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Choosing an attack strategy

As a Town Hall 8 player, you will find that there is no "magic 3-star" strategy as there was with Town Hall 7 (Dragons and Lightning Spells). The army composition you use is dependent on the base you are attacking.

The main armies used by Town Hall 8 players in war are as follows:

  • Dragon based armies (Dragloon, massed Dragons)
  • Hog Rider based armies
  • GoWi based armies (GoWiPe, GoWiVa, GoLoWiPe, etc.)

Dragon based armies such as Dragloon are effective against a wide variety of bases, however without perfect technique you will have trouble 3-starring maxed Town Hall 8 players.

Hog Rider based armies are most effective with level 4 Hog Riders, and should not be attempted with level 2 Hog Riders or below. Hog Rider armies are best used on bases with no potential spaces for double Giant Bomb sets, as these can wipe out an entire pack of hogs instantly. However, a Hog Rider army is capable of 3-starring almost any TH8 base with proper technique.

GoWi based armies are effective against bases with few and large compartments, such as ring structure bases. Heavily segmented bases will throw off unit pathing and stymie your raid, more often than not resulting in a 2-star victory.

Hog Rider and GoWi combinations such as GoHog combine the characteristics of a GoWi based army and a Hog Rider-based army - they use a combination of Golems, Wizards, Hog Riders and perhaps P.E.K.K.A to achieve a 3-star victory. In some variants, only a small amount of Hog Riders are taken and they are used as back end troops to supplement a GoWi army, in other variants the Hog Riders are the main attack force and the GoWi army is simply used to neutralize a slightly buried double Giant Bomb spot.

I will talk about Hog Rider-based GoHog attacks in the Hog Rider section, and GoWi based GoHog attacks in the GoWi section.

General Tips

  • Always scout the base well! Look especially in the corners - corner Builder Huts offer an opportunity to pull Clan Castle troops to a corner where your troops will be undisturbed by enemy defenses.
  • Never attack without spells or Clan Castle troops, and if your Barbarian King is upgrading use Dragon based attacks only.

Dragons

Introduction

Dragon based strategies are the most commonly used strategies at Town Hall 8, especially for newer or less experienced Town Hall 8 players. These strategies are probably also the main strategies you will use from early to mid Town Hall 8.

Many players will use massed Dragon armies with an extra Dragon in the Clan Castle to attack Town Hall 8 bases, while this can be effective it is generally better to take Balloons in the Clan Castle. This creates what is known as a Dragloon attack.

The premise behind Dragloon is simple - the Dragons tank the fire from the Air Defenses and Wizard Towers, while the Balloons rush to the Air Defenses and destroy them. In practice your Dragons will generally destroy at least some of the Air Defenses in a Dragloon raid.

One of the great things about a Dragon-based raid is usually, there is no need to lure the Clan Castle. The exception is if the Clan Castle is not inside the core, potentially creating a distraction from the core of the base.

When scouting, you want to think about:

  • Air Defense locations - clustered or spread?
  • If spread, a plan to destroy each Air Defense - Balloons? Lightning? Hog Riders?
    • Can any of the Air Defenses be sniped by Balloons? Look at the other defenses near each Air Defense and determine if the Air Defense can be targeted.
    • Which Air Defense will you drop your Lightning Spells on, if you are using them?
    • Will you destroy two Air Defenses using a single group of Dragons or Balloons, or will you split your army to deal with them?

You will need Level 4 Lightning spells to use any Lightning-based strategies. As a general rule, level 1 Dragons are suitable for level 4 Air Defenses, level 2 Dragons are suitable for level 5 Air Defenses and level 3 Dragons are suitable for level 6 Air Defenses. Always try to get maxed Balloons in your Clan Castle, if not then level 5 Balloons will work too (though not as well).

