Town Hall 9 – What to upgrade next? What to upgrade first?

Hey guys it’s Ash and this is going to be my tutorial on what to prioritize upgrading as a Town Hall 9 player. This tutorial is for Town Hall 8 players who are planning to go to TH9 and would like to know what to prioritize upgrading first. And for Town Hall 9 players who would like to know what to upgrade next and what is more important to upgrade and what’s less important.

So I’ll simplify things in this tutorial so you know exactly what to prioritize.

Town Hall 9 – What to upgrade next? What to upgrade first?
In-depth Guide

At first, Get the Archer Queen!

If you’re a TH8 and you’re planning on going to TH9, then there are certains you need to do first. First, make sure your Dark Elixir Storage is level 4 and is filled with at least 62,500 Dark Elixir. Why 62,500 Dark Elixir? Well when you upgrade to Town Hall 9 you get the opportunity of getting the best unit in the game, the Archer Queen! She will cost you 40,000 Dark Elixir to get instantly, but at level 1. And a level 1 Archer Queen is nothing without her ability. So because she is the best unit in the game, she deserves to be at the top of your priority list. To upgrade her to level 2, you must have 22,500 Dark Elixir. That is why you must have at least 62,500 Dark Elixir ready before you hit TH9.

Secondly, Upgrade the Laboratory to Level 7

It is extremely important that you have also have a builder ready to upgrade the Lab immediately when you upgrade to TH9. This is because you really don’t want to delay your troop lab upgrades. It takes months to complete all your TH9 lab upgrades. Now before you upgrade the lab, you should start a troop upgrade. It takes 5 days for your Lab to complete its upgrade. So if you have a troop that still needs to be upgraded, it’s a good idea to start that upgrade in your lab and then upgrade the laboratory.

Clash of Clans Laboratory

A smart idea is plan ahead of time. For example, TH9 requires 10 days to upgrade, and a Golem takes 10 days to upgrade to level 2. So if you are planning on upgrading to TH9, make sure to upgrade it when your previous lab upgrade finishes in 5 days. For example, if your Pekka upgrade finishes in 5 days, then that’s when you should start to upgrade your Town Hall. Because 5 days later, you can start your Golem upgrade, and then 5 more days later you’ll be a TH9. There will be 5 days remaining in your laboratory, so you start your laboratory upgrade to level 7, which will take 5 days. So once your laboratory has completed the upgrade, your Golem’s upgrade will also complete at the same time! And without delay you can start your most important troops upgrade first.

If you’re looking for a list of lab upgrade priorities, I will have another video for that as there are a lot of factors involved for that which will depend on the type of player you are. For example, If you’re someone focused on wars, or if you’re someone who’s more focused on farming. It depends. So I will have another tutorial for that.

Next, Spell Factory to Lv4 and Dark Spell Factory to Lv3

Like your Laboratory, you also don’t want to delay your Spell Factory upgrade. It will take 5 days to complete your Spell Factory upgrade to level 4. In those 5 days, you won’t be able to use any Spells, which is a huge set back. Upgrading the factory will not only get you Jump Spell, but will also get you an extra slot, which is extremely important.

Then, Clan Castle to Lv5

I know a lot of people prioritize Army Camps over the Clan Castle, but the extra space in your Clan Castle is extremely important. An Army Camp upgrade gets you 5 extra camp space. While a Clan Castle upgrade also gets you 5 more space, but there’s a big difference. The Clan Castle can also be used for defense. Not only that, a level 5 Clan Castle allows you to carry a Lava Hound or Golem, which are very important for wars. The Clan Castle is just overall better than 1 Army Camp.

Army Camps to Lv7

Right after Clan Castle, we have the Army Camps. Upgrading all 4 of them will get you 20 more housing space units for troops. Which is a very big and essential upgrade.

Dark Elixir Drills to Lv6

At Town Hall 9, you’re able to upgrade your level 3 drills all the way to level 6, which is a huge upgrade. Lv 6 Drills produce tons of Dark Elixir per day. 2 level 6 Drills will make you 4800 Dark Elixir in total per day. Which is equivalent to about 140,000 Dark Elixir in a month. So definitely get your drills to level 6 immediately.

