Just checking in…trophy push on?

Just when I think I’m getting back into it, life hands me an exhaustion sandwich and I go on a mini hiatus again. I failed to mention in my last post that another significant change in the CoC update was that the hero abilities have been improved to also heal a chunk of health. This makes each hero more of a tank than before (rather than just raw damage), and it also means you have to activate your abilities more strategically. For instance, it’s ideal to activate the abilities after some damage has been sustained, but not too late that your hero dies. This means you have to pay more attention overall to time things just right.

After a lengthy win streak, our clan has lost two close ones in a row (I believe by about 4 stars each). Losing is just part of the game sometimes, but what frustrates me is the inactivity we still see. Out of 70 possible attacks, we were missing 12 of them, which is a significant portion. I thought we were making progress in that area, but it seems we’ve sort of hit a plateau. I just wish there were more clan mates who didn’t treat this game like some side activity. I’m appalled when I see people with single-digit raids in a 2-week cycle. Even when I get really busy with life, I can’t imagine raiding so little. I know some people are thinking, “well, I have a life outside of CoC” or “I play other games more,” and that’s fine. But it makes me wonder what I’m doing hanging in a clan filled with these kinds of players. Not to say I’m some big shot, but it really doesn’t take much effort to contribute and progress at a respectable level. Sometimes I feel compelled to be around a group of players who do treat CoC as a high priority as I do. I couldn’t care less if someone is inactive but lives an exciting life. Good for you, but that doesn’t help me in any way lol.

Anyway, I’ve been ranting a lot lately to some people, and I guess I’m just typing it here as spillover. There is a core group of players who are awesome, and the thought of leaving them is a real downer. Maybe in the near future, our clan will be a well-oiled machine, devoid of players who think doing two CW attacks in 24 hours is tough, or think a 2M upgrade is a huge mountain to climb. But right now, I do flirt with the idea of trying out other clans.

For fun, I’d consider trying to get into the Clash of Clans Podcast clans. I listen to those guys all the time, and even if they aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable or accurate people, it’s fairly entertaining to listen to on my long commutes (even if they haven’t yet mastered the podcast art of letting the other person speak at the right times haha). I could definitely help them out and do some damage.

Other high-level farming clans are also on my radar, but I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t want to get to know a bunch of new people all over again, and I’m also afraid that I’ll like it too much to leave. Winning wars and getting high level troops all the time could get addicting. Then again, my current clan has some awesome donators too, so there’s not a ton to complain about there unless I’m looking for level 2 witches or something.

Recently, I’ve finally completed all the high priority defenses in my base. It is quite a relief to be done with Xbows and Infernos! Now, I’m upgrading just a couple of defenses at a time, and I think my base is still sturdy and intimidating enough to do a trophy push. So far, I’m in Masters III again, but I wonder how far I can go while keeping my builders somewhat busy. Is Champions league within reach?

Here’s my base at the moment:


I’ve seen worse up there, but it’s a question of how long I want to delay my farming for the rest of my upgrades and how much I’m willing to suffer setbacks to strong attacks. For now, I’m going to keep at it because a trophy push once in a while definitely motivates me and refreshes my enjoyment of the game. :) We’ll see how far I can go!

New Update changes a lot of things!

The new update was just released, and it definitely stirs up the pot once again. Some of the effects are obvious, some are more indirect.

Let’s start with the upgraded Pekka. This unit, while unpopular at most levels of play, was making a comeback already at the top. In fact, the current number 1 player, To8iK, uses them all the time instead of the usual GoWiWi strategy. Now that there’s an additional level, he and others like him must be very stoked. The level increases the P.E.K.K.A’s (never typing it that way again) stats in a linear fashion, giving her another 40 dps, 500 hp, and costs an extra 5K elixir.

Final stats:

DPS: 380

HP: 4,500(!)

