Well, AQ woken up this morning at level 18 now. 76 days in TH9 now, this is almost the fastest speed a player can upgrade their AQ. Of course most players aren’t as active but even then, you can work on heroes much earlier than maxing out at TH8. Even after maxing TH8, you wouldn’t progress as fast in TH9 if you’re not putting out at least 5-10 raids per day.
Looking at my base, I’m doing the first lvl10 collector today and expect to finish them before going to TH10. Its only 18 days to max and I’ll be able to gain 2500/2200 = 13.6% more collector loot. Looking at my defense log, it really isn’t worth it to work on defenses especially because it will take at least a few months before the results of building defenses become apparent.