An Economics teacher explains this very common misconception and why it is so persistent and strongly held.
Just about everybody who knows anything about this game ?knows? that it is ?noob? to rush your base. Very interestingly, although the most ?noob? strategy involves town hall rushing, some of the most advanced strategies also involve rushing. Bear with me. We?ll start with an example:
Super rushed. But wait ? look closely. Max army camps, max clan castle.His troops are rushed, too ? except Edrag and balloon, which are maxed out.This is how you are ?supposed? to do your base, right?Meticulously capping out each thing before he progresses. This is the ?right? way, isn?t it?Hmm? actually wait a minute, The Donor is pretty much the MVP and Obelisk is doing very poorly.
Okay, and now here?s the kicker: Obelisk and The Donor are the same player! He?s one of my co-leaders. He created The Donor to donate to himself and the clan, when Obelisk was TH10 and a half, and spends a lot less time grinding it than his main. Nonetheless, his ?mini? far outperformed his ?main? throughout these league wars, simply because its troop levels and army capacity are higher. Capped heroes for TH11 do not make up the difference to max troops for TH13, despite the epic wait.
So, you can see, when you control for the most important factor (the player) it is obviously better if you rush your base, at least in Clan War League and for resource raiding, which are the most important game elements for long-term account maxing.
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So, why does this run so strongly counter to common knowledge and experience?
How can this possibly be true when almost everyone ?knows? it is false?
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There are four main reasons why everybody ?knows? this particular false ?fact.? It?s a fascinating bit of psychology, really.
1. Overly broad definitions,
2. Sample selection bias,
3. Opportunity cost,
4. Dynamics of war matching
We will examine each of these in turn, and it should then become clear why so many are sharing the same misconception.
1. Overly broad definitions
When we talk about ?rushed? bases, that can mean a lot of different things. Which parts did they ignore as they rushed ahead? Some criteria and three of many possibilities:
Out of those players who do rush their bases, a very high proportion of them do not max their army camps, do not cap out any troops before they advance, and level up their Inferno towers, Eagle Artillery, and Giga Tesla FIRST. The worst don?t even get a hero to level 5 before unlocking the next TH level!
This results often in their having an army too weak to 3-star anything even 2 TH levels below them, but a mirror opponent almost capped out at their level!
And for the cherry on top, their troops are so weak and their base so vulnerable that it is very hard for them to grind out enough resources to upgrade their units and camps to get out of this ditch. (BTW: goblins and queen to snipe collectors until you have a real army)
There are a lot of criteria by which a base may be considered ?rushed.? Most players think of a ?maxed? base as including everything capped out, except maybe the heroes and walls, because waiting for those actually wastes your builders, meaning it would take longer to max out your towers in the long run.
Otherwise, anything left uncapped before you level up your town hall is universally considered ?rushing your base.?
In wars, this means you will usually be matched against somebody with about equal or lower defensive power, or a higher level TH ? but very rushed defense. Some clans require all capped bases. They like to say that they believe in ?fair play.? That?s an interesting thing to call ?we like to play with the maximum possible advantage that many need to pay money to acquire.? Not having any rushed bases at all is the #1 best way to engineer your clan for maximum unfair advantage. It?s war; do whatever it takes to win! But, don?t call it ?fair play? when you are taking advantage.
Note: although capping your base is generally best for rigging regular wars, it is always worse in War League and in some other ways and circumstances that we will explore later in this guide.
If you see somebody rushing their base in this particular way, you can reasonably expect that they know exactly what they are doing, and why. They will very likely be some of your best war performers.
The concept is simple: maximize offensive power as fast as possible, not waiting for anything else. When upgrading defenses, start with the ones that add a lot of power per war weight, and catch up the others over the long run.
In short, this will maximize their power in CWL, improve their resource accrual and management, and limit the power of their opponents in regular war to other rushed bases.
The natural progression of a F2P Clash player. May involve mini(s).
The overall point is, there are many possible ways that somebody could ?rush? their base, and some of those ways would be detrimental to war success, whereas other ways to rush a base are actually beneficial to war success.
