“Fast melee troop that targets buildings and can jump over the river. He followed the echoing call of "Hog Riderrrrr" all the way through the Arena doors.”
The Hog Rider card is unlocked from the Goblin Stadium (Arena 1). He is a very fast building-targeting, melee troop with moderate hitpoints and moderately high damage. A Hog Rider card costs 4 Elixir to deploy. He appears just like his Clash of Clans counterpart; a man with brown eyebrows, a beard, a mohawk, and a golden body piercing in his left ear who is riding a hog.
With his moderately high damage, the Hog Rider can be deployed behind a high hitpoint card, such as the Giant, to distract enemy troops or with support units such as Goblins, dealing lots of damage. However, you can counter this combo with the Skeleton Army, Barbarians, or a Minion Horde.
Due to the fact that certain units like the Giant or Sparky occupy a lot of space in the Arena, the Hog Rider may have difficulties getting to the Crown Tower due to the large troop blocking the Tower in front of him.
The Hog Rider in conjunction with the Freeze can be extremely effective. Firstly, the Hog Rider is spawned, and if the opponent spawns troops to defend the Tower, cast the Freeze. As the Freeze freezes the defending troops & Crown Tower, and the Hog Rider will remain unhindered to attack the enemy's Tower. It is also recommended to drop cheap ranged troops or Goblins to go with the hog in order to deal additional tower damage and lighten the counterattack that will support the frozen troops. However, the opponent can first use a building to distract the Hog Rider, then put down troops once you freeze the building and tower.
The Hog Rider only attacks buildings. This means that he can easily be distracted by building cards, but can also help out by destroying them. A Cannon is a good counter as it can pull the Hog Rider away from a Tower, distracting it and giving the Towers ample time to damage or kill him. The Tombstone is also effective as the spawned Skeletons can significantly damage the Hog Rider, but can often be more easily countered.
When there are buildings placed in the middle to counter the Hog Rider, understanding the placement of the Hog Rider and the type of building placed can help your Hog Rider to bypass certain buildings.
Passive buildings such as spawners and Elixir Collector have a larger hitbox than defensive buildings; which means that: if a passive building was placed 3 tiles away from the river in the middle of your opponent's side, then it is impossible for your Hog Rider to bypass that placement as the Hog Rider will get pulled to that building.
Defensive buildings have a smaller hitbox than a passive building, which means if that if a defensive building was placed three tiles away from the river in the middle of your opponent's side, a Hog Rider placed at the very left or right side of the Arena may be able to bypass it due to its smaller hitbox.
A Tornado placed in front of your King's Tower when a Hog Rider is approaching one of the Crown Towers can activate your King's Tower, helping you in defense.
He can also clear a key defense or front-placed Elixir Collector for a future push.
If the opponent places an Elixir Collector far back in the middle in front of the King's Tower, the hog can be deployed on the river, and he will jump the river and go straight for it. However, it is important to keep in mind that this placement puts him in the kill zone, where both Arena Towers can target him.
A very powerful combo is the Hog Rider, the Musketeer, and the Valkyrie. The Musketeer is for dealing damage to buildings, the Valkyrie is for protecting the Musketeer and Hog Rider from mass troops (i.e. Skeleton Army, Spear Goblins) as well as building shots, and the Hog Rider is used to deal damage for the tower.
This combination of troops is dubbed the Trifecta by the community.
This can be effectively countered by Lightning, killing the Musketeer and severely damaging both the Valkyrie and Hog Rider. The Minion Horde is also effective, but the enemy can Zap them and the Musketeer will one-shot them all. Even if the Musketeer is killed, the Hog Rider and Valkyrie will have enough time to severely damage the Tower.
Make sure you place the Hog Rider behind the Valkyrie to give it a boost so that it stays in front of the Hog Rider, protecting it.
A P.E.K.K.A. easily counters this for a massive 5 positive Elixir trade and a possible chance for a counterattack.
Pair the Hog Rider up with Skeletons, Goblins, Zap, or Fire Spirits for a cheap and quick assault that can deal very high damage if not well-countered.
Both Goblins and Fire Spirits can complement the Hog Rider's very fast movement speed. Melee Goblins and Fire Spirits can be devastating since they offer high damage, but are however susceptible to splash that can hit the Hog and supporting units at the same time. The Ice Spirit is also devastating since it can freeze the Arena Tower, but it does not offer as much damage. Spear Goblins are also great since they are ranged and chip away from a safe distance when facing splash units, and hence they're less vulnerable to splash units.
If a Goblin Barrel is deployed directly before the Hog Rider, they will distract the Crown Tower while the Hog Rider deals damage. This can also be useful in the reverse. The Hog Rider can act as a tank for the Goblins so that the Goblins can deal great damage.
Sending out a Miner right before the Hog Rider is sent can be an effective combo. As the tower is distracted by the Miner, the Hog Rider can deal extra damage.
Pairing the Hog Rider with the Balloon can deal devastating damage. If executed properly, the Hog Rider will act as a tank while the Balloon deals massive damage; the Hog Rider can also destroy any buildings attempting to slow down the combo. Remember that this combo is very vulnerable to the Minion Horde as neither of the troops target anything but buildings. Plus, it is easy to separate, since the Hog is very fast and the Balloon quite slow.
Barbarians, Elite Barbarians, and the Skeleton Army can also be used to counter it, but be careful because the Hog Rider may be backed up by area-damage troops, such as the Bomber, or spells, such as the Fireball or Zap.
The Hog Rider can kite any troop that does not attack buildings due to its very fast speed and placement.
The Hog Rider can be paired with the Lumberjack as both a swarm bait and damage combo. It is a very fast combo with an extremely high damage output potential, so the enemy will likely try to counter it with a swarm. If this happens, use a spell like Arrows to render the opponent defenseless. If they manage to defeat the Lumberjack, the dropped Rage will make the Hog Rider even more dangerous than it normally is.
The Hog Rider was added with Clash Royale's soft launch on 4/1/16.
The Hog Rider is based on its identical counterpart in Clash of Clans, given that both of them can jump over obstacles that normal ground units are unable to.
Although in the description of the Hog Rider the middle separating area is referred to as a "river", in Bone Pit, Builder's Workshop and Electro Valley there is no water in the separating area.
When he is jumping over the river, he cannot be targeted by any troops or buildings (except for the Mega Knight). However, if he was already targeted by an Inferno Tower or Inferno Dragon, he would receive damage when he jumps over the river.