Clash Royale Tips and Strategy

Clash Royale Tips and Strategy by xSCWx


  • The King’s Tower only pulls out its gun if you kill an Arena (side) tower or if you hit it. In most cases you want to avoid hitting this with splash in early game.
  • When the game is launching and showing the name of your opponent if you repeatedly tap the screen you can skip over this. If you’ve ever loaded the game to find a hog half way to your tower this is why.
  • When you’re defending, the middle of the map should be your kill zone. Pathing the troops away from the tower will mean you get more free hits on it before it reaches you. You can also hit them with BOTH towers if are far enough into the middle.
  • If you’re being attacked and you don’t have the right troops to defend then you should probably be counterattacking the other lane.
  • The King’s Tower has a lot more health than the side crown towers. There’s times where it’s the easier or favorable target to take out in a multi-crown game, but don’t force it.
  • Troops have a deployment time. This is worth being aware of because it impacts gameplay a lot. For example, if you drop a baby dragon in front of an approaching minion horde you can counter it. If you drop your dragon into the middle of a minion horde it will die. Another example would be a valk walking up to 4 barbs (good) rather than getting deployed right in the middle of them (bad). Give your troops a chance to wake up first.
  • If you hold your finger down on the card you can see how much damage it does and how much health it has. Very helpful in game if you need to know how many spells it will take to kill a tower!!!
  • If you’re against someone who has a deck that completely shuts you down just play for a tie. Gaining 0 trophies is a lot better than losing 42.

Deck Building

Let’s say I get attacked by hog freeze and defend with a valk and archers. He spent 8 elixir and I spent 7. He probably did something like 300-1500 damage to the tower depending on how good his freeze was, but all 8 elixir he spent is now gone while mine is still alive on the field. At this point he’s behind by 1 elixir, up by some damage on my tower, and facing a counterpush. Who won this trade? It really depends on how well he defends at the next stage.

I bring up the above scenario because people seem really focused on “win conditions” or “positive elixir trades” but the game is quite a bit more complex than that. You’re trading troop health, tower health, building health. Sometimes you’re forcing cards to be played out of position. Sometimes you’re forcing them to play a card they really wanted to save.

My advice for deck building is to experiment. I play several different decks during most sessions. Some of them go very poorly and usually I settle on some “core” cards that I think do very well in the current meta. Rather than trying to list off a bunch of decks that I think are viable, I’m going to list the troops and what they synergize well with so you can experiment for yourself.


