II. DE Farming and Super Hero Journey
1) Army Composition:
A lot of people love using Balloons and Minions, but I like to add 1-2 dragons into my composition after disco infernos came out to counter them. So my build varies depending on the loot I am going for and the amount of troops per type varies slightly from 1 battle to the next since I run all barracks non-stop, and I donate troops while I cook troops:
a) When I am going after both gold & DE, I have 3 barracks making balloons non-stop, 1 barrack making dragons non-stop, and 2 dark barracks making minions non-stop. My elixir would accumulate about 1 million per day with this build. Usually I would end up with about 12 balloons & 1 dragon & 70 minions & CC troops.
b) If I start to face a lot of lv 2+ disco inferno towers, and that I don't need to save up elixir for upgrades, then I would have 2 barracks making dragons non-stop instead. My elixir would stay about constant doing this build. Usually I would end up with about 8 balloons & 2 dragons & 70+ minions & CC troops.
c) If I am in no disco land, and that I want to save up elixir fast, then I would have all 4 barracks making balloons. Usually I would end up with about 16 balloons & 70+ minions & CC troops.
d) For CC I always ask for balloons so that I always have enough balloons for the attack.
e) The time for this build is usually around 28-30 minutes
2) Cup Range
a) For mostly gold and some DE to sustain the minion army I would stay in low Crystal 3
b) For balanced gold and DE income I would stay in high Crystal 3
c) For mostly DE and some gold to keep upgrading walls and defenses I would stay in mid Crystal 2.
3) Strategic Concerns
a) Remember that dragon is slow moving and has slow rate of fire, it is weak vs. Air Defenses, but strong vs. xBows pointing up, archer queen, disco infernos, and CC full of archers.
b) Remember that minions are strong vs. Air Defenses & Archer Towers due to their sheer number (the swarm), but weak vs. air bombs, Wizard Towers, and xBows pointing up, also weak vs. CC full of archers because they target archers one by one while being slaughtered by other defense towers.
c) Remember that balloons target defenses, so you have to watch out for Anti-Hog base designs, but they are beatable with my favorite deployment method called "sandwich attack" - will talk about it soon.
d) Remember that lightning is great for killing CC full of archers, but weak vs. Dragons & high level wizards. I always try to have a lightning spell in my arsenal just in case.
e) Remember that rage speeds up your balloons and is the most effective spell for this strategy.
f) Keep in mind that you should be upgrading heroes almost constantly when you farm DE in TH 9, so you need to learn to raid without them. If you have a free hero, try to save him/her to use when you have no spell for the raid. One of them could provide enough extra strength to help you get the loot.
g) Remember that if you drop your troops separately or have long delay between dropping of different waves of troops, the DPS you apply to the enemy base will be low. It is better to concentrate your fire and maximize your army's DPS on the battlefields, so that they kill enemy troops and turrets faster, thus making them surviving longer. So I always prefer to drop troops together, from the same deployment zone (but not at the same exact spot), and do a blitz. The only exception is when all the loot are near or on the outside.
h) Picking your deployment zone: you want to pick the side where you can maximize your loot profit (either getting most storage tanks or the loaded DE drills), with good confidence of getting them too. So this takes practice and experience. Remember to avoid attacking from the TH and CC side unless the DE storage is near outside, because those 2 buildings have a lot of HP and will slow down your army significantly.
i) When and where to send in reinforcements: you will need to send in reinforcements at different spots depending the progress of the battle. For example, if a lot of loot is on the right side and your army is slowing down on the right side, then you need to send most if not all of your reinforcement troops to the right side, etc...
j) Think about where you want your army to go to or spread to. Remember the targeting AI of various units and try to "guide" your units to where they should go. I will talk about this in my "sandwich attack" deployment.
Because there are so many different base setups out there, you should have all of these strategic concerns in mind, assess the enemy base, then quickly formulate an attack plan within 30 seconds right before the battle. Even if you take 60-90 seconds to think through exactly how to lure their AQ and/or CC, and where to attack from, how to deploy, it would still be okay because Balloonion/Dragloonion army only lasts about 90-120 seconds on the battle field. Your attack plan and how you execute the plan is very important to determine if you will succeed in getting the DE (and some gold) or not. It takes practice to be perfect, so just keep at it and you will soon become an expert in the loonion combo. Also there are so many variations to deploy this army, so it is a very interesting and quite fun.
