Before you read onward I would like to suggest that you wonderful readers out there check out the video linked to game-play of the deck on my own YouTube Channel. Doing this should give you insight into how I would handle myself in battle and I would also explain my thought process so that you understand why make the decisions that I do. Aside from deck guides (both written and video format) I also upload some videos which are casual, contain funny moments/montages (at the end of some videos not all) and I also give my insight into the game with quick tips etc when I have the chance. If you all do enjoy the deck and have success with it and you're interested in what I do then make sure to visit my channel and consider subscribing for more Clash Royale content. I hope that you all enjoy the deck and guide and have a ton of success and fun while using it!
Cheers everyone! 🍻
This 3.1 Xbow cycle deck was fairly popular at the time it was used in one of Clash Royale's famous blind deck challenge and was also accompanied by another popular Xbow cycle deck which had some small variations to it. Needless to say both this deck and it's counterpart are extremely deadly to go up against a well seasoned player using either and after reading through all of the tips I've provided for you guys you'll be able to use it with great success too!
Generally speaking this deck should be played conservatively like most decks should and the user must have a keen sense of awareness so that he/she can be mentally prepared to handle whatever is thrown at him/her. Your deck's strength comes in its ability cycle quickly and with the right cards in rotation you can adequately defend your Xbow so that you can have very lucrative Xbow pushes every now and then. Do note that several cards were nerfed after the time the game play was recorded in the video guide (Mega Minion, Ice Golem and Ice Spirit) and that a few mistakes were made in the game play where the Xbow was being deployed. With that being said a short moment in said video is used to demonstrate the proper placements of your Xbow and Tesla when going on the offense.
Like any siege deck your placement is key. By deploying your Xbow 1 tile from the river and 1 tile to the left or right of the arena's wall/limit. You can deploy the Xbow in other positions similar to this but the main reason for this particular placement to be used is so that your tesla placement can be ideal which as you can guess is very essential for making this deck work. Once your Xbow has been deployed properly your next action should be to get either an Ice Golem in front of the Xbow or Tesla if it's in cycle and you have enough elixir for it. The Tesla should be placed 5 tiles from the arena wall and 0 tiles from the river (ie, right at the river itself) so that it can be more likely to attract the attention of most troops, particularly those which are melee type. If ranged troops were deployed on the corner of the arena at the river by the enemy then they're likely to lock onto the Xbow but most people don't usually do this so in most cases your Tesla should still serve to distract them. For this reason you may wish to drop the Ice Golem first but it is up to you to decide which sequence is best depending on both the mentality of the opponent you're playing against as well as the deck you're matched against as well.
Now that placements have been addressed we shall now talk about the times in which you can go aggressive with your Xbow deck. Whenever you're going to deploy your Xbow you should make sure of the following:
You have an elixir lead (every bit counts)
You must have a fair idea of what you're up against (ie, be aware of how your opponent will react to your Xbow so that you know the best ways to address it). Keeping track of your opponent's win conditions and counters are very important!
You're ready to answer what counters your opponent may deploy for your Xbow (Ice Golem/Tesla etc)
Know the general results of the match up at hand. This means that you should learn to identify what constitutes a hard counter vs an easier match up so that you know if you should be playing for the win or the draw as being too aggressive against a hard counter is very likely to leave you being demolished very easily.
Once the above conditions are met you can then deploy your Xbow. Once deployed you'll want to think about how you are going to defend it as you can't expect instant damage just because you deployed the card so what comes next is another crucial aspect of Xbow gameplay.
