Clash Royale Deck Building Guide

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Table of contents

Overview

Our deck building guide for Clash Royale will show you the essentials to creating a well balanced and competitive deck for any arena.

Unlocking new cards and leveling up existing cards plays a very important role in strengthening your deck. New players are at a slight disadvantage when building decks because they haven’t unlocked many cards. Newer players shouldn’t be discouraged because what we cover in this guide applies to any player regardless of how many cards they have.

If you’re a F2P (free to play) player then we suggest focusing on a few of our card recommendations in this guide and using all of your gold to level up those specific cards. Card upgrades can be expensive and it’s hard to keep your entire collection at the max level.

Determining how your deck will win

The most important thing to figure out before starting to build your new deck is deciding on how you’ll win. A player wins in Clash Royale by having the most crowns at the end of the battle. Achieving that goal looks very different for many decks.

We’ve listed a few common playstyles that you’ll come across in Clash Royale. Every deck as their strengths and weaknesses. We suggest trying out different types of decks so that you can get a feel for what you enjoy playing. Once you’ve found a style of deck that you enjoy, you’ll then be able to focus on gathering and leveling up cards that are suited for that particular playstyle.

Death ball decks

These type of decks revolve around building up a slow but powerful army on the battlefield. The goal of the player using this deck to establish a critical mass of troops so that the opponent has no chance of stopping the push. These decks usually consist of a high hitpoint card like the Giant and some sort of ranged damage dealer. The Witch is perfect for filling the ranged role. Both of the units are slow and the player can continue to add to the army as it approaches the bridge to the opponent.

Spam decks

Some decks focus on flooding the battlefield with so many creatures that you’re opponent becomes unable to deal with all of them and eventually loses because of it. These decks usually consist of a combination of a few buildings that produce minions. The Goblin Hut, Tombstone and Barbarian Hut are a few cards that fall into this category.

Counter attack decks

Other decks are focused on using counter attacks to achieve a win. These decks are built to stall and delay an opponent’s push by trading troops as efficiently as possible. When the player using the counter attack deck has gained a significant elixir advantage on their opponent they will then counter the opponents push in the opposite lane. The opponent will have a difficult time dealing with the counter attack because they’re out of elixir. Counter attack decks revolve around a few key troops like the Prince, Hog Rider and the Goblin Barrel.

Deciding which cards to use

It’s really important for your deck to be balanced and for your cards to have synergy with one another. There’s many different playstyles and you’ll want to make sure that all of the cards you’re using align with your deck’s strategy for winning.

2 Single target damage dealing cards

We recommend using at least 2 cards that are able to provide single target damage. Cards that have single target damage do more than cards that have splash damage and they’re very helpful for taking out cards with high hitpoints.

Here are a few cards that fall into the single target damage dealing category.

  • Barbarians
  • Spear Goblins
  • Musketeer
  • Goblins
  • Knight
  • Archers
  • Mini P.E.K.K.A
  • P.E.K.K.A
  • Prince
  • Minions
  • Minion Horde
  • Skeletons
  • Skeleton Army
  • X-Bow

3 Splash damage dealing cards

We suggest using at least 3 cards that can deal splash damage. It’s very helpful to have cards that are capable of clearing out mass units on the battlefield. You don’t want to ever be in a situation where you’re units are being overrun and you have no way to clear the field.

Here are some of the cards that fall into the splash damage dealing category.

  • Baby Dragon
  • Valkyrie
  • Arrows
  • Bomber
  • Witch
  • Fireball
  • Bomb Tower
  • Rocket
  • Wizard
  • Zap
  • Lightning

1 High HP card

Having at least 1 cards in your deck with high hitpoints is very helpful. The main reason for using the troop is to draw enemy fire onto itself and protect your other troops with lower hitpoints. This strategy allows your army as a whole to get closer to the enemy tower with less overall damage to it.

Here’s a few of the cards that fall into the high hitpoint role.

  • Prince
  • Knight
  • P.E.K.K.A
  • Barbarians
  • Giant
  • Giant Skeleton
  • Barbarian hut*
  • Goblin Hut*

The Barbarian Hut and Goblin Hut spawn units that can serve a similar purpose. The spawned units will distract enemy units.

2 Air targeting cards

You’ll need to have 2 cards that can target air units at a minimum. It’s probably better to have at least 3 but it might be hard to fit into some decks.

Here are some cards that are able to target air units.

  • Spear Goblin
  • Musketeer
  • Baby Dragon
  • Archers
  • Witch
  • Minions
  • Minion Horde
  • Fireball
  • Arrows
  • Wizard
  • Tesla

1 Spell card

Having at least 1 spell card is very beneficial to your deck. They’re a great way to provide immediate damage to the battlefield without having to wait for troops to walk to a given location.

In some cases using a spell card against an opponents troop card will actually give you an elixir advantage. An example of this is using the Arrows spell card against an opponent’s Minion Horde card. The Arrows card costs 3 elixir and can kill the Minion Horde (5 elixir) which gives you a 2 elixir advantage over your opponent.

Here are a list of spells that can fill this role.

  • Arrows
  • Fireball
  • Lightning
  • Rocket
  • Zap

1 “I need to stall for time” card

Counter attacks are common in the game. If you’re not prepared for them you could end up losing a tower simply because you didn’t have enough elixir to delay the attack. We suggest that you have at least 1 card in your deck that you can use to stall for time.

There are quite a few cards that can fit this role. Here are a few to get you started thinking about it.

  • Goblin
  • Barbarians
  • Skeleton Army
  • Bomb Tower
  • Cannon
  • X-Bow
  • Tesla
  • Inferno Tower
  • Barbarian Hut
  • Tombstone
  • Goblin Hut

Average elixir cost

The average elixir cost of your deck is very important for a few reasons. If it’s too high your deck will feel slow and you’ll struggle with applying pressure to your opponent. If it’s too low you’ll be able to flood the battlefield with lots of units but they’ll be too weak to do any damage.

Striking a balance between the two is critical to creating a successful deck. We recommend staying around the 3.5 to 4.5 average elixir cost for your deck.

Updating your deck

Building a viable and competitive deck is not an easy process. It might take you several attempts at building the deck before you’ve found the right combination that works for you.

When you do make updates to your deck make sure that you’re doing them slowly. Any new card(s) that you add to the deck should be used a few times before deciding whether or not to remove it.

Finding a playstyle that you enjoy using is the most important thing when making a new deck. After you’ve found the playstyle you can focus on the criteria mentioned above and you’ll be on your way to building a solid Clash Royale deck.

Sample deck

Here’s an example of what a deck looks like that fits all of the criteria mentioned above. Several of the cards fit into multiple categories which helps to create more synergy in the deck.

  1. Spear Goblin (targets air, single target, stall card)
  2. Goblin (single target, stall card)
  3. Barbarians (high HP, single target, stall card)
  4. Valkyrie (splash damage)
  5. Giant (high HP)
  6. Musketeer (single target, targets air)
  7. Baby Dragon (targets air, splash damage)
  8. Arrows (targets air, splash damage, stall card)