Beginner's Hellish Guide to the Graveyard! (2.0)
Who the hell am I?
Hey guys! I'm /u/ICantThinkOfNameHelp , and today I will be showing you the ultimate guide to the graveyard spell! I have studied /u/yyarn 's video on the graveyard, watched it about 15 times and got graveyard the day of the release. I tested with my graveyard literally HUNDREDS of times in training matches and spent about 100 gems on classic challenges, and my best was 10 wins in a classic challenge. (Not much of a feat, so why I didn't bother to show in the first place).
What the hell is it's place in this meta?
This has a very good place in the meta! It's a very powerful card, but that's only when used right (Why I made the guide) Golem is becoming a considerable tank to tank for it for once with the recent buff it got (Death damage now has the ability to hit air, killing minions) and lavahound is rising too because of the meta mega minion, and is another great tank that is hard to deal with. And of course, there is always the classic giant that people are still using, even after it got nerfed SEVERAL times. Graveyard has an excellent place in the meta because of the rise of beatdown decks, and because of golem and lavahound becoming the most used tanks it takes the VIP seat in the meta! NOTE: I will be editing this with a whole new paragraph as the meta changes, so read it while you can!
How the hell do you use this card?
How does this card work?: The Graveyard is a hit or miss type card, similar to the 3 musketeers if you've ever tried them. This card has multiple counters, so it doesn't have much accuracy. However, if you can completely hit with it, it becomes one of the most destructive cards in the game, even stronger then a Sparky that got a hit on a tower because you lagged! BUT, it only can be that powerful when used right. Treat this card as a support type, like a princess. Don't try to win with it on it's own, you will most likely miss with it. (Like in hit or miss) So, use something else with it too. For example, let's say you have a lumberjack you send down a lane. Use the graveyard as a SUPPORT to your lumberjack. If you actually have a lumberjack consider trying this, I do it with my lumberjack all the time and it is a very destructive combo. You will learn more about it in a few sections.
How do you use this card on defense?: Graveyard can be even better than tombstone on defense, hell maybe even Ice Wizard! Probably not, just exaggerating. But it's still very nice on defense! Graveyard isn't a reactive card, as when you place it, it takes 1.5 seconds for the first skeleton to spawn. Then all you need to do is predict it! It works really well on defense against slow tanks, because the seconds don't matter. But it becomes a solid defense when you combine it with Inferno Tower. It can destroy huge pushes like Pekka Double Prince! Graveyard skeletons distract while the Inferno Tower kills them! Only use on big pushes (that are worth more than 10 elixir or equal to 10 elixir), cause graveyard + inferno tower = 10 elixir. Remember, only use this as a last resort defense. It shouldn't be your go to defense, as you want the card to help take towers. And it's true, a good offense is a good defense!
How would a noob use this card?: This is basically a "What not to do" list. First off, a noob would:
Place the graveyard in a bad position. DO NOT DO THIS, as it can activate the king tower when you place it wrong. I will go more into the positions later in the guide.
Use the graveyard by itself. DO NOT DO THIS, as if they have a counter in rotation you'll have just lost 5 elixir. Use it as a support to another card.
Use the graveyard as their only win condition. DO NOT DO THIS, as graveyard has many counters and if they have even 1 of them it's almost impossible to win, unless you make smart plays like baiting out your opponent's counter. So use it as a support to your main win condition, OR use it as a 2nd win condition, a backup.
Place down a graveyard on the king tower, mirror it and freeze like they saw in the leaks. DO NOT DO THIS, as you will obviously lose. Only do this when you're having fun with a friend, or just looking to drop a few thousand trophies. It may seem obvious to you, but remember these are noobs we're talking about.
Difference between playing this card in double elixir time, and playing it during the first 2 minutes: This card is so much better during 2x elixir than the first 2 minutes.(especially in beatdown decks) It works really well, and you can be more care free when using it. But, you probably will need to use it during the first 2 minutes. Of course, you can always keep it as a surprise but if you're planning to use it during the first 2, just know it'll be harder. All you have to do is be careful when using it. If you know your opponent has a counter, then make sure it isn't in their hand or in their rotation. A good way of getting it out of there is by baiting it out, or cycling to graveyard faster than they can cycle to their counter. These will be explained later in the guide. Be careful when placing it too, as you do not want to activate the king tower. Just keep in mind that you need to be careful!
