Clash Royale Graveyard Complete Guide
Let’s start with the basics of this card. It spawns 16 Skeletons overall – although, the card and Clash Wiki say anywhere between 15-20 Skeletons, but I always count 16 whenever I try. Graveyard has a 2 second deploy time where it spawns no Skeletons, and then spawns one every 0.5 seconds from there on in. Unfortunately, the DPS stats for this card are nowhere near consistent due to the Graveyard’s random nature. The card attempts to spawn Skeletons around its edge, but is completely random in how it does so. This makes Graveyard sort of difficult to talk about. Overall, the Graveyard can come to do 1072 DPS to your tower with all Skeletons spawned and tanked for. However, you’re obviously going to counter this card, and the spawns are random, so the DPS is actually sort of immeasurable. Let’s just say, it’s a lot of damn DPS if you don’t answer it.
Alright, so this is probably the part of the video where your Graveyard play is really about to change. I tested 7 different Graveyard placements, 5 times each, and noted down how much damage each placement dealt (image 1 on the IMGUR POST, which I will reference a few times in this segment.) Interestingly or not, placing as much of your Graveyard’s edge onto the tower deals the most damage – which probably makes sense considering the game tries to spawn the Skeletons around the edge. Your Graveyard will average 50 more damage when placing it higher up (image 2 on Imgur post), but that was only over 5 placements and king tower activations are more common here SO you probably want to place it further down (image 3 on Imgur post), in fact. Placing the Graveyard centrally (image 4 on Imgur post) activated the King tower on 4 out of 5 occasions, and lead it to dealing the least damage of any test. Interestingly, I did start to notice a trend between true red and true blue (image 5 on the Imgur post). I wasn’t initially recording the different damage numbers from either true, but true blue ACTUALLY averaged 100 damage more than true red did per Graveyard. You can probably just play this down to my sample size only being 5, but it was a noticeable trend within my results. The only time you should really deviate from the optimal placement is when your opponent has a building behind their crown tower, but that’s very rare so it’s not a huge worry.
We’ll start with some synergies for the Graveyard so we understand what sort of card it is. Obviously, this card has become a win condition. People used to think it would have defensive usages, but really it’s not worth spending 5 elixir on a Skarmy, so it’s ONLY ever used on offence. The first card that comes to mind when I think of a Graveyard synergy is Ice Golem. Being a 2 elixir card with substantial HP, it is the PERFECT punish play option. It will let the Skeletons spawn freely whilst only costing you a total of 7 elixir. However, some decks will want to run a mini tank that can also play defence – a lot of Graveyard decks overall like these more counterattacky cards. For this role, I like to call upon the Knight. He’s very similar to the Ice Golem, but just offers you a sturdy defensive option whenever you may need. These two both fit into cycle decks quite well, but if you’re not tryna to run a fast paced Graveyard deck then Cannon Cart is a very threatening (but heavier) option for your deck. The beauty of Cannon Cart comes in its range and DPS. Your opponent has to not only answer the 5 elixir Graveyard, but also a threatening 5 elixir Cannon Cart at the river. Having to spend twice means their defences have to be split, and they’re more suspect to an incoming Poison. Another ranged 5 elixir unit that Graveyard decks like is… the Bowler? Yeah, a weird one. As I mentioned before, Graveyard likes these defensive type cards that can counter attack and tank. The Bowler is PERFECT for this. Whilst he’s defending, he’s constantly pushing units away from him and preserving his health. This preserved health can then be used to tank for a Graveyard and cause your opponents a ton of troubles – ESPECIALLY if the Bowler obtained a load of positive elixir trades too. Graveyard also pairs well with the Barbarian Hut, as we mentioned at the start of this post. First of all, the waves of Barbarians will act as a HP pool for the Graveyard to spawn into. Secondly, it’s Poison bait. If your opponent uses a Poison on a Barbarian Hut to weaken it, your Graveyard is now free from Poison interference. The small spells in Graveyard are either Log, Barb Barrel, or Arrows. Barb Barrel gives you that extra mini tank in spell form, but not every deck needs this. Arrows gives you another spell that counters air units, but it costs an extra elixir. And Log is really best for spell cycling if your Graveyard is countered. My personal favourite is Log, but the other two are viable if you’re more comfortable with them. As for big spell synergies, you’re choosing from Poison or Freeze. Freeze gives you a higher risk higher reward deck, whereas Poison is the mainstream option. You only really want to Freeze when you know your opponent is out of elixir and you will definitely take their tower.
