A Definitive Guide to War Weight and Matchmaking
A Leader's Guide to Winning Wars, Recruiting & Clash Life
The Clash of Clans community has been growing in their need for information, guides and tutorials since the advent of the Clan War update (April 9th, 2014). However, one area that really has been lacking is the area of matchmaking. Many folks don't even know what the term 'War Weight' means, and, even more to the point, how to apply this information to their own clan to ensure a favorable war matchup. This guide seeks to be a comprehensive 'how-to' for clan leaders on three main areas of clan-life: war weight, recruitment, and upgrade schedule for current members. Let's begin!
What the heck is War Weight anyways? War Weight, simply put, is the evaluation that Clash of Clans has placed on each base as it relates to Clan Wars. The War Weight for any base is a figure that can easily be found each war.
How to Calculate War Weight
There are three ways to find War Weight. First, the tried and true method of 'counting' available gold. If you scout your war base, or any other base you care to calculate WW for, you simply need to check the available gold (or elixir) during war (not during prep--very important). This amount of gold is also visible during an attack on that base, and we will refer to this as the 'replay method.' Let me show you some screen captures to help illustrate each method:
War Weight During a Replay (live or otherwise)
Replay Method: Notice, the upper left of the image. The amount '43,000' is shown for the Available Loot. That is the player's 'War Weight.' That being said, there are some caveats with the Replay Method. First, the replay must be an attack from a town hall of equal level to display the war weight. So, if a town hall 9 is attacking a town hall 8, the war weight will show up differently (less available). Next, depending on your clan level and loot bonus, the war weight calculation may be altered as well. I haven't noticed any significant change to our available loot and we are currently a level 7 clan (see Battle Fresh).
Counting the Gold
Counting Method: If you are counting the available gold on war day (not prep day), you simply click on the gold storages and multiply by the amount of gold storages on the base (assuming they are all the same level gold storage) and also add the gold available from the Town Hall (always 1,000). So, if you have three equal level gold storages, check the gold and multiple that figure by three to get that players war weight. **Note: don't forget to add the gold in the Town Hall (1,000).** However, this method has a caveat also. If you have different level storages you need add up the different figures to find the war weight.
If the gold storages are different levels, add the totals up
Online War Weight Calculator: There is a third way to get your war weight, and it is as simple as filling out a form. The big caveat with this method is that it is based on some measures that have been deemed inaccurate by some, however the results do seem to weigh out closely to the observable methods I spoke about previously. You can find the form on this very site: click here.
Who cares about war weight?
Let me tell you something, everyone should care about war weight. It dictates clan war matchmaking and often times the difference between winning and losing wars. It defines how people should go about upgrading their bases and how best to get an upper hand with the order in how you go about your upgrades. Let me explain why.
Matchmaking: How to use War Weight to Your Advantage
So, now you know what war weight is and how to find out a players weight, now it's time to apply this information to matchmaking. This is a very important bit of information--basically trade secret stuff that can turn your war log from some kind of Christmas decoration (red & green) to a, well, St. Patrick's themed decoration (only green). That was really the best I could come up with. But, the point remains, war weight will help you understand the matchups you are getting and how to ensure that you get the most favorable ones moving forward.
First, matchmaking is determined by a clans total war weight; that's all the bases from your clan in the search and their respective weights added together. When you press the 'search' button you will be matched with clans with similar war weights. And, when I say similar, I mean clans within 50,000 of your clan's weight. That's why sometimes the matches take so long. I don't buy into the longer you wait the harder the matches will be line of thinking. It simply depends on how many clans with a weight in your range are searching at the time. Period. So, if you feel that your clan is being matched with clans far superior to yours on occasion, I am here to tell you that you are 100% wrong. That's right: you're wrong. The reason you are wrong, most of the time, is that you have players with very high defenses and bad heroes, troops, walls or all three. Basically, war weight is determined mostly on the defenses a base has and the levels of those defenses. That's why there is such a buzz about offense-heavy upgrade strategies such as TH8.5, 9.5, 7.5 and mini-maxes.
