Recent posts by estava on Kongregate

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Topic: Castle Clash / Conus design for Hero Trials

We get more resources by raiding other people than by collecting from mills and mines. :-)

In fact I am still playing with this same defense, only expanded it some:

The plan for now is to continue to use the same defense for a while. At least for Hero Trials and as a main defense.

Those who have tried to raid it often try to avoid my heroes, but still lose some of their heroes at the camps. It’s also a matter of not being used to such defenses, which can surprise them.

I feel some players try to avoid attacking this defense. For good reason though. Those who have tried to attack it have had a hard time getting 3 flames. Powerful heroes can themselves be threatened in case they end up facing my heroes.

For Hero Trials it has been a good defense too. While I advise to have the camps full to help to beat Hero Trials all the time, even when the camps weren’t as full I still beat the L3 challenges. I don’t even recall when it was the last time that I failed on a L3 Hero Trials defense. I stopped doing harder Hero Trial stages for now, though. The Grizzly Reapers and Cupids of L4 are just too strong. And I don’t see the point to losing Hero Trials defense just to try to beat some harder stages. I would rather win it 100% of the time.

Against raids, I am happy enough to give the attacker 1 or 2 gold vault(s) for 1 protection shield. I’m hoping the defense will continue to grow stronger, making it harder for attackers to get even 2 gold vaults. We’ll see. :-)

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Topic: Castle Clash / On Griffins vs Centaurs


Q. Aren’t you Estava too biased?

Yes. I’m biased. I don’t dispute that. I have used Griffins a million times and I love them. The Wiki of the game has stats of the troops if you want to check on just the stats:

We can probably find a use for the different types of troops. But as a rule, Griffins should be standard to which all the other ones will be compared to.

At a latter stage of the game players seem to like to use no troops at all. But always try to keep some troops in your camps, or the Grizzly Reaper can just kill your heroes much quicker. And then the towers will be destroyed much easier.

Further Reference

I was trying to record some videos of attacking castles that had Centaurs defending them. I recorded several. But I just recorded one while raiding a friend here on Kongregate that shows well how Griffins can be integrated in the attack and how by the time some Griffins die it may already be too late for the defense:

I made another video that shows Centaurs defending a base. I happened to attack the same castle twice and so it made for a cool video you can watch here:

And yet another video, showing a raid I just did to a castle that had a HBM defense and Centaurs defending it:

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Topic: Castle Clash / On Griffins vs Centaurs


I absolutely love the Griffins. I use them every time, whether defending or attacking. It’s hard for me to imagine using another troop, but while I wait, I have been training both Dragons and Ornithopters up to level 5 and upgrading the camps so I can host more of them at the same time.

When I’m defending, I like that the Griffins can try to outdamage enemy heroes that could be trying to heal or to build up energy for their skills. Their numbers can also serve as a buffer against enemy Grizzly Reaper so they cannot target my heroes just yet.

Like me, many other players have chosen the Griffin as their main troops. That’s why it’s perhaps the most popular troop we have.

I never stopped an attack because I saw the defense had Centaurs or Shotgun Dwarves, even though I was using Griffins. And when they tried to attack me with those, it often did not work either. Although level 5 Shotgun Dwarves may become an issue eventually. As the buildings get upgraded to level 16 and above, weaker troops cannot get past them quickly enough. So I have long stopped using Pyromancers, for example. And even the Griffins can suffer at times at the highest level dungeons.

You can try all the troops you want and see what works for you, to be sure. When my heroes were weaker, I appreciated what the troops could do for me. As a goal, you should try to get a good set of heroes up to level 120+ so you stop depending on troops so much. But the troops can help to increase the Damage per Second of our team, and the Griffins may be as good at that as any one of them.

Only 3 troops fly, for what it’s worth: Griffins, Dragons and Ornithopters. 1 Ornithopter though takes 12 housing space. Whereas a Griffin takes just 3. Those tier 3 troops may be more of a longer term investment and may only be mature to use after 4 or so months of playing the game.

Good luck!

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Topic: Castle Clash / On Griffins vs Centaurs


The Centaurs are like the Griffins in that they are tier 2 troops. The branch of troops to which the Centaurs belong are faster to train than the branch of the troops of the Griffins. Training troops faster is definitely a welcome feature of Centaurs. But the branch of the Griffins gives more damage per unit instead. Whereas the branch of the Centaurs gives faster training time and more health per unit.

The Griffins and Dragons can fly, avoiding some of the dangers that will be unavoidable to Centaurs, such as walls, traps, Cannon towers and even the troops that cannot hit air units like the branch of Guardians and Treants and Mecha Men.

Centaurs will have to deal with those threats that hit ground troops, so the extra health is needed just to give the Centaurs an edge. While many player bases may not have a lot of Cannon towers and traps or even walls at all, Dungeons often have 4 Cannon towers and a lot of walls and troops in the camps that only hit ground units. I use a lot my Griffins at dungeons, since I attack dungeons dozens of times per day for the shards they give. I think Centaurs may have a problem at dungeons for that reason, compared to Griffins.

Shotgun Dwarves

On the branch of the Centaurs we have the Shotgun Dwarves. Their training time is pretty fast, perhaps about as fast as the Griffins. Only the Shotgun Dwarves are tier 3, and the Griffins are tier 2. Also the Shotgun Dwarves take more housing space than the Griffins and Centaurs.

