"The X-Bow shoots mystical bolts with terrifying power. Load it with Elixir and the X-Bow works automagically. You can set it to target ground units at long ranges, or all targets at reduced range."
The X-Bow is a rapid-firing turret that is unique in two ways. First, it must be loaded with Elixir in order to function. Second, it can be configured to target ground units only (at a 14-tile range) or both ground and air units (at an 11-tile range).
A well-placed and loaded X-Bow will dominate attacks, but to be most effective it should not be used as a front-line defense. With the longest range of any defense, it is best placed behind all other defenses, typically in the center of a base.
Remember to refill your X-Bow with Elixir! An unloaded X-Bow is not only a waste of space, it is a good indicator that your base may be neglected and ripe for attack.
If you have two X-Bows, it is recommended to have one set at ground-only and another set at air and ground.
Although the X-Bow shoots rapidly, each shot only does a little damage. Support it with strong defenses so it can quickly take out your enemies!
The X-Bow has essentially no weaknesses unless it is set to ground-only mode, determinable by the way it is angled. If it is horizontal to the ground, it can target ground troops only. If it is tilted up, then it can attack air units as well.
In order to attack an X-Bow, treat it like a longer-ranged (and much stronger) Cannon or Archer Tower, but don't forget that many units can be mowed down very quickly by this defense. Distract it with high-health troops like Giants or P.E.K.K.As, and destroy it with a large group of attackers such as Archers or Barbarians.
Important strategy tips!
Attacking players can see if the defender's X-Bow is loaded or not. Currently there is no way to tell exactly how much Elixir it has left, but a player can visually tell when it is empty. When it is loaded, you will see a small box containing what appears to be small Elixir bolts. An unloaded X-Bow will be lacking the box, and the bowstring will be missing (see image gallery below).
Attacking players can also see if the X-Bow is set to ground-only or both ground and air. Take advantage of ground-only X-Bows and send in air units to destroy it first!
An X-Bow that is empty is completely useless and will not fire. It still must be destroyed to achieve 100% destruction, and troops that preferentially attack defenses (Giants, Balloons, Hog Riders, and Golems) will still target an unloaded X-Bow if it is closer to them than an active defense.
X-Bows undergo significant visual changes at levels 3 and 4.
When initially constructed, the X-Bow consists of a huge crossbow-like structure mounted on a base made of light-colored wood. It has small black stones on the corners of the base.
At level 2, the X-Bow base gains gilded legs and rotational mount. It appears to have gold spikes on the corners.
At level 3, the X-Bow base becomes solid black with large black spikes on each corner.
At level 4, the X-Bow base becomes golden and the large spikes on each corner turn red, like they are glowing with heat.
The X-Bow is one of only two defenses (the other being the Inferno Tower) that needs to be reloaded at the cost of resources.
In ground-only mode, the X-Bow has a range of 14 tiles, the longest of any damaging defensive building in the game (the Air Sweeper has a range of 15 tiles but it does no damage). When the X-Bow is in ground and air mode, however, it is tied with the Mortar with an 11-tile range (the Clan Castle, although not strictly a defense, has a trigger range of 12 tiles).
If measured by the area that its firepower can cover (rounded to one tile's area), a centered X-Bow covers 616 tiles in ground-only mode and 380 tiles in ground and air mode, beating the Air Sweeper at 236 tiles and the Mortar at 330 tiles.
The X-Bow and Inferno Tower are the fastest-shooting turrets, firing small, very quick bursts of damage rather than large, individual projectiles.
The X-Bow was introduced in the Halloween 2012 update.
The name "X-Bow" is a play on the word "Crossbow", which the device resembles. The letter "X" resembles a cross (†), leading to this abbreviated name.
In the Japanese localization of the game, the X-Bow is called the "Huge Crossbow".
The X-Bow is not unlocked until Town Hall level 9 due to its extremely high damage and long range.
There is an achievement for destroying a certain number of X-Bows called X-Bow Exterminator.
The X-Bow is one of the three defensive buildings (along with the Cannon and Mortar) that rotate themselves to aim at different targets, as the Air Defense is made of rockets, while the others are towers. These three face away from the Town Hall when the village is not under attack.
Supercell posted a teaser video on their Facebook page prior to the X-Bow's release in October 2012: X-Bow Teaser Video
When the X-Bow is firing, you can see smoke coming out of it.
The X-Bow will notify you when it is running low on ammunition:
When first built, the X-Bow is already fully loaded with Elixir. Upgrading a X-Bow will also make it become fully loaded.