  • Hog – HOG RIIIIIIIDAH!!! Great at damaging buildings but bordering on worthless defensively. He goes well with freeze, fireball, skeletons/goblins (they also utilize the freeze well, which I’ll explain when I get to them). Countered by buildings in the middle of the map or high damage troops. Mini pekka, skeletons, goblins, and barbs are all viable choices.
  • Arrows – These currently counter groups of small troops. Not a ton to say about it, but it’s been one of the most popular cards in the game since the soft launch due to how versatile it is. Great against minion horde, goblin barrel, and princess (except level 6 where she survives it).
  • Musketeer – I see a lot of people do this, but FFS, don’t put her in front of a charging prince. You’re better off taking the tower damage than donating 4 elixir. Musketeer is possibly the best troop counter against princess, outranges a cannon (good for punishing someone playing defensively), and does a lot of standalone damage. She’s good by herself both offensively and defensively, so she synergizes with EVERYTHING. Weak against lightning (assuming they hit something else as well) and any high damage troop you can put on top of it.
  • Valkyrie – Does damage in an area around her in a circle. You can drop her right in the middle of a bunch of squishy troops (spear goblins, skeletons, etc) or between a witch and her skeletons. Great with freeze and great against small troops in general. Weak against big PEKKA and air.
  • Freeze – This is good against any big group of troops that would be doing damage to you. Offensively it goes very well with hog, balloon, or any high damage low health troops like goblins. Defensively it works well to stop prince charges, to let goblins/skeletons tear things up, or to let a valk get dropped into the middle of their death ball without dying. You counter freeze by spreading your troops wide (so they can’t all be frozen) and by counterattacking the hog/balloon attacks with a big troop advantage.
  • Elixir Collector – This trades 5 elixir now for 7 elixir later (assuming it doesn’t take damage). This is more significant than it sounds, because it allows for some expensive push combinations that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. For placement, I think your first should always be in the middle of the map. If you put it in the back corner by your tower it can be rocketed along with dealing tower damage. If you place it against your King Tower then it will be safe, but it won’t draw any troops like Hog or Balloon away from your tower. If you place it 2 squares up it will draw troops into the middle, but be aware that any damage it takes is costing you elixir! Don’t place it more than 2 squares in front of your King Tower because it will become vulnerable to attacks from across the river.
  • Skeleton – High damage, super low health, super low cost. Very similar to goblins. They have absurdly high damage for their elixir cost if you can keep them alive, which makes them very good against hog pushes or to utilize with freeze. Weak against splash damage.
  • PEKKA – There’s a tooltip in Clash of Clans that says that HER armor is too heavy to get launched from a spring trap. Big Bertha is tanky and hits hard but slow. Good against double prince, valk, golem. Weak against small troops and inferno. It’s also worth noting that at lower levels (I think cutoff is TH11) she can’t 1 shot barbs which makes them HARD counter her. While we’re on the subject, somebody hook me up with some PEKKA flair!
  • Knight – Cheap tank, surprisingly good damage to tower if it gets ignored. This is a very good card to drop on squishy ranged troops as they cross the river (witch, musketeer, bomber). Good for split pushes, a cheap front line, or defense. Weak against air and in the current meta barbs seem to be more popular.
  • Fireball – Good defensively or offensively because you can very easily hit multiple targets. I actually don’t think this card is very good for the current meta because most of what it can 1 shot will die to arrows for cheaper. It’s great against 3 musketeers, barbs (they’ll survive but your tower will 1 shot them all), huts, and minion horde.
  • Witch – She does splash damage and summons skeletons in front of her. Good defensively, especially against things like prince pushes or skeleton army. Countered by dropping damn near anything on her as soon as she crosses the river.
  • Skeleton Army – Good against any single target troops like PEKKA, mini pekka, prince, etc. Countered any sort of splash like witch or bomber. I actually wouldn’t list arrows as a counter to this because skeleton army tends to be played defensively and it will likely do a ton of damage before the arrows gets played which probably comes out ahead over the 1 elixir loss (4 for skeleton army, 3 for arrows).
  • Baby Dragon – Air, tanky, and splash but does so little damage it wouldn’t make a small cry if it with a hit directly to the face. Good vs poorly placed spear goblins (kills them all in 1 shot) or minion swarm (needs to be placed in front of them so he doesn’t get beaten up during the deployment time)
  • Archers – Hits air, good standalone damage to tower, a lot of range. Also a good cheap choice for spreading troops out vs hog/freeze or balloon freeze. Mostly countered by position (like dropping goblins directly on top of them). Good to have in decks that are struggling vs air.
  • Mini PEKKA – Lowish health, high damage, single target. This is really useful with freeze or for countering hog. It’s also a great card to split push with because if ignored it will take out their tower. Works well with freeze or with something in front to tank for it. Countered by air or small troops like goblins/skeletons.
  • Bomber – Cheap, high splash damage, doesn’t hit air. Good to put behind a golem but you’ll be in danger against air. Hard counter to barbs and any small troops. The downside is that if you’re playing this you likely spent a lot of elixir on a tank in front of it so you’ll have very little elixir left to deal with air.
  • Giant – Tanky and only goes for buildings. Good to put as a front line for any sort of squishy high damage troops. Also good for drawing tower fire before you throw a goblin barrel in. Weak against inferno and needs to be supported by other troops to get much done.
  • Prince – Very high single target damage. Don’t drop anything squishy directly in front of him!!! Can be a good choice defensively to deal with troops such as the hog then counterpush hard. Weak against groups of small troops like skeletons. Best synergy in the current meta seems to be dark prince, because they both charge in at the same speed and dark prince will 1 shot splash any skeletons or goblins dropped in front.
