I bet you often deploy your Heroes to support your army and go for the victory and then watch them do something very different from what you expected – maybe even resulting in a ruined attack. I want to show you in this guide how your Heroes behave, why they are doing unexpected things and how you can control your Heroes to avoid ruined attacks.
How The Hero AI Works In Detail
As you know I love to explain theory before giving hands-on instructions. First, I will show you how the AI (Artificial Intelligence) of your Heroes work. Some think they are just a big Barbarian and a big Archer Queen and behave exactly like their smaller versions, but that’s wrong.
Your Heroes have their own rule set and sometimes do strange things. I want to show you why this happens and how you can still use them very effectively in your raids.
Note: This post is about the general pathing and attacking behaviour of the Archer Queen and the Barbarian King. If you want some strategy guides on the Heroes and how you can integrate them in your attacks, please check out these guides:
If you’re interested in general troop control and how the AI in Clash of Clans work, you might find your answers in this post here:
Let’s go deeper into the details 🙂
Heroes’ Sight Range & Action Range
Sight Range is an expression you don’t hear a lot. The Sight Range of Heroes describes how far they can “see” and determines which structure they will attack next. I will describe this with an example:
If the Barbarian King would go after the Barracks, it would be much easier. Instead of doing that he goes through the Walls:
That’s because of the Sight Range. He simply can’t see the Barracks and only sees the Dark Elixir Drill, so that’s the obvious target he will go after. Completely logical to him, nonsense to you as the player.
But it gets even more strange. Now the Archer Queen joins the battle a little later and look at the picture:
Naturally you’d expect her to go after the Gold Storage, like the Barbarian King does, which would then make her go for the Town Hall. What she really does:
She attacks the Barracks! That’s because she can see further than the Barbarian King:
- Barbarian King has a vision range of 8 tiles
- Archer Queen has a vision range of 9 tiles
This means they won’t always go after the same target and you should keep that in mind.
I know you can’t always count tiles during an attack, but I use this first part to discuss some theory to help you understand how the Archer Queen and the Barbarian King work. They work with full logic, but sometimes that logic makes them do things that are hard to understand.
Attacking Priorities of Heroes
Heroes also follow a rule of attacking priority. The don’t prefer a certain building, but if Clan Castle Troops or Skeleton Traps enter the game, they will focus of them. Once they catch attention of a single defending troop, they will always go after ALL troops before the next building.
This is the reason your Heroes sometimes go nuts in the middle of the attack. Maybe they just took down the defending Barbarian King and a Skeleton Trap activated. They will go for the Skeletons!
This happens a lot if you are a heavy Jump Spell user because the pathing will take the Heroes over Walls.
Practical Tips For Hero Controlling
Hopefully you understand your Heroes’ behavior a little bit better. Now I want to show you some practical examples to make your Heroes go where you want them to go. There are 3 situations where your Heroes might go nuts and off track:
- On the outside, when they simply go in the wrong direction
- Within your raid, when they go outside while your raid goes to the inside
- During the cleaning process, when you want them to go after the Town Hall and they simply don’t
I selected these examples from dozens of replays I watched.
Control Where Your Heroes Go On The Outside
A perfect example is when you want to perform a Queen Walk or want your Barbarian King to clean up outside structures to get a couple extra percentage points on your attack. Then it happens – they go to the opposite side you expected and walk into an area that kills them very fast.
It’s actually pretty easy to control that. All you have to do is deploy your Hero in the right position between buildings. Check out this example:
You want the Queen to go up to the north side of the base. All you have to do is deploy her in between 2 buildings, but a little bit closer to the one in the direction you don’t want her to go.
Confused? In this example, the Queen is deployed in between the Dark Barracks and the Army Camp. She is a little closer to the Army Camp, so she will destroy it first. After that she will go after the Dark Barracks, Archer Tower, Mortar and then the Dark Elixir Drill.
The thing to keep in mind is that the building she destroys first will create your funnel – there will be a bigger gap to the next building than to the other side (where you actually want her to go).
Make Your Heroes Join Your Raid
Another great example is the Barbarian King or the Archer Queen that refuses to join your other troops and proceeds to walk around the base.
There are two things you have to do to prevent this situation:
- Don’t deploy them too early or too late
- Wait for the funnel
So what’s the right time? You need the outside buildings cleared up, but not the first line of structures on the inside:
You can get more details about troop funneling in this guide I wrote:
Funnel Your Heroes To The Town Hall
One of the most often used methods is saving the Archer Queen for the end of the raid to make her go after the Town Hall for the second Star. However, sometimes this goes horribly wrong because she goes after different buildings.
Actually there are two situations in general you’ll face:
- You’re not sure your Heroes will go after the Town Hall because the Town Hall isn’t the obvious choice
- Your Heroes go after the Town Hall, but get distracted on their way
In both situations it’s very clever to use a scouting troop.
Send A Scout To See Where Your Heroes Will Go
Here’s a classic situation where you can’t be 100% sure if your Heroes will target the Town Hall:
They could potentially go after another building, so the best test is to have a Minion left and if that Minion goes after the Town Hall, you can deploy your Heroes in the same spot and they will target the Town Hall:
It’s not a bad idea to have a couple Minions left, so you’re able to check more than one spot.
If the first Minion won’t target the Town Hall:
Clear The Path For Your Heroes
Another situation often happens in southern teaser bases, especially if you use air attacks that don’t clear up all Traps. If a Skeleton Trap pops up in the way between your Hero(es) and the Town Hall, they might attack it and then target another building afterwards and lose their initial target.
In this case you should have 1 or 2 Wall Breakers left, because they will walk straight and fast to the Town Hall (or some Walls next to it) and activate these Skeleton Traps.
You see that the Hero AI is complex and sometimes hard to understand – however, it is also highly logical (if you know the logic they’re following). With some simple rules you can make them do what you want most of the time. In the end, you need to get used to the fact that they won’t always do exactly what you want because sometimes their AI makes them do strange things.
Thanks for editing: EnchinsuOcha, MikeO