Attention: This guide is intended for newer players to the game. Please refrain from commenting, "I obviously know all this stuff" and other phrases along the lines of that. Thanks and enjoy! ~_Sir_Cat_
1. Revenge is a dish best served often
Like it or not, it will often be the case that you get attacked while you are away and your shield is down. Sometimes you will get plowed, and that sucks but getting attacked also presents a rare opportunity! When reviewing the list of punks who defaced your village while you were away, you have the choice to Revenge to attack them back. This is a huge strategic advantage, because you can look at their village before attacking, and plan your attack even train different units for a special assault. I recommend checking their storages (which you can do visually, or better yet by clicking on them and checking their levels), and also the location of their Town Hall. Since you may have a big list to go through, check farmers first (folks that attacked you with just a few units then gave up) since they are likely to have big resource stockpiles. If an opponent is shielded or online, just check back later.
2. Raiding and Town Hall level
There are a variety of factors that affect how many resources you can steal from an opponent, but there is one huge one: Town Hall level. If your opponent is at your TH level, or 1 level above or below, you get a 100% modifier on what you can steal. However, if your opponent is 2 levels above you get a 125% modifier, and if 3 levels above you get a 150% modifier. Moreover, that same opponent would get a 50% and 25% modifier (respectively) for any attempt to revenge you. Given the current Town Hall level cap, this makes Town Hall level 7 a very attractive level to farm from. It will be hard to take down TH 9 opponents, but there will be the occasional easy target but more importantly your resources will be relatively safe from the toughest opponents. Your Town Hall level also affects the cost to search for new opponents when matchmaking, which can really start to add up at the higher levels.
3. Lightning Spell away Mortars
After initially tinkering with each spell, you might start to think Rage is the only way to (or Jump if youve unlocked it). These spells are pretty powerful, and offer some huge strategic advantages, but they are also quite expensive and take a long time to create. Maybe youve forgotten, or given up on the Lightning Spell because it seemed too weak. Well its time for a second look. A 4+ star Lightning Spell will almost wipe out a level 4 5 Mortar. If an opponent has placed a Wizard Tower or second Mortar nearby, you can take out the pair with two spells. Wiping out critical splash damage defenses like this can allow your horde troops (barbs, Archers, and Goblins) to shred the remaining single target defenses.
4. Dropping trophies with heroes
If you play the game long enough, at some point you will probably want to ditch some trophies. The game is basically about bullying people smaller than you, and after a meteoric rise you may find that the competition gets a little too tough for your liking. So you want to lose on purpose, but doing so generally costs you troops, training time, and elixir. Enter the hero. If you are lucky enough to have acquired one or both of these titans, you can use them to drop trophies essentially for free. Start a match, drop your hero, and then end the battle before they take any damage. After the fight, youll drop some cups, your hero will be ready to get right back in the action and it cost you nothing!
5. Giving your hero a rest
After the version 3.25 patch, the regeneration time of heroes was significantly reduced. However, even for a level 1 hero, an hour can be a long time to wait. So it can be very frustrating when you are in the middle of an intense raiding session, take a five minute bio break, and come back to find that youve been attacked and your hero is KOd. You can fix this! On the hero pedestal the middle button controls whether the hero is in Guard or Sleep mode. When you toggle it to Guard he/she will defend your village when you are away risking KO. When you toggle it to Sleep your hero will sleep safely on his/her pedestal and remain fully charged and available when next you seek to use him/her for raiding.
6. Saving the Campaign for a last big push
There is a game tip during the load screens which says that if you are need a little more resources you can fight the Goblins in the single player campaign. This is true, but if you played the early missions you probably feel that the resource pay out is ridiculously puny and youd be right. You can win up to 4.8 million gold and elixir in the campaign, but 3 million of that comes in the last 5 levels. These levels may at first seem impossible, but as you upgrade your units to around level 4-5 youll find they arent too bad. Also bear in mind that Im speaking just about poaching them for resources, and not necessarily getting 3 stars. If you save these 5 levels for a rainy day, they can either cover a large portion or the complete balance needed for later upgrades like Town Hall Level 9, Barbs/Archers Level 5, or similar. The fact that you can rack up this loot while you are shielded means that you can get within striking distance while raiding, and then use the campaign to get you to the finish line stress free.
6. Leaving your Town Hall out in the cold
So you want to keep your Town Hall in the deepest most protected nook of your village right? There is no possible reason to leave your Town Hall exposed to the vandals who will defile and loot it right? Wrong. There are several reasons, but the most important is that each time someone attacks and destroys your TH, you get at least a 12 hour shield. If you are trying to save resources for upgrades (and arent you basically always doing that?) then you want to remain shielded as much as possible. If you arent independently wealthy, buying shields is not really feasible so the only way you are going to get them is by losing in a smart way. But what about my trophies? you say. It is a valid consideration, but at least in my time so far Ive not found it to be a significant drag for several reasons. First, like I mention in 1250 trophies is what its all about you can seek opponents just like yourself and recoup lost trophies pretty quick. Second, youll randomly be attacked by farmers every so often that give you a bunch of trophies on their way down. Third, and perhaps most importantly you can balance some losses by being a sneaky bastard. Learn more below in Traps and Teslas, the element of surprise.
7. Traps and Teslas, the element of surprise
The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.
Supercell gives you many strategic options for defense, but perhaps the most powerful is the element of surprise. Traps and the defensive Hidden Tesla do not appear to opponents when they look at your park, and while there are tricks to figure out where they are, a matchmade opponent will only have seconds to try and figure it out. Psychologically, many will find it hard to keep focus on the hidden as they struggle to analyze and consume all of the visible defenses and plan their attack. Use this to your advantage. Funnel units through a weakness in a wall, then blast them with Bombs. Leave your Town Hall out in the cold, but surround it with Teslas to punish unprepared attackers. Clash of Clans is a game about raiding, and the odds are stacked against defenders. You wont win every assault, but if you use the hidden elements in your arsenal wisely, youll win a good quantity often a majority or at least enough to remain trophy neutral.