The Shotgun Dwarves are a very natural upgrade from the Centaurs. Even a level 1 Shotgun Dwarf is already comparable to a level 5 Centaurs. Perhaps not on damage per unit, but by having more health than the Centaur.

Many players go the route of the Centaurs because at the end of it they will get the nice Shotgun Dwarves. The Shotgun Dwarves train faster than the Dragons, and unlike the Dragons that have to compete with the Griffins for usage, the Shotgun Dwarves are a safe bet in comparison to most other units.

Some of the downsides to the Shotgun Dwarves come just from being able to house fewer of them and enemy heroes may also make quick work of them and even heal up from dealing damage to them.

Defense troops

Many people say that the troops like the Centaurs are better for defense than the Griffins. Perhaps because they have more health. But as we have seen above, it’s not exactly clear. Enemy heroes can heal up by targeting higher health troops. Also the fewer troops we have in the camps, the sooner the enemy Reaper may start targeting our heroes.

Perhaps at the very beginning troops that have more health can tank some enemy heroes. But later on, as heroes start to get to level 120, they can even one-shot those troops whether they have 1k health or 2.5k health.

Some of the argument may be “but what if we put 1 Griffin against 1 Centaur, who would win?” Well, it doesn’t work like that. By the time Centaurs or Shotgun Dwarves may have a chance to kill some Griffins, most of the base defense may have already been gone and it may be in the final seconds of being leveled, whether some Griffins get killed or not.

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Topic: Castle Clash / On Griffins vs Centaurs

High Damage Griffins

Griffins have very high damage per unit. Griffins level 5 are the standard of damage troops. Only Dragons level 5 seem to really beat them on damage per unit. But Dragons level 5 take forever to research. And since Dragons occupy 5 housing space whereas Griffins occupy just 3 per troop, and also each Dragon takes much longer to train than a Griffin, it’s a very costly transition to make. All because Dragons have more health than the Griffins.

I have Dragons level 3 researched, and I have yet to feel the need to use Dragons. I would rather use them once they were level 5. They are very comparable to Griffins. Both fly. One also needs to be careful when using them not to lose them all, so the way they operate is very similar to what I described about the Griffins above. For instance, one needs to be careful not to mess up the spells.

The way I see Dragons is that they could eventually be useful, mostly when they are level 5 and the Army Camps are upgraded to near max. So they can fit more Dragons at the same time. Except that by having more health, Dragons can also allow for an enemy Grizzly Reaper to regain more health when attacking them with the skill.

The Grizzly Reaper gains health of 15% of the damage done with the skill, first to troops and then to enemy heroes. It’s not a lot, but higher health troops can allow for the Reaper to regain more health as a result. I’m at the moment upgrading the skill of my Reaper to level 7, which will allow him to target 4 troops or heroes at a time. At skill level 5, the Reaper can only target 3 enemies at a time. Newer heroes like the Dracula who also regain health based on the damage they deal may prefer to target higher health troops as a result. Orksbane is another one.

Plus, as it regards the Grizzly Reaper, the sooner the troops are gone from the camps, the sooner the Reaper can start targeting the enemy heroes instead. So by having fewer troops in the camps because they require more housing space per unit, we may be aiding the desire of the Reaper to target the enemy heroes sooner.

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Topic: Castle Clash / On Griffins vs Centaurs

It’s a discussion we always have. Should I upgrade Griffins or Centaurs?

Well, when I was starting out, I first researched a little. Some players said Griffins were very good and likely all we really needed in the game. It is not just a matter of saying that Griffins were better, it’s also the depth of saying that Griffins were likely all we really needed that caught my eyes. How come? What about Dragons and Ornithopters and…

Even after I first trained my Griffins, I didn’t start using them right away. I was plenty happy with using Pyromancers level 5. I waited till my Griffins were level 5 to make the transition.

The first time I used Griffins level 1 I was rather impressed. They seemed very good, but at the time my heroes were really underpowered. I was using some elite heroes level 40 still, most likely. Angel level 60 too. So my heroes couldn’t really help the Griffins much. Without the heroes around, the Griffins would die and then I would need to retrain them which would take 3 minutes per Griffin… A lot longer than waiting less than 1 minute for a Pyromancer.

So, I compared Griffins to heroes. They were almost like heroes, being first to battle by flying over walls and on direct routes to their targets, nevermind the threats along the way. But they still weren’t strong enough… It all changed when I got them to level 5. Now they became stronger, and I finally had some better heroes to go along with them.

Low Health Griffins

While Griffins have low health, it often doesn’t matter too much, since heroes can tank for them. Towers in fact seem to prefer to target heroes anyway. So Griffins are spared and can do their job of adding more Damage per Second to the team.

With Pyromancers, since they retrained so quickly, I could start a fight by just sacrificing the Pyromancers ahead of launching my heroes. Against higher level buildings, they started to underperform. So Griffins really changed things around. With Griffins, I started launching the heroes first, and then the Griffins came soon after them. Until I started using spells a lot more.


With spells, if the Griffins are grouped up with the heroes, it can mess up the spells like the Restoration and Guardian Angel. It’s a good idea to use those spells only when the heroes are by themselves, mostly. So launching the heroes first and perhaps waiting a while to drop the Griffins was a good idea.

