Clash Royale Opening Hand Strategy and Tips

Your opening hand in Clash Royale can completely change the outcome of the battle, so it is important to know opening hand strategy and what card to play at the beginning of each match. Today’s article will be all about playing the correct card and some tips I have to make sure you guys get off to the right start in your Clash Royale attack!

Clash Royale Starting Hand Tips Strategy

The importance of your starting hand is very often overlooked by most players. In reality though, this beginning is one of the most important parts of your whole match in Clash Royale. You should never sit at 10 elixir at the beginning of the game, especially if your opponent has made a play.

Best Plays for a Starting Hand

Throughout this article, I will be using 2 different decks and explaining the starting hands behind each one and what the correct play to make is going to be. The two decks will be the most meta decks in the game right now: elite barbs-ice-golem-hog and lavaloonion.

Elite Barbs-Hog-Ice Golem Deck

Clash Royale Elite Barbs Ice Golem Hog Starting Hand

In this first starting hand, there are many different plays that you could make here. I’m going to rank what I think are the best ways to start but ultimately, you have to have your own strategy and have decide what your gameplan is going to be to maximize your hand.

  1. Ice Golem in the Back: This push isn’t aggressive at all, so you aren’t scared of a counter push. It also starts cycling your cards being a cheap unit. Lastly, the ice golem gives you a ton of options, both on defense and offense.
  2. Ice Spirit to Furnace: You can play your ice spirit in the back and then cycle to your furnace, which is always a great way to start off the game. The furnace will give you defense and chip damage early in the battle.
  3. Split Elite Barbarians: You could split the elite barbarians behind your king tower which will really allow you to defend each side of your base as well as give you two options to push. Warning: this leaves you with 4 elixir left!
  4. Hog Rider-Elite Barbarians Push: If you really like to be aggressive, then a quick elite barbarians in front, hog behind push could catch your opponent off guard. But you don’t know what cards they have, which could end your push quickly.
  5. Solo Elite Barbarians at Bridge: Elite barbs alone at the bridge have the potential to do tons of damage, but your 6 elixir might go down the drain easily if he has skeleton army or tombstone in rotation.

Of course, there are 3 other cards in this deck that might have come up, in which the starting hand and starting play would be completely different.

LavaLoonion Deck

Clash Royale LavaLoonion Starting Hand

In this first starting hand, there are many different plays that you could make here. I’m going to rank what I think are the best ways to start but ultimately, you have to have your own strategy and have decide what your gameplan is going to be to maximize your hand.

  1. Tombstone in the Middle: The tombstone placed in the center of your base, which is completely passive and offers plenty of defense for a quick hog rider push. It also sets up for a lava hound.
  2. Lava Hound in the Back Corner: You could also place a lava hound in the back left or right corner since the balloon is the next card up. However, you’ll only have 3 elixir to defend with, which is VERY scary.

Of course, there are 3 other cards in this deck that might have come up, in which the starting hand and starting play would be completely different.

Guess your Opponents Deck

Not only does your starting hand help you if you play it correctly, but you can guess the deck that your opponent is playing based off of the first card played!

Of course, there are some cards (archers, musketeer, ice wizard) that could go in any deck, but you can at least make a good, qualified guess about what cards will be heading your way.

Clash Royale Starting Hand Elite Barbarians

In this battle, my opponent rushes me with elite barbarians. Almost every deck with elite barbarians will also feature the hog as a main attacking unit and sure enough my opponent is playing elite barbarians-hog-ice golem.

Here, my opponent plays an elixir collector. Back in the day the elixir collector used to mean a giant deck was incoming, but now the elixir collector is usually a bait for a three musketeers deck. So therefore, I have to save my fireball for a deck probably featuring the 3M.

That’s all the tips I have for the starting hand. I really hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it helps you improving your starting game in Clash Royale! Thanks a ton for reading and come back soon for more Clash Royale content!

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8 thoughts on “Clash Royale Opening Hand Strategy and Tips

  1. Pingback: Most Meta Deck #5: Hog Cycle Freeze Deck | Clash for Dummies

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  4. Pingback: Most Meta Deck #2: LavaLoonion Deck | Clash for Dummies

  5. Pingback: Clash Royale Opening Hand Strategy and Tips | Clash of Clans Guide, Strategies, Tricks and More!

  6. I usually start with whatever has the highest health, offensive value, or lowest speed (lowest speed is always at the back, so I can build a push). I don’t really know how I choose between the 3, but it works out for me pretty well.

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    • See, but what if you started with golem? You’d only have 2 elixir to defend a possible 10 elixir push. I’ll usually go with a slow 3-5 elixir unit.

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      • I actually start with the golem a lot with golem decks. Why not place it in the very beginning?
        The exception is golem decks where I don’t have a skeleton army or similar cheap defence, but has a spawner instead.

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