Part 2: Troops, Meatshields, and Research
Update: This series has been updated (June/July 2016).
Welcome to the second article in the series on budget rally trapping. If you missed the first article, this article will focus on troops, however, and will consist of what I’ve used personally, or know others have used personally with success. But still, these are just recommendations, so keep that in mind. If you don’t think you have enough troops, err on the side of caution and train more. Note that any troop number recommendations are always an even mix of normal and strategic troops. I also am not factoring Wild troops in, as I don’t recommend completing the Wild tree if you’re a rally trap.
Things to Remember about Troops:
- Like a solo trap, you can defend with a (nearly) unlimited amount of troops.
- The enemy rally can contain a maximum of ~4.8 million T4 troops at present (unless they send a meat shield with their rally, which is very rare in my experience, and would reduce the number of T4 in the rally), but this will rise to between 5 million and 5.75 million T4 once Hall of War Lv.23 is released (estimated, it’ll be a good bit to justify the assuredly extreme cost of Lv.23 HoW) .
- The enemy rally leader will likely be wearing full level 6 cores that will be either set gear cores, or a custom core suit that will favor one troop type. FYI- if they start the march with the Hermes set and don’t core immediately, you can teleport away so that the march will instantly land if you are very quick, but your reinforcements will go home and not help you defend if you do move (the “pop ‘n port” technique mentioned below). Their attack values typically will be anywhere from 4000% combined (troop type + overall troop attack), up to about 6700% combined (Nike). Core sets (as in a full 7 pieces) with very high debuff values are what hit the hardest in my personal experience, but the attack values are really getting up there on Poseidon, Ares, and now Nike so they can hurt quite a lot as well. Unless you’ve crafted awesome cores with 6 pieces, 4th gem slots, and set bonus research (if applicable), the rally leader’s gear will probably be better than yours. So, you need a serious troop power and numerical advantage.
- These troop recommendations are assuming you want to use permanent gear, not cores. You can reduce the number of T2 by 30 million – 60 million and use cores instead, if you like.
- I’d recommend a minimum of 24 million T4, evenly mixed. This is not the “ideal” amount of T4. Ideally, I would suggest between 30 million and 50 million T4, you just need to keep your power in check. Staying under 6 billion power is advisable at this point, that may change again with newer core sets.
- You need to shoot for approximately 3 billion troop power at minimum with how powerful cores are now to use permanent gear. You can have less and use cores, but for permanent gear, you need a TON of troop power for it to not hurt.
- You need T2, and a lot of them. Really as many as you can while staying under the Nerf that kicks in at once your ratio of T2:T4 rises above 12.525:1 assuming you have wall traps. In other words, for each one T4 troop you have, you can have 12.525 T2 troops. This number evens out into whole troop numbers, not fractions, once you do the math. Presently, I would recommend ~275 million evenly mixed T2 at minimum, and ideally between 350 million and 450 million T2. These totals will reduce your losses considerably. Obviously for the higher T2 counts, you’ll need to have more T4 to back them up with so you don’t nerf.
- So for 24 million T4, you can have 300,600,000 T2 at absolute max. For 30 million T4, you can have 375,750,000 T2 at absolute max. What it really boils down to is how many rallies you want to be able to take before you have to retrain troops. The more T2 (or other meat shield of choice) you have, the more rallies you can take before you need to shield and train more troops. If you join rallies literally ever, you need to reduce your ratio to around 10:1 or 11:1 at most, otherwise you could lose enough T4 that a march of T2 attacking you could cause you to nerf.
- If you want to use only T4, and treat your trap like a wonder battle you should shoot for 22 million – 25 million troops, and I would replace your embassy with another hospital if you plan on doing that so that you don’t get your teammates’ reinforcements killed. I’d also use some more hospitals than normal to reduce the cost of retraining T4. This is not recommended, but I’ve seen it done effectively by a small handful of people.
