Hog Rider and Ice Golem Cycle Deck & Strategy – Arena 8 and 9

Hi guys and gals, Here bringing to you a Hog Rider cycle deck built around the Hog Rider Ice Golem combo. I, and I Imagine like most of you knew of this combination but didn’t think much of it until I was comprehensively chipped down by an opponent with the same troops level as I (with few exceptions 10, 7, 4, 1) and so I decided to give the deck a try-out. A deck that enables me to breach the 3500 trophies mark in my eyes deserves a write up, so, here I am!

The deck that I mostly ran with included the: Hog Rider, Log, Zap, Princess, Ice Golem, Ice Spirit, Mini Pekka and Barbarians. I say mostly as I switched out the Legendaries to see how the deck would perform without them which is still well (Archers for Princess and Arrows for Log), as well as including the Inferno Tower instead of the Mini Pekka if stumbling across excess tanks in particular the Lava Hound. The deck is essentially a Hog Rider cycle deck which means that outside the core cards, Hog Rider, Ice Golem and the cheaper cards, the deck can be tailored to your playstyle or to what you are coming up against.

Attacking card: Hog Rider

Supporting cards: Log, Zap, Princess, Ice Golem, Ice Spirit, [Arrows, Archers,]

Defending cards: Mini Pekka, Barbarians, [Inferno Tower]

Video reference:

There are two playstyles to this deck:

1.Cycle through your deck as quickly (and sensibly) as possible to get to your Hog Rider Ice Golem push. The aim here is to take advantage of decks which cannot cope with your cycle capability, for example: on your first wave (push) they might drop an Inferno Tower but that Inferno Tower will be out of the opponent’s cycle on the next round – in this case it maybe best on the second round to drop the Hog Rider asap instead of pushing out with the Ice Golem as well.

2.Play slowly get ahead in Elixir and then tailor your push accordingly, personally I prefer this style. At the back: split your barbarians, split your archers, drop your princess and see how the opponent responds. However even in this style if I have the Hog Rider and Ice Golem in hand I would immediately push out with them.

Starting hand

Generally the best starting hand is the Hog Rider and Ice Golem push with Zap to hand. If this is not possible just play it slow, which given the deck is a little tricky, until you have the push cards to hand.


As I already highlighted the main push is the Ice Golem with the Hog Rider. The Ice Golem tanks the tower damage whilst the Hog Rider pushes the Ice Golem to the tower and then starts hammering away at it. On death the Ice Golem will explode slowing units and their rate of fire (tower) as well as doing a bit of damage which is enough to one shot skeletons, the skeleton army and bring minions to a Zapable range – zap and the ice golem death is one of my favourite combinations in Clash Royale, I show a couple of clips of this combination in the video above. Be aware that the Ice Golem’s death damage does not destroy the Guards’ shield nor does it kill unshielded Guards…

The Ice Golem’s death slow will also allow your Hog Rider to get one or two shots off even when Barbarians are dropped off.

If the opponent is using a Mini Pekka or Inferno Tower in defence make sure to include the little Ice Spirit in your combo as well.

For those who have the Princess, use her to help the Hog Rider get to the tower when facing against Tombstone, one volley and a Hog Rider hit will destroy it, the Princess’ next volley will finish off the skeletons.

On the subject of Princess, if you see the opponent has no efficient way of dealing with her (arrows, log, miner) then make sure you take advantage of this! It is a nightmare attacking someone with multiple Princesses up with no way of dealing with them. If the opponent is using miner to kill her, drop your Ice Spirit and a troop to take his attention away.

In defence, use Barbarians to surround the tank, they will cut through the tank like butter, do make sure you get the surround though as this will minimise area of effect (AoE) damage from the opponent’s units.

Ice Spirit, Zap, Princess, Archers and even the Ice Golem are your ‘go to’ Air defenders.

If placed properly your Mini Pekka will stop a Hog Rider getting a single shot off, drop your ice spirit or Ice Golem to stop the enemy’s Ice Spirit freezing your Mini Pekka.

Against Lava Hound decks you are somewhat at their mercy, strategy here is to race them or stop them building up their perfect push by pressuring them constantly.

With Ice Spirit and Zap you will not have a problem with Sparkys.

A given but, if the opponent has a Princess, give her wood!

As with all Hog cycle decks which this one is, they are good, no doubt about it. This deck will push you up the ladder and if you have at least tournament level cards it will allow you to reach Arena 9, the legendary arena.
If you have any questions please let me know, and apologies for the wood pun earlier in the post, I just couldn’t help it!

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