First Draft: 3/19/18
1st Revision: 3/26/18, Major format changes, added 2 sections, other smaller changes
This is part 1 of my "Raiding in the Top 1000" opus.
A Little Background
Raiding was fun when I was a new player. I won a lot, got stuff and moved up in trophies. "The future was so bright I had to wear shades". But, at about 1800-2000 trophies and team power 3500 it started to become a chore. I was losing more than I was winning. So I knuckled down and built my Attack team up to 4000 power.
Now I was gonna start winning again... Nope!
Now my losses were MORE depressing. The only teams I would fight were 400-600 points below me. I did OK, I filled the chest, but it was far from fun. Also, there was no way I would get into the top 100... but when I looked at the leader-board, the same names kept coming up. It was not random or crappy for them, so I asked myself what are they doing that I am not doing. I learned raw team power is great, but tactics and skill are way more important.
Long story short (too late, LOL). I changed what I was doing and now I have fun raiding again. I "live" in the top 1000 and I now know how to get into the top 100 on a regular basis. I am building my teams and I have a goal I know I can reach.
Here is what I have learned raiding in the top 1000 so far
Raiding in the Top 1000, Part ,
The Battle Before the Fight
Don't Worry About Losing Raids, Losing is Part of the Game
First and most important, have a “I’m gonna Win” attitude. You are gonna lose to teams you “should” have beat. There is an element of luck. A consistently bad board will kill you. Nothing you can do about that.
Learning how to win raids involves a lot of losing. Nothing really bad happens when you lose. You lose trophies, but you can always get them back. Consider that it an opportunity to learn and become a awesome raider.
I find that only a few boards are unwinnable for the heroes I have chosen. I tend to double up on a single color, so I am always hoping for a lot of that color on the initial board. This only happens 1/5 times because there are 4 other colors. This does not mean I automatically loose 80% of the time. The initial board "is what it is", but every time you drop gems the board changes. Sometimes it get better sometimes it get worse, sometimes nothing happens. I win a lot of matches that start with a "bad" board and I make it a good board. When I started this document I felt 1/5 boards were unwinnable. I have been focusing on my "gem drop skill", and I seem to be getting better. Now I feel only 1/20 is unwinnable. That does not mean I win 19/20, a lot of those winnable boards are still really hard. But as I get better a lot of the "hard" boards are becoming easier. The most common reason for me losing is my own dang fault. Typically I was not paying attention to what I was doing (also I tend to play while drinking...).
As you get better and level up new heroes, your tactics will change (mine did). Spend time experimenting with your raids. Try crazy stuff that may or may not work. The worst is you lose a few trophies, but on the other hand you may discover your new favorite winning tactic.
Once again, Don’t worry about losing.
The Gems Are Random, But Humans Are Not
The Gem boards are truly random. As much as some people "feel" to be true, Small Giant has not programmed it to work against us. That feeling is kinda normal for us humans. I believe it is about perception and how our brains work against up at times.
If I am hungry all I think about is food. Everything else becomes less important to getting food. The same happens if I need red gems (or any other color). My brain wants red, so it is easy to forget about the other 4 colors. It is hard mental work to shift my focus away from what I "need" to what is on the board. I need to remember not to play the board I want, but play the board as it is. If I remember to do this, I almost always can find a way to win without the reds,. or whatever, I "want" right now.
Another thing I noticed is when farming I get LOTS of big combos, but they are much much less common when raiding. Turns out it is not the AI working against me, but me working against me. Bear with me on this...
My 8-7 farm team is a bunch of maxed 4* and 5* heroes I have chosen to get me through this board ASAP. I believe it is literally impossible for my team to loose. I play for speed, so I am looking for the most gems I can drop to activate my teams 5 way attacks. I rarely aim. It is only about the number of gems I can drop with each play.
When raiding I aim at one hero at a time. I tend to myopically focus on the 3 columns over my target and don't look at the whole board. Because of this I miss setting my gems up for a diamond. If I control my tunnel vision and play like I play my farm team, I get a lot of cascades like I get in 8-7. Granted, it may not be the best tactical decision to do, but that is where I find the hidden cascades... Right there in front of me.
I find it is easy to focus on loosing more than focus on winning. If I win three and loose three I feel my losses more that I feel my wins. If I am on a wining streak I feel that loss that breaks the streak more that I did having the streak in the first place. (Stupid Brian! I'll Kill You With Beer) Rather than focus on the past, I find I am much happier if I focus on the future. Pressing the attack button could be a win, could be a loss... Lets Find Out!
Lastly, It only takes ONE win to break a loosing streak... Only one.
If you feel like you are going to loose, don't be tempted to flee. On multiple occasions I have been down to 1-2 badly damaged heroes and up against a almost full healed defense team. I drop one set of gens and BOOM. the entire board cascade down on them, multiple times, and I suddenly win. Occasionally I get lucky. This is rare, but no reason not to see the fight out.
