Clash Royale Deck Archetypes and Counters Guide

Clash Royale Deck Archetypes and Counters Guide by Siddmaster

In other card games (Yugioh is what I’m basing this off of, because I play that game, even if casually and it’s the best example I can think of), archetypes are used to classify a certain deck type that a person is using. There are 10 or more card classification in Yugioh, and many have different subtypes. Then there are the types, attributes, etc. But an archetype is not limited to how many cards of a type a person has; If a person uses a lot of synchro monsters in their extra deck, it doesn’t make it a synchro deck if that’s not their win condition. An archetype is cards used PLUS how a person gets win condition, not unlike RPGs like pokemon, although they don’t have archetypes, they just have win conditions, because most teams look the same except rare cases like rain teams. In another example, Hearthstone, archetypes are chosen when you pick your character, but there are many mixups in an archetype, but they tend to stay the same generally, like the control master Priest. There are only 3 types of cards in Clash Royale: Troops, Spells, and Structures. Troops are divided into ranged and melee, spells are divided into damage and affect, and structures are divided into defensive, spawners, and productive (elixir collector). There is also the mirror, which could fit into its own classification. With all that said, I believe that these are the archetypes in Clash Royale

Basic Descriptions

 – Using all types of cards, with an emphasis on troops, common in all levels)
Offensive – Favoring big troops like prince and giants and supportive spells to gain an edge, common in low to mid levels
Offensive Mixed– Using damaging buildings like xbow during an assault, or putting them at the enemy’s crown tower after one tower is destroyed, while keeping the pressure
Defensive – Favoring defensive and productive buildings to gain a lead, then using spells and ranged troops to finish the towers, common in mid to high levels
Swarm – Using small troops like witch, skeleton, gob, spear gob, minion, drag for backup, to get to the witch easily, maybe a cheap defense, not seen a lot but most prevalent in lower to mid levels
Support – Using a main tank like a PEKKA, prince, giant, or hog and making the whole deck revolve around that one troop, and chipping down what’s left of the tower NOTE: An Xbow deck is a form of the support deck, NOT defensive
Control – Using cheap defensive buildings and troops to counter almost everything your opponent has, then rushing down the opponent with troops like the barbarian and goblin barrel

Counters for the Different archetypes

Balanced decks are countered by defensive decks
Defensive decks are countered by offensive decks and support decks
Offensive decks are countered by swarms
Swarms are countered by defensive decks
Support decks are countered by swarms
Control decks are countered by support decks
Swarms are also countered by control decks

Important Cards for Each Type of Deck

Staple Cards for All Deck archetypes: Some, if specifically helpful to a deck type, may be used again

Baby Dragon: Can be used for countering an opponent’s push, or being used as a mini tank
Fireball/Arrow: Staple card for countering small cards, as well as chip damage
Wizard/Ice Wizard: A staple for continuing a push with splash damage
Mirror: Easily get two of a key card in your deck, such as double golem or double hut
Barbarians: Staple, bulky troops, much like what their cousins were supposed to be
Archers/Minions: Some air targeting troops, baby dragons fear them
Skeleton Bomber: Splash damage and good tower damage make them a multipurpose troop
Princess: Long ranged support for offense, countering small troops, or chipping on defense
Elixer Collector: Gaining on the momentum, distracting troops while making a profit and using elixer on both offense and defense

Balanced: Most balanced decks use the above list as a base for starting off, being the “starting” archetypes

Freeze: Stops a push or counters your opponent’s counter
Skeleton Swarm: Distracts troops that are easily distracted, like an unbacked PEKKA
Prince/Dark Prince: Can easily take down an unprotected tower, or with backup rush a protected tower

Defensive Decks

Skeleton Tomb, Goblin Hut, and Barbarian Barracks: All are a staple to defensive decks, distracting troops in a push
Hog, Giant, Royal Giant, and Balloon: Getting safe, guaranteed damage to the tower, tanks for after the tower is gone
Skeleton Swarm: Distracting a push, yet easy to punish with arrows/splash
Princess: Masssive range, camp a tower
All Defensive Towers: This is pretty much self explained, being the name of the archetype defensive
Giant Skeleton: Stopping a push while tanking for your spawned troops and making a mini push

Offensive Decks

Giant, Mini PEKKA, Prince/Dark Prince, Balloon, PEKKA, Golem: When supported, a threat to a tower
Lightning/Arrows: Taking out an opponent’s counter
Goblins: Fast, taking down a tower while a troop is tanking
Xbow (Offensive Mixed card): Helping destroy a tower from the background with its insane DPS
Rage: Powers up your troops in a large radius for a push

Support Decks

Hog Rider, Giant, Mini PEKKA, PEKKA, Baloon, Xbow (Choose one): The main troop to be supported
Goblin Barrel: A secondary support/chip troop
Freeze/Lightning/Poison/Arrows/Fireball: Spell that helps the main troop alone
Inferno Tower, Cannon, Xbow(Xbow ONLY if the main troop is not Xbow): Protects your tower while the troops are away
Small Troops like Archers: Support the main troop in its tower quest


Witch: Spawns skeletons, used for offense as well as distraction and anti skeleton swarm because of splash damage; sometimes, if there are two or more witches out, an arrow or fireball won’t kill them, letting them spawn more skeletons and continue the onslaught
Skeleton: A distraction for the Prince that only uses one elixer
Small Troops; Spear Goblins, etc.: What you will be swarming with, also cheap to get more out and cycle to the witch, your primary pushing technique
Baby Dragon: Your only tank, counters rush ins and helps in pushes

Control Decks

Tesla and Bomb Tower- Defenses for countering common troops, can be replaced with inferno tower
Lightning and Arrows- Taking out swarms, or taking out defenses, spawners and crown towers
Minion Hoard, BARCH- Counters for common offense, while helping in rushdown
Skeletons- NOT hoard!; OR Goblins, Spear Goblins- Your counter for the prince, seeing as you have no skeleton tomb, because that would be encroaching into defensive deck territory

Win Conditions for the Decks

Balanced decks win by outplaying an opponent and countering their moves, while reading their attempts to counter your push with a well timed spell, much like Pokemon in a sense (because in a game with over 700+ creatures the same 10 are used)
Defensive decks get win condition by chipping opponent’s towers while countering any push attempt with giant skeletons, baby dragons, and defenses
Offensive decks and swarms tend to, well, swarm the opponent with offensive cards that have few counters
Support decks revolve around one card chipping the tower enough for a damaging spell or xboxs to take it down
Swarm decks revolve around being as offensive as possible when you have an elixer advantage, and baiting your opponent’s arrows/fireball/baby drag/valk early so your small troops can wreack havoc
Control decks revolve around controlling the pace of the game as well as possible, much like a zoner/grappler in fighting games

Other Clash Royale Articles
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Clash Royale Ice Golem Advanced Techniques and Combos
Clash Royale Giant Bowler Decks and Counters Guide
Clash Royale Lava Hound Ultimate Guide
Clash Royale How to Use Every Legendary Guide
Clash Royale Mega Minion Guide
Clash Royale Inferno Dragon Guide
Clash Royale Sparky Elixir Management Guide
Clash Royale Ice Spirit Strategy Guide
Clash Royale All Tank Units Guide
Clash Royale Log Spell Guide
Clash Royale Using Each Card on Defense Guide
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Clash Royale Global No. 1 Deck Guide
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Clash Royale Terminology List
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Clash Royale Tournament Mode Rewards Analysis
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