Before beginning, i would like to discuss a little about the hog rider. As a hog rider user myself on both of my Clash Royale accounts, i cannot stress enough how important it is to have counters to it always available in your deck as it is a very popular card in the game right now. However, that does not mean it is over powered. In fact, i can guarantee you , that, the hog rider is one of the most counter-able card in the whole game. Almost all cards work against it, from the one elixir skeletons to the five elixir barbarians. All you need to figure out is how to counter it effectively, which, of course, is the major problem for people these days. Fear not, for after reading this episode of the “countering series”, you will have absolutely no problem countering the Hog Rider and its combinations, especially the never-ending versions of the so called “Hog-Cycle Decks”.
First off, lets discuss about the various cards that can counter the Hog Rider.
As you all might have guessed, the barbarians are the number 1 counter to the hog rider. The reason being, not only do they stop the hog rider from taking even a single shot( If placed correctly- 3 Tiles ahead of the tower) , wasting the enemy’s 4 elixir, but they also provide a strong base for your counter push. They have such immense damage that they are good on both defense and offense. If the enemy drops something like the bomber to support the hog, you can just freeze it so that it does not kill your barbarians, and your push does not get destroyed. Some good troops that you can use with the barbarians on your counter-push are hog rider, royal giant, dark prince, minion horde, and many more.
The minion Horde, as i always say, is one of the most powerful card in the game. They provide double the value of the regular minions at less than double the cost. No matter how strong and hard the push, a simple minion horde combined with freeze will wipe it out within a flash. The downside is that it can of course be taken down with arrows but in do-or-die situations it is worth the risk.A good way to counter the hog is keeping the minion horde ready when you know the enemy might drop it and as soon as he drops it, drop the minion horde, as it will prevent the hog from taking even 1 shot off the tower, and kill goblins, spear goblins,etc dropped behind him. Even if he has the arrows it will take time for him to drop them, giving you the upper hand in fight.
The cannon. Undoubtedly one of the strongest defenses in the game, keeping in mind it’s cheap three elixir cost. As a Hog Rider user myself, i can guarantee you, this card will bring out the rage in you. It is in 70% of the decks right now, and is really strong, and it’s safe to say, that it is the best counter to the hog in the game right now. The key to mastering the cannon is placing it in such a way that it pulls the hog into the range of both the towers, so that the cannon and both the towers attack it. This is very effective as you countered the 4 elixir hog for 3 elixir, granting you the elixir advantage. All you need to be careful about is backing it up with other cheap troops, to make it last longer than on it’s own.
The inferno tower is a very good defense in the game right now, in my opinion. It is very strong against the royal giant as well as the pekka and of course the hog. It is a little expensive but if used correctly the benefits are immense. Support it with other troops like the 1 elixir skeletons, goblins, or ice wiz and you will see that hog pushes will become history. It can be a little tricky to use against the hog cycle decks, as the opponent will be able to cycle back to his hog very quickly, thus you will need to keep pushing to keep the pressure on him.
Thats about it for the cards that can counter the hog effectively. There are many more but these are the cards that you can easily put in your main deck and have uses on both offense and defense. For example, bomb tower is a card that counters the hog very well, but putting him in your everyday deck might be a little tough, as the bomb tower isn’t good against high hitpoint troops like the pekka, golem, or the royal giant. If you can find a space for the bomb tower in your deck, good enough, you can use it.
Let’s move on to the strategies to counter hog combos
Strategies To Counter Hog Combos
First off, i’m gonna discuss about the countless strategies that can be used with the hog rider. The Hog rider is so flexible, that used with any card it will bring out good results. But we humans, always want more, so I’m gonna discuss about the best strategies related to the hog rider and how to counter them.
Combo #1- Hog Freeze
This is as you all know the most common combo with the hog in the entire game. Some people use Solo hog combined with freeze other mostly use some other troop to back it up. It can be irritating if you don’t know the proper technique to counter it.
To beat this strategy , you will need to be very careful about your placement. As you can see in the above picture, The person defending drooped him musketeer right in the middle of both the towers, which allowed the opponent to freeze ALL 3 of them, yielding him a huge elixir advantage. This is where placement comes into play. As depicted by the arrow, the opponent should have placed the musketeer near the bridge, which would have put the enemy into a huge dilemma. Which one should i freeze? The musketeer, The crown tower, Or the king Tower. These small details make a HUGE difference in the outcome of the match.
Combo #2- Hog + Zap
This is another deadly combo when it comes to effectiveness or price for value rating. This strategy costs only 6 elixir and keeping in mind what most people use to counter the hog- goblins, spear goblins, skeletons, the zap is extremely effective against all of them , and a equal leveled zap can even take them all out. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your placement right. This strategy will require a building and if you don’t , you need to make sure that you have 2 set of troop killing it that are out of the zap range of each other so that the enemy’s zap wont take out both.
Combo #3- Hog + Poison
This is a very good strategy that has come into the spotlight very recently. The main reason it works is because a lot of people just drop barbarians to counter the hog and the poison spell works brilliantly against them. As depicted in the picture, you need to be extremely careful about the placement, try to place your troop out of the poison radius.also, you will need a building to defend against it effectively, and try to place the building out of it’s radius as well, as it will make it last longer, granting your tower more time to kill it.
The best way to counter freeze is by drooping a counter-freeze along with cheap troops like the 1 elixir skeletons or goblins to finish the hog off along with other troops that were supporting it. This way the enemy wastes a lot of elixir while not even touching your tower, and thus you can counter-push using your own huge army.
Tower + ?
Another effective way to counter the hog is by dropping any tower like the cannon or inferno tower along with any cheap troop ( optional). All you gotta keep in mind is placing the building well away from any tower such that the enemy can either freeze the tower or the building, and either of them will surely kill the Hog.
PUSH PUSH PUSH
This is the third and the most important strategy to counter all kinds of hog decks. I cannot stress how important it is to keep the pressure constantly on the opponent. Don’t let him drop his hog or start his pushes, because hog cycle decks do just that, they cycle back to the Hog so fast that you just cannot cycle back to your defending tower on time. This is the most important thing that you need to do. Constantly keep the pressure on the enemy, and you will be fine.
So that’s about it for this article, about countering the hog. I hope you liked it, if you have any doubts feel free to comment and if you liked it please rate it . Last thing that i wanna say is ” Patience is Key”