How Pros Play Hog Cycle
VULKan posted 1 week ago (updated 1 week ago)

Trifecta Quick Tips:

First play: Cycle hog with no support if it is in hand otherwise, cycle skeletons, ice spirit, or log. If hog isn't in your starting hand, then make sure to defend with valk and musketeer before going offensive.

General Strategy: This is a very quick cycle deck, but it kind of plays more like a beatdown deck. Against most matchups, you will find it is better to build a trifecta push with valkyrie, musketeer, and hog instead of simply cycling hog as quick as possible. You will also find that you should cycle your musketeer in the lane that your crown tower is healthier.

Vs Mirror Matchup: Don’t place your valkyrie or musketeer all the way in the back. You need to stay offensive in the matchup. In single elixir, play hog at 10 elixir whenever you have the elixir advantage. If they defend with cannon and you play 4 cards before they play 4 cards, then you have out cycled their cannon You should be trying to setup trifecta pushes by starting valk above your king tower and then placing musketeer behind it then hog in between. Only fireball your opponent’s musketeer if you can hit the tower and musketeer at the same time. Space your valkyrie and musketeer far enough from each other that a defensive valkyrie can’t get value hitting them both at the same time. If you pressure with hog behind your valk then your opponent will have to use their valk versus the hog. So, your musketeer can hit it from across the bridge. Play hog at the same time they play their hog and they might not be reactive enough to counter it. If you find yourself attacking the opposite lane of your opponent, then you can use your cannon to pull their hog to the center and use your musketeer to hit the hog from the opposite lane. If you overcommit on offense, you can defend the opponents hog with skeletons since hog decks don’t run zap. It isn’t usually worth it to fireball a cannon unless it is poorly placed.

Vs Giant: Always defend before you attack. Don’t send hog by himself unless prince is out of cycle. Always start valk in the back in the same lane as the giant player in single elixir. If you start musketeer in the back, it will just get poisoned. The goal is to build a trifecta push since it should out damage the giant push if you log princes to stop their charges. Don’t place cannon too early. Otherwise, fireball can kill the cannon, and it won’t distract the giant. You can use musky opposite lane of the tower they are attacking if you are up in elixir. Then place valk and hog at the bridge when the musky reaches the river. Any time a musketeer is left alive, use hog in front of it. When the game is almost over, you can fireball cycle to finish off the opponent.

Vs Pekka Miner: You can out cycle the pekka if you use hog first play. The goal is to bait out pekka by cycling valkyrie and musketeer. Fireball the tower you are attacking whenever value is given. (usually ranged troops) Otherwise, you don’t ever want to hog when you know they have enough elixir for pekka. Setup valk in the back on the side they are attacking or musketeer in the back of the lane with the healthier crown tower. If they ever use pekka, immediately hog in the opposite lane. Try to save skeletons and ice spirit for the miner to deny all miner hits. Use cannon on defense against the miner or other ground troops if valk is out of cycle. It is usually a good idea to attack opposite lane. If you already have a valkyrie and musketeer on the field, it is okay to combo hog with them.

Vs Xbow: Use hog as much as possible and attack opposite lane of the xbow. Cycle valkyrie in the center of your side so that it can distract the xbow from either lane Whenever you opponent drops xbow, use valk to tank and cannon to kill it. Then fireball or log as needed. If you stay aggressive with hog, then they will never be able to use tesla on offense or your hog will take their tower. If they start playing xbow same lane as the tower you are attacking, then tank the xbow with troops and use fireball plus log on the tower and xbow to kill it. Never place your musketeer in range fireball on the weaker tower. When your opponents tower is weak, start fireball cycling their tower and use valk plus hog and cannon to defend the xbow.

Vs Lavaloon: This is the hardest matchup, and you have two options. Option 1: Be aggressive with hog and valkyrie pushes. Then on defense, pull the balloon with a cannon in the center two tiles from the bridge and try to snipe it with a musketeer. Better Option: When they place lavahound, first place cannon 3 tiles above the king tower and 1 to the side of crown tower. Then place valk and skeletons to pressure the opposite lane. Then use musketeer to hit the lavahound and ice spirit to freeze the balloon. When they use the balloon, you can place a second cannon touching the king tower to pull the balloon from the first cannon onto the king tower. This works only if you have 7 elixir when they drop the lavahound in the back. Double elixir: In double elixir, you can win by cycling musketeers if you didn’t lose a tower. When they drop hound, cycle a musketeer same lane and then use hog and valkyrie in the opposite lane on offense. Then you can cycle to another musketeer on defense. This way, they can’t fireball zap both musketeers.

Vs Golem: Be wary of tornado and don’t send hog by himself. Always fireball pumps. Go same lane as the golem by starting valkyrie in the back. Then defend with cannon and musketeer. Fireball on defense if necessary. Then counter push with hog after they have finished the attack. If you are up elixir, then start musketeer opposite lane of the side they are attacking and build a trifecta push. At the end of the game, fireball cycle to finish the tower.

Vs Skeleton Barrel with Mega Knight: You can out cycle the mega knight if you use hog first play. Otherwise, you don’t ever want to hog when you know they have enough elixir for mega knight. The goal is to bait out mega knight by cycling valkyrie and musketeer.

