In-depth Deck Guide for Heavy Offensive Spell Bait
Sup, dawgs. It's q1a2 with a new deck to try out. I've been looking at the spell bait decks in the current meta, and they generally seem a little too defensive for my playstyle, so I revised them to make an exciting new spell bait deck. This is a very long guide, so if you want, try it out first, then look back here for advice. I don't expect you to read this all at once. Jump around the guide and have fun with this great deck. I've made a guide for a very similar deck, but this guide is much more helpful in the current meta.
Table of Contents:
* The Cards
* ~Early Game
* ~Middle Game
* ~Late Game
* ~Common Combos
* ~Taking the Second Crown
* ~Countering Counters
* ~Against the meta
* Why I love this deck
Brief Card Descriptions:
* Giant Skeleton - The main tank, but also a last resort defense.
* Miner - Secondary tank to help with counter-pushing.
* Goblin Barrel - Amazing synergy with both tanks and Zap bait.
* Skeleton Army - Defends one lane, while the half pushes the other lane.
* Minion Horde - Tank and tower killer; usually what you bait for.
* Princess - Air defense and bait for The Log.
* Elixir Collector - Heavier spell bait; lets you build bigger pushes.
* Arrows - Superior air defense and killer of most counters.
This looks like an average spell bait to some, but while the others constantly defend and chip down with Miner/Princess, this deck's best defenses are its numerous offensive threats that demand attention.
An offensive deck has an offensive strategy. Playing this will likely be extremely difficult for most players who haven't used it before. If you have ever called a deck that usually wins with one crown offensive, this will be especially important to focus on. It is mostly simple logic, but reading the fundamentals that we know subconsciously can be helpful.
I'm going to be honest. I lose a tower in the first minute about 40% of my matches. When you don't know what your opponent carries spell-wise, you will get punished to a pulp. Also, the investing in an Elixir Collector often costs a significant portion of a tower's health.
Some of the best opening moves are
* Giant Skeleton in the back (if you have Goblin Barrel and Minion Horde/Skeleton Army)
* Miner+Goblin Barrel combo (sometimes just the Barrel if you have to)
* Elixir Collector (don't use if you have nothing to counter a Hog push on hand)
* Princess in the back (just to stall a bit)
One last tip is to use emotes to convince your opponent that they are making good moves, when really, it could be a setup for a punish later. This sort of "training" your opponent can help you get them to fall for much easier baits.
Play offensively and try to trade a tower for a tower. Your deck will almost always be a much more urgent threat to take care of, so if they start building a push from the back, do the same in the other lane. You will get them to waste elixir, and you will bait out their spells, making defending with Minion Horde or Skeleton Army a breeze (usually).
Play in both lanes. This deck almost always wins with two crowns, so don't try to much to stick with one target. Miner is amazing for turning any defense into offense, so use him liberally, even if your swarm he is tanking for is taken down a few times. This makes your opponent fearful of any stragglers, and they will often over-counter when you don't have Miner ready.
Keep track of your opponent's elixir and cycle. If they are falling back on less-desirable defenses, pour on the pressure. If they are defending fairly well, focus on keeping them distracted and getting Collectors down. This deck is a little higher cost, so it will not line up into a very repetitive cycle. Improvise wildly if you think something that would usually be stupid will work.
Double elixir is the bomb! You will be playing swarms right and left (and you better play both right and left, or your push will be incinerated in one spell). This is when you can start building up the huge combos in both lanes, but be careful to keep any cards with common counters separate (Skeleton Army and Princess don't mix). With the higher elixir and usually three Collectors, play with little regard for cost.
If you are behind by a tower, play a lot more in the lane that you are missing a tower in. If no towers have been taken, keep trying to trade one-for-one (one-for-none is nice, too). If you are ahead one tower, play more defensively, then as soon as they set up something bigger in desperation, take their second crown (see "taking the second crown" below). If it is one-to-one, play semi-offensively (to prevent them from building up something bigger) and drop a huge combo on their side once they've fallen behind in elixir.
Now that we have the general feel of this deck down, let's talk details.
The general rule for combos is tank+glass cannons, but each one has its own situation where it shines.
Miner combos are simple and usually come off of a defense. For example, a player blindly leads with Hog Rider and you drop Minion Horde. They Zap the Horde, leaving them to kill the Hog with only a small amount of health left. Drop a Miner as they cross the bridge, and that small amount of health doesn't matter, since nothing is finishing it off.
