At the end of the day, winning a match in the Clash Royale Arena comes down to pushing towers. There are countless ways to do that – the game probably wouldn’t be very fun if there were not – but one card outshines all others when it comes to smashing towers. Today we will be talking about the hog rider deck. The Hog Rider is the king of pushes, and for good reason. His speed and damage output alone make him an offensive star, but above all is his unique ability to jump back and forth over the river at will. Combined with his other traits, this ability allows him to rush into the weak points in the enemy defenses. By the time your opponent even notices the havoc being unleashed upon their towers, it is often too late. To celebrate the veritable force of nature that is the Hog Rider, we want to share with you a deck that puts his talents to use in the best way.
The Hog Rider
Not only is the Hog Rider strong and fast, he’s also smart enough to know where to focus his efforts. If there are buildings nearby he will automatically rush them, bounding past defending troops so he can get down to doing what he does best: pounding enemy structures into the dirt. This means it is often a good idea to team him up with other units that can defend him against enemy troops while he focuses on the buildings, but even alone he can often dash in and out, dealing enough damage to towers and other structures that any damage he takes is more than worth it.
What Is This Deck Good For?
Obviously, a deck built around this card is probably going to focus on a fast, aggressive playstyle marked by powerful pushes. The most straightforward tactic is to go on the offensive from beginning to end, putting your foot on the gas right out the gate and never letting up.
If your rushes are fast and brutal enough, you should be able to grind down the other player’s defenses and seize the victory.
Unfortunately, this is probably the easiest strategy in the game to counter. All the other player has to do is hunker down and let their towers do most of the fighting. Once they gain enough of an elixir advantage, you’ll be helpless to defend against their counter-push.
A more skillful way of handling an aggressive strategy is to time your pushes so that you do the most damage while losing the least troops. This may mean playing defensively at first and then going all-in on the counter push, or you may find success with a series of swift attacks at what you judge to be your foe’s weak points, followed by swift retreats whenever they are able to muster a defense. This is where the Hog Rider truly shines. Since he can outmaneuver other troops, he excels at hit-and-run tactics.
In our deck, the king of pushes rides into battle backed up by Freeze, Zap, Fireball, Barbarians, Minion Horde, Spear Goblins, and Bomb Tower.
Hog Rider – The role of the Hog Rider in this deck is pretty straightforward. Use him to push towers, but be smart about timing. Ideally, send him in whenever your opponent is low on elixirs.
Freeze – The Hog Rider can already run circles around most enemies, but sometimes he will find himself stuck in a corner. Use it offensively to lock down enemy forces while your own rush in to dish out damage, or defensively to stop them from pursuing if you need to make a retreat.
Zap – Used similarly to the Freeze spell, but with the added advantage that it is cheap as dirt. Speedy swarmers are the Hog Rider’s nemesis and can thrash him if they catch him off guard. Zap is a quick and cheap solution to that problem. Learn to use Hog Rider, Freeze, and Zap together and your enemies will never see what hit them,
Fireball – This spell adds some hefty offensive power to what is already a very strong offensive lineup. Throwing a Fireball at a tower after attacking it with your Hog Rider is about the same as hitting a house with a wrecking ball and then turning around and hitting it with a meteor. If your Fireball doesn’t quite take out a tough target, a Zap can usually finish it off.
Barbarians – Pushing may be the focus of this deck, but counter-pushes are the strongest kinds of pushes. Break your opponent’s push with the defensive capabilities of the Barbarians, then let your Hog Rider do the rest.
Minion Horde – Useful for defense, similar to the Barbarians. On top of that, the Minion Horde is great for dealing damage fast. They may not survive long themselves, but most of the time a handful of seconds is all it takes.
Spear Goblins – Just like Barbarians and Minion Horde, Spear Goblins are capable defenders that are also decent on offense. They are also excellent for cleaning up units that you have already hit with a Zap.
Bomb Tower – A final layer of defense. A defensive building may feel counterintuitive in such an offensive deck, but remember that the faster you break your opponent’s push, the sooner you can make a push of your own.
The key to this deck is timing. If you rush in blindly, you might as well just be throwing your troops into a pit with spikes on the bottom. On the other hand, if you can identify the precise moment when your foe is at their weakest, your troops can waltz in and level their towers without breaking a sweat.
When you play this deck well, it should feel almost as if your are playing two different games over the course of each match. First, you build a solid defense with your Barbarians, Spear Goblins, Minion Horde, and Bomb Tower. Your only goal here is to survive the enemy attack, and you should try to hold off on using your offensive spells and Hog Rider if at all possible.
Once the attack is over, you send in your Hog Rider, along with any surviving defenders, since all of the troops in this deck also have decent offensive abilities. This is also when you want to unleash your spells. Do as much damage as you can as fast as possible, but keep an eye on your troops’ health and retreat if it gets to hairy. Then hunker down for another round of defense. Repeat as many times as necessary. Sooner or later, one of your pushes will lead you to victory.