Difference between using in ladder and using in tourneys: (Ladder means the normal battle system, you enter it through the battle button. Tourney means tournament, which has capped levels. It basically means you can only have a card up to a certain level depending on rarity, it will be lowered down to that level if you have it higher than the capped level) Honestly, each one is equal. Both are very situational. For example, it's better in tourneys when your opponent has overleveled cards. An example within this example is when your opponent has overleveled goblins, that he's using to counter your graveyard that you can't even zap! But it's better in ladder when you have graveyard at lvl 2 or higher. Or if you are using a beatdown deck with lavahound that is lvl 2 or above. Also, some decks are better in ladder, and some are better in tourneys. In ladder you'll want to use if you have your legendaries lvl 2 or above, and tourneys if you hate stuff like overleveled cards. It all comes down to your preference.
Difference between using in lower arenas and using in higher arenas: It's kind of like Sparky. It completely wrecks unprepared players who don't know how to deal with it in lower arenas (A4, A5, A6) and will push you up some arenas. However, in higher arenas (A7, A8, A9) it takes more brain power to use, because players will be more experienced and they will easily deal with it. You have to be smarter, like I said you have to do all these cool plays like baiting out the counter, cycling to graveyard faster than they can cycle to their counter and stuff like that. Don't expect easy wins when you get up there in the arenas. Even if you lose remember this is a game. Graveyard has the potential when mastered to get you to 4k, maybe even more!
Difference between playing it when there is 1 tower, when there are 2 towers and when there are 3: This is CRUCIAL to the graveyard. It's one of the things you really need to know if you are planning to get to legendary arena. When there are 3 towers you can almost instantly take a tower. However, when you take a tower you can't use it without a tank, it becomes harder to get the 3 crown or 2 crown. Why? Because both the king tower and the other tower are in range, meaning they can both attack it, meaning it becomes obsolete. But when there is only the king tower left, it becomes easier to destroy the tower because you don't even have to worry about activating the king tower--You can place it wherever you want!
Where the hell do I place it?
(NOTE: I used these from /u/yyarn 's video on the graveyard!) Listen up guys, this is the most important section! I was originally planning to put it as a subsection for the section before this, but it's so important it needs it's own section. To show how important it is, even if you read this guide multiple times without ever reading this section, you'll never win with graveyard. YEAH. THAT IMPORTANT. Enough blabbering, let's do this! First off is....
Here is an album (think that's what it's called) on where NOT to place your graveyard
Here is an album (think that's what it's called) on where to place your graveyard
What cards can you use to make graveyard even more hellish?
There are wayyyyy too many cards that power up the graveyard, so I will only be showing the best ones, and the ones that were close to being the best. All of these are tanks of some sort, obviously because you want it to be left alone so all the skeletons attack the tower. (Remember, just tell me about a card and I will consider adding it to the list) But before I go on to these I have some honorable mentions!
Knight (Nice tank for it, however it is too slow and gets taken out too quickly)
Giant Skeleton (Good tank, however the death bomb always goes to waste for me cause the graveyard takes the tower too quickly, and the giant skeleton dies in the spot the tower was in)
Any ranged unit except for Bowler (I like these, however they are too fragile to tank for the graveyard...)
Those were the honorable mentions, they're good but not good enough. Try those if you don't like any of the combinations here, use them as a last resort. Now, onto the real list!
Lavahound/Golem/Giant: These are some of the more expensive combos, but it is definitely the most destructive. Graveyard and either of these cards can 3 crown people in an instant if the opponent isn't ready. Use the combo during double elixir so you can keep adding to the destructive army, and try to overwhelm your opponent so much they give up and leave. When you got a massive army with the combo they pretty much can't stop it without perfect plays and hard counters. One of my favorite cards to use with graveyard, use this if you love to 3 crown and just destroy everything. It really works well in double elixir.
Freeze: Definitely one of the best cards to use with graveyard. I like to call this combination the Glaciated Grave! Really destructive, but the bad thing is freeze only lasts for 4 seconds.....But that's all graveyard needs to kill a tower! Basically how you use this is you play a lone graveyard on the opponent's tower. DO NOT use your freeze yet. When they try to counter it, that's when you bring it out. Freeze their counter AND their tower. However, you need to be a somewhat skilled to use this, because you can only use this once at any point in the match as a suprise against a skilled player. Because they will probably pull out some weak counter to it, then after you freeze it they pull out their real counter. Similar to how people countered hog freeze back in the day. So basically use this as a suprise when you need to, and use a backup tank in the deck if you are using glaciated grave. And use this if you are familiar with freeze, and if you aren't but want to use this guide
Miner: The miner is the cheapest good combo to use with graveyard! Use this as a quick push that goes right to the tower! Put the miner behind or to the side where his back isn't facing the opposite tower, and you got a destructive combo! This isn't the most destructive combo, so you should only use if you like quick cheap combos. Even if it isn't as destructive as the others, it's still very destructive! The only downside is that Miner is a legendary, so you can't use it if you don't have these 2 specific legendaries. BUT, ice golem/knight can be a good replacement! (Best one out of the 2 is ice golem)
HogRider/LumberJack: My god, combining either of these cards with graveyard can take a tower in mere seconds! One of my favorite combinations, I like it even more than the lavahound/golem combination! These 2 cards are fairly tanky, and really destructive! Supporting it with graveyard = Good Game! The only sad thing is that the push doesn't last long enough to take a tower then take the king tower like golem/lavahound. Use this if you like to be really destructive but the high cost of golem/lavahound drove you away.