Miner+Goblin Barrel is a pretty safe option that lets you deal direct damage for cheap. It can take a tower on its own, so the opponent is forced to answer the threat. Hope that they use a spell, but Skeleton Army is an increasingly common counter to watch out for. Timing this combo takes a little practice. Chuck the Barrel, hesitate for a moment, then place Miner. This will let the Miner start tanking right before the Goblins land. Also note that this combo works just as well if the Miner is dropped on a different target. He can take out a Princess or Elixir Collector while the Goblins take the tower.
Miner+Skeleton Army is pretty fragile, and I only really use against Lava Hound without Minions. It is super threatening, but has too many counters to count.
Miner+Minion Horde is a finishing blow. If you know that your opponent has no counters, drop this as fast as possible for an easy tower (send Miner first, followed immediately by the Horde at the bridge). I would recommend using this at least once early on to see your opponent's reaction. If they use a troop to counter, try placing Minion Horde a bit further back, then getting Miner to ambush their troop right as they place it.
Giant Skeleton+Goblin Barrel is the unrecognized combo. Timing is everything with this. Most opponents will wait to ambush your Giant Skeleton from behind. This means that you have a full second after the tower locks onto the Giant Skeleton before the opponent even tries to start Killing him. A perfectly timed Barrel will have enough time to take a tower even if a Valkyrie is placed behind the Giant Skeleton. This forces your opponent to find a counter for Goblin Barrel. The beauty of it all is, a spell used just brings you closer to the Miner+Minion Horde combo, and any troops used will likely get killed by the Giant Skeleton's bomb. The opponent can't just ignore the Giant Skeleton either, because he only has a few seconds before his bomb is in tower range. This is a great combo to insure that your opponent uses a spell, and it often deals substantial damage.
Giant Skeleton+Minion Horde+Goblin Barrel is the wombo combo. it leaves your opponent with two terrible options of what to let run loose on their side. You have two sets of very powerful and easy to kill troops, but the opponent can't hit both at once. This is a tower claimer if you are at an elixir advantage.
The Second Crown
Perhaps the best part of this deck is the second crown. It does OK at the first and third, but the second is usually a breeze. When a Royal Giant thinks that it is advantageous to trade one crown for one, they quickly realize how wrong they were.
Giant Skeleton in the middle of your side=panic. Tack this on to any counterpush and watch your opponent's plans go out the window. The threat of it reaching the tower is super urgent, and it tanks for any troops so suddenly, few people react well to it.
Goblin Barrel+Giant Skeleton works even better here. An opponent sees a Goblin Barrel and thinks, eh, I have two towers that can take them out quickly enough. Suddenly, Giant Skeleton. The Goblin Barrel is a threat that they have to respond to and, oops, I forgot about the Giant Skeleton. This combo works amazingly the first time.
Giant Skeleton+Skeleton Army is the other main second crown taker. Place the army instantly after the Giant Skeleton right in the center of your opponent's side, and they push him to the tower, block any tank killers, and deal a lot of damage to both of your opponent's towers. If you time your Elixir Collectors right and have a huge advantage, you can combine this with Goblin Barrel for a convenient cardiac arrest for your opponent, followed by a great chance to BM (just kidding, don't, it's rude).
* Fire Spirits- Best handled by good predictions with either Arrows or Miner. (Arrows looks awesome when you pull it off) Even be willing to Arrows a pair from the Furnace, because the opponent would never expect it.
* Princess- Same as Fire Spirits.
* Valkyrie- One of the bigger counters to this deck, she is best handled with Minion Horde pushes.
* Bowler- Once again, Miner predictions are essential. Get him pointed away from the rest of the push.
* Inferno tower- Drop Minion Horde by the center of the river so that they attract the Inferno Tower's attention, while the Giant Skeleton attracts the Crown Tower's.
* Ice Wizard and Wizard- Miner again. Against these, you can also try playing your Minion Horde on the far outside, so that they can kill the Wizard while he is locked onto Giant Skeleton.
* The Log/Zap- Throw Goblin Barrel to the side of the tower, causing them to waste a spell. I haven't emphasized much Goblin Barrel mind games, but I'm sure that there is a guide out there. Learn them.
* Baby Dragon and Witch- Cry. Play dirty. Go to their clan and request a rematch with a new deck.
This is much less important in this deck; however, while you should accept tower damage, knowing how to stop opponents is useful.
Let them lock onto the tower. With so many glass cannons and a constant need to use tanks for pushing, you need to just wait and accept damage, then drop a Skarmy/Minion Horde on whatever you want dead. Don't play multiple swarms together, as they are just as fragile in a group. Some lighter tanks (Miner, Knight, Valkyrie) are actually good to respond to with a Giant Skeleton. Let him lose a bit of health, but generate that elixir advantage. Heck, use him on Hog Riders if you deem it worth the damage the Hog will deal.