Sometimes I follow the heroes with 1 to a few Griffins depending on the needs. That doesn’t complicate the spells too much. And 1 Griffin alongside the heroes can enjoy the spells without messing them up, since the spell can target 6 units. Which means 5 heroes and 1 troop is fine.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Playing without good heroes

Most of us will never get some of the really good heroes. Heroes like the Pumpkin Duke, Vlad Dracula, Orksbane, Cupid, etc may be too hard to get. The odds you or I will get one is less than 1%, I’m afraid. My last 9 × 450 gem rolls didn’t give me any legendary hero, for example. But over the time we may play this game, we’ll have many chances to get at least one of those hard to get heroes. At some point we may hire 1, 2 or even 3 of them… Even then we may miss an important hero like the Pumpkin Duke or some other more powerful hero like the Orksbane.

Some game modes may only be doable with a certain hero. We hear for example like the MESA game mode which is not yet available on our servers makes having the Pumpkin Duke a must, since even level 160+ heroes can’t beat it without the support of Pumpkin Dukes…

In a way I am happy that we don’t have the MESA yet, since I don’t have a Pumpkin Duke and I don’t want other players to also feel like they are missing out on the fun… But it will come eventually.

Players who won the lottery and have already hired some of those special heroes may be more outspoken. And other players who know they are missing out on those heroes may become sad, after months of playing the game without yet being able to scream “I Won!” by just hiring one of those unique heroes.

The game is what we make of it to some extent. A 1% chance to hire a hero is a very small chance at happiness, if that’s how we define happiness. We should be happy for other players who have already scored big. And just carry on with our “bad luck”, as the system is heavily stacked against us anyway.

Many games have adopted these systems that introduce luck, which resembles a kind of gambling… 100 people give it a try, and only 1 person gets lucky at the end of it by winning the lottery. One person could try it 100 times as much and still not get lucky. It can be painful.

Many of us take joy in being “free-to-play” players. But some of us free-to-play players get more lucky than others. Some free-to-play players will hire a Pumpkin Duke and from then on will be king of the free-to-play players. We should be happy for them. After all, even those players who pay a lot of money may miss out on their Pumpkin Dukes.

Each one of us should recognize when we get lucky. Maybe one of us got a good hero with a great talent. Maybe one of us got a lot of free time to play a game like this one. Maybe one of us managed to get all the heroes we could buy with shards and just want to build up our castle for the next many months…

There is no pressure, beside the pressure we put on ourselves as a community.

Let’s just enjoy the moment, play the game as much as we want to. And maybe watch some movies and play other games as well.

Luckily this isn’t a sport. We don’t have to beat others. We can just have some fun instead. We don’t need to compete at the rankings. We can let others have the high might they want. Whatever. :-)

Cheers. Good luck! We are all very lucky at the end.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Conus design for Hero Trials

The Mantis design I created proved to be good enough, so I continued to iterate on it and ended up with this new design I called Conus. The idea is about the same of the Mantis design. Corner bases with central heroes.

Some people have tried to attack this one. A couple destroyed about 80% which was enough to put the castle into a shield. Today one attacked it and destroyed just 32% without even looting a single gold vault, apparently.

While I cannot generally see the battle replays, I can imagine what went on and use clues like traps used to know where the heroes came from. The attackers seem to prefer to attack the camps and towers first.

For Hero Trials, one change I made since the Mantis design was to put 2 other camps right at the side instead of having them more to the center like they originally were. With the camps more to the side the troops can more easily deal with enemies that spawned right at that side by teaming up against them.

I also pulled back buildings that were making more of a ring of buildings around the heroes. I found them slightly unnecessary since they were even giving enemies like the cupids more time to buff up before getting to the heroes inside. I still maintain 2 buildings at the top and bottom corners, the ones with least HP that serve as just early or late baits: The Training Hall and the Warehouse. Also since I hardly click on them they don’t need to be visible all of the time, so they can be placed further away. :-)

Since I use this design as my main design as well, I need the buildings that I click the most on, like the Relic Hall, Hero Altar, Arena and Guild Hall to be easily visible and clickable to avoid scrolling around for them. I like how I can see nearly everything on the default view screen.

I have now stopped trying to farm L4 of Hero Trials. The Cupids and Grizzly Reapers were nearly unstoppable there. I lost 5 times to them before I gave up. I’m now only farming L3, which I think I can beat all the time. I beat the Cupids of L3 yesterday. They are considerably much weaker, thank goodness.

If I don’t see a reason to change, I may keep this design as my main one for a while. One way to easily improve it is just to work on more garrison heroes. :-)

For instance, my level 87 Atlanticore with skill level 5 made for purple garrison level 3 on one of the towers. Very handy for now.

I also have a design I use for HBM which I have found to be successful enough so I switch between them when needed.


P.S. One of the advantages of a proper Hero Trials design like mine may just be that the troops in the camps have a chance to survive it. LOL. Most of my troops always survive it.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Video: 4 HBM F defenses. Diamond design. Town Hall 15. Shard heroes around level 130.

Hi guys, I have created a video showing 4 HBM F defenses and uploaded it to YouTube here:

The best thing is the heroes I used were all Shard heroes you can get by just saving enough shards.

Town Hall 15 is not too long to get to, either.

