What you should upgrade for war and what you should upgrade for looting is often opposing. In this article, I will cover some does and don’t for war.

Clan War could change. I think there’s a chance that war weight will go away. If it does, this article will become obsolete. If that happens then you should max everything. Until it does, it is a very bad idea to max your entire base until you are ready to go to the next Town Hall.

This article will also focus on defensive upgrade and not offense.

Why is it Bad to Max Your Base?

I’m a little surprised at how many people don’t understand this. The reason is simple and clear.

If you max your base, you are more likely to draw a base that is one level higher than yours in war.

You Can Only Lose Three Stars but Potentially Gain Six

Something else that is central to war: You can lose only three stars but can gain six stars. You need to be able to get those six stars on bases as strong as your base.  It may very well be necessary for you to attack lower but you want to be able to three-star any base that is equal to your own base.

If you max your base, it may turn out that there are few bases equal to your own. They may be at a level higher than you and then you may have to attack lower.  A much weaker base might be able to take those lower base out.

There is a major exception. If you are already at the max Town Hall (TH) level then maxing your base is always a good thing.

What to Max and What Not to Max

This gets a little trickier.

Always max your Royals!

I think it is always good to max your walls. While they do have war weight they have less than most defenses.

What I recommend is you max half of your splash damage. That is, max two mortars if you have four.  Max one wizard tower if you have three.

Never max your xbows at TH9 unless you are ready to go to the next Town Hall. While they are good defenses they are heavy in war weight. Having max Xbows will bring much stronger TH9s to war, possibly with very high-level Royals.

You are far better off with level 2 xbows and max Royals than you will ever be with level 15 Royals and level 3 xbows. The Royals are important on defense but not hard to kill. Fail to kill them and they can destroy the opposing army. The key function is on offense. You need them at high levels. Level 30 Royals on a TH9 are devastating.

In war, we almost always face level 3 xbows but rarely see max level Royals. This is largely because we all have level 2 xbows.  We have also gone 29 wars without a loss and reached a war win streak of 13. It now stands at 11 because we had two 100 percent ties.

Add all New Defenses

In the past, it was good to not add any new defenses on a new TH. This was exploiting the concept of you can lose only three stars but gain six.

The problem is that in todays environment, you are likely to draw clans that are heavily engineered.  That is, many bases with little defense but high-level troops that can kill your strongest bases. To help avoid that, you need to add all new defenses.  That includes xbows and infernos.

Guidance at Each Town Hall Level

Since TH12 has not yet been released, I would max everything on a TH11. Once TH12 comes out, I would follow the same concepts below.

I’ll try to add some specifics for each TH.  I hope you’ll pick up on the general idea more than specifically following this exactly.

Mortars are very high in war weight and will draw much stronger opponents.

A little about cannons. It is important to realize that your cannons are your weakest defense. They only shoot ground targets and they have limited range.


I will admit that I need more experience in wars at TH10 but I’ll discuss what I have done with my TH10.

I have max infernos. If there are other 10s in war, you might want to keep them at level 2 for a little while.

A Th10 Base Ready For War

I have maxed my walls.

I have max archer towers.

I have max traps.  Get them to a reasonable level early or even max them early. I was slow to get the last upgrade on most of my traps.

The last things I maxed are my cannons and bomb towers.

I have two max mortars.

I have two max xbows.

I have maxed everything else. I was unsure that I should have maxed my Wizard Towers as they are splash damage defenses and carry a high war weight. But, I did that thinking we would need to take it to war. I was expecting two of our TH9s to go to 10 but both have left the game.  Since They would be new TH10s, I thought it would be good to have one very strong TH10 to back them up. If there was another strong TH10 in our wars, I probably wouldn’t have maxed everything. I would have definitely maxed the walls.



Your Archer Queen (AQ) is the key at TH9.  Upgrade her in increments of five. Do this until she is level 15. I am assuming your Barbarian King (BK) is level 10 already. Then upgrade your BK until it is level 15. Then go back to work on your AQ until she is level 20 and keep upgrading like that.

TH9 Permabase

At TH9, air attacks are common TH9s.  This is especially true for new TH9s. Defend against those attacks to start.

Always work on walls but at TH9 your air defense may be more important at first.  If your walls are too weak though, they’ll never use air. There is little reason to attack skull and below walls by the air. They may not have the ground troops at high enough level but you want to make them prefer to use air and you do that by having walls.

First, max your Air Defense.

Then max your Archer Towers.

Teslas are also a high priority.  Important for both ground and air defense.

Get the Air Sweepers maxed as soon as you can as well.

Then work on your Wizard Towers. They are good for killing loons.  Max all of these.

Work on your giant bombs and air bombs/mines. Early as a nine, I would put more emphasis on the air mines and bombs than giant bombs. Both are important. If you get attacked by hogs you need those giant bombs at max.  Level 2 giant bombs probably will not kill level 5 hogs.

Start working on mortars. Use some judgment. How well are you attacking other TH9s? Get at least two upgraded and maxed.  Upgrade more as you get stronger. That is usually based on the level of your Royals but how well you are attacking is important too.

Get level 2 xbows once your Royals are level 15 or higher.


If it is a permabase, that is it will never go to TH9, then do not upgrade your dark troops. Do not upgrade the dark barracks

Sir Doom at TH8 past level 1. Add them but don’t upgrade them.

Work on maxing your BK.

Air defense is essential at TH8.

Always work on walls on any Town Hall.

All AD to level 6.

Air Sweeper to Level 4. It’s very important.

All Archer towers to level 10.

Tesla to level 6.

Storages to max as they are good for slowing down dragons but loons ignore them.

I wouldn’t touch anything else until the above are done. But, walls do not have to be max before you start on other defenses.

Air traps.

One or two Wizards towers to max. One is probably best.  They are nearly worthless on dragons but good vs loons.

Mortars to level 5.

Giant bombs to max.

1 mortar to max.

After walls are maxed cannons upgraded, at least one to max.


Recommend that you max your TH7.  

Air defenses first.

Archer towers maxed.

Example of TH7 Base

Air Sweeper maxed.

Wiz towers maxed.

Then max everything.  However, if you are a perma TH7 I would not max everything if there are other TH7s in the wars that you participate in.

I always found TH7 to be fun but only when attacking another TH7 but you can kill some TH8s as a TH7.

None of the graphics are of war bases. I do not recommend you use them for war.

This guide is not meant to be an iron clan upgrade progression but the concepts here will help you give the most to your clan.  Again, this is for defense only. If you notice something I forgot, please point it out or if you have a question, please ask.