General Tips

  • One common mistake with Dragon raids is deploying all of your dragons in one spot. This will cause them to fan out, and the amount of dragons reaching the core will not be sufficient to destroy all of the air defenses.
  • You want to funnel your dragons. Funneling is, basically, controlling where your troops will go. Choose which side you will attack from, and imagine a wide line of dragons on that side. Deploy your dragons starting at the ends of the line, waiting for a few seconds, and then continuing toward the middle. Your dragons will follow the line of destroyed buildings to the middle of the line, where they will cluster into a group and head into the core.
  • It is best to save your Barbarian King for the end of the raid. Once your Dragons have destroyed all of the Air Defenses, deploy him near some Archer Towers or Hidden Teslas. The towers will fire at him, preventing them from killing your Dragons. Your Barbarian King can also be used during the cleanup phase to destroy corner buildings that may be time consuming for your dragons to reach.
  • There are many, many different Dragloon armies - 105 Dragloon, 813 Dragloon, 99 Dragloon - however what really matters is having a plan to destroy every single Air Defense in the enemy base. Generally, if every Air Defense is gone and you have at least 5 dragons left, you've 3-starred the base. You should expect to, at the very least, lose 2 dragons to Seeking Air Mines and 1 dragon to the enemy Clan Castle.

Attack Strategies

Clustered Air Defenses

If the Air Defenses are in the core of the base and clustered together, you will want to use 105 Dragloon - that is, 10 dragons, 5 balloons (in the Clan Castle). Bring either 2 rage spells and 1 heal spell or 3 rage spells - from my personal experience taking the heal spell is worth it to keep your balloons alive.

This may seem counter intuitive but bases with clustered Air Defenses are the easiest to destroy using Dragloon, as a single Rage Spell on a group of Dragons and Balloons will eradicate whatever is inside the core.

You should deploy your Dragons and funnel them to the core. Once the Dragons start taking fire from the Air Defenses, it is time to drop your first Rage Spell in front of your Dragons. Once your Dragons or Balloons are in the core, it is time to deploy your second Rage Spell and (if you took one) your Heal Spell.

As soon as a path to the Air Defenses is clear, deploy your Clan Castle Balloons so that they go straight for the Air Defenses inside the core. They will move through the first Rage Spell that you dropped and into the second Rage Spell and (if you took one) Heal Spell. If you took no Heal Spell, you can use your third Rage Spell to speed your Dragons through any remaining resistance.

So, in summary:

  1. Lure and kill enemy Clan Castle troops if enemy Clan Castle is significantly off-center
  2. Deploy and funnel Dragons
  3. Drop first Rage Spell ahead of Dragons as soon as Dragons take fire from Air Defense
  4. Deploy Balloons when path to Air Defense and core is cleared
  5. Drop second Rage Spell and Heal Spell (if taken) inside core
  6. Drop third Rage Spell (if taken) to clear remaining resistance
  7. Deploy Barbarian King to tank Archer Towers and Hidden Teslas at back end of base, or to clean up corner buildings.

Spread Air Defenses

If the Air Defenses are spread out, Dragloon becomes much more reliant on technique. Often, attempting the above strategy will result in your dragons destroying two of the air defenses and dying to the third. In this case you want to also think about how many Dragons and Balloons you want (never bring less than 8 Dragons) as part of your plan to destroy every Air Defense in the base.

You have a choice of taking three Lightning Spells or a combination of Rage Spells and Heal Spells, it all comes down to your plan to destroy each Air Defense.

You should scout the base and look for Air Defenses that can be sniped easily using Balloons and perhaps a Rage Spell. Watch out for potential Air Bomb locations - a group of four Air Bombs will completely destroy the Balloons that you send. You can also use Hog Riders and maybe a Heal Spell to snipe one or two Air Defenses.

If no Air Defenses can be easily sniped, you can use Lightning Spells to destroy the most difficult Air Defense and then deploy and funnel your Dragons and Balloons to destroy the remaining two in one go, or deploy half of your Dragons and Balloons on each Air Defense.

From my experience a base with spread out Air Defenses is much more difficult to 3-star using Dragons than a base with clustered Air Defenses. If you are not feeling comfortable you might want to try a ground-based attack.

Hog Riders

Introduction

Massed Hog Riders are a very effective late-Town Hall 8 attack strategy on certain types of bases. You will see these strategies being used between maxed Town Hall 8 players, where Dragon attacks become very hit and miss.

The idea is to use a large pack of Hog Riders, combined with Heal Spells, to destroy every single defense in the enemy base. Hog Riders are decent cleanup troops too, with their speed and ability to jump over walls. This can be combined with a few Dragons or a mini GoWi attack.

