Hey guys, DelTaka here, with a guide to one of my all-time favorite deck types, and that is Spell-Bait!
I will be giving a breakdown of the archetype, major cards in it, popular decks and guides for them, and a way to make a custom spell bait.
Something important to note, I will be emphasizing on Zap-Bait decks mainly but I will give some information about other decks!
Without further ado, let’s begin!
The Comprehensive to Spell Bait
Table of Contents
- What is Spell Bait Deck?
- Cards you should watch out for
- Major Cards found in Spell Bait!
- How to play Spell-Bait decks
- Popular Spell-Bait Decks
- How to build your own spell bait deck!
What is Spell Bait?
Spell bait is an archetype of decks in which the decks contain multiple cards that are usually taken out through the same spell. In this archetype, many weaker cards actually dominate, especially ones that are weak to certain spells.
Spell bait decks are usually played slowly, with the user playing safely, making sure they have elixir to counter as well as having elixir to attack.
These decks usually have a weakness to splash, due to most cards used in these decks being oneshot, or severely hindered by spells.
Since these decks require the user to control the tempo of the match, we can also fit them in the control archetype, however, some decks may not fit in this archetype, such as Miner Cycle decks and SpellBait beatdown decks.
One of the best parts of Spell-Bait is that it isn’t very level dependent, since most of your cards will be oneshot by spells anyways.
Cards you should watch out for:
Here are some cards you should make sure to note during your battles so that you can control the match better!
I think this card is one of the hardest counters to spell-bait, especially the most popular type of spell bait, zap/log bait. For 2 elixir, it positively trades with Goblin Barrel, Goblin Gang, Skeleton Army, Princess, deals significant chip damage to towers(96 damage at tourney standards), and pushes back troops. Most players will use it as a panic/instant response to your barrel, if running it, so make sure you try to mix up placements from time to time. It has one major weakness at the moment however, and that is the weakness of not being able to be placed on buildings. If you see an elixir collector in the corner, or in the center, throw your barrel, and they won’t be able to take out your goblins, since Log cannot be placed there. Do not make this a habit, however! This is a BUG, so Supercell will most likely fix this. One trick you can do, once the Log’s bugs are fixed, is to drop a barrel at their tower and a princess at the bridge. The Log won’t be able to hit both for a massive trade, and instead will force another troop on them.
Tl;dr: The Log will kill most of your troops. Try to save them.
Zap, even after all the nerfs, is still a prominent card. The ability to stun, leave many cheap troops outshot, and retarget is invaluable. At tourney standards, it deals 64 damage to crown towers. Before the nerf, it could one-shot goblins at equal level, but now the zap has to be one level higher. It is more annoying than log sometimes, especially when using skarmy on defense. If on ladder, this card will be deadlier than, or equal to, log.
Tl;dr: This card is shockingly good. Keep track of it.
Ice Golem is straightforward. At tourney standards, it oneshots your Skeleton Army, tanks hits from your Goblin Gang, and is cheaper than them as well!
Pair it with Zap to take out Minions as well, and along with all of this, it releases a frost nova!
Tl;dr: 2 cool 4 u
If you have good Elec Wiz placement and timing, the spawn damage will take out Goblin Barrel/leave it oneshot, and the elec wiz will finish the others very fast. Along with this, the spawn damage will take out skarmy, leave the goblin gang barely alive(only its goblins), leave minions oneshot, take out princess fast, and more! Its actual attack is also a pain, resetting your inferno as long as it attacks it, as well as dealing decent damage. This card will be annoying, but if you drop any swarm on it, rather than the elec being spawned on the swarm, the electro wiz will be screwed. The Elec Wiz is also left oneshot by fireball and mini PEKKA swings.
Tl;dr: If the elec wiz is dropped on your troops, bad. If you drop something on elec wiz, good.
Most splash units!
These will just straight up oneshot everything. They are also usually squishy. Running a Squishy Killer pretty much screws those troops.
tl;dr: Just read the 3 lines, guys…You aren’t that lazy, or you wouldn’t even be on Clash Royale Arena.
<h3id=”major-cards”>Major Cards found in Spell Bait!
For 3 elixir, this card is very strong! It gives you the ability to control the pace of the match. It spawns 3 goblins anywhere on the map, allowing you to directly pressure a crown tower. If ignored, it can deal a good 500 damage to a tower, and if overleveled, can deal 1000+ damage! Most counters to it are spells, especially zap, log, and arrows. Forcing out a spell means you are free to drop another one of your spell-susceptible cards. The best way to place this card is around towers or at the corner facing away from the king tower.
