[Strategy] All of the Ways You’re Not Using the Guards


Introduction

So you know those really cool elite skeletons (hey, they have helmets!) that nobody uses? I use them. And you should too, the boner battalion is awesome. Meet Barry, Other Barry, and err.. Ted.

Every since fast tower killing troops like the Elite Barbarians were introduced, 3very deck more or less needs a ground based swarm card. They can distract Inferno Dragons, Sparkies, Princes, Pekkas, basically all the big heavy hitters. You want a distraction while your tower and/or DPS troops, deal with the big nasty. Additionally they're good counters to other swarm cards, graveyards, and most are pretty decent damage dealers if nobody's killing them off!

Why the Guards?

  • They're spell proof. Unlike your skeleton army, a zap, log, tornado, or arrows aren't enough to remove their distraction power. You can't beat the defensive Guards without over-spending for a splash troop like the wizard, or on poison. While not especially amazing on offense, there is no swarm troop that can boast this same level of defensive potential.
  • They're slow. Their medium move speed is slower than the goblins, so it's easier to pre-plant them or to lure troops to the kill zones between your towers.
  • They're Ranged. Their poleaxes are longer than any of the other melee troops which means they generally get the first hit. This is kind of a small thing, but it'll make the difference sometimes.

Stats

Stat Value
HP 86
Shield 199
DPS 71
Walk Speed Fast

When should I take the guards?

Generally if you're going to take one, and only one ground-based swarm troop as a distraction, I recommend the guards. Their distraction potential is unmatched by any swarm troop, so if you have one and only one swarm troop this is it. When choosing a swarm troop, ask yourself what you need:

Need Primary Role
Damage Skeleton Army or Minion Horde
Cheap Goblins, Spear Goblins, or Skeletons
Can Hit Air Spear Goblins, Goblin Gang, Minions
Pure Unadulterated Distraction Guards

Cards that do the same thing

  • Barbarians More expensive, and slower, these guys really fill the role of "Shutdown it down, shut it all down!" Unfortunately their higher cost makes fireball a fairly effective way to counter them. And their slow speed them fairly easy to counter on defense. Guards are more effective at offense, and their cheaper cost makes them easier to defend with, although they won't be quite as effective.
  • Skeleton Army Same cost, and extremely effective at killing things, unfortunately they're basically trivial to counter on offense, and a good prediction zap will leave you high and dry, and desperate at a negative elixir trade.
  • Goblin Gang Same cost, and better at countering unsupported building-targeting troops since they deal damage faster. Even when zapped. Additionally they can hit air, making this a fairly amazing card. Unfortunately, though, they're easily logged, and the fragility of goblins makes it easier to get rid o them with Arrows, Logs, or Zap.
  • Goblins Cheaper, and higher damage, but trivially easy to kill.
  • Spear Goblins They're cheap, and they hit air, and they're ranged. But they're the lowest dps troop in the game, and they're easy to counter with a spell. Or a loud sneeze.
  • Archers Amazing on the counter-attack. As ranged units they're awesome at luring into the kill zone between towers and hitting air. Each archer does the same damage as a guard, but since there are only 2 of them, they're lower DPS (not counting walk time of guards)
  • Skeletons Hyper-cheap and pretty good DPS, these are an ideal cycle card. They're okay as a way to kill things, as long as those things have absolutely no friends or spells. Rely on this mostly as a way to out-cycle your opponents by forcing them to over-spend on their pushes.
  • Tombstone Same cost as the guards, but is basically the same thing as skeletons, plus a slow trickle of doots. This is an ideal counter to a lot of medium hit point cards who can't take sustained damage from the tower, and it acts as a distraction for building-targeting troops. Unfortunately the doots are pretty easy to kill.
  • Battle Ram So this one is primarily a win condition, making it hard to compare. But for a slightly increased cost it does a very good job of distracting/killing many of the same things the guards do, and is a great way to distract troop targeting win-conditions like the mini pekka. The guards do it better, but do not have the lure ability, and are not nearly as effective on offense.

