Best Clash Royale Decks – December 2019 (Legendary Replacements)

Hello everyone, my name is zigge and on this guide. I’m going to share with you the best Clash Royale Decks for Grand Challenges, Tournaments, and Ladder. I have shown the strongest versions of popular deck archetypes but there are certainly other variations that are viable.

best decks clash royale

Best Clash Royale Decks For Grand Challenges

Classic Hog 2.6

Clash Royale Hog RiderClash Royale MusketeerClash Royale Ice GolemClash Royale Cannon
Clash Royale fireballClash Royale The LogClash Royale SkeletonClash Royale Ice Spirit

I’d be quite surprised if you didn’t know this deck by now. It’s been in the game for 2+ years and is still viable, although not at its peak.

It features quite a simple concept and game plan, although it has so much more depth than that. The two most important parts of playing it are pressure and card management

What I mean by pressure, is to not be afraid to push a Hog into the opposite lane if your opponent invests in the back, or even switch lanes entirely.

As for card management, it’s especially important with this deck not to throw away any cards since you only have Cannon and Musketeer for DPS, only Musketeer for air, and ice golem is your only tank. Never play your Musketeer in the back unless you’re responding to a unit played by your opponent. In some situations, it’s even okay to leak elixir if you don’t see a good play.

The Log can be replaced by Snowball, and Zap in lower Arenas due to the prevalence of the Skeleton Army.

2.9 X-Bow

Clash Royale X-BowClash Royale ArchersClash Royale Ice GolemClash Royale Tesla
Clash Royale fireballClash Royale The LogClash Royale SkeletonClash Royale Ice Spirit

Regarded as one of the most difficult decks to play by most players due to it requirement of playing excellent defense and continuously being able to cycle.  It also struggles against certain matchups and you need to play it differently for each one.

Always play passively until you’ve figured out what deck your opponent is using.

In most cases you wanna be defensive, the exception is against Lava Hound and Golem. Always pressure with an X-bow in the opposite lane when they drop their tank in the back. Make sure not to over-commit when defending your X-bow so you have enough to defend their push.

Just like with 2.6 Hog, you should be careful when playing your Ice Golem and make sure you’re not gonna need it in another situation.

The Log can be replaced by Snowball.

Royal Giant Lightning

Clash Royale Royal GiantClash Royale LightningClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Furnace
Clash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Electro WizardClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Guards

Now we’ll move on to easier decks. Royal Giant is and has always been one of the easiest decks to play in the game.

You have a very strong defense against both ground and air, Royal Giant shuts down X-bows and Mortars with ease. The only real worries are Pekka, Golem and Hog Rider.

Against Pekka, pair your Royal Giant with Guards to protect him from the deadly blade.

Versus Golem, you have to, just like X-bow, punish their investment with a Royal Giant at the bridge in the opposite lane. Space out your units on defense to avoid giving them Lightning/Poison value.

Hog Rider is the most difficult matchup. It’s important to protect your furnace so it can survive for their next push, as they will be back to their hog before you have it back in cycle. Don’t play your lightning unless you can hit 3 of the following: Hog, Musketeer, Ice Golem, Cannon, Princess tower.

Electro Wizard can be replaced by Musketeer or Archers.

Golem Beatdown

Clash Royale GolemClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale TornadoClash Royale Lightning
Clash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Dark PrinceClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Lumberjack

Also on the easier side of decks. Your plan is simple, build up a big Golem push that your opponent cannot defend. Sounds simple, but once you drop that Golem, you’re completely dry on elixir, and your opponent is ready to punish you. You have two options, either defend their push or focus on your own, letting them take your tower down.

There are a lot of decisions that have to be made quickly now. Will your opponent’s push take your tower? Do you have enough elixir to defend it? Will you be able to commit to your own push if you do? Will your opponent be able to defend your push if you don’t defend?

It’s easiest if they drop a small push like a lone hog Rider or battle Ram, you can counter it with a tornado or Mega Minion then move on to steamroll your opponent. In fact, sacrificing tower health for an elixir advantage is crucial so you can play a large Golem push safely. If they, however, support their push with an Ice Golem in front or a Bandit behind, you should consider leaving it and instead focus on taking your opponent’s tower, and possibly 3-Crown them.

