While not as cool as an X-Bow mounted to an elephant like the Domrey unit in Civilization 6, the X-Bow in Clash of Clans is just as powerful. Instead of slowly firing cumbersome wooden missiles it rapidly fires Elixir projectiles more akin to a machine gun.
Introduced at Town Hall 9 as a late game defensive structure it’s the natural counterpart to the Archer Queen.
The unique feature of this defense is that it has 2 modes. You can either set to fire in an upward arch to target both and and ground troops, or sacrifice the ability to target flying troops by lowering the X-Bow giving it a range of 14 tiles, which is the largest range of any defensive structure in the game.
Combined with it’s large amount of hit points it’s a formidable defensive structure against both flying troops and ground troops, including the powerful ‘Queen Charge’, but more about that below.
In this ultimate guide on the X-Bow we cover upgrades, ideal placement and how to defeat this fearsome weapon.
|Range||Attack Speed||Damage Type||Targets||Size||Rounds
|Ground only: 14|
Air + Ground: 11
|0.128s||Single Target||Ground or Ground + Air||3x3||1,500|
|Town Hall Level||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH||TH
|Level||Damage Per Second||Damage Per Shot||Hit Points||Cost||Build Time||Experience Gained ||War Weight||Town Hall Level Required||Ammo Color
|80||10.24||2,300||5,000,000||10 days||929||1,500||9||Dark Blue|
|110||14.08||3,100||9,500,000||14 days||1,099||1,897||11||Dark Orange|
- Long range
- Can target both ground and air troops
- High hit points
- High firing rate
- High war weight
- Costs Elixir to reload
- Costly to upgrade
- Long upgrade time
Should I prioritize the Air Defense?
At Town Hall 9 you can build 2 X-Bows. The X-Bow provides great value if your main interest is farming loot or trophy pushing. Upgrading the X-Bow to level 2 costs 4,000,000 gold and takes 8 days and increases the amount of DPS by 20, hitpoints by 400 and dps by 20. The Archer Tower in comparison costs 3,500,000, takes 6 days and increases hit points by a mere 80 and dps by 10. You effectively get twice the amount of value for 500k more gold and 2 extra days of upgrading.
For Clan Wars it’s not as cut and dry. Many players plop down their shiny new X-Bows as soon as they hit TH9, but this is a mistake. X-Bows add a lot of ‘War Weight’, which will cause your base to get matched up against other bases with stronger defenses. Many clans worth their salt will be reluctant to include you in the wars or even accept you into their clan until you max a number of troops and upgrade heroes to level 10 or higher. For this reason I recommend focusing on your Air Defenses, Cannons, Archer Towers, Traps and Hidden Teslas first.
At Town Hall 9 it’s advisable to learn how to 3 star other (non-maxed) Town Hall 9 bases first before you build your X-Bows. A rule of thumb you can follow is building level 1 X-Bows when you have level 10 Heroes, level 2 X-Bows when you have level 15 Heroes and level 3 X-Bows when you have level 20 Heroes. With level 20 Heroes and sufficient experience you should be able to 3 star high level TH9s with level 3 X-Bows.
Where do I place the X-Bow?
While the X-Bow should generally be placed deeper within the base to take full advantage of it’s long range, there are specific ways you can use the X-Bow to defend your base from attacks.
Farming and Trophy Pushing
Farming bases and trophy bases tend to be similar, in that they protect the Dark Elixir Storage or Town Hall respectively at the very middle of the base. A smart tactic that’s often utilized is the use of a ‘moat’ made with Walls around them along with some key defenses like the X-Bows.
A ring around the empty moat makes funneling troops into the walled-off core difficult, causing them to path around it instead. The X-Bows, meanwhile, can fire uninterruptedly at these troops gradually whittling them down.
X-Bows are very important defenses in Clan Wars as their long range and high hit points make them effective counters to a myriad of troops such as, Golems, Bowlers, Miners, Hog Riders, Balloons and the Heroes.
Town Hall 9
After placing your Archer Queen determine where you want to place your X-Bows as they’re defenses you generally want to build your base around. Make sure they’re 5 tiles away from the very outsides of the base to prevent the enemy Archer Queen from being able to take it out.
Given the prevelance of loon spam at Town Hall 9, you should always set your X-Bows to target air troops.
As attackers will try to get your Archer Queen, Barbarian King, Clan Castle troops and X-Bows, you don’t want to make it easy for an attacker to get all of them by having them all close together.
X-Bow Island. A popular tactic at high level play is making use of a ‘X-Bow Island’. A X-Bow Island is a X-Bow in the middle of a 9×9 compartment. This compartment mostly contains empty space, but can also include an Air Sweeper due to it’s 2×2 size and Giant Bombs to counter Hog Riders.
What makes a X-Bow Island so powerful is that troops like Wizards and Bowlers are unable to hit it. It can also cause troops to path away from it towards buildings closer to them. All the empty space makes it hard for an attacker to guess where Giant Bombs re within the X-Bow Island.
Build some compartments around the X-Bow Island and place air targetting defenses within them. By having the X-Bow 6 tiles away from the outside of the base it’s safe from being sniped by the Archer Queen.
