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 If you’re at TH8 or TH9, no doubt you’ve been dominated by the hog/heal strategy. Being on the receiving end is without a doubt a stomach-churning experience. After all, do they even know how much time and gold you put into those walls and defenses?!?! On the other hand, dishing it out is perhaps one of the most satisfying feelings in the game. And if you have level 5 hogs and even a remotely upgraded heal spell, hog/heal is practically a guaranteed 3* on anything beneath a completely maxed TH9. Before we begin, let’s take a look at how these attacks should look.

Here’s a great series of textbook hog/heal raids from iRock.

Army Composition:


  • The troops (240 count): 40 hogs, 5 wizards, 20 archers
  • The clan castle: 7 hogs
  • The spells: 5 heal


  • The troops (220 count): 36 hogs, 5 wizards, 20 archers
  • The clan castle: 6 hogs
  • The spells: 4 heal

The Basics: Look, this strategy is as easy as it gets. If you’ve got the troops and you’ve got a good feel for the base level you can handle, you really can’t mess it up. With that said, there are a few technique discussions we should have:

Hog Deployment: There are two schools of thought here. Deploy all at once or deploy in groups of 5-7 to snipe defenses. With jeremytripp, I usually do a dual-deployment (two fingers) to release two massive groups all at once. This allows me to focus my full attention on spell placement for the rest of the battle. billdabomb, however, whom I consider to be our resident hog/heal expert, typically uses the snipe approach (and does so quite successfully) by working his way around the base until all defenses have been taken down. The primary benefit of sniping is that your hogs don’t stick together as much once defenses are down, so the rest of the base comes down quicker. Just keep in mind that it will require you to switch back and forth between hogs and heal spells which will absolutely result in you mis-dropping a spell at least once.

Here’s Lew with a breakdown of the different hog/heal techniques:

Spell Placement:
 This is the most important factor for me and it will definitely take a bit of practice if you’re new to hog/heal. The trick is two-fold. First, you want to drop your heal spells so that they cover as many hogs as possible. This requires you to pay close attention to your hog group as they undoubtedly hit spring traps, giant bombs, or strong wizard tower (which can each take out a group of hogs quickly). Secondly, you want to watch closely not only where your hogs are now, but you want to anticipate where the group will migrate next. Drop your spells in such a way as to ensure your hogs spend the maximum amount of time inside them. That means leading them into the next defense.

Enemy Heroes: If you can’t tell by my previous posts, I’m not a huge fan of the update that makes the heroes hold their ground. I haven’t really seen it pay defensive dividends on either of my bases, but it sure does make attacking way harder. For hog/heal, you really want to avoid the heroes as much or as long as you can. Usually that just means starting your attack with as much distance between them and your hogs as possible. Then watching them closely and dropping a heal spell on them when they’re within AQ range. Even though AQ and BK are now considered “defenses”, hogs will still run right past them as if they don’t exist. While this might hurt the BK and AQ’s feelings and make them feel invisible, it certainly doesn’t stop them from pecking away at your hog hoard. Most of the time, your hogs will simply outrun the BK before he can do much damage, but the AQ is brutal, so keep an eye on her. Once all defensive buildings are down, your hogs will finally decide to knock out the heroes (but only once they are within range again).

Enemy Clan Castle: There are several ways to handle enemy cc troops depending on your preference or the layout of the enemy base. For more detailed instructions, see our guide on drawing out enemy cc troops.

  1. Draw them out and hit them with your archers
  2. If the cc is central, drop one or two hogs. They’ll hop into the cc radius and hopefully last long enough to pull out all cc troops. Then use an archer in the corner to lure them out before hitting them with your remaining archers and a wizard or two (spread them all out or encircle the cc troops). Works every time for anything they might have in there.

Hero Abilities: Don’t drop your heroes until all defenses are down. Once that’s true, drop them on opposite sides of the base and hit their special abilities (just to produce the extra troops) to take down outlying bases quickly.

Attack Specs:
Elixir Cost*: Archers, 6k + Wizards, 20k = 26,000
Dark Elixir Cost*: Hogs, 2.6k = 2,600
Troop Training Time**: 40 minutes
Difficulty: 2.0 out of 5.0
Fun: 4.0 out of 5.0

*Assumes max level troops
**Does not include spell time or cost


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