Lumberjack can be replaced by Night Witch.

Three Musketeers

Clash Royale Minion HordeClash Royale Giant SnowballClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale elixir collector
Clash Royale BanditClash Royale Battle RamClash Royale Ice GolemClash Royale Three Musketeers

Three Musketeers are back! Sort of.

The deploy time nerf makes them almost useless on defense, center placed Musketeers are vulnerable to Fireball.

Start out the game with an Ice Golem in the back, then place a bandit in the other lane. Once you’re at full elixir you can put the Musketeers at the river. This will hopefully bait out their spell and allow you to pump up.

You can also start out more passive throwing small spells at towers and waiting for your opponent to make a move, or cycle to a pump.

Bandit can be replaced by Dark Prince.

P.E.K.K.A Bridge Spam

Clash Royale P.E.K.K.AClash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Dark PrinceClash Royale Magical Archer
Clash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Electro WizardClash Royale LightningClash Royale Giant Snowball

I wanna say this is one of the most intuitive decks to play.

There are three situations when you should consider pushing: when you’re ahead in elixir, as a punish play when your opponent invests in the back, or when you have leftover defending units.

Always save you Pekka for their tank, or for when they build up a big push. Against air decks you’ll rarely if ever be using it.

The most important thing to remember while playing this deck is to not over commit on offense. It’s a control-pressure deck, so you want to play defensive until you find an opportunity to push, kind of like you would with an X-bow deck.

Ram rider can be replaced by Battle Ram, Electro Wizard can be replaced by Musketeer.

Sparky Goblin Giant

Clash Royale Goblin GiantClash Royale SparkyClash Royale Dark PrinceClash Royale Giant Snowball
Clash Royale HunterClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Lightning

This is a rather new deck, mostly used by top players.

It utilizes the recent sparky buff in combination with the goblin giant.

The dark prince buff helps this deck a lot on offense and having 3 spells is always good, being able to clear out anything they throw down.

The hardest matchup is against Pekka. You have to wait until they play it and then defend with sparky. Without their Pekka, they’re easily gonna fall to your death ball push.

You can try to replace Sparky with the Prince.

Ram Rider Bridge Spam

Clash Royale LumberjackClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale BanditClash Royale Giant Snowball
Clash Royale MusketeerClash Royale Ice GolemClash Royale MinionsClash Royale Ram Rider

This is a pressure-control-cycle deck. With a 9 Elixir cycle, you can quickly get back to your ram rider and bandit.

It’s more offense-oriented with more bridge spam cards but a weaker defense.

Keep your Musketeer alive at all cost – it’s your highest range DPS and due to the long-range, she can sit in the middle of the arena, taking out pushes from all sides.

Ram rider is one of the most versatile cards in the game, being able to take out small swarms and immobilizing larger units both on offense and defense. Against balloon or Hog, you can defend with a Ram Rider and take no damage, while dealing great damage to your opponent’s tower.

Snowball and Ram Rider is one of the strongest offensive two-card combinations in the game. Snowball knocks their knight or Mini Pekka away, letting the Rider snare it in its place. Against swarms, Snowball can either completely take them out or render them vulnerable enough for the rider to finish them off.

The legendaries in this deck are necessary for it to work as intended.

Prince Rascals Bait

Clash Royale Goblin GangClash Royale Dart GoblinClash Royale PrincessClash Royale The Log

Clash Royale Goblin BarrelClash Royale PrinceClash Royale RocketClash Royale Rascals

Bait has been in the meta for over 2 years but has taken multiple forms. This is the most evolved form. It features the Prince and Rascal as main defensive units and another method for baiting small spells. Although this deck struggles if your opponent is able to build up a large push, it is able to apply lots of pressure to prevent this.

One of the biggest things about playing this deck is not overcommitting. It will leave you very vulnerable, and falling behind on elixir is usually fatal due to the lack of counters against popular win conditions.

Closing out games can be difficult with this deck. Rocket serves as your finisher method for taking care of large groups of troops but must be used with precision.

The Log can be replaced by another small spell but is preferred. Princess is necessary for all bait decks. 

