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Rally Trapping: Gem Selection (August 2016)


Rally Trapping: Gem Selection

Since it’s such an important aspect of defending rallies, I figured I’d discuss gems to use since it hasn’t been a major focus. It’s a very critical aspect when setting up your gear, and several gems either way can make the difference between capping a hero or burning handily. For the rest of this article (like most of my articles), assume Troop Defense refers to Regular Troop Defense, Strategic Troop Defense, and Wild Troop Defense altogether. Same goes for Troop Health.

These suggestions will be for those who run a T2/T4 rally trap set up. If you have a much smaller troop count or have a trap with a troop count so small that you treat rallies like a wonder battle, then you will need to adjust to add more health accordingly.

With larger troop counts, Troop Defense becomes the most important stat, by a considerable margin. The idea being it makes more sense mathematically to buff hundreds of millions of troops versus debuffing ~6.4m max. While this may be true on paper, Enemy Attack Debuff and Rally Attack Debuff (to a point) are highly effective as long as your Troop Defense is high enough.

So for this list, the boosts will be in this order of effectiveness:

Troop Defense -> Enemy Attack Debuff (Rally Attack Debuff, will explain) -> Troop Health -> Troop Attack/Enemy Health Debuff/Enemy Defense Debuff

I assume one of the first questions will be: “Why is Troop Attack so low in the hierarchy of boosts?” The answer is pretty simple. T2/T4 traps rely on sheer troop numbers to kill incoming rallies. If your troop numbers are not high enough to kill the entire rally, sacrificing defense in your gear for more troop attack certainly won’t be enough to make a difference. This is because the Troop Attack Debuff and Troop Type Attack Debuff of the newest generation of cores is high enough that you cannot be above what will already be debuffed to zero simply by changing gems. In other words, using gems on Troop Attack will be inherently wasted since it will be zeroed out anyway if you’re using permanent gear to defend against a rally.

What cannot be debuffed is the “innate” attack value that is built in to every individual troop. This “innate” attack value from all of your troops (we can’t calculate it specifically, since we don’t know the battle algorithm) is what helps T2/T4 rally traps to kill incoming rallies. If you run a different setup you’ll probably want to core, unless you’ve got enough T3 that we can lump you into the “kills with sheer numbers” category. So, let’s move on to the gems themselves. We’ll go over Special (4th Gem Slot) Gems first, since there’s only a few of them.

Special Gems

1.)  Rainbow Gem – 35% Troop Defense

2.)  Elite Defense Gem – 25% Troop Defense

3.)  Chocolate Gem – 35% Enemy Troop Attack Debuff

4.)  Candy Cane – 25% Troop Health (I guess, I wouldn’t use it though)

(Rainbow/Elite Defense and Chocolate can be switched according to the stats you’re looking for. So if you’ve got awesome defense already, you could toss a few Chocolate gems in instead of using the 4th gem slot for Rainbow or Elite Defense. But generally, I’d stick to a defense gem in the 4th Gem Slot since you need as much Troop Defense as you can get. If you find that you are just a bit off capping a rally, you might try adding a chocolate gem or two and see if that helps.

Regular Gems

1.)  Bulwark Gem – 35% Troop Defense

2.)  Defense Gem – 25% Troop Defense

3.)  Elusive Gem – 17.5% Troop Defense, 17.5% Enemy Troop Attack Debuff

4/5.)  Shadow Gem – 12.5% Troop Defense, 12.5% Enemy Troop Attack Debuff

4/5.)  Gem of Honor – 12.5% Troop Defense, 12.5% Enemy Troop Attack Debuff

6.)  Gem of Protection – 25% Enemy Rally Attack Debuff (use no more than 5, I’d recommend 3 or 4)*

7.)  Trickster Gem – 17.5% Troop Defense, 17.5% Troop Health

8.)  Minotaur Gem – 12.5% Troop Defense, 12.5% Troop Health

9.)  Counterattack Gem – 17.5% Troop Attack, 17.5% Troop Defense

10.)  Hallows Gem – 12.5% Troop Attack, 12.5% Troop Defense

11.)  Mother Earth Gem – 12.5% Troop Health, 12.5% Enemy Attack Debuff

12.)  Egg Gem – 35% Troop Health

13.)  Health Gem – 25% Troop Health


*A rally leader can have up to about 120% Rally Attack Bonus currently. So 5 Gems of Protection wastes a few percent of Rally Attack Debuff. I currently use 4, so that I can get the most out of the slot that would be the fifth Gem of Protection.

These are ranked in order according to how much Troop Defense they offer.. with a few exceptions. If the second statistic they provide is also quite useful (i.e. Enemy Attack Debuff), then a gem with lower Troop Defense can be ranked above another that has slightly higher Troop Defense and a less powerful second statistic. This is the case for the Trickster and Counterattack gems.

