Clash Royale Inferno Dragon Guide for Newbies

Pros and Cons 

The Inferno Dragon is very similar to Sparky in the sense that it can either be your opponents worst nightmare or a "trash can with wings".

Pros
  • It's a flying unit so ground attackers cant do much do it besides distract
  • When fully charged it has the highest dps of a single troop in the game
  • It can absolutely melt tanks and towers if it has the right support
  • It can survive all spells except rocket
Cons
  • Its pretty bloody slow (although this can have benefits when behind a tank)
  • Deceivingly low range
  • It can takes a long time to re-target
  • Small units basically distract it indefinitely
  • Zap can reset its charge
  • Has significantly less damage than the Inferno Tower
  • Still fairly frail hp wise
How to use the Inferno Dragon 

In my opinion, beatdown is the only type of deck suitable for the Inferno Dragon. Using him as a cheaper Inferno Tower in cycle decks is a HUGE no, and siege decks don't offer enough protection to use him offensively. You only want to use your inferno dragon offensively or defensively with the intent of counter pushing. In my experience, the Golem and Lava Hound are by far the most effective tanks for the Inferno Dragon so we will be examining them in this guide, however more advanced players may find success with the Pekka, Giant or even Giant Skeleton.

Building your deck

Golem

This guy is my preferred tank for three reasons: he offers the best hp-per-elixer, his death blast can kill small units that might otherwise distract your Inferno Dragon, and his golemites can allow your Dragon extra time to power up his attack. An Inferno Dragon/Golem deck will follow this format:
  • Inferno Dragon
  • Golem
  • Building (Elixer collector strongly reccomended, but I have seen success with tombstone etc.)
  • Fireball
  • Zap
  • Alternative dps (Mega Minion, Mini Pekka etc.)
  • Group unit (3x Minions, Archers)
  • Aoe unit (Valkyerie or Baby Dragon)
There is always room for flexibility in this deck and I have seen people succeed with lighting and fire spirits instead of fireball and zap. The general strategy for this deck will be to either build an elixer advantage with the pump and send out a massive push or use your troops to make positive trades and wait until 2x elixer to attack. Make sure to ALWAYS put your Inferno Dragon on the far left/right (depending on the tower) to ensure the highest chance of having it lock onto the crown tower. Your support units will keep the pressure off and clear the path so that your Inferno Dragon can damage the tower.

One of the best parts about this deck is that if your opponent is unable to stop the initial push and you still have golemites and your inferno dragon, they will likely be out of elixer and you can very often immediately go for a 3 crown win. I would say anywhere from 15-20% of crown tower kills translate directly into a 3 crown win with this deck so make sure you pay attention to the opportunities.

Lava Hound

With this deck you have the added benefit of building an all air deck, rendering any ground attacking troops your enemy might have useless. I highly recommend going with an all air deck when using the lava hound because it can really limit your opponents defensive options. A sample deck would follow this template:
  • Inferno Dragon
  • Lava Hound
  • Spell 1(Lightning/Fireball)
  • Spell 2(Zap/arrows)
  • Mega Minion
  • 3x Minions
  • Tombstone/Elixer Collector/Furnace
  • Support(Baby Dragon, Valkyerie, Miner etc.)
The main threats to this deck are Inferno Towers and Minion Hordes. Always make sure you have a card or spell on hand to deal with these threats before building up a push.

The Lava Hound deck also has the best opportunity to use the Inferno Dragon in a counter pushing role. Since the Hound deploys much faster than the Golem, you can send out your Inferno Dragon and your support units first to dismantle an oncoming push and then quickly drop a Lava Hound for a surprise attack. If you have the miner it is HIGHLY recommend for this deck because it can tank not only for the pups, but also to allow the ID to build its dps even more. Make sure to deploy it just BEFORE your hound "pops".

Do's and Don't's 

This applies to basically any deck with the Inferno Dragon and following these tips can help improve your game with it.

Do's
  • Always have spells on hand to deal with threats like the Inferno Tower on Minion Horde
  • Always have support units in your push with your Inferno Dragon
  • Always have an alternative win condition if your opponent has many counters to the Inferno Dragon
  • Only use your Inferno Dragon on defense if you have the intent of building a counter push
  • ALWAYS put your dragon on the far right/left of the lane your attacking to increase the odds if it targeting the tower
Don't's
  • NEVER EVER send an Inferno Dragon alone
  • Never send an inferno dragon without a tank
  • Never substitute an Inferno Tower with an Inferno Dragon and expect the same results
  • Never build a push with the Inferno Dragon without ample support troops/spells to clear the path
  • Never put the Dragon in the middle of the lane
Conclusion 

All in all, the Inferno Dragon might not be the super-OP card we thought it was going to be, but it serves a niche role that, when built around, can be devastating to your opponents. Hopefully this guide has helped some of you tame this little bugger and roast, toast and coast your way up the ladder.