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A Brief Analysis of Meta Decks in December

I'm going to start a series of meta deck threads for legendary arena. Look out for mote in the future. 

The meta decks currently are hard to pin down. Some things are certainly common (lots of swarms, splash, and direct tower damage), but finding particulars takes time. After much time spent looking through replays and testing, I have decided to show the four decks that currently best define the meta.

Icy Hog Cycle 

- Hog Rider
- Ice Spirit
- Ice Golem
- Archers
- Mega Minion
- Fireball
- The Log OR Zap
- Inferno Tower OR Tombstone OR Cannon OR Elite Barbarians

This deck has been around for a while simply because it works so well. It has a common spell set, Archers and Mega Minion to stop smaller pushes, and a variety of options for a card to defend heavier pushes.

Playing the deck:
This deck is usually pretty defensive. Kill their troops, make weak counter-pushes, and do a Hog Rider push when you have an advantage. The most classic push is Ice Golem followed by Hog Rider and Ice Spirit. Recently, the new buff to Elite Barbs has allowed them to compete in this deck for a more offensive game. They can do mediocre defense for their cost, butthe reason to use them is after you place an Ice Golem in front for counterpushing. This deck is good for rushing the other lane against heavy decks.

Playing against this deck:
Try to avoid using any sort of swarm on defense. With help from the splash from Ice Spirit and Ice Golem, a Fireball or Zap will easily mop up any of those sorts of counters. If you run spell bait, use Inferno Tower to kill Ice Golem, and then use the swarms. If you are truly desperate, just accept some damage until the icy troops die. Since the deck is pretty defensive in some players' hands, feel free to dropping Fireballs on the Archers along with the tower to slowly chip them down. The biggest counter to this deck that I have found is Three Musketeers. They can defend the push without letting the tower take almost any damage and the only way to stop them is for the opponent to use both spells. Air decks also tend to do well against them, provided that they don't rely too heavily on Minions.


Freezeyard 

- Bowler OR Elite Barbs
- Freeze 
- Graveyard
- Archers 
- Mega Minion 
- Ice Golem 
- Tombstone 
- Zap

This deck is starting to fall out, but is still popular at the very top. Graveyard is a devastating force when uncountered, and since most of its counters are troops, a simple Freeze can buy the Skeletons those few seconds they need to kill the tower.

Playing this deck:
It seems pretty defensive at first, but this deck involves much more risk than many of the current meta decks. The main damage dealt is going to be from Graveyard protected by either Ice Golem, Bowler, or Freeze. It also can be used as a distraction to allow a Mega Minion or the Elite Barbs to make it to a tower. Constantly push, and if the opponent looks like they are going to back a tank, play Graveyard in the other lane to draw their resources to the wrong lane. Then Tombstone, Archers, and Mega Minion can clean up the failed push. Unlike many current meta decks, this one is definitely fine to go for the second crown instead of just holding a victory at one. Solid counter to Hog Rider decks.

Playing against this deck:
The entire deck revolves around damage from Graveyard, so save your counters to it in your hand at almost all costs. If you have two, save them both so that you can place one, then the other after the opponent plays Freeze. If they do get you trapped, wait for a bit until you Zap/Log the Skeletons. Remember that the earlier you counter, the more Skeletons will have avoided the Log by not being spawned yet. Minions, Archers, Guards, and Valkyrie are all very solid for defending against their pushes.


Airfecta 

- Lava Hound
- Miner
- Mega Minion
- Minions
- Tombstone
- Zap and Fireball OR Arrows and Lightning
- Minion Horde OR Inferno Dragon OR Baby Dragon
This deck is hard to define, and there are so many variations that I just took the simplest. Just a mostly-air deck to punish those who choose not tohave much defense for it.

