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First Strike Ability: A devastating missile strike targeting the largest bloon on screen, plus splash damage.
~ In-game description

First Strike Capability is the 4th upgrade for Path 2 for the Monkey Sub in Bloons TD 6. This upgrade grants an activated ability that triggers a nuclear missile, which deals up to 10,000 damage onto the strongest bloon on screen, along with a large explosion of blast radius 75 that deals 350 damage onto up to 80 bloons caught inside the blast radius. This devastating missile impact is capable of fully annihilating any bloon up to ZOMGs or DDTs, or even BADs if in critical condition, as both the impact and the resulting explosion of the nuclear missile can penetrate MOAB-class bloons. The First Strike Capability ability has a 60 second cooldown.

This upgrade costs $11,050 on Easy, $13,000 on Medium, $14,040 on Hard, and $15,600 on Impoppable.



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First Strike Capability

First Strike Capability increases the size of the submarine, adds a mostly redder paintwork on the submarine, and the monkey operator gains a white beard and black ushanka with a private emblem embedded on a gold-colored badge. In the upgrade portrait, the monkey folds its arms and stares at the player's direction.

When crosspathed with Path 1, the monkey wears a green beret. Advanced Intel lets the operator peek into binoculars. When crosspathed with Path 3, the submarine gains a second gun, and with Airburst Darts the submarine's back side is painted yellow.

This upgrade adds the First Strike Capability ability, which triggers a nuclear missile that targets the strongest bloon on screen, dealing 10,000 direct damage, with 350 damage to up to 80 nearby bloons, including the original target.

Activated Abilities[]

See also: Activated Abilities (BTD6)#First Strike Capability

First Strike Capability Ability

This is the special ability for the 4th tier Monkey Sub. It fires a devastatingly large missile that targets the largest bloon on screen, dealing a massive 10,000 damage to the strongest bloon and producing an 80 pierce splash damage of 350. The First Strike ability is considered an "instant" ability; it can still be re-activated immediately after usage if the ability is reset pre-emptively.

First Strike ability has a cooldown of 60 seconds, alongside a 20 second initial cooldown.

First Strike's ability cooldowns can accept cooldown reduction buffs from a nearby Bloontonium Reactor, as well as both the local and global Energizer buffs. It can also accept the cooldown reset of Geraldo's Rejuv Potion. It also accepts cooldown reduction bonuses from Monkey Knowledge and Relic Knowledge.

Targeting Priorities[]

First Strike Capability targets bloons using the standard target priorities. It has multiple types of attacks that are shot in different styles.

  • First: Targets the first bloon visible within its range.
  • Last: Targets the last bloon visible within its range.
  • Close: Targets the closest bloon visible within its range.
  • Strong: Targets the strongest bloon visible within its range.

Darts are shot in a straight movement and automatically home at bloons with moderate seeking, having a tight seeking curve while traveling but does not make sharp turns. Ballistic missiles are shot in a lobbing style, launching in the air and crashing onto a target according to target priority prior to launching. First Strike ability missiles target in the same way as ballistic missiles, except are locked on Strong and can attack anywhere on screen.

When given Advanced Intel, both the darts and missiles can specifically target within the range of any tower on screen, and is capable of detecting Camo Bloons if another tower on screen can. However, adding Advanced Intel does not add Camo Prioritization, despite being a potential option for camo detection.

Full Popology[]