Cost: 50,000 elixir

She goes from this all-black, scary form…

photo 1

To more of a blue/purple with some kind of purple heat/steam emanating:

photo 2

This game sure loves the color purple, doesn’t it?

Also, I wasn’t expecting to get around to this upgrade for a while, but I couldn’t help myself…looks too cool to pass up at “only” 5M!

photo 3

Pekkas are definitely going to increase in popularity, and since Hidden Teslas do bonus damage against them, they will be that much more important to upgrade AND protect. I will definitely have to rearrange my base, not only to account for better tesla placement, but also to have less clustering for the new and improved Valkyrie.

Basically, in the past, one of her main features was that she spins around doing splash damage. In reality, however, this was kind of a dud because she would end up going to the edge of single buildings to attack, so other things would rarely be in her radius of effect. There would be no practical difference between her spin attack and a straight-on hit.

BUT that all changes with their new AI, which directs them to go in between multiple structures!

This video clearly shows their new-found effectiveness. Scary stuff.

Other minor changes include being able to reload traps, xbows, and infernos all from the Town Hall building. This is pretty awesome and convenient. They also made it possible to copy your base (i.e., between regular base and war base) with the touch of a button. This is definitely a nice addition as well, since changing your layout would mean you might have to do it twice for each base.

ALSO, when searching for raids now, the default view is a zoomed out one. It’s funny now to me that it took this long, but it makes a lot of sense. Think about it: there are so many buildings now in TH9 and 10, that every time you search, you kind of have to zoom out manually to see the whole base. I developed a habit of doing this without even knowing, and now I have to stop myself. Seeing everything all at once by default is an added layer of convenience.

Infernos supposedly switch targets slower now, which might make multi-targeting a little more balanced. Before, it was instantaneous, so they could melt through hordes in seconds. It remains to be seen how much this affects things…

Finally…last but not least…it seems that it is much more difficult to draw out defending heroes now. This means that most likely, you will have to deal with enemy heroes within the confines of their walls now. You can no longer lure them out like chumps and pick them off in the corner before your “real” attack begins.

When I first heard that the heroes were getting this buff, my initial reaction was that heroes are already the strongest units in the game (potentially)…why did they need a buff? But it’s actually a great change. Any decent player can lure out even the highest level heroes and take care of them with ease using just a couple witches and support units. Now, high level heroes are actually scary to see in a defending base and could be a strong deterrent.

What about your #2 and #1 best armies?

Honestly, I think it was a good thing I delayed those posts a bit. I think #2 and #1 are both about to change.

#2 was going to be the Hog army. It was the easiest way to 3-star TH9s, and as it turns out, some people are able to even 3-star maxed out TH10s using them well with excellent placement and spells. Their main weakness was that they fall easily to CC troops and enemy heroes who are not disposed of…and now we know that heroes can’t simply be lured before the all-out attack. It remains to be seen how much this hinders the Hog army’s ability to run through a base before being picked off by pursuing defenders. Incidentally, this is probably the 4th or 5th time Supercell has somehow nerfed the effectiveness of Hogs after giving them their initial buff of targeting defenses…

#1 was the GoWiWi army. I think this army will remain fairly popular, but will the Golem stand up as well with enemy heroes there to snipe them? Will rushing your own heroes to the center be as effective if you are met by the other side’s King and Queen?

In my estimation, it’s obvious that Valkyries are a huge threat now. Pekkas are improved as well, to a lesser degree. Could we be seeing a new strategy that involves them both, along with the new level 3 Jump Spell? It seems Supercell REALLY wants Jump spell to be a thing because before, nobody cared except for sh*ts and giggles. Could “Pekkyrie” be the new hot army? Pick off the side distractions with Pekkas, then drive the Valks through the middle with Jump spell?

It will be very interesting to see what people come up with in the coming days. :)

Update on our clan…war results and flood of newcomers?

