When you go through the search looking for a player to loot, or spend even 5 minutes in the "Plans" section of this website, one question usually comes to mind: "Where do these people come up with their base designs?" A lot of the bases you'll see are very unorganized and messy. A base that doesn't use the defensive units it possesses well renders itself ineffective against attackers. How can you be sure your base is well-rounded and well-designed? How can you be sure you're placing your defensive units effectively and efficiently? Look no further, as this guide will explain in-depth each defensive unit and its capabilities, as well as its strengths, weaknesses and placement options. The guide will be separated by the following categories: Ground Troop Defenses (can only attack ground troops), Air Troop Defenses (can only attack air troops), Air/Ground Troop Defenses (can attack air and ground at all times, or can be altered to attack either ground or air), Traps, and Special Defenses (Heroes and the Clan Castle).
Notice: ALL defenses in this guide (other than traps) are assumed to be protected by walls, making them a part of the base design. A defensive unit not protected by a wall doesn't make it a defensive unit at all.
=== Ground Troop Only Defenses ===
= Cannons =
Just as Clash of Clans says, Cannons are excellent for "point" defense. They can only target one troop at a time, contain a 9-tile range, and have a decent rate of fire. They are best placed in the outermost layer of your base, spaced equally so that they each cover a large section of the base without overlapping each other's range entirely. By "outermost layer," I mean that the Cannons should be one of the first two defenses an attacker runs into.
= Mortars =
Mortars are an excellent ground troop defense because of the splash damage they create. They are the only defensive unit in the game that has the unique ability to level an entire army with one shot (given that army is poorly placed or has bunched up). They have a range of 4-11 tiles and typically attack the first unit that comes within their range, making them a devastating force against ground attacks. However, their placement is critical to how effective they are. They do best deep inside your base, usually in your second layer of defenses, so that they cannot be easily destroyed. They shouldn't be easily accessible by an attacker, which is why placing them inside the second layer is the best way to utilize their splash damage. A Mortar's biggest weakness is its limited range close up, allowing ground troops to destroy them effortlessly without being harmed by the Mortar itself.
=== Air Troop Only Defenses ===
= Air Defenses =
The Air Defense is the only defensive unit in the game that isn't a trap that can only target air troops. Depending on the level of your Town Hall, placement of these can be tricky. In all honesty, it is based on preference. Some choose to put them on the outside layer of the base in order to hit air troops immediately after they are placed, while others choose to keep them more inward to protect the central core of the base more so than the perimeter. The weakness of having them in your outermost layer is that ground troops can simply walk up and destroy them since Air Defenses are powerless against them. However, the weakness of having them too far into your base is that their range of 10 tiles usually overlaps one another. While overlapping ranges can be great at providing double-coverage of air troops, it also usually means that the Air Defenses themselves aren't separated enough, allowing them to be destroyed fairly easily in consecutive order. Finding a happy medium with Air Defenses isn't easy, but to keep it simple, they need to be placed behind other defenses, but not close enough together that they can become victim to a strong air attack.
=== Air/Ground Troop Defenses ===
= Archer Towers =
The Archer Tower is the first tower available in the game that can attack both air and ground troops. It has a range of 10 tiles, does very similar damage as a Cannon and can only target one troop at a time. Also an excellent tower for "point" defense, they do best placed in the outermost layer of your base, usually (but not always) paired with a Cannon. Spacing should be so that the range of each individual Archer Tower does not entirely overlap another's, and if spaced in the most effective manner, their ranges should cover the entire perimeter of the base, or close to it.
= Wizard Towers =
The only defensive unit in the game with the capability to do splash damage against both air and ground troops, the Wizard Tower is a very powerful unit capable of doing loads of damage to groups of troops. With a range of only 7 tiles, Wizard Towers should be placed very near the core of your base, providing your Town Hall/Storage Units with much-needed splash protection. They are also very good at being the adjoining unit for more vulnerable defenses such as Mortars and Air Defenses. Wizard Towers should be located in multiple pockets of the base, so that they can't be easily accessed moving from one section of the base to another.
= X-Bows =
Possessing a high rate of fire along with the furthest range in the game, X-Bows certainly do create a problem for incoming attackers. They are also the first defensive unit available in-game that can be switched to focus on ground troops alone at 14 tiles of range or ground and air troops at 11 tiles of range. X-Bows operate at their maximum potential when they are the deepest defensive unit in the base, sitting right next to the core (whether that be the Dark Elixir Storage, Town Hall, etc.). They have the distinct capability to cover the entire base with their long range, making them most effective at the center. Being that they are best utilized in the center of your base, having Wizard Towers and Air Defenses nearby will provide them with some extra support.