There are plenty of forum posts and Youtube videos that will give you similar and sometimes slightly different accounts of the why and what the point-five style upgrades are, but the simplest way to describe these upgrades are offense-prioritized upgrades. The intention of these upgrade variations is to put little to no additional defense weighting onto a base and upgrade the offense so that you can three star bases well above your war seeding. If an entire clan had point-five style bases, well, they wouldn't ever lose. For instance, the clan Faked Wargasm hasn't lost and they are hyper sensitive to war weight and rely on the TH8.5 strat for many of their bases.
Examples of Good & Bad War Weights
A good war weight for a clan is a base the emphasizes offense over defense on upgrades. A bad base, or what I call an 'upside down' base, is one that has great defenses and bad troops/heroes. Here are a few examples to help you understand the difference.
The Good War Weight Base:
An Example of War Weight Advantage
Notice the important details of this base: TH9, no xbows, essentially TH7 defenses leveled up to max for TH9, great walls. Basically, this player's war weight is about a max TH8s war weight (in the 50k range). Now, let's look at their profile.
What a Good Amazing War Weight Profile Looks Like
Notice the troop levels of this profile: Lvl 20 or better heroes, almost maxed out troops, and great spells. Do you think this player could handle who they draw in a war--a max TH8? I think so too. Check out the MINI MAX SAVAGE lvl 9 clan to see some of the most amazing bases regarding war weight and matchmaking on the planet. Now, let's look at the opposite end of the spectrum for war weight.
Upside Down Base:
What I Call a Matchmaking Nightmare--in a Bad Way
Notice the details of this base: max infernos (the highest war weighted item in the game), max xbows (the second highest weighted items in the game), low air defense, probably low teslas, low wizard towers, cannons and archer towers. This base is a mess and it probably carries a war weight in the mid 80,000 range. Compare that with a max TH9 which is 75,000. This base most likely draws solid, unrushed TH10s with lvl 1 infernos. In other words, advantage--other clan. Let's look at this poor guys profile (sorry, no disrespect APOCALYPSE, I am sure you didn't know anything about war weight and your intentions were pure as the driven snow).
The News Only Gets Worse
Notice the details in the profile: low heroes, low troops (minus the max drags, hogs, loons and witches), very low spells. In short, this guy will have trouble three-starring TH9s and will be matched with a mid-range TH10 simply based on his infernos and xbows. These types of profiles are catastrophic to clans, but these examples, both good and bad, that I just shared are on the far end of the weighting spectrum. Let's go to school on the common cause of clan war losing streaks.
The Difficulty with Clan Wars
Have you ever gotten many so-called 'bad matchups' in succession? Guess what, it's not Supercell's vendictive nature causing these nasty matchups to occur, it's the nature of your clan. Typically, what I see most often, are clans heavy with TH9s that have level 3 xbows and low level heroes (level 15 or lower). This is basically clan war suicide. If you have level three bows you are saying to Supercell 'I can three all TH9s, bring 'em on!' Many clans emphasize defense upgrades for their members and this is, by far, the biggest mistake they could ever make. As a clan leader, you should be emphasizing the lowest impactors on war weight--WTH. No, that doesn't stand for 'What the H---', it is a carefully organized acronym that stands for Walls Troops Heroes. These are the upgrades your clan should focus on--not defenses--if you want to win wars and get favorable matches. Mind blown? If you don't trust me, watch the war weight figure we talked about earlier as you upgrade your WTH--it won't move! Well, not very much and most of the time not at all. Most single troop upgrades, from my observation and from those of the clash community, do not impact your war weight in the slightest. Neither do your heroes or walls. Meaning, it takes a few upgrades to see a difference in your observable WW. A few walls, a leveled up Golem, or single upgrades like these are often times not large enough to see your WW jump. That's why these are the best ones to place your focus.
