The act of raiding is initiated when you tap the "Raids" button to the bottom left and are presented with the following screen. Each time that you raid someone it will cost you 1 Raid Energy.
Generally speaking, the battlefield is no different from a regular battle in the outer world, but the difference is that your enemy will consist of their own "Defense Team". No items may be used when attacking, however, and defending is an automated system since you may only be attacked while offline.
You may appoint your Defense Team in the Heroes screen by clicking the Defense Team button to declare the chosen team as such. It is generally recommended that you set Team 5 as your Defense Team. (You can also rename your teams by clicking on their title there, too.)
Raids are much different from most stages on the World Map because they're all opposing heroes. Here are a few things to keep in mind as a result:
- Know each enemy hero's Special Skill.
- Know which hero is ranked up the highest (you can see this on the Enemy Selection Screen, as shown above) and thus who is the greatest threat.
- If you need to double check things, press down on an enemy unit and it will tell you their name, how many stars they have, and what their Special Skill is.
- The AI controls the Defense Team in the encounter. The Defense Team's specials, if they are all ready on the same turn, will be cast from left to right, so be sure to put your buffers to the left and snipers to the right.
- Always note the element composition of the enemy and be prepared to counter it. It's not always a rainbow composition.
Choosing Your Raid Enemy
On this screen you can see various bits of important information:
Trophies ('cups'): Here, the player has 506, while the opponent has 307. You are guaranteed to always encounter an opponent that is within 300 trophies of you. In the early levels this can lead to a great disparity in power levels, but the higher you go the more consistent your opponents will be.
Enemy Team: You are also presented with the enemy's Defense Team. It's important to consider the elements that they're using. If they're doubling up on an element, you should likely double up on the opposite color element. You can do so by tapping the "Edit Team" button.
Available Loot: If you succeed in the raid, you will be rewarded based upon the available loot in the opponents Watchtower. Trophy award or penalty is also here.
In general, a solid Defense Team should contain at minimum a strong tank in the center position. Beyond this, a healer is recommended. A Rainbow defense, within which heroes are of different elements, is the most effective. More discussion on this is available here.
An excellent resource for an ideal, elite Defense Team is Titan Mafia where you'll find a list of the Top 15 Heroes used by the Top 100 Raiders that is updated on a weekly basis.
Getting Revenge and the Watchtower
If you enter your Watchtower, you can see all raids that have recently occurred. When you login anew, you will generally also be shown a list of individuals who have raided you while offline. This is because you can only be raided while you are offline. You may also wish to go back after those individuals and spend your Raid Energy to get Revenge.
The benefit of using the Revenge feature is that it does not cost food to reroll, thus you can check back through those who have successfully defeated your Defense Team and choose to attack or not at will, without spending food to do so.
Lastly, the Watchtower can be a great source of food and iron, but it can be stolen by raids. As such, if you make it a habit to collect immediately prior to logging off each time, you will minimize how much material you have the potential to lose due to enemy raids.
Trophies and Raid Tiers
Trophies are gained or lost depending upon whether you win or lose a raid or defense. If an enemy team is equal to you in their own trophy count you will either win 30 or lose 30. You win fewer when defeating a weaker foe and more when defeating a stronger foe, while the opposite is true when you lose (you lose fewer when it is to a stronger foe).
If you gain enough trophies you will be automatically promoted to the next tier of raiding. If you drop below the threshold for a particular raid tier, you are automatically demoted. The tiers are only used for Raid Chest purposes. Your opponents will always be selected at random from potential targets within 300 trophies of your current count. Raid Tiers increase every 600 trophies. The rewards for being in a higher tier are somewhat lackluster and not necessarily considered worthwhile to reach for if it is overmuch of a challenge to do so.
The raid tier thresholds are:
Cup dropping refers to the act of purposefully reducing your trophy count with result of a variety of effects. A player may be kept from ascending into a higher and more lucrative raid tier with raids send being less likely to be confronted with more developed defenses. The player's Alliance score would also be proportionately reduced in proportion to cup dropping.
Cup dropping can involve not rerolling for an easier opponent even when defeat is likely, choosing less effective in-game moves for instance once four kills have been achieved or, on the defending side of the game, by closing down the game when not active to open possibilities for enemy attacks and by placing a weaker than available team in your raid defense. By encouraging players to attack, further options would be provided for the player's own revenge attacks and, while cups are dropped while defending, they will be regained in games that award resources for wins and kill contributions towards wanted chests.
Alliance views, if any, on cup dropping may vary.