  • Goblins – Similar in gameplay to skeletons. Also worth noting that they’re a bit better at higher level due to towers requiring 3 shots to kill them (as opposed to 2 at tournament levels). High damage, low cost, low health. Good to play with freeze both offensively and defensively. Also good to send in behind a hog rider for some added threat.
  • Spear Goblins – Cheap, ranged, and they hit air. Good if you’re struggling against air and good if you’re trying to keep your elixir cost down. Decent to send in behind any tanky troops. Good to have in zap decks to finish off minion horde.
  • Goblin Hut – Spawns spear goblins and is good for setting up to push. This can be effective defensively because it is very hard to push into. Countered by pushing the opposite lane – also vulnerable to spells hitting the hut + tower.
  • Goblin Barrel – Best when the tower is in some way distracted, countered by arrows or partially countered by dropping troops nearby to kill them quickly. Wait until the barrel crosses the river so you can see where it is headed before you pre-fire your arrows (they shouldn’t get any hits on your tower). On occasion your opponent will throw a barrel into the corner so your arrows miss, be careful when prefiring!
  • Lightning – Good againts 3 musketeers, building based decks, baby dragon, musketeer, wizard. I’d only advise playing this if you’re going to do heavy damage to at LEAST 2 things (likely tower + a 4ish elixir troop or building).
  • Minion – Low health, high damage air. Can be useful defensively since a lot of troops can’t hit air. Also good in decks that utilize a lot of small units (like goblin barrel). Countered by wizard, zap, or any splash. Arrows will kill them but this is likely a losing trade since the cost is the same but the minions likely got more extra damage done than the arrows.
  • Bomb Tower – Can’t hit air but is really good against clumps of ground troops. It’s good against hut decks, barbs, witch, etc. Countered by air and lightning. Can also be countered by saving elixir while it slowly dies to time (playing collector is very good for this).
  • Tombstone – The skeletons can help a bit for pushing a lane or for making pushes with expensive single target troops like prince or PEKKA near impossible. Also good for countering hog because it will redirect him and the skeletons will eventually kill the hog. Fireball is good against this because you can usually damage or kill something else in addition to eliminating the tombstone.
  • Balloon – Due to being air, this troop is actually 1 square less sensitive than hog about being dragged toward the middle. For example, if someone plays a collector 2 squares in front of their King’s Tower a balloon dropped on the far side (there’s a far side because a collector is 3 squares wide and King’s Tower is 4, so it isn’t perfectly centered) will go to the tower but a hog will go to the collector. Costs a bit more than the hog but some decks defend very poorly against air. Synergizes well with other air units and freeze. It offers almost no defensive use so I’d avoid using this with cards of similar weakness like hog or giant in your deck. You can counter this with anything that hits air, but you’re best off placing those troops in the far corner (near bridge) or in the middle so they can’t get frozen. Minions and minion swarm are the hardest counters in my opinion.
  • Giant Skeleton – Blows up for a ton of damage in the area after it dies. This is very good for countering guys who commit to all in attacks on you, especially from medium health units that will lose most of their HP in the blast (musketeer, valk, double prince, etc). It also has some offensive capabilities because if it reaches the tower you’re guaranteed a bunch of damage as soon as your Giant Skeleton dies. Synergizes well with splash or anything that can quickly clear small troops in front that will be used to drag him away from the tower. Best countered by playing small troops in the middle of the map and dragging him as far away from the tower as possible.
  • Barbarians – If you play these in the middle of the map you can split them into a 2×2 attack forcing your opponent to either counter both sides or take a bunch of damage. This can be valuable as an opening card because you can commit to the side they defend poorly. They’re also very useful defensively against cards like hog (block’s pathing if placed directly between it and the tower + kills it fast), prince or dual prince, or any squishy troops like Musketeer or Witch that you can drop directly on top of.
  • Cannon – Hits ground and is a very low cost building choice for dragging hog or balloon away from the tower. If played correctly this card can get even more value from disrupting pathing than it does from the actual cannon fire. Countered by air and musketeer (musketeer outranges it).
  • Barb Hut – Usually played with Goblin hit as part of a gimmick deck, but I don’t think they necessarily have to be played together. The main advantage is that you can keep constant pressure on one lane. The main disadvantage is that your other lane will be very vulnerable while you’re recovering elixir. Probably best played in front of your king tower so that troops attacking your other lane will draw freshly spawned barbs over. The best counter to this is pushing the opposite lane, but spells like lightning work well too. It helps if you time the spell to hit a fresh spawn of barbs as they come out.
  • Rocket – Highest crown tower damage spell in the game. People use this a lot with siege decks, but it also has some very good defensive use if your opponent goes all in against you. Dropping this on a prince will nearly 1 shot it while likely killing everything else around it as well. If you can ever hit a tower along with a building or troop you’re probably coming out ahead in the trade. Counter this by placing your buildings near the middle (in front of your main tower) and spawning your troops in front of your towers where they won’t get rocketed. You can also push hard while your opponent is down 6 elixir.
  • X-bow – This is usually played with some sort of protection around it (tesla, cannon, inferno, barbs, minion horde). The X-bow itself is pretty vulnerable so countering this really depends on what is being played with it. Spells work very well because anything defending it will likely be almost directly on top of it.
