Troop Guide and Levelling Suggestions


I wanted to make it absolutely clear that this is in no way a guide to get optimum troops for YOUR particular team. Doing this requires a considerable amount of thought and, I believe, would be very specific to the team you are using, and the team you are facing (and any tournament rules).

What I hope this post will achieve, for you, is to give a rough idea where to aim for when you are at a point that you have some 4*s, but before you have time to REALLY put a lot of thought in yourself.

I will provide reasoning where I can, and will link to as many other advise posts I find useful as possible to help you look further into things when you get the time/inclination.

General Troop Advice

Troop Attributes

  • Attack: Increases heroes attack stat
  • Defence: Increases heroes defence stat
  • Health: Increases the amount of health your hero has
  • Healing Bonus: Increases the amount of healing your hero RECEIVES (not how much they heal others!)
  • Critical: Increases the chance of your hero pulling off a critical hit
  • Mana Bonus: Increases the rate at which the heroes mana generates - notable levels are:
    - L1: 1 tile off VERY SLOW heroes
    - L11: 1 tile off VERY FAST heroes
    - L17: 1 tile off SLOW heroes
    - L23: 1 tile off AVERAGE / VERY SLOW heroes
    - L29: 1 tile off FAST heroes

Obtaining Troops

  • You have a small chance to get 1* and 2* troops playing through single player levels. I understand there appears to be roughly the same chance per level, so your best way of maximising this is to do levels costing three flags, such as 8-7
  • You have a small chance to get troops up to (and including) 3* from common summon tokens
  • The only way to get 4* troops is via Epic Troop Tokens (ETTs). These can be given as rewards in chests etc or bought for 200 gems (or 10 for 1600 gems)
  • For free to play players, the best way of getting troop tokens is the hidden ETTs in the Recruit II quest, which turn up about 50% of the time


  • The barracks unlocks when your stronghold reaches level 10. At this point you will want to convert a level 5 (or higher) forge (although other options are available) to a barracks.
  • It takes 10 seconds and the use of a builder (but is free) to revert it back to the original building at any time. Turning it back gives you the original building back at the level it was when you converted it (so converting a level 5 forge will give you back the level 5 forge).
  • Replacing the barracks either on the same building OR A DIFFERENT ONE will retain the barracks level, even if it was on a different building before.
  • You can only ever have (or would need) one barracks.

XP Costs

Troops of the same colour can be sacrificed for XP (this assumed level 1 troops - you get marginally more for higher level troops):

  • 1*: 40xp
  • 2*: 90xp
  • 3*: 200xp
  • 4*: 400xp

The XP cost for a given level troop can be calculated as follows:
XPCost = BaseCost + (IncrementCost * Level)

See also: Boolz Troop Calculator

Common (1*) Troops

There are 2 types of 1* troop - attack and defence. The most useful will depend on the situation/hero, but I’ve not really thought about it much.

My Goal

I have kept 3 as I am not keeping 25 spots open in my roster for 2* heroes (I’ve kept 10 spots - a rainbow team, 2 extra of 2 colours, and 1 extra of another - this means that, even if one colour is eliminated I can still attack 3-2) - note that I’ll be keeping 3 1* troops for every colour, both because I’m a bit obsessive, and because 1* troops are harder to come by than 2* heroes.

  • Level 3
  • Level 2
  • Level 2

Total XP Cost: 360


  • These are useful solely for tournament raids
  • It seems silly, if you are going to participate in 2* tournaments (and I know not everyone will), not to at least keep the 1* troops - and the minimal cost to get them up a tiny bit… Well why not. :wink:
  • Worth noting that sacrificing a 3* troop or 5x 1* troops gets you exactly to a level 3 1* troop. Sacrificing 2x 1* troops is exactly right to get you a level 2 1* troop.

Uncommon (2*) Troops

There are 2 types of 2* troop - attack and defence. The most useful will depend on the situation/hero, unless you are trying to complete challenge events as quickly as possible, in which case you probably want attack troops to be able to complete them quickly.