Generally you will not require so many Hog Riders, it only takes a small pack supported by Heal Spells to level a base. However, this strategy almost requires level 4 Hog Riders, especially against maxed Town Hall 8 bases. This strategy should not be used with level 2 Hog Riders or below since a single maxed Giant Bomb can wipe all of them out.

When scouting a base, you want to think about:

  • Possible double Giant Bomb locations (2x4 empty spaces). If double Giant Bomb spots are deep within the base, you might want to try GoHog (see GoWi section).
  • A defense you can target with Hog Riders (or another strategy) to lure the enemy Clan Castle. If the enemy Clan Castle is unlureable, you might want to try GoHog.

Attack Strategies

Horde of Hogs

There is not nearly as much variation with Hog Rider raids as there is with Dragon Raids. At its simplest level, you simply need to take at least 20 Hog Riders, along with your clan castle killing troops, Heal Spells and a Poison Spell. This strategy requires luring - a single Dragon, Balloon, Valkyrie or Wizard will destroy your raid utterly.

Thankfully, luring Clan Castle troops is usually relatively easy - sacrifice 1-2 Hog Riders to target a defense which is within range of the Clan Castle.

The most reliable way to kill all of the enemy Clan Castle troops is to take 2 witches and 1 barbarian in your Clan Castle, along with a few Wizards. Lure the enemy Clan Castle and then deploy your Clan Castle Witches as far away from the base as possible. The single Barbarian will distract the enemy troops while the Witches create Skeletons (without him, they would target the Witch first). Once these Skeletons are created the enemy Clan Castle troops will be indefinitely distracted by them as long as the Witch stays alive - this is when you deploy Wizards to destroy the enemy troops. Your Witches and Wizards can also be used to kill the Barbarian King if the opportunity arises.

A Dragon can also be taken in the Clan Castle, and extra Dragons can be used in your army if Witches are not available.

Whatever your method of killing the Clan Castle troops, save your Poison Spells for when your Hog Riders encounter Skeleton Traps.

Once the enemy Clan Castle is dead, you can proceed to deploy all of your Hog Riders. If there are potential Double Giant Bomb spots, you can deploy them in two groups, otherwise you should deploy them all in one group. Keeping them in one pack ensures that your Heal Spells can heal all of your Hog Riders.

You want to save your Heal Spells for single Giant Bombs, Wizard Towers or any time your entire pack of Hog Riders is low on health. If you suspect a single Giant Bomb it is wise to pre-drop a Heal Spell before your Hog Riders activate the trap - especially if it is near a Wizard Tower!

Your Hog Riders and any remaining Witches, Wizards or Dragons should handle cleanup of the base. If there are lots of outlying buildings, saving 1 or 2 hogs from your main attack is a good idea.

So, in summary:

  1. Lure and kill Clan Castle
  2. Deploy Hog Riders in one or two groups (just hold your fingers on the screen)
  3. Use Heal Spells as appropriate, near Wizard Towers and Giant Bombs

Surgical Hogs

This is a relatively recent strategy developed to counter the threat of multiple double Giant Bomb locations in a base. Instead of deploying all of your Hog Riders in a single pack, you will be using Giants, Golems or your Barbarian King to tank individual defenses and then deploying groups of 3-4 Hog Riders to destroy each exterior defense as they are being tanked. These Hog Riders will eventually combine to form larger groups in the core of the base, and because they start off in such small groups, a double Giant Bomb set will only kill a small amount of Hog Riders.

You will want to take many Hog Riders - at least 32. Fill the rest of your Army Camps and Clan Castle with Dragons or Wizards and Witches as above.

You will need to lure and kill the Clan Castle as above. Lure the Clan Castle troops to a corner near many Cannons and Archer Towers before you kill them, and then deploy your Barbarian King in that corner. All of those troops will distract those point defenses.

You can now deploy your Hog Riders. Deploy your first group of 3-4 Hog Riders at the defenses which are distracted by your other troops, and then start working around the base in a circle, deploying 3-4 Hog Riders per defense. Use Heal Spells as explained above, when a large group of Hog Riders approach a Giant Bomb or Wizard Tower.

