Anti Bowler Tactics & Base Designs

Bowlers are still a viable attacking composition. At this time it’s the most frequent I see against my base since Miners were nerfed to be useless. That’s why I decided to update this guide with some fresh things that work quite well for me defending against Bowlers.

How to Defend Against Bowler Attacks?

Let me start with the basics and show you how Bowler attacks work. Once this is understood, we will see their weaknesses.

How Bowler Attacks Work in General

Bowlers have a decent amount of health, deal proper damage, and can hit secondary targets with their ranged attack. Especially while under a Rage spell, they can wipe out sections of your base in seconds. A normal attack always works the same way:

  1. Funneling (most often with a Queen Walk or some Bowlers at the sides of the base).
  2. Sending in some Giants and Healers with the rest of the Bowlers and the Heroes.
  3. Rage Spells make them destroy the base faster and Freeze Spells and Jump Spells support.
  4. You will lose either 2 Stars or 3 Stars (which depends most of the times on the Heroes the attacker brought).

How to Defend Against Bowler Attacks

The Bowlers themselves run the whole show, so the only way to make the attack fail is by stopping them:

  1. Cut their lifeline; they won’t survive long without support
  2. Kill them very fast

I think you see where this is going – we can either kill them fast and/or get rid of the Healers that support them.

What I did over the past month was try out a new defensive mechanism. I start checking where most of the attacks against my base start from and then make this the hardest part with traps, etc. I only need to win 1 out of 4-5 defenses to break even. Read all about that technique including my research here:

Bomb Tower

When the Bomb Tower was introduced, many thought that this would slow down Bowler attacks. In fact, the real power of the Bomb Tower is the detonation when it gets destroyed.

The problem is, the Bowler is a ranged troop. The Bomb Tower doesn’t have many Hitpoints and gets hit often by the second hits of the Bowlers while they are still far from it.

bomb tower against bowler effectiveless yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

In the last month since the Bomb Tower has been introduced, I haven’t seen it having a great effect against Bowlers – and 90% of all attacks against my Village in multiplayer have been mass Bowler attacks (TH11, 4k+ Trophies).

Trap Placement Against Bowlers

Traps are more efficient against Bowlers because they are triggered when a troop is in the radius and can’t be triggered from a distance of the Bomb Tower.

A Bowler has between 310-370 Hitpoints – but Level 3 Bowlers are attacking your Village in 95% of all cases, so we focus on the 370 hitpoints.

The best thing you can do is use packs of double Giant Bombs – in a perfect situation they can deal 500 damage to the Bowlers. Even if only one of your Giant Bombs hit, the Bowler is losing two-thirds of his health.

Another good feature is using Spring Traps where Bowlers walk. You should watch their path carefully during multiple defensive replays to find good spots.

You will find a spot where they always cross.

Here’s what I did in one of my base layouts:

anti bowler setup with traps yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

Of course, you may be thinking – there will only be 25% of the attacks from that side and on the other sides you’re just losing big!!

Well, I checked it out and more than half of all attacks come from that side (due to psychological reasons – here’s why man attacks from the south without knowing their mind is tricking them).

I’m sure you can also determine the side where a majority of all attacks come from – simply check all of your defensive replays and note down from which side the attacks are coming from.

If you’re using a ring base I can guarantee you that most of them come from the south. 🙂 If you don’t believe me, check the article above where I explain the reason for this.

Now let’s talk about the real reason why I’m just focusing my traps. When I spread them out so they are even on all sides of the base, they are simply not strong enough to stand any chance against an attack – so I decided I would rather win some of the defenses than just watch all sides being insufficiently protected.

Sometimes you have to take risks to win, but when you’re losing anyway, there is no real risk in opening the other sides of your base.

Here’s what happens when a Bowler attacks that side, even with 6 Healers:


You see, it totally gets wiped out in seconds with the Giant Bombs and the Spring Traps – I’m sure the attacker just watches and thinks “WTF”! Another, less tactical addition, is that you will have a lot of fun watching these replays! 😉

Even if some Bowlers survive, there are no Healers left because they get killed by the Seeking Air Mines.

I’ll be honest with you; this setup has brought me great results in the past weeks:

anti bowler tactics defense log yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

I just highlighted the Bowler attacks, and you can see that I’m up quite a few trophies – and all the attackers are above 4K cups. I lost 40 trophies to Bowler attacks and made 100 in return – so I actually gained 60 trophies just by defending against Bowler attacks (I wasn’t very active during that period and just did maybe five attacks per day).

Clan Castle Troops

A good choice for Clan Castle troops you use for defense is the Golem. The Golem has two big features against Bowlers:

  1. Keep the Bowlers busy for quite some time while your defenses deal damage.
  2. Deals between 350 – 550 damage when it dies and spawns the Golemites – that can kill a group of Bowlers!
  3. It has so many Hitpoints that it will manage to walk directly to the Bowlers and can’t get killed from a distance

The second point is very nice, because there will be a lot of Bowlers directly around the Golem when it dies and they will get dealt the same damage as a double Giant Bomb arrangement if the Golem is Level 4 or higher.

