Archmage is the fifth tier upgrade in Path 1 for the Wizard Monkey in BTD6. It allows the Wizard Monkey to shoot twice as fast as Arcane Spike and with +4 pierce (11 in total), as well as increasing the damage dealt to MOAB-class Bloons to 24 per shot while dealing 7 damage to all other bloon types. Additionally, it can use Dragon's Breath (also applies burn effect, 1 layer per 1.5 seconds for 3 seconds) and Shimmer (with bigger range than the actual upgrade) in his attacks, however, it cannot use the upgrades that are below the 2 aforementioned upgrades. (e.g. Archmage can use Dragon's Breath, but cannot use Fireball or Wall of Fire unless upgraded to use them).
Archmage is most beneficial for its overall high MOAB-class damage. Against higher clumps of blimps, it can demolish them into much weaker bloons, but large clumps of Ceramics may spawn out of them. It is a good overall source of damage versus ordinary DDTs, and therefore can be used to beat Round 95 with minimal trouble, especially when paired with Overclock. The Archmage is comparable to Pre-Emptive Strike, which also has the potential to spawn lots of Ceramics from destroyed weaker blimps, but without the single-target high-HP damage potential and with overall stronger Super Ceramic cleanup.
However, due to its low synergy potential compared to alternative Tier 5 towers, the Archmage is often replaced with more favorable options.
It is better off use a 5-0-2 Archmage instead of a 5-2-0 Archmage. This is because although it comes with a Shimmer that decamoizes bloons, the +5 pierce from Intense Magic makes the overall damage out become far better than just adding additional Fireball and Wall of Fire attacks. With the +5 pierce to the magical bolts, they become far more powerful at wiping out multitudes of blimps. The +2 pierce to the Dragon's Breath attacks are highly beneficial as well.
On most occasions, the position of where the Archmage is placed should be based on track coverage, although preferably one where there is also a straight line around to make good use of the seeking curves.
Archmage can use its own Shimmer to decamo nearby bloons, but it is often still worthwhile to add Monkey Sense regardless, as Shimmer has a delay.
One 5-0-2 Archmage excels at popping up DDT layers with relative ease on its own, though good Ceramic popping power is needed to clean up the remains.
It's worth noting that the Dragon's Breath attack cannot pass through walls, even though its bolt attack can. If possible, place the Archmage at a spot that allows the Dragon's Breath to become optimized, as the Dragon's Breath attack can deal a lot of overall damage.
Most buffs for the Archmage are inherited from those that benefit the secondary Dragon's Breath attack, although Version 2.0 had made its main bolt attack considerably stronger as a counter to grouped blimps. Overall, it is somewhat stronger than it was when first released, and remains a popular option among newer players.
Archmage adds more pierce (+0 -> +4, 10 in total).
Archmage's Dragon's Breath attack range is now (correctly) correspondent to the Archmage's current range.
Archmage's Dragon's Breath now applies a burn Damage Over Time equal to Mortar's Burny Stuff to any Bloon it touches.