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.
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.
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.