Ensuring that you have fully optimized your castle for defense in every way is the only way that you can hope to survive in Iron Throne. We will help you decide what is the best defense gear to use in Iron Throne, and will also go into great depth on what troops to build and WHY to build those troops. In order to figure this out, we set up a series of tests using one of the strongest accounts in Iron Throne. There are not many accounts that will hit harder than this one – which makes it perfect for our testing.
Best Defense Troops
UPDATED FOR PATCH 3.1
Note : These tests were done using TIER 2, however the math BEHIND THEM still stands for gear types.
The first and most obvious thing that we want to figure out is fairly simple – which troops should we be using to defend? With the addition of massive additional damage to Tier 1 and Tier 2 from the new gear sets, we are now focusing on building a Tier 3 Meat Shield. We will get more into this on our explanation of our next round of testing, but for now just trust us (math is coming), Tier 3 is the best meat shield to use.
But, which Tier 3 should you build? Should you build all one type troop and just hope that you win Paper/Rock/Scissors? To be blunt, this is not a bad plan – some attackers hit extremely hard. The easiest way to beat the strongest attackers is by making sure they are taking the Troop Affinity Penalty provided by the basic combat wheel (Infantry weak to Archer, Archer weak to Cav, Cav weak to Infantry). However, this is not a realistic option for most people – nor do we recommend it. This leaves you extremely vulnerable to taking a hit from the “wrong type” of troop – which will utterly decimate you.
How do we combat this? This is where the testing came in.
Combat Testing – Troop Types
Test Setup :
- We did these tests in the form of tile wars in order to reduce the troop loss suffered. In order to “simulate” a real combat situation, we kept our ratios around where very large players are playing at. For the purpose of these tests, assume that each 1,000 troops is equivalent to 1,000. As long as those ratios remain static, we will have a very good idea as to how it will act on your Castle.
- Attacker : The attacker sent 1,000 Tier 4 Archers with every hit. As one of the strongest accounts in the game, this is usually enough to burn most players. This is roughly equivalent to a 1,000,000 troop solo for these tests.
- Defender : The defender started out in Guardian (+45) – the +45 is the total number of enhancements on the gear. As the weapon and secondary weapon are the most important due to the attack debuff, those were each +10. The rest of the enhancements were spread through the set.
- Defender Troop Count : As the tests continued, the defender started (slowly) swapping gear and changing troop counts. For these tests, the defender was using 60,000 Tier 2 – which for this test is the equivalent of 60,000,000 Tier 2.
These are the results from our various tile tests. Let’s dig deeper into the numbers and figure out exactlywhat this shows us.
Hit 1 – Full Guardian Gear, Mixed Troops
For hit one, we used an even mix of the three “standard” troop types. Even Infantry, Archers, and Cavalry. As expected, the Infantry took the vast majority of the damage. This is due to the Troop Leverage stat, which causes the “wheel of combat” to function. There is also additional Leverage in the end of the Troop Training tree, which the attacker has. This is what we have to figure out how to fix, and is the reason that building a single type castle results in paper rock scissors.
Hit 2 – Full Guardian Gear, Mixed Troops – Add Siege
For hit two, the defender used the same total number of troops, but adjusted each type. Adding siege into the mix resulted in LESS LOSSES, because it does not leave the attacker with so many leveraged troops to smash.
At this point, we have concluded that adding siege results in LESS LOSSES because of Troop Leverage. This means that we now need to focus on whatever we can do to get our Siege stats up. There is no siege gear in the game at this point, so we must turn to the Dark Lord Set. This is, obviously, quite difficult to obtain. But we need to find out if Dark Lord is better than Guardian for defending.
Best Defense Gear
For the next few hits, we continuously adjust gear while keeping troop count and spread static. This shows us which gear will result in less losses for us – and, ultimately, what is the absolute best defense gear in Iron Throne. These are the tests that trap accounts want to pay attention to, as they show the best trap gear in Iron Throne as well.
Hit 3 – Replace Level 6 Guardian Helm with Level 4 Dark Power Helm
In Hit 3, we replace the Immortal Guardian Helm with a Level 4 Dark Power Helm. We retain the Guardian set bonus when doing this because ANY FIVE PIECES OF THE SET provide the bonus – even if it doesn’t light up and says “Not obtained”, the stats are still there if you check your Guard Captain. As you can see, this results in less losses than before. Upgrading from Guardian to lesser grade Dark Power helm results in less losses.
