Everyone can copy a good deck and do well with it. Understanding the fundamentals of deck building, however, will make you more flexible when the meta changes and kickstart your Clash Royale career.
Clash Royale esports are picking up steam, but in order to compete you need to understanddeck building on a fundamental level. Once mastered, you just need to put the hours in to compete at great events like Red Bull M.E.O. by ESL.
In order to win, first choose your win condition
Whichever card is used as your main offensive tool – used to damage your opponent’s towers – is your win condition. Common examples of these are the Giant or the Hog Rider.
Some, such as the Hog Rider, rely on dealing a medium amount of damage each time they’re used, and are typically found in low-elixir-cost decks.
The Golem or Lava Hound are used to build big pushes with the intention of dealing a lot of damage to the opponent’s towers – maybe even taking out a tower in one push.
When deciding on your strategy, you want to pick a card that you are both comfortable with using and which isn’t easily countered by current meta decks.
Effective counters and superb support
Now we have our plan of action, it’s time to look at what our opponents could be throwing at us, both offensively and defensively.
Say, for example, we play our Hog Rider at the bridge – there are various cards, including buildings or swarm units, that can counter us. The idea behind support cards is to have them assist your main threat by effectively countering your opponent’s defensive cards.
So, if you play your Hog Rider at the bridge, your opponent might counter it by using a Minion Horde. You can support your unit with an Executioner, which is able to take care of a huge variety of swarm units – a classic play against a Hog Rider. To keep it simple, attacking in Clash Royale is like a continuous game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
Your counter and support cards should allow you to deal with the most commonly used win conditions, and effectively play against meta decks.
Know your spells
Apart from units (and buildings), you can use spells in a variety of ways. They can support your main unit, counter your opponent’s primary threat or effectively clear out their supporting units.
A common example would be following up your Hog Rider with a pre-emptive Log. This clears out any swarm units on the ground played by your opponent to counter you.
Spells can also be used effectively when used on units standing next to your opponent’s towers, maximising the spell’s value by also hitting the tower. Another way would be to eliminate multiple enemies with a higher elixir cost than the spell you are using.
Picking the right spells depends on the support your main unit needs, the most common counters it faces in the current meta, and the spells these counters are most susceptible to.
To build or not to build
While using buildings as your main tactic is a whole different chapter, the most common use for them is defence. Against units that focus buildings like the Hog Rider or Giant, a building is an especially great way to prevent your towers taking damage.
Check out this handy guide to building placement:
Whether you want to use a building or not again depends on the current meta and the most commonly used cards that cause you the most trouble.
If Hog Riders are the name of the game right now, using a building can make your life much easier. If Sparky or Goblin Barrel are all the rage, you might want to use that deck slot for something else.