CoC: TH9 Tactics

(Write-up by Delpez)

Our recent wars have shown something quite clearly: Clash of Clans is a game of skill, and the gap between skilled and unskilled is large. Two weeks ago we warred in a complete mismatch. Our opponents had more high level bases and those bases were also more advanced. Some of their TH10’s were completely maxed out, even the walls. However, from their achievements it was clear that they didn’t actually play much – those maxed bases were bought. The result was a pretty easy victory for us; they did not have the skills to complement their high level bases. It showed that buying your way to a max base is a trap. You can call it pay-to-advance, but it’s definitely not pay-to-win. In fact, because of the way the matchmaker works it’s more like pay-to-lose.

Contrast that with our most recent loss against one of the Clashheads clans. It was a decent matchup – we had more high level bases, but their bases were more advanced. Now we’re not exactly a pushover clan – we win around 80% of the time and are usually victorious in closely matched wars. They took us apart. Clashheads really showed how big a role skill plays in this game, with good attack selection and great execution. One advantage of a beating is that you can learn a lot. For instance, they showed that it is possible to 3-star almost any TH9 base. This write-up aims to list some of the tactics and trends I’ve noticed from their attacks against our TH9 bases, and hopefully it will help us improve our own TH9 attacks.

Some context first: they 3-starred every TH9 base except for Syncaine’s (a 90% 2-star). And I didn’t see a single Pekka! In fact, the serious war clans don’t recommend GoWiPe at TH9 – apparently it’s a safe 2-star but a hard 3-star, and they’re after 3-stars. So how did they attack? The following table summarizes the main attacks used against our TH9 bases. Note that many of the attacks were hybrids – hog attacks often used balloons or vice versa to take out key defenses or pull the clan troops – what I show here is the main attack after clan troops and the queen were taken care of:

Main Attack

Nr of Attacks





Mass Witches


That mass witch attack against Tirn was really cool, but besides that it was hogs, lava hounds and balloons all the way. The next question is how they dealt with clan troops. Every attack except one dealt with clan troops before releasing the main attack. Troops were usually pulled with balloons or hogs, taking out a defensive structure in the process. So if the main attack is balloons, they’ll use some hogs to clear an exposed air defense. If the main attack is hogs, they’ll use some balloons to destroy a couple of ground defenses. After clan troops were pulled, the next order of business is to deal with those troops and the archer queen. The following table shows how clan troops were taken care of:

Kill CC

Nr of Attacks





Minions + Queen


Killsquad refers to a couple of barbarians, two witches, two wizards and the queen. Shattered is two golems (one in the castle), some wizards, wallbreakers and the king. Basically, all the hog attacks used Killsquad for the clan troops and Shattered for the queen (only one golem then), while all the lavaloon attacks used Shattered to deal with both clan troops and the queen. Jump spells were almost always used to core into the queen, and/or to destroy some key defenses.

The main attack was usually deployed in a surgical way. In other words, only a couple of hogs or balloons were dropped per defense. Two of the attacks used a swarm deployment, where the hogs or balloons were deployed in a line. Not a single hog attack dropped all the hogs in one or two spots, like we are prone to do. Some other observations:

Any defensive structure that is not covered by an air defense will be taken out by balloons at the start of the attack. This usually pulled the clan troops as well.

High level heroes is extremely important. A number of those 3-star attacks would not have succeeded with mid-level heroes. I’m not sure where the threshold is, but it seems to be around level 20.

Just having double bomb spots are not enough to deal with hogs. The bomb spots should be difficult to access and ideally between two defenses, so the hogs would have to run through the bombs. Some of the attacks cleared double bomb areas with balloons first, to prevent the hogs from ever having to go there.

The closer the clan castle and queen is to each other, the easier it is to kill both with Shattered. Some base designs don’t allow for this, but try and have the clan castle and queen as far apart as possible, while still central enough to make a pull difficult. Same goes for air defenses – having one next to the queen is an invitation to take out both with the Shattered tactic.

