Raiding is Farming
I consider the type of raiding I will be describing here to be a form of farming. Not all will agree with me on this point. Some people seem to believe that farming requires super-low trophy counts, and/or using massed goblin armies, exclusively.
I consider anything that is mostly intended to gain resources (rather than to win trophies) to be a form of farming – especially when you are looking for an easy match, rather than fighting someone of your own level or higher.
What does this matter? Well, this is also going to be my “Farming” guide as well. I really don’t enjoy doing those other types of farming (the massed goblins, or the super-low trophy count). So don’t look for any other farming guide out of me, unless the game changes in ways that significantly change existing methods, or create entirely new farming techniques.
Benefits of Raiding
Raiding has one main goal, and all I will discuss in this chapter is in that effort: to capture resources. We’ll discuss going after both Gold and Elixir in this guide, as they are nearly identical when trying to steal them. Generally gold is more valuable to players, as it is easier to spend (instantly on walls, or on defenses) than elixir (limited to offensive buildings and units).
Raiding lets you augment your income with quite literally limitless resources. The amount of gold and elixir that is available for you to steal is limited only by your skill, and your time investment. But just note that you lose about 20 trophies every time you fail to get the town hall.
The Ideal Raid
The ideal raid deploys as few troops as possible, and targets whatever resources that are easy to steal only, skipping better-protected storages or mines.
The ideal raid has two main success factors. First, and what I’m sure you already know, is the amount you can steal. That is what we’re here for, after all. Secondly, and just as important but often overlooked, is your investment to get those resources. This means both the actual cost of the units you deploy when raiding, and also the time it will take you to rebuild all of them.
Don’t believe that unit costs and build time matter?
Take these two raids as examples:
|Example Raid 1||Example Raid 2|
|Wall Breakers Deployed||4||–|
|Notes||An example of an all-out attack, using one of my favorite army compositions.||An example of picking off just 1 full elixir collector and 1 gold mine, and ignoring the rest because they are protected.|
Both are nice raids, right? Now…
Which attack was more effective as a raid?
Example 1’s army costs around 55,000 elixir (depending on exact unit levels), while Example 2’s army costs a maximum of 600 elixir. This means the net total profit (gold + elixir) was ~145,000 for Example 1 and ~29,400 for Example 2. Clearly, Example 1 gains more total resources… However:
Example 1’s army takes a total of 5990 seconds to train, or 1.3 hours total*. Example 2 army takes a total of only 110 seconds to train. This means that while the player who used Example 1 is sitting around waiting for their army to finish, a player using Example 2 will be out raiding again, and again, and… This does not just mean a player doing Example 2 is less bored, it means Example 2 will actually have a much higher income per hour.
- Note: This is the total time to build; the actual elapsed time to build this army is that number divided by the number of available barracks, likely either 3 or 4.
I’ll prove that for you:
Assuming 3 minutes to find a match (for both players), Example 1 will attack once every 28 minutes. During the same 28 minute period, Example 2 can attack 9 times, gaining a total of 264,600, compared to the 145,000 stolen by Example 1. Example 1 gains 310,000 resources per hour, and Example 2 gains 567,000 resources per hour.
While I used made-up numbers for this example, this has been proven before by both myself and other players. Lots of little raids will be more profitable than a few large, all-out attacks. There is another factor at play as well: Little raids are less vulnerable to failure: your total investment is low, and you can just abandon the attack with little loss if needed. Finally, doing lots of little attacks is simply more interesting than sitting around for 25 or more minutes waiting for your army to finish training.
Picking the right Base to Raid
So, now that we know what the ideal raid is, how should we pick the bases we will be attacking? There are several factors that are important
Quickly reviewing a target
Here, in order, are a list of things you should quickly glance at when determining if a base is a good choice to raid.
Resources – Total
The first thing you should glance at is the total number of resources. If this number is terribly low, (<10,000 of each is a good cutoff probably, but it depends on your level and your situation) just immediately move onto the next match. But don’t just look for very high resource totals… because the difficulty of stealing the resources is also very important.
Resources – Determining Source: Storage vs Collectors/Mines
If a base’s total resources are sufficiently high, the next thing to determine is where the resources are in the base. They will be in either the storages or the collectors/mines, but different bases will have different ratios in each. The skill of being able to tell how much is in each is quite important, and will be VERY beneficial to those who master it.
First thing to look for is back at the total resources: Are the total amounts of each resource nice round numbers? (such as 50,000 or 36,500 or 42,750 – These are all ‘round’ numbers.) If yes, this is great news! This is someone who has not logged in for a long time, their collectors and mines are full, AND they have nothing in their storages. This occurs after they’ve been attacked and 3-starred at least once (often more) in the recent past. Why is this important? It means you can simply raid their collectors/mines to steal 100% of their resources. Literally nothing will be in their (usually far-better protected) storages. You can simply raid their collectors, and walk away happy.
Determining if target has been online lately (and collected their resources)
Is the total amount not a nice round number? Dang, well then… is one of the numbers particularly low? (such as 57,028 gold, and only 3,102 elixir.) This means that they have recently been online, and spent almost all of that resource; so, there will not be much in the collectors/mines (because they were online recently to collect them), so look at how hard the storages are to get to (for the other resource, the high one)
Examples of Single-Low-Resource bases
Last Resort Method: Eyeballing
Not a nice round number, and both numbers are sufficiently high in count? Well, now we need to eyeball how much is in those collectors/mines. Look at the collectors. There is a graphical representation that shows how full it is. See the images below. Elixir is much easier to eyeball than Gold.
