This deck is insanely good against spam, spawner, and otherwise more light decks.
Once the X-Bow locked onto the Tower, if the opponent does not have an immediate counter that we can’t answer, we almost always have guaranteed 1000+ damage on their Princess Tower.
This deck is good at protecting itself from losing a Tower if you play your cards right, you can tie most bad match ups.
Relevant Meta Side Note: This deck also can deal fairly well against the Hog-3M-Royal Ghost deck that you see a lot in Arena 10-12. You can always manage a tie against that deck as long as you don’t overspend your Elixir on X-Bow play. The Fireball + Log counters the 3M for a positive Elixir Trade. The Exenado Combo also manages against an “At-the-Bridge” placement without Fireball or Log.
This deck doesn’t have a tank killer, the best that we can do against a tank threat like the P.E.K.K.A. or Mega Knight is either
- Place an X-Bow in the opposite lane (Only if we’re on 10 Elixir) and threaten a Tower capture if the opponent doesn’t respond. *See Example*
- Kite the tank Threat with an Ice Golem and place a defensive X-Bow with Guards or Dark Prince to take care of the supporting units or protect the defensive X-Bow.
X-Bow Dark Exenado Control
The X-Bow – The X-Bow is this deck’s sole win condition card, that tends to be how many X-Bow decks function.
When placing the X-Bow remember this mantra: Always place a Defensive X-Bow responsively. Always place an Offensive X-Bow proactively.
This is because X-Bow has a whopping 3.5-second delay after all. You can’t afford to place offensively when you’re staring down a huge push, or even when your opponent has a lot of Elixirs up, and an offensive punish in hand.
You have to start the game reactively and look for an opportunity to punish in this version of X-Bow normally you can afford to place it aggressively at the bridge in the early game.
Executioner – The defensive powerhouse of the deck.
The Executioner handles swarm threats to the X-Bow fairly easily.
Combos/Punishes brilliantly with the Tornado and in my experience with The Log.
The Log can get the Executioner to change his angle of attack which is necessary for this deck because Heavy Tank threats are our biggest weakness.
The Ice Golem is just so good in this deck.
Considering that it can mitigate damage from the HT threats that this deck can be weak against, while also being able to tank damage from swarm units after we place an Offensive X-Bow.
Relevant: (Death Splash can kill Skeleton Army and Bats.) There is no better match for this deck than the Ice Golem.
It is one of my favorite cards in Clash Royale.
I feel bad for the Guards. I honestly don’t understand why they don’t see more action.
They’re good at taking out Mid Tanks like either of the Princes. They can handle the Goblin Gang; they literally 1v1 the Skeleton Giant if there are no supporting troops. Which an anti-lane X-Bow usually leads to.
Super useful defensive troop for both true defense and for protecting the X-Bow.
Dark Prince – Overall the most versatile unit in the deck.
The Dark Prince can protect the X-Bow and then (If unanswered) makes it to the Tower to deal massive damage from a charged attack.
For an X-Bow deck every hit matters.
For the most parts, you’ll want to use the Dark Prince in tandem with the Guards or Executioner on defense to squash out support units.
This deck carries a Three Spell Package consisting of Fireball, The Log, and Tornado.
We carry Fireball 100% of the time in this deck over Poison, Poison is too slow to take out Minion Horde, or other notable units, like Musketeer or Wizard from dealing way too much damage to our X-Bow.
Be careful not to overcommit on an X-Bow push.
Tornado – Super useful for several reasons in this deck.
One use for Tornado that requires precision and knowledge of your X-Bow’s range, is using it to pull the counter unit out of range of our X-Bow so that it locks onto the Tower.
Don’t do this sort of play if they have Zap, however. Because it invalidates this play for a +1 Elixir “Trade,” if they decide to Zap your X-Bow to make it retarget their tank.
Also King Tower Activation against the ever popular Hog Rider decks that are dominant in the meta. After an Activation, the Tornado can almost completely mitigate the damage from The Hog.
Last but not least, the ever important Exenado Combo. Be precise in your placement of the Executioner to make sure you get the optimal amount of damage on the enemy units.
The Log is great for taking out the opposite lane Princess, Goblin Gang, Rascals (Girls) and many other relevant threats.
If you feel like you struggle more against Bats or Minions, then you can swap it for Zap. (Zap + Ice Golem DEATH splash can kill Minions.)
Ballon Cycle: Performance? Decent.
Balloon decks can give us a real big issue if we aren’t prepared for a Ballon Push. That’s why with this deck we need to be more reactive.
If I place an X-Bow at the bridge and the opponent responds with Minion Horde + Balloon, I can kiss a good X-Bow push and half of my Tower’s health goodbye.
Even with the perfect answer of Fireball in hand, I would lack a sufficient amount of Elixir to defend.
A good tip is to place your X-Bow in the opposite lane on the side closest to the King Tower, then use the Tornado to pull the Balloon into targeting your X-Bow, it will take some health off of the X-Bow from the Bomb, but it will completely negate Tower Damage.
Graveyard: Performance? Decent.
This deck can handle a Graveyard and can punish a GY push, but most Graveyard decks carry X-Bow punishes, like Royal Ghost or Minions/Minion Horde.
Though it isn’t an archetype that is hard to draw ties against on the ladder.
Prince Bait: Performance? Very Good.
This deck can deal with lots of spam-like tactics.
This deck is no exception, as long as you keep your spells in the cycle, coupled with the fact that you can pull the Goblin Barrel and activate the King Tower, which makes it unnecessary to defend a Goblin Barrel afterward, makes this deck rather easy to play against.
Still, though, it’s not an unlosable match up. Both decks are based on punishing mistakes. Outplay them early and stay strong on defense.
P.E.K.K.A/Mega Knight/Golem: Performance? Meh.
Really hard match ups for this strategy and all X-Bow strategies alike are Heavy Tanks.
Heavy Tanks can absorb all of the hits from the X-Bow retain a decent amount of health and then manage to make their way to the Tower; this becomes an issue when they’re able to stack support troops behind their tank. That’s negated by the ExeNado combo, an example of this defense style is in the picture below.
When should I give up and try to get the draw?
If you’re an experienced X-Bow player, you can admit that some match-ups are going to result in losses for you. Since Overtime is only 1 Minute on Ladder often, I am forced to go for a draw rather than lose crowns.
There is a point of no return for every X-Bow player, once you decide you cannot win the match.
For myself, it is at the 0:30 seconds remaining mark. At that point, it is worthless for me to continue playing offensively if Fireball + Log Cycling isn’t enough for me to attain victory.
You have to get to know yourself and the deck before you can decide when to do that.