One of the reasons that ?rushing? has acquired such a negative connotation is simply that there are so many wrong ways to do it. In contrast, there is only one way to cap a base at all, and the game is balanced around those capped bases, so it automatically looks ?right.? In contrast, there are only a few good ways to rush, and many, many wrong ways, so you can see how the negative association developed. It is an over-generalization, which is different from being untrue in that it is usually right. Sometimes, a rushed base is exactly what your war lineup needs, though.
2. Sample Selection Bias
The application of the statistical concept of selection bias to the myth of base rush dangers is fairly simple: most players who know what they are doing max their base out, or close to it, before they upgrade. Most players who rush their base have no idea what they are doing. It is therefore assumed that anyone who knows what they are doing would not rush their base, and that everyone who does not rush their base knows what they are doing! This is a logical fallacy that ignores important margins.
The blue and green circles overlap a lot more than the blue and the red circles. Yet, blue and red do overlap.
There are three stereotypical cases (meaning there are also exceptions and gradations not mentioned):
i) With a typical noob-rushed base, the player is much more likely to be very inexperienced at the game; how could you rush your base if you had spent a long time playing? It?s almost impossible. Not only does this mean they will probably upgrade the wrong things and leave the wrong ones low level, but it also means that they will likely use even the troops that they do have very poorly, making rushing look extra bad.
ii) In contrast, the player who has capped out their base each time must necessarily have spent a lot more time attacking to get the loot. And, because they have invested so much time in it, they probably focused on maximizing their loot per attack, which means they would have practiced getting 3 star attacks against well-defended bases. They are much more likely to have practiced a lot with every troop they have unlocked and upgraded (all of them!), and developed a deep intuitive understanding of the game?s mechanics.
iii) As a final contrast, the player with the war blitz base is either going to be a player who has a much stronger ?main? like Obelisk, or they are going to be a new player who, nonetheless, researched the game mechanics ahead of time to optimize their upgrade path. So, even the inexperienced players using this type of base will be expected to rise rapidly along the skill curve.
I feel like a champ every time my level 35 archer queen finishes off the last x-bow of a capped TH12.
Capped bases are taken as a standard for war participation in many clans, because it is clearly visible to everyone that they tend to do a lot better than the other common type. Other clans, (like mine!) are more welcoming, and allow anyone a chance to participate and improve, even though the leader is serious enough about the game to write this guide.
Noob-rushed bases are seen as ignorant and deserving of their being taken advantage of by the more responsible and patient players who have capped every tower. It is not seen as ?unfair? that so many players are engineering their bases through capping to match against rushed enemies.
When we do see the occasional war blitz base, there are usually several or a couple dozen in the same clan, and they have defied matching such that they easily demolish their mirrors and then take seriously competitive shots at the very top of our clan?s bases. Clans with a lot of blitz bases often 3-star our entire team. It feels like they must be cheating, because they have like a 7-win streak, and it?s not immediately obvious how to copy their advantage. They are not cheating, though, or at least not how you think.
Yes, I have a lot of war blitz bases. I would do a lot better if I had maxed bases, though! The way I?m ?cheating? is that all my bases top to bottom have my 6 years of experience. Their mirrors are likely on their first base.
The important concept here is that the kind of base a person builds and the kind of player a person is are very strongly connected. This creates a ?selection bias? when you try to look at what kind of base is produces the best results, on average. That is, if all the best players rushed their bases instead, you?d think rushing was better, based on how the rushed bases behave. Rushed bases are not better, but this phenomenon I described has occurred already, and is why ?engineered? bases are considered ?unfair? by some. Again, it?s more the creativity and skill of the players doing the engineering who make it look good, not the base being engineered giving them special powers.
If a person has never really played strategy games at all and is impatient and unlikely to develop deep skill and knowledge ? you already know that person is very likely to be rushing their base without understanding or direction. Even if you gave them a fully maxed out base (like if they paid you) they would not know what to do with it. Mostly, though, they have rushed bases and they make them look even worse than a good player would.
I hope he didn?t pay too much money for that account.
On the other hand, if a person is very talented at strategy games, studious, diligent, disciplined???you already know they will not be the ones rushing their bases foolishly. This skews analysis of outcomes against rushed bases. These capped-base builders often learn how to 3-star each TH level on their own by experimentation or through seeking teaching, and anyway lots of practice.