Alternately, go for the consolation prize. You may get your butt kicked, but adding one more dead hero to the wanted chest is better than nothing.
Don't Win Raids, Win Trophies. Play the Trophy Spread
It seems logical that you must win more raids than you lose, but if you are not paying attention you will go down in trophies. It is all about the spread of trophies for a win (under "Available Loot" on the raids page).
Consider 6 raids against teams that have a spread of +11/-45. If you win 6 in a row, you will get +66 trophies (+11 x 6). But if you loose 2 you will lose 46 trophies (+11 x 4 , -45 x 2). If you loose 4 you will be down 158 trophies. If you accept that some boards are unwinnable, that this looks like bad odds.
6 Raids against +11/-45
6 wins, 0 losses = +66 trophies
5 wins, 1 losses = +10 trophies
4 wins, 2 losses = -46 trophies
3 wins, 3 losses = -102 trophies
2 wins, 4 losses = -158 trophies
1 wins, 5 losses = -214 trophies
0 wins, 6 losses = -270 trophies
On the other hand if you run 6 raids against +45/-11 you will generally come out on top more. 2 wins with 4 losses and you are still up 46 trophies. Win three and you are up 102.
6 Raids against +45/-11 (same team power as above)
6 wins, 0 losses = +270 trophies
5 wins, 1 losses = +214 trophies
4 wins, 2 losses = +158 trophies
3 wins, 3 losses = +102 trophies
wins, 4 losses = +46 trophies
1 wins, 5 losses = -10 trophies
0 wins, 6 losses = -66 trophies
The above examples are a bit extreme, but the logic works for +31/-30 vs +30/-31 also. I am also assuming that the raids are against the same team power.
"Playing the Trophy Spread" is not a hard and fast rule. There are always exceptions. A +45/-11 team that is 400 team power points above you and has all the heroes that you hate, you should probably pass. A -11/+45 team that is 400 points less than you and has all your favorites to kill, you might want to hit them for your wanted chest. But most of the time play the spread.
The "Re-Roll" button is your friend. Don't worry if you have to hit it 10-20 times in search of a raid. It is only food. You will make more. Also, reroll and skip teams you don't want to fight. I used to let my ego take over and I would fight whoever is next. Skipping is for wimps! Ha! Turns out wimps are smart (stupid ego). No shame in skipping teams, fight the teams you want to fight. Occasionally fight the "bad" ones just to make sure, but reroll/skip when you don't feel like it. Keep it fun.
Now... Consider a team that is 400 points lower than you AND is +45/-11. This is a gift, Attack!
Check your Watchtower for Revenge Raids
This is the first place you should look when raiding. Everyone that attacked your defense team and won will have a revenge button. Consider it a buffet of possible raids. Revenge the teams that have a good spread and/or look winnable. Pass on the ones you don't want to fight. If you pass on a raid, but later change your mind, you can come back. You can't with the re-roll button under raids. Also, It will not let you revenge attack someone that is online, so skip them and come back later.
And it does not cost any food. Not a big deal, but a nice little bonus.
Use the Rematch Button Liberally
So, you have found the team you want to raid. The trophy spread is great, your team is perfect, ANNNND the gem board stinks and you lose... No worries.
I find 1/5 boards are unwinnable. Remember there is a element of luck. The rematch button helps to compensate for this. Rematch is your friend.
Consider that you raid against a +45/-11 team. If you lose the first fight to them you are down 11 trophies. If it was a good idea to attack them the first time it should still be a good idea to attack them again. If you win the first revenge you will be up in trophies. With a +45/-11 trophy spread you will still be up if you lose twice and win on the last revenge. But wait, it gets better.
Next, consider that you attack a team that is +31/-30. If you lose the first match, but win the revenge, you would think that your trophy score would be up by 1 (-30 + 31). But that is not the case.
The trophy spread is determined by comparing your trophy score vs their trophy score "at that moment". Team power is not part of the equation. When you lose to a player, their trophy score goes up and your trophy score goes down. This makes the spread wider in YOUR favor. So, it would look something like this...First attack, spread +31/-30
Revenge after losing once, spread +33/-28
Revenge after losing twice, spread +36/-25
These numbers are approximate, but you should get the idea.
WARNING! Don't hit the revenge button too fast. Make sure you are still attacking the SAME player. Sometimes the revenge button does not take you back to the same player you just lost too. Many times I get impatient and I end up attacking with the wrong team against the wrong enemy for a bad trophy spread... and I get my butt handed to me. LOL
This is the end of part 1. Part two is here:
Good Luck and hope it helps. I would like this to be a “living” document and would really like feedback for changes or additions or whatever. I am no where close to knowing it all.
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