Enjoy! :-)

PS. Towers level 8.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Mantis design for Hero Trials

I’ve recorded a video to show how strong the Cupids of L4 really are:

Notice how my defense melts in a couple of seconds. My heroes barely manage a couple of shots out before they die, and my heroes are above level 120 mostly. My towers too melt in a couple of seconds each and they are level 8 with some garrison.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Mantis design for Hero Trials

I have tried to design some new defenses in the last few days. But it hasn’t been easy, really. I came up with a “fun” design for farming Here Be Monsters F. The results though have been about as good as the old ones.

I also tried some new designs for Hero Trials and main defense. With the Mantis design some players seemed to be avoiding it. When given just a little bit of a chance though, they came back hitting hard when I used some new designs. I could say that they at least did not destroy 100% of my castle when they tried, but the idea of getting attacked at all and being looted was more of a Pyrrhic victory in the end for those defenses. :-)

Right now I’m a little bit bored. The Cupids of Hero Trials L4 are too strong. I can’t stop them. I lost way too many fights at L4 already to consider it farmable at this point. I almost beat the Druids of L5, but the net disconnected at the moment it was to save the results.

So, right now I really hate my ambitious losses of L4 and HBM F. I lost L4 thrice to cupids and once to Grizzly Reapers. Those are flying enemies that don’t care about walls and traps as much and Cupids are just way too fast at killing my heroes and towers. They have a buff.

I just want to have some fun again, farm the stages I can and wait till I get stronger later on. Making defenses is very hard, I should not be doing it “for fun.”

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Topic: Castle Clash / Mantis design for Hero Trials

Someone did raid me successfully and looted over 400k gold from me. I also failed to defend against L4 Cupids. They overwhelmed my defenses.

I hope more legendary tower garrisons and a sixth hero would help to improve the defense enough so I could beat those Cupids.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Mantis design for Hero Trials

So you can see how it works I just recorded a video. It shows a Hero Trials L4 Pumpking Duke defense:

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Topic: Castle Clash / Mantis design for Hero Trials

Hey guys. A couple of days ago I created this design I called Mantis. The goal was to try something that would better counter the Hero Trials challenges. I had been farming L2 only. I wasn’t confident I could take on L3 or L4 for farming purposes, since I even lost one on L3 after just a couple of tries, so I wanted a new design…


Corner bases have been used by many players before there were designs that more thoroughly countered Here Be Monsters challenges. In fact, some of the inspiration for the Here Be Monsters designs came from corner bases.

Sometimes beginners come up with corner base designs because they think they cannot be attacked by the sides glued to the corners and sides. But that’s not a good idea per se, because attacks can come from any side, we just need to click slightly offside and troops will be placed on that side.

Aware that attacks can come from all sides, we can do one better by avoiding to place important buildings right outside the borders. That’s why I’m happy I have towers and gold vaults slightly protected.

While I used corner bases as a major inspiration for the design. I also wanted to keep something from the powerful design for Here Be Monsters called Diamond. There are many different Diamond versions. The Diamond designs have proven very successful for Here Be Monsters by sparing our heroes till the end. That’s why I used the walls to create a shelter for the heroes based on that idea.

Plus, I wanted some more spikes around the entrance to the Diamond core, based on what I saw when defending from Here Be Monsters with my Diamond design. The reason for them was to add some more walking space to the enemy heroes before they would come in contact with my heroes. I experimented with that in this Mantis design and I like the results.


The core sheltered by the walls protects the defense from most attacking angles. Hero Trials heroes wanting to destroy my towers would first have to get past the core shelter with the heroes inside most of the time. That is one good reason to have the defenses pushed more to the corner. Where my idea differs from other corner designs is that I place my heroes upfront, so they are most likely to welcome the enemy heroes first.

My towers in the back help one another with getting rid of enemy heroes that come from the corner itself. It’s important to have the towers helping one another like that. Especially on L4 where every second counts, as the towers could be wiped out very quickly.

And the towers are watched over by the camps. And the towers also watch over the camps. That is important as every second counts when getting rid of enemy heroes that are inside already.


So far this design has beaten L3 Immortep, L4 Druid, L4 Snowzilla, L4 Grizzly Reaper among others. This design hasn’t yet lost me a Hero Trials defense. Where before I was only farming L2, now I’m trying to farm L4 since L3 looks easy now.

I like to start the Hero Trials defense when my camps are filled up with Griffins. It’s important to have troops in the camps, otherwise enemy heroes have much more time to deal with the defense and also have an easier time getting rid of our own heroes.

As I will be upgrading the buildings a lot more to get to the 6th hero base and the 5th tower etc, I like that camps and towers are watching over those buildings. If the buildings were unprotected, heroes that target our heroes from afar would more easily be able to by just slaying away at those defenseless buildings.


Heroes like Spirit Mage, Aries, Grizzly Reaper, Thunder God etc that can target troops and heroes from afar are very dangerous indeed whether we like it or not, as our heroes may not survive till they have a chance to defend the castle. And up-close, heroes like Immortep can just wreck our heroes before they can do much as well.

Spells like Restoration and Guardian Angel can also spoil the efforts of some defenses by giving enemy heroes extra time to deal with some core defense ideas.

I like that this design has sort of 2 or 3 defense blocks instead of just 1. I am using it as my main defense for now. It helps to have to switch just between two defenses instead of 3. One for main defense and Hero Trials. And another one for Here Be Monsters. But not many players have tried to raid me yet so I can’t really tell how effective it would be against players. All I can hope for is that they would not get all of the gold vaults. Although I think they would get more easily over 50% with this defense.


