Best Defending Clan Castle Troops (Clan War & Village Defense)

best cc troops in clash of clans

Which troops are the best for defense in a Clan Castle? That’s a very common question and there are many different opinions. I will show you in this dedicated post which Troops work best in your Clan Castle for defending your base during Clan War and also for your Home Village.

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In the first section of this guide, I will give you some info on how to build your defending Clan Castle setup and in the second part you find my favorite setups ranked by effectiveness.

Info! Updated with latest Balance Update (June 2022) + how the meta changed in the previous weeks. Most Town Halls got some changes in the defending cc troops recently so my list below reflects them now.

Best Clan Castle Troop In Clash of Clans (Ranking)

Here are some setups that have worked really well and I update them with every balancing update.

Town Hall 14

Lava Hound + Head Hunter + Archer is probably the most-used but also the strongest defensive cc setup at TH14 now and for a very long time. It’s used for war and regular defenses as it’s so versatile. The Lava Hound first binds enemy troops with his massive HP and then explodes into the Lava Pups that deal damage and also distract the attacker’s troop. In the meantime, the Head Hunters will go after the heroes and the Archers will up pretty well.

War/CWL: S Home: S

Possible variations: use only 1x Head Hunter and 9x Archers, most-commonly in farming/trophy bases used as the additional Archers are harder to predict and harder to deal with. Another variation is mixing or substitution of Archers with Goblins as they move faster and deal more damage, but not against air forces. Both variations are widely spread and very common defensive Clan Castle setups and I recommend trying them at least a few times.


Super Minions + Head Hunters + Archer is another setup you see frequently, although it’s more commonly used in Legend League and not that much in war. The Super Minion deal damage with their long-distance shots and if that comes at a surprise (as the attacker can’t see it), it can be very devastating. Anyway, in many war situations the cc setup isn’t that much of a surprise. But run it for your Legend League defenses and you will have some good experiences.

War/CWL: A Home: S

Possible variations: using one Head Hunter instead of two, but that doesn’t make a huge difference.


Lava Hound + Ice Golem is not as popular but also used occasionally, and effective. Especially the element of surprise is annoying for the attacker and the Ice Golem can ruin an attack with the freeze (e.g. on healers or vital hero moments). But the downside of this setup is that you rely a little on RNG with the Ice Golem and it’s less reliable than the regular combo.

War/CWL: A Home: A

Possible variations: none

Please also check out my frequently updated Town Hall 14 bases here.

Town Hall 13

Please see the list for Town Hall 14, this applies 1:1 to Town Hall 13.

Please also check out my frequently updated Town Hall 13 bases here.

Town Hall 12

Dragon + Witch + Archer has been rising in the past months and has become the most popular and also efficient defensive Clan Castle setup you can run right now, for war as well as for your home village. It pairs swarming with the Archers and the Witches’ skeletons with the HP and splash damage of the Dragon and give attackers a hard time and keep their troops busy very well.

War/CWL: S Home: S

Possible variations: you see setups switching out the Archers for a Valkyrie. Also viable but more RNG heavy as the Valkyrie needs to target and time the strike well for the best effectiveness.


Super Minions + Witch + Archer is the other setup you will run into a lot. It’s also really effective but for some players not too easy to get access to (depends on your clan structure if you can get Super Minions donated frequently). Still also a really effective setup.

War/CWL: S Home: S


Baby Dragon +  Witches + Archers is the farming setup for the home village and super spammy. I wouldn’t call it a glass cannon but when the attacker has a Poison Spell it can get busted quite easily, but is brutal if not. Mostly used for lower players in lower leagues where attackers don’t go attacking fully prepped.

War/CWL: B Home: A

Please also check out my frequently updated Town Hall 12 bases here.

Town Hall 11 & 10

Those two Town Hall levels share the same setups as they have the same troop access in terms of defensive Clan Castle troops and also the same size of the Clan Castle in terms of housing space.

Dragon + Witch + Archers is the best one when it comes to overall performance as you have the Dragon with the HP and splash damage luring all attention. In the meantime the Witch will be able to cast her skeletons and the Archers deal some confusion. Viable for war as well as your home village.

War/CWL: S Home: S


Baby Dragon + Witch + Valkyrie + Balloon is a real rainbow setup and has everything from air splash to the skeletons and give the attacker a hard time dealing with. Probably the second popular setup you will see (and should run yourself).

War/CWL: S Home: S


Hound + Loon is still one of the very popular and, yet, effective defensive Clan Castle setup that many players run successfully. It falls off a little bit as players have been getting used to deal with it and it’s not too hard to handle as you basically have to only deal with the Lava Hound unless the Balloon deals a sucker punch.

War/CWL: B+ Home: B+


Please also check out my frequently updated Town Hall 11 bases here and you can find the Town Hall 10 bases here.

Town Hall 9

There are only two setups that really work well at TH9…

Baby Dragon + Witch + Archer is the best in my opinion. Well-balanced and keep the pressure high on the attacking troops from start on. The Baby Dragon with splash in rage mode, the skeletons, the Archers… that’s a lot for the attacker to deal with and can be used in all situations because it’s simply that effective.

