I reached Town Hall nine on about 9/15/15.  I have a town hall 8 upgrading to TH9 as I type this. Only 9 days left to go ha ha. (But I finished the upgrade before finishing this article, see photo below.) Our clan has several new Th9s and several more TH8s that are approaching max status. I thought it would be a good time to write a guide for what to upgrade in your new TH9.

Upgrading to a town hall nine is a huge change for you in clash of clans. It’s time to learn base building if you haven’t already. Forget the made on the web bases, make your own. Learn from being attacked and make changes. Three star attacks will not be as easy. Hopefully you are in a clan where you can get upper level golems and other troops. I have to make my own troops and that is not easy. It has slowed my ability to three star mid-level 9s. If you thought the wait for upgrades was slow, you’ve seen nothing yet. I love being a TH9 but there are changes as a nine.

Upgrading a New TH9

There are no set rules and your purposes could be different. For example, my TH8 in upgrade status will not follow the normal path. Its primary purpose is to give my primary account troops. I need those troops so I can move from a TH9 that can only 2 star and become a three starring TH9. It’s been driving me crazy for months, for the entire time I’ve been a 9.  Yeah, I can usually three star 8s but a three star on a TH9 is not a common thing for me. This is true in both farming and war. When I try to three star a 9 in war, it often results in a 1 star. It is hard for me not to go for three in war but lately, I’ve been going for two stars with only a slight chance of pulling off that three star. Our clan has many perfect wars but not when I was in them! Still, it will be sometime before that changes. I don’t need troops that can three star some of the time. I need them all of the time so I can practice the attack before I try it in war. I could three star in farming if I was not in Champion league but I need to attack the harder bases to be better at war.

For farming, I love being a TH9. I’ve been in champion league for most time that I’ve been a nine. I went as high as 50 trophies away from champion level 1 but that was pretty painful. It was common for me to search for 30 minutes just to find another 9 to attack. I would attack it without regard to loot or trophies to be gained. The bonus makes it easy to at least break even.

I consider my base to be approaching a mid-level TH9. Defenses are mostly maxed but my royals are still only a combined 29.  My queen is a level 15 and I’m not looking forward to upgrading her as she’s down for about a week for each upgrade and she’s extremely important in raids.

You are No Longer a Town Hall Eight

The first thing you have to do is stop thinking like an 8. It’s no longer about dragons, you don’t need level 4 dragons. They are nice to have for donations but that’s really about it. It is also nice to destroy TH8s should you be assigned a TH8 in war. But, you can do it with level 3 dragons. You can zap two of the three anti-air defenses and leave the base close to undefended. In our clan, the new TH9s have used dragons against weak 9s and it has worked well. For that matter, our TH8s have three stared weak 9s. Instead, spend that elixir on your dark barracks and other troop upgrades.  Then get your level 4 dragons.

The Archer Queen

Your Archer Queen is not like your Barbarian King. She will die fast if the golems are dead or she strays far from them. She can’t take damage the way your king can. You’re only hope is that she’s at least a level 5 so she can disappear and hope that whatever was shooting at her finds another target. The queen doesn’t get the huge health recovery a king gets. She gets some but she is frail and will lose her health quickly if she is under fire. Instead, she disappears for a short time and whatever was firing at her often loses track of her if there are other troops around for the defense to take interest in. She can do a lot of damage when she’s active. You’ll love your queen. You will hate when she is not available due to an upgrade. The higher her ability, the longer she disappears and the more archers she can call.

Your TH9 VS a TH10

An 8 can three star a TH9, even in masters where defenses are usually quite strong. The same is usually not true for a TH9 attack on a TH10. Even a pink walled TH10 with infernos will usually kick your butt. The first two nines that I attacked, I killed but it went bad after that. When I had more trophies that I wanted, I thought, “Attack TH10s.”  The problem is, when you lose there is no win bonus. I tried it a few times and decided my GoWiPe troops were far too expensive. So, I abandoned that method of dropping troops ha ha.

