“He's tough, targets buildings and explodes when destroyed, slowing nearby enemies. Made entirely out of ice... or is he?! Yes.”
The Ice Golem card is unlocked from the Frozen Peak (Arena 8). It is a building targeting, melee troop with moderate hitpoints and low damage. The Ice Golem is a cheap mini-tank that explodes when killed, dealing slight area death damage similar to the Golem, while additionally slowing down anything nearby for 1 second. An Ice Golem card costs 2 Elixir to deploy.
A simple strategy is to deploy the Ice Golem in front of a Hog Rider or Battle Ram as the Princess Towers and any other troops or defensive buildings will target the Ice Golem, giving the other troop more time to deal damage, and opposing units will be slowed upon the Ice Golem's death.
Once the Ice Golem is eliminated, the Ice Golem's slowing effect of the supporting troops and buildings will give the Hog Rider 1-2 extra hits.
This can also help manage a common counter to the Hog Rider, the Skeleton Army, which the Ice Golem will take care of due to his death damage taking out most if not all of the skeletons.
The Ice Golem can be paired with anything low health on defense to make sure it can get some damage is done to your opponents attack.
The Ice Golem can be used defensively as a slowing tank for any attacking troops and buildings.
If you put the Ice Golem in the center but in the opposite lane, melee troops will chase the Ice Golem to the other lane giving you and your Crown Towers more time to kill it. This is called 'kiting.'
This also lures the enemy troops into the kill zone, where both Towers can target the troop.
The Ice Golem can be paired with ground troops such as the Prince and Mini P.E.K.K.A. to kill swarms that were deployed to execute the troop. If the opponent uses Minions, the Ice Golem's Death Damage and a Zap can kill the Minions.
Bear in mind that its death damage can kill Skeletons at tournament standards.
The Ice Golem counters many solo mini-tanks such as the Mini P.E.K.K.A. and Valkyrie. Pulling the troops to the center of the arena lengthens the time it takes for the units to reach the tower, as well as bringing them within range of the other tower. This can also be done to counter small melee units like Goblins or Minions.
However, to counter ranged troops like the Musketeer, placing the Ice Golem directly on top of the troop is more beneficial, as it slows down the troop after it dies, allowing the tower to finish it off.
The Ice Golem should generally not be used to attack solo, as his damage is very low. He is much more effectively used to tank for other troops.
An Ice Golem with Fire Spirits can easily take out Three Musketeers. Place the Ice Golem first so the Musketeers lock onto him, then quickly drop the Fire Spirits to cripple the Musketeers. The Ice Golem's death damage will slow them down and damage them even more, if not finish them off.
As it is the cheapest mini-tank, it can be an addition to cycle decks, which usually lack high hitpoint units.
Due to its low cost, it is disposable. While defending, its death explosion can slow down surrounding troops. During attacks, it can tank for a while and slow down surrounding troops, giving you an upper hand. In addition, it can be used as a lightning rod - attracting one hit from the Lightning due to its high hitpoints, and possibly saving another more valuable troop - such as a Musketeer or Wizard.
The Ice Golem is not a replacement for a Golem in any deck, and their playstyles are very different. Ice Golem costs much less elixir, has much fewer hitpoints, does less death damage, has no golemites, and slows troops. Golem serves the role of being a huge tank for a large, tower-taking push, while the Ice Golem is the cycle deck's mini-tank that is useful on both offense and defense for cheap and reactive enemy control.
The Ice Golem was added to the game on 14/10/16.
On 20/10/16, a Balance Update allowed its death damage to affect flying troops.
On 1/11/16, a Balance Update increased the Ice Golem's death damage by 74%.
The update also changed the description. It used to read "He's tough, targets buildings and explodes when destroyed, slowing nearby enemies. Wears a fashionable collar of coal to match his ears and nails."
On 23/1/17, a Balance Update decreased his hitpoints by 5%, his death damage radius to 2 tiles (from 3 tiles), and death damage slow duration to 2 seconds (from 3).
On 12/12/17, a Balance Update decreased the Ice Golem‘s slow effect duration to 1 second (from 2)
On 4/6/18, a Balance Update decreased the Ice Golem's hitpoints by 5%.
The Ice Golem's slowing effect does not stack with the Ice Wizard attack's slowing effect.
Along with the Wall Breakers, the Ice Golem is the cheapest building-targeting card, costing only 2 Elixir.
Unlike the Golem, the Ice Golem attacks with both hands, whereas the Golem only punches with one hand.