Our clan is sort of on a roll with regard to Clan Wars. We’ve won maybe 4-5 weeks in a row, and participation seems to be getting better across the board. The leaders are kicking inactives diligently and trying to communicate to everyone the importance of doing their part.

The most recent war was a heavily lopsided affair. This poor clan had a ton of rushed bases and poor attack strategies:


93 stars…very nice total for a 35 vs. 35 war. So…that’s a positive. :)

But recently, I don’t know what it is, but we’ve had a huge influx of new people coming into the clan (and many of them leave shortly after). A couple of them seem to have long-term potential, but the vast majority of them set off alarms, reeking of douchebaggery and immaturity.

Here’s what the typical newcomer this past week will do or say soon after joining:

“I’m here. Let’s start war now!” (Who gives a crap if you’re here…who are you? Did you not see our war schedule?)

“Make me elder.” (Again, WHO ARE YOU and what’s with your laughable TH7 layout?)

[Donation request: "Dragons/Pekkas/Witches only"] (Meanwhile, they have nothing but basic level 3 troops.)

Seriously, the levels of stupidity are off the charts lately, and the elders’ council is losing patience. I generally try to run it by the fellow elders and leaders before I kick someone, but now it’s pretty much free reign to kick anyone who exhibits any early signs of being an idiot. The thing is, you can usually tell as soon as the person says something—and by looking at their base. Once an idiot, always an idiot. That’s been my experience anyway.

So if you happen to be interested in joining, know this:

- Be prepared to donate well and don’t be greedy with your requests except during Clan Wars.

- We are a very friendly clan overall, but if you’re cocky or rude, we will boot you. We are happy to have solid contributors, but we don’t NEED you or the headache you bring.

- If you have a poorly developed base and low level troops, you will either be kicked immediately or have a very short leash.

- Don’t ask for elder/leader. Earn it, and you will be recognized.

- No more TH7s allowed. Only TH8 and above, and level 60+. We are past being a noob-friendly parking space clan. We want to win wars.


I will continue with my usual posts shortly, but I just had to get this off my chest. Take care, and have a good day. :)

#3 Best Army in CoC: Balloonian

I originally thought I would put all of my Top 3 in one post, but there are too many details to discuss. So IN MY OPINION, here is my #3 best army in Clash of Clans–BALLOONIANS.


Balloons and minions (“balloonians”) were once the hot army of choice for the world’s top players. In fact, I remember one guy hitting #1 in the world using this army composition. Here is the basic formula, assuming an army capacity of 240 (adjust downward accordingly as needed):

- 28 balloons

- 50 minions

- 3 rage spells, 1 freeze, and 1 lightning

Personally, I tend to use 24 balloons and 60 minions, mainly because I try to use a little less elixir and also reduce build times (the balloons build slower than the minions). Plus, I’m not really going for the win so much as I want the loot, and minions are excellent at grabbing that.

So why is this army in the top 3? Well, like I alluded to before, it has the potential to win against the very best bases. But here are some other reasons to appreciate this army:

- It is excellent for farming, and while it’s not cheap, it’s still possible to profit regularly using it.

- Very versatile army that isn’t overly picky on base type. You can play it slow and pick off 50%, or you can plow through a large portion of a base in seconds.

- Relatively easy to learn, though it takes experience to master.

- You don’t necessarily have to always draw out all of the CC troops (a well-placed lightning + minions + balloon splash can generally take care of things during normal raids).

- The enemy’s Barbarian King and ground defenses (cannons or even ground-facing Xbows) are almost non-factors.

Sounding pretty good, eh? I think so. In fact, full disclosure, this is my go-to army that is most comfortable to use. Overall, it’s my favorite.

So what are the drawbacks of this army? Like any army, balloonians aren’t perfect:

- Balloons aren’t viable against decent bases until they are level 6. The increase in stats is just too much to forgo this last upgrade.

- This army is heavily dependent on well-placed rage spells because balloons are so slow…so spells will almost always be used except against mediocre or abandoned bases. This effectively increases the build time.