Overall, you’ll notice that anything with Troop Health is less important. This is because Troop Health, like Troop Attack is effectively zeroed out by current generation cores. Also, I have not noticed any improvement trying to stack health. Troop losses have remained dependent on post-debuff Troop Defense and Enemy Attack Debuff. I hope this will help some of you out. It’s what I go by, but if something else works for you that’s excellent. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s easiest to assume that more Troop Defense is better. You can then fine-tune from there after you take a few rallies.



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  1. the way i look at it is…a t4 has more health points. so increasing health of t4 is way more effective than increasing the health of meat troops…i used to successfully trap with a t4 t3 troop combination and focused on troop health as my primary defensive boost when i crafted custom cores.
    troop defense goes from being a relatively useless boost to a priority because it seems to be troop number dependent. increasing the defense of 1 billion meat is way more effective than increasing the relatively lower health points of meat troops.

  2. I run a t2:t4 rally trap. I use 5.4 million t4 of each type for a total of 32.4 million then I run 50 million of each t2 type in both reg and strategic and 25 million of each in Wild t2 I only research to level 6 in Wild tree. I end up with 7.998 billion power. I bait with full frost set set with defense and attack debuff. Once I get a hit or two I then switch to anniversary colossus set set to same defense and attack debuff. Will continue to use that set as long as I maintain a 100 million point difference between my power lose and enemy power lose. I have a set of core set up with higher individual defense and troop defense along with significantly higher both ind. and troop attack debuff. It also has about 200 more ind. attack which allows me to continue to take hits even as I drop to 100 million total troops. I have come to the conclusion that a clean graveyard and minimal captured hero are the most important aspect to achieving multiple hits. I am was over 1.25 billion kills at the start of last kill event and scored 860 million kills during the event. It has gotten to the points that rally leaders will hit anything as long as they know they will get hero back. If you capture a hero you are limiting the hits you will get. You may get a trillion player to hit you once to get release of captured player then your done. If you burn but maintain a marginal win on points they will continue to hit you and after a few hit you may end up with multiple attacks hitting you at once. I had three different points in kvk that I had 4 or more rallies at a time. To my point maintaining a optimal power level and clear graveyard with minimal captures will allow you to get multiple hits in kvk even when your kill total gets high.

  3. Everywhere I read traps r setup t2,t4. What about t3? Is there any good setup which includes t2,3,4? I am hugely in favour of t3’s so asking.

  4. There are MAJOR issues I have with this post. First, why would health be a priority when 95% of the cores a rally trap will currently be hit with have 12-1400% enemy health debuff? That’s throwing skill points (and gem points away). Same could be said for attack (both troop and individual) and individual health (unless the trap has full colossus, which isn’t likely).

    Bottom line, all you have to do is look at the core stats to see that investing any type of gear, skills or gems in troop health (and the things I mentioned above) is foolish. It’s just not feasible to expect to be above the Debuff line against anything above Poseidon. Individual and troop defense is where it’s at (along with extemey high troop counts), along with as much attack Debuff as possible. If it’s a strong rally leader, you can expect up to 2k% of your troop defense, and about 500% of your individual defense to be debuffed. Staying above those lines as far as possible is key. The kunai helps, but I do pretty good with out them because I don’t waste points on things I know will be debuffed to 0 regardless.

    Being a rally trap is nothing more than looking at the core stats and adjusting your setup accordingly.

  5. I’m a bit confused on gem of protection … Should I not use any if I have enough of shadow, honor, def, bulwark? Or should I use 3-4 no matter what?

  6. First-> Thanks for the response & correcting the typo.

    Second-> I agree, generally, that adding more troops is smarter. And in your response you hit precisely on the reason why, but let me spell it out: If you have plenty of defense/DDR but not enough attack to kill the entire rally, then adding attack can absolutely make the difference between the incoming rally having survivors or not. Adding troops is smarter, but adds power, than in some cases is not necessary when a simply replacement of defense for attack will, whereas tweaking gems can (and have) made the difference between capturing the hero and not….which may not be a concern for some.

    Third-> We are saying the same thing, essentially. As you said, the point is that Nike (and all cores) can be set up differently. Here’s where we disagree: I never said Defense isn’t important, but what I did say is that AD can becomes more important once you have enough defense & DDR (and troop count) to neutralize the incoming rally. You even seem to agree when you said “While this may be true on paper, Enemy Attack Debuff and Rally Attack Debuff (to a point) are highly effective as long as your Troop Defense is high enough.”

    What’s for sure is there are plenty of ways to trap successfully, and we should be wary of absolutes. The only way to know what your trap is capable of is to take hits, lots of hits, and test when you can.

  7. 1.2 million do you mean?

  8. Think what you want. I don’t burn OR lose on points. And I do it all with Kunais, which, I might add, are still a staple of virtually successful every trap out there.

