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The Lava Launcher! It’s the new, dreaded defense we were given with BH9 and it’s wreaking total havoc on ground attacks. Many have called it OP (OverPowered) and declared the ground attack dead.
I say not so fast! Yes, the Lava Launcher is hard on ground troops but you CAN work your way around it…if you know how. What say we discuss it a bit, eh?
Zen, over at Creative Clash, and I were talking about this one the other day and he said we really needed a guide/video to help folks who are struggling with it. It’s probably even more needed when you consider that most players haven’t leveled the Lava Launcher up yet!
The problem with the Lava Launcher isn’t really the mortar piece so much as the pool of lava it leaves behind. The Lava Launcher represents the introduction of a brand new kind of defense at BH9 - Damage over Time, or DoT. You get the hit of the mortar shell but then the pool of lava slowly but surely depletes troops health - and it lasts nearly 20 seconds!!! Ground troops have an awful habit of sitting right there, in the lava pool, shooting at whatever their target may be and totally ignoring the pummeling they are taking from the hot foot. Whether it is a Sneaky Archer, Raged Barbarian, or Cannon Cart, any ground troop that stays in one place for very long is going to be in trouble with this defense.
The first - and likely most common - way of dealing with it is the most obvious -> avoid it altogether. LOTS of players have switched to air based attacks like Minion Drops, Baby Dragons, or other combinations of the air troops. This works well enough, but we still want to be able to run ground attacks!
There are two ways to really deal with the Lava Launcher using ground attacks: timing and distraction.
Timing relates to how you deploy your troops. If an area becomes radioactive, then you move elsewhere. This can be an issue, though, if you run out of places to drop troops.
Distraction, of course, refers to keeping the Lava Launcher busy in one place - usually with a durable troop like the Battle Machine or Super PEKKA - while you launch your main attack from elsewhere.
Combine both and you get the best of both worlds.
To counter these counters, some players will push their Lava Launcher more toward the outside of the base. Decentralizing the Lava Launcher moves its dead zone, allowing it to protect a greater area of the base itself. However, this comes at the cost of exposing both the Lava Launcher itself and one side of the base - specifically, the weak side where the Lava Launcher is placed!
I have 3 replays for you here and they all show the simplest, most straightforward way to deal with this beast of a defense. Hope this helps!