And finally, if somebody is doing a war blitz base, it means either they have looked for the more advanced and obscure theoretical teachers, or that they figured it out themselves by examining the available data. In either of those cases, you already know that the person is very likely to become very skilled at the game through creative, practical application of theory. Instead of skewing analysis back in favor of ?rushed? bases, these were renamed ?engineered? bases and are denounced as ?unfair? by the clans who are used to skewing their win rates by bringing exclusively maxed-out bases, and don?t like the competition from others using a more complex strategy that is beyond them.
If they traded bases, though, the one who had built the noob-rushed bases would still be bad, and the other two would still be skilled. The differentials in perceived power, and thus ?fairness,? observed between each base type would be modified.
It?s not the unusual builds that are an advantage; maxed bases are an even bigger advantage. The advantage comes from clustering creatively strategic, high skill players into one clan. It?s a selection bias.
One more dimension of selective bias before we move on. This has to do with the perception of ?normal? and ?standard,? which are of course relative and have no objective meaning, but are often thought of as though they do.
Although there are three main types of clans, they do not all appear in the same proportions. It is hard to estimate what those proportions are specifically, but there are definitely the most ?take anybody? clans, followed by the ?standard competitive, maxed-bases-only? clans. Most rare of all are the ?open-minded-yet-selective? clans and the ?super competitive? variety of maxed-bases-only that kicks out anybody who can?t 3-star a fully maxed mirror or has ?low trophies.?
These look more like petri dishes than I intended, but since we are talking about ?samples? I?m keeping them.
This has important implications for the social perception of the various types of clan. As I have mentioned before, ?Standard Competitive? is a form of manipulative base engineering designed to ensure that one?s opponents in war will always be equal or lower level than one?s own clan. Although this is clearly an advantage, it is seen as ?fair? because anyone can either put in time or money to have that same advantage, and it is very commonly and well-known that this is the advantage. The commonality of the advantage among a majority of the long-term players biases it toward social acceptance no matter how unfair it is on its face. (There?s a lesson here beyond Clash of Clans, for those who have ears to hear it.)
In contrast, the war blitz base is very uncommon. Although it takes advantage of similar war weighting mechanisms to provide an advantage, it is much more difficult to get it right, and much more difficult to have a good enough defense not to be a wash in a war. Although this is a more accessible strategy in that it takes less time and money, it is also much less understood, and challenging to accomplish correctly. Consequently, because it is so unusual, those who pull it off are seen as ?cheating.? Either they ?cheated? by not having to pay/wait for a capped base, or they ?cheated? because they were succeeding, but differently from most, using ?secret? knowledge. (There is another lesson here, beyond Clash of Clans, for those who have ears to hear it.)
You seldom match against blitz clans unless they have figured out how to make it work. If they didn?t figure it out, they go back to the standard way. It appears that every blitz team is successful, but that selective bias.
I hope you recognize that neither of those is a form of cheating, and there is nothing ?special? about this knowledge. It is free here in this article for anyone who looks! As it becomes more commonly understood that the war blitz base is not to be confused with the rushed base, and the players doing it become diluted by average players who understand it?s not ?noob,? it will also become commonly understood that it is not cheating, mainly because the average players will still be average. They?ll just have stronger armies. (There is yet another lesson!)
Selective biases have made it commonly understood that ?rushed bases are noob,? even though the most well-informed and skilled players are likely to ?rush? their bases in a way that is often called ?engineering.? Fascinating how ambiguously defined claims can sound like they mean the opposite of what is true, when really they are just saying it in a very strange way! It is important that you understand precisely why and under what circumstances something is ?true.?(So many lessons!)
3. Opportunity Cost, or ?False Choice?
Those first two sections could already fully explain the widespread over-generalizations about rushed bases. However, there is yet a third rational bias confounding this shallow misunderstanding: opportunity cost. Economics is all theory for predicting how people make choices, and one of the most important pieces of information is ?opportunity cost.? In layman terms, this is just ?what you could have done instead of what you actually did.?
With regard to the question of base rushing, this becomes relevant as we consider the following question: how high could you cap your base instead of rushing it, with the same amount of time and resources?
Everybody would like a maxed TH11 instead of a rushed TH12. That is a false choice. What is the actual choice?
To answer, I ran some calculations using data from this beautiful page to produce the following visuals:
These are slightly exaggerated. For Blitz, I only included costs of buildings required for maximum army strength (including silos and TH itself). I did not add up the cost or time of every level 1 building.
