TH8 Hog Evolution — V to Surgical to TH9

 

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Editors Note: Don’t get our slang? Check out our dictionary HERE.

OVERVIEW

This article focuses on two flavors of Hog attacks at TH8:

  1. V
  2. Surgical

The goal, in looking at both at the same time, is that a TH8 clasher could see an evolutionary path for themselves at TH8.  Something simpler (V) to start with followed by a more complex style (Surgical) that taught them techniques that would actually enable them to be successful at TH9 as well (for both Hog and Lavaloon based attacks).

Sound interesting?   Let’s get to it.

ARMY COMPOSITION

The “V” and “Surgical” hog attacks are very similar at TH8.  However, there are some differences in the army compositions.  As a baseline, lets look at the mix for “V” style of hogging first.

mix-hog-v

In short, you kill the CC with a hog (or two) trigger that is poisoned in place once triggered.  Once that completes the CC is pulled to the edge where the attacker drops their CC full of 2 witches and a barb.  This, plus 2-3 flanking wizards, will make quick work of whatever is in the enemy CC.  Then Hogs are deployed with 3 heals in support followed by archers and barbarians to assist with cleanup.

The “Surgical” is slightly different:

mix-hog-surg2

You can see the CC kill team is similar.  Only notable difference is no poison and less wizards.  While this makes the CC harder it allows the poison to be used where you really need it — during the main attack to scrub skeletons off your hogs.  The hog team itself is also slightly smaller (2 less) to allow for 2 giants that act as shields for the hog teams on two of the deployment fronts.   Finally wizards, over barb/archers, are used in the cleanup team.

That said, while there are slight differences in the army mix between the two attacks, the real difference is in deployment style (discussed later).

 

KEYS BY PHASE

The “V” and “Surgical” hog attacks are similar but lets look at them one at a time to notate keys that attackers should consider for both, and then what is unique to each.

Both

  • TDCK – Distract —  Both attacks need to have good timing with their TDCK (trigger, drag, cluster, kill of CC).  The trigger is pretty simple at TH8.  Most bases can be triggered with just 1-2 hogs.  The skill is in the CC distract such that a few (3-4) wizards can take out the CC while they shoot at skeletons or barbs.  The biggest part of this is timing the CC drop so that the witches have time to spin up their skeletons.  Target dropping the CC when the enemy CC is about 10 tiles away.  If the skeletons get wiped drop a barb or two to take shots till the next wave spawns.  As always you want to do the CC kill out of the range of the base defenses.
  • Reserve — Both attacks leverage a reserve set of units that are played out at the end of the attack to clean up buildings furthest away from the remaining hog packs.  Think 5-8 slots here (so 2 wizards or a mix of archers/barbs).

Hog V

  • Hog Deploy Speed — The “Hog V” is all about brute force.  Getting more hogs on the field than the defense can deal w/.  So target getting your hogs down quick enough so that (1) the TDCK witches don’t die to base defenses and (2) that all your hogs are down in an even deployment along two fronts in maybe 2-3 seconds.
  • Heals — You will drop two early as the hogs from two sides enter the base (1 per front).   Then the last heal you hold a bit and play that to the backside of the base.
  • Attack Vector — Attack away from the K in the base if you can.  Less time for him beating on your hogs is always good.

Surgical Hogs

  • Multiple deployments — You are going to be deploying hogs in small teams of 3-4 hogs against specific defenses.  So if you don’t end up w/ 7-9 deployments … you probably need to work on it a bit.
  • Deployment Groups — So not only are you doing 7-9 deployments but you have an initial group of 4-5 teams … then you pause.  Basically you are waiting for the first hog teams to move into the base and begin to take fire from the backside defenses on the outside.  When they do you release the second deployment group (2-3 deployments in that) working off the distract of the first team.
  • Distract — You have two giants that are there to distract the defenses on the edge so your hogs can run in uninjured.  In addition, consider using your Barb King for the same purpose.  This should let your heals to happen deeper into the base.
  • Heals — Instead of two heals dropping by default as you see in “Hog V” the heals drop based on what is happening in the attack (which hog teams are still alive and massed).  Granted you still are watching the risk areas of the base (where giant bomb(s) could be) for heal and may pre-cast there regardless and/or around wizard towers.  In short, Surgical’s heal pattern is a lack of a pattern (unlike Hog V).  Its based on the the base.

 

ARMY COMPOSITION

The “V” and “Surgical” hog attacks are very similar at TH8.