Missing Resources Graphical Glitch
The missing resources graphical glitch is, as my name for it implies, a glitch where a 100% full elixir collector or gold mine can appear as empty. Often when the glitch occurs, well more than half of the collectors will appear as empty. Sometimes all will appear as empty. When attacked, however, it will reward the correct amount of the resource, along with the accompanying animation which shows lots of elixir bubbles/gold coins pouring out.
You can detect this glitch quite easily once you’ve trained yourself to look for it. If there is one collector or mine that is full, and then several that are empty right next to it (and they’re all the same or nearly the same level) it is quite easy to tell that the graphical glitch is occurring. A very easy way to detect this glitch is if it is accompanied by the ‘Nice Round Numbers’ indicator discussed above. You can also look at the storage and if they appear in the ’empty or nearly empty’ graphical representation, and yet there is a TON of resources available to be stolen, the resources are likely to be in the collectors and mines yet invisible due to this glitch. Alternative (and harder) ways to detect it include looking for signs of abandonment, such as lots of uncollected tombstones.
Should I attack or not?
Finally, once you’ve figured out how many resources there are, and where they are in the base, you need to make the decision to attack or not. In the end, it is up to you to determine if the Risk vs Reward makes a base worth attacking, or if you should keep looking for another base.
|Risk Factors||Reward Factors|
|How many troops will you have to deploy?||How many resources are available in total?|
|Chance they have clan castle troops?*||How many resources are easy to steal?|
|If they do have CC troops, are they in a good spot? Or can you draw them out easily?||Are there collectors you can pick off for free? How much is in them?|
|Chance of hidden Teslas? (TH7 and above)||Exposed or semi-exposed storage(s)?|
- Look for tombstones indicating clan castle troops may have already been killed in a prior attack.
Use all of the above steps to determine the risk/benefit of attacking a particular base. You can ‘scan’ the base in 10 to 30 seconds quite easily. Are you getting close to the end of the 30 seconds? Just let the 30 seconds run out! If you don’t deploy troops, you can still click “End Battle” without taking a loss. Use the extra time to determine if you actually want to attack the base or not. Remember, once you deploy troops, you can’t ‘Undo’!
Common Army Compositions for Raiding
Good Army Compositions:
4 Wall Breakers, 2 Giants (optional) and the rest: 25% Goblin, 25% Barbarian, 50% Archer
How to use: Use Archers to pick off exposed buildings. Learn ranges on turrets to make this more effective. Use Barbarians to soak up turret fire, and Goblins to steal resources that can’t be picked. If you opt to use Giants, use them to distract defenses. Otherwise, just use Barbarians.
How to use: Slower and more expensive than The Picker, but more able to attack strong bases to get at resources. Giants can overwhelm (or at least distract) defenses depending on if you’re attacking someone of equal level or lower level. Use the Archers to pick, as in The Picker, and Goblins and Barbarians to rush in and get storages. Wall Breakers are more important in this army composition than in The Picker, as they will seriously help Giants reach the defensive weapons faster. Don’t deploy all, or even any, of the Giants if it isn’t needed! Remember the ‘Ideal Raid’!
(For those with Healers unlocked only) (upgraded Poker army)
4 Wall Breakers, 1 Healer, 40% Giant, 25% Archer, 12% Goblin, 12% Barbarian
How to use: The Striker has lots of attacking power against all bases except super well defended Air Defense Turrets. Just like with The Poker, don’t deploy your Giants or Healer unless needed to get at protected storages that you’ve determined are holding enough resources to make it worth it. Slow to train and replace, the Striker lets you choose if you want to deploy 40 Archers to raid the exterior of a base, or deploy a massive Giant force to three-star your victim … IF they have the resources to justify such an expensive attack.
Bad Army Compositions:
10 Wall Breakers + 100% Goblins. Look for high resources, then deploy all Goblins. No brains required; not very detail-oriented. Why is this a bad raiding army? Well, it will get the job done: unless you run into a bad case of Wizard Tower, you’ll probably capture all, or nearly all, of the available resources. The problem with this army composition is it basically relies on deploying mass amounts of units, which slows down your training time when you must replace them all, which in turn lowers your income. The three previous armies all give you lots of options to handle various different situations – they won’t force you into all-or-nothing deployments.
Raiding Tips and Tricks
Train your army while you attack for more frequent raiding
Queue up additional soldiers before you go searching for a match! They will start completing as soon as you deploy your first unit in battle, so you will return to an already half-built army. Decreases your waiting time between raids.
Test for Clan Castle troops
The first unit you put down when raiding a base should be to check if they have clan castle troops. You don’t want to be surprised when your plan goes wrong due to a bunch of enemies pouring out to distract your oh-so-carefully-placed-archers, drawing them into the line of fire of the defenses.
Trophy range considerations
Keep an eye on your trophy count! Different levels of bases should raid at different trophy ranges. These ranges also change over time, so what worked two weeks ago might not still work today.
Maximum Resources Available to be Stolen and Maximum Stealable from different sources
You can’t steal all of an opponent’s resources. The maximum amount offered to you when you view a base is actually comprised of some resources from the storage units (if any), some resources from the collectors, and some resources from the Town Hall (if any).The breakdown is like this:
|Building||Amount you can steal of actual maximum||Capped at a maximum amount?|
|Storage||25%||Yes, 198,000 of each resource|
|Dark Elixir Storage||5%||No|
|Dark Elixir Drill||75%||No|
Resource Penalty for attacking lower level Town Halls
There is a penalty for attacking bases that are lower level than you in Town Hall level. This is to prevent higher levels from farming others who are significantly lower level than themself.
|When attacking someone ___ TH levels lower than yourself…||… there is a ___ penalty applied to the maximum number of resources you can steal.||Meaning you can only steal ___ of total amount|
|3 or more||75%||25%|