Playing this deck:
Lava Hound with support is the main way to kill a tower. It is used mostly to carry high DPS troops to the tower, but it can also serve as the high DPS. It can be tanked for with a Baby Dragon or Miner; the moment the Crown Tower finishes off the Lava Hound, it retargets onto the tank, and the Pups wreak havoc. Be carefull of the lack of ground defense. Mini-PEKKAs, Princes, and Giant Skeletons can be deadly to this deck of you don't save Tombstone for it. Make sure to have spells around for Inferno Towers and get the Lava Hound to the tower with any of its synergies for an easy win against ground melee decks.

Playing against this deck:
Be cautious when using spells against a push. You may need the Fireball or Arrows you just used for their next push. Make sure you know all of the details of their deck before feeling confident enough in your defense to push the other lane. For decks with very little air-defense, pushing the other lane should be a high priority. Playing Hound leaves them with three elixir tops. Take advantage of that. Also, ground troops used as distractions can always be a last resort, especially against pups. Ignore the Hound and try to tank and spank the support with Archers or Mega Minion when defending. Be prepared for Miner and practically assume that they will pllay it whenever the Hound pops.


Spell Bait Control 

- Miner
- Princess
- Skeleton Army 
- Goblin Barrel
- Minion Horde
- Inferno Tower
- Zap ur The Log
- Furnace or Fireball
Another punisher deck. This will easily beat any opponent without much for splash. If they do have splash, it becomes a very hard battle that can be won only through clever mindgames.

Playing this deck:
Ignore elixir trades. It doesn't matter if they are two elixir ahead of they have no counter for the Minion Horde you just played. Try to play troops in different areas, to make sure that they never can take too much with a spell. Use the Princess and Furnace to chip them down, and use Miner to chip in some pushes and as a tank for some swarm in others. Remember Goblin Barrel mindgames. If they miss it with their Zap, they will be a card behind for a long time as you keep holding the pressure on with more swarms. Use Furnace and Princess to handle swarms on defense and Inferno Tower and Skeleton Army for the tanks. Constantly chip a tower down and stall the ending. This deck tenda to do terribly at the second crown, since it uses Miner, so don't let them take a tower at all costs.

Playing against this deck:
Prioritize. Know which cards they have and how well your troops can counter them. Then take the biggest problems and save spells for them. Be aware of the chip damage to yourself, and try to prevent it. Don't do as big of pushes, and save elixir to support yourself with spells. Some cards that do great against these are The Log, Zap, Arrows, Bowler, Wizard, and your own Princess.

Building your own deck for this meta
- Try to note the meta decks and think through how you would play against each one. 
--Don't get too caught up in making a deck that can counter all of them, after all, if there was a deck that could beat every other deck, there wouldn't be anyone using anything else. Accept that your deck can get countered.
- Usually have one or two tank troops.
-- (In order of best to worst) Hog Rider, Ice Golem, Giant, Royal Giant, Miner, Lava Hound, Golem, Giant Skeleton, PEKKA.
- Add some sort of defensive building of you want to do a one-crown deck. Think of if you are more weak to Hog Rider or heavier tanks to help you decide.
-- Inferno Tower OR Cannon OR Tombstone
- Think of how well you can handle swarms, air, and Inferno Tower to help you decide your spell set.
-- (Some common ones) Just Zap, Zap and Fireball, The Log and Fireball, Arrows and Lightning
- Add filler cards of your choice to comport the deck.
-- Try to have a good balance of defense, counter-push, and offense cards.
-- Avoid having all of your tank support weak to the same spell. You don't want to lose everything to one Fireball.
-- Try to have a few cheap cards to handle things like a Princess at the bridge.
-- Some staple cards are (Archers, Mega Minion, Princess, Ice Spirit, Elite Barbarians, Elixir Collector, and Skeleton Army)
-- The higher your average deck cost, the more coverage you need on defense (multiple tank killers, swarm killers, support distractors, etc)
- Test your deck and don't tweak it after every loss. Do a few more rounds, and switch one card, then repeat. Once you've found a good deck that fits your style, you can win and have fun at the same time.


Thanks for reading! Hopefully I'll be doung this again next month.

Thanks q1a2 for sharing the monthly meta decks with us, the guide first appeared in Supercell Forum.

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