A few important things to mention here.
- The cumulative time it takes to cap each base roughly doubles each time from TH2 through TH11. For example, capping everything TH1 through TH9 takes the same amount of time as capping from TH9 to TH10. It plateaus with TH11, TH12, and TH13 each add approximately one year?s worth of new capping to everything.
- The amount of lab time is the main limiting factor; completing a war blitz base will take about 46 weeks without the gold pass, minus two weeks for every book of fighting, book of spells, and hammer you can acquire in that time, plus any time you leave the lab idle. If you get all of the F2P bonuses and are moderately active, you can probably push a brand new account to fully maxed out attacks (minus heroes and siege) in just 6 months.
- I did not include wall costs here. As you can imagine, wall costs will increase the costs for capping a base by 100%-150% depending on the TH level, making the war blitz base even more strikingly inexpensive.
- I also excluded dark elixir costs, because those are just 50k in total for a blitz base, and it makes it hard to compare them meaningfully. Basically a war blitz base does not require dark elixir at all!
The true choice between capped bases and war blitz bases is:
Super rushed TH11 or fully capped out TH8?Super rushed TH13 or fully capped out TH9
Personally, I was surprised when I ran the numbers and discovered this to be the case. Capping out your base takes far, far longer by comparison to blitzing for war. You?ll be waiting a few years instead of a few months to unlock yetis!
So, we have established that the opportunity cost of a war blitz base is actually a much, much lower level capped out base. How does this impact other aspects of the game?
- Clan War League: The higher level your attacks are, the better your clan will do. This is because attacks level up much faster than defenses, and also because the results of your attacks are added to your clan for all 7 wars, whereas the results of your defenses are spread among the other 7 equally. No one clan benefits from your weak defense like you benefit from your strong offense!
- Regular looting: The higher level your base goes, the more loot enemies will have available for you to take. As long as you keep one attack composition capped out and use queen collector sniping, you will gather more loot with less grinding by blitzing your base. You may consider capping goblins as you go, too. It won?t slow your research down all that much, and may make resource grinding much faster.
- Ladder climbing: If your attack capacity is higher and you are active, you will easily gain trophies faster by blitzing than by capping.
- Clan games: Higher level town halls usually have an easier time completing clan games in one or two attacks. There are some challenges geared toward low bases, but mostly it?s faster the stronger your attacks and the more troops you have unlocked.
- Troop donations: Remember The Donor? Why do you think he named it that? Obviously, the higher level you are, the better troops you can contribute for your clan!
- Account maxing: Access to higher CWL rewards each month because of your powerful attacks, higher loot per minute playing, higher star bonus possible, easier access to clans that complete clan games (because you can donate siege machines!), and more versatility for how you assign builders to enable easier resource management.
- Regular wars: Okay, describing how war match-ups change is going to require its own section.
The benefits of war blitzing your base.
4. Regular War Matching Dynamics
It is important, when you use the war blitz build, that you are aware of a few things. War blitz bases, even very well engineered, can become a liability if you rush so far that you are a higher place in the war lineup than your clan?s best capped base. If this occurs, you will likely be matched against 1?2 capped bases at the level of your war blitz base. You will get your whole team 3-starred for sure, and your heroes will not be high enough to be able to carry as the #1 on your team.
It is best to stop blitzing and start capping out towers when you are one TH below the level of the highest capping base in your war lineup. That is, unless they are bad at attacking, in which case you?ll want to match them. Their defense and your offense can combine to win 6 stars against the enemy 5, if you are skilled and the others are not.
Also, it is best to have at least one base capping its defenses at each TH level in your lineup. Too high a ratio of blitzers will get everybody at that level 3-starred by their mirrors for sure ? on both sides. Will that be good or bad for you? Consider your clan dynamics when deciding what is best for your particular case.
This is great in war league, but do you want sub-TH10-weight TH11s on both teams in regular war? Is that something your team could handle? Do you have some strong TH11s that would block their blitzers from 3-starring your whole TH11 tier?
A few notes about war matching that I have worked out from working with 16 accounts and various clan sizes and compositions:
- The matching system tries to match you against a very similar mix of THs, weighted heavily toward matching the tops closely.
- Defensive weight of upgrades is also considered, and also focused heavily on matching the tops of the clans.