Upgrading Dark Elixir Drill

Continue Upgrading the Archer Queen

Getting the Archer Queen is of course your biggest priority. But you must continue to upgrade her because a level 2 Archer Queen is still pretty much the same as a level 1 Archer Queen.  You main focus is the ability levels. She gets level 1 Royal Cloak ability at level 5, so you want to get that immediately.

Upgrade the Barbarian King

Right after the Archer Queen, the Barbarian King is next on the list. He’s not as good as the Archer Queen in many respect, just because the Archer Queen is just overall better at farming with her ability to shield herself better against defenses. If possible however, you should upgrade both heroes at once. That would be the fastest way to get them at a high level. However, most people are unable to keep both heroes on upgrade, so if you’re alternating upgrading both heroes then I suggest prioritizing the Archer Queen first, and by every 5 levels. For example, get your Archer Queen immediately to level 10. If both your heroes are level 10, then get your Archer Queen to level 15 first, then get your King to level 15. Then Queen to 20, then King to 20, and so on.

Barracks and Dark Barracks

Make sure all your Barracks are maxed out as soon as possible

Any remaining non-defensive structures, such as storages.

That concludes the first 10 important upgrades. As you can see, none of them are defenses. Why? Because your offense is more important than defense. You’ll make more resources from farming with better offense and faster. You’ll also perform better in wars with better offense.

Leveling up your defenses doesn’t mean that you’ll perform better in defense during wars. The stronger your defenses are. the higher you war weight becomes. Which means you’ll be paired up against tougher players in wars.

X-Bows (Optional) to Lv3

Now for defenses, the most important defense are the X-bows. I know a lot of people think that X-bows are overrated. And they are both right and wrong. X-bows are overrated in the sense that they aren’t going to make a huge difference in defense like Inferno Towers. While X-bows are very similar to Archer Towers as both defenses have around the same attack range when targeting ground and air, and are both rapid firing point defenses. However, the X-bow is still the best defense for a TH9 because of it’s high HP. A lv3 X-bow has 2300 HP while a lv11 Archer Tower only has 890. Why is this such a big thing? Because this will allow you to strengthen your core much better. While the X-Bow is also the best defense against the best unit in the game. The X-Bows is the best defense against the Archer Queen because not only does the X-Bow do a lot of damage to the Archer Queen, it forces her to use her ability quickly and waste ability as a level 20 Archer Queen can requires 4 hits with her Royal Cloak ability to take out an X-Bow , which is pretty much the same as how long her ability lasts.

Now I have listed X-Bows as optional because it will significantly increase your weight in wars. So if you would like not to increase your war weight and possibly be paired up against TH8s in wars, then you may either to choose avoid building Xbows or build them last when your offense is ready to 3 star opposing TH9s.

Archer Tower to level 7

At TH9 you are given another Archer Tower. Don’t leave it at level 1, but upgrade them to level 7 as it will still be able increase the overall strength of your base. Defenses get the biggest increase in DPS at lower levels.

Skeleton Traps to level 3

Skeleton Traps are an excellent defense as they can distract the Archer Queen or Barbarian King while your core defenses quickly take them out. They can also be set to air, as they are very deadly on air as they feed off of Balloons like parasites, while the Balloons have no way to retaliate. These traps don’t take long to get to lv3, only takes a day’s worth of upgrade and they make a very big difference in raids. So it’s definitely worth it to get them to lv3 immediately.

Seeking Air Mines to level 2

You must be wondering why I have these traps listed above defenses. Well it’s simple, a Seeking Air Mine is very important in weakening a Lava Hound. It only takes 1 day to upgrade a Seeking Air Mine to level 2. While it gets a 300 damage increase, which is a 20% damage increase. Which is actually huge. That’s equivalent to 8 hits by a lv11 Archer Tower in 4 seconds.