Updated as of Version 42.0
Base stats
  • Dart:
    • Projectile, normal type, 50 range, 0.7s attack cooldown, 1 damage, 5 pierce. Moderately homes at bloons at a 170 linear speed and 360 angular speed, with a seeking radius of 27.06.
  • Ballistic Missile:
    • Lobbed projectile, explosion type, 50 range, 1.0s attack cooldown, 1 damage, +5 Ceramic damage, +5 MOAB-class damage, 60 pierce. 0.6s delay between launch and target, and actively chases intended target.
Ability stats
  • First Strike Capability:
    • Activates First Strike Missile in a lobbing motion following the target. 60 seconds cooldown, 20 seconds initial cooldown. When striking a target, inflict Strike Hit and produce burst Strike Explosion.
  • Strike Hit:
    • Lobbed, locked on Strong, 10,000 blimp-penetrating damage, 1 impact, normal damage type, detects camo.
  • Strike Explosion:
    • Burst, 350 blimp-penetrating damage, normal damage type, detects camo, 75 radius, 80 pierce.
Crosspathing interactions
  • 1-4-0: Range increased from 50 to 60.
  • 2-4-0: Ballistic Missile can trigger from all valid tower ranges on screen, and detect Camo if triggered target is inside a camo-detecting range.
  • 0-4-1: Dart attack cooldown reduced from 0.7s to 0.35s, Ballistic Missile attack cooldown decreased from 1.0s to 0.875s.
  • 0-4-2: Dart pierce reduced to one impact and splits into three Airburst Dart on hit with 5 pierce each.
Monkey Knowledge interactions
  • NavalUpgradesIcon Naval Upgrades: All Monkey Subs get +1 pierce.
  • EliteMilitaryTrainingIcon Elite Military Training: All Military Monkeys get a one-off +1000 XP and earn XP in-game 5% faster permanently.
  • BreakingBallisticIcon Breaking Ballistic: Ballistic Missiles do +1 damage to Ceramic Bloons.
    • Base Ballistic Missile attack will deal 6 damage instead of 5 versus Ceramic Bloons.
  • FlankingManeuversIcon Flanking Maneuvers: Attacks 10% faster when set targeting priority to "Last".
  • MilitaryConscriptionIcon Military Conscription: First military tower costs only ⅔ of the original cost.
    • Monkey Sub base cost from $275, $325, $350, and $390 → $185, $220, $235, and $260 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
  • AdvancedLogisticsIcon Advanced Logistics: All Military Monkeys base costs reduced by 5%.
    • Monkey Sub base cost from $275, $325, $350, and $390 → $260, $310, $335, and $370 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
      • If Military Conscription is also enabled, the final cost will be $170, $200, $220, and $240.
  • MonkeyEducationIcon Monkey Education: All Monkeys XP earn rate increased by 8%.
  • BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals: All Monkeys sell for 5% more. Increases sell potency from 70% to 75%.
  • VeteranMonkeyTrainingIcon Veteran Monkey Training: All Monkeys reload time reduced by 3%.
  • GlobalAbilityCooldownsIcon Global Ability Cooldowns: All Ability cooldowns for all Monkeys reduced by 3%.

Attack Interactions[]

See also: Attack Interactions/Bloons TD 6/Military
Updated as of Version 40.2
Base attack(s)
  • Dart:
    • Normal Type (pops Black, White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Normal
    • Single Projectile Single Projectile
    • Straight Attack Straight Attack
    • Moderate Seeking Moderate Seeking
  • Ballistic Missile:
    • Explosion Type (pops White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Explosion
    • Single Projectile Single Projectile
    • Lobbed Throw Lobbed Throw
    • Extra damage versus MOAB-class Bloons (+5) Extra Damage to Blimps (+5)
    • Extra damage versus Ceramics (+5) Extra Damage to Ceramic (+5)
Ability attack(s)
  • Strike Hit:
    • Normal Type (pops Black, White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Normal
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Lobbed Throw Lobbed Throw
    • Impact Impact
    • Extra damage to all bloon types (10,000) Extra Damage (10,000)
    • Penetrates Blimp (can penetrate through MOAB-class bloons) Penetrates Blimp
  • Strike Explosion:
    • Normal Type (pops Black, White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Normal
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Burst (bursts from First Strike impact) Burst
    • Area of Effect Area of Effect
    • Extra damage to all bloon types (350) Extra Damage (350)
    • Penetrates Blimp (can penetrate through MOAB-class bloons) Penetrates Blimp