Surgical Hogs

 

TOMATO/TOMOTO

  • JTJ Names:
    • Alias —
      • Hog V
      • Surgical Hog
    • Full Name (all phases)
      • cc21.TDCK, Hog V
      • cc21.TDCK, Surgical Hog
  • JTJ Name Breakdown (from full name):
    • cc21.TDCK — This tells you that the CC of the enemy will be Trigger, Dragged, Clustered, and Killed primarily by your cc full of 2 witches and 1 barbarian.
    • Hog — Tells you the core of the attack is hogs.
    • V — Tells you that the hogs will be deployed in a V pattern (2 line deploys at same time) usually w/ the CC team being at the tip of the V (to protect it).
    • Surgical Tells you that the hogs will be deployed ‘surgically’.  This means a couple of things.  One, you will deploy hogs in groups of 3-4 against specific defenses on the edge (6-9 groups in all).  Two you will use giants (2) and the Barbarian King as shields for the hogs on 3 of the fronts by dropping those units first.  Lastly the 6-9 hog deployments will be broken into two phases usually at minimum.  An opening set of 4-5 deployments followed by 2-4 other deployments after the first group reaches mid (and/or distracts the defenses the second groups are targeting).
  • Alias(es):
    • V alias(es) — Hog Line Deploy
    • Surgical alias(es) — ?
  • Variants:
    • V Variants –
      • Some will use the poison on the skeletons (not the CC)
    • Surgical Variants –
      • Some attackers will drop the giants and not try to distract the defenses on the edge before deployment.
      • Some may try to kill the CC w/ wizards with barbarians from camps acting as distract.  This enables them to get max hogs in CC.  Not sure it helps much though.

TARGET ATTACKER

  • NOT YOU
    • Clashers with TH8.1 Offense — If you haven’t maxed your hogs and heal spell yet — Do that.  At early stage TH8 you can three star similar bases (entry level) with the troops you had at TH7 (i.e. 105/813 Dragoon attacks). Our recommended upgrade path is here.
  • YES YOU
    • Clashers with TH8.5 or TH8.9 Offense — So you have hogs and your heal maxed.  If so, TH8.5+ clashers should start with the V deployment style and mix.  Once you get that down, switch to learning surgical.

UPGRADES REQUIRED

  • TROOP LEVEL(S): While this depends to some extent on the level base you are attacking, you generally will need –
    • Units
      • Hogs — Level 4
      • Giants — Level 5 (just need this for surgical)
    • Spells/Buildings
      • Heal — Level 5
      • Clan Castle at 25 Slots
    • Royals (King)
      • Not a big factor (used for distract for one hog team)

ONE TREE CRITERIA

JTJ is working on a decision tree of base attributes that leads you to the ‘recommended’ attack for that type of base. You can read about it more HERE. Summarized below is the logic (base attributes) that lead to using this type of attack. Note, tree logic changes all the time so you should ask on JTJU’s NATION for current logic if you try this attack based on what looks to be matching base but it fails.

  • Base Level – TH8
  • Tree Logic (Raw Form; as of 11/21/15) – Read questions in order (if you don’t agree w/ a question might not be a “Hog V” or “Surgical Hog” base):
    1. (TH9 Hitting Down) — OR — (TH7 Hitting Up)? (NO)
    2. [ {AD665 or lower?} — OR —
      { One AD Broadside 5 or less c2c?} — OR —
      {2 ADs exposed (easy snipes) } ] (NO)
    3. [ { Hog friendly? (No DGB or defusable AND CC Triggerable?)} — AND —
      { NOT Wall Weak — i.e. < 7 boxes & Pink Walls, 8+ boxes Gold Walls vs max TH8 PK } ] (YES)
    4. DGB Buried and can’t mitigate (need KH1 to drive to defuse)? (NO – Can Mitigate)
    5. 1 AD exposed to unsupported snipe (i.e. cc loon snipe w/ K distract) (YES)
    6. Are you proficient with surgical deployments and killing CC without poison?
      1. YES — cc21.TDCK, Surgical Hog
      2. NO — cc21.TDCK, Hog V

 

MUG SHOT OF TYPICAL “IDEAL” VICTIMS

Here are some sample bases that were three starred by this attack ….

base3

Pretty max base but notice how the DPS defenses are 1 hop accessible from edge (they would be the 1st defense targeted).  This helps the hogs get down what is hurting them faster.

base4

Spread base with many DGB risk areas BUT notice how, again, the DPS defenses while buried are the first defenses hogs will hit.  So just need to be extra careful to use distract via giants and Barb King prior to hog deployments on a given flank.   I would be nervous using “Hog V” on this base as there are so many DGB risk points.  Surgical breaks the hogs down into much smaller units which mitigates the risk (losing 3-4 hogs to a DGB position isn’t the end of an attack).  Hog V attacks tend to group more in mid (as they don’t have a backside like Surgical).

RISKS

  • Hog V
    • Buried DGB — Because the Hog V dumps all its drops on 1/2 of the base, if there is a DGB late in the pathing that is buried (i.e. middle of the base) it could spell doom.
    • Skeletons — If the Hog V triggers ground skeletons early and has to fight the Barb King could be too much over time.
    • Spread Bases — Because the Hog V has a lower number of deploy points, it will take longer to finish a spread base given skeletons and the enemy king more time to chew on them.
  • Surgical Hog
    • Buried DGB — This needs to be considered for any Hog attack.  With Surgical you can work around it (by having one of your small teams defuse and/or suicide into it) but you need to plan that ahead of time.

JTJU MATERIAL

OTHER REFERENCE MATERIAL

  • TBD

12 thoughts on “TH8 Hog Evolution — V to Surgical to TH9”

  1. The timing of poison is a red herring here and is more about the style of the individual attackers in the video rather than the actual strategy. Both attacks would benefit equally from saving poison for skeleton traps, which I think should always be done unless something goes wrong during the TDCK. I would say the same goes for the actual composition of the TDCK team itself as well; varying this may depend on the base but the hog deployment really makes no difference.

