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December 2018 update is here

Posted: Friday 14 December 2018

The December 2018 update for Clash of Clans is now live and introduces the Ice Golem, Bat Spell, Stone Slammer and two new magic items (Shovel of Obstacles & Hero Potion).

This post will summarise what has been added/changed. Full patch notes can be viewed here:


New Troop: Ice Golem

The first new Dark Troop we have seen added since The Bowler was added in March 2016 and is available to TH11+.

The Ice Golem combines the tanking of a Golem with the disruption of a Freeze Spell upon destruction. Like the Golem, its preferred targets are defences however it is half the housing space at 15 compared to 30 with a reduction in HP and damage as well.

Ice Golem vs Golem

When hitting a structure, it chills its target slowing down it’s attack speed. Upon destruction, it freezes an area comparable to that of a freeze spell for up to 6.25 seconds, which is greater than the duration of a max level Freeze Spell (at time of writing, level 7 lasts for 5.5 seconds).

Comparing the max level troops, the Ice Golem HP is approximately 213 HP per housing space vs 240 HP per housing space for a Golem. Keep in mind the chilling effect will reduce the incoming damage to the Ice Golem to help compensate for the lower HP.

Having experimented with swapping a Golem for 2 Ice Golems in army compositions, it makes a suitable replacement and assuming it is able to survive long enough to get close to high value defences (such as Inferno Towers, Eagle Artillery or Giga Tesla) it can really help keep your more delicate damage troops alive longer. Being able to send in the 2 Ice Golem’s separately is also beneficial as you can spread them along the side of a base to take damage over a greater area than a single Golem. If destroyed by defending Clan Castle troops, it will freeze the Clan Castle troops in place (both ground and air units) preventing them from moving on to your main army troops for a short period.

The Ice Golem is also very effective as a ground defensive troop in your Clan Castle. If the opponent is using a Queen Walk, it can freeze the Archer Queen whilst she receives damage from the other Clan Castle troops without being able to fight back, or for a kill squad it can result in slowing penetration into your base due to the initial wave of attacker troops being frozen in place. In this situation, it is best to combine a single Ice Golem with damage troops such as a Baby Dragon, Valkyrie or Witch.

New Spell: Bat Spell

The first new Dark Spell since the Skeleton Spell added in May 2016 and is available for TH10+.

It uses 1 spell space and spawns a number of bats over time. Its preferred target is defences and can be used to distract the Archer Queen or single target defences, especially Archer Towers and single target mode Inferno Towers. Even the Wizard Tower can be distracted to an extent due it the bats spawning at a greater rather than the Wizard Tower rate of fire. One of the best defensive counters to the Bat Spell is a multi target Inferno Tower as it is able to target 5 bats at a time and switch targets quick enough to take out each wave of bats before they are able to do much damage.

Upon introduction, the upgraded spell was regarded by the community as overpowered when multiple spells were dropped together. It was possible to clear large areas of defences with just bat spells then clear the remaining structures with your main army. 2 days after the update, a follow up patch was released that rebalanced a number of items including the Bat Spell.

New Siege Machine: Stone Slammer

The third Siege Machine to be added for TH12. Unlike the Wall Wrecker and Battle Blimp that target the TH, the preferred target of the Stone Slammer is defences.

The Stone Slammer has a 25x damage modifier to walls making it effective for opening up compartments containing defensive structures. The wall damage modifier was initially 15x however this was increased to 25x with a falloff being added in the balancing update 2 days after introduction, so that only items immediately adjacent to the targeted structure are dealt full damage. The Stone Slammer can be effective at clearing areas that have a number of defence structures close to each other, especially when combined with a Freeze Spell, Ice Golem or the Grand Warden’s Eternal Tome.

New Structure Levels

New levels were added to the following buildings:

  • Dark Barracks level 8 (TH11+)
  • Dark Spell Factory level 5 (TH10+)
  • Siege Workshop level 3 (TH12+)

These upgrades are required to unlock the Ice Golem, Bat Spell and Siege Workshop respectively.


New Magic Items: Shovel of Obstacles & Hero Potion

Two new magic items were added; Shovel of Obstacles & Hero Potion.

The Shovel of Obstacles allows village obstacles to be moved. This is useful for when limited time obstacles spawn (such as for Christmas or Halloween) and you wish to move them to the side of your village rather than remove them. This can be purchased through the Trader for 500 gems. Hopefully we will see a future reduction in the gem cost for this as some players have 20+ obstacles they would like to move and 500 gems each will be expensive.

The Hero Potion provides a 1 hour boost of +5 levels to your Heroes up to the maximum level for your Town Hall. This can be handy for players who have lower level Heroes for their war attacks or for players newly upgraded to a new Town Hall level. This can be purchased through the Trader for 300 gems.

Builder Base Balancing and Troop Upgrade Time Reductions


A number of heavily used/underused Builder Base troops were balanced. Darian from Supercell posted an overview and explanation of the changes on the Clash of Clans Forums:

Troop Upgrade Time Reductions

In order to encourage players to upgrade other troops, the upgrade time in the Star Laboratory have been reduced. The lower levels (2 - 5) were mostly unchanged however the higher levels were as much as halved with the maximum upgrade time being reduced to 4 days from 6 days.

Quality of Life Changes

A number of QoL changes were in this update. The gameplay highlights:

Players can change the Siege Machine/Clan Castle choice after the battle begins but before any units have been deployed - TH12 players will appreciate this change, especially those who use different army compositions with different Siege Machine and have forgotten to change it before attacking. TH10+ players will also benefit from this when they have switched between just CC troops whilst having a Siege Machine in their CC and forgetting to select it again before a war attack.

Grand Warden mode can be changed during battle before it has been deployed - TH 11 and 12 players will also appreciate this change, especially those who use different army compositions and have forgotten to switch their Warden mode.

Settings menu: Enable/disable 2-row unit deployment bar in Home Village (tablets only, disabled by default) - This should help reduced the number of times you miss deploying some of your troops or forgetting about the Clan Castle spell due to them being off the screen.


Post Patch Balancing

Although balancing of new items often occurs, this initial balancing patch was released after only 2 days.

The main change was a reduction to the number of bats spawned by the Bat Spell as it was very destructive when multiple spells were used together. With CWL Season 3 about to begin, it is great to see it rebalanced before it starts.

The other changes were an increase to the wall damage multiplier for the Stone Slammer (15x to 25x) but with a falloff introduced. HP of the levels 2 and 3 Stone Slammer were also reduced.

The level 3 Siege Workshop had its capacity increased to allow 6 siege machines to be stored (3 available with 3 in queue). It was surprising that this wasn’t included in the initial patch as there were QoL changes made to Siege Machines to allow them to be changed mid battle before deployment. This welcome change allows TH12 players to choose between all 3 Siege Machines in battle rather than being limited to the 2 they have previously trained as well as making donations easier to manage by having 2 of each Siege Machine ready to donate to clan mates.

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