|“||Pop and Awe ability: rains explosions over the whole screen, damaging and immobilizing all bloons for a few seconds. Main attack gains additional bonus damage to stunned Bloons.||”|
|~ BTD6 description|
Pop and Awe is the final upgrade of Path 2 for the Mortar Monkey in BTD6. It exchanges the Bombardment ability with a new ability, Pop and Awe. Activating this ability will stun bloons and blimps, excluding BADs, at 1-second intervals 8 times during approximately 8 seconds, with bloons only moving for very short time in between. During the ability, all bloons are damaged at a rate of 20 damage per second, but the Bombardment ability's benefits will be absent. Cooldown for the ability is 60 seconds, and always goes under initial cooldown before initial activation.
In addition to a new ability, all special damage bonuses for its main attack are improved from Heavy Shells: +3 to +12 damage versus Ceramics, +1 to +4 versus Leads, +1 to +4 versus Fortified, +1 to +4 for MOAB-class, and +2 to +10 for stunned bloons.
Pop and Awe has a commander look to it, with a monkey saluting as the mortar shells get shot. The three mortars are now displayed in a line instead of a triangle position. The two lines on the mortars also look a lot bigger and slightly brighter compared to the Artillery Battery. The monkey does not have many changes, however, as only his hat is now white and the super thin yellow rim on the Artillery Battery's sleeves is gone.
Pop and Awe is a moderately strong tower overall, with both greatly increased Heavy Shells damage bonuses and the ability to stun all bloons on screen. With various buffs from Version 17.0 and 22.0, it has become a viable option for Two Megapop Challenge (where one tower pops almost all bloons) in CHIMPS mode even on shorter maps. Despite having a solid main attack damage, Striker Jones helps with Pop and Awe's major weaknesses, most particularly the long ability cooldown and the small blast size of its main attack. Striker Jones' stun ability also activates the increased damage on the main attack for stunned bloons (from +2 damage to +10 damage), making this an incredible combo.
Due to its price and cooldown, there may be better options for slowing bloons if you're not intentionally building around this tower. While not able to completely stun bloons, MOAB Glue and Bloon Sabotage are cheaper than Pop and Awe while providing similar slowing powers. Furthermore, multiple MOAB Glues and Bloon Sabotages can be placed for greater effectiveness than an 8 second stun. Icicle Impale also offers more consistent damage at the expense of a shorter range for the slowdown, although still at a high pierce value of 30.
In spite of its low stun ability uptime, Pop and Awe is significantly more reliable at tackling Super Ceramics in the presence of good Super Ceramic stuns such as Shell Shock, Bloon Impact, or Flash Bomb, as just one stun triggers massively increased damage to stunned bloons, wiping out any stunned Super Ceramics in just a few seconds.
- When paired with Striker Jones, Pop and Awe makes an excellent global stun tower. This will cause MOAB-class bloons to be stunned for much longer than 10 seconds, which is very useful in dire emergencies.
- In gamemodes where selling is possible, selling the Pop and Awe and buying a new one shortens the ability cooldown, providing an interesting usage of the Pop and Awe tower.
- It takes 20 seconds initial cooldown before it can be used once upgraded, however.
- The better crosspath for Pop and Awe is usually 2-5-0, as it increases blast radius and increases damage by +1. The increased accuracy is not very useful outside of while utilizing the additional stun damage at very specific locations, while Burny Stuff is very weak in comparison to its main attack and wastes opportunity to utilize better crosspaths.
- Bug Reports
- [27.0] An active Bombardment ability from Artillery Battery upgraded while ability is active causes Pop and Awe to receive two abilities of the same type.
- Bug Fixes
- [27.1] Fix of the 27.0 bug.
Extra Notes (Version History)
- Version 27.0 buffed Artillery Battery by gaining a new Bombardment ability, but this doesn't affect Pop and Awe nor does the Artillery Battery's ability integrate into the Pop and Awe ability. Rather, upgrading into the Pop and Awe upgrade replaces the Bombardment ability entirely.
When activating Pop and Awe Ability:
- [Button press, followed by raining explosions]
- This upgrade used to be the second Tier 5 upgrade that granted an ability, after Special Poperations.
- The global explosions animation of Pop and Awe ability is the same animation as the Bomb Blitz ability.
- The ability activation sound effect is a high-pitched bleep sound (alongside explosive shell sounds), possibly to denote the pressing of a handheld radio button.
- Before Version 17.0, the old description was "Pop and Awe Ability: Rains explosions over the whole screen, popping and immobilizing all bloons for a few seconds." but has been changed to accommodate the new changes. Strangely enough, the new description features a typo where "[...] Main attack gains additional bonus damage to [...]" where "additional" is spelled as "additonal". This has since been fixed in a later update.
- The greatest amount of damage Pop and Awe can inflict at a certain bloon type is a stunned Fortified Ceramic. By default, it will deal 27 damage. But adding Bloon Buster (+1 damage), Permanent Brew (+2 damage overall), True Sun God with maxed Support sacrifices on both sacrifice stages (+4 damage), and then doubling the damage from Striker Jones Level 20, the maximum damage per shot to a single bloon is 68 damage to a stunned Fortified Ceramic. Adding debuffs such as Glue Storm or Embrittlement will further increase this.
- The tower's name "Pop and Awe" is a reference to a war tactic known as shock and awe, where one uses overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy's perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight.
- On 27th/28th March 2021, large amounts of Pop and Awe underrated appreciation posts were posted on r/btd6.