Clash Royale Lava Hound Uses and Counters Guide by Skoowy
The Lava Hound is a 7 elixr tank which doesn’t do much damage. Though what makes this tank unique is how it’s an air unit. This means that only troops which target air units can hurt it. As a legendary, it’s not as versatile and utility based as the other legendary. The Lava Hound must have a deck built around it. Here I’ll be discussing the top strategy, and deck types that could be used in compilation with the Lava Hound.
Lava Hound This is the legendary that will be used in each of these decks. It’s job is to get your back line troops to the tower, and to distract any incoming fire like a common tank. It’s best to place this towards the far back corners of the map so it doesn’t get distracted easily into the middle of the map. You must be careful when placing the Lava Hound down. I suggest only doing it when you have 10 elixr so you have leftover to defend. It’s also important to try and spend the least amount of elixr possible to defend.
Balloon This will be your MAIN damage dealer. That does not mean it’s your only one. Assuming that your lava hound is placed down, and you have the opportunity to place the balloon down. It’s best to wait till your lava hound has crossed the bridge to bait out any air striking troops. Always assume your opponent will place a counter BEHIND the hound. This will prompt the troops to attack your balloon instead of the hound which is why you should always have a counter on hand which I’ll discuss further into the post.
Minions This will be both a defense and offense card. For the offensive, it’s useful for backing up your balloon and taking out any counters. I like to wait until the enemy places his counter down before I reveal the minions. It’s also useful if you don’t have enough elixr to place a balloon, it’s possible that the minions will deal just as much damage. It’s also very useful for baiting out inferno towers, or any other buildings places on the middle. On the defensive, the minions are best used against ground troops such as barbarians, knight, valkyrie, bomber, hog rider, tanks, dark prince, prince, golem, giant skeleton, royal giant, giant. It’s also very useful to take out any air targeting troops if they are distracted on another target.
Mini Pekka This troop can also be used both offensively and defensively. This heavy hitter could take out and beefy troops and tanks on the defense. Also, the opponent may forget that you placed him down and he may be able to sneak a hit in the tower; if your mini pekka is running down their lane, have zap ready to give the mini pekka an easier tower hit. It’s also a good alternative win if your balloon isn’t cutting it. On the offensive he could be used to take out any troops targeting your hound such as wizards, archers, etc.
Barbarians This is mainly a defensive card. If there is no cheaper alternative, barbarians could deal with almost any ground group. Though I recommend using the mini pekka against valkyries. This is great for tanks, rushes, and large groups.
Spear Goblins Amazing defensive card, can be used to target air troops, and distract other troops. They are great for baiting the Pekka, Giant Skele, Prince, Minions, Minion Hordes, Skeletons, Archers, Guards, Goblin, Knight, and Musketeer. Do NOT use it against AOE troops, optimal to place them behind something such as another troop or arena tower. If no AOE troops are present, then it’s optimal to place them near center. Sometimes even just spear goblins and the lava hound could take out an entire building.
Fireball Great spell to take out large groups of beefy opponents such as the barbarians, and three musketeers. Could also be used against minion hordes if you’re left no choice. Also, great for getting that last 170-250 damage.
Zap One of the best cards in the game. Can be used to reset charges from the prince, dark prince, and sparky. Also stops any troops in their tracks giving you that extra second to kill. Great at taking out large groups of soft troops such as goblins, spear goblins, minons, and minion horde. Also usable on the offensive to get troops to re target on your hound, or to just kill those pesky goblins and minions. A zap paired with spear goblins takes out the best counter to this deck, the minion horde. Also could be used to stop the Royal Giant from getting 2 shots in if you have a pekka or barbarians attacking it.
-Right as the lava hound dies, a zap on the tower and surrounding enemy troops could allow the lava pups to deal a TON of damage. Remember that lava pups are like instant minions so it’s best to take advantage of them.
-Space out your troops when going on the offensive. Give the Lava hound 3 seconds head start so you have some elixr in case he mounts a counterpush OR so you have time to react to any counters that may appear on your balloon or other troops
-Don’t be afraid to use your fireball on a push you may have trouble stopping. It’s better than your tower getting destroyed.
-Know if your opponent carries a minion horde for having a fireball ready to shoot may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful push. Same applies to three musketeers.
-If the opponent has an inferno tower, go the opposite lane. If he plays it reactively, be ready to bait with minions and spear goblins. Don’t be afraid to zap to give your troops those few seconds to kill it.
