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Clan Masters (#3): First Strike

By Sida Li on March 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM ET

Photo Credit: Clash of Clans game (background) / Lootcakes LLC (character)

This edition we hear from First Strike, a level 9 clan with 162 overall wins and a 41-9 record over their last 50 wars.

With 'Clan Masters', our goal is to get personal - with the top performing clans in CoC!  Each edition we an interview a highly successful clan to reveal their unique personalities, tactics, motivations and opinions on the game. For information on our criteria and how to get your own clan interviewed, please click here.

1. Describe your clan in three adjectives!

Competitive, Unique, Loyal.

2. Tell us about the founding of your clan. Who founded it, when and why? To what extent did your founding members know each other from outside the game?

A little while after clan wars came out, the clan that I was in at the time was losing constantly due to low participation, rushed bases, and overall inactivity. A friend of mine convinced me to form my own clan, which is what prompted the creation of First Strike. I started recruiting as many of my friends as possible and appointed some of my more experienced clanmates that I knew in real life as co-leaders. Things took off from there.

3. Describe your clan's leadership structure. Are you ruled by an iron-fisted dictator, or is decision-making shared among several members, and if so, how? 

I almost always run all decisions I make past my co-leaders before making any policy changes (including promotions) to make sure we are all on the same page. Many of these changes often stem from clanmates that have an issue with the way things are done (how a war is played out, donation counts, etc) and most of the changes I make are an adjustment to improve the overall quality of gameplay in the clan. That being said, I try my best to be approachable if a member has a question or issue with a rule, and make adjustments as needed.

4. Describe your clan's overall competitive approach. Are you ultra-serious about clan wars? Do you only recruit members who are dedicated to winning, or do you take a more social approach and tolerate slackers?  

War is one of the only aspects of Clash that our clan takes seriously. We are always willing to take on people that aren’t 3-star pros yet (provided that they are not super rushed) and help them learn how to war properly since we all were inexperienced at some point. In regards to slackers, we have guidelines in the clan requiring a certain amount of wars per month and donation ratios to prevent casual members from just hanging out and farming. 

5. What are your preferred outlets for recruiting new members?

We typically recruit from friends IRL or other people that we have met that play since our clan is often times better than whatever clan these people are currently in. We also recruit off of Reddit.

6. Take us through your typical clan war process. How do you make initial preparations? Are players given free rein to attack whomever they wish?  

Like many clans, we usually go with the “highest you can three star” approach as we recognize that picking your target in war is just as important as breaking down an enemy base. We use and groupme for war organization and encourage our TH8s to use both attacks as early as possible so in the (rare) event that a low TH9 has to clean up then they know if and who they have to attack. We require TH9s to use three star tactics, and almost never allow GoWiPe below TH10 unless a leader approves it. Our reasoning is that three star attacks are high risk/high reward, so if everyone in the clan messes up their first attack, but lands the second one, all enemy bases will be three starred. This also forces members to practice three star strategies constantly, which allows them to develop the technical skills necessary to successfully execute three star strategies.

7. Describe your clan's most victorious moment or achievement. 

There are several instances that come to mind of us pulling off the win in uncertain circumstances, many times against modding clans that decided to trash talk before all was said and done. [In] one recent war, we went up against a clan with exactly 100 more war wins than us that were all running anti-3 bases and proficient in goho, golaloon, and other three star strategies. We (barely) managed to come out victorious, and it was a healthy reminder that number of war wins isn’t the be-all and end-all of who is the better war clan.

8. Describe your clan's most disappointing or embarrassing moment. 

We had an incident a few months ago where we kicked a member that had multiple offenses of attacking the wrong base. I had forgotten that that member was friends with a few other members that had joined, and his friends decided to donate goblins to everybody’s war map in the next war in an attempt to sabotage us. It took us a bit, but we figured out who was doing it, kicked them, and still won when down 6 attacks that war. We also lost to a level 4 clan after we had become level 6 (twice in a row) but let’s not talk about that.

9. My clan's strongest clan wars attacker is: Forrest 74

10. My clan's strongest clan wars defender is: GeneralWhoopAss

11. What are your opinions about the game's current features and functionality? Is there anything you’d like changed, added, or removed? 

As countless others have mentioned before, the inability to war successfully with a hero down has been a festering blister on the foot of war clans for a while now. We have done our best to overcome this by allowing our members to war in our feeder, Hellfire Clan (shoutout to Lord Aaron and the rest of the HC crew!) with a hero down. Figuring out how to stop modding, balancing TH10, and improving war matchmaking should be highest on the priority list for Supercell, but none of us are holding our breath for these changes to come about.

12. Do you have a message you'd like to send to other clans?  To potential recruits? To anyone else in the Clash community? 

We are always recruiting! We’d like to send a shoutout to Jake from OneHive, Powerbang gaming, and gadi hh for always putting out solid war videos that we frequently reference. To everybody else: keep it fair-play.

Note: Special thanks to Gabriel for coordinating and answering the questions. Quoted stats are current as of the interview date.

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