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Razor sharp shards fly out when Frozen Bloons pop.
~ In-game description

Ice Shards is the 3rd upgrade on Path 1 for the Ice Monkey in Bloons TD 6. It causes bloons frozen by this tower to release 3 shards when popped. This includes Lead Bloons and Camo Bloons, as its previous upgrade Cold Snap gives camo detection and lead-popping power to the Ice Monkey. More technically speaking, bloons affected by this Ice Monkey's blasts will set a shardable status effect for an amount of time equivalent to the duration of the freeze status effect of that tower. Ice Shards also increases range by +5, from 20 to 25. As a Tier 3+ Ice Monkey, it inflicts a full freeze duration against Ceramics.

Ice Shards can freeze up to 40 bloons per blast (45 with Deep Freeze), and affected frozen bloons unleash clusters of three shards at 120° apart. Each shard has 3 "impact" pierce (i.e. cannot be affected by pierce buffs). Note that shards can only be released if the Frozen Bloons inflicted by the Ice Shards are popped by any source; consequently, a lone Ice Shards cannot trigger its own shards without additional support, as its crosspaths for increasing freeze duration and re-freezing capabilities (via Re-Freeze) are mutually exclusive. However, despite these limitations, each individual shard deals 2 damage, causing widespread damage upon triggering the shards. Shards can accept external damage buffs such as Berserker Brew.

The ice shards from Ice Shards can damage MOAB-class bloons, Whites, Zebras, and Frozen Bloons. However, the shards cannot damage Lead Bloon properties outside of external support such as a nearby Monkey Intelligence Bureau.

This upgrade costs $1,275 on Easy, $1,500 on Medium, $1,620 on Hard, and $1,800 on Impoppable.



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Ice Shards

This upgrade replaces the hexagonal decoration with three rhombi in a three-lobed leaf arrangement. The middle one is larger than the other two. The Ice Monkey's fists are also larger.

When attacking, the Ice Shards Monkey now clenches his fists, and raises himself upwards and downwards with force focusing on his fists.

During idle animation, the Ice Shards Monkey uses new idle animations. Sometimes, it occasionally looks at his fists. It sometimes may quickly shake its fists.

The effects of "shardable" status effect are added for all freeze blasts made by the Ice Shards Monkey; upon popping the Frozen Bloon layer by any means, the affected bloons will burst out 3 shards in equal directions, each dealing 2 damage and up to 3 bloons. The shards themselves can accept external damage buffs.

Targeting Priorities[]

Ice Shards produces freezing blasts in a zone-like style. Technically, the Ice Monkey is locked on the Close targeting priority. However, for simplicity reasons, this monkey has no targeting priorities.

Full Popology[]


Updated as of Version 40.0
Base stats
  • Freeze:
    • Zone, metal freeze type (pops all except Frozen and White), detects centerpoint hitbox, 25 range, 2.4s attack cooldown, 1 damage, 40 pierce, freezes for 1.5s. Blast radius matches current range. Can detect Camo.
    • Applies Permafrost status effect, slowing down affected bloons by 50%.
    • Applies Shardable to affected bloons, which release a spray of 3 Shards in a 120° formation if popped, duration equal to freeze length.
  • Shards:
    • Shrapnel, shatter type, 3 impact pierce, 2 damage. Can hit Camos.
Crosspathing interactions
  • 3-1-0: Attack cooldown reduced from 2.4s to 1.8s, freeze duration increased from 1.5s to 1.75s.
  • 3-2-0: Freeze duration increased from 1.75s to 2.2s, freeze penetrates two layers, Freeze pierce increased from 40 to 45.
  • 3-0-1: Range increased from 25 to 32.
  • 3-0-2: Damage type of Freeze changed from metal freeze (pops all except Frozen and White) to metal glacier freeze (pops all except White).
Monkey Knowledge interactions

Attack Interactions[]

See also: Attack Interactions/Bloons TD 6/Primary
Updated as of Version 36.0
Base attack(s)
  • Freeze:
    • Metal Freeze Type (pops Black, Purple, Lead) Metal Freeze
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Area of Effect Area of Effect
    • Target Bloon(s) (unless upgraded to tier 5) Target Bloon
    • Freeze (standard bloons, 1 Freeze (1.5s duration)
    • Shardable (While duration of this status effect is active, popping the bloon will release ice shards) Shardable
    • Permafrost (unspecified detail of slowdown) Permafrost (permanent slowdown)
      • Slowdown (50% permanent slowdown for all affected bloons, soaks 1 layer) Slowdown (50%, permanent)
  • Shards:
    • Shatter Type (pops Black, White, Purple, Frozen) Shatter
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Orbital Spray (spray of 3) Orbital Spray (3)
    • Shrapnel (derives from freeze, if projectile pops it, can't hurt parent bloon) Shrapnel
    • Extra damage to all bloon types (2) Extra Damage (2)


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 (3-X-X) $1,275 $1,500 $1,620 $1,800 -
Total (3-0-0) $2,120 $2,500 $2,700 $3,000 $1,484 $1,750 $1,890 $2,100
Crosspath (3-1-0) $2,310 $2,725 $2,945 $3,270 $1,617 $1,908 $2,062 $2,289
Crosspath (3-2-0) $2,690 $3,175 $3,430 $3,810 $1,883 $2,223 $2,401 $2,667
Crosspath (3-0-1) $2,270 $2,675 $2,890 $3,210 $1,589 $1,873 $2,023 $2,247
Crosspath (3-0-2) $2,460 $2,900 $3,135 $3,480 $1,722 $2,030 $2,195 $2,436

This upgrade's prices (or included crosspath's prices) are affected by the following MK: BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals



Ice Shards is mostly relegated to concentrated spots where large crowd of bloons swarm, particularly used on Race Events, but can still be decent on hyperdense rounds during mid-game rounds. Combining Ice Shards with at least one frozen-popper is helpful to unleash the shards reliably before the freeze duration expires. Because of this, Bloontonium Reactor makes a great combo to maximize shard production, as Reactor has a fast but reliable area-of-effect attack when submerged.

