The April balance changes have been live for over a week now, which means that a new meta deck has emerged in Clash Royale. This new meta deck in Clash Royale features the hog rider as the primary damage dealer, followed up with some solid support units. Here’s the strategy and gameplay for this hog cycle deck, the best deck in Clash Royale after the April balance changes.
Hog Cycle Deck 2.0 Overview
This deck is mostly going to revolve around you cycling your cards to get back to the hog rider, giving you as much damage on the tower as possible. With only one card costing more than 4 elixir, you should be able to get a few hog riders down. Don’t forget to combine it with some support cards, like the ice golem or mega minion!
With only two legendaries, this deck is overall pretty good to play if you are a F2P player. Unfortunately, there aren’t any common cards, which are the easiest to level up. However, 5 of the cards in this hog cycle deck are rare cards, which are nearly as easy as common cards to upgrade. Overall, this deck is a great free to play deck in Clash Royale.
Roles of Each Card in the Deck
The hog rider is the most important part of this deck, providing most of the offensive firepower.
A lot of times, the way to go with the hog rider is to send it in solo, when you know you have a big elixir lead. With a solo hog, you are going to want to have a spell at the ready, usually the tornado, in order to support.
Overall, the better option is to send in the hog with some support troops backing him up. With the ice golem, play the ice golem in front and then the hog directly behind for a great 6 elixir push. For 7, you combine the hog with ice wiz or mega minion!
The ice wizard is a great defensive unit for slowing down large groups of units with his freeze effect.
While mostly a defensive unit, the ice wizard actually ends up being a pretty awesome support card on offense with the hog. Since he does have the slowing effect, he can slow troops working away at the hog, giving it an extra hit.
Since the ice wizard does do splash damage, he’s going to be your go-to troop against giant or hog pushes, clipping all the units. His slowing aspect gives you more time to kill units, ultimately leading to less damage on your tower.
The ice golem is a great secondary tank, or even as a tank for your hog rider that can soak damage.
Right now, the ice golem is one of the best two way units in Clash Royale. For offense, he has one of the best synergies with the hog, tanking for him and also killing skeletons and bats when dying, opening the way for the hog.
The IG is going to be just as good on defense as he is on the offensive side though. Since the knight hasn’t been as great, the ice golem has provided a solid tank to pull or distract units while your princess towers shoot them down.
The mega minion is your flying tank in the air, giving you a way to counter balloon decks.
In the Clash Royale meta, almost every single deck has either minions or the minion horde as a prominently featured card. On offense, if you support your hog with the mega minion, you can clear away minions for a clean push.
Also in the meta, the balloon is one of the cards that is really rising through the ranks. The mega minion (as well as the ice wizard) is going to be the main answer to balloon decks, with a few swipes taking down the loon.
The tombstone acts are your defensive building, providing a steady stream of skeletons.
Without the cannon, tesla, or inferno tower in this deck, you are going to have to rely on the tombstone for your pulls of defensive seeking cards. The skeletons are great mounting up and giving you an extra bit of damage.
This card can also help you cycle back to where your good cards are, helping you build up a push from the back. Having skeletons in the fray too once you play a hog can actually end up being pretty helpful.
The fireball is your spell that does the most damage, taking out musketeers and wizards.
Usually, you are going to play the fireball when you see a wizard, musketeer, e-wiz, or something along the health of those next to a princess tower. Another great option is to send it preemptively when you play your hog at the bridge.
On defense, the fireball is still a pretty decent spell, even if it doesn’t touch the tower. First off, it is usually best to clear minions or the minion horde since those can end up costing you dearly. Clear any cards behind a tank with the fireball!
The log will allow you to clear away goblin gangs and skeleton armies away from your hog.
Actually, the log is spectacular when paired with the hog. Whenever your opponent plays a big card, it can be difficult for your hog to get to the tower. With the log, you push troops away from your hog rider, clearing a path to the tower.
A lot of players lately have been sending in goblin gangs to support whatever tank they might be playing with. The log provides a quick fix to this, clearing away the goblin gang, as well as pushing back and damaging the tank unit.
The tornado is great for pulling troops away from your hog and damaging them at the same time.
On offense, the tornado is actually going to be one of your most valuable cards, giving you the ability to take troops away that are killing your hog. Don’t forget that the tornado will completely kill skeletons and bats quickly!
As most players know, one of the best ways to use the tornado on defense is to pull miners, goblin barrels, or hog riders to your king’s tower in order to activate. Learn about tornado tech, and how you can use it in this article here.
Different Offensive Pushes
Ice Golem-Hog Rider: The classic hog cycle deck combination for a cheap cost and high damage.
In the original hog cycle deck, this push is the main one that you do, having the ice golem tank for the hog and then explode when dead, giving off a damage and freezing effect. To play this combo correctly, make sure that the ice golem is in front and the hog placed DIRECTLY behind the ice golem. The tower will shoot the ice golem first then.
Hog Rider-Mega Minion: One of your tankiest pushes that can deal with air defense with ease.
Since no cards in this deck besides the fireball cost more than 3 elixir, this is going to be one of your highest elixir pushes, combing for 7 elixir overall. The hog rider is going to do some serious work to the tower, while the mega minion can fend off most units pretty well, thanks to the high health and high damage.
Solo Hog+Spell: A risky play for sure, but this push can pay off big time if you play it correctly.
If you know that you have a huge elixir lead, this is definitely the play to go for. Send in a lone hog, but you need to follow it up with a predictive spell. This can be any one of the three, depending on what your opponent has usually played to defend the hog. This push can leave your opponent devastated with no way to defend.
Defending Popular Pushes
Hog Mortar Deck
Counter this deck is going to be tough for sure, but not impossible if you play it right. The tombstone actually works out to be a great counter to the mortar, since the individual skeletons because it to retarget so often. You’ll have to use the tombstone as your mortar counter, while using the ice wizard to stop the hog rider. If needed, the fireball will be able to really damage the mortar, as well as take out whatever support troops are around.
X-Bow Cycle Deck
Of any deck in Clash Royale, this one is going to be the most deadly against you. Since the x-bow has constant firing, it will shred the tombstone, which means you need to play either the hog or ice golem to distract the x-bow. Ideally, the ice golem can distract while the hog takes it out. You’ll have a bunch of problems on offense though, due to the hog being used to take out the x-bow, plus the presence of the tesla in this deck. When going up against this deck, you’ll have to be at the top of your game.
Hog Lumberjack Deck
This deck will be a bit easier to counter than the last two. The tombstone should be your go-to defense against the hog, but can also be used to slow the lumberjack if things are looking bad. Guards are the problem here, since you can’t magically spell them away because of their shields. You’ll have to constantly be pushing with the ice golem, hog, and ice wizard together against this deck, since the ice wizard can chip down guards, as well as slow the inferno dragon down.
I hope that this guide gave you ample enough information about how to win with this hog cycle deck 2.0! If it didn’t make sure to comment below to tell us what else we could add to make these guides even better. Thanks for reading and come back soon for more awesome Clash Royale decks!
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