= Inferno Towers =
The Inferno Tower is a defensive unit capable of doing an incredible amount of damage to a single target or respectable damage to multiple targets, depending on what setting they are on. They have a range of 9 tiles regardless of setting, and also negate healing effects while they are defending. On top of all of that, they also have a very large amount of hit points, making them very difficult to destroy. Inferno Towers are best placed at the center of your base, opposite one another and next to whatever your core is (Town Hall, DE Storage, etc.). They don't have to be in their own individual pockets, but they can be if you prefer.
=== Traps ===
= Bomb =
Capable of doing small amounts of damage to large groups of troops at best, Bombs are best placed in between some of your outermost layer defensive units (if you've been following the guide, that would be Archer Towers and Cannons) or surrounding the very core of your base, whatever it may be. Given they only have a damage area of 3 tiles and a trigger radius of 1, they are only effective when troops walk directly over them, so place them strategically based on the entirety of your base design.
= Giant Bomb =
The Giant Bomb does a ton more damage than a regular bomb, and 1.5 times more damage to Hog Riders. They have a trigger radius of 2 tiles, and a damage area of 3.5. They can be utilized in the same way as Bombs, being placed in between your outermost defensive units. They are an excellent trap for taking out large quantities of troops with a single blow, and are also quite useful at doing large amounts of damage to stronger troops such as the Giant, P.E.K.K.A., or Golem.
= Skeleton Trap =
The Skeleton Trap really serves no other purpose than to be a few seconds of annoyance for an attacker. It has a trigger radius of 5 tiles, and once activated, the skeletons come out and distract enemy troops to buy your defenses a few extra seconds. They don't necessarily have a "best" placement option, but can generally be used around the perimeter of your base, either completely outside of your walls or in your first layer. The Skeleton Trap also can be set to pursue either ground or air troops.
= Air Bomb =
The Air Bomb is the first trap available that targets only air troops. It possesses a trigger radius of 5 tiles and does minor splash damage within 3 tiles to the air unit(s) that activated it. They are best used around the perimeter of your base to weaken incoming air units right off the bat.
= Seeking Air Mine =
The evil twin sister to the Air Bomb, the Seeking Air Mine has a smaller trigger radius at 4 tiles but does phenomenal damage to the air troop that triggered it. They are best used next to or in front of your Air Defenses to effectively weaken an air troop that is right on top of it.
= Spring Trap =
A very effective trap against Giants, the Spring Trap does nothing more than launch ground troops that are unfortunate enough to walk over it straight out of your base. They are best used in your outermost layer, around areas where there is space in between defensive units. They can be placed in a manner that is quite similar to Bombs and Giant Bombs, thinning out an attacker's army as they move to attack different defenses.
= Hidden Tesla =
The Hidden Tesla is as much a defense on its own as it is a trap. It stays hidden until attackers come close enough, offering an element of surprise, and uses its range of 7 tiles to electrocute nearby enemies. They are the only trap that targets both air and ground troops, and they do twice their normal damage to a P.E.K.K.A. They are best used at the corners of your base, typically in your first or second layer of defenses, to provide perimeter as well as internal coverage. You don't want all of your Hidden Tesla Towers in the same place, as they will be dealt with fairly easily. Keep them protected by walls and in separate pockets.
=== Special Defenses ===
= Clan Castle =
The defensive capabilities of the Clan Castle are often underestimated. Its placement is key to its success; it needs to be as close to center as possible, if not in the direct center. It has an enormous range that can easily be "lured" out by an attacker's troops. The Clan Castle's purpose is to cause some delay between the first wave of troops an attacker sends out, which is why it is best located near or in the center.
= Barbarian King/Archer Queen =
The Barbarian King and Archer Queen serve a similar purpose as the Clan Castle: to distract and annoy enemy troops and break up the attack. Once an enemy troop enters their radius, the King and Queen will focus on that troop and all nearby troops and begin destroying them. Their altars are best placed opposite one another within your base, to provide maximum annoyance. The two of them buy your defenses valuable time, and although the King and Queen may be subdued easily, that time they do buy you can be the difference maker for how well the rest of your defenses perform.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. I hope that it has helped inform you of the extensive capabilities of each defensive unit, and I'd hope that it would continue to be a reference point for your base designs in the future.
= JeremyIsKing =