Half X-Bow Island. A variation to the X-Bow Island is using a ‘half island’ that has the empty space, or ‘dead zone’, towards the side where the attacker is most likely to attack. While this saves you space and Walls, it doesn’t offer 360 degrees protection, while an attacker can now also use a Jump Spell to jump over the compartment.
Ring Base. If you’re in a more casual clan you can make a base with the Town Hall, X-Bows and Air Defenses in a central compartment, with a ring of empty space around it. This type of base design makes an elaborate funnel neccessary to get troops into the core of the base -something many players are not accustomed to at this level.
If they fail to funnel the troops propery they’ll just go around the outer part of the base all the while being shot at by the defenses in the core. Especially ground X-Bows have an insane amount of range, allowing it to cover more of the outer part of the base.
Town Hall 10
At Town Hall 10 we replace X-Bow Islands with Inferno Islands, but X-Bows remain powerful defensive structures that require careful consideration before they’re placed. The same basics apply to TH10 as TH9. Keep your X-Bows out of range of a Queen Walk and set at least 2 if not all 3 of them to target flying troops.
Having 3 X-Bows near the center of the base will make it much more difficult to get a lot of value from a Queen Charge and forces the attacker to use up a lot of Rage Spells to keep her alive. Especially if you’re using all four Air Defenses on one side of the base then the opposite, unprotected side, can be an attractive target for a Queen Charge.
Covering this area with 2 X-Bows, supporting point defenses and storages with lots of hit points will make a Queen Charge much less viable. This is a great way to protect against attacks to depend on an elaborate funnel such as Miners.
Town Hall 11
X-Bows are important defenses at Town Hall 11 that do a lot of dps over time. Therefor you don’t want to make it easy for the attacker to take them out. If you’re using an anti-2 star base, you can accomplish this by placing the X-Bows away from where troops will likely path to first, while still maintaining a central placement where they can cover a large part of the base. X-Bows remain a vital defensive structure against Queen Charges. Make sure you have X-Bows and other point defenses such as Cannons and Archer Towers where an attacker may try to use a Queen Charge to create funnel for their troops.
What the best way to attack the X-Bow?
X-Bows are one of the most powerful defenses in the game. Their long range allows them to cover a large area of a base, while their large pool of hit points necessitates more troops to take them down.
Farming and Trophy Pushing
At Town Hall 9 X-Bows are the most fearsome defenses your troops have to deal with. Virtually always placed deeply inside a base it’s hard to take them out. The X-Bow does however have one significant weakness in that it only targets a single unit at a time, allowing the attacker to use tanky troops such as Giants and Golems to distract it.
TH9+ Farming Bases and Trophy Bases often have an open ring layout designed to path troops away from the core of the base which tyically includes the X-Bows that can then fire at troops indistriminately. Make use of the Jump Spell or Earthquake Spells to create a path to the X-Bows, but make sure you create a proper funnel for your troops by clearing the buildings next to the area where you’re deploying your troops.
X-Bows play a fundamental role in base defense and are the answer to the introduction of the game’s most powerful hero: the Archer Queen.
Town Hall 9
If you see any X-Bows set to ground then you can easily exploit that by attacking the base with a laloon army composition. Players of intermediate skill, though, know that it’s a superior option to have their X-Bows target both air and ground troops.
X-Bow placement should always be taken into account when you’re planning a War attack. See if you can spot a part of the base that has a lot of value. If you can get the Archer Queen, Clan Castle troops, Giant Bombs and one or both X-Bows then it’s worth using a ‘kill squad’ to take them out. This is especially potent if you bring Bowlers in your Clan Castle which can penterate deeply inside the base.
Expert Clashers are very well aware of the threat that Bowlers pose to their bases, thus the X-Bow Island was born. The empty space around the X-Bows keeps the Bowlers from targetting them and makes them immune to the Bowler’s bounce.
If a X-Bow Island is too costly in troops expenditure to deal with using a killsquad then it stands to reason to use troops that target defenses instead of the buildings closest to them, such as Balloons and Hog Riders.
The tricky thing is that they’re usually protected by air targetting defenses such as Wizard Towers and Archer Towers which makes using Balloons more costly, while a Giant Bomb next to the X-Bow requires a Heal Spell if you’re using Hog Riders. Not knowing exactly where the Giant Bomb is makes it harder to drop a Heal Spell optimally.
Town Hall 10 & 11
Usually you can simply tank X-Bows with your Golems, Giants and Lavahounds as they’re not placed into their own 9×9 sized compartments anymore. If an area lacks Air Defenses, a lot of high hit point buildings and isn’t fully covered by X-Bows then it’s a great opportunity to use a Queen Charge. Using a Rage Spell will allow her to get back to full health even if she’s being fired at by a X-Bow and 2 other point defenses, which can give you enough time to take it out.
Over to you
This Elixir machine gun, as the natural counter to the Archer Queen, is arguably the most important defense at Town Hall 9 and is critical for defending your base against Queen Charges at Town Hall 10 and 11. For farming and trophy pushing they’re worth prioritizing, while for Clan Wars you may wantto hold off on them until you get more experienced at your Town Hall level and upgrade your troops and Heroes.
That being said, do you build and upgrade your X-Bows right away? How do you place your X-Bows? Or how do you counter them? Let us know down in the comments below!