Your remaining Hog Riders and other troops will clean up the base nicely once all of the defenses are destroyed.

So, in summary:

  1. Lure and kill Clan Castle
  2. Deploy Barbarian King near remaining friendly troops
  3. Deploy Hog Riders in small groups at individual defenses, starting at the Barbarian King and working slowly around the base
  4. Use Heal Spells as appropriate, near Wizard Towers and Giant Bombs

Golems, Wizards and Hogs

This is a type of GoHog attack. You should bring a large amount of Hog Riders and at minimum, a Golem and a few Wizards and Wall Breakers. A P.E.K.K.A will enable you to penetrate further into the base. Also, bring 3 Heal Spells and a Poison Spell, and take 2 Witches and a Barbarian in the Clan Castle.

If the Clan Castle is hard to lure, you will need to use the Golem, Wizards, Witches and Barbarian King to lure and kill it. Use the Golem, Wizards, Barbarian King and Wall Breakers to lure the Clan Castle and destroy them using the Witches and other Wizards.

If there is a potential double Giant Bomb spot that you would like to neutralize, you can lure from that direction and penetrate far enough into the base to trip the Giant Bombs, effectively performing double duty with your troops.

Deploy your Hog Riders as usual. If you can deploy them such that they will cross to where your other troops are, you can use a Heal Spell to heal all of them at the same time.

So, in summary:

  1. Lure and kill Clan Castle and neutralize potential Giant Bomb spots using Golems, Wizards, Witches, Barbarian King and other troops
  2. Deploy Hog Riders as usual
  3. Use Heal Spells as appropriate, near Wizard Towers and Giant Bombs

Golems and Wizards

Introduction

Golem and Wizard based attacks are commonly used for high League Trophy pushing.

The most prolific of this type of attack is the GoWiPe attack - simply, Golems, Wizards and P.E.K.K.As, with some Wall Breakers thrown in for good measure. There are variants of this attack which use Valkyrie instead of P.E.K.K.A or add Balloons or Hog Riders to the mix (see GoHog)

These attacks are most effective on bases with less than 5 or so compartments. Look especially for ring structured bases with one core and one giant ring shaped compartment surrounding the core.

This attack strategy combines the ground unit with the highest hitpoints (Golem), the ground unit with the highest melee damage (P.E.K.K.A) and the ground unit with the highest ranged damage (Wizards). This attack is executed in a few simple steps that are relatively easy to master. The Golems will tank the exterior defenses so that the Wizards can clear all of the trash buildings on the outside of the base. With these distractions gone, P.E.K.K.As are now deployed and they will head to the interior of the base.

This doesn't usually work as well as one would think, especially on bases with many compartments. The more walls a P.E.K.K.A has to bust through, the more likely they are to become stuck at a wall while being picked off or wander off course. This attack will offer a relatively consistent 2-star on most bases - which is good for trophy pushing, but not so good for war.

When scouting a base, you want to think about:

  • The amount and structure of compartments and the core
  • Areas where Cannons and Archer Towers are concentrated (this is where you want to attack from)
  • Cannons and Archer Towers which are out of range of any Air Defenses (these can be sniped using Balloons)

Attack Strategies

GoWiPe

The usual GoWiPe composition includes 2 Golems and a combination of P.E.K.K.As, Wizards, Wall Breakers and other assorted troops. However, I will always take a few Balloons or Hog Riders to aid in the cleanup phase of the attack.

If the Air Defenses are all in the core, or you can destroy them all on the way to the core, it is better to bring Balloons. If not, then bring Hog Riders.

On the occasions I use GoWiPe in war, I will not bring more than 2 P.E.K.K.As. After the Golems and P.E.K.K.A, I will take 6-8 Wall Breakers and 5-6 Balloons or Hog Riders, and then fill with Wizards. Take either a P.E.K.K.A or 2 Witches and a Barbarian in your Clan Castle.

Bring 2 Rage Spells and 1 Heal Spell, along with a Poison Spell.

You want to attack from a side with lots of Cannons and Archer Towers. These (along with Hidden Teslas) are the largest threats to your GoWiPe army, so it is better to destroy as many as possible in the opening stages of the battle.

