Best Clash Royale Decks – March 2019 (Legendary Replacements)

Hello everyone, my name is zigge and in this page I’m going to share with you the best Clash Royale Decks for Grand Challenges as well as 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 gameplan, 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.

Legendary Replacements: The Log can be replaced by Zap.


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.

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 overcommit 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.

Legendary Replacements: The Log can be replaced by Zap.


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 P.E.K.K.A, Golem and Hog Rider.

Against P.E.K.K.A, pair your Royal Giant with Guards to hopefully 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, Arena Tower.

Legendary Replacements: Electro Wizard can be replaced by Musketeer or Archers.

Golem Poison

Clash Royale GolemClash Royale PoisonClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Tornado

Clash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Night WitchClash 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 steamrolling your opponent. 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.

Legendary Replacements: Lumberjack can be replaced by Mini P.E.K.K.A or Electro Dragon, Night Witch can be replaced by Electro Dragon or Inferno Dragon.

Lava Hound Lumberjack

Clash Royale Lava HoundClash Royale PoisonClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Tombstone

Clash Royale Baby DragonClash Royale Flying MachineClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Lumberjack

Lava Hound decks have gotten more similar to Golem decks recently. You have the tank, two main spells (usually Poison and Barbarian Barrel), your building (or Tornado) and then 4 support cards, preferably spell resistant ones that are also good on defense.

The gameplan is quite similar, but there are a few additional things to think of when playing Lava Hound. Namely, keeping track of what your opponent’s air counters are, and always having a Tombstone out on the board.

As for matchups, they’re pretty much the same, except for Golem, Royal Giant and the gentle Giant. In all three cases, you should try and defend your opponent’s push first, then place a Lava Hound in front of your surviving units for a strong counterpush.

Legendary Replacements: Lava Hound cannot be replaced. Lumberjack can be replaced by Miner or Mini P.E.K.K.A. 

P.E.K.K.A Bridge Spam

Clash Royale P.E.K.K.AClash Royale Battle RamClash Royale BanditClash Royale Royal Ghost
Clash Royale MinionsClash Royale Electro WizardClash Royale PoisonClash Royale Zap

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 P.E.K.K.A 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 overcommit 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.

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

Sparky Goblin Giant

Clash Royale Goblin GiantClash Royale SparkyClash Royale MinerClash Royale Zap

Clash Royale Minion HordeClash Royale Goblin GangClash Royale BatsClash Royale Spear Goblins

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

It utilizes the recent Sparky buff in combination with the Goblin Giant.

The Zap bait element also gives this deck an edge, freeing you up to use your swarm cards if they zap your Sparky.

Miner is a great utility card mainly used to support your pushes or quickly pressure your opponent when combined with either of your swarm cards. You can also use him on defense against a Royal Ghost or Bandit if you have no other option.

Legendary Replacements: Sparky cannot be replaced, Miner can be replaced by Fireball but I would not advise it.


Ram Rider Cycle

Clash Royale Ram RiderClash Royale LumberjackClash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale Bats

Clash Royale Ice GolemClash Royale PoisonClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Giant Snowball

This is a pressure-control-cycle deck. With an 8 Elixir cycle you can quickly get back to your Ram Rider.

Bats and Inferno Dragon have a great synergy due to them both providing great dps if not zapped.

Lumberjack is a secondary dps card which doesn’t have the same weakness to Zap that Bats and Inferno Dragon do.

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 defending with a Ram Rider and take no damage, while dealing great damage to your opponent’s.

Snowball and Ram Rider is one of the strongest offensive two card combinations in the game. Snowball knocks their Knight or Mini P.E.K.K.A 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.

Giant Miner Triple Spell

Clash Royale GiantClash Royale fireballClash Royale ZapClash Royale The Log
Electro DragonClash Royale MinerClash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Prince

Giant Triple Spell decks have never really been weak in the meta. If you could call it weak then now would be the time.

Giant is one of the most versatile win conditions in the game, especially when paired with the Miner, allowing you to switch to a Miner Fireball gameplan if you’re not getting through with your Giant pushes.

Against beatdown decks you’ll always want to push your Giant at the bridge when they invest in the back. You should typically do this against all decks that can build up a stronger push than you (Golem, Lava Hound, heavier Giant decks).

If you’re facing a cheaper deck your main focus should be on defending and counterpushing with the left-over units. Alternatively you can start a Giant at the back in the lane they’re pushing, forcing them to go into the opposite lane.

Versus P.E.K.K.A decks you’re best off only playing the Giant in a counterpush or never at all. You could also bait their P.E.K.K.A out with a Prince in the other lane.

Legendary Replacements: Miner cannot be replaced, The Log can be replaced by Ice Spirit but I would not advise it.

How to improve your existing 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 playtesting 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 which 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 which synergize well? If not swap out cards to make a good synergy.

Decide of you want to use synergizing spells or synergizing troops, or both. 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 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 your 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!

Role Examples
Win Condition Clash Royale GolemClash Royale Hog RiderClash Royale X-Bow
Second Win Condition Clash Royale BanditClash Royale RocketClash Royale Goblin Hut
Offensive Support Clash Royale MinerClash Royale Clone SpellClash Royale Freeze
Main Defense Clash Royale BarbariansClash Royale Minion HordeClash Royale P.E.K.K.A
Defensive Support Clash Royale Ice WizardClash Royale TornadoClash Royale Flying Zappies
Removal Spell Clash Royale fireballClash Royale LightningClash Royale Poison
Utility Spell Clash Royale The LogClash Royale Barbarian BarrelClash Royale Zap
Passive Building Clash Royale FurnaceClash Royale Goblin HutClash Royale Barbarian Hut
Defensive Building Clash Royale Inferno TowerClash Royale CannonClash Royale Tesla
Cycle Card Clash Royale SkeletonClash Royale Ice SpiritClash Royale Bats
Splash Damage Clash Royale ExecutionerClash Royale ValkyrieClash Royale Baby Dragon
Point Damage Clash Royale Mega MinionClash Royale Inferno DragonClash Royale P.E.K.K.A
Glass Cannon Clash Royale Dart GoblinClash Royale Flying MachineClash Royale Magical Archer
Mini Tank Clash Royale KnightClash Royale ValkyrieClash Royale Lumberjack

Sometimes decks will you many of the same type of card. 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?

Let’s start with the differences of ladder and challenges. Below 4000 Trophies, Ladder only has a 1-minute overtime while challenges have a 3-minute overtime. This means that it’s easier to play for a draw but challenges the longer overtime allows more time for more opportunities to damage a tower. Above 4000 however, the overtime lasts for 3 minutes. Another difference is card levels. In Ladder, cards can be drastically over-leveled, but in challenges, cards are capped to Tourney standard to keep the playing field equal.

Many Ladder decks will use a high leveled, common-heavy deck to take advantage of the higher level cap.

Another thing to note is if your ladder deck is weak to certain card(s), it’s no big deal. You can take a loss from time-to-time, but in challenges, you can only lose 3 times before it ends. Challenge decks need to be very solid to be able to counter a wide variety of archetypes.

Consider the Meta

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

What is the meta? The meta is the strategy which 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 which 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 because you will still need 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 generalizing in 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.