My Goal

I have kept 5 in case I ever decide to have a mono Rare event team, or a single colour 3* tournament is declared. I’m not convinced there is much in it so have leveled whichever I had at the time as follows.

  • Level 5
  • Level 3
  • Level 2
  • Level 2
  • Level 2

Total XP Cost: 1320


  • These are useful for challenge events and tournament raids
  • Doing so requires a very small amount of XP (marginally more than a single L3 4* troop)
  • I really like not having my troops mixed in with each other - this keeps my “keepers” at the front of the queue and uses these by default

Rare (3*) Troops

There are 3 types of 3* troop - attack, all-rounders and defence. The most useful will depend on the situation/hero, unless you are trying to complete challenge events as quickly as possible, in which case you probably want attack troops to be able to complete them quickly.

My Goal

I have kept 5 in case I ever decide to have a mono Epic event team, or a single colour 4* tournament is declared - I’m not convinced there is much in it so have leveled whichever I had at the time as follows.

  • Level 9
  • Level 5
  • Level 3
  • Level 2
  • Level 2

Total XP Cost: 7150


  • Unless you are very lucky or spending a lot of money you will spend months using 3* troops as your main troops
  • Whilst you build up your 4* troops, your 3* troops will be used for everything - as you improve you will probably use 3-2 (3 heroes of one colour, 2 of another) teams and mono (all one colour) teams, particularly in wars or against titans
  • Even once you manage to build up enough 4* troops, your 3* troops will continue to be useful for challenge events and tournament raids
  • Doing so requires a moderate amount of xp (about the cost of a single L9 4* troop)
  • I really like not having my troops mixed in with each other - this keeps my “keepers” at the front of the queue and uses these by default

Epic (4*) Troops

There are 2 types of 4* troop - crit troops (who focus on defence and critical hit) and mana troops (focusing on attack and mana generation). The most useful will depend on the situation/hero, but is hotly contested.

Initial Goal

This was my goal when I started to get more than one of each 4* troop, and I believe a good general starting point regardless of the 4* troops you have.

  • Level 9
  • Level 5
  • Level 3
  • Level 2
  • Level 1

Total XP Cost: 11125

End Goal

I say End Goal, but obviously an end goal would be 5 4* maxed mana and 5 4* maxed crit troops of each colour. I think this is more reasonable, and possibly doable in one human lifetime. :wink:

  • Level 30 crit
  • Level 11 mana (+1T - very fast hero in attack)
  • Level 7 crit
  • Level 5 mana (+0.5T - fast hero in defence)
  • Level 3 any

Total XP Cost: 81975


  • As far as I can tell, general opinion is to prefer crit troops. Because of this (and because I don’t think there is a huge amount in it) I went with popular opinion and am aiming to get my initial crit troop to L30
  • The exception to the crit being the favourite is where you have a hero with a Very Fast special (eg Gravemaker or Guardian Jackal) in which case a level 11 mana hero will mean they charge in 6 tiles rather than 7 - this is far more helpful than you might expect. Because of this, and in light of the Rush Attack tournament type where all heroes are Very Fast, I decided to level one of each mana troop to L11
  • After the first 2 troops I just leveled the next 3 I got - these can be used in war, tournaments, raid attacks, and are used enough that I think they warrant bring bumped a few levels
  • Also worth noting that I have never sacrificed a 4* troop, despite having 6 or 7 of some colours

Further Information

I hope this post has helped you - even if you do not follow the levels I’ve chosen for myself, hopefully it gave you enough information to decide on levels for yourself and has proven useful. Thanks for reading!




I’m sorry I didn’t get the whole idea. Why are these levels references? I can understand level 23 for 4* troops, but please enlighten me with some more info. You mean that in those levels some stat get a boost? For example attack goes from +19% to +20%… something like that?


No,. nothing that logical I’m afraid.

When I first started I wondered how much I should level my troops up. It’s nice to think that one day you will get a 4* troop in every colour, but even now, a good amount of money later and 6 months in, I’ve not got a rainbow set of troops.

