Why Heavy Decks Fail [and a 6.0 Cost that Works for Arena 10]
Howdy peeps. q1a2 here to talk about why my favorite deck style has been seing some decline. I have always loved heavy decks, but even when the cards get buffed, the decks seem to get worse. I've been doing some experimenting with heavier decks (6.0 average cost at 3800 trophies), and I've found what I think are are the reasons that heavier decks just aren't working as well for many people (including me). As always, feel free to jump around and read as much as you want.
a)Some cards require too immediate of a response. To list a few: Elite Barbarians, Miner, Hog Rider, Royal Giant, and Princess. These troops tend to not be extraordinarily hard to take down for a positive elixir trade, but if untouched, they are extremely powerful against your towers. This mostly applies to Elite Barbarians and Royal Giant.
If you play a Golem in the back, and the opponent plays one of these right at the bridge, it is extremely hard to make up for the huge amount of damage your opponent just got. The cheaper troops provide a different problem. They are hard to kill and make an invested push on.
Often, my cheapest counter to Princess will cost as much as four elixir, and its push will be useless without support, so I have to wait and make a large push that will take it out. Miner is super similar to Princess, in that countering his micro-push will require an expensive card that isn't worth playing without support. Hog Rider has both of these terrible effects, but I'm a slightly smaller scale. To solve this problem, make sure your deck carries a cheap, mediocre counter that can be played right after playing your heaviest card, and will be semi-useful against almost any push (Guards are amazing for this).
b)We focus too much on single cards for each role. This applies both to win conditions and counters. With a heavy deck, you will not be able to spend some time setting up a nice cycle. That would take the first half of the game.
Don't say to yourself that you will use Mini PEKKA to counter Hog Rider and assume that anyone attacking with Hog Rider doesn't stand a chance. Your opponent will likely use it about 1.5× more frequently than you will have Mini PEKKA. This means that on every third defense, you need to improvise. You need to know how to use every card in your deck on both defense and offense, and judge each situation using what's available.
Also, be able to improvise any sort of counterpush. If using a weird card as a tank (things like Goblin Barrel and Dark Prince) is the only option, so be it. This means that you need some all-arounder cards that are able to do well on both sides of the arena, such as Elite Barbarians and Three Musketeers. These should be able to fill the variety of roles you need to play a heavy deck. Oh, and don't forget tank and spank.
c)People tend to play decks that go for one crown while completely stopping the opponent. This doesn't work for heavy decks, since they don't have solid defensive options. It is almost impossible to have two counters to every meta push, and if you don't, they will lutcycle you and win.
With a cast array of mediocre counters, you need to be able to get a lot of value out of your push for it to be worth trying. Big beatdown will usually be the way to go. Make sure that the cards all have good synergies and aren't all countered by the same things (I tend to be very weak to Rocket and Barbarians).
Have good coverage in troops instead of spells so that you can have that long-lasting and self-sustaining push that will give you some elixir advantage back when the opponent tries to counter. Make sure that you have the sort of slow build-up push that will take a multi-stage defense to take it out. Make your threat per elixir bigger than theirs.
d)The Elixir Collector is both necessary, and harder to protect. OK, necessary isn't the best word, but it is extremely nice to have, as it lessens some of the problems that I've already mentioned. Your opponent has three ways to react to one. First, they can kill it with Miner, which is pretty terrible to try to counter with a heavy deck. Second, they can spell it with Fireball or Lightning. Blocking that requires bait, but in a slow-cycling deck, you need a lot of bait. Third, I will discuss in the next section. There isn't really a solution to this except in gameplay. Be careful of when you play it.
e)Many players feel that sitting at ten elixir is a waste. I'm not just talking about the start of a match. I mean when you are at ten elixir, they are at eight, and you don't have any cheaper cards in hand. Just wait. Let them make the first move so that you can counterpush and be safe from the rush threat. Where this mistake is made most is with the Elixir Collector.
The third, and worst response to Elixir Collector is to rush the lane and destroy a tower. Someone plays it and instantly loses a tower to Ice Golem+Elite Barbarians. Even at the start of the game, wait if you don't have one of your better defenses available. The disadvantage that playing a card gives you (especially the Collector) is often worth as much to you as the 1-3 elixir you will let your opponent catch up on, so choose the lesser of two losses. Once again, be the judge of each situation and decide the value of playing each card, considering both players' options. Don't play a card just because not playing one is bad. Playing it might be even worse.
Anyways, try to keep those in mind when building and playing a heavy deck. They aren't that powerful, but (time for an argument) I would say that they take more skill than cycles. Cycles go unpunished for small mistakes, repeat pushes, always have the same defensive trucks available, and don't consider the risk involved with investing in each card. Overall, they require less adaptation.
Last, but not least, the deck. This has held me in a range from 3800-4000 with cards about a half level above standards:
-Lava Hound (part of the Dank push)
-Golem (for taking towers in most games)
-Elixir Collector (explained above)
-Three Musketeers (main defense for bigger pushes, and spell bait)
-Elite Barbarians (useful for anything and spell bait)
-Minion Horde (part of tank and spank, a deadly defense after everything locks onto the tower, and spell bait)
-Electro Wizard (a cheaper mediocre defense for any push, spell bait)
-Arrows (anti-Princess and Minions)
Good luck using it.
Thanks for reading (no matter how much you did). Please let me know what I missed, leave your heavy decks, tell me if this helped, make a snide remark, or argue about any point I made. Also, credit to KN11F3D for the Dank push.
shared by q1a2