Clash of Clans Town Hall 9 guide - learn the true CoC gameplay!
Clash of Clans TH9 Guide
If we were to pinpoint the moment in the Clash of Clans progress, that changes the game forever, it would be the upgrade from Town Hall 8 to Town Hall 9. It is the time for the most iconic tactics, with Queen strategies, LavaLoon, and Witch Slap being the best of them. Town Hall 9 is the first level, where SuperCell decided to drop the old concept of a casual, rural, landowner’s manor-like building, for a scary, gloomy medieval castle. In this guide, we will try to shed some light on it.
Table of contents:
What’s new at TH9? - Buildings and troops overview
Town Hall 9 biggest changes
The upgrade from the seemingly dull and lackluster Town Hall 8 to a grim, dark Town Hall 9, is by many considered a major breaking point in the game. Due to some additions and upgrades, the most exciting and efficient strategies rose to fame at TH9. We’ll quickly break them down.
At TH8, you can store up to 80k Dark Elixir. Your best bet will be to have at least 62,500 (if you don’t have the Gold Pass perks) - 40,000 for the Altar and 22,500 to start upgrading right away.
The most impactful change going from TH8 to TH9 is by far the acquisition of the Archer Queen. The Queen is the strongest unit in the game, that can tear down the entire enemy base all by herself in favorable circumstances. The best known, most-used strategies with the highest efficiency rely on correct Queen management.
New Dark Elixir troops
At TH9, you can upgrade Dark Barracks to level 5 and 6, which gives you access to Witches and Lava Hounds, respectively. It opens up a potential for two famous TH9 strategies (we’ll talk about them later) - LavaLoon and Witch Slap. The former, with modifications, is used even at the highest level of play, and a well-executed Witch Slap can three-star some of the Town Hall 10 bases.
Clan Castle level 5
Many players tend to underrate the power of the Clan Castle, and only advanced and experienced players can genuinely appreciate the CC and its possibilities. With Clan Castle level 5, its housing space goes up to 30, and it can accept one housing space worth of spells. It may seem like not much, but if you look closely, you will notice two things:
1. 30 housing space is very impactful. The housing space of Lava Hound, Golem, and even Electro Dragon is 30! Moreover, it can fit 2 Ice Golems, 6 Balloons, or 5 Bowlers. That being said, you can see some cool possibilities. 30 is still not a good number for Witches and Valkyries, which is why you don’t see them much often in the CC.
2. 1 housing space for spells unlocks the potential to have another Poison, Earthquake, or Freeze. You can even ask for a Skeleton or a Bat Spell from your clanmates. If you have some maxed out spells in your clan, it can make a massive difference. Most of the TH9 CC troops will not have much chance against max level Poison.
Town Hall 8 didn’t give us any additional Elixir Spells, but TH9 gives you two already. It’s Jump and Freeze. Arguably, it is the least important change, but you will not appreciate these spells until you use them.
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The Jump is the fundamental way of funneling your troops deep into the core. It temporarily changes all of your ground troops to Hog Riders, and they can jump over the Walls. “Why is it so important?” you may ask. Let’s look at your alternatives:
1. Air-only attacks - it will not work against every base. Sometimes some villages are better to be approached from the ground.
2. Wall Breakers - one Bomb or mistimed deployment of these Skeleton suiciders can ruin the whole raid. If you fail to make a breach during the Queen Charge, and she walks around instead - boom! You’re done for.
3. Hog Riders - it can be a good option, provided that you have lots of time and Dark Elixir to spare.
4. Quad-quake - very reliable, as it always brings the Walls down, and also damages buildings. However, it takes four storage space to hold them, and a ton of Dark Elixir.
Besides, Jump Spell is a must-have in Goblin Knife farming strategy.
The Freeze spell is not that great at TH9. Its level is too low to make any significant difference unless you are sick and tired of Air Sweeper constantly pushing your Balloons and Lava Hounds away. Freeze, however, is outstanding when it comes to approaching scary defenses like target Inferno Tower, or Eagle Artillery. It can even hold enemy CC troops along with the defending Queen in place!