  9. If anybody wants to know about traps just keep talking to LU, he knows what he is talking about. More then what Myr ” AkA death of kunais ” . He helped me and lots of other players with our traps and we are unstoppable. We might burn sometimes but no matter what we win on points. So if you need to know anything just ask LU. Oh and Kunais still help out drastically .


    what if your troop count is below one million?I’m a sh14 at 1.2 billion power with about 400k troops but will be upgrading to 15 soon

    • then you will be wiped out by a single solo attack from a small player…solo marches are now well over 1,5 mil so you have no chance at all

  11. I doubt this is true for sets with troop specific defense (like golden shogun). those have relatively low overall troop defense (about 1500) which new attack cores will zero, adding few gems won’t help I guess. therefore, instead of wasting gems on defense I’ll max attack debuff

  12. Fourth, the Shadow gem is a combination of Defense and Attack Debuff. Same with Gem of Honor.

    You really should consider having someone proof these before you post them.

    • Myrmeleon, I read your comments on another website about the death of Kunai. I patterned my account after yours and it works great. Thanks for your insights.

      Could I ask for an update? Have you increased your troop count in response to the higher hero levels and/or the larger rallies?

      Regards, Llak

      • Hi Llak, Glad to hear it’s working for you. Yes, I’ve upped my troops. I’m now 300m:200m:200m reg T2 Rng:Inf:Cav — unbalanced to take Nike better, and increased the number of troops as well. Haven’t been burned since. Hope this helps….Myr

      • Yes, that helps. I overshot your increases but have made similar moves. Thanks again.

    • Profile photo of Lubears

      Shadow and Gem of Honor both have Troop Defense and Enemy Attack Debuff listed, and have since the article was published.

      • Thanks. The column made the word “Debuff” go down to the next line.

        And I see you’ve corrected the other mistakes.

  13. This post is wrong on several levels.

    First, the Candy Cane gem is 25% Troop Health, not 35% Troop Defense.

    Second, adding attack at the expense of defense can absolutely make the difference — particularly if you’ve already outmatched their defense debuff with a combination of high defense and DDR (via Kunais).

    Third, the new Nike build focuses less on DD and more on stacking attack, so in this instance attack debuff is actually more effective.

    • well my buddy built a nike set which gives him 8050 ATT and 2050 DD…still makes sense to use kunai imo

    • Profile photo of Lubears

      First, typo. Should be fixed now.

      Second- No. Unless you’ve got troop attack to well over 700% or the individual troop type attacks at 440% or above, you’ll be left with 0 attack of any kind post-debuffs because it’ll be completely zeroed out by modern cores. If you did happen to get overall or troop type attack that high with permanent gear you’d be sacrificing a ton of defense to do it. And even if you did, troop attack won’t reduce your losses at all, which is why attack gems are a total waste as far as permanent gear is concerned for a rally trap. It’s far smarter to rely on your troop count to kill the whole rally and devote gem slots to keeping your troops alive.

      Third- No, the Nike set focuses on whatever the rally leader hitting you wants it to. It’s not predetermined that everyone using it stacks attack. Trap-sized accounts just get hit with it gemmed attack more often than not since it’s safer to assume 2 kunais as a rally leader than be surprised by them. Traps will still get hit with Nike gemmed DD quite often. Nike has base stats better than any other set except Artemis (including close to 1000% DD once equipped even when gemmed attack), so it’s just stronger either way it’s gemmed, and neither of those ways makes Troop Defense any less important. Troop Defense is still how you best withstand stacked attack stats, aside from sheer troop numbers. Attack Debuff just slightly reduces the overall amount applied to you post-debuff. But all the Attack Debuff in the world won’t make you cap the rally if your defense isn’t high enough. You still won’t touch the 4k+ Infantry Attack.

      Is Attack Debuff effective/helpful? Absolutely, it’s very powerful. Fine-tuning how much you have can make it far easier to cap. But making sure you’ve got enough Troop Defense should always come first. Once I had about 3000% using 2 kunai, I started adding Attack Debuff and Rally Attack Debuff.

      Traps have to find the balance where defense is high enough for their setup that adding more to it won’t decrease losses noticeably more, and then add as much attack debuff as they can. This will vary considerably by troop count, gear, gems, etc.

      • And by the way, this couldn’t be more accurate, and precisely the point I was hitting on:

        “Traps have to find the balance where defense is high enough for their setup that adding more to it won’t decrease losses noticeably more, and then add as much attack debuff as they can. This will vary considerably by troop count, gear, gems, etc.”

        Well said.

      • Lubears, I responded in detail to this, but somehow it got put at the top…

  14. Profile photo of JasonEvil

    Candy Cane is Troop Health not Defense

  15. Question – not related to gems, but if troop health is zeroed out even with hero skills, would it be a better idea to forgo troop health skiling and use those points on the right side of the tree to hit base set bonus (assuming you’re using set)?

    • Generally, yes, that’s correct, but it depends on the set and its bonuses, and it’s hard to say for sure.

      The only way to know is to test and retest.

    • Profile photo of Lubears

      I’ve tested skilling only individual healths with no overall health versus skilling overall health and lost quite a bit more with no points in overall health. Skilled everything else the same as per the previous article, so I still skill it to be safe.

  16. You are awesome! This helps a ton.

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