-Sometimes it’s better to place your minions and spear goblins at a seperate time when pushing w/the hound just in case arrows come.
-Also common knowledge is a zap+minions will decimate a minion horde. Do this if a fireball is unavailable
-Remember that it doesn’t always need be lava hound+loon to take a tower. A hound paired with a mini pekka, minions, or spear goblins can do the same amount of damage. Just have a zap or fireball hovering over the area to quickly counter the counter.
-MANAGE YOUR ELIXR. I cannot stress this enough. Unless you know the opponent is low on elixr, don’t throw in all your elixr into one little attack. Try to always have at least 3-4 on reserve for defending. This is also why it’s important to know what your troops are capable of so you don’t overdo defending.
Arrow bait+Hound If you successfully and continually bait the enemies arrows with a cheap deck, then it could be a very dangerous pair with the hound. Something as simple as placing a hound in the back, then minions behind it, could either be arrowed, or a very successful attack. If it’s arrowed, follow up with either a horde, spear goblins, etc
Traditional Tank Since there are a lot less answers to flying units, the lava hound can be a great bait for ranged units, whilst you send in ground troops paired with a wizard to mop up the floor of troops and buildings. This is a how tank decks are normally played, but now you have the advantage of ranged units being distracted on the hound.
Dragon+Hound A dragon paired with a Lava Hound can prove to be very effective due to it’s splash damage, and high health as well. Pair this with other cheap troops can make a mean offensive! Load the rest of your slots up with defensive troops and spells
Inferno Tower This is the HARDEST counter to the lava hound and all other tanks in the game. It’s good to have spells handy such as arrows, fireball, or zap to deal with any distractions.
Goblin Hut The hut serves as a great distraction, whilst spawning spear goblins to take out the Lava Hound. This paired with other ranged units make quick work of the Hound and it’s push! Suggestion by Hidoni
Tesla Tower A reactive tesla is very powerful against the hound. It distracts the hound and loon and drains it’s HP really fast. This paired with some ranged units behind the hound targeting the back line could melt their push
Cannon A reactive cannon is a simple distraction which allows you more time to place your ranged units behind the hound to deal with the loon, dragon, or whatever. It also targets any ground support they may have.
Minion Horde If the enemy does not have a spell handy then it is a very HARD counter to the hound and possible loon behind it. If there is an AOE troop present, I suggest dealing with them first before placing these down obv.
Minions Same applies as minion horde. Could be a cheaper counter too and put you at a massive elixr advantage
Archers Archers are a great counter with the lava hound if it’s alone. Since the hound generally does lower damage it will most likely be paired with a balloon, or minions. If that happens simply place them behind the backline troops once they cross over the bridge. It’s important to remember that the hound does not do a lot of damage. So if you can take care of the backline units then it’ll generally be an ineffective push for the enemy. If there are ground units present, it’s good to have spells handy to answer for them, or a melee unit to distract.
Musketeer Same logic applies for the archers, handle backline troops/balloon whilst keeping a spell ready for their ground support.
Three Musketeer You don’t even need to place these behind the Lava Hound. It absolutely melts it and since their push is so expensive, they usually wont be able to kill your musketeers fast enough with spells
Ice Wizard Makes the push agonizingly slow, and allows A LOT more time for your troops to kill the hound. Since it’s an AOE troop, the splash will usually hit minions if it’s grouped close to the hound. Also great for dealing with the lava pups after the hound dies.
Wizard Great for clearing out the cheap troops that may follow a hound. Depending on what the enemy has, you may want to put this behind the hound after it crosses so it can deal with the squishy hard hitters first. Also effective when killing lava pups.
Zap, Arrows, Fireball Everyone seems to forget that the lava pups come out of the hound. Having one of these spells ready right when it dies will save you a ton of damage to your tower.
PUSHING THE OTHER LANE as soon as the Lava Hound is dropped will force the opponent to spend elixr to defend. This cripples their offensive as the hound is very weak alone, and 7 elixr for the hound is not cheap. This is one of the best counters to the lava hound in the game. Though be ready for those lava pups! And possible counter push from their leftover defense troops
Remember that mounting an effective push with the lava hound is very expensive! Use this to your advantage when they place the hound down!
Thank you for reading
This is my first attempt at a long, structured, and organized post. I apologize if it was difficult to read.
I hope that you have success with the Lava Hound and may it bring you many cups!
If anyone is curious, I am at 3000+ trophies in Legendary
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