Classic Bait: An Old Deck in a New Meta

Hey! Nitrome95 here. Today I’m going to talk about one of the most legendary decks in all of Clash Royale: one that has stood the test of time for years and years despite constant shifts in the meta.

However, because time has passed, I thought it would be a great idea to bring an updated guide to my favorite deck so that YOU can survive in the current meta. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Clash Royale PrincessClash Royale Goblin BarrelClash Royale The LogClash Royale Knight
Clash Royale RocketClash Royale Goblin GangClash Royale Ice SpiritClash Royale Inferno Tower

Classic Bait Deck Cards

Clash Royale Goblin Barrel

Goblin Barrel

Your main win condition aka the card that will net you the most damage.

It is best used when your opponent does not have a spell in hand.

However, don’t think that spells are the only counter to Goblin Barrels. Other soft counters exist including Goblin Gang, Electro Wizard, and Valkyrie.

Basically, try to keep track of all your opponent’s responses to Goblin Barrel and try to play around them.

Clash Royale Ice Spirit

Ice Spirit

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Great offensive and defensive value.

On offense, it can provide chip damage and possibly bait out a response from the opponent.

It can also tank for a Goblin Barrel or Goblin Gang, causing the tower to freeze and netting lots of damage if the opponent doesn’t respond.

On defense, it can protect your princess from another princess, or freeze a large defensive push, allowing your high dps cards and splash to wreak havoc on the opponent.

Clash Royale Inferno Tower

Inferno Tower

Super high DPS, but takes a while to cook up.

Great for defending against tanky units as long as you can protect it.

Also, it can synergize well to bait out Zap.

When defending, you should make sure that your opponent can get minimal Lightning or Poison value by placing your Princess on the opposite side of the tower.

Don’t be afraid to use this card on smaller tanks if you see you can get lots of value out of it, like defending a Princess.

Clash Royale The Log

The Log

Pretty self-explanatory. Good at defense against squishy troops.

Can also be used as a prediction if you know your opponent will use a squishy troop to counter your Goblin Barrel.

Clash Royale Rocket

Rocket

Also pretty self explanatory. While it can be used in emergency defense situations, its best use is to chip a tower or finish it off. It is especially useful against control decks where every tower hp counts.

Clash Royale Goblin Gang

Goblin Gang

Super good defensive juggernaut at both ground and air, but needs to be protected against splash. Also, don’t underestimate its power in offense, which can bait out spells or deal massive damage when paired with an ice spirit or knight.

Clash Royale Knight

Knight

Your main tank which has great synergy in the deck. It can defend by itself, help tank for a Goblin Gang on defense, tank for Goblin Barrel on offense, or protect a Princess on offense. The versatility of this card is endless.

Clash Royale Princess

Princess

Arguably the backbone of this deck. Your goal is to squeeze out as much value out of this 3 elixir as you can.

Normally, you want to place this card behind the tower: either near the center to defend both lanes, or the outside to better defend one land.

Once your Princess finishes defending (its splash is extremely useful), it automatically exerts pressure by firing at the tower.

If you can predict your opponent’s response, and they’re low on elixir, you can either block it with a Knight, Ice Spirit, or Goblin Gang. Your goal is to make it as tempting as possible to Log it.

If you play your Princess correctly, it will get tons of chip damage. If they use a spell against it, your Goblin Barrel will punish them hard.

As you quickly cycle through your deck, you will accumulate more and more Princesses to exert even more pressure.

Gameplan

Fast Cycle

This deck is known as a fast cycle deck, meaning that you want to place lots of cards to “outcycle” your opponent’s counters.

For example, if your opponent’s only counter to Goblin Barrel is Log, you can place a Goblin Barrel, quickly place down cards, and place another Goblin Barrel before they can get back to Log.

This also means that you will be playing very aggressive, placing lots of cards to constantly exert pressure and preventing your opponent from amassing too large of a push.

While this deck has lots of good defensive cards, they all have very clear weaknesses and counterplay which can leave you vulnerable.

Reading the Opponent

I’ve mentioned this previously but reading the opponent or predicting their next move is very important.

When using a Goblin Barrel, you should be aware of what they might use to counter it.

  • If they have a Log in cycle, maybe don’t spam a Goblin Gang in the same lane.
  • If they use a Skarmy or Goblin Gang to counter it, you can use a prediction Log or Princess.
  • If they use a beefy troop (bowler, valk), consider supporting your push with a tank (Ice Spirit or Knight).

Similarly, Princess at the bridge is another scenario where you should read your opponent.

Ice Spirit or Log is good at blocking swarms, Knight is good at blocking low DPS single troops, and Inferno is a good hard read for siege buildings or tanky troops.

Matchups

Cycle Chip

This includes but is not limited to Hog, Bait, Miner, or Wallbreakers. The most important part of this matchup is to squeeze out as much little chip damage as you can. You likely won’t be able to make big connections with your Goblin Barrel.

Make sure you are careful to keep your hard counters to their win condition in cycle at all times. The exception is the bait mirror. In this matchup, you want to first bait out their Log and then Goblin Barrel, usually prediction logging to hopefully catch a Goblin Gang.

Single Elixir is the most important time.

On offense, you want to use Ice Spirits to threaten chip damage to force out unfavorable responses. Whenever using a Log to push back a troop, make sure you place it close enough to the bridge to chip the damage. Finally, protect the Princess from defense to counter push into offense.

Once Double Elixir hits, the game is likely decided as long as your opponent doesn’t make any mistakes. If you are ahead, when the 30 second mark hits, you can proceed to cautiously Rocket cycle the opponent. You can afford to take a bit of damage because you are ahead. If you are behind, you need to make a big play, whether it be a crazy prediction or a crazy positive elixir trade.

Control

This is similar to chip cycle in the sense that you want to conserve as much tower HP as you can. The difference is that the opponent is using much heavier, powerful troops. Some examples include HogExeNado or Graveyard.

These decks often have many soft counters such as Valkyrie and Bowler which will prevent you from getting too much damage if you out cycle their spells. In general, you want to prevent your opponent from gaining easy positive elixir trades. Place your troops far apart from each other to deny spell value, and don’t be afraid to use Goblin Barrel opposite lane when their spells are out of cycle. They usually are forced to defend it with an expensive troop.

Beatdown

Think your big boy troops like Golem. Your goal is to prevent them from building too big of a push by constantly harassing them with low elixir pushes. The opponent’s goal is to counter these low elixir pushes with as little elixir as possible to save up for a big push.

Like bait, you should avoid giving your opponent as much free value as possible. For example, if your opponent places a Golem in the back, don’t pressure with opposite lane Goblin Gang and Barrel if your opponent has Log.

You should always be attacking the opposite lane against Beatdown.

Inferno is your best friend in this matchup for its ability to mow down tanks. Protect it using Ice Spirits, Knight, and place it far away from the Princess to prevent spell value.

If done correctly, your opponent will be forced to defend your pushes with unfavorable, awkward cards.

Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed the guide. I’ve used this deck for over 3 years so I hope that I had some good insight to help you! Comment on any decks you’d like me to cover and I’ll be sure to get to it!

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Nitrome95
Pb of 4850 and competitive CR and Sm4sh player.  I specialize in mostly bait decks but can play pretty much anything that isn't beatdown. Youtube: nitrome95 clash royale strategy and decks Discord: nitrome95lPENn Clan: Kairos Warriors

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