Just request Golems for defense if you’re TH10+, you’ll see a huge boost

Before we take a look at the base designs, let’s rewind the important stuff:

  1. Check where a majority of the Bowler attacks against your base come from. There are one or two favorite spots, I promise. It’s most likely either where your Town Hall is closer to the outside or where your Eagle Artillery is most easily accessed.
  2. Harden that part and improve the trap setup on that side.
  3. Put a Golem in your defensive Clan Castle.

Always keep in mind, you will lose some attacks, but you will also win some.

Each attack that starts from your predicted position is an attack you have won – all you need to do is optimize your trap setup.

Anti Bowler Base Design

The good thing about these features is that you can include them in most bases without having a new and dedicated base design. Here are some nice Anti 3-Star Base Layouts where you can easily adapt these changes:

I also gathered some other base layouts that will work, in case you’re looking for a new base layout anyway.

town hall 10 war base anti valkyrie and bowler base yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

th11 anti bowler base layout yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7


Thanks for editing: EnchinsuOcha, JamesM.


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  1. I’m frequently attacked by bowlers. I prefer air troops for defense, cause sometimes they split (difficult to poison), and sometimes the queen takes some time to kill them. Some players even spend their freeze trying to stop my baby drags and minions.
    A golem can keep bowlers busy for some time, but the bowler will be destroying other buildings (usually in the core) while killing the golem, since the rock bounces 2 times.

    • It’s not just about keeping bowlers busy, it’s about the death damage of the golem that is like a Giant Bomb.
      The Golem walks directly in front of the bowlers and then explodes, you won’t need luck for that.
      Air troops also work, but when the attacker hits with poison you’re most likely out of business.
      That’s why golem works best IMO 🙂

  2. It’s easier to bring full marks in a maths test (LOL) than creating a unbeatable base it can never be designed and it even does not exist it’s just a matter of time when and how it gets beaten.

    • that’s right. There is no UNBEATABLE base, but you can improve your base to make a ceratain percentage of defensive wins (and a def win ranks way higher than a loss in trophies)

  3. One day u will come up with anti valks base, next day anti miner and another day anti bowlers base, so if you make anti bowler base they will attack you using valks… it’s all useless in my opinion to make a base just anti one unit.. you need to make a base that can be good against all the armies including air troops…. game isn’t all about bowlers to change all my traps position and everything else because of bowlers then get smashed by valks… it’s just not that easy anymore too many troops you can’t defend against them all yaaaawn no more troops pls

    • Well, I only show what works against certain troops – the base designs are just for those who like to copy paste…
      I disagree that a base has to be anti everything – that’s not possible. All you will achieve is a base that defends against anything somehow ok (losing most attacks with 50%+ against attackers who aren’t brain-dead).
      I rather have a base that will defend good against 2 popular styles and earn me trophies against them and the other attacking styles (see above in the defense log the one in the middle with drags/loons) will defeat me big time, but overall I will gain and not loose.

    • Lol for war you need a specific base to be against whatever troops your opponents have upgraded, but in farming and pushing you usually get attacked by similar styles. In tims log most were bowler attacks so it makes sense to go with an anti-bowler tactic. I’m in champ 2 league and see a few bowler, mostly miner attacks. But also get thrashed by anything. Most defense wins are from the stronger armies where the attack goes south from the start. Really any base can be good as long as you follow the trap guide Tim has on this site and pay attention to what your being attacked with most often. You will see changes and make changes again and again but slowly you’all start to see more wins from attacks failing due to the changes you’ve made and as long as you make a couple defense wins it’s all gravy from there

    • I agree with u with my whole heart but that still doesn’t mean to just scramble ur base layout and give away all ur resources. So ultimately it depends upon the traps, cc troops, luck, some times layout and the last thing is u should put all ur faith on the coc defense God (the protector of bases lol) and pray ur raided by a bad attacker… 👍👍👍👍

  4. Good thread Tim, one that was needed. TBH I had done this when healer nerf came in and found I haven’t gotten 3 starred by any th11’s with mass bowler in champ 2. Solid max th10 with 26/30 heroes, never have defending CC troops (I know, stupid me) but am using the ring base with a moat. TH is located by the top side and dark elixir is in core far enough that an AQ has to be inside the core to be able to hit it. Working on lvl 10 walls and only have sweepers left to go. Which if air makes a comeback I’ll have to do those. But proper double giant bomb placement makes a huge difference and my last defense against bowlers they circled and got the TH but left my dark storage cause they always attack from the right corner and top right section of my base. For any th10 players remember most th11’s are still trying to max out their grand warden so if 3 of your elixir storages are closer to one side it’s likely that is where they will start their attack and if their by the TH it’s almost gauranteed that that is where they will start attacking from. Grand wardens ability can kill double giant bomb setup but the seeking air mines located where the attack usually starts will kill 2 healers early on leaving enough leeway for your defenses to take out the bowlers. Happy clashing everyone

    • Also should mention the last mass bowler attack my queen was upgrading and did not defend and my King is located on the bottom left side of my base. Most were dead by the time they reached the king and his queen killed him after he removed the last bowlers

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