My TH9 is nearly maxed, and when I say nearly, the only thing remaining to upgrade are my heroes (lvl 25 Bk and lvl 26 Aq at the time I am writing this--clan Battle Fresh, acct big joe) and my war weight is 74,000. Basically, any TH9 with decent defenses and lvl 3 xbows is in the 70s (or high 60s), however, many decide to make the jump prematurely to TH10--why? What is the return on investment? Higher war weight (assuming they get infernos and extra defenses) and harder opponents (see the phrase 'bad idea'). So, what can be learned here? Don't get lvl 3 xbows or make a premature jump in TH levels...unless you are going to do an intentional offense emphasized account. That's not really enough to go on.
Here's my recommended list of when and what to upgrade in the all important TH9: click here.
So, what should I be thinking about when recruiting for my clan or how to improve a currently losing clan? Let's figure it out.
Recruiting and Getting Rid of the Upside Down Bases
So, if you are on a losing streak, or have had a tough run recently of inconsistent wars, you need to find out why and fix it. Most people are in clans with friends or family, so for you, I would suggest you find those with upside down bases (those with over emphasized defense and bad offense) and tell them the current situation of their base. Then, politely, ask them to sit out of wars until their base is fixed (WTH, Walls Troops Heroes). Many folks take offense personally to being asked this, which I cannot understand for the life of me, but, trust me when I say, this is for their benefit and the benefit of your entire clan. It will make them a more well rounded player and your clan will benefit from taking them out of the war. Do this for all upside down bases and you will instantly see a difference in matchmaking. If you aren't in a clan with friends and family--just kick the offenders if you are that type of leader and replace them with someone that reflects a proper war weight moving forward. If you yourself are the problem...sit out.
Recruiting is simple. Since you now know what to look for in a player, simply recruit those that reflect good war weight. Typically a good recruitment strategy is to recruit mid-to-max TH8s and encourage them as they make the jump to TH9, to go TH8.5. If a player goes TH9 and immediately gets xbows they are pretty much dead to me as far as a recruit goes. So, recruit TH8s, educate them on war weight, sing to them the praises of TH8.5 and begin to reap the rewards of a properly weighted clan.
This stuff is all pretty cut and dry and obvious, where are the insider tips? Let me show you...
The Advanced Stuff
So, now you know all about war weight. You know how matches are made. You know what upside down bases are and what a good war weighted player looks like. What next? How to apply this in real terms? So, my method for searching and matchmaking is this, I have the typical mid-range clan. A few TH10s, many TH9s and TH8s. I have two absolutely max TH10s, 10 near max (defensively) TH9s, a few mid-range TH9s and 5 or so TH8.5s. Specifically, this is the breakdown, I have a few max TH8s, a couple mid-range TH8s and 4 TH7.5s and one mini-max (complete offense, no d--war weight = 21k with max loons). My magic number is a 1:2 ratio of TH8.5s to max TH9s (those with lvl 3xbows). That means if I have 3 TH8.5s in my war, I can afford 6 max Th9s. I hope that isn't too complicated. Once I have that balance, the matches are typically overwhelmingly in our favor.
Point Fives and Mini-Maxes
TH8.5s, if you can get them, should go as long as possible before getting xbows (if ever) and work only WTH--and a fourth air defense. TH7.5s should only get the third air defense and no additional defenses and work only WTH. If you can get your TH7.5s to go along with it, they should go to TH9 after maxing all WTH at TH8 without getting additional defenses and become a mini-max. A mini-max is basically a base that has skipped more than two levels of TH without getting additional defenses or increasing their war weight significantly. I plan on doing this for a couple of my micros and we are presently encouraging this for those in our clan with minis. It's completely counter-intuitive but it works unquestionably.
Well, there you have it. Let me know if this information was useful to you and your results with what you have learned as a clan leader. If you feel so inclined, you may contact me to visit your clan to give you some consulting. Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions, concerns or additional information that may be of use. I am thinking of adding a donation button so folks can thank me in the way that allows me to feed my mini-maxes. Best wishes to all.
~ big joe
Leader Battle Fresh
If This Helped You Win a War--Drop a Dollar in My Jar