How the hell do you counter the graveyard -- and how the hell do you counter those counters?
If you don't have the graveyard, you probably find it hard to counter if you are in the lower arenas. I'll explain the graveyard's counters, and for those who have the graveyard I'll explain how to counter these counters. I'll explain all the common counters and how to deal with them. If you have any questions when they use another card then the ones here, just ask me in the comment section. If you want a deck that uses these counters, I recommend the graveyard cycle deck in the next section.
Goblins/Spear goblins: These pesky goblins are really fast and take care of it easily, so a zap/arrows will kill them.
Barbarians: Whenever you see barbarians dropped, you fireball + zap. Lightning only works a little, as there are 4 barbs and lightning only hits 3 targets.
Musketeer/Witch/Wizard/IceWizard: Same as barbarians! Also, a little tip. If your opponent has multiple of these units, you can use lightning. It'll one shot them all! Of course, fireball + zap can one shot them all too. TIP: Lvl 1 Ice Wizard and Witch can't one shot the skeletons, so it can still deal lots of damage!
Valkyrie: Unfortunately this is the strongest counter the graveyard, and I think only rocket works. If it doesn't work, do rocket + arrows/high leveled zap. Or just any high damage dealing unit, such as Mini P.E.K.K.A.
Minions: Unfortunately, zap cannot one shot it at tourney standards. So a nice arrows will do! TIP: Don't always focus on making positive elixir trades. Sometimes you won't have the cards to do it. Think of it as a value trade. If you don't have arrows, and those pesky minions are making your graveyard obsolete, I dare say fireball it! Think of the value: You lose 1 elixir to save your graveyard, taking his tower. Losing 1 elixir to take a tower is a good value trade! (Plus you can maybe hit the tower with the fireball too!)
Bomber: Same as minions! And same tip as minions!
Lumberjack: Lightning plus arrows/Rocket should work! Again, if Rocket doesn't work just use rocket + arrows/high leveled zap. Again, any damage dealing unit could work too.
Archers: This is a good counter, as it can't be zapped/arrowed/logged! Only thing you can use is fireball for the best elixir trade, or maybe some 3/2/1 elixir troops.
Guards: Ugh, I hate this counter! Arrow the shields then zap them!
Skeleton Army: Zap/Arrow away!
Graveyard: That's right! Graveyard can counter itself! When you use it and you know they have graveyard, place it down a lone lane. They will probably counter it with their graveyard. When they do, send any of these counters at the bridge to stop it.
What hellish archetypes does this card work in?
You can use this card in many different archetypes! It goes in almost every deck (Remember, almost. Not every single deck in the game) and surprisingly works! Enough blabbering, and on to the archetypes! First off we have.....
Beatdown: Okay, this is obvious. It works just too well! In beatdown decks, we usually have big strong tanks wrecking towers. These are usually the more expensive decks, hovering around the 4.0 average elixir cost. So graveyard fits right in! It SEVERELY powers up these kinds of decks (especially tanks), and your opponent will have a hard time dealing with it! Use it if you love unstoppable yet expensive decks!
Bait: It works too well in these decks! Not really zap bait, but rather Valk Bait! The idea for a normal bait deck is to have tons of cards that easily die to the card you are trying to bait out in the deck. This can be baited out many ways. One of the most popular bait decks is zap bait, and what they usually do at the beginning of a game is send a lone skeleton army down a lane, and they are forced to deal with it! They will use zap/any area damager, then you kill it and send down a bunch of easily zappable things down a lane and completely wreck their tower, because they already used their zap! Easily one of the most annoying decks to deal with, and graveyard fits in perfectly! I've seen tons of valks now days, and they will probably use it on the lone skeleton army. Then you can wreck the tower with graveyard care free! Adds a great offense to this archetype. And this hovers around an average elixir cost of 3.0 because most easily zappable troops are low cost except for minion horde.