Lastly, we have the Haste spell, which may be considered a poor man’s Rage Spell. It gives a huge movement speed bonus for a longer duration, requiring only one housing space. However, it does not grant the damage buff. It is instrumental in the LavaLoon attack, because of the inherent high damage from Balloons, which are in need for speed.
These are not as impactful on offense as Air Defenses, Infernos, or Eagle, but you cannot ignore them entirely (like the Bomb Tower, for example). They deal a considerable portion of damage from afar, and they can shoot both air and ground units. You can also set them to a ground mode and gain some additional range. However, it will make them easy prey for air units.
TH9 upgrade guide
So now you’re here at the fresh Town Hall 9 territory with Storages full of resources, and an empty mind. “What should I upgrade first?” Many guides are telling you the exact upgrade order, but let’s be real - it’s not always possible. Sometimes you will have a forced break, and you will not farm enough. Sometimes you farm too much, and you have to dump some resources on the Walls to avoid being raided.
Usually, what we like to point out is the users’ preference. If you are farming with BArch or GiBArch since the very beginning, your priority upgrades will be Barbarians, Archers, and Giants. If your goal is getting trophies, and your go-to strategy revolves around Dragons, you will put it into the queue in the Laboratory right away. Different playstyle enforces different upgrade order.
However, there are some general rules you still want to follow to make your progress stable and efficient.
1. Heroes - if you didn’t make a mistake at TH8, and you finished every Dark Elixir research before going up with the TH level, you’re golden. Still, TH9 is one of the most grind-heavy levels of all. You have 20 levels of Barbarian King and 30 levels of Archer Queen to go up. It all costs Dark Elixir, and if you wish to improve your brand new Witches and Lava Hounds, you may cry a little bit. But at the end of the day, heroes should be your main priority.
2. Laboratory - by many referred to as the essential Elixir upgrade at every Town Hall level, which you should always start after going up, no matter what. We agree - there is no reason not to do it. The sheer high number of troops will not do.
3. Army Camps, Barracks, Dark Barracks, both Spell Factories, Clan Castle - these are the most straightforward ways of increasing your offensive power. All of them, except for the Clan Castle, cost Elixir, so be mindful of not having an elixir-only upgrade running. You want to mix the Gold and Elixir upgrade. However, it’s not that important here, as it was before.
4. Resources - storages and mines should go up reasonably fast. It allows you to gather and store more resources, saving you time.
5. New defenses - you want to have them placed, no matter what. Whenever you have resources to spare and a free builder, use them to gear up.
6. Existing defenses - when planning to upgrade existing defenses, be mindful of the building time. Don’t put too many defenses under construction at the same time. You don’t want to have all four Air Defenses upgraded at the same time, or you’ll become a loot pinata for air-only farmers.
7. Walls - the most game-changing thing here is that you are allowed to upgrade your Walls with both Gold and Elixir. It is why you should not be afraid of having too much of either.
8. Town Hall - most clans will not pay attention to your Town Hall level in comparison to buildings level. However, clans that are worth being in will not accept your join request, if they see that you are rushed.
9. Traps - if you don’t want your Builders idle, or you have everything else maxed, you can set those to go up.
TH9 engineering (or .5 bases) - before you upgrade
Engineering in Clash of Clans resembles creating a pure in OSRS. In CoC Clan Wars, the matchmaking algorithm takes your buildings and researches levels into account. Based on these stats, your clan’s overall war weight is calculated. The more developed base you have, the stronger you seem. Thus, the stronger enemy your clan will be matchmade with.
Engineering didn’t seem quite right for the SuperCell, though. It is why they have fixed the numbers. Back then, building the Inferno Tower alone, added tremendous amounts of war weight. Now, it’s not that big nor impactful. It is still worth quite a bit, but not enough to engineer your base. However, you want to bring your new defenses to the previous Town Hall level equivalent first before maxing them.
