The hog rider deck is one of the first archetypes of clash royale. The hog rider is still a very strong win condition today. He can be found in fast cycle decks, at low elixir cost. The objective is to outpace your opponent!
How to use the hog rider deck
Targets : buildings
Cost : 4 elixirs
The hog rider is a ground unit that only targets buildings. He is often deployed at the river to put pressure on the opposing tower. The hog rider is one of the few cards in clash royale that can jump over the river that separates the two sides.
His placement is paramount. If you deploy a hog rider stuck to the edge of the battlefield, your opponent may not be able to defend the hog with a defensive building if he misses his placement. Therefore, pay attention to your opponent’s cards in order to place your hog rider optimally.
The hog rider can also be deployed in the center to attack an elixir collector positioned in front of the king tower.
If your opponent ignores the hog, his tower will suffer severe damage. That’s why he will always be forced to defend him. One of the most popular decks in clash royale is the hog 2.6, a very fast cycling and technical deck. Here, you’ll find cards at 1 elixir (ice spirit and skeletons) that allow you to cycle and retrieve the hog very quickly in hand, before your opponent has even been able to retrieve his defensive building.
This feature makes the hog rider deck very strong in simple elixir. So don’t wait for the double elixir, be aggressive from the beginning of the game instead. It is also a punitive deck: if your opponent deploys a golem, send a hog to the opposite side, he won’t have enough elixir to defend it properly.
How to counter the hog rider?
There are several effective methods to counter a hog rider deck.
The first is to deploy a defensive building that will withstand the blows of the hog rider. Among the most effective buildings are the tesla, the inferno tower, the bomb tower, the huts and the mortar. Note that the mortar can defend the hog and target the opponent’s tower at the same time: a positive elixir trade!
Some ground troops are also very effective at defending a hog rider. If you deploy a pekka or a mini pekka halfway between your tower and the river, the hog won’t connect with your tower! When defending with a mega-knight, you will have to deploy him directly on the hog to take advantage of his knockback effect when deployed, but you will take a hog rider hit.
Spawners like barbarians or the skeleton army totally stop the hog. Beware however, they can be one-shot by a fireball and a zap respectively.
The bowler and the hunter are also viable options but the best option remains the ram-rider. The latter totally freeze the hog rider in addition to offering you an opportunity to counter-attack!
Finally among the spells, the tornado can be extremely valuable. With a good placement, while waiting for the hog to connect with your tower, you can activate the king tower. This will facilitate your next defensive sequences against the hog rider deck.
Supporting cards in the hog rider deck
The hog rider deck very often contains a ice golem. This small tank is very useful because he protects the hog and when he has no more HP he can eliminate bats or skeletons. It is interesting to note that the hog rider has a higher speed than the ice golem, so it will push him and accelerate his movement.
Then we find the spells that are essential to support your win condition. In the new meta, the earthquake has a very good synergy with the hog rider. This spell only targets buildings including tesla even when it’s underground! The zap and the log are also very useful to get rid of spawners like skeletons and goblins. The fireball and giant snowball have the same knockback mechanism as the mega knight, which will keep small troops away like a mini pekka used in defense against the hog rider. Finally, freeze is also an interesting option because it can neutralize all your opponent’s counters if it is well placed!
Small troops can also be placed behind the hog rider like bats or goblins. This will prevent your opponent from using a tornado to activate his king’s tower.
Finally, we find the musketeer and the firecracker in the hog rider deck. These cards ensure your defense and will be able to support your hog in counter-attack. Your objective is to protect them as much as possible in order to force your opponent to use more elixir to get rid of them.
This deck was popularized by the Japanese player JACK who finished several times in the top 10 in ladder with the hog 2.6. It is one of the fastest decks in clash royale. You have to attack from the very beginning of the game. So if you have your hog rider in hand, deploy him at the river and watch your opponent’s defense. It’s important to understand how your enemy will handle the hog rider. Depending on his response (building, troops, spell) you will have to support your hog with the appropriate cards. In defense, the cannon will be precious combined with the musketeer. Take care to space them sufficiently apart so as not to give spell value to your opponent. If possible protect your musketeer with skeletons or an ice golem.
Hog rider earthquake deck
Average cost in elixir : 2.6
Code name : Hog firecracker earthquake
Another fast cycle hog rider deck. This time we have two cards from the new meta: the firecracker and the earthquake. The firecracker is very difficult to eliminate because every time she fires a rocket, she moves backwards, so try to protect her as much as possible by sending a hog rider or by deploying an ice golem in front of her. The earthquake works particularly well with the hog rider to get rid of buildings that prevent the hog from connecting with the opposing tower. In addition, it slows down the action speed of the troops in its range, so don’t hesitate to use it in an attack even if your opponent doesn’t have any buildings in his deck. Finally, the mini pekka will be very useful to defend an opposing tank!
Hog rider executioner deck
Average cost in elixir : 3.4
Code name : Hog executioner tornado
A second win condition completes the hog in this deck: the rocket. If you can’t connect with the hog rider in attack, then you can start to rocket cycle in double or triple elixir. Beware, this strategy is risky if you are not confident in defense. The tornado + executioner combo should allow you to counter any beatdown decks including the lava hound deck. However, when facing the x-bow, use your rocket on it instead, but all depends on your cycle. Valkyrie replaces here the ice golem to tank the hog rider: this push can be devastating if your opponent doesn’t have the right cards in hand! Very solid defensively, this deck requires practice, especially on the placement of the executioner, the last defensive wall!