As mentioned previously, defending your Xbow is very important as you'll need to defend it somewhat in order for you to reap the benefits of your elixir investment. When you've deployed your Xbow you're going to need to make full use of your Tesla and Ice Golem in particular as these cards do an excellent job at helping you protect your Xbow. If you can foresee your opponent dropping cards such as a Knight directly at the bridge for your Xbow (veteran players may not make this mistake but rather put their distraction in the opposite lane to both take aggression while making a push to split your elixir) then you can drop the Ice Golem first and then the Tesla but should your opponent be waiting with something such as a Giant, Hog Rider or Battle Ram etc which are building targeting only then you're much better off deploying that Tesla instead. One thing you can do to change how some of the raw interactions work out for you is utilizing your Ice Spirit and/or The Log to make troops stutter, reset aggression and buy your Xbow and/or Tesla to burst them down. The changes might be minor when you factor in raw damage out put by either of these two cards but when paired with other units they will surely make noticeable changes which would even help you stop troops such as the mighty P.E.K.K.A! My final tip with regards to defending your Xbow would be to plan ahead for an attack by deploying cards of importance prior to dropping the Xbow itself and not being ready to guard it. If you're full on elixir and can afford to cyle cards you can occasionally deploy and Ice Golem in the back or the middle or the arena (depends on the time left in a match and your elixir count) which would effectively reach to the bridge by the time you're ready with your Xbow and possibly Telsa. The same can be done with Archers but its up to you to read the situation and tell if its better to split them in the back or drop them into one lane or even save them to be used in a reactive play. The choice is yours.
Like any other siege deck, Xbow decks tend to have an ability to lock down defenses in most matches that aren't completely against them (in the case of soft-hard counters it really varies by the match at hand and players invovled). Primarily, your main defenses would consist of the Tesla and Ice Golem as aforementioned but at times you will also be relying on the Mega Minion, Ice Spirit and Archers. When you figure you can't mount a proper Xbow push the next best thing may be to set up defenses which would then help you out with an upcoming push. This would be the point where players would try to stack Xbows where you'll find one on defense and one on offense. After a successful defense with your first Xbow it will live on for long enough to help defend your offensive Xbow which could help turn the tides on your opponent as they struggle to get past your wall of defenses and your Xbow connects to a tower ensuring you a lucrative trade-off.
Always be patient. If you approach things calmly and avoid panicking you can keep your head in the game and be ready to handle whatever is thrown your way.
Identify your opponent's deck early on. Doing this will give you the edge of knowing when its best to go on the offense or wait patiently for an opportunity while on defense.
After learning what you're up against be ready to counter things with reactive plays such as an Ice Golem in front of your Xbow or a Tesla off to the side to kite most troops.
Cycling Ice Spirits can get you cycle to whatever cards you need most and can also do chip damage over time if your opponent ignores it most of the time which will bring you ever so closer to victory.
Placements are key to ensuring things work in your favor. Be sure to memorize the ideal placements so that you can play as efficiently as possible with little to no losses/draws stemming from preventable mistakes.
Your main win condition in this deck.
Play very passively for as long as you need to and then strike when you figure your defensive capabilities are most ready to handle whatever your opponent can toss at you to counter your Xbow.
Stacking Xbows from defense can prove to be helpful when you're struggling to get a proper push to work out as an Xbow helping you defend the newly planted offensive Xbow can help turn the tides in your favor when left unattended to.
The hidden Tesla is your go to combo card for most if not all successful Xbow pushes.
Be sure to know when and where to utilize it for either defending in general or helping protect the Xbow itself against airborne threats such as Minions or Balloons etc.
Be very careful when playing against a Royal Ghost user as if timed incorrectly the Royal Ghost will more than likely continue on its path towards the crown tower or whatever nearby troop is there when the Tesla hides underground.
The Ice Golem is a very useful card for its robust defensive capabilities. When paired with other cards such as the Tesla or Mega Minion you can generally work your way around a lot of potentially deadly cards such as P.E.K.K.A or one of the Prince brothers.
During the earlier stages you'll want to be playing a little more passively and not over aggressively. The reason for this is because you will need to figure out your opponent's win conditions and counters first and be careful not to stretch your elixir too much least you fall prone to quick rushes of any sort when your opponent gains a sizeable elixir lead which you can't catch up to after a series of misplays.
During the later stages of the game you'll be more ready to handle whatever your opponent tosses your way after playing more conservatively earlier on. Using the elixir lead you've built for yourself and the newfound surge of elixir in the last minute of the match you can better defend your Xbow and cycle through what cards are needed to help keep you in the game!