June 7, 2015

Clash of Clans X-Bow Guide: Upgrade Levels, Strategy

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 The X-Bow has the longest range of any tower in Clash of Clans. When set to ground-only mode, its range of 14 is significantly longer than even the Mortar (which has a range of 11); when set to both air and ground defense, its anti-air range of 11 is longer than the Air Defense tower’s 10 tiles. This long range allows the X-Bow to be placed centrally in a base and still hit enemy units on the outside of the base.

X-Bow Basic Stats, Upgrades, and Number Available by Town Hall Level

Damage Type: Single Target
Attack Speed: 1 attack per .128 seconds
Range: 14 tiles (ground only), 11 tiles (ground and air mode).
Targets: Two modes. “Ground Mode” hits only ground units, Ground & Air hits both unit types.
Building Size: 3 tiles by 3 tiles

X-Bow Upgrades and Stats by Town Hall Level

19506.41,5003,000,0007 days50,000 Elixir
29607.681,9005,000,00010 days60,000 Elixir
39759.62,4007,000,00014 days70,000 Elixir
4108010.242,8008,000,00014 days80,000 Elixir

Number of X-Bows By Town Hall Level

Number of X-Bows23
Like the Inferno Tower, the X-Bow must be reloaded periodically. One full load (50,000 Elixir at level 1) is worth 1,500 shots. Unlike traps, the X-Bow is able to continually function across multiple battles without being reloaded. It only needs to be reloaded every 1,500 rounds (although it can be reloaded earlier at a pro-rated fee). Given that the X-Bow fires 1 round every .128 seconds, it can fire for approximately 192 seconds off of a full charge. This means that if it only attacks for five seconds in a given battle, you only lose five seconds off of that 192-second charge. The X-Bow will then be able to fire for 187 seconds before needing to be reloaded.

X-Bow Strategy

There are really only two decisions you will have to make regarding the X-Bow: whether you want to set it to ground-only or ground and air mode and where you should place it in your base. We will discuss both below.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The X-Bow’s primary strengths are its long range and fast attack speed. The long-range allows it to be placed centrally in a base while still allowing it to fire on perimeter targets, while its fast attack speed ensures it does not waste damage in the form of overkill on low-health units. Fast attack speed is much more efficient when dealing with light units like Archers and Goblins than a slower attack speed.

The X-Bow also has unusually high health for a tower. At max level, its 2,800 health makes it very difficult for a small group of units to handle alone. Even though the X-Bow is single-target, its high health means that it will need either many light units or a few powerful units in order to take it out.

The primary weaknesses of the X-Bow are its status as a single-target tower and its fast attack speed. Like any single-target tower, it can get overwhelmed by enough enemy units. While its fast attack speed is a virtue against very low-health units like Archers, the fast attack speed is actually a liability against moderate health units like Wizards and Hog Riders. The reason is that while fast attack speed ensures little wasted damage, it also means no “burst” damage.

A lack of burst damage is countered very readily by healing. A low-health unit like a Wizard can “tank” two X-Bows if the Wizard is standing inside a healing spell. Meanwhile, a pair of slower attack-speed towers like the Archer Tower would have a better chance of taking out the Wizard in the same scenario, especially if there was other ancillary damage coming in such as from a Mortar.

Anti-Ground or Anti-Air?

X-Bow users have the option of setting their X-Bow to hit only ground units from a range of 14 tiles or both air and ground units from a range of 11 tiles. At Town Hall 9, I think there is no question about which mode to pick: you always set both X-Bows to anti-air and anti-ground. The reason is that “Balloonion” attacks (Balloons and Minions) are extremely popular and effective amongst and against Town Hall 9 players.

The idea is to use Balloons to take out perimeter defenses, and then allow the Minions to come in and clean up the remaining structures and towers. X-Bows set to anti-air mode are very effective against both Balloons and Minions. Balloons move slowly and as a result can be hit by the X-Bow from far away, while the fast attack speed of the X-Bow is very effective against the Minion. Setting the X-Bow to anti-air mode significantly limits the effectiveness of Balloonion attacks.

At Town Hall 10, the option is not so cut and dry. Maxed out Town Hall 10 players typically experience attacks by ground, and as a result, the anti-air capabilities of the X-Bow often go unused. While Minion and Balloon-based play may still be prevalent at low TH10; once Inferno Towers go up, air attacks in general are not nearly as common. As a result, some TH10s may prefer to go all-out against the ground attack and opt to move some or all of their X-Bows to ground only mode.

X-Bow Placement

Fortunately, placing the X-Bow is a fairly easy decision: it should be located centrally in the base. Whether you put it in the center-most core of your base or in the next ring out, it should be located towards the middle. The X-Bow works so well because of its long-range; with 2-3 X-Bows near one another, they can protect the center of the base from attacks in any direction and overlap firepower. X-Bows have no business on the perimeter of a base.

X-Bow Upgrade Priority

Upgrading the X-Bow should be a relatively low priority. While the X-Bow’s stats improve solidly with each level, the high cost and long upgrade time cause it not to be a top priority. I would however try to upgrade only 1 X-Bow at a time; if you upgrade two or more at once, your base will be at a defensive disadvantage.


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