What to Upgrade for a Town Hall Nine

I will discuss this from a war standpoint mostly but try to note the differences for farming. You need dark elixir and you need lot of it. Hopefully, you fully maxed your Th8 before going to 9 and you have nearly maxed resources as well. You need to even max your collectors and mine because a TH9 is very hungry. Once I became a 9, I felt bad about all my complaining about upgrade cost and time as an 8. That’s nothing compared to a nine. It may be even thirstier for elixir. It’s just thirsty period!

Basic Upgrades as a TH9

I went the TH 8.5 route and I recommend it.  This is where you concentrate upgrading troops and you do not add any new defenses. You can add traps and should add the fourth Hidden Tesla as soon as you can spare a builder. You can upgrade your existing defenses but I recommend you work primarily on walls first. Keep in mind, that in war, you can earn six stars but loose only three.

Whatever you do, don’t get the Xbows. I know that’s a hard thing to understand. Why go to a nine and not get them? I thought it was crazy not to get them but at the urging of my clan, I decided to try it and it was the smart move. Because they carry a heavy war weight, you will match against much higher Th9s if you get your xbows.  I laughed when I saw Th9s with two high powered Xbows and no archer queen. That is stupid! But not as stupid as trying to use a poison spell on defensive buildings. Yes, I’ve seen that too.

What do you need to upgrade?

I am going to break it up into offense, defense and resources. We’ll start with offense. See the list below:

  1. Army Camps Maxed
  2. Clan Castle
  3. Spell Factories. You are now a lame duck, consider getting a 7 day shield and boost all resources.
  4. Laboratory
  5. Archer Queen to five
  6. Golem to three
  7. Jump Spell to 2. You might think 20 seconds is long enough but it’s not.
  8. Loons to six. You can execute a GoWiPe snipe with loons at the end to clean up.

That will get you ready for war in most clans. Then,

  1. Golem to four.
  2. Hogs to 5
  3. Lighting to 6
  4. Upgrade one Dark Barrack for witch
  5. Upgrade the same dark barrack for Lava Hound
  6. Keep working on your queen to 10
  7. Lava Hound to 2
  8. Witch to 2
  9. Poison to 3
  10. Healer to 4
  11. Minions to 5
  12. Max Remaining Spells
  13. Archer to 6
  14. Barbarian to 6

I put the archer so low because the boost you get for her is tiny for what you pay for her. I wouldn’t upgrade her at all except that when you call on the queen’s ability, she calls up the same level of archer that you have. This will make more difference once your queen gets leveled up. Even at level 15, she calls up only seven archers. The same is true for your king, he too calls up whatever level you have for your barbarians. A level 12 king calls up 8 barbarians.

Archer to Level 6

Barbarian to level 6

Defensive Upgrades for your Town Hall 10

The exact order often depends on your available builders and the gold you have on hand. A suggested list is below:

  1. Teslas
  2. Walls
  3. Mortars and Wizard Towers
  4. Air Defense (This can be higher to mitigate Zap Quake in War)
  5. Traps
  6. Cannons and Archer Towers
  7. Xbows

Your Teslas are the most important part of your defense as a TH9. Get the fourth one and get them all to level 7 as soon as you can. That’s a long upgrade for each one. They are 12 days each. You’ll see a lot of Pekka when you’re a nine and you need these to kill them. They have 2 times the damage on Pekka and it’s their favorite target. While all other troops are pounding on Golem these prefer to kill the Pekka.

Your walls are also very important and you have double upgrades on your walls. To make a single wall will cost you 4 million.  One million for Lego or level nine walls and three million for lava or level ten walls. Work on your walls as you go.

Generally, you want to upgrade defenses that deliver splash damage before point damage. Your mortars should be next. Your wizard towers should also be upgraded at this point.

Air Defense needs to be upgraded. The Th8s will attack you with dragons and loons until you have those upgraded. The fourth AD was the first defense I added. Once I had them all too level 7, the air attacks all but stopped. I’ve seen one LavaLoon attack since I upgraded them to 7. It resulted in a defense for me.