Updated as of Version 43.0. Listed prices exclude external buffs, any sacrifices, and Monkey Knowledge.
[Module | Data] Purchase Sell
Costs Easy Medium Hard Impoppable Easy Medium Hard Impoppable
Upgrade (X-4-X) $11,050 $13,000 $14,040 $15,600 -
Total (0-4-0) $13,105 $15,425 $16,660 $18,510 $9,174 $10,798 $11,662 $12,957
Crosspath (1-4-0) $13,215 $15,555 $16,800 $18,665 $9,251 $10,889 $11,760 $13,066
Crosspath (2-4-0) $13,640 $16,055 $17,340 $19,265 $9,548 $11,239 $12,138 $13,486
Crosspath (0-4-1) $13,485 $15,875 $17,145 $19,050 $9,440 $11,113 $12,002 $13,335
Crosspath (0-4-2) $14,335 $16,875 $18,225 $20,250 $10,035 $11,813 $12,758 $14,175

This upgrade's prices (or included crosspath's prices) are affected by the following MK: MilitaryConscriptionIcon Military Conscription, AdvancedLogisticsIcon Advanced Logistics, BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals



First Strike Capability's main role in the game is to destroy large-health targets with its activated ability, which sends out a powerful missile onto the strongest bloon on screen. In practice, First Strike is primarily used to annihilate, or at least cripple, the Round 100 BAD. Timing of the ability is highly important, as a single use of the ability is capable of fully annihilating a BAD along with its insides if the BAD is at very low health when struck by the missile. Although primarily used against BADs, First Strike is also useful at fully annihilating spaced ZOMGs, even on CHIMPS Mode.


  • First Strike Capability is very useful to counter the Round 100 BAD (along with the Round 99 BAD in ABR) during the BAD's final stages.
    • A single First Strike activation can be either used to cripple the BAD or to cleanly kill the BAD.
      • To kill the BAD without any children, the player must wait until the BAD is weakened slightly after the last stage.
      • If DDTs are undesired, the ability can be activated earlier.
    • A double First Strike activation does the same thing as above, although it is easier to time and works with more strategies.
      • On longer maps, this can be done with one First Strike, but by buying either: another First Strike, Bloontonium Reactor or Energizer, this strategy can be carried over to shorter maps.
  • If First Strike Capability is desired for the Round 100 BAD on CHIMPS Mode, buy it prior. It is better not to wait until Round 100 to buy First Strike Capability. Readying it on rounds 98 or 99 is optimal.
  • Since the ability is not at all affected by crosspaths, First Strike Capability does not require crosspaths to function as a counter to high-HP blimps. If crosspath is needed, however, opt for whatever would be best for the Ballistic Missile attack.
  • First Strike Capability can be used to deal huge damage against earlier tiers of Bloonarius. However, it is ineffective at dealing with its children, as Bloonarius Minions are briefly immune to all attacks during their first few seconds of spawning, and the ability cannot be used to deal with spawned BADs due to the fixed Strong targeting always targeting Bloonarius.
  • Despite dealing huge damage, First Strike cannot bypass Gravelord Lych's skull health, which renders First Strike less useful until higher tiers.
  • Two First Strikes can be useful in Tier 1 Ranked Dreadbloon or in Tier 1 Elite to bypass the primary layer and allow Overdrive spam or a Tack Zone to deal massive damage.

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

Traditionally for handling bigger blimps, the First Strike is a popular option in BTD6 for this role. The ability gained a sizable cost decrease and can now penetrate blimp layers when the target's health is low enough, although it has gained a damage nerf added later on due to its single-target dominance in CHIMPS strategies. It remains a popular option for taking down big blimps especially BADs on Round 100.