- Offensive weight is not very important, but does get considered after those. Heroes are included in both defense and offense.
- The system attempts to match legacy no-defense TH11s against each other, and it attempts to match war blitz bases against each other, and capped-only bases against each other.
- Current win streak is also given a lot of weight. As it gets higher and higher, the other factors will be increasingly ignored, and you may be matched in a way that provides an advantage to your opponent, much as in Clan War League.
So, what ?should? you do if you want to optimize war wins? That depends on you.
If this is going to be you most of the time, then you should definitely not be blitzing that far ahead.
If you know that you would be able, even with level 5?10 heroes, to 3-star at a given level, then you should definitely blitz there as fast as you can.
If you know that you could 2-star one TH level above a given level, even if the defender were capped out, then you should consider blitzing there. Check your team lineup. If your clan?s highest capped base is TH12, you should be TH11 or maybe TH10 if your clan doesn?t have any tough TH11s yet.
If you cannot do either of those two things, then you should stop and cap out at TH10.
Capping out at TH10: If you do not buy the inferno towers, or even just leave them at level 1, you can have capped out troops and spells for TH10 and siege machines, and you will still be matched against capped out TH9s or rushed TH10s. This will help ensure that you are a net asset to your team much sooner than staying at or below TH9 (unless yours is a very, very young clan).
Capping out at TH11: This is the best place to stop and cap out, because you can build an army that could reasonably 2-star many TH13 capped bases, but you can easily maintain the weight of a strong TH10 simply by not getting or upgrading the eagle artillery. There is only one more troop and one more hero to unlock, so you have mostly everything available to use and practice, and you can even donate max level troops in a level 10 clan!
Also, you will often be matched against old TH11s from before a player had to build every tower to advance. They will be easy 3-stars for you, yet they may struggle against your defenses as you approach capped out basic towers and traps.
Look closely! This base is impossible to build now. Should be an easy 3-star for any TH11.
Capping out at TH12: Capping at TH12 does not make as much sense as capping at 10 or 11, from a weighting analysis, because the jump from TH11 to TH12 is huge. Having a giga tesla at all increases your war weight very dramatically, perhaps as much as everything in a fully maxed TH10 combined. The giga tesla itself when capped at 5 stars also adds a huge amount of war weight, as does the 3rd inferno tower. Meanwhile, going from a level 5 Giga Tesla to a TH13 does not add a lot of weight if you don?t get the scattershots, so it is easy to be a TH13 ranked below a TH12. It is impossible to be a TH12 ranked lower than a TH11.5
However, if your clan doesn?t have enough siege donors, you may consider moving up just for that reason. Be warned, if your clan doesn?t have enough TH13s yet, it could really affect your match-ups by putting you against more than your team can handle. Be certain that you are ready to 3-star mid level TH13s before you advance, in that case.
Defense Capping Build Order:
How to avoid being outmatched as you level up:
I have talked a lot about war weight in this guide. Although there have been attempts by different groups to pull information on war weighting from the code, I have tested their findings and discovered that the game developers have put out misleading code on the public side to confuse the engineers!
I am not actually knowledgeable at all about code, but I am very good with statistics, so my approach was instead to make 16 accounts and to build and upgrade towers in different orders to see which things affected their place in the lineup most, and how they would influence war match-ups, so that I could backwards-engineer the function of the matchmaking mechanism.
Pretty decent sample size by now, and I have applied the knowledge to win more than average.
What I found is that there are basically three tiers of defenses, and each tier is much heavier than the one before it, so the lower ones don?t really matter.
Tier 1: Walls and traps. Upgrading these adds almost no weight compared to defensive buildings, but they do add more than defensively useless stuff like collectors. Start with traps, and do as much wall as you have extra resources lying around to do.
Tier 2: Single target towers: Tesla, Archer, Cannon, Air Defense, Air Sweeper. These towers are very low weight, as in upgrading 10 or more of these is about the same as upgrading just 1 of tier 4.
Tier 2.5: Multi-target towers: Wizard tower, bomb tower, Mortar, X-bow (not actually multi-target). This category is not much heavier than tier two, but it is somewhat noticeable, especially for bomb towers which don?t even shoot air troops.