War/CWL: S Home: S

Possible variations: some players switch the Archers out and use a Valkyrie to gain more resistance against Poison. Worth a try and see what works better for your setup.


Lava Hound is the oldie but goldie that still works. Tons of HP the attacker has to deal with and the Lava Pups will put a lot of pressure and there’s no RNG. You get the results you set yourself up with. But easier to deal with than the setup above.

War/CWL: A Home: A


Please also check out my frequently updated Town Hall 9 bases here.

Difference Of Clan Castle Troops in Clan War VS. Home Village

You might be thinking why a dedicated post for defending Troops in Clan War is necessary.
There are some circumstances in Clan War that require variations in order to have the best Troops in the War Castle:

  1. Lack of surprise – your enemy will know after 2-3 replays what’s inside your Clan Castle without having to make a first attack
  2. Your enemy is better prepared for the attack in general (we don’t want that!)

The taste of surprise in Clan War

I personally see a huge difference – and also disadvantage – in Clan War. Your enemy knows what’s coming out of the Clan Castle because he only has to watch replays of the base being attacked by his other clanmates.

My advice is to avoid filling all Clan Castles with more or less the same setup. Bring in some surprises by filling the War Castles with different combinations of Troops you find below.

Imagine an attacker hitting base #10 and has just seen that base #9 had Wizards in the Clan Castle, but you have put a Dragon in #10. I think you get my point, right?

With all the troops available, there are endless possibilities to combine them, but the right approach is always combining them right against the setup your base will have to defend.

 

A good defensive CC setup will always consist of:

  • A base troop (with much housing space)
  • Variety troops (to make it hard to counter one troop kind)
  • Fill troops (to use all the housing space in your Clan Castle available)

Here are the ground rules you should always keep in mind when requesting troops:

NEVER only have one single kind of troops in your Clan Castle! This will make it a lot easier to take them out, especially when the attacker is prepared.

Prevent having many low-hitpoint troops like Archers, Minions etc. – most attackers carry a Poison Spell and wipe them out easily. They are a great support and fill troop, but no more.

It’s not all about the damage! Golems & Lava Hounds deal no damage but keep a Queen busy or deal additional damage when getting destroyed.

Mix air & ground to make it harder for the attacker to deal with your defending troops 🙂

Best Troops To Choose

Now I want to show you the useful troops that you can use for the three categories I showed above.

Base Troop

Good base troops are

  • Golem
  • Lava Hound
  • Dragon
  • Electric Dragon!

because they are not really affected by a Poison Spell and the Pups confuse the Queen during a Queen Charge and the Golem deals the same damage as a Giant Bomb when it gets destroyed. Time is always a big enemy of your attacker and they will keep his troops busy for some time 🙂

I don’t recommend using Giants (they will suffer more damage from a Poison Spell & any splash damage) or PEKKA (the hit speed is so slow, she gets killed before dealing damage 3 times)

Electro Dragons are a great defending troop, as it can charge its strong lightning attack until attacking troops will target it – and the damage can take away a lot of hitpoints, even from a maxed Hero! Even after dying, the death lightning will deal great damage to the attacking troops 🙂

Variety Troop

The best options here are troops that deal ranged damage. I prefer

  • Witches (because the Skeletons keep attacking troops busy)
  • Bowlers as they also can hit troops behind tanks

You can take multiple of them in your CC with great results.

Here are troops that you should only have one single of inside your CC:

  • Baby Dragon with the splash damage and raged when no other air troop is in the CC
  • Valkyrie because when she hits it deals amazing damage
  • Balloon (so slow and predictable that a group of them always goes down in Poison Spell)
  • Wizard

Miners or Hog Rider are no good choice in your Clan Castle from my experience.

Filling Troops

Now you probably have some housing space left that you should fill, I recommend using:

  • Minions (if you do NOT have a Baby Dragon to not remove the raged bonus)
  • Archers

Barbarians are too slow and die off too fast and Goblins are so fast they will reach the target first and get killed without dealing any damage at all.

Wrapping it up

You see there are different combinations to use and mixing them up will really help you. You will save yourself some Stars and make your attacker use more troops than originally planned.

11 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Hi TIM,
    Thank you very much for this information!
    We usually donated edragon/loons or dragons/loons.

    BTW, I’m puzzled with your grading, would be much appreciated if I understand the meaning of:
    S, A, B+ & B

    Regards & Cheers,

    • It’s a common ranking where S (Superior) is the strongest and then the classical grades from A -> B -> C etc. and B+ is better than B but not as good as A 🙂

  2. Hi Tim!

    In your TH14 combo of Super Minions x2, Head Hunters x2 and Archers x3 there are 6 slots left to make 45. Do you suggest adding another Head Hunter, or removing one Head Hunter to fit a third Super Minion, to fill the CC?

    Regards Roffe

  3. In a war right now, strongest in my guild so I donated all the troops. Their is a high variety between all the ones you’ve recommended so I’ll see how they do and adjust them accordingly if I think they could use an improvement. Thank you though, for the longest time I kinda just donated dragons and archers/wizards

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