  • Rage – This seems to be best used as part of a slow push (hut decks, PEKKA or golem starting from the back, elixir collector up). If your opponent plays this they’re likely going all in with their elixir. You’ve gotta counter the actual units but if you do well you’ll probably seal up the game. Freeze and fireball are both very effective.
  • Minion Horde – Instead of paying 3 elixir for 3 minions you’re paying 5 elixir for 6 minions. What a steal! If you’re using these against arrows play them defensively (for example, if your minions kill a prince then he arrows you you actually traded 5 elixir for 8 which is very good). Don’t send them in alone because trading 5 elixir minions for 3 elixir arrows is very bad. If you are playing a card and you know your opponent is going to defend with minions (for example, you’re sending in a balloon) you may want to fire arrows early in hopes of catching them before they deal their damage. They’re also countered by princess and zap. Good in decks that force opponents to use up their arrows like goblin barrel.
  • Ice Wizard – The splash is good against small troops and the slow is good against everything. Can be useful against balloon because the slow is enough to let your tower get a lot of extra shots in. High enough health that it won’t die to fireball. The disadvantage is that it actually deals very little damage on its own. Plays well defensively or as part of a slow push like PEKKA or double prince. You can kill it for cheap with something like goblins if it crosses your river and is already locked onto another target.
  • Tesla – You can freeze this before it pops up to avoid it messing with hog/balloon pathing. A bit more expensive than cannon but it hits air. Timing spells as you go in for your attack helps with this. You can also just ignore it and save elixir or drop a collector on your own side while it dies to time.
  • Wizard – He can devastate a whole minion horde in 1 shot with the right timing. Best against small units and best placed behind something tanky. If you need to defend against him and only have small units wait until he locks onto your tower (or something big) before you drop them. It isn’t worth throwing away 2 elixir just to distract him for 1 attack. Lightning is really good against him if you can hit something else with it.
  • Mirror – Lets you play the same card twice for 1 extra elixir. If you’re going to use this you should be playing a card that is difficult to counter because you’re overpaying to begin with. Works well with double goblin barrel, double golem (for a slow push – you’d better have some collectors up), double minion horde (arrows gets used on the first one). It’s worth noting that if you mirror an elixir collector you’re actually trading 6 elixir now for 7 later, its value is reduced a bit.
  • Poison – Good against small troops. Also a good choice to play with hog, although so far in the game it seems to have been outshined by freeze. Counters minion horde. Not really anything you can do to counter it back, just don’t drop your shit into the poison and try to spread your troops so they won’t all get hit.
  • Mortar – 4 elixir siege unit. Plays similar to X-bow but because it’s cheaper you have more options to defend. Plays well with anything that can defend it (inferno, tesla, minion horde, barbs, cannon). Countered by spells due to how closely placed the units defending it will be. If you can’t push against this deck just try to force a tie.
  • Golem – The tank of all tanks. You can use him defensively by placing him in front of double prince pushes. Deals area damage when it dies and explodes into 2 high health golemites that also deal damage when they die. Best as part of a slow push so you can get some high damage ranged troops behind it. Good with elixir collector, any ranged high damage troop such a Wizard or Musketeer. Weak against inferno and Pekka. Avoid killing it with goblins or skeletons because they will be hurt or killed by the golem’s AOE death.
  • Royal Giant – Honestly, I’ve never seen this used effectively and in my opinion it’s because it’s a really stupidly designed unit. Who wants their tank in the back? I hear it works well against mortar, but I’ve never seen it used effectively. Countered by just pushing random buttons on your phone.
  • 3 Musketeers – This really isn’t as laughable of a unit as people make it out to be. If your opponent doesn’t have the right troops up to defend against this (for example, if they just played hog freeze) they are going to be in big trouble. Best countered by fireball, lightning, or freeze. Synergizes well with a tanky unit in front (is this why we have royal giant with 0.5 less range?). Countered mostly by spells. If you play it behind your King’s Tower you can split them to reduce your spell vulnerability.
  • Princess – Has long enough range to shoot from across the bridge. She deals splash, which makes her hard counter goblins and minions. Arrows counters her up until level 5. Good unit counters are musketeer and baby dragon, but you probably have to wait until she gets close to your side of the map.
  • Dark Prince – Similar to the regular prince, but he isn’t quite as tanky and has a shield that absorbs some damage. He also deals splash damage, which makes him a great candidate in front of the prince. He’s good in aggressive decks with prince, PEKKA, or ice wizard. Countered by big tanks like golem or PEKKA.
  • Zap – A bit less damage than arrows but has a stun. Useful against skeleton horde, minions (especially for the decks that try to force you to waste arrows), and the stun is useful against just about everything. The main complaint seems to be that it can’t 1 shot minions, so spear goblins tends to go pretty well in these decks. You can use it for stopping the double prince charge in an emergency. It also causes the inferno to retarget, although if it stays on the same unit it will continue its charge. Also noteworthy that (at least at max level) it will 1 shot goblins but not the ones from the goblin barrel due to those being a level higher.
  • Inferno – Kind of like burning ants with a magnifying glass, if this stays on the same target it does bigger and bigger damage. Hard counter to golem and PEKKA. It’ll win against a lone prince for the same elixir cost and can be useful just to have presence in the middle of the map (pulling troops into the “kill zone”). Occasionally there’s times to put it against the river to attack a cannon that is too far up or to hit an xbow that is poorly defended. It goes well with everything but is weak against groups of small troops so having something to deal with those is a good idea.
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