If you’re looking for something different to play in the Clash Royale Arena, the Lava Hound is the card for you. This flying fiery tank does not quite fit into any of the typical unit roles that define other cards in the game, and it is difficult to even find another unit to compare it to.
It is similar to the Giant in that it is a large, tough tank that only targets buildings, but the fact that it flies sets it apart in a very definitive way. The Mega Minion might come to mind when you think of a flying tank, but unlike that or any other card, the Lava Hound has the unique ability to explode into a swarm of Lava Pups upon its death. So what do you call a card that is a flying tank that only targets buildings but becomes a swarm that targets troops? We call it awesome! In honor of this fun and unique denizen of the arena, we decided to put together a deck that is just as fresh and unexpected as the Lava Hound itself. Try it out for yourself and bewilder your opponents with this one-of-a-kind strategy.
The Lava Hound
The Lava Hound is effectively two cards in one, and you need to know how to use it in both of its forms. Beginning players may see the Lava Pups as simply an added bonus, but more skilled players will recognize that the card’s strengths and weaknesses are completely different in its different forms.
That means you will want to use your Lava Hound in different scenarios than your Lava Pups, and also that you will want to combo and support your Lava Hound with different troops and spells than you would support your Lava Pups with.
Needless to say, a lot of strategy and planning goes into getting the most out of both stages of the Lava Hound’s life cycle, and the fact that you don’t have complete control over when your Lava Hound will die means that you need to be fast on your feet to take advantage of the birth of your Lava Pups.
Ideally, you want to protect your Lava Hound while it demolishes enemy buildings, preferably towers, and time its death so that you get your Lava Pups when there are no buildings left to destroy.
This can be a bit of a balancing act, since you will waste your Lava Hound if it dies before you take down the building but you will waste the rest of your units if they die defending the Lava Hound only to have it outlive its usefulness after the building falls.
The Lava Hound is also slow and expensive, so you need to be careful about when you deploy it. It works well during a counter push, when your opponent has run out of minions and it can attack a tower unopposed. If the other player still has defenses in place, you should never send it in without support units that can counter flying swarmers.
To help you get the most out of your Lava Hound, this deck also plays Ice Spirit, Lightning, Zap, Tombstone, Archers, Mega Minion, and Baby Dragon.
Lava Hound – Lava Hound will be your main offense throughout the game. You should never send it in without appropriate support, but you can use it to make small pushes here and there even when you are not ready to commit to a full scale attacks. Your support units should cover it long enough to at least get a hit or two in against the enemy tower, and once they take it down the Lava Pups can kill enough of their troops to stop them from building an elixir advantage.
Ice Spirit – This incredibly cheap unit will freeze enemies in place and give you a measure of control over the battlefield. Their main use in this deck is locking down your opponent’s defending units to buy your Lava Hound time to attack their tower, but don’t forget they can also be used to great effect when defending your own towers.
Lightning – Use this spell to take out units that get between your Lava Hound and the enemy towers. The spell’s cost is trivial compared to the elixirs you will waste if your Lava Hound dies too early.
Zap – Just like the Ice Spirit, Zap is used in this deck to keep defenders away from your Lava Hound. Zap is especially useful against weak swarmers that are not worth the cost of a Lightning spell.
Tombstone – This building is the pillar of your defense. Place it between and in front of your towers so that it will distract attackers no matter which angle they attack from. If the Tombstone is not producing Skeletons fast enough to keep up with the invading army, slow them down with an Ice Spirit or a Zap.
Archers – Along with the Tombstone, your Archers will be your go-to defense against pushes. With Zap and Ice Spirit at your disposal, you can often delay enemies long enough that your archers can kill them from afar without taking any damage.
Mega Minion – Mega Minion is a solid tank to protect your Lava Hound during pushes, and is also a capable defender.
Baby Dragon – This card should be your first choice to support your Lava Hound whenever you send it in. If you can save up enough elixirs, send the Lava Hound, the Mega Minion, and the Baby Dragon in at the same time and watch your opponent’s defenses crumble like paper.
As is the case with any deck that plays a Lava Hound, timing and positioning are the keys to victory. You want to make little pushes with your Lava Hound as often as possible, but only when you can afford to support. Meanwhile, you want to keep up a solid defense without being wasteful. A good rule of thumb, whether attacking or defending, is to start with the minimum amount of troops that can get the job done. For a push this means Lava Hound and Baby Dragon, and for defending against a push this means Tombstone and Archers.
Once you have deployed the minimum number of troops for the job, hold onto your spells and try to only spend as much as you need. Do not fall into the trap of thinking only in terms of damage. Zap does not do as much damage as Lightning, but if it keeps your Lava Hound or Tombstone alive even a few seconds longer, it will accomplish more for less elixirs. Also keep in mind that you do not need to kill all your opponent’s defending units during a push. The only goal is to keep your Lava Hound alive while it attacks the tower; afterward, the Lava Pups can deal with the surviving troops.