Basics of Defending
Edits done to add supplemental videos.
While any defender will get you that defense point, a proficient defender may net you several defense points by forcing attackers to repeatedly attempt bases before successfully five flaming them.
It is fairly common to join a defense and blindly click the first towers one sees. Don’t be one of these people- take the time to do it right.
Note. Defense invites can be joined by the base owner & two teammates, for a total of 3 defenders.
If the base owner is offline, the defense cannot substitute a 3rd teammate.
There are four main categories you should familiarize yourself with if you want to be an asset in defending wars.
️ Base Layout ️
This will not be a guide on how to build a proper base, but on how to identify one and capitalize on its strengths.
Note. If you are defending a poorly built base, don’t waste valuable hammers on it; save those for the bases that will actually withstand the attack on it.
⁃ Long v. Short
You’ve just joined a defense for a level 255 base, and you find it is fully expanded. The attacker shrugs off all your supershots and takes the base easily.
You join another defense for a level 256, and this base does not exceed island 3. Each supershot does significantly more damage, and the attacker falls before achieving 5 flames.
The bases are the same level, but the second base has (example numbers) an average of level 45 towers, and the first base averages around level 32. The aggregate XP is the same, but the damage output of the second base is more concentrated into a smaller area, making it easier to defend and more effective in wars.
Why does this matter?
The only bases you should be dropping hammers on are the bases that are well built. Otherwise you are essentially throwing valuable resources into the trash.
Note. Maxed bases (level 60 towers) do not sacrifice strength by being fully expanded. They are the exception to this, and should always be fiercely defended.
⁃ Kill Island
Have you heard the phrase “kill island” and wondered what it means? This is referring to a player’s strongest set of 5 towers; a setup designed to take down the most dragons, and where the resources and supershots should be focused. This could be due to high tower levels relative to the rest of the base, or a layout that targets a dragon frequently problematic for that level range (cannon/blue mage + red mage + dark Flak = dead Kinnarus).
⁃ Mage Island
Like the kill island, this refers to a specific type of tower setup. Mage islands are usually 3-5 mage towers of low levels. Defenders use these to drain rage before an attacker reaches the kill island. It is important that the towers are not strong enough to withstand desiccating sand or noxious vines, or they will be disabled and left as an anchor to build rage.
️ Role of Each Tower/Supershot ️
There is a reason 3 storm towers placed together is useless, but 3 lightning towers do serious damage. Towers have specific roles and some are more useful than others. A base should have a mix of elemental and projectile towers to avoid being steamrolled by dragons with elemental barrier or invert/reverse projectiles.
Supershots will break shields; ONLY trigger this when the attacker is using (or about to use) a shielding spell. Elemental barrier is considered a shield.
High damage. Great investment of a super shot as long as the attacker does not carry Archer Resist or Invert/Reverse Projectiles.
- Blue and Red Mage
Extremely important. Keep in mind most higher bases will have researched mage siphon, so 2 supershots will drain 4 bars, and 3 will drain 5. If the opposing dragon does not carry 1 rage spells, 2 supershots are often enough. 3 is practical if the attacker is using a dragon like Necryx, which carries only one rage spells. More than that is a waste of supershots.
No use for anyone over level 20-30ish. If a base is crawling with them you may as well quit the defense.
Supershot does not stack. If there are multiple trebuchets, time them so the stun is back to back, not simultaneous.
Only trigger this if there are multiple lightning towers near each other, and the attacker does not carry lightning resist. If against a dragon with elemental barrier or elemental mayhem, avoid triggering when the dragon has enough rage to use the spell.
- Dark Flak
High damage and stuns. Very few dragons have this resist. The only scenario in which this is a bad choice for a supershot is if the flak is not placed in the very front of the island it’s on, and you do not also have enough to trigger a nearby storm tower. In this case the tower will be destroyed before it fires.
- Fire Flak
Decreases the damage done by the dragon, so best triggered when there are still several towers standing.
- Ice Turret
Shield generated by ice turret does not add enough HP to local towers to justify using this supershot. The only situation in which this may be helpful is if a storm tower is also triggered, as the colors blend into a very blinding mix of white and green. Most attackers won’t be able to discern what they are targeting until the storm tower’s shield ends.
- Fire Turret
Increases damage dragon takes, so best used when there are still several towers standing. Fires faster than the standard attack and cannot be reversed, so also a good choice against dragons with invert/RP or if there isn’t time for the turret to launch its fireball.
- Storm Tower
Extremely useful if placed correctly. Don’t trigger if the storm tower is surrounded by other storm towers, or if the nearby towers are resisted by the attacker. Storms on a kill island are usually critical to the island’s success, as they’ll allow the extra time for the strongest towers to fire multiple heavy damage shots. This is where the supershot should be prioritized.
- Farms & Mills
Most farms are placed towards the back of the base. If they are elsewhere (like the very front) or spread out, the base is likely not defendable. Supershots on farms should be done one at a time (like a trebuchet) for full effectiveness.
️ Dragon Strengths and Weaknesses ️
Not all dragons should be defended against the same way. Your strategy should adapt to the attacker’s spells and resists.
Follow this link and observe closely how certain towers are/are not selected depending on the attacking dragon.
Self explanatory; if the dragon resists the tower, the supershot will be more effective elsewhere. Exception: storm, trebuchet, cannon
If the dragon carries shield spells (invincibility, explosive, heat, static, blast, elemental barrier) locate the cannons and be ready to trigger them when the attacker uses their shield.
On the other hand, if a dragon carries invert or reverse projectiles, do not send flaming arrows at it when it has the rage to send it right back to you.
⁃ 1 Hit Kill
You cannot stop an attacker with rage from destroying every last farm if they carry a one hit kill spell. Don’t waste your resources on this. Try to take the dragon down before the farms are all that’s left, and recognize when you’ve lost. This includes: umbral spike, crumble to dust, enfeeble, uproot, galvanic overload, death gaze.
￼Follow this link for a video on one shot spells:
️ Base Boosts ️
What should be basic but happens anyway, is the throwing of boosts into the ocean. These are AoE (area of effect) items and will only work if placed directly over towers. The green circle will show its AoE.
The boosts are not permanent, and will expire before the dragon reaches the island if you drop it too early. Practice timing it so you don’t waste boosts.
￼Follow this link to observe the proper way to place boosts:
Adds defense to towers. Useful on nearly all islands with towers, exception being mage islands.
Adds attack power to towers. If the island has no DPS towers, this won’t make them suddenly do damage. That means those swords you’ve placed on the farms did absolutely nothing.
Replenishes HP. Useful on all islands (except mage islands) and most frequently spammed during wars. Don’t waste these on lost causes and save them for war as you’ll find those are the boosts you have the least of.