Lava Hound (LV1)
Elixir Cost: 7 | HP: 2900 | DPS: 26
Lava Pups: x6 | Lava Pup HP: 165 | Lava Pup DPS: 45
The Lava Hound is your main tank in this deck. Position it in such a way that it will avoid centralized buildings. Do not let it burst before reaching the tower. Minion Horde will do this readily. Either prepare arrows, Lv 4 poison, or bring in a wizard. The other major threat is the Inferno Tower. There is no good answer to an Inferno Tower if it is placed far in, but if it’s placed relatively close to the edge, let your Minions, Spear Goblins, and other cheap troops distract the Tower.
Elixir Cost: 4 | DPS: 55 | CT DPS: 22
At tournament levels (mine is only Lv 2 so it doesn’t work), Poison is a good answer, offensively, to a Minion Horde (dies in two ticks) when your wizard isn’t available. It kills Spear Goblins. It is also especially useful against Musketeer and Wizards, though it will not kill them, but it will weaken them enough to lower their counterpush potential. You can also trade a Poison with an Elixir Collector, though to get maximum value use it either defensively against a big push or as assistance to the Lava Hound. You can substitute Poison with Freeze, but it is less versatile, but more offensive. The point of Poison is not to protect the Lava Hound, but to protect the Lava Pups.
Elixir Collector (LV7)
Elixir Cost: 5 | HP: 1126
Be careful when using the Elixir Collector; don’t give your opponent a window of opportunity for attacking. Don’t play the Elixir Collector in the beginning if your deck lacks enough defensive components, unless the opponent plays it too. For best results place it behind the Arena Tower or between for a hog lure after cannon. You can replace this with the Inferno Tower for better defense, or any other <5 elixir unit.
Elixir Cost: 3 | Count: 3 | HP: 190 | DPS: 84
The minions are primarily used defensively or as assistance to the Lava Hound to distract Inferno Tower. Try to use them on ground melee targets or ground ranged that are preoccupied with the Lava Hound. You can use the Minion Horde instead for better defense against other big push decks at the cost of a higher elixir cost during a push.
Mini P.E.K.K.A (LV7)
Elixir Cost: 4 | HP: 1056 | DPS: 317
Mini PEKKA is the most efficient counter to Royal Giants in the current meta, and also pretty powerful against ground troops during a push. It can easily sneak in a few hundred damage on a crown tower, but those circumstances are rare. You can substitute Mini PEKKA with Valkyrie for better counter to Barbarians, at the cost of being slightly more vulnerable to Royal Giants. Mini PEKKAs can also stall Prince and DP for a bit, but valks are definitely better at this. When facing a fast cycle hog deck you’ll at times need to use Mini Pekka against the hog instead of cannon.
Spear Goblins (LV9)
Elixir Cost: 3 | Count: 3 | HP: 110 | DPS: 38
Easily replaceable with Stab gobs. Spear Goblins are versatile enough in many different situations but they aren’t really powerful enough. You can replace them with Archers too.
Elixir Cost: 3 | HP: 848 | DPS: 158
Play this card smartly. You will need this to give you maximum benefits.
Elixir Cost: 5 | HP: 598 | DPS: 134
Best support to the Lava Hound, capable of melting minion hordes and do good damage to the crown tower. Due to the prevalence of Minion Hordes as the auto-counter to Lava Hound, Musketeers aren’t as good as the Wizard. The Wizard should also be used defensively against Barbarians, and swarm type troops. Barbarians are a great counter to Wizard, so either bait out the Barbs or bring a valk. It’s up to you.
This deck is pretty weak to Three Musketeer decks (Poison is too slow), somewhat weak to P/DP, Pekka/P/DP decks. You can watch the video to see how I play against different decks, but the usual applies: e.g. lure P/DP with cannon, stall with gobs, wiz/mini pekka for extra damage, poison if it’s a huge push.
Other Lava Hound Decks
I believe there are three ways to build a Lava Hound deck.
Your Lava Hound acts as a tank and a part of an AOE test. Take care not to group up any of other AOE-test components near the lava hound.
Princess is a superb choice for this deck. The weak link is that your lava hound won’t tank ground melee troops, so prepare to have an answer for that (valks/mini Pekkas/barbs). If possible, place your princess to the edge of the map to prevent center ranged troops from having an easy snipe on your princess.
Goblin Barrel is weaker than when it’s utilized on a GS-based AOE test, but they can deal significant damage.
Freeze is the ideal spell here. When your Lava Hound pops and the opponent has already wasted an AOE spell, make sure their ground ranged troops can’t target the lava pups. This will allow the pups to deal significant damage, and in the current meta people don’t realize the danger of lava pups because they’re rarely seen.
Although GoVaHo isn’t really prominent in Clash Royale, we can at least bring in another popular strategy, LaLoon, into Clash Royale and it fits nicely. The Lava Hound will be able to tank for the loon and the loon tries to do significant damage.
You will want to have elixir advantage for such a costly yet fragile push. Elixir Collectors can be very handy.
Your defense is also very weak because both La and Loon are completely useless against any form of ground assault. Your other 6 cards should be as versatile and cheap as possible.
You will need to have an answer to Minions/Minion Hordes, as well as an answer to wizard/musketeer placed behind the balloon. Possible cards here are arrows (Poison is too slow), Lightning (crown + wiz/musketeer + IT is the best value Lightning you’d ever see), Wizard (AOE on Minions), Mini Pekka (damage on Wiz/Musketeer). This is an extremely costly push but can outright kill a tower if done right. You need to be very careful when playing LaLoon.
Rage and Freeze are ideal spells here.
The advantage of Lava Hound over all other beatdown tanks is that it does not get distracted by centralized towers. There are also much less answers to it than Golems or Pekkas. In the current meta a lot of people are not realizing that and place cannon after cannon on the center.
The chief challenge here is to ensure your damage dealers, who are most probably ground based, do not die to ground melee/cannon.
Wizard is an extremely useful support to kill off minions.
Poison is the ideal spell here.