- Against a maxed out base, it is (probably) impossible to 3-star using this army. There isn’t enough durability.

- No one wants balloons as donations. Minions are sometimes requested, but not always.

OK, so all of that aside, how do you actually go about using them? Everybody has a different style, but I’ll just share what I do and try to incorporate other people’s strategies as well.

First, whether or not I’m trying to trophy push or just raid for loot, I generally want to ensure a 1-star victory by getting 50% of the buildings. This is to not only maintain (or slightly climb) my trophy level, but also for the loot bonus. Getting an extra 35K+ of each resource is nothing to sneeze at. So I try to look around the base for buildings on the edge that I can pick off with single minions without getting hit by a defensive structure. Sure, you may only get a few percentage points this way, but you’d be surprised how many times that makes the difference in the end. While you’re doing this, you may also want to lure and kill the Archer Queen, though you don’t always have to if she’s low level.

Then, if my area of approach/attack looks like it could potentially have air bombs (red) hiding, I might sprinkle just a few minions around to set them off. Sure, the air bombs can’t take down the balloons leading the charge, but the drop in health could end up making a difference as well.

Finally, I will start my spamming. First, I spam my balloons, typically in a V to cover all of the front-line defenses. As with all spamming, try to keep an eye on the crosshairs to make sure you’re getting good enough coverage to take down important defenses. Then, I quickly spam minions behind them, leaving only 5-10 in my stock for later. By now, the balloons should be hovering at or close to the front-line buildings, and now you want to drop a rage spell on each side of the attack. Make sure to not only get as many balloons as possible in the spell, but also lead them forward deeper into the base.

Watch for CC troops that may start pouring out, and use lightning as appropriate. If there are damaging multi-target infernos or upgraded Xbows shooting into the air, you may want to consider using a Freeze spell. Watch and enjoy.

After a few awesome moments, the main barrage will be over, and things will be quiet. Now, you may want to see if there are safe places to drop the rest of your minions to gather remaining resources or pick off stray buildings to ensure that 50%. You can also use your heroes if necessary.

And that’s how it’s done!

Typically, 1-star is your goal with this army, but this YouTuber shows that 2-stars is realistic, even up in Champions league (you’ll notice he uses the two-finger drop to time the approach better, which is definitely easier to do on a tablet):

Hope you enjoyed this write-up, and stay tuned for the #2 best army in the near future. :)

(SmoothJK/Sponki) Back in the saddle

Wow, has it really been 7 months since I last updated here??

Things have really been crazy in my life for a while now. There was a stretch at my job from December until about April where it was pretty much non-stop work, and on top of that, we had to move to our new home. THEN, a bundle of joy arrived in our lives. It’s been quite a ride…I don’t know how I’m still standing today. :)

Through it all, I have kept my progress in CoC nice and steady, even if it’s not always at the same feverish pace as before. I’d say I maintain about a 2M gold/day average, though some days it’s a little less or a lot more.

I guess since the last time I was here, a lot has changed. SmoothJK has moved onto to TH10, I turned all my walls to at least level 8, and am getting close to finishing with all elixir upgrades (max Freeze has 7 days left, and then it’s just max Lightning and PEKKA left). I’ve gotten started on max Inferno as well, and I plan to stagger my defensive upgrades so I’m never lacking any particular defensive type. So once I get to 8M gold again, I will do an Xbow, then an Air Def, then a Mortar (if my Inferno still has not completed…if it has, I’ll do the second one).

Here’s my main base in farming mode:


I had to move a couple of teslas in the middle to bolster my defenses since one of my infernos is being upgraded, and I think it’s still scary enough to deter most attackers. I rarely get hit at this trophy range anyway except from town hall snipers.