If other players can loot my gold they would take over 400k gold from me. So it’s not for lack of incentive. Perhaps they just aren’t sure how the defense works and avoid it. That much I expect, since I find this defense a little more unpredictable. :-)


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Topic: Castle Clash / Shards, More Shards, And Even More Shards

Torch Battles shards

You want to play with others as a team. One chance to do that is to participate in Torch Battles. Every little help counts. Torch Battles is a guild event that takes place twice a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The rewards are based on the guild level and how well the guild did at the Torch Battle. The more active the members are, the higher the chance of better rewards. Also only the top 3,000 guilds can do the battles.

The maximum shards a guild can get is guild level times 80 shards. If a guild level is 2, that would give a max of 160 shards per torch battle. If the guild manages to keep the top score to the end of the battle. It’s not as hard as it seems, but as a rule it needs active members. But the guild also asks some shards to be donated so the guild can keep advancing levels and hiring more members.

The Torch Battle rewards aren’t too good unless the guild does well at the battles. A minimum score of 90% is needed for great rewards. And a max score of 100% gives all the possible rewards. Both shards and honor badges!

Let’s say a guild level 1 gets max rewards, but you donate 10 shards back to the guild and keep just 70 for your shards bank. Since we can do 2 battles per week, that would be 140 shards per week. Or 20 shards per day. Let’s add 20 shards per day to our formula:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + 20 Quests shards + 14 Dungeons shards + 20 Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards

Merit Pack shards

Finally we get to Merit Pack shards. We win merits by doing well at Expeditions, which are like raids done with only heroes — no troops or spells allowed.

Expeditions are found in the Arena building and the Merit Shop is found at the Warehouse. Heroes only have 1 life per day for Expeditions.

It’s a bit difficult to farm merits without heroes that are powerful already and can survive a couple of battles. But if you could save some merits, like 900, you would be able to buy a 200 shards pack. It’s not easy though. We could instead use merits to buy talent refresh cards which cost just 300 merits.

For our formula we’ll consider this to be zero and remove it from the formula altogether to simplify it:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + 20 Quests shards + 14 Dungeons shards + 20 Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards


If we believe in unicorns we might as well believe in the following formula:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + 20 Quests shards + 14 Dungeons shards + 20 Torch Battles shards

Would we really get 134 shards daily if we played the game that much?

It is possible. I have myself bought 3 heroes with shards: Thunder God for 2,200, Immortep for 7,500 and Grizzly Reaper for 7,000.

The stronger our heroes and defenses get, the easier it becomes to farm greater amounts of shards. I now beat stage E of Here Be Monsters worth 30 shards per hit or 240 shards per day.

I farm a Tranquil Rainforest elite dungeon worth 18 shards per successful loot or perhaps around 180 shards per day for the number of times that I try to hit it.

At 10k might I can do 5 quests per set. Which is more chance to get shards from quests. And the bonus for completing the quests earlier also may give a couple more shards.

And my guild is a top guild that gives a max of 640 shards per Torch Battle. I donate at least 100 back to the guild. It’s a level 8 guild.

What do we do with the shards when we already have all the heroes we could possibly need? We can use shards to buy Gelatinous Champions to upgrade the skills of the heroes. That’s what I have been doing as the skills of my heroes get to level 5.

So there you have it your own formula to farming shards.

What prompted me to write this was players wondering in chat just how to get the shards they needed. Well guys, now you know the secret. As good magicians, keep it in the family! :-)

Good luck.

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Topic: Castle Clash / Shards, More Shards, And Even More Shards

Quests shards

Our game boss is annoying. They are always giving us these quests to do daily. And for little reward. Perhaps worth some gems. Perhaps worth some shards. And even perhaps as an incentive to play the game a little more and to make us learn all that there is about the game. These quests are like a tutorial? Who would have guessed it!

Some quests like Hero Trials, Here Be Monsters, etc may give some shards. 10 shards for one. 8 shards for another. Perhaps a few shards for another one. And those numbers add up a little over the days we can do them. We can complete 2 sets of quests every day. Sometimes they give little or no shards. But other times they do give enough shards back! If we promise to be good boys and girls, that is.

Let’s pretend we know how many shards we get per quests per day. It’s pretty random… So let’s assume some number, like 20, and add it to our formula:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + 20 Quests shards + Dungeons shards + Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards

Dungeons shards

At dungeons the stages have all of these towers and camps and enemy heroes… It’s not easy! At all! Unless it is easy when you get to hire some better heroes down the line and can afford the needed spells. :-)

We get more shards at dungeons when we can repeatedly beat elite stages, as the chance is higher and the amount of shards is greater. We don’t know exactly what the chance is. Some even think the chance varies… It doesn’t matter though, since we just need to farm them. My own personal guess is that the chance at elite stages is around 25%. I have been doing dungeons tens of times every day. The shards will only trickle down if we hit them numerous times. It’s like mining. :-)

We get 1 dungeon ticket every 20 minutes. If we can play around 10 hours every day, we would get 3 tickets per hour or around 30 tickets per day. If only 25% of them gave us what we wanted, shards, we would get around 7 times the amount of shards the stage gives.