Tier 3: Big Ticket towers: Inferno, Eagle, Giga Tesla, Scattershot. This tier is much, much heavier than the rest of them. All the others combined are probably about equal to this tier, and the other tiers have many more towers. Each big ticket upgrade adds a lot of weight. Think carefully before doing these, as your mirror opponents will improve dramatically when you do.
I cannot give you exact values. I did not have enough accounts or patience to do anything so precise. But, the general weights of these tiers I am certain of.
However, there is something important that you need to understand about trying to use this weighting information to strategic advantage: if you do a good job engineering, Supercell has taken measures to match you against other engineers or over-leveled clans most of the time.
It tries to match you with a similar composition enemy within your win-streak bracket. If it does not find one, it will match you against a different composition. This makes it harder for blitzers to streak than cappers.
Early on in your streak, you are very likely to face very weak opponents, no matter what composition your own clan is, because the lowest streak clans are the ones with poor composition. There are the most of them, and they never get more than 1 or 2 wins in a row, so they vastly outnumber everyone else in this tier.
Clans that make it to three wins in a row are doing so by more than luck, most of the time, so they are generally going to be composed either of stronger bases or higher skill players. Clans that make it to 5 wins, the same but more so, etc., etc., until you are exclusively facing fully maxed out, highly skilled opponents. Anything less inevitably gets outclassed.
Now, the interesting thing about war blitz bases is that a player can get to a given level of weight by making all kinds of different choices on their upgrade path. The more blitz bases you?ve got, the crazier the diversity of your opponents will be; sometimes they will be much more powerful, sometimes much less. Sometimes they will be very skilled for their level, sometimes very weak for their level. It makes the game much more like CWL match-ups, actually. If you know how to work together strategically between high and low bases, you can achieve great results!
To test my theories, I created my own clan with 15 of my own accounts. These are the preliminary results. I?ve only got one, my top base, which is capped TH12 except walls, and the rest are very rushed still. 7 TH13’s, 4 TH12’s, 3 TH11’s, 2 TH10’s.
REYES DE GUERRA was another bunch of engineers like me. We both had many attacks left over when everything was destroyed. Khmer Kingdom was one of those ?max base only? types. I used 8 attacks against their #1 but I didn?t know how to crack it. Hoa Nong was the ultimate distribution of capped out TH13s, and then half blitz and half capped for TH12, and all legacy engineered TH11s. That?s because I switched to 10 instead of 15, so the compositions get perfect faster.
If your clan has a high proportion of war blitz bases, you will be relying on your attacks being much better than the enemy?s attacks ? and it will be some of the most hardcore F2P enemies sometimes. Prepare to be regularly challenged in unexpected ways!
If you would rather rely passively on your defenses, and facing more average, also capped opponents, then capping your base is for you. Just remember, even a player who literally died can be great on defense!
How long will I keep my old ally?s ghost town lying around? Probably forever. It?s potentially useful. I don?t know where he went, but, perhaps he?ll come back? Maybe he?ll see this and contact me!
And, finally, if your clan is full of people who are very rushed, then you should blitz your base! You will be against other engineers anyway, so you may as well get your attacks maxed out and have a fighting chance.
Okay, so in short, look very carefully at how you think leveling up might impact war matching ? unless your clan doesn?t really care about what happens in your war match-ups and are more concerned about all of those other benefits of rushing thoughtfully to TH13.
Even if you calculate it correctly, don?t necessarily expect your clan to approve. As we have discussed, most players misunderstand the value and drawbacks of base rushing due to poorly defined terms, selective biases influencing their experience, an incorrect estimation of the true opportunity costs, and a shallow understanding of the impacts of war blitzing on war matching mechanics. If done correctly, it can dramatically increase the rate at which you unlock features and bonuses of the game, and potentially improve your clan?s war performance even though you?ll be at a technical disadvantage sometimes. That may not all be appreciated by the clan leadership. Talk to them and perhaps share this article if they are skeptical.
Here is a short url that can easily be shared in-game that you can use to get to this page very easily:
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I hope you enjoyed this guide, and found some new and useful information! I have spent a great deal of time pondering and experimenting with these topics over the last year or so, and I can state with confidence that the benefits of war blitz rushing your base almost always outweigh the costs ? so long as you have at least a few very high level capped out bases in your clan.
If you would like to read more of my analysis of this game, check out and follow Mr. Way?s School of Clash!