Not doing any troop leveling until this point would have been very dull. Yet leveling a 2* troop to level 10, even at the time, I’m sure feels like a waste.

For me, looking back THESE are the levels I would have leveled my troops to - not wasting too many troops, yet giving some benefit for the level I would have been at, at the time.

Do you see what I mean? Or am I making no sense?

For big spenders this isn’t an issue, but I’m hoping it will help some new players who would like to do some troop leveling, but don’t want to feel they are throwing their troop-food away pointlessly.


Oh ok, it’s just dangerous to put it as “guide for newbies” because we have a lot of beginners and they search the forum for tips and info. I wouldn’t recommend at all to level 2* troops. It’s a total waste, any troop token you gain on various kinds of possible loot can give you a 3* troop.
For 3* troop, only consider leveling them if you are competing for something that demands them. Or level them a little to make your start team stronger. By the time you get 4* the 3* won’t see the light of levelups anymore. Believe me, you will miss the troops you wasted leveling a 2*.


This is a very good post and for the most part I agree with your conclusion. However you could do an actual analysis looking at:

  1. XP required for each level
  2. Benefit from each level
  3. How often secondary, 3rd, 4th, 5th strongest troop will be used

This data would back up the levels you have ended up with.


  • 2* troops should not be leveled.
  • Only one 3* troop should be level up to a maximum level of around 10. If still don’t have a 4* then just keep collecting troops and don’t use them until you do get a 4*.

I think your primary 4* troop should be leveled further than level 23 before leveling your secondary one up to level 15.


Thanks for this Luiz - I’ve edited the first post to say not to level 2* troops after what you and @Aerozol said. :slight_smile:

Also I’ve said “Suggestion” rather than guide, but of a mod would like, they could move it to a more appropriate area of the forum (not sure I can do this)?

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It’s probably also worth reconsidering the recommendations on 4* troop levels for “newbies.” Getting a single 4* troop to Level 23 can easily be a year-plus endeavor, so it probably sets some unrealistic expectations to recommend leveling 5 of them as starting advice.

That also likely gives some unrealistic expectations about how long it takes to even get that many 4* troops for each element — unless someone is spending quite a large amount of gems on Troop Summons.


Thanks for your reply - good points.

Unfortunately I don’t have time for a full analysis. I spent a while looking around for this kind of suggestion but never found one, which is why I shared this to try to help others.

As I said to @Luiz, I have modified the original post to warn newbies not to level 2* troops (but have left it in both because I still intend to finish this as my goal for events, and so that your comments make sense to anyone reading the trail).

Personally I disagree with the 3* comments - I still use my 3 blues a lot after 6 months as I don’t have a 4* (especially in war and for titans when I’m stacking them), but even red that I have 2x 4* still gets use from the 3x 3* when war is on, and yellow and green use my first 2 3*, and events use all of them plus the 2* troops in have leveled.

I feel the advantages gained for the small amount of troops spent for these levels is worth it (for me at least).

Right, school run time. STYL!


Your intention was excellent. I respect people who try to do good things for the community. Besides, it has not been made before, which any high level player with a lot of knowledge could have done. I only know the basic star levels of 4* troops because I read about it. So your post is a great stop point for someone looking for this kind of info, that’s why I made it e comment and want this to be a reference. And you are the one who did it. So congrats and I hope someone who really understands troops and knows about their levels can help you make it definitive.
We must have an optimal level to leave our 3* troop while we wait for 4* and also a level to leave our first 4* troop while we begin the second.
I gladly witnessed a great discussion about this and think some people can help you a lot, with ideas and knowledge, if you accept. Right @Ornery @Epigenetic @Eddard ?


First: Thanks for the invite, @Luiz! :wink:

Good initiative, and/but you (@FrostbiteXIII) might want to clarify some things relating to the levels you include, especially regarding 4* troops, if you propose a guide. Because this WILL be seen as a guide, you know that, right? :smiley:

A key aspect of 4* troops is the difference between them; you basically have crit troops and mana troops. Crit troops will give you (higher) crit chance. Mana troops will charge your hero faster. They also affect your healing/health in rather different ways, which I will not cover here. As it is, as previously stated, ridiculously expensive and time consuming to level these troops at higher levels, you should know what you want your troops to boost, before committing.

