In this situation, defend as best you can without giving them a large Elixir lead. Then, place the Hound in the back corner of the side with the damaged Tower.
  2. Your opponent places a tank in the back. Do the same with your Hound on the same side. Spend Elixir on defending, not on say a Balloon behind the Hound
  3. You just defended a push with less Elixir than your opponent spent, and now have a large Elixir lead. Example: your opponent attacks with Giant + Musketeer, and you defended with Mega Minion + Tombstone. Congrats, you now have 3 more Elixir than your opponent!

When to Commit

When it comes to committing with Lavaloon, it basically means whether or not to place a Balloon behind the Hound.

My first push with a Hound I generally don’t use a Balloon, usually only with one of my support cards, just to find out how they defend. Later, I would only drop the Balloon if I know how they’re going to defend, and I can shut down their defense. Examples:

  • They’re going to use Inferno, but I have Zap and Minions ready or Lightning
  • They’re going to use Wizard + Tornado, but I have a Mega Minion down and Fireball ready
  • They’re going to drop Minion Horde on the Balloon, but I have Arrows in my hand

Things like that. Remember these things also in deciding what support to use in a push.

In Double-Elixir, don’t hesitate to throw everything all in, this is Beatdown remember!

It’s Okay to Take Damage!

Most decks you face, you will take damage, especially against Hog or Elite Barbarians!

Before you become good with Lavaloon, you must be OK with this.

You drop down your Hound, but then you take 4 Hog hits, whatever.

You have a bad hand and your opponent rushes with E-Barbarians and you lose a Tower, suck it up.

In the event that you get rushed the same lane as your Hound, wait to defend until you know that all your cards will end up behind the Hound for the counterpush.

Also, recognize when a Tower is lost. Don’t spend Elixir on defending a Tower that’s around 500 HP when they have Rocket!

Hard Counter Matchups

These decks and cards are the reason Lavaloon has fallen out of the meta, but with the right practice and know-how, this deck style can still be very successful!

Just to clarify, I will be using the Classic Lavaloon deck to give examples.

Clash Royale Elite BarbariansElite Barbarians

Alright, this section is for all of you in Hog Mountain, where it feels like every other match is against overleveled E-Barb spam decks.

Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s rough.

Unfortunately yes, typical Lavaloon decks only have 2 distracting cards, Tombstone and Skeleton Army/Gang. I will be creating situations (going from best to worst) and how best to defend in each one.

Start of the match, they rush with E-Barbarians and you luckily have Tombstone, Goblin Gang, Minions, and Mega Minion in your hand. Which do you choose?

Keep in mind, they likely have Zap or the Log ready!

I would place down the Gang in the middle, and also the Mega Minion, for a couple of reasons:

  • Vs E-Barbarians, you want to always use your Gang or Tombstone, because you have to have a card to distract! I pick Gang over Tombstone, just because a lot of E-Barb decks also have Hog, and you want to save the Tombstone for him.
  • Also, I would use Mega Minion over Minions, because in the event that they use their Zap. If you had used Minions and they had Zapped them, then they could ignore them after that. A Zapped Mega Minion however, still needs to be dealt with, or else they suffer 200+ damage!

In the situation that they rush you and you only have one of those 4 cards, or are too low on Elixir to use more than one card, this is what you do.

Place down the card, and hope it doesn’t get spelled away. If it does get spelled away, leave it! Take the damage.

Save up until 10 Elixir again and play a Hound behind the damaged Tower. Congrats! You will now have 5+ more Elixir than them for a push, and they can’t punish you for dropping the Hound!

In the quite unlucky event that you happen to have 2 spells, a Hound and a Balloon in hand, and you get rushed, it will take some quick decision-making.

Determine whether or not it will be worth it by Fireballing them, and save your Tower, or to save your Fireball for later.

Choose to save your Fireball and lose the Tower if you know they have Minion Horde, 3 Musketeers, or something that will shred your push.

Start a push then and use your spells accordingly, and you’ll likely take their Tower.

Clash Royale TornadoSplashnado

Hardest matchup by far, IMO.

Even if you use Fireball or Lightning in your deck, it will be quite difficult, especially if your Fireball can’t one-shot those Wizards.

Splashnado is the combination of AOE cards, and Tornado, most commonly with the Executioner. The Tornado can group together the Balloon, Hound, and your support, and their AOE cards can nail them all at once.

For now, I’ll give you two different strategies.

Strategy 1: Out cycle.

Now I don’t literally mean to out-cycle them, because that’s not going to happen.

I mean catch them when they have either their Tornado or their Executioner out of cycle, and punish them hard for it.

This is less likely to happen with more experience players, but it’s still possible.

I use Minions or Goblin Gang to try to bait out one of those cards, and once they use it, I drop a Hound at the bridge on the opposite side, and a few seconds later a Balloon. It’s risky to commit like that, but it’s quite effective I’ve learned.

Strategy 2: Split-Push

This time, you will force them to choose where to use their Executioner.

Start by playing the Hound in the back, and continue to add to the push with Mega Minion, Goblin Gang, etc, until you have a formidable push coming.

Then, once you have Elixir, rush the opposite lane with Balloon + Support.

As said earlier, your opponent then has to defend against two threatening pushes.

Clash Royale Inferno DragonInferno Towers/Inferno Dragons

These two cards are just such a pain in the butt, honestly.

Any of you Beatdown players out there can relate. And with the Lightning nerf, they’re all the more common.

Most Lavaloon decks should carry either Zap or Lightning, just to reset either of these cards.

I’ll be covering how to use both, against ID and IT.

Against Inferno Tower

When your Hound gets to the bridge, drop a preemptive Minions to distract it. If they happen to die, or they place the IT in a different spot, keep Zap ready.