Town Hall 9 layouts
The point of the farming layout in CoC is not to prevent enemies from attacking you entirely. In this game, it’s virtually impossible to discourage raiders from coming at you successfully. The point is to force them into two unpreferable scenarios:
- smaller loot - if the opponent decides to stick with a cheap, fast-trained army and refuse to use spells, the attack will give him less loot,
- more significant investment - if he wants a satisfying booty, or he’s craving your Dark Elixir stash, he’ll need some bigger guns and maybe spells.
To put it into perspective, let’s compare two armies. If you want to skip the mini farming guide, go straight to the TH9 farming layout.
For the sake of accurate results, we assume that every unit, army building, and spell is maxed.
2 Baby Dragons (for funneling)
Total Cost (without Spells)
Total Cost (with Spells)
Total training time
Now let’s take an exemplary village with an exemplary loot:
- 400,000 Gold,
- 400,000 Elixir,
- 2,700 Dark Elixir.
And the village looks like this:
Imagine this is an active base with half-full collectors. With GiBArch, you’d deploy your troops in the outskirts of the base, sending them after collectors and mines. There are not many chances for them to reach the DE Storage in the core, but they will take down the Drills. Let’s say they managed to loot 150k Gold, 180k Elixir, and 700 Dark Elixir.
Now we send in the second army. You’re at Town Hall 9, you’re in desperate need of DE for Archer Queen, and you don’t have much time to farm. You head straight for the Dark Elixir Storage, hoping to collect some Elixir and Gold on the way. Since most of the loot is in mines and collectors, you gathered 250k Gold, 300k Elixir, and 2,200 Dark Elixir. Now we can do the math.
Net Elixir profit:
- GiBArch: 180,000 - 88,000 = 92,000
- DragLoon: 300,000 - 258,600 = 41,400
But it’s not all. Remember, that Dragons with Balloons take longer to train. If we divide the net profit by the time required to train those units, we receive:
- GiBArch - 4,381/minute,
- Dragloon - 1,380/minute.
It gives us a total of 262,860 Elixir per hour of farming with GiBArch and merely 82,800 per hour of farming with DragLoon.
Why are we even talking about the Dragons attack, if it’s so cost-inefficient? Well, there is a small part that some of you may have overlooked.
The Dark Elixir loot.
For the flying squad aided with spells, there should be no problem to reach the Dark Elixir Storage, even if it’s deep into the base. We recommend this strategy for lazy, inexperienced players. It takes little to no effort to get to the core, and you may grab a few trophies as you go as well. For more patient and proficient players, we advise sticking to Goblin Knife.
A constant drawback of the cheap strategy, whether it’s GiBArch or Goblin Knife, is the trophy loss. If you want to stay in the current League for a higher raid bonus or Star Bonus, you may want to push some trophies from time to time. Also, grabbing win stars for the Star Bonus consistently may prove to be a challenge.
As you can see, your goal is to force your enemy to ask themselves one good question: “Do I want to sacrifice 250k Elixir army for this loot?”
These are also tips for you when you’re farming. Keep it in mind.
The best TH9 farming layout
When farming at Town Hall level 9, you want to keep a few things in mind.
1. Keep your resources apart, especially the Dark Elixir ones. This way, even if you are not logging in, the attacker will have to make a choice, what is the after. Going for one type of resource will lower his income of another one.
2. Place your splash defenses wisely. You want your Wizard Towers guarding Storages. At TH9, Goblin Knife becomes somewhat popular, and the WTs are the only reliable defense against these little, greedy monsters.
3. As for air farming squads, the core of the base is crucial. Most of the time, Dragons, Minions, and Balloons can make it through the initial defenses, but you have Black Mines, Sweepers, air Skellies, and Heroes in the core. It should give them a hard time.
No base is unbreakable. Your job is to make your enemies work for their loot.