A number of hog attacks dropped a giant to pull fire, and then two or three hogs per defense. The giant absorbs enough fire to allow the hogs to clear the outer defenses with minimal casualties, before joining in the center to clean up the base. In this way four giants and twenty hogs can clear all the outer defenses.

Finally – Onehive Raids have some amazing videos describing these attacks in detail. Especially those covering surgical hogs and The GoWiPe Rut (making the case why GoWiPe sucks!) Just on that, I believe GoWiPe is still viable as a safe 2-star option until your troops and heroes are high enough to start attempting 3-stars. It can also be quite devastating against anti-dragon TH8 bases.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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9 Responses to CoC: TH9 Tactics

  1. sleepysam says:

    Excellent analysis. I’m in the gowipe rut … “until [my] troops and heroes are high enough to start attempting 3-stars.”

    When will that be, in your estimation? I’m on a path to upgrade loons and lava hounds…, but right now I still have TH8 loons and no hounds.

    • Mikrakov says:

      I have read that hero levels required to “consistently 3 star” are 15, but of course lower level bases need lower level heroes.

    • Delpez says:

      My current view is this, but I may be completely mistaken!

      Most attacks use heroes to deal with the queen, clan troops and some key defenses. So higher level heroes allow you to core deeper into bases and/or take out higher level enemy heroes. This allows you to attack stronger bases. However, the main attack is often independent of your heroes, so you still need to skillfully deploy your troops and spells to get 3-stars.

      At the moment my biggest problem is that I’m trying to get too clever: For instance, I’ll try to take out two AD’s with hogs, the CC with a killquad and the queen with shattered. That doesn’t leave many troops for the actual attack. Also, if any part of the attacks goes wrong the whole plan collapses. I think I’ll try and keep things simpler in future and not get too greedy before the main attack.

      • SynCaine says:

        A good start to the ‘keep it simple’ plan is to use a base of GoWiWi with a strike squad of hogs/loons to take out a section the main force would only reach near the end (when they are worn down). That at least for me has turned a few attacks from 2-stars to 3.

  2. Mikrakov says:

    Nice write-up Delpez, I’ve been watching some of those OneHive videos, the guy seems to explain the tactics in a simple to understand fashion that I didn’t get from other sites, so I also recommend checking it out. His war recaps are good too, usually he showcases a couple of great 3 star attacks which you can learn a lot from by looking at. Hopefully I can turn some of this new found knowledge into results!

    I also think it’s a good time to practice these sorts of attacks against the derp clans like the war we just had so when it comes to a crunch situation you have already got the learning fails under your belt.

  3. Designerpot says:

    Interesting point about hero levels, didn’t realize that.

    Shattered with one golem is called cold-blooded. If your main attack is hogs, you are typically going to try to trip some (double) giant bombs with your golems/heroes/killsquad. Basically, giant bombs are to hogs what air defenses are to balloons. Another way to take out cc troops is with a lightning spell.

    I was wondering whether you all build your own bases? Internet bases don’t do well against experienced clans since they’ve seen them so often already.

    Powerbang is another YouTube channel I find very informative on attack types.

    • Delpez says:

      Thanks for the info – will definitely check out Powerbang. I would say at least half the bases are our own (some quite wacky!), and the internet bases are not an exact copy.

  4. Ellroy says:

    Thanks a lot Delpez. Gonna go for TH9 within the next few weeks and this surely helps a lot.

  5. Daniel He hetianding says:

    I am one of the best war attacker in my clan, although I’m not the best at planning. Sometimes I have to go in with barch, but I still get two stars or more on fellow town hall 7s. I can wipe town hall 8s with cheap attacks like giant-healspell, and my best attacks, like dragons, are unstoppable. Usually I get 5 to 6 stars each war, and it takes the opponents either a couple of tries or a higher town hall level attack to three star my base. When I am prepared, I can at least one star a non max town hall 9 with an attack very specifically designed for the base. But the problem is, we don’t have a lot of guys in the clan like me. In fact, other than my leader and two friends, all other guys usually get around 3 to 4 stars per war, while their bases can be three stared easily by lower town hall levels. So I usually opt out of war because it’s pointless anyways, although I do give reminders to people in the caln mail.

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