- So, to reiterate, 24 million T4 (not counting reinforcements) and ~275 million T2 is a bare minimum recommendation for taking rallies in permanent gear. This amount of troops will only very occasionally eat rallies, and will need to be increased proportionally as cores get better and better. But the theme is, “What do I need at the very least to take rallies?” so this recommendation is solid for the context. This is not the only setup that works, but I feel confident recommending these totals at a minimum. In reality, you want 30 million+1 T4, and 350 million+ T2 for a more viable setup. The more troops, the better as long as you always stay below the 12.525:1 (T2:T4) Nerf ratio.
- This is the most common type of rally trap setup nowadays, and I’ve been converted myself. The only downside is having to retrain T2 quite regularly, but with how packs are now, as well as the frequent Athena’s gifts, it really isn’t bad. You will have to spend some, but it’s pretty reasonable once you have the T4 and bare bones of your T2 trained assuming you don’t get zeroed.
- About 400 million troops total is what you need to really reduce your losses considerably and eat rallies pretty regularly. I have about 450 million troops total on my trap (of which 36 million are T4) and that’s plenty, but this number will increase as cores get better and the rally size continues to rise.
General Research Recommendations
As a general rule, you want to focus on research that improves combat outcomes. Obviously to have unlocked all the (pre-Wild) T4 troops, you need to have the Economy tree, Combat tree, and Strategic Combat trees finished. The Defense tree is hugely beneficial, as there is not much “fluffy” research that adds power without helping you in combat, until you get near the very bottom. I would suggest completing through Defense Debuff Resistance Lv.10 on the Defense tree. This will greatly increase your individual troop healths and individual troop defenses, trap capacity, overall troop health, overall troop defense, and resistance to the defense debuff in your enemy’s core sets, in addition to the troop health and troop defense research found on the Combat and Strategic Combat trees. There is some beneficial combat research in the March tree before you can unlock hero presets, but I would research the minimum required here. You get a few percent boost in health, defense, or whatever, but for the same amount of power you could train another 10 million-20 million T2 or so. The Crafting tree is somewhat optional, but I would personally lean towards doing it, since the 4th Gem Slots are hugely helpful in boosting your permanent gear’s defensive stats. Unlocking hero presets is an absolute pain, but well worth it once you have a couple in terms of convenience. But it is worth several hundred million power to unlock a few presets, so weigh that versus having more troops. If you want to use defensive cores, you need to have researched the Crafting tree to that point.
You should shoot to complete through Defense Debuff Resistance Lv.10 on the Defense tree, as shown above. Health Debuff Resistance, Attack Debuff Resistance, and so on are helpful, but aren’t absolutely necessary.
The reality is there are dozens of combinations of troop numbers that will allow you to run a successful rally trap. For the sake of simplicity and having to train/maintain fewer troop numbers, I would recommend no less than 24 million T4 and about 275 million T2. I would really recommend 30 million T4, at least, and around 350 million T2. 31.25 million T4 paired with 375 million T2, for example would be a strong setup with proper gear and hero skills. About 400 million troops seems to be the cutoff for reducing losses considerably, but as we see more hits from Nike cores this number will need to be revised.
The next article will cover hero set up and permanent gear recommendations, with the following covering defensive cores.
A couple of responses to things/points raised in comments:
- The “pop ‘n port” (pop cores and teleporting immediately so the rally lands) works quite well, assuming you don’t mind taking the rally without any reinforcements.
- You want the correct reinforcement type mostly because your reinforcers will lose far less if your meat shield gets broken through during the rally. Though the risk of this is nonexistent with a T2/T4 rally trap, it’s not a bad habit to get into.
- I only wish I still had an altar for the altar boost. I’ll still instant-execute heroes, I just don’t get anything out of it besides satisfaction.
- This was answered, but yes, you can join rallies without a Hall of War, and yes, you still get notifications. You just can’t lead rallies or set fake rallies.
- I didn’t recommend strategic troops. I recommended an even mix of T4, including both regular and strategic troops. Most people will have researched strat troops to join rallies, at the very least. If you haven’t, that’s fine. Make sure to tell anyone reinforcing you that though, because it’s important if you don’t have any strategic combat research done.
For the other articles in the series see here.