Base design – Anti-dragon base design tips and attack stratagies

TH7 and early to mid level TH8s are almost always attacked in war with dragons. Designing one’s base with that in mind is paramount. For TH7s, one is most limited as they only have 2 air defenses. With the ability to take out one with lightening spells immediately, one is just not enough to protect the base. A well-thought out base can fool some people, but good players will 3 star every TH7 with ease. For TH8s, base design is critical.

It is important to create you base so that dragons path away from the air defense, but stay within its range. Watch the video below to see how.

Video 1: Dragon Pathing – click to watch

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Lavaloonion 3 star war attack on TH8

This is a really strong attack that can take out TH8s with ring shaped defenses. This is a perfect example of this attack.

This attack has 3 components;

  1. Lure and kill the clan castle troops
    1. You can use Royals (BK and AQ), balloons, and/or minions to do so
  2. Release one lava hound to attack one air defense, and another Lava hound against another
  3. Release balloons BEHIND the lava hounds. I like to spread them out and surgically strike defenses (2-3 per defense).

Watch the video of BeastyPro36 destroying this TH8:   TH8 3 starred in war using lavaloonion

How to 3 star bases with all dragon attack

Mass dragon attacks on TH7, TH8, and TH9.

Mass dragon attacks are the most effective attacks on TH7 and TH8 hands down! But, I see people fail all of the time. Why? I am going to show you how to improve your dragon attacks quickly and easily.

PART 1: Set Reasonable Goals

  For War:

3 stars: In war or trophy hunting against TH8 and below, this should always be your goal.
2 stars: Against mature TH9s, TH10s, or maybe a TH8 with max air defenses (if you don’t have level 3 dragons), it will be very difficult to get 3 stars. Therefore, if you choose to use an all dragon attack,  it might be better to go for a 50% destruction and destroy the TH for 2 stars rather than 85% destruction for 1 star. Going for 1 star? No way! Dragons cost too much. There are cheaper options to get one star.

  Farming: When raiding for the often well protected dark elixir, dragons can be useful.

PART 2: Troops

War/Trophy against ANY TH7: All dragons plus Level 6 balloons in CC (if possible), otherwise Dragon (second best option).

War/ Trophy against TH8s with Centralized Air Defenses: all dragons plus a dragon or Level 6 Balloons in clan castle.
War/ Trophy Against TH9 or 10 Bases with an Air Defense Behind one Wall: This gets a little tricky and opinions differ. I prefer All dragons and Level 6 Balloons in the clan castle. Others consider replacing two dragons with 8 lvl 5 hogs or lvl 6 balloons.
Farming: 8 dragons and the rest archers.

Why so many dragons? Why not a few? The dragons must far outnumber the air defenses for this strategy to work. Also, the beauty of air attacks is that you don’t need to worry about mortars, canons, giant bombs, Barb Kings, or Xbows that are pointing down. So don’t bring ground troops unless to destroy an exposed or poorly protected air defense. If you are going Dragons, it is usually best to go ALL dragons and not mix and match.

PART 3: Spells

Versus TH7: There should be no debate on what spells to bring. Three lightening spells aimed properly SHOULD be used to destroy the highest level or hardest to reach air defense. With one remaining air defense victory is almost certain with smart dragon deployment. End of discussion! Time and time again I see players using rage and heal spells, which is a “stronger” attack. No question. But, in addition to costing more, it has a HIGHER risk of failure. Rage spells work GREAT, but there are caveats–(1) the air defenses should be close to one another, (2) you must place the rage spell where the dragons are going to be in a second or two, and (3) you MUST funnel your dragons so that they are all bunched up when heading towards the air defenses so that you can rage MANY dragons. This is where most people fail! This takes practice. This takes some skill (see my other post on foolproof dragon attacks).  I see so many errors in the deployment of spells that cost stars. Even more so, I see errors in the deployment of the dragons (most just plop them all down together, spread them out in a line, or put some here and some there–WRONG!). In summary, Keep it simple! Maximize your chance of 3 starring the base. Take out one air defense with 3 lightening spells and you only have to worry about one. Take it out and game over!
Versus TH 8, there is much debate. While the three lightening spell rule works great most of the time, others prefer two rage on one heal. For experienced players, this may be more effective, especially against maxed out th8s, but the risk of poor deployment often outweighs the potential benefit for most players. My recommendation is this: For bases with centralized air defenses that are close together, bring 2 rage and one heal (or 3 rage). For bases with air defenses that are spread out, take out one air defense (the hardest to reach with the highest level) with 3 lightening spells.

Three of this level lightening spell (number on left) can destroy this level of air defense (# on the right)

1 –>3

2 –>5

3 –> 6  but requires 3 direct hits.

Vs. TH9-10: Rage and Freeze
TH9 and 10 bases have 4+ strong defenses, so simply killing one air defense won’t guarantee victory. With more buildings and hit points rage spells are helpful since dragons are slow moving. Freeze spells are the best way to neutralize an inferno or multiple high level air defenses defenses located in the core. We will talk more about using these in the deployment section.

Should I bring a Heal spell? I see people suggest heal all the time on the forums. A maxed heal spell cannot heal faster than a lvl 3 air defense can do damage (140 DPS). Also, infernos block the heal spell’s effect. So better options may exist, although many like them to heal dragons that are not being attacked.