It’s quite obvious why this card is so good in Spell-Bait decks. For three elixir only, it boasts the highest dps in the game, beating out three musketeers, minion horde, PEKKA, you name it.. For such an insane amount of damage, it does have one glaring weakness, and that is…… spells, namely zap and log. Both of them take out skarmy for a positive elixir trade(yarn-senpai, I summon thee), and that’s not all. Pretty much any troop with decent attack speed or splash takes out skarmy. On offense, it’s quite sub-par, for reasons stated above, but on defense it is very important for spell-bait. Similar to Minion Horde, Skeleton Army deals so much damage that if you don’t instantly respond, your whole push could be destroyed in a few seconds. The only cards that can take it out instantly are spells, namely, Poison, Arrows, Zap, and the Log. Because it forces out a spell, it allows you to drop other spell-susceptible cards such as Inferno, Goblin Barrel, Minion Horde, or GG. However, if there is anything you learn from this, its that you should usually not use skarmy as a defense by itself, and not use anything else, since your skarmy will most likely be taken out by spells very fast, and skarmy is actually quite predictable after some time into the match.
Inferno Tower works very well with spell-bait, but works best in zap bait. For those who don’t know, if Inferno is zapped(or lightninged), its charge is reset, which means that its damage, which increases over time, gets reset. But if it isn’t reset, it shreds through whole pushes with ease. So, whaddya gotta do? Ya gotta bait out the zap spell with goblin gang and skeleton army.
Other good cards in spell-bait
Both of these cards are good in spell-bait, and there are advantages of both.
||Requires instant response Better offensively
|Greater Damage Performs similarly to Minion Horde
However, compared to Minions, the Horde has a couple of cons:
- Most counters are positive trades
- Costs a whopping 5 ELIXIR
- Usually dies
As you can see, the Minion Horde has some OVERWHELMING weaknesses that result from its sheer power and cost. However, weaknesses can be turned into advantages. Most players will zap, fireball, or arrow the Horde, which is amazing for spell-bait!
The goblin gang is good like Skarmy, both having nearly the exact same role, except GG is much better offensively.
It moves very fast, allowing for good plays with Hog, and it deals high damage as well. However, its damage is not high enough to force out spells all of the time, especially when your opponent knows you have other things to counter.
The currently popular Hog GG Skarmy deck is quite strong, but running GG instead of Minions lowers your defensive capabilities against the very popular LavaLoon.
You all should know why this card is super good. It can be placed anywhere on the map, making it synergize well with Goblin Barrel. You can also place it after defending a push, to protect your troops which might be barely alive. You can turn a few 1 hp goblins into an incredibly dangerous threat with miner!
Hog Rider works very similarly to Miner, but it has a few important differences.
One difference is that it has higher HP which means that it can last longer.
Another important difference is that the Hog Rider can deal much more damage to the tower compared to the Miner.
How to play Spell-Bait decks
Spell bait decks require lots of mind-games and perfect moves. You’ve seen me use that phrase, mind-games, before.., but what does it actually mean?
Mind-games: a psychological tactic used to manipulate or intimidate
Basically, you have to trick your opponent by baiting their spells. One example is to drop your goblin barrel at the start of the match.
Your opponent probably wants to prevent any damage on their tower, so they log your goblins. Wow, he has a 1 elixir lead! I bet he feels so proud of himself, winning the match in the first ten seconds! He’s so overconfident that he pushes hard now! He drops a Miner, a Hog Rider, and Skeletons at your tower…a dangerous 9-elixir push….
You drop your Skarmy for a positive 6 elixir trade! Not only are you 5 elixir ahead, you’ve successfully pressured him! He dropped 4 cards so far, so he’s got his log again. Your opponent now has to face a skeleton army coming to his tower, which is actually quite dangerous…but he overcommited and all he has elixir for is a log..And that’s what he drops! You’ve just trapped him into your pace, and he won’t get out of it as long as you play smart.
Ok, that might not’ve been the best example, but I think you get the idea from that. Here’s a time-frame for good moves.
|3:00 – 2:00
||1:59 – 1:00
|Play defensively, throw occasional barrels
||Start playing more offensively, switch around placements and send miners
||S Play very aggressively! As soon as you stop a push, send in your Miner/Hog Rider/Barrel to protect your surviving defenses! Play your spells aggressively here, you should be able to cycle back to them pretty fast just in case!
