“ Surprise! It’s a party. A Skeleton party, anywhere in the Arena. Yay!”
Graveyard is unlocked from Arena 12 (Spooky Town) . It spwans 16 Skeletons over a wide area anywhere in the Arena. The Skeletons swan in a random place alond the spell’s radius.
Quick Graveyard Guide
The Graveyard is a very unique card that requires the support of an entire deck to work effectively. It is also a high skill card (at least the cards that accompany it) and one that can a huge problem for you or your opponent. The core concept of playing Graveyard is to defend with other units, especially splash cards, then using these surviving defenders along with spells to stop units defending against your Graveyard. Poison has an interesting relationship with the Graveyard. It accompanies it very well due to its ability to stop swarms, but can also counter it very well now that it kills Skeletons with one tick.
Using the Graveyard on the offensive is relatively simple, but it is hard to know when to use it. It requires knowledge of the entire match and your opponent’s deck. Ineffective Graveyard usage can be punished very hard due to its high cost and lack of damage that it does to defending troops. When using the Graveyard, it is important to place it on the opposite side of the King tower so you don’t accidentally activate it.
Defending the Graveyard is relatively simple, and it has many counters, but messing up can be disastrous. It is important to hold onto your counters and take care of the tanking cards. Good counters include:
- Swarms: They do a very good job of countering the actual skeletons but are extremely vulnerable to spells, especially Poison.
- Ranged cards: The Dart Goblin, Princess, and Archers are also effective, especially because of their high attack speed.
- Melee cards: Certain melee cards are very good at countering the Graveyard. These include the Lumberjack, due to his high hit speed and good health. Another option is the Valkyrie. Her splash allows her to take out multiple skeletons at once, making her an extremely effective counter.
- Spells: These can be used as a last resort counter. It is very important to wait for a little before playing them so you can kill multiple Skeletons.
Unfortunately, it very hard t prevent the Graveyard from doing any damage. This is what makes it such an effective card, especially in long matchups.
Advanced Guide and Tips for Graveyard
Being Patient is the Key
The key to playing graveyard is getting the most value possible out of your cards, and it is especially important in Graveyard decks.
A well-timed Graveyard can single-handedly win the game for you, so waiting until your opponent makes a mistake or waiting until they are vulnerable is incredibly important in Graveyard decks.
Because one Graveyard can win a game, you don’t have to play it like Hog Rider cycle decks or Miner decks, where the goal is essentially to play your win condition as much as possible.
Instead, you generally want to wait until double elixir.
If an opportunity presents itself before then, go for it, but other than that just be patient.
For example, if you are up a bunch of Elixir or if you have a massive counter push coming down the lane, it is okay to play the Graveyard before double elixir. This should give you a lot of tower damage and put you at an advantage for the rest of the game.
Or, perhaps more importantly, if they play an elixir collector (ESPECIALLY if it is behind their tower) or a high-cost unit such as Golem in the back, it might be worth punishing them with the Graveyard depending on the situation.
Always take whatever value your opponent gives you:
Exploiting your opponent’s card cycle, punishing their mistakes, and counter-pushing are integral factors when playing Graveyard.
However, if you go in for a Graveyard push at the wrong time, you will get punished extremely hard for it.
To illustrate this, let’s do an analogy.
Generally, in order for a push to be effective, you will need 3 things:
- A tank of some sort (For the sake of this guide, we’ll say Ice Golem)
- The Graveyard (Obviously)
- A support spell of some sort (Again, for this guide, we will just assume it is Poison).
That is 11 elixir.
In other words, it is basically the same thing as putting an Ice Golem and then 3 Musketeers at the bridge.
It can work if your opponent is caught off guard, but if they have the right cards in hand and enough elixir, it is very easy to defend for a huge positive trade (For instance, Fireball + Zap. Or in the case of Graveyard, a simple Poison would do the trick).
So you need to be very careful when doing this, because you can really dig yourself into a hole.
Always identify the matchup
There are 2 main play styles when using Graveyard:
- Focus on counterpushing
- Just defend and wait for an opportunity to transition into offense.
So with that said, your job is to identify the deck or archetype your opponent is using as early as possible, and adjust your play style accordingly.
For example, if you are playing against Golem, usually defending and waiting is the way to go (Their support units will usually do a decent job of killing your defensive troops, making counterpushing useless).
If your opponent is using Giant, you want to defend their push and then punish them on the counter push using your surviving defensive troops.
Depending on the decks, the optimal play style might change, but for the most part those are the way to go.
Matchups for Graveyard
Let’s start with what is generally the hardest match-up for Graveyard decks.