Seeking Air Mine and Air Bomb

Red Air Bombs to level4

A level 4 Air Bomb does 173 damage, but most importantly it does splash damage. Lv6 Balloons have 545 HP. Which means that if it lands on a group of 5 lv6 Balloons, then it will not only deal about 32% damage, but also do a total of 865 damage, which is HUGE. Proper placement of your air bombs can make a very big impact in your defenses. Make sure to keep your Red Air Bombs away from your Air Defenses because you don’t want Lava Hounds triggering them. A Red Air Bomb only does about 3% damage to a Lava Hound, which is practically nothing. While the biggest reason Air Bombs are ranked this high is not just because of how good they are, but also because it only takes 1 day to upgrade a Air Bomb to level 4 from level 3.

Hidden Teslas to level 7

The reason why I have Hidden Teslas this high is because of many reasons. Hidden Teslas only occupy a 2×2 area, which means the total area they occupy is 4 square tiles. While a defense such as an Archer Tower occupies more than double, 9 square tile area. Why is this important? This is very important because this allows for Teslas to fit just about anywhere in your base. 2 Teslas occupy a total of 8 square tiles, which is still less than an Archer Tower or Xbow. While your core can be improved a lot on defense just by adding Teslas to it, which is very easy to do without having to use up so much space. Not only that, Hidden Teslas can sometimes be unpredictable, as they are hidden. They also fire rapidly, and are excellent for taking out heroes and tanks, especially P.E.K.K.As. But the best thing about Teslas is their power. Lv7 Teslas are your strongest point defense at TH9. It does 87 damage per second, while a Lv3 Xbow only does 75. So I like to think of Teslas as underrated in that sense, because 2 of them occupy less area than an Xbow, while both of them together do way more damage than 1 Xbow.

Hidden Tesla Clash of Clans

Wizard Towers to level 7

Many people believe that Wizard Towers are overrated, but in fact Wizard Towers are very underrated. For farming, your Wizard Tower is very important for stopping common attacks such as Barch, BAM, and GiBarch. While in wars, they are also extremely important. A Lavaloon attack is among one of the deadliest attacks for a TH9. Other than your Clan Castle troops and Archer Queen, your best defense against Lavaloon is not your Air Defenses, but your Wizard Towers. Simply placing your Wizard Towers away from the range of Air Defense will significantly strengthen your base against a Lavaloon attack as this will prevent Lava Hounds from distracting your Wizard Towers. So if a level 7 Wizard Tower attacks a group of 5 Balloons for instance, its splash will do a total of 200 damage per second, which is incredible.

Air Defenses to level 7

When you were a TH8 player, Air Defenses were very important for you to stop maass Dragons. But as a TH9 now, Air Defenses aren’t as important as they will be blocked by Lava Hounds and a mass Dragon attack won’t be as common anymore. But they are still a very important defense as it is still important to quickly remove Lava Hounds before Balloons do damage to your base. That is another reason why Wizard Towers are ranked higher, as Wizard Towers can be placed away from Air Defenses to deal damage to Balloons and not be distracted by Lava Hounds.

Mortars to level 7

Mortars are very important to have at level 7 because unlike a Lv6 Mortar, a Lv7 Mortar can take out Lv7 Archers in 1 shot, which is very important for defending against TH10s. Not only that, a level 7 Mortar will also be able to kill lv2 Witches in 2 shots as opposed to a lv6 Mortar that requires 3 shots. It can also kill a level 5 Wizard in 3 shots as opposed to a level 6 Mortar that requires 4. Level 7 Mortars are very important for many situations.

Archer Towers to lv11

I like to think of Archer Towers as a hybrid of X-bows and Teslas. It’s a rapid firing defense like both a Tesla and Xbow. Unlike a Tesla, Archer Towers occupy 3×3 tile space like Xbows. While Archer Towers have a 10 tile range, which is close to an Xbow on ground and air that has a 11 tile range, but unlike Xbows, Archer Towers have very low HP like a Tesla. Archer Towers are rarely placed in a TH9’s core because it occupies too much space, while Teslas occupy less and Xbows are overall better. And defenses in your core should always take priority over defenses on the outsides of a base. Thus, Archer Towers are ranked low.

