A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation. Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track.
~ BTD6 description
Elite Defender is the Tier 5 upgrade of Path 3 for the Sniper Monkey in Bloons TD 6. It doubles the Sniper Monkey's attack speed, and also allows it to attack 1% faster for every 1% of the track the bloons have reached, up to a maximum of 100%. It also grants a passive ability that allows the Sniper Monkey to attack an additional 4x faster for 7 seconds when a life is lost, for a total of 16x faster compared to a Full Auto Rifle. With maximum internal attack speed boosts, it can attack 195.91x faster than the base Sniper Monkey.
The main strength of Elite Defender is its solo capability against bloons up to later mid-game, even without the life-loss passive ability. It is also one of the cheapest Tier 5 upgrades in the game, and can be very powerful when crosspathed with Shrapnel Shot.
There is a 10 second cooldown period between ability activations before the Elite Defender can reactivate its passive ability again.
An Elite Defender has a ~15.4x attack speed multiplier than a regular Sniper, ~24.490x when bloons are at the end of the track; ~48.980x while the ability is active and ~97.959x when more bloons are at the end of the track with the ability active.
As of update 17.0, the 0-2-5 defender is usually better than a 2-0-5, because of the changes to shrapnel that makes it better against grouped bloons. However, the 2-0-5 sniper is still better for single-target damage.
It is possible to use a 0-2-5 Elite Defender to solo Deflation Mode on most maps, provided Monkey Knowledge is enabled. This can be achieved by first placing a 0-0-2 Monkey Village, placing the Sniper Monkey in range and the upgrading it to a 0-2-3 Semi-Automatic. Upon selling the Monkey Village, Elite Defender can be bought.
There is a brief 3.33s initial cooldown before Elite Defender can activate its passive ability after the upgrade is bought.
Due to its extreme attack speed, Elite Defender benefits hugely from the Ceramic Shock MK. Because shrapnel also activates extremely quickly with Elite Defender, a 0-2-5 Elite Defender can stall Super Ceramics quite effectively.
Ezili's Sacrificial Totem can activate Elite Defender's passive ability. It can be used to trigger the Elite Defender's passive ability at any time.
Elite Defender was considered one of the worst Tier 5 upgrades due to purely relying on an unreliable passive life-loss ability. Version 2.0 increased the attack speed of Elite Defender, making it somewhat more useful, but it wasn't until Version 11.0 that its even further attack speed bonuses made this upgrade considered practically usable.
The popularity of Elite Defender was also improved by the buffs to Shrapnel Shot in Version 17.0, making 0-2-5 Elite Defender a usable CHIMPS option at providing mid-game damage.
Primary attack speed increased by 2x (stacks with its ability)
Elite Defender now grants a speed boost equal to the % of the track that the bloons have covered. E.g. If the bloons are half way through the map Elite Defender will grant 50% attack speed. If the bloons are three quarters through the map, Elite Defender will grant 75% attack speed. (It retains its bonus when lives are lost)
Elite Defender now activates passive ability when Ezili's Sacrifice Totem is activated
Now has a passive cooldown when first bought.
Elite Defender passive ability rendered unusable on normal Impoppable Difficulty, due to the disabling of all means of gaining extra lives to spend on the ability, more specifically Mana Shield.
Technically, the ability can still trigger without losing lives if there is Legend of the Night passive ability ready or active.
Description updated to mention the speed boost based on how far the bloons are along the track.
Elite Defender base attack speed very slightly increased (0.065s → 0.0649s)
Elite Defender shooting super fast
New Elite Defender description as of Version 17.0
0-2-5 Elite Defender with the new Shrapnel Shot rework on Version 17.0
There was a bug in version 9.0 in its passive ability: it was broken and did't activate at all when a life is lost. This was fixed in version 10.0.
Despite the description saying "When a life is lost", the ability will still be activated when Bloons leak but the lives aren't lost, (Including Mana Shield or Legend of the Night's Black Hole Ability).
Sometimes when Elite Defender has high enough attack speed he will play his idle animation while still "firing".
The art for the Elite Defender shows him saluting with two fingers, which is used in the Cub Scouts, as well as some other international organizations.
Starting from Version 11.0, despite not mentioning the newly added initial cooldown on the Version 11.0 patch notes, there is now an initial cooldown to the passive ability. A similar occurrence happens for Bomb Blitz.
On Dark Castle in Version 11.0, the track's converging paths confuse the Elite Defender's attack speed algorithm, quadrupling its attack speed when targeting bloons before the paths meet. The glitch is shown off in this video. This bug was patched on version 12.0.
Starting from Version 17.0, the description for Elite Defender added "...Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track." on top of the old description.