You can choose to lure with this attack or you can choose to simply use a Rage Spell to help your Wizards kill the enemy Clan Castle troops. If you choose to lure, do so with 2 Witches and 1 Barbarian in your Clan Castle as explained in the Hog Rider section.

Deploy your two Golems. You want them to distract a large area of defenses so do not deploy them on top of each other, deploy them a distance away from each other. The area between the two Golems should then be completely safe from enemy fire. If a Hidden Tesla emerges and draws both Golems to it, you can use your Barbarian King as a substitute tank for your Wizards.

Deploy Wall Breakers near each Golem to break them into the compartments they are targeting. Make sure to time this so the Wall Breakers do not get destroyed by Mortars.

You want to then deploy Wizards between the Golems. Deploy one Wizard per exterior building. Once every exterior building that could distract your P.E.K.K.A has been destroyed, you can then deploy your P.E.K.K.As and Barbarian King, along with more Wall Breakers.

If you didn't clear the outside properly and the P.E.K.K.A are moving around the base rather than inside it, use remaining Wizards and Wall Breakers or other troops to break the chain of buildings they are following and re-funnel them to the core.

Once the enemy Clan Castle troops emerge, if you haven't lured and killed them already, you can use a Rage Spell on your Wizards near the Clan Castle troops to quickly destroy them. If you are using Balloons, save your Poison Spell.

When your troops reach the core of the base, use your second Rage Spell and, if needed, your Heal Spell. This will quickly destroy the core.

This is where many GoWiPe attacks get stuck - in the core, with defenses attacking the remaining troops from all sides. However, you took Hog Riders or Balloons with you. Deploy the Hog Riders or Balloons to destroy remaining clusters of Cannons and Archer Towers while they are distracted by the troops in the core. If you are using Balloons and Air Skeleton Traps are triggered, use your Poison Spell to kill the Skeletons. If you still have your Heal Spell you can use it to heal the Balloons or Hog Riders should they run into trouble.

So, in summary:

  1. Lure and kill Clan Castle if necessary using Witches and Wizards
  2. Deploy Golems separate from but close to each other
  3. Deploy Wall Breakers near Golems
  4. Deploy Wizards between Golems to destroy trash buildings
  5. Deploy P.E.K.K.A and Barbarian King with Wall Breakers and, if not used earlier, Witches
  6. Use Rage Spell to destroy Clan Castle troops if not lured earlier
  7. Use second Rage Spell and maybe Heal Spell once troops reach core
  8. Deploy Hogs or Balloons for cleanup

GoWiVa

Otherwise known as GoViz, GoWiVa is very similar to GoWiPe but uses Valkyries instead of P.E.K.K.As. Valkyrie are much faster than P.E.K.K.A, they are not vulnerable to Hidden Teslas and Heal Spells are much more effective on a group of 6 Valkyries than 2 P.E.K.K.As.

You should bring 2 Golems, 6-10 Valkyrie, 8 Wall Breakers, 5-6 Balloons or Hog Riders and fill with Wizards.

You want to look for bases with large cores. The typical anti-Dragon base with all of the Air Defenses in the core with an empty space surrounding them are vulnerable to this type of attacks. If the buildings in a base are all clustered together and next to each other, that is a bonus as Valkyrie will damage them all at once.

The strategy is much the same as GoWiPe so I will not repeat it. Instead of bringing two Rage Spells and a Heal Spell, bring two Heal Spells and a Rage Spell.

Use the Rage Spell and one Heal Spell in the core and the Valkyrie will come out of the core at full hitpoints.

Using Balloons to Snipe Defenses

If the base you are targeting has many Cannons and Archer Towers outside the range of its Air Defenses, you can snipe these defenses using Balloons. Simply swap some Wizards and perhaps a P.E.K.K.A or Golem for extra Balloons (count the amount of exposed defenses and multiply by two). Once these defenses are destroyed, proceed with your attack as usual.

A few tips:

  • If there is a cluster of mixed Archer Towers and Cannons, always target the Archer Towers first.
  • You will only need a single Balloon to destroy an unsupported Cannon. Use two Balloons against Archer Towers.

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