Air Sweepers to level 5

Air Sweepers are actually a very important defense. They slow down Balloons and they do have a very big impact on Balloons when at level 5. Like I mentioned, Lavaloon is a very deadly attack, and Air Sweepers do help deter them, especially now since you have 2 of them to protect a large portion of your base and force air attackers to attack you in certain directions. However, they are a liability against Ground attacks, so they aren’t as valuable as the above defenses.

Cannons to level 11

Cannons are not useless, but they are simply the worst defenses in game. They only have a 9 tile range. They shoot twice as slow as an Archer Tower. They are unable to target air troops. All of this make Cannons the worst defense and so they are ranked the lowest. However, the great thing about Cannons are, they don’t take too long to upgrade and they still do a decent job against tanks. But still, they should always be at the bottom of your priority list.

Giant Bombs to level 3

Not much to say about Giant Bombs. You only get a 25 damage increase from level 3 to level 4. Not really much of an increase as a level 2 Giant Bomb will still be able to knock out all tier 1 troops and Wizards and Witches. And 2 of them together will be able to take out Hog Riders. So there isn’t much of an incentive to quickly get them to level 3.


The last thing on your list should be Walls. Now this does NOT mean that you should upgrade your walls last. I repeat, it does NOT mean that walls should be upgraded last. Walls require no time to upgrade, they only cost resources. What this means is that all of your excess Gold or Elixir should be used to upgrade your walls when you have a Builder freed. You can still farm for level 9 walls as long as you keep your builders busy. When I was a TH9 on my main account, this is what I did. I never kept a builder idle, I kept my builders busy upgrading the aforementioned buildings, and when I had a builder free, I used the extra resource to upgrade walls and the rest to keep the builder busy upgrading. I finished my level 9 walls in 2 months this way without keeping a builder idle and without using any gems.

Lava Walls Clash of Clans


That should cover everything. Remember, your main goal is to keep all your builders busy upgrading. But say I started my X-bows upgrade recently and I don’t have enough Gold to upgrade a Tesla. Do I wait until I have enough Gold? No you should not wait because you’re leaving a builder idle. In this case, you should instead use whatever resource you have on the next closest defense of significance in this priority list.

Hopefully this tutorial helped. If you liked it be sure to give this video a thumbs up and also be sure that you subscribe. I’ll see you guys again soon. Later.


  1. When I first reached TH9, I started upgrading my laboratory,spell factory,dark barrack,clan castle at the same time plus the queen first. Now my lab,spell has finished and looking to upgrade d.e storage and army camps.
    How about storage? The new storage, but I don’t want to be seen as full TH9, trying to be TH8.5 though.

  2. Interesting, top of list are basically no brainers, never really thought of air mines and skeleton traps as being a priority,,, but article makes some valid points for them,,

    I’m a new th 9 I did the usual queen (lvl 4 already ☺) lab sf xbows dark barracks cc new defenses,, 2 camps so far,, doing new storages as I go,,, wiz tower to th 8 lvl is 1 builders only job, new arch tower along the way,,, next I’ll get 2 other camps and drills going… I’ll start picking away at new defenses but I just might do a few of the ones pointed out here first though.

    Another great article and website cheers

  3. IMO you should lower the priority of mortars. They are only good at fending off barchers. In wars they are next to useless since at TH9 any ground attack consists of golems. If you are getting hit with golems and your mortars are hitting witches and wizards that is a fail on the attackers part. Typically the mortars will be hitting the golems, and with their low DPS they arent a big threat to golems.