Outplaying Hard Counters:
Cards like Archers, Minions, or general swarms are one of three card types you want to look out for in your opponent’s deck when playing Graveyard. When you have an elixir advantage, you want to be using your Poison spell on these troops and watch your Graveyard run riot on your opponent’s tower. If you don’t have an elixir lead, you can still use Poison if you know that your opponent doesn’t have other counters in hand. If their hand is Minions, Golem, Inferno Tower, and Mini PEKKA, using your Poison onto these Minions isn’t the worst idea because you can almost guarantee a ton of damage. Other cards you want to watch out for are tanky splashers. These are things like Valkyries, where they shouldn’t be Poisoned but will take out your Skeletons quickly due to their splash damage. Your best strategy here is to put your Graveyard more centrally onto the tower – the Valk’s splash damage can’t be utilised if the Skeletons are all spread out. However, this is risky for king tower activations so BE CAREFUL WITH THIS. If you’re running Freeze, that is a very good answer to Valkyrie as long as you’re not overcommitting. If you don’t like those first two options, all you can really do is outcycle the Valkyrie and hope to catch your opponent off guard. The undoubted best counter to Graveyard is also its best synergy – Poison. When facing a Poison deck, your opponent is most likely going to want to keep their Poison spell in hand to counter your Graveyard. Your best option here is to pack another damage threatening card that is vulnerable to Poison – I’m thinking the likes of Barb Hut or Magic Archer. These cards force your opponent to choose, and give you the ability to adapt your gameplan. If they continue to counter your Graveyard, you can now stack Magic Archers or Barb Huts to get damage. If they change their Poison focus onto Barb Huts or Magic Archers, you’ll be able to get damage with your Graveyard. Graveyard being run with Poison bait is one of three suitable options for this win condition, but we’ll get into those later.
Deck Examples and Strategies:
Let’s talk more in depth about a Poison bait Graveyard deck. Image 6 on Imgur shows an example deck. These decks tend to run two Poison bait cards alongside their Graveyard (these being Barb Hut and E Wiz in the example.) The Poison and Log are the spells of choice, with Skeletons and Mega Minion help the deck to cycle and defend. Your main offensive threats are an Ice Golem and Graveyard punish, or a Barb Hut spam that your opponent simply can’t deal with. As we just discussed, these decks thrive by setting up Poison traps for their opponents to fall into. Once they do, the Graveyard and Ice Golem come out to quickly dish out damage onto the tower. These decks very much play like predator vs prey, just waiting for the best time to pounce onto the tower. The second solid Graveyard setup is something we briefly mentioned before – Splashyard (image 7 on Imgur). This list focuses on obtaining defence value to counterattack, and also on obtaining splash value (as you can tell by the name). These cards are primarily Bowler and Baby Dragon, which pair greatly with Tornado for this aforementioned value. Poison and Log are the spells of choice again, with Skeletons letting the deck cycle to its crucial cards. The quick push here changes to Knight and Graveyard, because Knight gives better defensive capabilities to the deck than Ice Golem does – I mean, look at the deck list, if it didn’t have Knight then its ground defence is pretttty flimsy. This deck gets around having to Poison bait by overrunning the opponent with elixir. Chewing up a huge push with Bowler, Baby Dragon, and Tornado gives you a huge counter attacking threat that your opponent might not be able to defend – even if they have Poison ready in hand! And finally, we have cycle decks (image 8 on Imgur). These have fallen out of favour since Graveyard first came out, but are still a viable choice in my books. It’s fairly obvious what they try to do. They use the low elixir count and cheap cards to spam as many Graveyards as they can, hoping the Graveyard’s RNG will get them substantial damage – and it’s a fairly valid tactic! Relying on RNG is something neither you nor your opponent can control, but with enough attempts you’ll be sure to get enough damage over time. The Knight and Ice Golem COMBINE in this deck to always give you a mini tank in hand for when a Graveyard opportunity presents itself. The Archers and Tesla take main defensive duties, whilst Poison and Log do their things as spells again. This deck is able to get around Poison by outcycling it over and over again, and always having one of those two mini tanks in hand to push in with a Graveyard. So really, those are the three main tactics to getting damage with Graveyard against Poison. You can bait the Poison, you can outcycle the Poison, or you can overrun your opponent with an elixir lead that means your push is too big for them to simply kill with Poison!
Punishment vs Investment/Counter Attacking:
Your starting play with a Graveyard deck entirely depends on what playstyle you’re going for. If you’re playing Poison bait, you wanna try playing early with one of your bait cards in order to screw up their spell cycle. Playing Splashyard, you sorta wanna wait to get defensive value, but maybe only for a minute. Then you should be looking to play a non commiting card in the back like a Knight or Baby Dragon, and then respond to your opponent’s plays. And with a cycle deck, you wanna just cycle. Get playing as soon as you can just in case they’re a beatdown deck. This way, you can play more Graveyards over the course of the match which is your ultimate goal. With this cycle style deck, you’re pretty much always going to be punishing rather than investing. Graveyard itself doesn’t always have to be a punish play. Against decks like Miner or Hog Rider, you’ll actually want to counter attack – and this is Graveyard’s version of investing. Play units on defence to defend your opponent’s win condition, and then attack once their win condition is out of hand. In matchups against heavier win conditions, as the rules of punishing and investment go, you want to punish most of the time. See a big beefy Golem in the back? Get punishing kiddo because this is your time to shine. Again, punishing and investing changes for Graveyard. It’s more about… punishing or counterattacking. If your opponent’s win condition is cheaper than Graveyard, try to play counterattacking. If your opponent’s win condition is more expensive than Graveyard, try to punish whenever they play it – simple.