It is a tremendous all-around base, to equally focus on protecting all resources. However, if you wish to protect your Dark Elixir more, there is a layout for you.
As you can see, the Dark Elixir Storage is deep within the base. There is a huge free space to the left, which will make most of the attacking troops confused. Defenses oriented units will go for Air Defenses, and they will get stuck and destroyed. If sent in from the right-hand side, they will get obliterated before they manage to do any significant damage. There may be a slight opening for Goblins from the left-hand side, but the ground traps will catch the unsuspecting attacker off-guard.
TH9 trophy layout
As usual, the main goal of the trophy layout is to help you keep your trophies high. We know that it’s virtually impossible to have your base immune to attacks entirely, but if you manage to discourage at least a couple of them, it’s a success. The attack will come, but the fewer trophies you give away, the bigger the progress you may experience.
Every time at this point we advise, that hard trophy pushing before it matters (like 5500+) does not make much sense. The higher you go, the harder it gets. At TH9, you have an insane Dark Elixir grind in front of you, and you don’t want to find yourself among well-developed TH10s to farm it. You’d be like a kid who wants to play ball with grown-ups just to brag: “Look, I’m playing with the grown-ups!”, while in reality, you’re getting whopping.
If you still want to get as high with the trophies as you can, here is the exemplary layout.
Also, as attacks mean the world for progress, you may want to check our best TH9 attacks sections.
TH9 War Base
Here is where the fun begins.
Still, as we keep pointing out, you need to be aware of what you are picking.
We can see, that high HP buildings with no real defensive power are left outside the base to slow down the attackers. It will not do most of the time, but still, there is no better purpose for them.
The majority of war strategies around TH9 revolves around Queen Walk or Queen Charge (we cover these strats in our CoC Heroes guide). The key to the Queen walking or charging is funneling her. And her wandering tendencies have been legendary. If the raid doesn’t go well, 8 out of 10 reasons is the Queen not going where we wanted her to go. With the base we are presenting, it is very easy for the attacker to mess up. The center of the base is somewhat opened. You never know, if the Queen decides to circle around the base, or to go in. Whatever makes the attack go not the way it was planned, is a win for you. Unexpected circumstances are the main reason the plans fail.
In the dynamic, time-gated game like Clash of Clans, details matter the most. You can have everything maxed out with overpowered troops and spells in Clan Castle. One mistake can ruin the whole raid.
The best TH9 attack strategies
With the new Barracks level and most notably the Dark Barracks level, there are a couple of new strategies, that we’d like to talk about briefly. We have already covered the top attacking strategies for Town Hall 9 in our Clan Wars guide. Be sure to check it out.
There are three variations of this strategy:
- Queen Walk,
- Queen Charge,
- kill squad.
The usage of each of those strategies depends on the setup of enemy Clan Castle and the Archer Queen. Preferably, you want to take care of both. Why is it so important?
On the defensive end, the CC troops have “Any” target priority. It means that they will bash your army no matter what you deploy. The same goes for the defending Queen. You don’t care about the King, because he’s not able to attack flying troops.
Since at Town Hall level 9, your CC housing space is 30, you can fit a Lava Hound, an Electric Dragon, or two Ice Golems. The latter two are TH11 troops. Why is it so vital? Well, if you see that your war adversaries don’t have a TH11, you can risk a statement that there is a Lava Hound in the CC, and definitely, it’s not the dreadful E-Drag. With LavaLoon, you can ignore the Lava Hound in CC, as it deals close to no damage. You can also ignore any ground units.
Remember, to use the Coco Loon to fish for any Seeking Air Mines. At this level, the Black Mines can deal with 1,800 damage. TH9 level 2 Lava Hound has 6,500 HP. One Black Mine takes away more than a quarter of its health. If it didn’t happen, the Hound could have tanked the Air Defense for another 7 seconds. A single Balloons has 545 HP at TH9 max level. It means that for a Black Mine, 1,255 damage is wasted. Even more, if the Balloons take some damage before the hit. Ideally, you want to fish for the Seeking Air Mine with a Minion, but it may prove to be hard due to Minion’s low HP value (55).