Lvl 1 2 3 4 5 6
Heal HP/sec 50 66 83 100 116 133
Air def DPS 80 110 140 160 190 230

If you have to use a heal spell, it is best used after the air defenses have gone down, to stall for time while the dragons are attacking the TH in a 2 star plan. Note that the heal amounts roughly equal the dps of couple of archer towers or x bows.

Bring your Heroes: If you want 3 stars, bring them along as well. Their damage on outer buildings can be used to path the dragons to the core. I use them all the time to help create my funnel to get my dragons doing towards the center of the base. Do not place your heroes near the enemy heroes or clan castle if possible.  In 2 star attacks they can be saved to catch the TH if all else fails.

PART 4: Deployment

Step 1. Lightening Option (used against TH8 and below)

Which one to zap?
· 3 star strategy: The highest level and most centered one. Typically opposite your attack side (see below).
· 2 star or farming strategy: find one that is high level and centered, but also along the shortest path between you and your target. Do not zap a defense that is out of range of your target and approach path.

How to drop? Damaging an air defense for 90% of its hit points is completely useless. Make sure you drop lightening correctly for full destruction. I see this all of the time–people using 2 lightening spells. DON’T! It is a waste. Destroy the air defense or don’t.
· Scout the base.

– Do not select the spell button yet to avoid accidentally dropping.

· Zoom in on the air defense
· Now, select the lightening spell.

– Triple tap in the center of the dead center of the air def. The center is defined as the center tile on the ground.
· There is no need to wait for the first spell to finish before dropping the next. Dragons are slow so don’t waste time.
· Pro Tip: Once you get good it may be possible to time your lightening drop with the emergence of the clan troops. If the clan castle is nearby you may be able to kill some of them in the process. This takes timing and luck.

Step 2 Destroy the exposed  air defense (if applicable) If your opponent is stupid enough to have an air defense enclosed by 1 layer of walls or perhaps not surrounded by wall at all, drop the heroes, giants, or hogs to take it down.

Step 3: Select an approach side
Select a side. Now select a side to attack from.
· 3 star strategy: Attack from the side closest to the remaining air defenses — opposite of the lightening strike.
· 2 star or farming: attack from the closest side to your target (town Hall or DE storage).

If multiple sides are equally good choose the path of “least resistance”, which means a path through the lowest hit point buildings. It will take your dragons a while to burn through the clan castle and storages. If there is an air defense behind them it will have a lot of time to inflict damage.

Step 4: DO NOT lure the clan troops or Heroes! Why? Two reasons: Dragons are not encumbered by walls and they do splash damage. Together this means, as a group, they will quickly roll over the clan troops. In fact the Dragon artificial intelligence makes them move toward the troops which, assuming the clan castle is centered, can actually help them path to the core.

Step 5:  Create a Funnel for your Dragons:
Doing this will correctly will dramatically change the outcome of your attacks. One the side or corner that you are going to attack from, deploy your Dragons away from OUTSIDE to INSIDE. In other words, if you are deploying from 10:00 to 2:00, you will deploy a dragon at 10:00 and 2:00, wait 2-4 seconds, then 10:30 & 1:30, wait 2-3 seconds, then 11:00 and 1:00, wait a second and then a few at 12:00. This creates a funnel–the dragons all move towards 12:00 and right into the base. You can use a Barb King or other troop at the outer portion of the funnel (at 10:00 and 2:00 in this case). You must clear the outsides of the funnel FIRST or the dragons will not go to the center.  (see the deployment stratagies used below—green numbers)
If you are farming, use can use archers or some other troop instead of dragons to take out the corners.

20150418-180732.jpg 20150418-182239.jpg

Step 6: Dropping on Free Buildings–maybe.
If there are outlying buildings on the deployment side that are out of range of air defenses (either in the map corners or just outside the walls) you can drop one dragon on each–once you are experienced and know what you need to attack with–if you are not great at making funnels and drags go wrong way, you will need every one of them to get to center. You don’t need 5 dragons attacking one building at once. Typically, the dragons are deployed from side to side coming closer to the center of the funnel, with extra dragons in the middle. If properly deployed, the dragons should come together in the middle. If they don’t, then the deployment was incorrect or poorly planned (building placement can affect the way the dragons go).
If you are farming, drop the archers to clear out all the buildings along this line so the dragons can get into the base quicker. Then drop the dragons in a short line near your target.

STEP 7: Rage/Heal? The role of the rage spell is to minimize the amount of time the dragons are within range of air defenses by having them move fast and destroy the air defenses quickly. Ideally you will use them fairly early – but only after the dragons are finished attacking the free outer buildings that are outside of air defense range, when they are grouped together (to affect as many as possible), and when they are being targeted by the air defense.. You want to rage as many dragons at once as you can. That is easiest to do when they are still all alive (or almost all). Be sure to drop the rage over dense groupings of buildings (not single isolated buildings) with the center point *just slightly ahead* of the dragon pack to maximize the time they are enraged. Do not lead them too far with the spell. They are slow. A good rule of thumb is to drop the spell on the neck/head of the lead dragon(s) in the pack as you expect the dragons to go into the raged area within a second. Most often, I use the first rage and heal together–depending upon how much damage the dragons are taking. If not much, i will save the heal for later. No sense using a heal if only one dragon is taking some damage. You may consider saving a rage for the core since the TH and CC have a lot of hit points.

STEP 8. Freeze? Save freeze for when a group (not the just the first dragon) comes in range of the infernos or multiple high level air defenses in the core. Always attempt to freeze multiple defenses at once. Disclaimer: I don’t have a freeze spell yet I am not an expert on this.

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