This is for 2 reasons:
- 3M decks really force you to use your Poison on defense, which severely limits your options on offense.
- They make it difficult to counter push.
So basically, defending isn’t too difficult but going on offense is REALLY hard.
So it is VERY important to keep track of your opponent’s Poison bait cards (I.e. 3M, Pump, Minion Horde, etc), so you know when and when not to use your Poison. It is also important to recognize their mistakes and punish them.
Keys to Winning:
- Punish the Pump, ESPECIALLY if they place it behind their tower. If your Graveyard is not in cycle, just go ahead and Poison it.
- You want to get most if not all of your damage in single elixir, because in double elixir they will just keep cycling their muskies and it will be impossible for you to keep up. So in this match-up, you actually want to be more aggressive in single elixir than you do in double elixir. Just be wary of their battle ram, because they will punish you.
Siege Decks – Xbow/Mortar
These will also give you a lot of trouble, for the same reasons that 3Musketeers does. Especially 2.9 Xbow.
Poison management is really important here because it is paramount when defending their win condition.
These match-ups are slightly different from one another, but you play them basically the same way.
Just keep their win condition distracted with whatever cards you have, and get whatever damage you can on them using your spells and ranged troops. You will take damage, but as long as you keep cycling, you should be okay.
Keys to Winning:
- Double elixir. Just bide your time and defend the best you can, and when double elixir hits, start being really aggressive so they can’t play their win condition. If they do, defend it lightly and punish them HARD.
- Chip damage is okay. If they get a couple of shots from the Mortar or 500 damage from their Xbow, it’s okay. You need to sacrifice that so you can have enough elixir to punish them in the other lane.
The fact they have Poison by itself isn’t what makes this match-up particularly difficult, it’s the fact that they don’t absolutely need to use it on offense to get damage.
However, it does make offense harder for them because that extra Poison damage on the tower is really huge, without it takes much longer for them to chip your tower.
These games are usually really drawn out, so you just need to wait until they overcommit (They will have to eventually, if they don’t want to tie) and try to punish them for it.
Keys to Winning:
- Counterpushing is HUGE. You need to either catch them without enough elixir for their Poison, or just force them to spend a lot defending your counterpush so that you can defend more easily. Just don’t overcommit.
- You may need to play for a tie. This matchup is really hard to win, and it’s also really hard lose. So depending on the individual cards in their deck, your best option might be to just play for a tie.
This matchup depends pretty heavily on your individual cards, but not for the same reasons the other ones are. This one is difficult because, while offense is fairly easy, defending is REALLY hard. This is because unless you are running Executioner-Tornado or Ice Wizard-Tornado, their pushes are going to be basically impossible to defend unless you’re an amazing player.
Keys to Winning:
- Punish their Lavahound HARD. A good player will just tower trade with you, but if they’re bad, they will try to defend your push and try to support their own which will leave them pretty spread thin. If you do this enough times you should end up taking a tower with your tower have very little HP left, and from there you just defend.
- Against a good player, you will need to try to base race them, especially if you are using Graveyard freeze. Graveyard is a difficult thing to out-race because Graveyard does a lot of damage really quickly, unlike their Balloon and Lavahound which both move very slowly and have relatively slow hit speeds. So if you can, just try to 3 crown them and defend their push lightly.
Always try to bait out your opponents poison and other counters
Last but not least, this is pretty self explanatory.
Much like Goblin Barrel bait decks (Baiting the log) or Sparky decks (Baiting the rocket or zap), baiting out your opponent’s Poison is arguably the most important thing to consider when building a Graveyard deck.
Without it, your opponent will just save their Poison for defense and your Graveyard will be rendered useless. You need to have at least 1 or 2 cards that are reliable Poison bait.
That way, it forces your opponent to choose between Poisoning on offense and not being able to defend your Graveyard or Poisoning on defense not being able to break through your defenses.
Either way, it should work out pretty well for you.
However, Poison is not the only counter to Graveyard. It is definitely the hardest counter, but there are other cards that can counter the Graveyard well.
Other counters include swarm cards, splash damage units (Such as Valkyrie or Witch), or single targeting units with a fast hit speed (Dart Goblin or Lumberjack).
Those things aren’t as easy to bait out, but it’s possible.
In those matchups, you want to focus on counterpushing. That way, your opponent has to choose between using those cards on offense to support their pushes, using them to defend your counterpush, or using them to defend your Graveyard.
Also, it is in those types of matchups that Freeze really shines with Graveyard.
Overall Graveyard is a pretty tough card to pickup in Clash Royale right now but once you start practicing and get the hang of it,It is an absolute monster on the Clash arena.