Self-activating shards immediately upon freezing is much harder to perform in BTD6, unlike its BTD5 counterpart, although Embrittlement can further assist that role. In particular, Ice Shards is too slow to freeze consecutively and lacks natural capability to re-freeze bloons, requiring any reliable frozen-popping attack to activate the shards. However, 3-0-2 Ice Shards can be stacked together and form a similar mass-shredding of bloons, whether or not they are sychronized.


  • If opting for a few separate Ice Shards to handle grouped waves, the 3-1-0 or 3-2-0 crosspath is generally preferred for Ice Shards, as it will allow sharding opportunities to occur more often. Deep Freeze is limited in use, only really meaningful for the +10 pierce for the ice blasts, rather than the deeper freeze and longer freeze duration; the release of shards will always occur as long as the bloon frozen by this tower was damaged by any means.
  • Groups of 3-0-2 Ice Shards are useful for popping up grouped waves in a somewhat similar way to in BTD5.
  • Because neither crosspath will naturally allow itself to trigger the shards, an additional tower should be added to pop the Frozen Bloons. Usually, this will involve adding nearby Bomb Shooters, but Bloontonium Reactor is far more reliable due to its decent range and fast attack rate.
  • Even when given MIB, an Ice Shards without 3-0-2 cannot activate its own shards. To produce auto-sharding with just a single Ice Monkey, upgrade an existing Ice Shards further to Embrittlement.
  • Ice Shards can indirectly affect blimps with its ice shards. This can only work when there are many other bloons on screen to let those shards active from freezing the affected bloons. This is mostly useful on Race Events that enable Ice Shards.
  • Because Ice Shards can accept damage buffs, adding Berserker Brew would be helpful for shredding bloons harder.

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

Ice Shards is weaker than it was in BTD5, as it now requires other towers to activate the shards of ice. As for balance changes throughout BTD6 history, Ice Shards now provides extra range too.

  • BUFF Ice Shards now grants more range to the Ice Monkey (20 → 25)
  • BUFF [Undocumented, likely a bug] Ice Shards' "shardable" status effect now affects White and Zebra Bloons. While it does not actually pop them, its effect still applies; causing them to release ice shards when popped by other Monkeys.
  • NERF [Undocumented, possibly a bug] Ice Shards and above now always require Re-Freeze in order to pop Frozen Bloons and therefore activate their own shards regardless of adding a nearby MIB or not. This includes Super Brittle.
Embrittlement being a 'camo reveal' has not been viable due to the price, so T2 Metal Freeze has been granted camo detection to allow this tower to somewhat hold off camos while it saves up to become a reveal.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Metal Freeze rework into Cold Snap
  • BUFF Ice Shards now detects camo, from the Cold Snap upgrade (previously Metal Freeze)
Ice Monkey base pierce is too high, very easily countering large numbers of strong Bloons early, mid or late in the game for small investment, leading to very low tiers of ice monkey (below t3) being highly effective spam options over upgrading your ice. We are reworking some of this base pierce to require crosspath investment and buffing the damage Ice 3xx Ice Shards to compensate for some of its reduced pierce.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Ice Shards base shard damage increased 1 → 2
  • NERF Ice Shards base freezing pierce decreased (40 → 30). Does not affect 3-2-0.
  • Change Indirect buff, as all Tier 3+ Ice Monkeys, including Ice Shards, to freeze Ceramics for a full duration compared to lower-Tier Ice Monkeys which freeze them for half duration.
We’re happier with more recent freeze changes succeeding in some of the intentions of older nerfs, given the base tower value in races being hit far more than intended we’re going back over the pierce for Ice Monkey base & middle crosspath. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Ice Shards base freezing pierce increased (30 → 40)
We want to try out allowing the Ice Shards sub-projectile to benefit from all sources of damage buff, as currently this path gets nice support use sometimes but can’t do much on its own in the base game - along with this the T5 Ice Shards are also generally being improved. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Ice Shards shard damage is now uncapped, allowing for external buffs

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

Extra Notes (Version History)[]


Official artwork[]



  • Technically speaking, an Ice Shards in fact is able to produce shards on its own if crosspathed with Path 3's Re-Freeze upgrade and is buffed by a fast enough attack speed buff such as Overclock. However, crosspathing with only either Path 2 crosspaths or the Re-Freeze upgrade will not, as it cannot attack fast enough or pop Frozen Bloons.[1]
  • Though White and Zebra Bloons are not frozen by the initial attack, they are still affected by Ice Shards' effect, releasing shards of ice when popped as if it were a frozen Bloon.
  • Like its BTD5 counterpart, Ice Shards is the only Tier 3 Ice Monkey upgrade to be able to practically but indirectly affect MOAB-class bloons. Other Ice Monkey upgrades cannot damage blimps even when there are nearby other bloons because blimps cannot be directly targeted by ice blasts unless upgraded to Tier 5, Icicles, or Embrittlement, or can only hit blimps with either attacks produced from a burst or with the Snowstorm ability.