The Lava Hound is one of the largest units in Clash of Clans (along with the Golem), taking up 30 housing spaces in Army Camps and the Clan Castle. Fortunately, the Lava Hound is a little cheaper than the Golem, running only 390 Dark Elixir at level 1 and 510 Dark Elixir at level 3.
In this guide to the Lava Hound in Clash of Clans, we will cover unit stats, training and research costs, upgrade levels, and strategies for using this unit to your advantage.
Lava Hound Basic Information, Stats, and Levels
Training Time: 45 minutes
Supply Cost: 30
Movement Speed: 20
Targets: Ground & Air
Preferred Target: Air Defense Towers
Dark Barracks Required: Level 6
|Level||Damage Per Second (DPS)||Attack Speed||Damage Per Hit||Hitpoints|
|1||10||1 attack per 2 seconds||20||5700|
|2||12||1 attack per 2 seconds||24||6200|
|3||14||1 attack per 2 seconds||28||6700|
|Level||Training Cost (Dark Elixir)||Upgrade Cost (Dark Elixir)||Laboratory Level||Town Hall Requirement|
|2||450||60,000 (10 Days)||7||9|
|3||510||70,000 (12 days)||8||10|
|Level||Lava Pups Produced||Lava Pup DPS||Lava Pup Damage Per Hit||Lava Pup Health|
The Lava Hound is the only true air tanking unit in Clash of Clans. It does virtually no damage, but possesses a large amount of health and parks itself over top of an enemy’s Air Defense towers. Consider a Lava Hound versus an enemy level 7 Air Defense tower. While this high level tower does massive a massive 280 damage per second, the Lava Hound has 5,700 health at level 1. It will take this Air Defense tower just over 20 seconds to take out the Lava Hound.
While the Lava Hound is distracting the opponent with its high health pool, players can flood in with high damage (per housing cost) units like Minions or Balloons. The Lava Hound also has the advantage of clearing out traps so that your Minions do not get hit by Air Bombs.
Upon death, the Lava Hound splits into a number of “Lava Pups”. These are light flying air units similar to Minions. The Lava Pups will then attack the nearest target. The Lava Hound itself does not deal any damage upon death (unlike the Golem).
CoC Lava Hound Strategy
As mentioned above, the Lava Hound is meant to be a flying tank. Its very large health (even higher than the Golem’s) is meant to soak up damage from Air Defense towers to give your other flying units a chance to deal damage. The only problem with the Lava Hound is that it takes up a large amount of housing space; if you build too many, you will not have enough units available to do the damage you need to in order to have a successful raid.
Due to the Lava Hound requiring a level 6 Dark Barracks and having a relatively high Dark Elixir cost, the Lava Hound is not a unit typically used by most players. While it requires Town Hall 9, only late TH9 players and primarily TH10 players are likely to use the Lava Hound with any regularity. Newer TH9s will likely find their Dark Elixir better spent on upgrading through their early hero levels. New TH9s will also likely need to spend some time upgrading Minions, Balloons, or Dragons to a high level as well; Lava Hounds are only as good as the damage-dealing units backing them up.
Lava Hounds in War Battles and Trophy Pushing
Lava Hounds are a solid alternative to Golem-based armies for high-level trophy farming or War battles. They can be used to take down high TH9 and TH10 players, revitalizing some of the air-based armies which otherwise lost effectiveness as players began to max out their bases and get Inferno Towers.
There are multiple combinations of units that can be used with the Lava Hound. If multiple (2-3) Lava Hounds are used, they will be able to soak up enemy tower fire for quite a long time. After dropping a few Lava Hounds, follow with a wave of Minions, Balloons, Dragons, or some combination of the three.
Using Rage Spells after initial deployment is key to the success of this strategy. The Lava Hounds will not live forever and deal very little damage, so it is important to clear as much of the enemy’s base as possible while the Lava Hounds are still alive.