    I’d urge caution when using giants as a distract for hogs at TH8 for the simple reason that the health difference really isn’t as much as it is at TH9. Level 5 giants (which a TH8 attacker following the JTJ upgrade order won’t have for a very long time) have 670 HP compared to 415 HP for a level 4 hog rider (61% increase) – this might get you an extra 1-2 seconds before hogs get targeted. Meanwhile, the giant will do no DPS as it won’t ever reach the defence unless it’s outside the walls. At TH9 where the HP difference is 940 to 475 (98% increase), this can be a better choice. For a TH8 with level 4 giants, you only get 25% more HP from a giant.

    I’m also a fan of using a group of 4 hogs for the trigger. This allows you to actually take out one of the defences (so it’s an early hog team rather than just a sacrifice for the trigger) and live long enough to pull a lighter CC. You can also get some movement out of them after that defence falls to defuse a potential bomb/trap as well.

    Like

  2. Poison (and V deploy in general) are mentioned only as stepping stone on hog play. If you don’t have a consistent TDCK then using poison till you do could mitigate the problem. Similar to “V” simplifying deployment.

    Regarding giant. You can’t say giant doing no damage is an issue as if you swap the giant out for a hog — that same hog would die before doing DPS himself (one usually takes the heat). So someone is going to die prior to hog hammers falling — might as well be a giant versus 1-2 hogs. Do that three times in an attack (2 Giants, 1 King) you have netted back somewhere between 3-6 hogs.

    The trigger I could take or leave. For the baseline tactic of TH8 surgical I think its best to stay simple (trigger) as then the surgical teams can work together and leverage distract off each other — while a lone hog team of 4 cannot. There are exceptions to this but the goal of this is not to document the edge cases rather the 80-90% success path.

    Like

  3. Great post…curious when to go mass hog versus GoHog since the upgrade path is to get golems and hogs online ASAP. Is there a quick tell when scouting?

    Like

      1. Thanks…guess this threw me off “Dark Barracks (6 days + 7 days) – Your DB should have already been level 2 coming to TH8. You need 2 upgrades to get Golems which you will need to go with your Hogs. 13 days into TH8, you should have Golems. WORST CASE: We need you to have golems 22 days in to line up with your hogs”

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  4. Hey, I have two questions.
    1) Is the surgical deploy the best deploy for hogs?

    My base (max th8) was already 3-stared by someone who deployed all the hogs in the same place, which is strange, since a “one-finger drop” may be considered a bad deploy. The attacker sent all hogs away from the DGB, then, by the end of the attack, the hogs triggered the DGB but almost all defenses where down. This leads me to my second question:

    2) When do I have to worry about a DGB? Even when it’s buried, it may not be well-pathed. In my example, there was a DGB but it wasnt either buried or well-pathed.

    My layout is a variation of this: http://forum.supercell.net/showthread.php/191329-The-Tempest-A-TH8-Base-Design-(2-Formations)
    My layout: http://imgur.com/w3DU9pK
    The path the hogs did (if I remeber well): http://imgur.com/spTesVf

    Like

  5. Hey, I have two questions.
    1) Is the surgical deploy the best deploy for hogs?

    My base (max th8) was already 3-stared by someone who deployed all the hogs in the same place, which is strange, since a “one-finger drop” may be considered bad. The attacker sent all hogs away from the DGB, then, by the end of the attack, the hogs triggered the DGB but almost all defenses where down. This leads me to my second question:

    2) When do I have to worry about a DGB? Even when it’s buried, it may not be well-pathed. In my example, there was a DGB but it wasnt either buried or well-pathed.

    My layout is a variation of this: http://forum.supercell.net/showthread.php/191329-The-Tempest-A-TH8-Base-Design-(2-Formations)
    My layout: http://imgur.com/w3DU9pK
    The path the hogs did (if I remeber well): http://imgur.com/spTesVf

    Like

  6. Hey, I have two questions.
    1) Is the surgical deploy the best deploy for hogs?

    My base (max th8) was already 3-stared by someone who deployed all the hogs in the same place, which is strange, since a “one-finger drop” may be considered bad. The attacker sent all hogs away from the DGB, then, by the end of the attack, the hogs triggered the DGB but almost all defenses where down. This leads me to my second question:

    2) When do I have to worry about a DGB? Even when it’s buried, it may not be well-pathed. In my example, there was a DGB but it wasnt either buried or well-pathed.

    My layout is a variation of this: The Tempest A TH8 Base Design

    Like

    1. Probably the best way to get advice from the JTJU NATION (50+ clans that are affiliated w/ JTJU) is to use BAND. Details here –> https://jtjclan.wordpress.com/jtju-nation-band-app/

      That said, surgical is the best deploy as it is the way you will need to do it at TH9. TH8 allows more slop (depending on base). If its pathed, I would plan for DGB (suicide, defuse, etc.). That is the skill you need to learn.

      Tim (Wry)

      Like

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