Lava Hound

Clash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Night WitchClash Royale PoisonClash Royale Barbarian Barrel

Clash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale BarbariansClash Royale MinerClash Royale Lava Hound

Lava Hound can be played in many different ways. Popular decks include Lava Hound bait, LavaLoon, and LavaClone. They focus on either capitalizing on the Lava Pups spawned or creating powerful air pushes. Many feature a swarm card in the form of Guards, Barbarians, or Goblin Gang.

Each deck plays differently, but all are based on defending very carefully due to your limited defensive options, then capitalizing with a large Lava Hound push.

These decks do have some bad matchups and are meta-dependent, but can really rise to prominence in certain metas.


Lava Hound is obviously necessary, but Nightwitch and Inferno Dragon aren’t mainstays. Lava Hound Bait is a good budget option.




How To Improve Your Current Clash Royale Deck

Covering your Deck’s weaknesses

The best way to find out your deck’s greatest weakness is while using the deck in battle. Play against many different decks and find out what card(s) your deck struggles with the most. It doesn’t always have to be a certain card, it could be an archetype.

Once you have that figured out the weakness, modify your deck to cover that weakness.

You could do this by replacing one card with something that fills a similar role but also covers your weakness. For example, if you struggle against Inferno Dragon, you can sub in Electro Wizard for Musketeer.

Sometimes you will have to adapt your playstyle if you struggle against a certain archetype or Deck.

Your substitutions don’t always work. Keep play testing your deck to find the most suitable cards to use.

Always remember: No Deck is perfect, but no matchup is unwinnable.

Choosing the right spells for your Deck

Spells are one of the most important parts of your deck. They define your attack and defense. They are used to fill in the weaknesses of your deck and fulfill certain card roles that your cards don’t.

Clash Royale Decks can use either 1 spell, 2 spells, or 3 spells.

Too many, or no spells can be bad for a deck.

1 Spell – With only one spell, you will need to use a versatile direct damage spell. Usually, it’s either Zap or Arrows. Having only one spell allows for the use of more troops but weakens your ability for direct damage and to damage your opponent’s troops with spells.

2 Spells – 2 Spells are the most common amount used in a deck. One spell is a high-damage spell while the other is a low-damage spell. This gives you a versatile spell arsenal.

3 Spells – Having 3 spells gives your deck a lot of spell versatility and allows you to control the battle more. You have 1 high-damage spell that you reserve for certain situations and 2 versatile spells to use on the fly.

Use spells that fill in weaknesses in your deck!

For example, if you are using a Golem deck, use a Lightning spell to be able to take out an Inferno Tower. If your deck lacks splash damage, use Fireball and or Zap/Log to make up for the lack of splash damage. If you are using a “special effect” spell (Rage, Freeze, Clone, etc.), use Arrows or Zap for a versatile spell or use two other spells to give you the ability to use a high-damage spell and low-damage spell in combination with your “special effect” spell.

Creating Synergy

What is synergy? Synergy is when the combined effects of cards are greater than the sum of their separate effects. Some examples are Tank + Graveyard, Miner + Minions, and Executioner + Tornado.

Your deck in Clash Royale doesn’t always need to have every single card synergize. Too much synergy can make your deck too offensive or too defensive. Most decks are built around 2 or 3 cards which synergize very well on offense. The other cards are made to support that synergy. Now, look at your deck. Does it have a combo that synergizes well? If not swap out cards to make a good synergy.

Decide if you want to use synergizing spells or synergizing troops, or both. The synergy of spells will help with fast decks and synergy of troops are more for counter pushing or building up a strong push.

Here are the most important things to consider for your synergy:

  • Are they both card countered by the same card?
  • Is there a better synergy?
  • What is the elixir cost? Is it too expensive?

If you notice any weaknesses, go through the process of eliminating that weakness by having other cards to support.

For example, LavaLoon is countered Minion horde, so consider using Arrows in your deck.

Role Fulfillment in Clash Royale Deck

What is role fulfillment? Role fulfillment is the purpose that a card is in a Clash Royale deck. A card can serve one purpose or more!