Hit 4 – Replace Immortal Guardian chest with Immortal Dark Power Chest
Now that we’ve established that Dark Power’s HP and Defense provided by the helm is stronger than Guardian, we want to see if the HP/Defense provided by moving to BOTH the Helm and Chest are better than the Immortal set bonus for Guardian. In this hit, we have removed the Immortal set bonus for Guardian and are now running a mixed set of defense gear.
The results show that the additional Troop HP and Troop Defense provided by Dark Lord Helm/Chest result in less losses than full, highly enhanced Guardian gear.
Hit 5 – Replace One Guardian Accessory with Lvl4 Dark Lord, keep using +10 Guardian Weapon/Secondary Weapon/Accessory
At this point, we have lost the Guardian immortal set bonus. Now we need to test and see if a Level 4 Dark Lord Accessory is better than an enhanced Guardian accessory. As you can see from the results in the picture – the answer is quite simple. Yes. Less losses.
Hit 6 – Replace all Guardian gear with Dark Lord gear (Lvl4+, for blue set bonus), keep one +10 Guardian Accessory
Now we go fully down the rabbit hole and remove all Guardian gear. The best pieces in the guardian set are the weapon and secondary weapon (both enhanced to +10), so we need to test and see if removing those in order to obtain the Level 4 Set bonus on Dark Lord is worth it. Doing this drops our attack debuff by well over 300, which seems like it will be quite the tradeoff for a Lvl4 Set Bonus.
However, as the results show, the losses are even less. Dropping all Guardian for Dark Lord gear results in far fewer losses, which means that this is what we need to focus on at this point.
Now that we know the best defense gear, it is time to figure out the absolute optimum troop types for taking a hit.
Best Defense Troops
Having established that we want our Guard Captain to be wearing as much Dark Lord gear as possible (even over very high level Guardian and with only blue – or even green – Dark Lord), we now need to know WHICH TROOPS TO BUILD to be able to take some hits.
Hit 7 – Add more siege to troop layering, continue with mixed Dark Lord gear set
In this test, we drop the number of troops we are using and add even more siege into the mix. At this point, our bottom tier (tier 2) is half siege. This results in even less losses due to the troop affinity boosts.
So let’s go all in.
Hit 8 – Full siege
For the final hit in this round of testing, we switched to entirely siege tier 2, while keeping troop count and gear the same.
This resulted in the BEST HIT BY FAR, resulting in nearly HALF THE TROOP LOSS.
Best Defense Troops and Defense Gear, Summary
UPDATED FOR 3.1
We are still in the process of testing the new Majestic Gear Set. However, due to the IMMENSE amount of updated debuffs on it, it will likely fall in line with midrange Dark Lord Gear. For now, we are recommending :
If your Dark Lord is +20 (total) or higher :
- Dark Lord on Guard Captain.
- Majestic on Deputy Guard Captain.
This will, obviously, change if your Majestic is +15 on everything and your Dark Lord is only +10 or so. If that is the case, swap those two.
Remember – when in doubt, TILE TEST! Get a friend to hit your TILE and see which holds up better. Then adjust accordingly. When we perform good testing on it, we will update further.
In summary, this round of testing shows the following :
- Dark Lord Set is stronger than Guardian set. Even if your Guardian is very enhanced and Dark Lord is only blue/green. Focus on getting a Dark Lord Helm, Chest, or Accessory ASAP. As soon as you get them, equip them. They will do better than your Guardian, and now qualify as the best trap gear in Iron Throne.
- You should be running with your bottom tier of troops as ALL SIEGE in order to ensure that the enemy cannot use troop leverage. Siege does not take extra damage from any type of troop, and exploiting this fact will result in FAR, FAR fewer losses.
- Because of this, you can also replace your Guard Captain runes with full Siege HP runes, and make sure you are setting your Lord skills to Siege Defense/HP.
- IMPORTANT NOTE : Siege DOES NOT KILL ENEMY TROOPS WELL. If you are going full siege in your bottom tier, you will need higher tier TROOPS to do the killing for you. Just taking less losses is not enough, you also need to be killing the enemy troops to ensure that they don’t come back.
Stay tuned for an in-depth guide to TROOP TIER LAYERING, how it works, and how to exploit these mechanics to make your Castle as strong as possible.