The very first elite stage only gives a chance of 2 shards. By successfully looting it 7 times a day we would get 7 * 2 = 14 shards per day. Let’s add it to our formula now:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + 20 Quests shards + 14 Dungeons shards + Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards

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Topic: Castle Clash / Shards, More Shards, And Even More Shards

Sooooooo… Let me take a guess… You… Need… Shards… Now!

Good news, everyone!

You may have your shards and eat it too! Or was it your cake and eat it too? :-)

The formula is this one right here:

Here Be Monsters shards + Quests shards + Dungeons shards + Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards

Here Be Monsters shards

Let’s start off by showing you how much profitable Here Be Monsters shards can be. The first stage A gives 10 shards if you beat all of the waves. We only get shards at Here Be Monsters if we beat all of the waves of a stage. If we repeatedly beat them all, it’s called farming. It’s repetitive. It’s boring. But the outcome is what we like most.

Harder stages give more shards. Like this: A = 10, B = 15, C = 20, D = 25, E = 30 and so on.

As a beginner, our goal is simple. We just need to beat the easiest stage A. To do that we can help ourselves by using a defense that was created specifically to beat Here Be Monsters stages, such as the Peon Clover design!

Just swallow your defense designer pride and pick up a good defense already tested by other people already! :-)

If we do a little math, we get 1 Here Be Monsters ticket every 3 hours. A day has 24 hours. 24 hours divided by 3 hours per ticket gives us 8 tickets per day. If we win all the time at Here Be Monsters, that would give us a minimum of 80 shards per day. Not bad. And if we improve our heroes and defenses a little more, we could try the B stage and perhaps make 120 shards per day just at Here Be Monsters!

And as a beginner one could wonder, where exactly is the Here Be Monsters you keep talking about like a parrot? It’s in the cave to the left of your castle. The menacing red dragon there. The boss that comes at the last wave of HBM is called a Dinosaur!

Let’s add the HBM shards to our formula:

80 Here Be Monsters shards + Quests shards + Dungeons shards + Torch Battles shards + Merit Pack shards

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Topic: Castle Clash / Why does the game either stop or slow down when I switch windows?

If you have ever wondered about that you can try to find your answer by reading the flash plugin features themselves here:

Namely pay attention to this part:

>> To optimize CPU and battery usage, Flash Player 10.1 introduces a new feature on related to inactive instances. This feature allows you to limit CPU usage by pausing and resuming the SWF file when content goes off and on the screen."

>> – A tab is opened in the browser, which causes the SWF content to move to the background.

>> In this case, regardless of the value of the hasPriority HTML tag, the SWF content is slowed down, or throttled, to between 2 and 8 fps. Audio and video playback is stopped and no content rendering is processed unless the SWF content becomes visible again.

While that article is about mobile flash, something similar must be happening to the desktop flash we use.

Basically with mobiles, laptops, tablets etc, conserving battery is an important issue. No one wants to have to recharge their computer’s battery after just an hour of use.

A lot of this game is computed at real-time at the player’s computer. Hence any slow down as applied by the Flash systems when the game goes into a background window may cause the game to almost stop. These games may need at least 20 FPS to work well. If the Flash system reduces it to just 2 FPS you can imagine how it could cause the game to almost stop. Not sure why this wouldn’t happen to other games as well. Perhaps their systems are less demanding of graphics or their computations happen mostly at the server.

If you can own 2 monitors you could try to leave the game window’s open in one of them to keep it from going into “sleep” mode. :-)

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Topic: Castle Clash / How To Make a Good Defense

So, you just started the game and you think you know how to make a good defense since you have played other similar games before. It’s true that some ideas can also be used here, but there is a lot that is very different. Like, in Castle Clash we don’t need to overprotect the Town Hall. It’s no use protecting the Town Hall because the Town Hall being destroyed only helps with getting perhaps a second flame score and some more honor. For the defense there are other concerns like protecting the gold vaults better and perhaps beating Here Be Monsters and Hero Trials defenses.

First of all, you can just try to follow the designs already created by other players since they have been battle-tested and showed good results. Early on you can just use the Peon Clover design. When your Town Hall gets to level 15 you can try a Diamond design.

Those may be the most successful designs for Here Be Monsters defenses.

You can also use 2 different defenses and switch between them easily when your Town Hall gets to level 10 and a designing tool with saving feature is enabled. So you could have a very good design for Here Be Monsters. And a more flexible design as your default choice. A very good design for Here Be Monsters is important, otherwise it’s almost impossible to beat latter HBM stages, as our towers and heroes get destroyed very easily.

If you pay attention to the designs that I linked to, Peon Clover, Diamond… You notice things like keeping the heroes together at the center. If the heroes are scattered around, they could fall one after the other anyway, like dominoes. If they are together, perhaps they may cause some pain.

But even if the heroes are together, there is a complication that players could use spells and troop deployment techniques to get around the main defenses. Spells like Guardian Angel give 6 seconds of invincibility, which is enough for attackers to get to the core of your defenses before you can take any hero out. Then other spells like Restoration can give them more health…

Which is why you don’t want to have enemy heroes inside of your defense. When they do come inside, you want your heroes to have some time to deal with them. So just having a small core defense with other buildings that are less important around it can help a lot. Also do create a couple of gaps and put the traps on them. Traps are so important at times. Don’t get lazy and forget about them.