First, identify if they have poison or not by dropping a musketeer in the back. If they don’t have poison, try to stack musketeers in one lane to force out the mega knight. Then you can defend the mega knight and then use hog plus valk. If they ever use mega knight, immediately hog in the opposite lane. If they have poison, then only cycle musketeer in the lane of your healthier tower. If they have poison, then you can also cycle valk in the back of the lane of your weaker tower to deny miner hits. It is often a good idea to fireball bats on defense if ice spirit is out of hand. Use cannon vs the mega knight and skeleton barrel to that you can use valk to defend the miner. Don’t fireball cycle. Prediction log goblin gang if they don’t have mega knight in cycle.

Vs 3 Musketeers: Always fireball pumps in single elixir. Don’t try to punish pumps with hog in most cases. In double elixir, don’t fireball pumps. You should try to finish the game off and take a tower with offensive fireball. Start musketeer in the back and try to protect her and setup a big hog push. If your opponent has minion horde, you should try to save fireball for the minion horde and kill the musketeers with valkyrie. If your opponent splits 3 musketeers in the back, then place musketeer same lane as the one musketeer and try to win the single musketeer battle. Ignore the 2 musketeers until they reach your side and then fireball them, log them in combination with skeletons, or place valkyrie on them. Often you will need to sacrifice tower damage to get an elixir advantage. Try to keep track of the opponent’s goblin gang so that you can prediction log on offense.

Vs Log Bait: Play passive and fireball the tower anytime you are given value especially against rascals and princess. Most of your damage will be from fireball in this matchup. When you are up elixir, it is good to combo hog and offensive fireball or prediction log. You should start musketeer in the back, but don’t use it close to your weakest tower or you will give spell value if they have a big spell. Defensive cannon vs royal ghost, valk, and dark prince is usually a good idea. If your opponent tries to rocket cycle you, then start playing aggressive with valk, hog, musketeer pushes and combo with fireball. If your opponent sends a barrel by itself, it is better to use valkyrie and skeletons to defend it and save log for offense. Musketeer can hit a princess across the bridge from the opposite lane.

Vs Mortar Bait: Play the same lane as the mortar and don’t ever let it lock onto you tower. Try to build one huge push and don’t play hog unless mortar and minion horde are out of cycle, or you have a musketeer or valkyrie already on the field and enough elixir for a fireball. Don’t cycle your skeletons and ice spirit for no reason. Use them to defend the miner or distract the mortar by placing them in the middle. In single elixir, cycle musketeer in the back same lane as the tower they are attacking. In double elixir cycle musketeer above the king tower same lane. If musketeer isn’t in hand they cycle valkyrie. Always save fireball for the minion horde and don’t be afraid to prediction fireball right on top of your musketeer and valkyrie if you think they will defend with horde. If your opponent plays mortar at the bridge, distract it with other troops and use hog to destroy it. Don’t be afraid to use cannon especially in double elixir. It can distract the mortar and defend troops at the same time.

Vs Miner Cycle: Be aggressive with hog. I like to go opposite lane and keep up the pressure. Only use fireball for value when you can hit two things at the same time. Anytime there is value, make sure to fireball log the electro wizard. Don’t use musketeer in the lane of the weaker tower, or your opponent will get poison value on it. In single elixir, start valk/musketeer in the back. In double elixir, start valk/musketeer in front of the king tower. in the middle. You will need to use defensive cannon vs the miner and any supporting troops since you should be using valk on offense. Space out your musketeer and valkyrie on offense so the opponent can’t get defensive valk value on them. Try to save ice spirit and skeletons for the miner.

Vs Sparky: You don’t have zap, so don’t play hog until sparky is out of cycle. Start musketeer in the back of the lane with the healthier tower to avoid fireball value. Always use hog opposite lane of the sparky and don’t be afraid to switch lanes. If their tower is low, then fireball cycle the sparky and tower whenever they place sparky. To defend a sparky behind a giant, use your cheap troops to tank a shot. Then place valk on top of the sparky.

Vs Bridge Spam: Don’t be aggressive. Defend before you attack. Only use hog at ten elixir and don’t use hog if you are up on elixir or both of their ground defense troops are out of cycle. Don’t cycle musketeer next to your weakest tower and don’t be afraid to switch lanes if your opponent tries to block a lane. Don’t push into an inferno dragon. It’s ok to log the tower to cycle. When defending a battle ram, don’t use cannon unless valk is out of cycle since cannon can’t counter push. If you have to use cannon, then try to keep the cannon from getting hit by the ram by using log skeletons of ice spirit. That way, the cannon will earn more value. Hog in front of counter pushing musketeer. Use cheap troops to keep cannon alive from battle ram. Its ok to cannon vs bandit or dark prince. Can solo hog if they waste all their defense. Kite inferno dragon on defense with skeletons or valkyrie since musketeer will usually get fireballed.

Vs Graveyard: Stay aggressive with your hog, but don’t play it unless you are at 10 elixir or are positive they have nothing to counter it. You should be trying to setup trifecta pushes by starting valk above your king tower and then placing musketeer then hog. This is similar to the hog mirror matchup. If your opponent plays mega minion and ice golem at the bridge, then defend with musketeer and cycle troops. Don’t use your fireball on defense. If they play graveyard then defend and hog opposite lane immediately so that they can’t support their graveyard, or they will lose their tower. Use fireball on their defensive buildings. Defend their graveyard attacks by killing their tank with troops and placing cannon behind your crown tower. Then log the skeletons when they stack up on your tower. Vs splashyard, block the bridge with cannon and musketeer so that their tanks don’t cross the bridge.

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