Strategy Series #6: What about heroes? (A short overview....)
At TownHall 7 (TH7), you get your first hero - the Barbarian King (BK). He can be upgraded to level 5, where you'll get your first gander at his "special ability", the Iron Fist. Commonly used when the BK is at or below half his health, you simply tap the BK icon in the troop bar a second time to activate the ability. He'll rage and several barbarians will appear to offer him additional support. It's pretty neat. At TH8, you can upgrade him another 5 levels to level 10; the next upgrade point for Iron Fist.
The next question most players ask is when to upgrade their TH level. Should you max the heroes before each TH upgrade? Is there a certain level for each that will work so you can upgrade sooner?
The biggest issue with maxing is the amount of time it takes to get the heroes upgraded. A diehard maxer will run heavy, war-grade attacks, and pour resources into walls while upgrading heroes. This is fine if you're willing to take several months working on heroes and walls (and many players are) but if you want to progress more quickly through the game....
The BK and AQ require a lot of dark elixir (DE) for later upgrades. Although there's lots of DE available at TH9, there's even more at TH10 and this makes the jump to TH10 very attractive to many players. Once there, it will be in your best interests to get both heroes in the mid 30s or, if possible to max them to 40.
Why? Well...TH11 is the first TH level where the heroes are needed for resource raids. Yes, you CAN get resources at TH11 by running straight up Barch/GIBarch, and there are more premie games available now than when TH11 first hit the streets a year back, but the progress will be slow going and you will quickly hit the wall. TH10 upgrades are expensive; TH11, even more so. If you can have the heroes at level 40 before you go to TH11, you'll be happy you did it. If not, all is not loss. Just be prepared for a little extra work getting heroes upgraded at TH11.
Heroes are weak until they hit level 5 and get their ability. From 5 to 10, they are still relatively weak when compared to their ultimate potential, but they have different uses by TH level and play style. For example, a level 5 queen walk is ok, but not too impressive or even effective. Level 10 BK is decent as a tank, but he still goes down relatively quickly (even at TH8), is not heavily utilized in most attacks, and seems to end up pounding away at something where he isn't needed.
They really come into their own once you break level 10 for the AQ and level 15 for the BK. The queen walk starts to become effective at level 10 and the BK is a force worthy of notice at level 15. Until they turn 20, though, they're still baby heroes.
From 20-30, the heroes are at mid-level strength and increasingly effective in kill squads, queen walk, etc. Once they hit level 30, they're fairly strong and although there's still a decent ways to go to finish them off, I think their impact to attacks (and defenses) remains roughly the same during the last ten levels.
Much depends on how well the player wields them as well. I've seen some players use level 20 heroes to lethal ends while others can't do squat with level 40 heroes. Case in point - I have a rushed TH11 that runs mostly TH9 defenses and heroes that are just about in their teens. I maxed my infernos and the eagle artillery, x-bows are level 3, teslas are level 7, and walls are level 6. There have been many, many, many attacks on this game and they range from players with no heroes to heroes at level 40/40/20 (yes - all three maxed). Not surprisingly, players with heroes around 30/30/10 or thereabouts often outperform players with fully maxed heroes.
There's much more to discuss around heroes, but that's a short overview. As always - feel free to search up my clan, Divergent Void (#P8CGRG0C) to check out the games and if you have any questions, drop me a line!