For Here Be Monsters defenses we don’t need closed walls. But for a general defense closed walls could be good. Especially at the beginning before attackers have way too strong heroes and troops. For closed walls to work you really need the wall blocks to be high level, otherwise they just won’t delay the attackers enough. As a goal I recommend level 8 wall blocks at least. If you are a good attacker yourself, you could eventually get them all to level 10!

So, in summary, here are your goals:

  • If unsure, pick up a design like Peon Clover or Diamond. You can switch between designs at Town Hall 10.
  • Put heroes together at the center, but don’t put too many buildings near them. Just essential ones like towers and gold vaults would suffice.
  • Use the traps, Luke!
  • Wall blocks level 8.
  • Upgrade Towers to level 10 ASAP. Then choose Arrow towers for advanced towers. 1 Cannon tower is enough at the beginning. Magic towers may be good, but only with too many garrison troops, which we don’t have at the beginning.

And you can have a look at the Base Designs here:

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Topic: Castle Clash / House Diamond Design

I have quickly come up with this new design I called House Diamond :

The Diamond part of the name comes from the design that originally inspired this one called Diamond.

What I wanted was the change my old standard design for one that better protected the gold vaults. Ever since I added the 4th gold vault, one of them had been placed too close to the edge. Since my gold vaults are almost always full, it made it possible for people to start their looting from the side of the 4th vault and easily pick up at least one gold vault. And not too far away were other 2 gold vaults. Making it possible for them to loot a lot and then quit to save troops. Someone in fact attacked me like that earlier today, looted 300k gold and then quit the battle. And still cleared 52% of my buildings and 2 flames! :-)

I have tried many times to create designs that I then dropped. Creating designs for Here Be Monsters ended up being more difficult than I thought. So I still use a standard Diamond design for that. The new one is just to give attackers something more to worry about. I wonder whether that will elevate the required skills to attack this one now, before they can get any gold vault.

I want attackers to use more spells or better heroes. They shouldn’t just bring some Shooting Dwarves and a Druid and turn a profit, hopefully. :-)

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Topic: Castle Clash / How to beat all dungeons using just easily available heroes

I did it! Beat all the dungeons. Some are still left with just 2 flames though. I did it while playing the game for just 57 days and for the most part as a free-to-play player. So you too can beat them.

The moment I crossed the 50% on the last dungeon:

And the results:

My team:

  • Immortep 116, skill 4/9. Got him with shards.
  • Thunder God 111, skill 3/9. My first legendary hero also gotten with shards.
  • Druid 111, skill 4/9. Day 30 reward.
  • Champion 100, skill 2/9. Got him with gem roll.
  • Grizzly Reaper 105, skill 4/9. Got him with shards.

We get shards by completing 2 sets of quests per day, farming elite dungeons, at guild torch battles, sometimes even with merit packs and Here Be Monsters defenses.

After we get the heroes we want with shards, we can start using shards to buy gel champions to upgrade the heroes’ skills with. We often suggest to start with Thunder God. Then aiming for Immortep is also a good idea.

My Champion is often the first one to die. He has a relative low health. You could use other heroes in his place perhaps. And he is also a hero we can get with shards anyway. An inexpensive one.

Important not to waste too much honor on other heroes that these will eventually replace. :-)

Good luck!

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Topic: Castle Clash / My Castle Clash comparison to Clash of Clans

I have played Castle Clash for the past 50 days. After a while I was curious about Clash of Clans too. I had just been watching some Clash of Clans streams on Twitch for a week or two and I was very curious. Many people came on chat and were asking whether the game was like Clash of Clans. I could only tell from what I was watching on Twitch. So I decided to give Clash of Clans another try.

My first try of Clash of Clans didn’t last much. As soon as I noticed that an early upgrade was going to take 30 minutes I just quit. I was also scared of the game always asking for gems to speed things up and so on. I googled about Clash of Clans and I even found stories of kids spending thousands of dollars on their parents’ credit cards because they thought what they were buying was just some kind of game currency. On mobile phones and tablets it can work like your wallet: it’s very easy to spend money on games and stuff with just a touch. I definitely didn’t like that. Even though I was trying it on BlueStack which is an emulator of Android for PC.

I had to try it again, so I installed BlueStack and Clash of Clans again and played it for a week. The first 3 days I just stayed within the protection shield and just built my base some. After that I began raiding others. What I found at the end though was just Clash of Clans seemed like a slower gameplay compared to what I had grown used to in Castle Clash. In these games we start with just 2 builders, but since I didn’t spend money to buy more builders for Clash of Clans, it was very slow to get the basics going. Upgrading also disabled important buildings like training camps and towers. And I needed a free worker to upgrade walls. Unlike in Castle Clash, where it’s possible to hire more builders, upgrading camps and towers doesn’t disable them and we can upgrade walls without the need of a free builder.

The comparison though continued. In Clash of Clans, the troops we use in a battle don’t come back even if they survived it. Which is already tough, since defenses can be very hard on them. So retraining armies was more like a 30 minutes build up to the next attack. Maybe OK on a mobile phone that we don’t want to be attacking every other minute, but kind of slow once we get used to a faster pace of other games like Castle Clash, where the troops that survive do come back at the end of a fight, so we can launch continued attacks.

