X-Bow Ground or Air Mode

It’s a long winded topic that can ruin an afternoon in your Clan Chat – should X-Bows be set to ground only mode, or to Ground & Air Mode? The short answer is – it depends on the surrounding conditions. The X-Bow is considered the mighty TH9 defense that everyone needs, but I want to show you in this post what the X-Bow really does and what surrounding conditions define for you what mode will work best for your base.

Some Facts about the X-Bow

Let’s take the raw damage of the X-Bow. The X-Bow Level 3 deals the same amount of damage as an Archer Tower level 11 (75 DPS). The only advantage the X-Bow offers is a high range of 14 tiles when it’s set to ground mode, as the Archer Tower only covers 10 tiles. I could make this post very short by saying if you set the X-Bow to Air & Ground Mode, it will only have a range of 11 tiles, reducing it to nothing more than an Archer Tower. Even worse, you have to pay to reload it!

I know it’s more complicated than that, though, so let me try to bring a little more light onto this discussion. I over-simplified that a little bit, but I have a point.

Tyrant GoldAddicts made this calculation (Thanks!):

Lvl 6 archer has 44 hp
Lvl 11 archer tower does 75 dps, and fires every second
Lvl 9 xbow does 75 dps, 9.6 damage per shot, and fires 7.8 times a second

In 10 seconds:

The archer tower kills one archer with every shot, once a second, and would kill 10 archers.
The xbow would have fired 78 shot in 10 seconds. It takes 5 shot to kill an archer. In 78 shot, or 10 seconds, the xbow would have killed 15 archers (50% better than an archer tower).

The reason for this is that the X-Bow doesn’t waste that much damage. A lot of shots with low damage are better than single, slower shots that over-kill the Archer.

What the X-Bow really does

Looking at the raw numbers in the info tab, the X-Bow doesn’t seem to be as great a Defense as you might expect given that you have to reload it with your Elixir all the time. That’s correct, those DPS won’t change your defense or bring hundreds of attacking troops down, but the X-Bow has some advantages you want to use:

  1. It shoots lightning fast with one shot every 0.128 seconds; making it a nightmare for smaller hitpoint troops.
  2. The wide range can protect more outside structures after all Defenses in that area go down. Useful against compositions that clear defenses first and then send in smaller troops to take down the other structures (Balloonion for example).
  3. Very good Defense against clearing troops.
  4. Great against a Queen Walk!

The Anti-Queen Walk

Queen Walks are very common TH10 and above (even TH9 I see it more and more). This attacking style is almost impossible to defend and there is only one thing that will make a Queen Walk end – too much X-Bow damage.

Related:  The Queen Walk Guide

If there are 2 X-Bows locked on the Archer Queen, the attacker is forced to use his Rage Spells on the Queen/Healer.

Pros & Cons of the different Modes of the X-Bow

Despite the numbers I gave you in the previous passage, setting the X-Bow to ground mode isn’t the end-all solution for every case, so here’s what else you should consider:


The mode itself doesn’t matter at all, as long as you get a good cover range in your base layout. Especially for TH10+ you will not have all of them in the core area and you should try to get a good outside coverage with at least 5 tiles away from the most outside Wall.

This will prevent a Queen Walk from targeting the X-Bow without having to go through the Wall (which takes precious time that is wasted in a Queen Walk).

If you’re able to do that in your base layout you can switch to any mode – otherwise you should use the extra tiles to get more of the Queen Walk path covered.

For TH9 I still see the X-Bow better set in the core of the base, but that also depends in what league you’re in. Check your Battle Log to see how many Queen Walks get executed against your base.


The simple rule is:

Make sure that the X-Bows cover the whole area that is covered by walls plus 1-2 tiles on the outside. If you achieve this without having the X-Bow less than 5 tiles away from the outside wall, you can set it to whatever mode you want

Conclusion for the different X-Bow modes

As you see the mode doesn’t always matter, it’s more about the position of your X-Bows. I assume that some attacking strategies will not last long so I will update this article when the situation changes.

What do you think?

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Written by TimmyEatWorld

I love to play Clash of Clans since 2013 and write here about latest strategies, news and base designs. While my troops are training, batteries are loading I like to keep myself busy with skydiving.
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