  4. Here’s what i have for my base

    Sequence:1.) Archer Queen
    2.) Laboratory
    3.) Spell Factory
    4.) Clan Castle
    5) Army Camps
    6.) Storage(s)
    7.) Have all New Defenses Maxed out to th8
    8.) Xbow up to lvl3
    9.) Tesla
    10.) Wiz Tower
    11.) Mortar
    12.) Dark spell Factory
    13.) Archer Towers
    14.) Canons
    15.) Air Sweeper
    16.) Bombs, Air mines, Air Bombs and Skeleton Traps

    Note: while upgrading these structures, you’ll have enough time to max out your storage, use the remaining Gold / Elixir to max out your Walls.
    Currently i’m almost done maxing out my defenses, 2 cannons and 2 air sweepers left, after that I’ll upgrade my traps and I have fully upgraded my walls all to level9, now I’m focusing to have them to level10. It’s up to you to decide when to upgrade your Archer Queen and BK, the sooner the better at least have them to lvl10 then work your way up to max them out.

  5. I’m real new to TH9 and new to your site. As it turns out I have been following your priority build list (mostly) I have 5 builders. 4 are building 2 xbows, laboratory, and an army camp (oops). I like keeping one free for walls and quick upgrades. My question is, should I keep my 5th builder freed up, using him as I do, or put him working harder?

  6. Archer towers shoot twice as fast as a cannon, but each projectile is only half its damage per second value. This makes cannons better for taking out low hp troops like skeletons, archers, and wbs. I would include that you should keep the cannons for last in case you don’t have enough gold to upgrade a more important defense since they are generally the lowest cost to upgrade in time and gold.

    • Actually, an Archer Tower shoots twice a second while a cannon shoots once every 0.8 seconds. Cannons are nice because some troops they can 1 shot while sometimes an Archer Tower almost kills it with 1 shot and it just has a sliver of health left, so then the Archer Tower has to waste a lot of damage. For example, say the unit they are targeting has 35 health and the Archer Tower does 30 damage per shot. That means that the second shot will waste 25 damage, while a cannon could kill them in 1 shot and overall kill them in less time.

  7. Alright, so I can loot with BAM and get 3 mil easy both gold and elixer. It’s getting past that to get anything upgraded I struggle because I get raided and lose about 3-400k on both elixer and gold and about 2k in de. I have the extra defenses but no xbow (don’t want the war weight till my troops are upgraded). Is there a best way to not lose as much or get raided so easily? Or just keep struggling to get to each upgrade? Debating on just putting in xbows because after the update I’m still matching up with lower th9 in wars and before update j was matching up with th8.

    • I was a fresh th9 when the updated hit me in the face and I can tell you something: forgot about your weight in war, they anyway will match you against a mid (or even high) th9, the best thing I did was getting both xbows. Also you could try another army and trying getting to the core … if you still cant save resources, try changing your base. if not just upgrade your walls so you dont lose your resources

  8. Hi Will, I used your TH8 upgrade guide, and it served me well. I’m now 15 hours away from TH9, and plan on using this one.

    The only TH8 upgrades that are not complete are Minion and Valk, I don’t ever use them, so I went ahead. My hog level 4 will be done in a half hour, and last air sweeper in 9 hours. I’m full of all resources except Dark Elixer, and I plan on a few more raids before the upgrade is complete to fill that up. I’m at 72k DE, so Archer Queen, and an upgrade to level 2 will start right away.

    Thanks again for the great strategy, and happy raiding!

  9. I also agree that xbows are both overrated and underrated. But I will focus more on why xbows are underrated.

    Underrated points:
    But what you didn’t mention is that xbows fire much faster than archer tower. More speed = less waste damage. In fact, this makes xbows reliable defense against witches because they can kill skeletons so fast that witches won’t be able to raise more in time. This also makes them great against (gi)barch armies.

    Also, xbows have a range of 11 tiles as opposed to 10 of archers. Now that doesn’t seem much but remember that circles increase proportional to the square of radius. That means xbows (air and ground) can cover 21% more area than an archer tower and xbows (ground) can cover a whopping 142% more area than a cannon.

    Ironically, the simple fact that xbows are overrated makes it in turn underrated, at least in terms of deterrent. Anyone that have troops lower than mid th9 (giants and war troops not yet maxed) will think twice before attacking you. Th8 won’t even attack you unless they have war troops.

    It is an (two) additional defense(s) when all things are said and done. Obviously, more defenses are better than no extra defense at all. If th8.5 doesn’t work out for you (you still keep on getting at least mid th9 that can 3 star you as mirrors or you’re pushing trophies for some reason or you keep getting looted) getting that xbow will be better.