Freeze Spells work great with the Lava Hound, particularly if the enemy has Inferno Towers set to single target. You cannot allow a single-target Inferno Tower to target a high-health Lava Hound; that will work out very poorly for you. Use a Freeze Spell to interrupt the Inferno Tower until your other units can come in and finish the job.
A Lightning Spell is also extremely useful to pair with Lava Hound and air-based armies. When the Lava Hound triggers the Clan Castle, the most dangerous units that can spill out of the Clan Castle are Wizards. Enemy Wizards do massive DPS, and if 6 or 7 Wizards spill out of the Clan Castle, they will take down your Lava Hounds in a matter of seconds. Use a LIghtning Spell to wipe the Wizards out.
Air armies generally do not play well with heroes, but heroes can be deployed strategically after the air attack to push you over the edge on a close clear. You may find yourself with a 45% clear or the Town Hall still alive. Placing your heroes intelligently can allow you to get up to a 50% clear or to nab the Town Hall.
Lava Hounds in Farming
Town Hall 9/10 players can get some use out of the Lava Hound for farming battles; a combination of 2 Lava Hounds could be used to support a typical Balloonion (Balloon and Minion) composition. Make sure that the extra supply count for the Lava Hounds comes at the expense of Balloons; you will not need nearly as many Balloons if you have Lava Hounds tanking the fire.
Drop 2 Lava Hounds, slightly staggered, then follow in with a line of Balloons. Use a Rage Spell or two to boost your Balloons further into the enemy’s base, and immediately follow with a wave of Minions. This composition is very effective at coring towards an enemy’s Dark Elixir storage – just make sure there is 2,000+ DE available to make the attack worth it.
Lava Hounds usage in farming is the same as their use in trophy pushing and war battles. At the very top echelons of play where Lava Hounds are most likely to be used, there is not much difference between farming and trophy pushing. Not only do many players keep some of their resources exposed in an effort to better protect their Town Hall, but the match bonus itself provides a large amount of resources.
Lava Hound Weaknesses
The Lava Hound has three main weaknesses: its low damage, single-target Inferno Towers, and Wizards in the Clan Castle.
- Damage: The Lava Hound does almost no damage. You will need to support it with high-damage air units like Minions or Balloons in order to make the Lava Hound a useful unit.
- Inferno Tower: The Inferno Tower set to single-target mode will tear up a Lava Hound. Use Freeze Spells and make sure your offensive units are right behind the Lava Hound in order to take down the Inferno Towers before they can do any harm.
- Wizards: Wizards in the enemy’s Clan Castle are dangerous. Use a Lightning Spell to take the Wizards out. A few shots from a group of Wizards will take out a Lava Hound.
Lava Hounds and Spells
The Lava Hound is not a direct beneficiary of spells. The Rage Spell is not very useful, given how little damage the Lava Hound does. The Lava Hound has too much health to benefit from the Healing Spell.
The Lava Hound does benefit indirectly from spells. The Freeze Spell can lock down Inferno Towers while the Lightning Spell can take out Clan Castle units. Damage-dealing units supporting the Lava Hound will also benefit from the Rage Spell.
Lava Hounds as a Clan Castle Unit
The Lava Hound is not much of a defensive unit in the Clan Castle. It does very little damage and as a result can be taken out fairly easily. However, it is useful for offensive purposes. If you have an alt account, you can donate yourself a Lava Hound to save a lot of training time.
Donating yourself Lava Hounds can make a Balloon/Minion/Lava Hound composition much easier to pull together for farming purposes. At your main base, 1 Dark Barracks can train a Lava Hound, one can train Minions, and the 4 Barracks can train Balloons. By donating yourself a Lava Hound from an alt account, you can save yourself quite a bit of training time. Having only two Dark Barracks is the biggest time limiter of the Balloon/Minion/Lava Hound combination, so donating a Lava Hound can save a large amount of training time.