Add all the new traps and upgrade them as you can. Skeletons are particularly helpful vs giants, Pekka and hogs.

This is a good time to start working on cannons and archer towers. You might want to before this. It also depends on builders available and just trying to keep loot down so you’re a less attractive target but your walls are the best way to keep loot down.

Xbows bring trouble in war and they are not as great as you might think. At least start your life as a TH9 without them. I went all the way to high in champion level 2 without them. I did get three stared a lot. But if you are that high, you will be attacking more than they can steal from you. Champion 3 is a good place for a nine but that might change. Hopefully there will be more nines in Champion now that it takes only 15 minutes to make a golem or Pekka. I did eventually get my Xbows. They are level 2 and I don’t plan to take them higher soon because I keep drawing opponents in war with royals that are of a lower level than mine but they usually have level 3 xbows. I will upgrade mine to level three when I have level 20 royals.

Upgrading Resources at Town Hall 9

At some point, you need to work in your dark elixir drills in. These are very important because a TH9 is thirsty for dark elixir. The biggest problem here is that there just is not enough builder huts. Also, they are not cheap. They are more expensive than your army camps. I do think you should do your army camps first. That’s just part of the basics. You need those extra troops as fast as you can get them. After your lab and spell factory, start on your dark elixir drills.  A level 6 drill produces more than twice as much as a level 3 drill as shown in the graphics below.

I add the new gold and elixir storages early on. Upgrade them at least once, maybe twice as they are fast upgrades. Then start working on your army camps. I didn’t max my gold storage for a couple of months. I just didn’t need a lot of gold but later you will need large amounts of gold too. When I did upgrade my gold storages, I did it mostly for the extra hit points. I upgraded my elixir much earlier as I wanted to be able to give level 4 dragons and there are many things you can spend elixir on as a nine.

Dark Drill Production at Level 3

Upgrade DE Drill to Level 4

Dark Elixir Drill at Level 6

Putting It All Together

I will attempt to put the full upgrade path in 47 easy steps ha ha. Available builders and cash will dictate your actual order to a large degree.  I put adding canons and archer towers and other defenses very low. If you are dedicated to being an 8.5, then you should not add them until you are able to regularly three star in war. That means more often than not you get three stars.

I have probably forgotten some things but this will still serve as a rough guide. I know I forgot to list the dark spell factory but I think you only get your haste spell for that upgrade. Maybe try to do it at the same time you upgrade your spell factory. You’re already a lame duck at that point.

  1. Get Your Queen and upgrading her to level 2
  2. Clan Castle Maxed
  3. Army Camps Maxed
  4. Spell Factories
  5. Archer Queen to 3 (If you max your dark elixir before going to 8 you should have enough to do this without raiding)
  6. You’re broke, start raiding haha 🙂 You are also out of builders!
  7. Laboratory
  8. Archer Queen to five
  9. Golem to three
  10. Dark Drill to 4
  11. Second Dark Drill to 4
  12. Get your fourth hidden tesla, upgrade to six as you can. Then upgrade all to level 7
  13. Jump Spell to 2.
  14. Loons to six. You can execute a GoWiPe snipe with loons at the end to clean up.
  15. Golem to four
  16. Lighting to 6
  17. Valkyrie to 3
  18. Hogs to 5
  19. Valkyrie to 4
  20. Dark Drill to 5
  21. Second Dark Drill to 5
  22. Upgrade one Dark Barrack for witch
  23. Upgrade the same dark barrack for Lava Hound
  24. Keep working on your queen to 10
  25. Dark Storage to 5.
  26. Consider getting the fourth Air Defense and start upgrading all of them to seven.
  27. Consider getting the fourth Wizard Tower and upgrading them all seven.
  28. Consider getting the additional cannon and archer tower, start upgrading them to max.
  29. Lava Hound to 2
  30. Dark Drill to 6
  31. Second Dark Drill to 6
  32. Witch to 2
  33. Poison to 3
  34. Healer to 4
  35. Minions to 5
  36. Dark Storage to 6
  37. Max Remaining Spells
  38. Archer to 6
  39. Barbarian to 6
  40. Teslas
  41. Walls
  42. Max Mortars and Wizard Towers
  43. Air Defense get the fourth one if you haven’t and get them all to 7 (Perhaps sooner to mitigate Zap Quake in War)
  44. Traps
  45. Upgrade Cannons and Archer Towers
  46. Xbows no higher than level 2 until royals are level 20 or higher
  47. Royals to 15