When you Zap the IT, it should buy enough time for your Balloon to destroy it.

If using Lightning, make sure to have 6 Elixir ready when your Hound reaches the Bridge. Try to nail the IT + Tower + enemy troop.

Against Inferno Dragon

Don’t bother placing preemptive Minions, they won’t do anything.

Make sure you have Mega Minion part of your push though!

Once you Zap it, and you will have to Zap it, that should buy enough time for the Mega Minion to tear it apart.

When using Lightning, same as IT.

Powerful Lavaloon Decks

Classic Lavaloon

Clash Royale MinionsClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale BalloonClash Royale Lava Hound
Clash Royale ZapClash Royale fireballClash Royale TombstoneClash Royale Goblin Gang

Lavaloon Baby Dragon Pump

Clash Royale Lava HoundClash Royale BalloonClash Royale MinionsClash Royale Baby Dragon
Clash Royale elixir collectorClash Royale SkeletonClash Royale LightningClash Royale Arrows

Lavaloon Night Witch

Clash Royale Lava HoundClash Royale BalloonClash Royale Night WitchClash Royale Mega Minion
Clash Royale MinionsClash Royale Goblin GangClash Royale ArrowsClash Royale Lightning

Bandit Lavaloon

Clash Royale Lava HoundClash Royale BalloonClash Royale BanditClash Royale Minions
Clash Royale TombstoneClash Royale fireballClash Royale ArrowsClash Royale Skeleton Army

Conclusion

Thanks for reading to everyone that actually made it to the bottom xD

I hope that you all feel a little more confident to play my favorite deck style, Lavaloon (duh).

Feel free to comment on anything I missed, and I’ll see you in the arena!

85 Comments

  1. I don’t really like this guide. i am a lavaloonier with 1 year of work and i don’t respect some things. Most cards. Who saw a bandit with a Lava Hound? I am playing an i NEVER saw her. I got with lavaloon from 7 to 11 and I NEVER saw also a night witch with other lavaloons. So yea, it’s my opinion 🙂

  2. baby dragon is not a solid counter to minion horde but it is for 3 minions the aoe MOST LIKELY cant hit all 6 minions at once.

  3. Lava hound desperately needs a buff, he’s almost non existant in ladder or 2v2
    I suggest adding damage for both the hound and the pups

    • Yep, I agree, the Lava Hound isn’t enough of a threat, only the pups are. So most of the time, people can ignore Hound and target the Balloon and the support. Unlike a Giant or Golem, who each deal solid damage and need to be taken care of immediately

    • It’s a she and i’m not sure if a buff is necessary since obviously people are playing it at the top of ladder. I think lavahound just takes more skill to play.

    • Maybe ¯_(ツ)_/¯ It probably won’t be cancer like in the old days, but it definitely still has potential!

  4. Thumps up Llama
    I have recently been experimenting with lavaloon “again!” , it lake ground def in HM arena to a degrees of frustration and sooo easy defended
    Triad it with NW had a lil success

    • Thanks man, HM is very much a difficult arena to use Lavaloon. If you like, sub out some of the air support with more ground defense, maybe that’ll work

      • Try it with IW , knight , Princess , EW plus ballon & cloon , was pretty effective ” arrows for spell , Ggang for swarm Def “

  5. Dude, you made me cry. I love lavahound, as she(?) is still my only legendary(on my main at 4100 trophies), and the only one across all 4 of my accounts to be lv3. YOU THE BEST @whitellama67:disqus

  6. Awesome guide, i play for over a year lavaloon, only because i have maxed the common cards, lavahound lvl3 5/10 and balloon lvl7! i easily reach 4600 nowadays, today playing for chests and without aiming 4900 i managed to reached 4850.. If iam lucky tomorrow i will reach 4900! Playing the classic lavaloon but instead fireball i use Lightning!

  7. Not sure how that’s suspicious… I unlocked her in a challenge chest literally the day after her release.

  8. Still kinda against Lavaloon, but I agree that it requires more skill now. I’m not sure whether I should buy Hound or Mega Knight next. Btw, random fact: Balloon + Rage is found in 80% of the decks down in Frozen Peak (figured that out with my second account)

  9. @whitellama67:disqus I’d say the gameplay and countering section coulda used some more detail. You say stuff like using minions and zap to stop the inferno tower but you don’t say anything about what to do next if they deal with your minions or something because the lavahound does approximately zero damage.

  10. I used to use lava loon before I quit and it really doesn’t work. Because all your opponent has to do is put a level 9 or 10 wizard and it kills hound and balloon which is really annoying since this is only around the 3500-3600 range

  11. Overlevel them on ladder. Easy. Once that has been accomplished, add many splash damage cards to your deck (wizard, valkie, etc.) and your e barb push is golden.

  12. Supercell should do a Christmas challenge and then the 12 win award is an ice wiz (cuz he is the best legendary to fit the Christmas theme)

  13. Very well written guide. Lava Hound was my second Legendary and I used lavaloon to push up tons of trophies back then when Lightning was amazing in decks like this. However I have lost faith in it do to the amount of people in Hog Mountain who have loads of counters because Elite Barbs and High DPS splash troops are everywhere. (As you mentioned a little in the guide) I mean no offence, I just wanted to point out that takes some more skill now to use it. Keep up the good work!

  14. Plz join my clan. We are a good loyal clan. I kicked a lot of inactive members. WE also used to get 10/10 on clan chest but but with more inactive members in my clan, we now get 7-8/10 on the chest. We are desperate for active members. BATTLE DAWGS Clan tag: #Q8LULO 2800+ required trophies

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