  • BUFF Price of First Strike Capability decreased ($20,000 → $13,000)
  • BUFF No longer freezes the game when the ability hits a Black Bloon.
  • BUFF First Strike Capability ability now can instakill all Bloons in explosion radius up to ZOMGs instead of just stripping them into children layers (specifically MOAB-class Bloons, BFBs and ZOMGs used to become MOABs upon ability impact). Also does an additional 350 damage to all bloons in its explosion radius.
  • BUFF No longer crashes the game when the ability destroys a BAD.
  • NERF First Strike Capability ability missile deals less damage (16,700 → 10,000)
  • BUFF First Strike Capability's ballistic missiles can deal 2x more damage if nearby Sub Commander. Doesn't affect First Strike Capability ability missiles.
  • BUFF First Strike Capability's base range increased (42 → 60)
  • NERF First Strike Capability's ballistic missiles are now limited to base range, unless Advanced Intel is purchased.
  • BUFF Adding Twin Guns increases ballistic missile rate from 1.5s to 1.275s
  • BUFF Adding Airburst Darts increases ballistic missile rate from 1.5s to 0.75s
  • BUFF Ballistic Missiles now deal more damage to Ceramics and MOABs (5 → 6)
  • NERF First Strike Capability's Ballistic Missile range reduced from 60 → 50
  • NERF First Strike Capability's 0-4-1 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced from 1.275 → 1.3125
  • NERF First Strike Capability's 0-4-2 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced from 0.75 → 0.984375
  • NERF First Strike Capability's x-4-x Ballistic Missile's splash should no longer hit Camo without Camo Detection
Ballistic Missile previously had far too much attack speed added into the crosspath and was rebalanced for parity, but the overall performance loss from this was too much. Better balance will come from the base rate of Ballistic Missile itself.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Ballistic Missile
  • BUFF First Strike Capability's Ballistic Missile attack now attacks faster (1.5s → 1.3s). Also affects crosspaths.
As Airburst Darts alone already gives a huge benefit to the tower regardless of not applying any crosspath buff, some of the attack speed benefit this upgrade gave to 032 Ballistic Missile has instead been moved into the base 030 Missile.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Ballistic Missile
  • Change Affected by Ballistic Missile attack speed crosspathing reworks, slightly nerfed 0-3-2 but all other crosspaths attack faster
Ballistic Missile's 230 crosspath has been in a confusing spot for a while where it functioned different to Advanced Intel, so it has been converted to function with Advanced Intel in the same way that any other Sub upgrade would. Additionally First Strike's secondary explosion has had its target count reduced slightly.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Change Affected by 2-3-0 Ballistic Missile range rework
  • NERF First Strike ability secondary AoE pierce lowered from infinite -> 80
    • This "slightly" decreased target count written by NK is false. It was formerly infinite pierce.
Previously the rate increase to Ballistic Missile from crosspath was reduced due to Airburst having enough value on it’s [sic] own. This reason still applies as Airburst provides a significant power boost just on it’s [sic] own, so all rate increase has been removed from Airburst and applied directly to the base Ballistic Missile to help crosspath diversity slightly.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Ballistic Missile
  • Change Affected by Ballistic Missile attack speed crosspathing reworks
  • NERF Affected by Ballistic pierce and speed nerf

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

  • Change Description change to reflect the presence of splash damage in the ability.
    • Changed from "First Strike ability: A devastating missile strike on the largest Bloon on screen." to "First Strike Ability: A devastating missile strike targeting the largest bloon on screen, plus splash damage."
    • Undocumented in Patch Notes.

Extra Notes (Version History)[]


When activating First Strike Capability:


Official artwork[]



  • The monkey piloting the submarine resembles Sean Connery acting as Marko Ramius in "The Hunt for Red October". Like the actor, the monkey wears a black ushanka and has a white beard.
  • On custom challenges where all Regrow Bloons are enabled, using the First Strike Capability ability such that a blimp spawns Regrow Bloons will cause all of those Regrow Bloons to only regrow back to the layer they become. This phenomenon happens with all other abilities that penetrate through multiple blimp layers.[1]
  • The capability for First Strike to one-shot a critically damaged BAD is featured in a Quest called “Striken BAD”.