Clash Royale King’s Cup: Guide to the 6 Decks

The Clash Royale King’s Cup Special Challenge officially kicked off this morning, leading up to the big live event in Los Angeles taking place this Sunday.  Just like the Classic and Grand Challenges, the goal of the King’s Cup Challenge is to win up to 12 matches before striking out and earning more cards and gold along the way, but with one major catch – you are forced to play 1 of 6 pre-constructed decks!  Each deck has 6 predetermined cards and 2 random cards – so even if your opponent seems like they’re playing the same deck, be aware that they probably have 2 cards that are not the same as yours!

To better prepare you for the tournament (especially those of you who will be competing live!), here’s a breakdown of each of the 6 decks:



Win Condition: Lock your X-Bow onto your opponent’s crown tower!

How to play: This is arguably the most powerful of the 5 decks, with a good balance of ranged (Princess), hard hitting melee (Mini P.E.K.K.A), spells (Fireball & Zap), and area damage (Bowler).  Start off the game with a Bowler or Princess, feel out what cards your opponent may have to block your X-Bow (ie. tanks or buildings), and take them out while winning elixir trades to set up for your X-Bow deployment.  Use your Princess/Zap to wipe out the small troops that try to take out your X-Bow (ie. Minions/Goblins), and Bowler to push back ground troops.


Mirror, Miner, Muskies

Win Condition: Build up Elixir, wreck’em with Three Musketeers!

How to play: Probably the 2nd most powerful deck, the goal is simply to build up your Elixir to support a Three Musketeer attack.  What this deck does lack is defense: Knight can absorb some hits, but without good spells or flying troops (unless from the other 2 random cards) you may find yourself in some trouble if playing against an aggressive deck such as Hog or Balloon (see below).  Three Musketeers are also very susceptible to spells such as Lightning/Fireball/Poison, so try to draw your opponent into using them if you know they have it in their decks.


The Raging Balloon

Win Condition: Get your Balloon to your opponent’s tower, ideally with the assistance of Rage

How to play: Start off slow with your Witch or Archer, and feel out what cards your opponent may have to stop your Balloon (ie. Wizard, Minions, or buildings).  The key is to have your Archer and Witch reach the middle of the Arena, then deploy your Balloon.  If your opponent doesn’t play an immediate counter, then go all in with your Rage and watch their tower go down in seconds.  The element of surprise is key: once your opponent knows you have Balloon, then they’ll have their counter cards ready for your next push.


Dark Lightning

Win Condition: Build up a swarm of troops to push with your Lumberjack

How to play: Honestly this is not an easy deck to play, and is a magnet of area damage troops and spells.  Ideally you can use your Lumberjack on defense and make a counterpush with the rest of your troops, but your troops are squishy and will probably not make it to your opponent’s side of the arena.  Lightning is key in this deck: make sure you don’t blast it unless it’s for an even or positive Elixir trade (ie. able to take out troops/buildings costing total 6 or more)!  Play smart, win trades, and pray that you have 2 other good cards to go with what is otherwise a relatively weak deck.



The Frozen Hog

Win Condition:  Hog + Freeze = Win!

How to play: It’s the classic Hog Freeze combo, with Ice Wizard and Poison as well!  Key thing here is not to go too crazy with Hog Freeze; players are smart, and they’ll try to lure you into playing your Freeze before deploying their troops on defense.  Start off conservatively with Ice Wizard on defense, and utilize Poison to counter swarms or take our buildings.  Make a Hog push if you feel your Hog has a clear path to the tower, and have Freeze on standby once your opponent commits troops to defend against the Hog.



Win Condition:  Build up Elixir, push with Golem!

How to play: This is your classic Golem/Elixir Collector deck.  Start by building up Elixir with your Elixir Collector, then play your Golem from behind your tower, then support the Golem push with your Archer/Musketeer/Minion Horde and Log.  This deck looks good on paper, but the Golem/Elixir Collector combo takes time to build up (especially now that Elixir Collector costs 6), and may leave you vulnerable to your opponent’s attack.  If your opponent is playing X-Bowler, be sure to place your Golem in front of your tower so that the X-Bow locks onto it instead of the tower!


  1. anon 103923

    Theres one missing

    1. Wagonut (Post author)

      update – thanks for the tip!

  2. TheMagicPig

    For Dark Lightning, using Dark Prince as a tank works pretty well, especially if Lumberjack can go in and rage up the supporting troops. It counters the 3 musketeer deck and the Raging balloon, and is okay against the hog+freeze deck. IMO it’s actually a really good deck, if you can’t get a push off then just chip with lightning.

  3. Maritns

    I got giant in rqging balloon deck.and i thought op deck lol

  4. Pac-Man

    For “Dark Lightning” first I drop cards till I have lumberjack, dark prince, and spear goblins then when i have them wait till I’m at 10 elixer and drope the 3 cards together and it usually gets me 1 crown in seconds

  5. Panda

    In raging baloon there is giant instead of dragon.

    1. bob

      Sometimes it’s giant and sometimes it is dragon.

  6. Royal Giant

    Dark lightning looks bad but is the best. I just spam down furnaces and cycle through and chip my opponent down to a lightning spell worth of dmg. sadly supercell nerfed this deck and switched furnace with gob hut.

  7. McSlayer

    It would be useful to know all the possibilities for the random cards

  8. Silent Bobus

    Each deck appears to be a little different each time you get it. Although I have gotten the exact variants listed a number of times.

    However, I don’t think your rankings are correct, since you don’t have Dark Lightning listed as #1. This deck is a clear number one, since it counters the other decks and can win in a number of different ways.

    A revised ranking should be:

    Dark Lightning


    The Raging Balloon
    Miners and Muskies
    Frozen Hog

    The spaces indicate wide gaps between the decks at the level and the ones below.

    1. Chase

      I agree with this rankings my favorite deck overall would have to be the dark lightning

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