If you level a mana troop, those levels, save for 23, is really not what you want to aim at. Here’s what you want to aim at:


Level 11 - will charge a ‘very fast’ hero faster (shaving off 1 tile worth of mana)
Level 17 - will charge a ‘slow’ hero faster (shaving off 1 tile worth of mana)
Level 23 - will charge an ‘average’ hero faster (shaving off 1 tile worth of mana)
Level 29 - will charge a ‘fast’ hero faster (shaving off 1 tile worth of mana)

Level 1 and 23 will also charge a ‘very slow’ hero faster (shaving off 1+1 tile worth of mana)

And a higher level will of course also speed up any hero requiring a lower level…

When it comes to crit troops, I don’t have the ‘important’ levels in my head. Generally, these level don’t mean as much as mana troop levels, as you dont get that sudden all-or-nothing leap at certain points, but ‘just’ a slightly higher crit chance. I know there’s a bonus to crit chance at level 10 and 14 at least.


New to this game. Been in here for 4 weeks. Why level my 2* and 3* troops before I level 4 star troops. Thanks

Leveling troops costs SO much food that, I, as a relative newbie, cannot afford to do so. ALL of my food goes into my mines, watchtower, or leveling heroes.

If I’m going to spend food on leveling troops, it better be for a darn good reason. If your reasoning is nothing more than “this is the level that I brought mine to,” that doesn’t help me. At all.

If I’m going to sacrifice my base development that greatly, it better be for a darn good reason. I’m not seeing it.

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So should I only level up 3* and 4* troops and use all others for training? How many set of troops should I keep in each colour - for example 2 x 3* blue and 2 x 4* blue troops

monthly there are challenge quests where are 3 levels:

  • normal (max 2* troops)
  • epic (max 3* troops)
  • advanced (max 4* troops)

this is the main reason some would lvlup 2* and 3* too.
i say if you keep lvl1 2* and 3* is enough; but everyone does as per his strategy wise :wink:


Hi - so should I race to focus on levelling up one set of troops Only for example 3* red to level 9 before I start to level up a 3* purple troop, or should I level up one set of troops in each colour at the same time as I progress through the game? Thanks

I’d try to level them pretty evenly; especially when you start to colorstacking and leaving certain colors out, you risk only using crap troops otherwise.

As a beginner, you’re probably better off developing your hero roster, but after a while leveling troops will bocome more important, especially when you start to get some 3 & 4* troops. At a certain level, I’d say that troops almost are more important than new heroes - they bring a huge boost when leveled.

In Alliance Wars, you spend your heroes as you use them. But you can use the same troops over and over. Having leveled troops is a very good investment. Well… Not financially, obviously… *cries*

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Hey @JGE.
In fact you can’t level troops like you level heroes. You can’t focus on a red troop and throw everything at it and then move to purple. You can only feed red troops to a red troop, so I suggest you do as @Ornery said and try to take them up together. It will demand A LOT of food, and on early game as you are now, it’s almost impossible to focus on troops now. Save your food and don’t level your 2* troops.

As for earlier question, keep all 4* troops you get for now, and around 2 3* troops each color. You will use them a lot. When you grow in game and have more heroes, you will see you will use even 3 heroes of the same color on a raid, so you will want troops for them.

Leveling a 3* should only be done if you don’t have any 4* troops… Even then only to level 10 or so max.
If you have 4 star troops then the thought process becomes when do I stop leveling my primary 4* troop and sink some resources into my secondary 4* troop that I will also be using, but less frequently.

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It’s good you are not using your food on leveling troops (unless you have 4* troops already).

The point of the post is to alert people at which point you may be wasting resources.
For ex.

  • leveling a 3* troop too far instead of just saving resource for when you find a 4*
  • leveling a 4* troop to level 25 but completely ignoring secondary 4* troops that you also use, albeit not as often
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