4) Deployment Tactics
There are many ways to deploy the troops for this very versatile army, and I will show you my favorite few.
a) Surgical strikes:
For collector raiding or storages near outside (master 1 farming), you can do this.
b) Sweep attack (usually without spell):
This attack is very basic, because you want to maximize your army's damage without using any spells, so you want to drop all of your troops as quickly as possible. So spread out the balloons in a line or L shape (if you attack from a corner), then follow up with minions. The balloons should tank for the air bombs, and the minions clean up buildings behind. It is super simple and only works on easy bases or collector bases.
Please click on the link to view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYMxnzDbpYw
c) Fan Shape Attack (for reaching multiple storage tanks):
Some times the defense in the core is weak with TH in the center, while all the storage tanks surround the core. So an attack style you can use would be an attack style that absolutely fails coring the base - "Fan Shape" attack. With fan shape attack you send balloons into the base in a line, follow up with minions deploying in the center, batch by batch but quite continuously, and because the buildings on the sides were not cleared, your minions will be attracted outwards and "spread" around the center instead of going deep into the center. So it is very simple, just try not to send in all minions due to air bombs, and here is a replay to show the deployment:
Here is one of my recent Dragloonion attack, after practicing it for over 2-3 months.
d) Coring Inferno Single Target Mode
If the DE storage is protected by single-mode infernos then the job is not too hard. Just follow the steps below:
- Drop balloons in a line or L shape (if you attack from a corner)
- Send minions in a dense line (about 30-40 minions) right behind the balloons, so the entire army "sweeps" the enemy base forward
- Wait about 3-5 seconds for your army to sweep near the core, then release the rest of the minions in the center to go to the core and rage the area in front of the DE. Because both sides and the center are being cleared simultaneously, the newly released minions will be attracted by the core.
e) Sandwich Attack - a Dragloonion army that counters discos
This is a new strategy to counter disco infernos - and I call it "Sandwich Attack" because of the way I deploy the troops in the beginning.
1) Try to use both hands if possible, 2-3 fingers each hand for faster deployment speed. The timing of this strategy is very important. You have to be very fast and almost not skip a beat. Also must watch for air bombs and where reinforcement is needed, so you can guide the bulk of your army to the core.
2) They logic behind this strategy is to destroy a good portion of the 2 sides of the deployment zone just a second or so before your main army goes into the middle of the base. You don't destroy a portion, wait and then deploy the main force. The destruction on the 2 sides must be continuous with the destruction (or movement of main army) in the middle - just a second or so in advance. This achieves 2 effects, 1 is that the army in the center will always be attracted to the buildings in the middle, leading down to the core, since the buildings on the sides are always destroyed by the time the army in the middle seeks new targets. 2 is that your entire army is fighting together as well, though they are not dropped at the same time - this maximizes the survival time of your army as your army has maximum DPS and kills turrets and buildings as fast as possible.
3) Remember to lighting their CC archers or wizards if unlurable, when they come out and bunch together.
4) Must drop rage right in front of the DE storage or the discos. Do not drop too early, must drop just as your troops go into the rage zone, to maximize your army's impact and increase its survival time vs. discos.
5) So here is how to deploy: deploy 4 balloons on each side, and then follow immediately by about 8-10 minions. Use both hands, and multi-touch to drop them fast. Then drop CC in the center front and the remaining balloons (about 6 I believe), then drop like 15-20 minions to help clear the center front, then drop the dragon so he will head to the core. You can also drop dragon first then follow with minions. Then I usually drop the rage right in front of the DE storage or the infernos at this point, then pause about 1 second or 2 to see if your troops trigger any air bombs. If there seems to be no more air bombs, then release the remaining minions. If the sides are progressing/moving forward too slow, send more minions there first, then send more minions down the middle.
I just formulated this strategy about a week ago and I am still practicing it. I am getting better and better at it and I skip disco bases less now. There are about 50% of disco bases I can attack now, even if they have lv 3 discos. If both discos are lv 2+ and guard the DE heavily, then I would skip. If the discos are spread apart, even if lv 3, I would attack the base.
f) More Videos for the Sandwich Attack
Here is a video that shows my Dragloonion attack that can get the DE storage vs. disco infernos without using any spell if you deploy it right:
The sandwich attack works quite well on Anti Hog bases because it breaks the chain of defenses on both sides, then your main army will go to the core.
Here is another video for the Dragloonion army to counter disco infernos:
This video shows BK lv 34 with loonions (no dragon) tearing bases up in low Crystal, high Gold 1 with sandwich attack. If you manage the timing of deployment just right, it becomes a killer combo ￼