AND NOW FOR THE ALLITERATION/HUMOR! The Cards the Guards are Best at Killing Mano-A-Cardo

  • Skeleton Army(=) Guards can pop doots in 1 hit, and their long range keeps them safe. You won't have a hell of a lot of return potential, but you can destroy the doot division fairly painlessly.
  • Knight(=) This mustachioed mutton-head is everywhere these days. The Calcium Platoon can distract him fairly effectively, and on defense the tower makes this work for you.
  • Archers(=) Guards! Apply directly to the forehead! The pink plinkers are cute and all, but our skull skewers make short work of them.
  • Goblin Barrel(=) Our Konami-Code tower killers are pretty awful to deal with, unless you brought a log or arrows. Splitting the guards around the tower with enough lead time can prevent most or all of the damage. There are much better answers, but if you didn't bring them (shame on you!) this almost works.
  • Minions(=) The distraction power of the guards doen't just apply to ground troops. The airborne annoyances are annihilated by the tower if you split guards.
  • Mega Minion(=) The mega minion has just barely enough life to hit the tower for a few powerful pops. Guards are a great way to ensure that never happens.
  • Dart Goblin(=) Our Great Green Goblin is a real menace, but thankfully Dartolomew is basically as durable as the green grass. Supply with suppository skeleton supplements to cure gangrene gart doblins.
  • Goblin Gang(=) When faced with the goon gang, who wins this? Who has a tower. There won't be much left for an offense though.
  • Princess(=) Our pretty little lady loves to be speared by a good bone buddy. Well, I lied, she seems to hate it. Apply to the face, so that she only gets one hit on them, and you have most of the guard group for retaliation.
  • Bandit(=) Juno is a real menace. She's fragile though, and easily distracted. Basically Guard-Bait. Exterminate with extreme prejudice.
  • Inferno Dragon(+1) Even with the swanky new heal, the poor Timmy is easily distracted by the guards, to the point of uselessness.
  • Musketeer(+1) This single-shooter-sniper loves skeletons. She thinks they're to die for.
  • Mini Pekka(+1) Pancakes is pretty easily distracted by bones barbs or butterflies and the guards are great at it.
  • Electro Wizard(+1) El Zappo is a real pain in the butt if you like using sparky or inferno dragons. Thankfully these bone bodyguards are great at distracting things. And it takes a few seconds to get rid of these boneheads, so you can use them to kill Zappo, or just to distract him long enough to get the job done.
  • Lumberjerk(+1) This rageaholic needs to simmer down. Maybe talking to some of his dead relatives will help? Schedule a skeletal seance right this second!
  • Giant(+2)* This orange idjit is tough to take down, and the guards don't really do the job by themselves. But they're a great way to keep this dunderhead from destroying your domicile.
  • Prince(+2) This preening prancer, this handsome horseman, this lovely lancer …he sucks at killing guards.
  • Graveyard(+2) The H4xx0rz battalion is a real pain to defend but a trio of tridents will do a lot to keep the calcified cavalcade from wrecking your tower.
  • Sparky(+3) So you know what counters sparky? Everything. With shields these guys do too. Especially if you can deploy to surround sparky.
  • *Giant Skeleton(+3) * Superlarry! Dies to guards if the tower is helping. Kind of anticlimactic for a superhero if you ask me. Deploy behind and you can even make use of some guards as a counter-attack!
  • Elite Barbarians(+3) Not sufficient all by themselves, but almost. An Ice Spirit, Ice Wizard, hell even regular old Doots will turn the crackbarbies into grassbarbies. I censored that for ya. Because I'm nice like that.
  • Pekka(+4) Penny is slow and easily distracted. Which is basically Guard Paradise. For 6 whole attacks, poor PEKKA is stuck waiting around forever while the tower terrorizes her, and the guards get good some good old zap-proof DPS on her too there'll be little if anything left of her.

Synergies

Glass Cannon DPS Troops – The Guards can bodyguard almost any squishy troop. Electro Wizard, Bandit, Archers, Musketeers, Darto, take your pick. The high number of hits it takes to kill the guards keeps the support troops kicking for longer than you'd expect.

Distractions like Miner, Hog, Battle Ram – If you countered with the guards, the Miner is a great way to turn a defense into an offense, and the guards are fast enough to make it hard to deal with. Their DPS is medium high too, so even one or two guards added to the miner can mean a lot of added damage.

Mini Tanks like Knight/Valkyrie – When you're trying to deal with two threats at once, like an Executioner+ Pekka you can deploy the knight onto the executioner, and the guards onto the pekka for a massively positive trade. Just be careful to ensure they're split enough to target the right things.


Decks With Guards

Try this – Swap the Barbarians with the guards for a more powerful deck on offense with just a little less stopping power.

Too Many Legendaries, an oldie but a goodie!

Winter Storm, this more fragile variant


Conclusion

Use the guards! They're awesome!

Got a deck? Got a use case I missed? COMMENT!!! I edit things in if I agree, and I promise to link you up too.

Blanket Permission

I sometimes get asked if a person can use, copy, share, or paraphrase part/all of my guides. YES. Even those without this disclaimer. Please cite/link the original and if it is something available for public consumption feel free to share it with me via DM or comment. I like to see my work shared.


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