Now, let’s outline a few matchups and what you should be doing as a Graveyard player. Let’s start against Graveyard itself. ALWAYS keep your Poison for their Graveyard, try to use your skills (such as baiting or outcycling) to catch them without a Poison, but primarily make sure they can’t get damage with their Graveyard. Play as many Graveyards as you can for damage. Against Log Bait, you wanna really be pushing into any investment bait cards they play. If you see a Princess in the back? Go with Graveyard and Poison. You get 3 elixir value on the Princess, and get a Poison lasting on their tower. Keep your small spell for their win condition, of course. Bridge Spam is a weird matchup really. You can defend their spam cards really easily, so their correct play is to build a bigger push around a PEKKA in the back. Don’t panic, keep your PEKKA counters for this, and punish as soon as possible. It’s the rule of ‘7 elixir in the back? Punish.’ Xbow is a hard matchup, because a defensive Xbow really ruins you. Try to keep your tankier units in hand, and don’t really focus on playing Graveyards. You really just want to Poison cycle their defensive Xbows down and win that way. Don’t give them spell value, block all Xbows, and never play Graveyards into a defensive Xbow. Try to counter attack after they play offensive Xbows. Golem we sorta outlined before, but keep looking for pressure. Golem in the back? Pressure. Night Witch in the back? Pressure, so they can’t put a Golem in front of her. Keep going for these aggressive plays to stop their investment. And finally, Three Musketeers. Keep your Poisons for their Muskets and play for Graveyard chip. If you have Splashyard, you can get away with playing a Bowler onto the Muskets instead. If they EVER play Three Muskets in the back, Graveyard and Poison. Three Muskets and Princess are two investment cards you can Graveyard into. However, there are a load. Anything that’s weak to Poison and relatively slow is a good idea to punish with a Poison Graveyard push. The frequency of which you do this depends on your deck, however. A cycle deck will do it every single time, a Poison bait deck not so much, and a Splashyard deck almost never.
Real quick, let’s talk about countering Graveyard. I’ll only go over this briefly because we’ve discussed tons of counters in this 15,000 word long post already. The best counter in the game, as we know by now, is Poison. It counters Graveyard without your opponent being able to interfere, is a positive trade, and minimises damage taken. Carry a Poison at all times during a Graveyard meta. Your next best counters are gonna be swarm cards, however these are weak to Graveyard’s Poison synergy. The sheer number of bodies in the Graveyard spawn area prevents the Skeletons from getting damage. Tankier splashers are also on this level in my opinion, they’ll soak the damage for your tower whilst fighting off Skeletons in the process. Those three categories are good counters, whilst things like Knights and Bandits aren’t too great but can be used in a pinch to solely soak damage. Outside of that, the only tip I can really give is to act fast. Placing your defence before the Graveyard’s 2 second spawn period is over gives you a huge advantage. Also, don’t forget units attacking from the river – these are killer if you overcommit on defending the Graveyard itself. If you can, try to block mini tanks at the river before they come onto your side if you think your opponent is setting up a Graveyard push. Usually, you want your crown tower to help out there, but it’s actually better for the crown tower to be focussed on the Skeletons rather than the mini tank – try to learn this skill against Graveyard. Finally, Tornado. Graveyard is near USELESS once your King tower is active, so using a Tornado to activate this king tower is priceless. Against a Graveyard on the most efficient tile, you can’t just throw random Tornados to acivate the king. The placement is nearly impossible to get down, so I actually wouldn’t advise trying to activate the king against this. A more central plant is a lot easier, and is worth attempting if you’ve mastered the placement. Overall, it’s an extremely high risk high reward play that should only be attempted if you’re extremely confident in your ability AND if your opponent isn’t using an anti-Tornado spot.
FINALLY, the outro. Damn, this has to be the longest tech post I’ve ever scripted. JUST AS A PERSONAL SHOUTOUT – if you did enjoy today’s post and DO want more content like this, or to just see this post in video form, please do check out my YouTube video – even a quick glance goes a long way! Anyway, I wanted to end off by discussing some balance changes. Graveyard has always been a really strong or super in-limbo card. It’s been sorta, dead, recently until a Barbarian Hut and Zappies buff. And this is where the problem lies. Graveyard, along with Three Musketeers in my opinion, have to be fundamentally weak cards by themselves to be balanced. Sounds weird, but when you couple these cards with their spell bait synergies they become stronger and, hence, balanced. The strength of Barb Hut makes Graveyard stronger, even if Graveyard itself is weak. And such, we end this video by saying… Graveyard is pretty weak right now and I’ve just wasted probably around half a week making this guide all for a dead card… (/s). All jokes aside, Graveyard is pretty balanced right now, and if Supercell aren’t happy with it then they need to focus on the support rather than the card itself in my opinion. But yeah bois, that’s all I have for Graveyard today. If you wanna leave a comment about this card I’ll be sure to answer it within the coming days! Thank you for reading this far lads, I hope you enjoyed, and peace.