Lighter swarms (like Skarmy) are best handled by Princess. Medium swarms (Barbarians and most supports) are very positively traded against with a Giant Skeleton, but avoid using him only for defense.
Against the Meta
Giant Bowleris a nightmare. Hope that they waste spells on something trivial at the start, and punish them hard for it. From then on, they will be ready and won't leave themselves so punishable. Giant Skeleton+Miner and Princess can be used to play chip style, along with split Minion Horde, but in general, this deck will beat you.
Lava Hound is fun. This frequently becomes a three-crown rush of sorts. Start pounding the opposite lane with Giant Skeleton+Goblin Barrel+Skeleton Army, and watch. They have to decide when to kill it, and that often opens up the opportunity for you to fight back with Minion Horde. Make sure that you have a Princess locked onto their Hound push right next to the tower (you want them to Log her, since that's the biggest counter to the push up above. These always end up being two or three crowns for whoever wins. Difficult, but enjoyable.
Golem decks are getting popular, but with a deck as threatening as this, you can make sure that it never gets support and can kill it with Skarmy (let the tower handle the Golemites). If available/safe, using Minion Horde from behind the Golem is best. Remember to accept damage and wait for troops to start locking onto your crown tower.
Hog Riders are pretty easy. They do not expect to come across someone willing to let the Hog reach their tower. Counter with Skarmy at first, then counter with Minion Horde if you suspect they have the Log. They will try to stop your defense before you play it, so always switch them up. The biggest mix-up is waiting for their Log to plow through and placing Skarmy. Once again (this is getting old if you've been reading straight through this), accept damage before countering, be it because of Spirits, the Log, or Archers.
Spell Bait is a harsh ditto match. As an under-leveled player, I personally hate any deck that uses Skeleton Army, the biggest counter to my Skeleton Army. The swarms counter swarms, and where there deck has Inferno Tower and a defensive chip base versus a deck with only Princess and Arrows for Minion Hordes, this isn't exactly a ditto. Try to go for more brute strength. Most of them don't carry two splash spells, so if you get them to waste one, well-done Arrows/Miner can give you a lucky tower. Try using both Giant Skeleton and Miner in your pushes, and make them less frequent. Counter a Princess at the bridge with Minion Horde, since that leaves them with only one counter left.
Royal Giant is annoying only because it is so frequently accompanied by Furnace. Take out the Furnace with Miner, but save it for the last moment, when they are overconfident in their defense. Minion Horde and Skeleton Army split to do offense and kill Royal Giant can make for an even chip trade. If you get tower for tower, their Furnaces are all too vulnerable, and the second crown is even easier than usual. Definitely one of the easier match-ups.
Why is this such a good deck to play?
First of all, it is strong, while still being original. Using Giant Skeleton and Elixir Collector makes the deck unique enough to throw off opponents used to the meta. Second is cycle speed, which rarely matches my opponent's. This means that I have to adapt each push, so it is a very strategic deck. Similarly, the way you play is vastly changed by what seem like unimportant decisions in your opponent's deck building (especially Zap versus the Log). This makes even the meta seem fresh every time. Last, is the offensive aspect. Would you rather a three-crown rush, or a slow chip battle between Hog Riders or the Miner? To me, offensive play splits the game into much bigger chunks, depending on tower health. Playing both lanes also literally is adding a new dimension to the game. To summarize, this deck doesn't get old and requires fast thinking. That is why I love it. It's fun.
This is a super fun offensive variation of the meta spell bait decks. Try to play both lanes, focus on offense, and use (Miner or Giant Skeleton)+(Minion Horde or Goblin Barrel or Skeleton Army) as your basic push. Once you get a crown for a crown trade, keep doing pushes with Giant Skeleton in the center of your opponent's side. ALWAYS REMEMBER, TAKING DAMAGE OR EVEN A TOWER IS OK IF IT PUTS YOU IN A BETTER SITUATION.
Thanks for reading. Let me know how much you read, and if you try the deck, let me know what you think of it and any card substitutes you enjoy.
Lots of people seem to doing that this works, and I'm having trouble with replays, so join my Clan, "Cali Kings" (Gold Crown, Blue Background). I should be near the top as Rooker. Join and I'll show a replay or face you myself.
Thanks q1a2 for sharing such an informative deck guide with us, this deck first appeared on Clash Royale Community.