Am I ready for Town Hall 9?
The easy way to answer this question is this way:
- Is all of my lab research at TH8 either completed or in progress? You should at least have Level 5 Balloons, Wallbreakers, and Wizards. On the dark side, you should at least have Level 4 Hogs and Level 2 Golems.
- Are all my TH8 defenses at their maximum level?
- Is my Barbarian King at least Level 8?
- Do I have all walls at least at level 7 with some at level 8?
- Do I have nearly max on all resources so I can “hit the ground running” at Town hall 9?
If you answer “No” to any of these, you should stay at Town Hall 8. You may not use certain troops at Town Hall 8. Maybe you don’t like Giants or Healers or Hog Riders. That’s OK at Town Hall 8. But, at Town Hall 9, all the war strategies change. Dragons go from being the primary component of an attack to being a troop only used on specific bases or parts of a base. Level 5 Balloons don’t get used much at all, but without them, you can’t get Level 6 Black Balloons, which are awesome. So please, stay at Town Hall 8 until you are properly prepared. Put yourself through the grind of saving up for level 2 golems. Research Hog Riders and learn how to use them. War hogging at TH8 is a lot of fun with Level 4 Hog Riders!
It’s also very important to go into Town Hall 9 with a healthy supply of all resources so that you can start upgrading right away.
I’m ready. Now what?
So, you’ve got all your defenses upgraded and your research is done, except maybe for valkyries. We’ll break down what you should do during your “8.5” stage and what should come after that. Town hall 9 is a new mindset. You don’t have to keep all your builders busy all the time!
Hopefully you have at least 4 builders. The nice thing about the 8.5 path is that it doesn’t really require 5 builders. Because you are almost always doing walls, you don’t need 4 workers and 1 waller. 3 workers is almost always sufficient.
8.5 Upgrade Path
Immediate, Top Priority Items
The second you touch down at Town Hall 9, you need to start the following upgrades:
- Clan Castle
- Army Camps
- Spell Factory
- Archer Queen
If you were maxed out at TH8, the Clan Castle is the only gold based upgrade you should do at this point.
The laboratory upgrade is the most important things to get going. You can’t upgrade troops without a new lab!
Also, you can’t really be a TH8 bully as an 8.5 without the extra spell slots or upgraded army camps. Once one of your builders comes off a Top priority upgrade, look to upgrade camps. More troops = better chance for success. The same is true for spells.
Hopefully too you are nearly maxed out on dark elixir from TH8, so you can not only buy your Archer Queen, but can also immediately send her under the hammer for her first upgrade! Hero upgrades are always important. You should be getting that Archer Queen up to Level 5 ASAP so that you have her Royal Cloak. That’s where you should be sinking your DE at this very early stage of TH9, especially since your lab is likely under upgrade as well.
If you are mid war when you hit TH9 and need to keep your spell factory for the war, either upgrade a camp or sneak in a drill upgrade, even though it’s not as high of a priority. Sometimes it’s better to drain your resources and the drills are more expensive.
An 8.5 rarely has all builders tied up as you likely will be sinking all your gold into walls after you get your clan castle upgraded.
High Priority Items
This next group of upgrades fall just under the immediate group.
- Elixir based lab research
- Any leftover “Top” priority items
- Hog Rider Research
- Gold into walls
That first one is underlined for a reason. You should be making troop upgrades your primary objective once your lab is done upgrading. You need to be able to farm effectively at 8.5 in order to have a chance at survival. TH10’s now see you are a viable target. You will get raided and lose. There is no hiding behind an exposed town hall anymore since the December 2015 update which included Town Hall 11. The only way to handle that is to make up the loss with more raids yourself. You should either be getting barbarians or giants up to level 6 first, depending on your raid style for collecting regular elixir. Both are solid upgrades.
Maxed out Hog Riders are a nice thing early in TH9. They are pretty cheap DE wise to get and are a fabulous war troop. Mixing in a little dark research at this point too will allow you to finish up any remaining top priority elixir items, like maybe your last camp.
You should always have a builder free to dump the gold into walls, or at least have a builder getting “freed up” to do walls within a day. You are going to lose resources, so the best way to mitigate that is to dump excess gold into walls before putting the game down.
Medium Priority Items
Once your have the above complete, you should have some flexibility in what to do next. You should have at least 2 TH9 elixir troops researched, so you can farm decently. Now is the time to focus on getting better war troops.
- More Lab Research
- Dark Elixir Drills
- Hero upgrades (AQ to Level 10)
- Dark Barracks
Your need for dark elixir will never stop. Maxed out DE drills put out a nice 100 per hour. Easy and free.
Your lab should still be busy and is still important. Jump Spell, Balloons, Golems…you really need to do it all eventually, but these troops get used often in war.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of upgrading the jump spell. A level 1 jump spell is functional, but has to be timed right and goes away fairly quickly. A level 2 jump spell can be deployed much earlier than you anticipate needing it. 40 seconds of time is about 22% of the 3 minutes you have to complete a raid. It is a luxury to know you can place it a little before you actually need it to be there. Balloons are a great war troop, especially if you are still facing mostly TH8’s as your war equal. Dragloon with Level 6 Loonz is a TH8 killer.
Upgrading your dark barracks is important because it lets you unlock witches and hounds. Witches are not that good when unlocked. You really need to upgrade them to level 2 make good use of them, and as of this writing, they aren’t a primary component of most war armies, though they have a place in war castle defense. Lava hounds though are fabulous troop though, especially for the 8.5 path. They give you access to lots of solid TH9 3 star war strategies.
Getting your Archer Queen caught up to your Barb King is a nice thing. Hero abilities really start to get good at Level 15. You will never get there if you don’t put resources into heroes early.
Lower Priority Items
Outside of the defenses, we only have a couple things left.
- Storage buildings
- Dark Barracks
- Dark Spell Factory
- Extra bombs and traps
Some will tell you that a pure 8.5 is the way to go. Don’t build the extra storage or extra giant bomb or extra seeking mines, they will say. But, in our estimation, the extra giant bomb is a huge item for defending against hogs. This goes the same for the seeking air mines. People will look at your base assume they can go all dragons like a TH8. The extra mines could be the difference between giving up a 3 star or only giving up 2.
You will also need the extra storage to properly save up for Level 4 Dragons, which make a nice upgrade for war castles donations and the occasional war raid.
Walls are nearly an endless upgrade at TH9. Just keep working them in.
The Haste spell is a nice mainly in Lavaloon style raids. It does not do you much good prior to acquiring Lava Hounds and upgraded Balloons, so the Dark Factory is huge priority to upgrade.
When does 8.5 end?
It’s up to you really. You should have nearly all of the regular elixir based research done or close to it, even troops you may not regularly use.
We’d recommend keep the 8.5 idea at least until you get your heroes up to Level 10 each and have a healthy start on your dark research. You’ll need upgraded golems, lava hounds, and hogs. Valkyries are a killer TH9 troop as well when upgraded to Level 4. If you have all this, then by all means proceed with building the defenses including the xbows. You can keep the xbows at the base level 1 and upgrade everything else. This will still keep your war weight relatively low, but will present a tougher task for the enemy.