    P.S. I still think th8.5 is better :P.

  10. Hello Will,

    First of all, I’d like to say that I’ve been playing COC for 8 months now, and your site has been extremely helpful in getting me through th7 and th8. I wish I would have found it sooner! I look forward to learning new tips, tricks, and strategies for th9 from your site. Thank you so much for all your hard work!

    I have been at th9 for just a little over 3 weeks now, and so far I have upgraded my lab, clan castle, both spell factories, both dark barracks to level 5, max all 4 army camps, new walls to level 7, got the 2nd air sweeper (currently level 1), both xbows, new giant bomb to level 3, dark elixir drills to level 4, new archer tower to level 9, new air defense to level 4, new tesla is currently going to level 3, new wizard tower to level 4, new gold storage is at level 7, new elixir storage is at level 9, and most importantly, my queen will be level 6 in a few more hours. (My king is currently level 10, so I am trying to focus on leveling her up.)

    For lab upgrades, so far, I have maxed loons, level 6 giants, and I am currently upgrading jump spell to level 2.

    I have 2 questions that I am hoping you can help me with.

    1st: I am currently in the process of upgrading one of my xbows to level 2. It will be done in a little less than a day and a half, but after reading some of the comments here, I am not sure that I made the right decision based on the fact that my queen is still low level, new defenses are not at th8 level yet, and I’ve only upgraded 3 things in the lab so far.

    Should I cancel this upgrade?

    Our clan currently has 2 rushed th10’s that have the xbows (level 1) and inferno towers (one of them has 1 of their infernos upgraded to level 2), and a rushed th9 who also has xbows, and when our 10’s are put in wars we end up with a mismatched war with near maxed th9’s, so I am not sure how much more upgrading my xbows to level 2 will affect our war weight. (I am currently opted out for a while, while I work on upgrading my offenses and queen).

    2nd question:

    In your opinion, when is the best time to max my hogs? Before or after I get my queen to level 10?

    Thanks for reading! Have a great day

  11. hi
    i am at th8 and working on my walls .everything else its finished
    i was surfing the net for tips for th9 upgrades hence i discovered your site , which i find very helpful and i will give it a try.
    Up to now i was going according to cost from the lowest upward and i see now that it was the wrong way to go.
    shall i finish all my walls and then upgrade to level 9 my th?

  12. Love your guides Will / Ash!
    So I am a mediocre-fresh TH 9. My clan does not do War that much, so instead of saving up for a CC level 5, I bought an X-Bow.

    Was that a good decision to make? I am starting to think not.

  13. Cool stuff. Just for my understanding I have upgraded all my components as TH8 player is it a good advice to move into TH9 with half upgraded walls ?? And around 20K dark elixir ??

    To be honest I’m thinking of upgrading my TH and then collect more loots while it is still on process.

    What do you recommend ?

  14. Hi, Just a heads up!!
    Troops no longer upgrade when laboratory is upgrading.
    I had put Rage spell (level 5) which takes 7 days to upgrade in the laboratory two days before my town hall was gonna complete upgrade to th9. As soon as i upgraded to th9, i started upgrading my laboratory which takes 5 days, so by the time my laboratory upgrades so does the rage spell. But i was left shocked to discover that the rage spell upgrade wasn’t completed and still had 4 days + upgrade time left.

  15. Hey will,
    I do not participate in wars, so should i build my X-bows or still have to follow the above guide?
    people say “having a weak defense is better than no defense”.
    Please advise.

    as of now my 5 builders are busy with lab,spell factory,clan castle,army camp and 1 x-bow.

    already upgraded AQ at level 2.

    as of now farming with GIBARCH + Heros without spells with average loot of 2.5 lakh gold + 2.5 lakh elixir.

    when i put above buildings at upgrade, my storage got full within 3 days, and as of now waiting for builders to be free. [will be free after 5 hours]

    Request you to advise the upgrade priority according to my farming speed and some tips as well.


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