You should go for the Queen Charge if you can take out the CC and the defending Queen in one blow.
Choose the Queen Walk, if you see a potential of taking down a large portion of the base without putting the Healers at risk.
You can go for the kill squad variation if you have access to high-level Bowlers, and the outside buildings will be an easy target for them to bounce off.
We don’t know if there’s anyone at TH9, who doesn’t know what the Witch Slap attack is. Whoever typed in the Google: “The best TH9 attacks”, must have received three results - GoHoBo, LavaLoon, and the Witch Slap.
The beauty of this strategy is expanding your army for a low price. Witches, when maxed out, can swarm the battlefield with Skeletons in a matter of seconds. Skellies do well against all Heroes, even at the highest level of play. What’s more, as it’s a ground attack, Skeletons will take out most of the traps, leaving your kill squad, Heroes, and, most importantly, Witches untouched. They also deal well with the CC - defenders are focused on Skeletons, while Witches are mauling them.
As long as Witches can move around the map freely, the enemy is done for. No base can withstand a vast swarm of Skellies. Pair it up with a few Jump Spells or Wall Breakers to let them in, and you’re good to go.
There are two main variations - Golems and Healers. In the Golems variation, the defending fire is focused on your rocky companions. In the Healers iteration, the damage is healed. You want to go with Golems when you see the Air Defenses closer to the outside, where they could harm your Healers. If the ADs are deeper into the base, go ahead, and choose the second option.
Witches will easily take care of the trash buildings on the outside. Your kill squad has to destroy the core. You want to send your CC Bowlers and Heroes straight up there.
This strategy is based on Golems, Hog Riders, and Bowlers. Similarly to the Witch Slap, you will need to ask kindly for some blue, rock-throwing guys in Clan Castle, since you are yet to unlock them. The strategy is straightforward and way too powerful for this kind of simplicity. Drop down the Golems to take the aggro properly. Add some funneling troops. Wizards are the best here, usually for their high DPS and sturdiness unusual for cloth wearers.
Once the funnel is created, send in the kill squad - Bowlers with Heroes. To open up the base, you want to use Wall Breakers most of the time, but having at least one Jump spell may be a good idea. Generally, you want to have at least three Heal Spells for the Hogs, so be conservative about spell spamming.
The kill squad has to kill the enemy Heroes and CC troops. Preferably, they will also take out some ground traps, that are a pain in the neck for Hogs. Once the core is down with key defenses being turned into a pile of splinters and rubble, deploy the Hog Riders. If you prepared the target base for them correctly, they will tear it down in no time.
In the end, drop some Minions for the cleanup.
For sure, there is a lot of fun mixed with some serious Clash of Clans playing at Town Hall 9. There are even some meaningful tournaments exclusively for TH9 players! If it weren’t for the tedious Dark Elixir grind, it would be like a walk in the park.
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What are the biggest changes at Town Hall level 9?
You get Archer Queen, two X-Bows, along with Witches and Golems, once you upgrade Dark Barracks. You have new spells on top of that.
What is the max level for heroes at TH9?
It’s level 30.
What are the top priority upgrades at Clash of Clans Town Hall level 9?
No doubt - heroes. You will spend days farming Dark Elixir maxing your Archer Queen and Barbarian King to level 30.
When should you upgrade to TH10?
Just as you put your Heroes to level 30 upgrade, you may proceed with the Town Hall. Every Clash of Clans guide will tell you that.
What is the Coco Loon in Clash of Clans?
It is a tactic to send a single Balloon to trigger all air traps on its way. The word “coco” means “crazy” or “suicidal.”
What was Town Hall 9.5?
It was a type of base with an upgrade path strictly for war purposes. Your offensive power was great, but the defense was weak. Since war weight has been changed, it is no longer recommended to upgrade the base like this.