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A New Off-Meta Pure Siege Invention for X-Bowler Deck

Hey guys, today we have Bellator_Gaius here to share his new off-meta pure siege invention: X-Bowler deck with us. This deck uses two unconventional cards, X-Bow and Bowler, and managed to hit into the Top 4 of SMC.

SLOT [1]: X-Bow
This slot is the [win-condition] slot, and in many cases the only win-condition in this deck. You are relying on X-Bow to shoot down the tower, and in many cases, you only need 1 or 2 X-Bows to win the game. Exploiting holes in the opponent's deck cycle or elixir cycle is critical. X-Bow is an easy card to counter, especially with a meta of Giant being dominant. Playing such that your opponent cannot align their deck cycle against yours is so important when you're facing a good player.
SLOT [2]: Bowler
This slot is the [primary support] and [primary defense] slot. Bowler excels in a ground-based meta where cheap ground troops swarm all over the place. It stops deadly pushes such as the Trifecta, hog/Mini-P, hog/spirits, hog/gob, Mini-P spirits, Giant/support with ease given the right timing and the right positioning. In my opinion the key to using this card is to turn it from a sturdy defense that can't be eliminated with Poison or Fireball into an excellent support for the X-Bow
SLOT [3]: Ice Wizard / Princess
This slot is the [secondary support] and [secondary defense] slot. You probably cannot replace either legendary with anything else. This support aims to assist the Bowler by covering its weakness: air and directional-staggered troops.
SLOT [4]: Mini Pekka / Barbarians
This slot is the [DPS] slot. You'll want to use it as the main component against a tank (Miner, Giant, RG, hog), but you're unlikely going to get it to the tower.
SLOT [5]: Guards
This slot is the [distraction] slot. It is the counter to the best counter against X-Bow and Bowler in a neutral scenario: Mini Pekka.
SLOT [6]: Pick one of:
Cannon or Tesla
Other option in Slot [3]
Fire Spirits or Ice Spirit
This slot can either be the [lure] slot or an additional [secondary support] and [secondary defense] slot. If you opt to use a [lure] slot, your defense will be sturdier and you can also use the [lure] slot as an additional protection for the X-Bow. If you opt to use another [secondary support] / [secondary defense] slot, you'll have less time against pushes but will be able to cover the X-Bow and Bowler's weaknesses a bit more, especially against Minion Horde.
SLOT [7]: Pick one of:
Elixir Collector
Arrows or Fireball
This slot is either the [momentum] slot, to generate momentum advantage through elixir and momentum staggering, or the [secondary spell] slot aimed at assisting the X-Bowler combination.
SLOT [8]: Zap / Arrows
This slot is the [primary spell] slot aimed at eliminating cheap swarms. If you are lacking a powerful MH counter in all other slots, Arrows will cover the weakness effectively.
Woody's X-Bowler deck (created by Turtwig)

Turtwig's X-Bowler deck

My X-Bowler deck

X-Bowler is an important invention because it has essentially redefined what is meant by siege.
My previous comments on what is meant by "pure siege" decks:
They primarily rely on chipping away the tower's health continuously with the use of siege cards while turtling the whole way throughout the match. Unlike [burn] decks, a bad intuition and feel for the current momentum isn't a death sentence to a [pure siege] deck. These decks rely more on mechanical plays.
However, with the advent of X-Bowler, we see very clearly that pure siege is no longer a deck archetype to be played trivially by plopping down defenses at the bridge and scrambling to defend it with the cards in hands. X-Bowler is so successful because you are investing into the future with Bowler. Very few old-school siege decks do this. By plopping down the Bowler at the back, you are capable of creating a 15/16 elixir (X-Bowler + IW/P/Mini-P) siege threat at the bridge, compared to the usual 11/12 if you had just dropped the mortar on the bridge and plopped down a few defenses and cheap troops around it.
This is so successful because the new pure siege now combines the power and advantages of tank-beatdown decks and the old advantages of pure siege decks.
X-Bowler is a deck that does not solely rely on siege mechanical plays but also relies on momentum, on manipulating the enemy's deck cycle to throw them off yours, and on generating momentum advantage to build a winning siege threat. Previously, siege is all about throwing down mortars at the bridge and protecting it reactively. Now you're a building a SIEGE PUSH by placing a Bowler from the back. This is completely new territory. /u/TurtwigData might figuratively be the scientist who stumbled upon a new chemical.
What makes this sort of interaction make sense is from Bowlers being able to punish ground pushes by stalling. The longer you stall with Bowler, the more momentum advantage you are generating for your push. After all, you can drop your X-Bow at any time. The more elixir they dump into a push that you can defend with Bowler and other cards, the more elixir you have for your siege-push because when defending, the Bowler is uniquely capable of stalling as much time as possible due to knockback. Your defensive troops will stay on your home field longer, a classic characteristic of pure siege decks where the enemy finds it difficult to touch your elixir on your end.
Once you drop the X-Bow, the Bowler will continue providing pushbacks to common counters to X-Bow: Barbarians, Mini Pekka, Miner. This pushback delays the counter, giving your X-Bow and secondary defensive troops more time to eliminate the counter. More importantly, it can potentially retarget counters away from the X-Bow. You might not have enough elixir to place Guards against the Mini Pekka initially, and the Mini P lands a shot on the Bowler, but after the Bowler pushes back the Mini P, and you place the Guards late, the Mini P will retarget onto the Guards.
Against decks with Lava Hound and air, you are on a race against time. You want to finish off the tower as soon as possible. Lava Hound can't tank X-Bow shots which means LH decks aren't actually as good as you think against X-Bow. It also does very little damage against X-Bow. Despite X-Bowler's low anti-air it is not weak to classic air assaults.
What it is most weak to, however, is the Giant.
The easiest way to defeat X-Bowler is ironically to turtle up yourself. Use Giant to tank X-Bow shots from as far as possible and grind down their tower with Poison, while making sure to pressure as much as possible and deal chip damage with Miner/Princess/Poison. Be relentless and make sure not to let them throw off your deck cycle (do not throw your Giant unless you see an X-Bow) no matter how hard they try to stall the cycle. There may come a point where you have Giant / Zap / Poison / Mini Pekka, and playing any of these don't make sense. Regardless, you should never, never, dump your Giant before you see an X-Bow, that's how they want to manipulate your deck cycle and force your giant out. Even playing Zap on the tower for no reason is better than playing Giant.
As an X-Bowler player, once you see a Giant, you'll want to keep the momentum in your mind the entire game. You will want to stagger around cards and timings such that when you play an X-Bow, they don't have their Giant in hand. This is critical because once they see your first X-Bow, they can counter the second easily with Giant if they know what they have to do.
I'm not very sure on how this deck matches up against a good RG player. You'll find none of those on the ladder, and it is usually pretty easy to eliminate their RG without even bothering to throw off their cycle due to its low HP. I'd imagine RG + reactive Guards (against Mini-P) would do very well against X-Bow, making certain the Guards aren't targeted by Bowler.
The rest of the deck revolves around the classic back-and-forth plays we know so well. Princess + Zap against Minion Horde, Mini P against Hog, etc. It is the X-Bow + Bowler combination that is particularly synergistic and powerful in this deck. Utilize it well and you will see the fruits.

Check the gameplay video below and learn more tips about the insane x-bowler deck.

Thanks Bellator_Gaius for sharing such an informative guide with us. This guide first appeared on Reddit.

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