Before Upgrading to Town Hall Nine

Before you upgrade to town hall nine, you really need to max everything. This includes your collectors, mines and drills. Your storages need to be full too. A TH9 is a hungry beast far beyond what you have experienced in CoC up to this point.

TH8 with Maxed Loot

TH8 Profile Before Upgrade to 9


Raiding As a Nine

As a nine that is part of a warring clan, you need to work on your war attacks.  To do that, you need to be in CoC’s Champion League. Here you will find bases that are very close, if not equal to war bases. The only difference you will find on a regular basis that there are sometimes no clan castle troops. The loot is good and the bonus makes it easy to make money. However, the key to making money in Champion is that you raid enough to make more than you lose. If you can’t do this, masters or even Crystal I may be the right league for you.

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no loot in Champion. I farm 10 to 20K dark most days when I raid. Here’s an example of one attack. No, they are not all this good.

That’s over 5000 dark elixir in one raid!

It’s not rare either, here’s one from the following day:

This time it was “only” 4300+ dark elixir in one raid. I do this a lot. I use GoWiPe troops. I only need a two star and I shoot for 70 percent. If the attack goes poorly and I still get one star, the bonus will keep me in the black most of the time.

In most cases, I look for bases with enough elixir to pay for my raid and then gold and dark are considered a bonus. There are times I raid for trophies but that is rare. Other times, I’ll raid for gold or dark elixir, depending on my needs.

I highly recommend that you stay low in Champion 3.  Going higher makes it very hard to find nines to attack.  The win bonus and daily star bonus is just not worth going even higher.  I’ve been as high as 3757 trophies. That is less than 50 trophies from Champion 1. While champ 1 would have been great for my ego, it was no fun at all. I was often searching for 30 to 45 minutes just to find a TH 9, any TH 9.

I welcome your feedback on this topic. If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment box below to give me your thoughts. I can assure you there are others that will choose a different path and I can’t say they are wrong. I’d love to hear how you differ your upgrades as a new TH9. Remember, part of my goal is to keep your war weight low, until you can three star more difficult bases. Most nine’s go through a frustrating period of being unable to three star other nines.

Two Months as a TH9

I thought I would provide an update to this now that Thunder has been a TH9 for two months. Growth has been rapid. Keep in mind that Thunder’s primary purpose is to donate troops to Stormheart and Storm needed Golems so Thunder got his to level 4 as soon as he could.

Thunder 2 Months as TH9

During a war, I executed a couple of Zap Quake attacks and decided I didn’t want it to be so easy to do that to me so I made upgrading my Air Defense a priority.

After two months my Archer Queen is at level 10, my golems are at level 4 and my lighting at level 6. I have lava hounds in the lab going to level 2. I have one level seven tesla and one is on the way. One AD is level 7 and the other two are currently upgrading. He/I have 138 lego walls which is more than 50 percent. I also have two lava walls which are the result of misclicks and upgrading while half asleep ha ha. Two of my teslas are maxed at level 7 and a third one is on the way.

Thunder's Profile after Two Months

In the past, it would be time to upgrade my hogs but with the changes in the game, I’m leaning toward Valkyrie instead. I’m sure they will be my next upgrade but I have not decided if I will double upgrade them to 4 or get the hogs maxed at level 5. I will probably get the Valkyrie upgraded first.  I’m not sure, I keep going back and forth. Level 5 hogs and level 3 valks would be quite helpful in war.

I’ve been raiding with archers and goblins with this base as it cuts down on my need to gems my troop cooking time and I’ve stayed low in the leagues. I am a little bit bored with this style of attacking but it is so productive. I have Stormheart to work on my more challenging attacks.