Farming-wise, I still prefer my balloonian army, though it does tend to be a little spell-intensive and not economical elixir-wise (which is another reason I can’t wait to finish my elixir upgrades…never have to worry about balloon or spell cost again). When I need to bring my elixir count up, I use either a basic army of 16 giants, 80 archers, 40 goblins, 12 wallbreakers, 4 wizards…or I use a hog army. Using DE-based armies for a little bit can make saving elixir much easier, though of course you sacrifice your ability to upgrade your heroes. Ideally, you want one hero upgrading at all times, though this is very difficult to do–and also painful, since that means you rarely get to use both in battle.

Lately in Clan Wars, I’ve gone to GoWiWi (Golems, Wizards, Witches), and I can see why it’s the most popular “pro” army. It’s very powerful, and unless you fail to take care of business in some way, you almost always net 2 stars at least.

My next post will focus in on what I think are the three most popular (and effective) armies in Clash of Clans. I’m sure you can probably already guess what they are, but I’ll rank them and go into what makes each one so useful.

By the way, here is my alternate account’s base, which has also been steadily progressing (I’m trying out an anti-hog, anti-air farming design):


It’s funny, but I almost decided to abandon this account since I was getting so busy and tired. But I decided it was easy enough to just keep collecting from my mines and pumps once a day or so. I also rearranged the base at TH8 to at least partially protect the collectors since they would usually be pretty full.

Anyhow, I kept putting the collected gold into one or two walls at a time until eventually, I got all of them blue. The elixir would pile up enough to get troop upgrades and such going. Then the base approached a max TH8, and I decided, why not raid occasionally, get it to TH9, and make it more productive during Clan Wars? So for the past couple of months, I’ve been working at this account enough to turn it into a respectable TH9. With inactives in the clan still being an issue, it’s nice to at least have two accounts that can reliably put in their two attacks each time.

Honestly, those few months where all I did was collect from the mines and pumps made me realize how easy it is to keep progressing at this game, at least until TH9 where upgrades get really expensive.

The bottomline is that I’m glad to be back, and I’m happy to see this blog seems to maintain a steady readership despite my absence. Stay tuned for future posts everyone! :)

Kpop Nation Trophy Push Results – Master League Achieved!

It’s been a while since the last update, but I’ve been very busy in my personal life (e.g., being the Best Man at my brother’s wedding) and at work. This post is long overdue!

Our clan’s first trophy push was a nice success, and I was happy/impressed to see how many people participated actively. We probably had almost 15 people at separate times hit Crystal League–some for the first time–and I think everyone got a different taste of the game. People seemed to enjoy the challenge. :) Obviously, we won’t be doing it all the time because it would slow our progress, but I think one week every two months or so is a pretty decent rate. We’ll feel it out.

The highest trophy count that I was able to spot was 18867, giving us a rank of 5419. Great job guys, definitely not bad for a pretty casual clan thus far!

photo 4

Also, for the first time in a while, we completely filled up with 50 members, so the elders and I were able to boot out the rest of the inactives. I think this may be the only time I’ve seen that every member in our clan is an active player, which is pretty exciting.

I was also able to achieve my personal goal of hitting Master League! :)

photo 1

photo 2

It was definitely just as hard as expected. Seriously, there were almost no TH9s up there, and as soon as I’d log off, I’d get dominated by hog armies. I should have just left my town hall outside in hopes of finding someone looking for a snipe. The free shields would have saved a lot of resources and trophies.

My main army during the push was the popular “Balloonian” army (Balloons and Minions). I used 28 balloons and 40 minions each time, though I think 24 and 50 might have been a better ratio. More minions means you can pick off stray buildings better and you have more firepower to go at the town hall directly for the guaranteed win. Balloons soak up the damage, take out the defenses, but sometimes I wouldn’t have enough minions to clean up after…and of course, balloons don’t go for the town hall at all. But I was trying to save a little dark elixir, so that’s why.