Spawner: Even though graveyard is classified as a "spell" it is basically just a spawner that can go anywhere! You can either use it as a normal spawer, or a spawner that can go anywhere! Every spawner user dreams to have it, because it adds such a powerful offense to the archetype! Most spawners usually have a tank of some sort. So graveyard will power up that tank, plus add another spawner! This archetype usually hovers around 4.0 average elixir cost because spawners take up a ton of elixir!
Siege: This works amazingly well in siege decks! Siege is where you play it safe by attacking from their own side by using ranged buildings (Mortar, X-Bow) or spells! (Rocket, fireball) These decks never have any troops, and hover around 4.0 for building siege and 3.5/4.0 for spell siege, it all depends on what spells you use. Spell siege only attack the king tower (they have nothing to lose, they don't have any troops) and building siege usually goes low for the 1 crown or 2 crown because they have to play it safe on their side. It goes awesomely well with both types of siege, fits more into the spell siege though. As it does to most of these archetypes, it adds an amazing offense and allows easier 3 crowns!
Cycle: This is actually my favorite type of archetype to use this card in! So much I made a deck on it that you'll see in the next section. But this archetype hovers around 3.0 average elixir cost, hell maybe even lower! This archetype always have low cost cards to cycle to your main win condition! The main idea of the archetype is to cycle to your win condition (Hog, Graveyard) faster than your opponent can cycle to their counter! Players who use this archetype usually have a very fast paced and offensive playstyle and never stop attacking because if they do they will have an elixir overflow! I hate these types of decks cause I run a beatdown deck with graveyard, and sometimes I need to recharge elixir. But for people who constantly attack I'm forced to deal with it, never allowing me to pull out my high cost tank. So keep in mind, you can use cycle to completely deny beatdown. But this works really well in cycle decks because graveyard is a really offensive card, and if you use it as a second win condition and as a support for the main win condition, you can just say Good Game at the beginning of the match and easily win!
Which hellish decks should I use?
There are tons of good decks, but like last time I will be only mentioning the best ones, and the ones that were close to the best. These are awesome decks I've found from youtube videos, subreddit posts and TV Royale. BUT, I want to say 2 honorable mentions!
HogYard: (Good, but not good enough for a spot here. Use if you like the playstyle of freeze!)
Giant Grave: (Couldn't find any videos on it, but the deck is Giant, Graveyard, archers, MM, skarmy, tombstone, zap, fireball. Creds to /u/Timmy_69 for reminding me of this one)
On to the real hellish decks!
The Graveyard Cycle Deck: This is actually one of the decks I made! And no, I'm not trying to get you to look at it. I mention it because I actually think it's pretty good, the best deck I could make! The idea of this deck is well, to just cycle to your tank and your graveyard! It's extremely strong when you use it right, because the second main idea of cycle decks is to cycle to your push faster than your opponent can cycle to their counter, and graveyard has tons of counters, so if they don't have it you can just say GG and win! Even if they do have counters, the deck is designed to counter almost any counter to the graveyard! (Curse you, valk!) Play this deck if you really like playing really fast paced!
Grave Rider: Thanks to /u/Turi2029 for linking me this deck. But, this deck is awesome! It has the potential to be one of the best decks in the game! Hogrider and graveyard have near perfect synergy, it has the potential to beat every deck in the game when used right, and has an amazing offense/defense, and the best part is it won the youtuber 12 wins in a grand challenge--FIVE TIMES. Not lying at all! Look at the video he shows you! This deck has so many synergies with the graveyard, you got hogrider, ice golem, archers. Use this if you love to destroy the hopes of players.
Golem Graveyard: This deck is becoming the meta, and for a good reason. It's just good. There are many variations of golem graveyard, but I like this one the most. If you don't have Ice Wizard, you can just use baby dragon! I THINK you can use lavahound instead of golem, but again I'm not sure. But all that out of the way, it is amazing! The best part about golem graveyard is you don't really need support troops. But as you can tell, all you gotta do is let that golem tank for your tower! And destroy the hopes of players! That's.....pretty much it.....
Conclusion of the hellish guide
I worked really hard on this, and I hope you read it all. Don't just skip to the end, if you really want to learn read all of the guide because every single part is important. But if you don't have time right now and just want to have a quick read, there is a TL:DR 2 sections below this. Just come back and read the whole thing if you have time later!
Overall, graveyard is a good card. It works in many decks and many archetypes. It has many counters but those counters also have counters. If you don't have any defense, if you must you can use graveyard as an option. It's a hit or miss card, and when it hits it kills. It works extremely well in the lower arenas, but at the top arenas you need a bit more brain power to use it. It has a very nice place in the meta.
Thanks /u/ICantThinkOfNameHelp for sharing such an informative card guide with us.