tl;dr: Giant + Balloon Push deck
1. Giant - anti-building, tank
Slow-moving, high-HP, the Giant is highly underestimated as both a damage soaker and a damage dealer. Even with some of the most damaging troops sent to counter him, he almost always gets 1-2 hits on the enemy Crown Tower or distracts troops long enough for the Balloon to get a devasting hit.
2. Balloon - anti-building, vanguard
Decent-HP with very potent DPS, the Balloon is the deck's main win condition. Protect it with the Giant in front and either a spell or your Ice Wizard following after. Opponents almost always send Minion Horde/Spear Goblins to counter it - swarms that the deck's supporting spells were made to hard counter.
3. Poison - AOE, slow,
A very underrated spell. The reduced movement AND attack speed, damage-over-time, counters small troops and even Barbarians hard (which opponents tend to underestimate as Barbs have quite a sizeable HP pool). Unlike Freeze or Rage, Poison directly damages enemy counters. Hence, it is a good mix of both as enemy's slowed movements translates to you dishing out more damage.
4. Arrows - AOE, 243 damage to troops,
Anti-Princess, anti-Minion Horde, severely damage Archers and potentially clinch a victory by peppering a dying Crown Tower; Arrows have such a wide range that it is tough to miss with them even during intense fights. Anticipating Minion Hordes in your Giant + Balloon push almost always guarantees a Tower.
5. Ice Wizard - AOE, control, air and ground
AOE counter to all swarms, land and air. Decent HP, awesome control capabilities by slowing Hog Riders, Royal Giant pushes. If all else fails and for an almost-Freeze, drop a Poison on them as well for added DPS and stacked slows.
6. Barbarians - high point-damage, ground
High point-damage that I use to clear Princes, Dark Princes, RGs, Hog Riders, Baby Dragons, and Balloons. If they survive for a counter-push, they can do quite a lot of damage to enemy Crown Towers as well. Opponents will almost always Fireball them, so they aren't recommended to lead pushes. One thing I've surprisingly found out from plays was that solo-Barbs is the best card to play in order to counter 3 Musketeers (used to go Poison + Barbs on them).
7. Minions - point-damage, air and ground
Anti-Hog, anti-Prince, anti-Sparky, anti-RG, anti-P.E.K.K.A. Used defensively, they are cheap, non-committal send-offs against tanky enemies that hit at 1s intervals. Also, against enemy AOE troops (except Wizards) if you can allow your Tower to take some damage. There are no exceptionally good counters to Minions as Arrows would give an even-elixir trade and Zap cannot kill them.
8. Elixir Collector - elixir build-up for push, Hog/RG/Balloon distraction
As your offense is quite elixir-heavy, the collector is the cornerstone of the deck. Provides elixir in a pinch, allows you to throw Poison to thwart counters or send another backing troop, and (still viably) distract building-targeting troops. Plant them in the middle of your side after taking a Tower if 1-crown is enough for you. By then, it should be 2x Elixir time and you almost always have enough elixir to play decent counters.
Followed Clash Royale Arena's deck building guide quite closely: http://clashroyalearena.com/guides/deck-building-guide
- 2 high-HP troops
- 2 anti-air troops
- 2 point-damaging troops
- 3 AOE troop and spells
- 1 building
With an Average Elixir Cost of 4.1, the deck is able to balance offense and defense quite decently. Always aim to plant an Elixir Collector if you draw it in your opening hand. Otherwise, play defensively for it to cycle into your hand. With an elixir advantage, it is quite difficult for the opponent to get past double slows (Ice Wizard + Poison) and DPS from Barbs and Minions.
On the offense, time for when your opponent has expended most of his/her elixir in a push, decently defend that, but save about 6 elixir to Giant + Balloon them in the other lane. Chances are, he or she won't have the right cards or the elixir to play them after you've foiled their first attack.
The deck does have trouble with ranged tanks like the Royal Giant or flying tanks like the Lava Hound as they tend to come with a bevy of support. Don't panic! Drop your controls to chip away at enemy support before planting your higher DPS troops behind the push rather than meeting them square on. Often, Sparkys can't charge up in time with the combined slow effects of Ice Wizard and Poison. Using the same combi, you won't incur that much Royal Giant damage.
The biggest challenge thus far has been with similar Giant + Balloon decks. It instantly becomes much more strategic as both sides are waiting to play the same combi. I try to play a lot more defensively with Ice Wizard + Poison + Minions or Ice Wizard + Barbs in this case as it pits 8 to 10 elixir against their 10 elixir and allows you to have a small push after.
Offense and Defense:
Except for the Balloon, all other cards can easily be used on both offense and defense. Often times, it is best to convert your counter cards into a push. The less clear defensive options you can play are:
- Giant: place him when your opponent is mounting a push, troop hitting plays will be distracted by this huge slab of meat and HP that your Crown Towers + spells and/or supporting troops can clear them.
- Poison: used defensively, slows opponents and deals damage. Same for offense. Balloon shines with it.
- Elixir Collector: still a viable option to take damage from building-targeting troops like the Hog Rider and RG but try to do so only after taking an enemy tower lest you'll not have enough to mount a push.
Even though the Ice Wizard + Poison combi is brutal on defense, there are alternative card options!
In place of: Minions
Cheaper and longer-ranged, what Spear Goblins lose out for in terms of some DPS and HP is a quicker way to cycle through the deck as well as provide distractions for enemy ground-targeting troops.
In place of: Arrows
Cheaper and instant cast, Zap might have a smaller radius of effect, but that always useful 1-second stun might just allow your Balloon or Giant to get a clutch hit. Related to the other cards in this deck, Zap ensures another 1-second tick damage from Poison. Also, Zap is especially useful to reset Inferno Towers and Sparkys (not that much of a problem when used with Minions as that zap cannon on wheels can't hit flyers).
In place of: Ice Wizard
Either go for the same cost Archers that give higher DPS and is an overall great support and defense card, or the higher cost, higher AOE DPS Wizard that clears the main threats that Giant and Balloon will face.
In place of: Poison
Both cost the same as Poison. Although I did say that Poison was a mix of both, it is a case of being same same but ultimately different. Instant burst damage from Fireball is indispensible for claiming clutch victories, clearing mid-HP troops like Musketeers, Barbarians, and Wizards that all pose a threat to the troops in the deck. The 4-5-second Freeze won't clear enemy troops, but if one's goal is to immobilize and wipe out enemy Towers, freezing them is superior to slowing and damaging them.