Win ConditionClash Royale GolemClash Royale Hog RiderClash Royale X-Bow
Second Win ConditionClash Royale BanditClash Royale RocketClash Royale Goblin Hut
Offensive SupportClash Royale MinerClash Royale Clone SpellClash Royale Freeze
Main DefenseClash Royale BarbariansClash Royale Minion HordeClash Royale P.E.K.K.A
Defensive SupportClash Royale Ice WizardClash Royale TornadoClash Royale Flying Zappies
Removal SpellClash Royale fireballClash Royale LightningClash Royale Poison
Utility SpellClash Royale The LogClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Zap
Passive BuildingClash Royale FurnaceClash Royale Goblin HutClash Royale Barbarian Hut
Defensive BuildingClash Royale Inferno TowerClash Royale CannonClash Royale Tesla
Cycle CardClash Royale SkeletonClash Royale Ice SpiritClash Royale Bats
Splash DamageClash Royale ExecutionerClash Royale ValkyrieClash Royale Baby Dragon
Point DamageClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale P.E.K.K.A
Glass CannonClash Royale Dart GoblinClash Royale Flying MachineClash Royale Magical Archer
Mini TankClash Royale KnightClash Royale ValkyrieClash Royale Lumberjack

Sometimes decks will you many of the same types of cards. An example is Splashyard, which featured Baby Dragon, Bowler and Ice Wizard in combination with Tornado. This allowed for huge value on defense by clumping all units together and taking them all out at once with the splash units. Most Decks, however, will run cards that supplement each other but also have different use cases.

When assessing your deck, notice the roles that your cards have. Are you missing a role or do you have too many of one role? Use this knowledge to your advantage and see if different cards may work better.

Ladder vs. Challenge Decks?

People may classify decks as either Ladder or Challenge. What is it really that separates Ladder from Challenges?

The main difference is that Challenges are capped at level 9. This permits you to play most decks depending on your collection and also promotes more meta decks to be played. There will be much less off-meta decks, especially after a few wins. Check the decks on this page and ones on the leaderboards as suggestions, and know that your opponents will be frequently playing other top decks.

Also, some decks do better in challenges due to their ability to do well against in most matchups and have a high skill cap. This enables you to hit higher win levels.

Consider the Meta

The meta is an important thing to consider when assessing your deck.

What is the meta? The meta is the strategy that Clash Royale players have found to be the most effective throughout the balance changes. Some previous metas are Giant Poison, P.E.K.K.A Double Prince and Hog Trifecta.

The meta can sometimes vary between different trophy ranges. For example, in the trophy range of 3000-4000, elite barbs are used in almost every single match, while in the top 200, Elite Barbs are never used.

Since the meta is used very frequently, if your deck is weak to the meta, your deck won’t see much success. If you are in the trophy range of 3000-4000, use a deck that can counter Elite Barbs since they are seen everywhere.

You may also choose to use the meta. Since the meta is the most effective strategy, it’s the most like to get you wins, right? For the most part, you don’t wanna be modifying meta decks on your own. Usually, every card is there for a purpose, and swapping out a card might ruin a hard-to-spot synergy or even the gameplan as a whole.

Have Faith in Your Clash Royale Decks

The last thing I want to mention is to have faith in your deck. When you are using it, believe in yourself and have confidence.

Playing the same deck for a lengthy period lets you play it much better. While your playstyle improves, you will fix the weaknesses and mistakes that you normally make. Through much practice, you finally play the deck better than anyone else would.

The reason why changing decks can cause you to lose trophies is that you will still need the practice to master it. You will need to face many situations to figure out how to play in those situations.

Every card has many different uses beyond what you think you know. Using the same deck many, many times, allows you to discover secret tactics. When Three Musketeers first came out, nobody knew to split them. When people learned that and when cheaper mini tanks and cycle cards came out, it was finally worth playing Three Musketeers.

Of course, there are still disadvantages or specializing in one deck. Once that deck gets pushes out of the meta and starts to have little success, you will need to find a new deck when you have not practiced in any other archetypes. By playing a wide variety of decks in Clash Royale, you won’t specialize in any but will still be able to play well in every archetype.

-B-Yacht’CH (edit by zigge)


Hopefully, you have chosen the best Clash Royale deck for your play style after reading this page!

Don’t hesitate to comment and show us your favorite decks in the game.

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