In Clash of Clans we also get attacked. If we aren’t patient enough to wait under the shield’s protection, it’s likely that we’ll get attacked again and again several times a day. Looting in Clash of Clans also felt worse than in Castle Clash. We seemed to pay proportionally more for an attack chance with all of the costs to launch fights and train new troops and sometimes the loot just wasn’t there, since when we did find good loot it could have been under a very advanced defense compared to our attacking troops.

When I began in Castle Clash I was worried that for anything I did much of, it could get my level increased compared to others and get me in trouble when facing the opponents. These games are multiplayer so we have to constantly face others. I later found out that upgrading walls was OK since it didn’t increase our might and that attacking others didn’t give us some kind of exp that would up our comparative levels. I was delighted. But in Clash of Clans it’s different. In Clash of Clans, when we attack others we get trophy levels that increases the level of the opponents we face there. In Castle Clash we only have to take care not to inflate our might by owning heroes we don’t need or upgrading spells we don’t use, even if the game impels us to increase our might.

In Castle Clash we have Heroes, Here Be Monsters when monsters attack us up to 8 times a day, so we can get more rewards, Hero Trials when some heroes attack us up to 4 or 5 times a day, quests that we can complete twice a day, guild events like fight boss and torch battle that give lots of honor and some shards, arena that always makes us feel inferior to some stronger heroes owned by someone else, Dungeons when we have to raid some highly defended non-player bases…

In Clash of Clans it’s more about being patient and there is less chance for unbalance. In Castle Clash the chance for unbalance is much greater, attacking is considerably easier with heroes that can heal like the Druid and kill from a safe distance like many of them.

In Clash of Clans the colors follow more an established pallet of green, purple and such. In Castle Clash the colors are more diverse.

In Clash of Clans we get raided more often even at lower levels. In Castle Clash it’s not so much the case.

In Clash of Clans replays work well. In Castle Clash on the desktop, replays only work occasionally. Hopefully they can fix that.

A lot of what excites people in Castle Clash is the heroes. It’s the lottery to get a good one with gems. It’s the lottery to get a good talent on them. It’s as much a good thing as it is a bad thing. It gets people excited. But some may get too excited. :-) The game can be played without so much focus on heroes. And many good heroes can be gotten with the certainty of shards.

A lot of what excites people in Clash of Clans is the build up and sometimes the guild wars they also have. It may be a slower game play, but it may fit one’s energy just right. Clash of Clans is an awesomely developed game. Maybe some day it will also come to the desktop so we can try it again.

There you have it. Cheers!

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Topic: Castle Clash / My Arena Rank 1,032

I just managed to get a high arena rank. I don’t think I deserve it, since my heroes are still lower level than the competition and I still use an elite hero.

The thing that changed today was that I finally got my Immortep by buying him with 7,500 shards. I quickly leveled him up to level 105 and I have been having fun since. It’s a very good hero.

Shards come from doing quests, dungeons, guild torch battle events, Here Be Monsters defenses and sometimes by buying them with merit points we can earn at Expeditions.

I bought some gems at the beginning. Just 20 kreds a couple of times. Otherwise I’ve been just a free-to-play player.

My Thunder God I bought with shards as well.

Paladin and Druid came from daily login rewards of days 21 and 30 respectively.

And only my Champion I got by rolling with gems.

And now I am up to 5 legendary heroes and my might is still low at 8,231.

I hope others will feel encouraged to try to get their own special heroes with shards! :-)

Good luck.

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Topic: Castle Clash / A Good Castle Defense Should Have...

Hi. I welcome others to give their own opinions of what a good castle defense should have.

I will start.

Wall Blocks level 8+

A good castle defense should have upgraded wall blocks. A minimum of level 8. If you put some more effort into it, the wall blocks should be level 10 which is the max level. Any excess gold can be used to upgrade them. It doesn’t even require a free builder.

Circular or Square Building Layout

With a circular or square building layout, enemy troops are more likely to try to split into 2 or more groups, giving your defense more time to defend from a focused attack.

No Gaps Inside Where Enemies Could Be Dropped

Sometimes with spread out designs, leaving a gap inside the core defenses could allow for an attacker to more readily deal with the core defenses. A maximum of 2 blocks gap between buildings is required to avoid the gaps. But if anywhere a gap of 3 blocks is found, it could easily be spotted by an attacker before they started their attack. An attacker can pretend to drop a unit on top of a building, and the gaps would instantly be revealed by the game’s own occupied area effect. When you lay a building on a new spot when designing a castle, the same occupied area effect can tell you where possible gaps exist.

All Sides Covered By Less Useful Buildings And Camps

Sometimes players think that if they put their buildings at a corner, they cannot be attacked from the backside. Or if they can be attacked from said side, they can properly defend by concentrating most of their towers and heroes at said corner. Thing is, the attacker can drop troops at any corner by clicking offside. Also the attacker could use useful spells like Guardian Angel and Restoration giving their heroes perhaps about 12 seconds of protection, during which most of the defense’s heroes would vanish.


It seems obvious, but many players grow tired of resetting traps after they get used up. But traps can be the difference between killing no enemy units or at least killing some of them.

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Topic: Castle Clash / More heroes or more builders?

Oh yes, I forgot to say that “retired” heroes can be used as tower garrison and during Expeditions at arena. Duplicate heroes can also be used as tower garrison and Expeditions. The tower needs to be upgraded to level 10 and then converted to an advanced tower before they can take garrison heroes.