Popular Spell-Bait Decks
In this section, I will be giving the cards in each deck, replacements for legendaries, and how to play each deck.
Deck 1: Hog Log Bait
- Hog Rider: Miner, Battle Ram, Prince, Elite Barbarians
- Goblin Barrel: None
- Skeleton Army: Minions, Minion Horde, Barbarians
- Goblin Gang: Minions, Minion Horde, Barbarians
- Inferno Tower: Tombstone (only works because it is often logged)
- Princess: None.
- Rocket and Arrows: Zap and Log, Fireball and Log, Fireball and Arrows, Fireball and Zap, Rocket and Zap, Rocket and Log, Rocket and Ice Spirit, Ice Golem and Zap/Log, Lightning and Log, Lightning and Arrows, Poison and Zap, Poison and Log I enjoy this deck quite a lot. It has a lot of offensive potential and besides Rocket, is relatively cheap. The core of Goblin Barrel, Inferno Tower, and Skarmy is used, which is such a strong combo, since each one baits out zap and covers offense, ground defense, and aerial defense. Goblin Gang and Skarmy is also quite a strong duo, allowing for two similar cards to be used in case of the other missing. Princess is quite strong in these decks as well, because the most common(and annoying) counter to it is Log, which allows for you to wreak havoc with GG, Skarmy, and Barrel. The replacements that I’ve bolded were the cards that were in the original version of this deck, and they work just as well, but make the deck more Hog Cycle-ish rather than the Hog Control it is right now.
Deck 2: Miner Zap Bait
- Miner: Hog Rider, Giant
- Goblin Barrel: None
- Goblin Gang: Minions
- Skeleton Army: Minions
- Poison: Fireball, Arrows, Rocket
- The Log: Arrows, Zap, Ice Spirit.
- Inferno Tower: Tombstone, Furnace
- Princess: None
This deck is very strong as well. It runs the same core of Barrel, Skarmy, and Inferno, while also running a very offensive core, based off of chipping, as it carries Poison, Log, Miner, and Princess. It also runs a strong anti-RG, Elite Barbarians core…C’mon guys, you know that’s all I needed to say to get you hooked.
Giant Fireball Bait
- Giant: Royal Giant, Golem, Hog Rider, Lava Hound.
- Musketeer: Wizard, Three Musketeers, Princess, Archers.
- Minions: None
- Minion Horde: None
- Miner: Hog Rider
- Zap: The Log
- Fireball: Poison, Arrows
- Tombstone: Inferno Tower
This deck has an extremely interesting setup. Musketeer, Minions, and Minion Horde are all key targets of fireball, so baiting it out can be crucial. Running double Minions lets you have insane anti-LavaLoon coverage, and also provides good value by baiting out spells with either, and to your opponent’s dismay, dropping the other minions to do work. Miner and Giant allow for your Minions and Musketeer to do much more damage to your opponent by tanking for them, as well as inflicting serious damage by themselves. Tombstone is a very strong building, only slightly weakened by the growing popularity of Poison and Log, both of which are very good against it. Three Musketeers can replace Musketeer, but beware of the incredibly high cost, and high risk. I actually used my own variant of this deck to hit 4500 with 11.25/8/5/2.5, here it is:
Some great spell-bait decks shared on CRA:
Building a custom Spell-Bait deck
I have a slot method for these types of decks, but before actually making your deck, try to think of which spell you want to bait out first. Without further ado, here is the slot method:
Mini-Tank/Tank: Giant, Royal Giant, PEKKA, Golem, Miner, Hog Rider, Knight, Bowler, Giant Skeleton, Lava Hound, Ice Golem, Knight
Primary Win Condition- Weak to Spells: Goblin Barrel, Three Musketeers, Graveyard, Minion Horde
Spell-Susceptible Building: Tombstone, Inferno Tower, Elixir Collector
Support Troop-Weak to Spells: Goblin Gang, Skeleton Army, Minions, Minion Horde, Barbarians
Cycle Card: Skeletons, Ice Spirit, Goblins, Fire Spirits, Ice Golem, Skeleton Army
Primary Spell: Fireball, Poison, Rocket, Lightning
Cheaper Spell: Zap, Log, Arrows
Splash Damage troop: Princess, Valkyrie, Bowler, Ice Spirit, Fire Spirits, Ice Golem
Here’s an example deck made with this slot method:
This deck actually seems quite viable, right? That’s how it should look.
Thanks for reading my long guide to Spell-Bait decks! I hope you enjoyed!