All in all, I think I only lost about 3-4 battles on offense, so I was able to pretty consistently climb until about 2400 when I’d lose more on defense than I could earn on attack. So I had to start keeping my phone active between attacks to spare myself more hog invasions. I was also surprised to see that once in a while, I was still finding town halls to snipe even at Crystal 1.

photo 3

For the most part, each raid would consist of dropping one minion at a time around the desired drop point to set off any air mines. If necessary/possible, I’d lure the Archer Queen and clan castle troops and deal with them (wizards or dragons were never a welcome sight from the enemy CC). Then, I’d drop all my balloons and use rage, then my minions would follow soon after to hopefully clear their way to the town hall. Pretty standard.

The most memorable attack was a highly upgraded TH9 that tried to use the old 3×3 square trap trick. The idea is to have someone look at an open drop point inside the base and go, “Ooh! Free access to the base and town hall!” Then when they drop their troops, all mayhem ensues and they are quickly decimated by a barrage of hidden teslas, traps, and every other centralized defense focusing on them at the same time.

However, when the person attacking knows what’s up, there are ways to easily exploit this. And this “trick” doesn’t work as well against air troops anyway.

Here was the base I attacked:

photo 1(1)

The first mistake he made (other than even attempting this trick) was not having the wizard towers more centralized. Their splash damage is crucial in dealing with mobs of troops flooding the inside at once. I dropped a couple minions to see what would happen…

photo 2(1)

Surprise, surprise! Hidden teslas as expected. Not a biggie, so I went ahead and preemptively dropped a rage spell and heal spell. The level 7 air defenses and level 3 Xbows look scary (along with a level 30 AQ…impressive!), but they’re so close to the drop point that with rage, the enraged balloons and minions will handle business in short order.

The next 3-4 seconds were pure chaos.

photo 3(1)

I dropped everything I had, and before I could even get to all my minions, the surrounding defenses were toast. The town hall fell quickly and achieving 50% from there wasn’t too tough. :) Fun stuff!

photo 4(1)

Hope you enjoyed this quick little recap. Oh, and before I go, I leave you with a picture of the most beautiful TH8 base you will ever see.

Thanks treeplants for sharing this epic replay!

photo 5

Kpop Nation Trophy Push Update – Part 1

The trophy push is on, and I’ve never seen this many of our clanmates in Crystal. ;) It’s no biggie but we’re normally a pretty casual, fun clan, so it’s cool to see people stepping up like this.

We normally hover around the 20-23K range, rankings wise, but today, we’re #10,994.

Here’s a rundown of each member’s trophy count from Day 1 to Day 2 as of this morning (note: some people are busy and/or can’t participate fully). For my own sanity, I’ll only include those above 1500 trophies. :)

Adjusted Clan Total Trophies: 16665 –> 17384

- Leanne (elder): 2110 -> 2113

- Eugene’s slave: 2045 -> 2024

- Desmond: 2008 -> 2032

- judithleexD: 1956 -> 2029

- cupoflol: 1892 -> 1936

- qui: 1869 -> 1903

- Rincor Aberdash (elder): 1776 -> 2015

- sicily: 1752 -> 1823

- Frostjohn (elder): 1717 -> 1698

- kayti_06: 1677 -> 1707

- SmoothJK (me): 1661 -> 2051

- hasyraff11: 1658 -> 1628

- spiralandescape: 1640 -> 1652

- RALguy27: 1586 -> 1559

- deathmate4: 1581 -> 1584

- salaowang: 1565 -> 1578

- Eldest Exodus: 1548 -> 1560

- ez4u2h8 (elder): 1531 -> 1546

- courtney2744: 1504 -> 1503

- SakuraTea (elder): 1501 -> 1545

- ninjamoosh (elder): 1494 -> 1706

- Treeplants: 1481 -> 1669

- Riz (founder): 1451 -> 1502

- Oda: 1422 -> 1708

- SponkiFonkiGirl (alt): 1405 -> 1501

Stay tuned for more updates and details! Keep up the good work guys. :)