I have seen plenty of questions like “Do I need to max out everything before going to Town Hall 9?”. I’d like to give you a small advice “No you don’t need to do that. Just go to TH9 once you have finished approximately 80% of the TH8 road“.
This advice is based on 2 main playstyles of players in Clash of Clans: Clan Wars and Farming.
If you usually join Clan Wars
Once you have level 6 Air Defenses and a decent anti-air base layouts, you will be fine after all TH8 air attacks (mostly varieties of Dragons). After maxing our all key defenses and splash damage defensive buildings, you will have a minor impact on defending against air attacks but Walls can do nothing against those attacks. Walls also can do nothing to the Hog Rider attacks, everything depends on your core defenses and your layout. However, a smart TH8 players can always 3-star you regardless of your defenses and layouts. Although there is a big different between getting the last star of some attacks during the last 20% progress of TH8 but the closer you are to be maxed out everything, the more of a chance to get attacked by a TH9 in Clan War you will get due to the matchmaking system, and that TH9 guy can always 3 stars you will his high level troops.
By going to Town Hall 9, you can play as a Town Hall 8.5 and with this strategy, you can easily bully the player who has the same position as yours in Clan Wars. After upgrading all your Town Hall 8 buildings and troops, you can start working on new TH9 stuffs.
If you like farming
There is just only one problem after rushing to TH9, it is you will be menaced by other decent TH9 players. But If you are almost maxed TH8, you still get raided by TH9 as well. Once you have either level 6 Archers or Giants and the Archer Queen, you can farm pretty well. If you want to work on your walls before going to Town Hall 9, normally you will need to spend about 3-4 weeks. By that time, If you were at Town Hall 9, you could farm well with stronger farming troops and the Archer Queen. Walls are really much more important for the psychological effect than resisting. There is no reason for not going to TH9 with level 7 walls.
The trade off after upgrading Town Hall is always the new opportunities versus the loot penalty. No matter how you are playing, You will always upgrade all your Town Hall 8 buildings, you never can save time, but with better farming armies and the powerful Archer Queen, you can raid loot easier and upgrade your walls faster.
Moreover, as we can see, while TH8 players are working on walls, their Elixir Storages are always full and their Builders are always sleeping. What a big waste! By going to TH9 a bit sooner, with that amount of Elixir, you can upgrade plenty of Lego walls. Also, you can find a lot of inactive bases with maxed Gold Mines and Elixir Collectors at Town Hall 9!
I don’t want to rush because TH9 players will smash my base!
Your almost maxed TH8 base just can’t stop any decent Town Hall 9 attack, why not upgrade to TH9? Also, somehow, weak TH9 base can easily attract weak attackers.
Will rushing slow down my progress?
No, as long as your Builders are always busy. By rushing to TH9, you can even save lots of time and Elixir. While an almost maxed TH8 are working on his walls along with idle Builders and full Elixir Storages, you can rob your Builders and have dozens of Lego walls.
Rushed TH needs to catch up, maxed TH doesn’t
Yes, right, a maxed TH definitely will be in a better spot on the first day at Town Hall 9 but by that time the rushed TH would be 1-2 months old TH9. They are like this:
Of course these small tips is just for normal players with normal farming speed. If your Storages are always full and you can max out your walls before all other buildings, just upgrade to Town Hall 9, TH8 is not the right place for your insane farming speed!
In conclusion, I’d recommend you max out these stuffs before going to Town Hall 9:
Clan Castle, Laboratory, Army Camps, Spell Factory.