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Automatically triggers a powerful missile attack whenever MOAB-Class Bloon spawns [sic] from the Bloon entrance.
~ In-game description

Pre-Emptive Strike is the final upgrade for Path 2 for the Monkey Sub in Bloons TD 6. It automatically triggers a MOAB Assassin-esque effect whenever a MOAB-class bloon spawns from the entrance, dealing 750 damage to that blimp upon impact. In addition, its First Strike ability cooldown is reduced from 60 seconds to 45 seconds, initial cooldown from 20 seconds to 5 seconds, and its Ballistic Missile attack deals 10 damage plus another +15 to Ceramics and MOAB-class per missile and is shot every 0.5 seconds instead of every 0.9945 seconds.

This upgrade costs $27,200 on Easy, $32,000 on Medium, $34,560 on Hard, and $38,400 on Impoppable.






Targeting Priorities[]

Pre-Emptive Strike 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. Pre-emptive missiles only target MOAB-class bloons and are targeted with a Pre-Emptive Pre-Emptive (targets only bloons entering the screen) style of attack.

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.


Updated as of Version 32.0. Listed prices exclude external buffs, any sacrifices, and Monkey Knowledge.
Purchase Sell
Costs Easy Medium Hard Impoppable Easy Medium Hard Impoppable
Upgrade (X-5-X) $27,200 $32,000 $34,560 $38,400 -
Total (0-5-0) $40,350 $47,475 $51,270 $56,970 $28,245 $33,233 $35,889 $39,879
Crosspath (1-5-0) $40,460 $47,605 $51,410 $57,125 $28,322 $33,324 $35,987 $39,988
Crosspath (2-5-0) $40,885 $48,105 $51,950 $57,725 $28,620 $33,674 $36,365 $40,408
Crosspath (0-5-1) $40,730 $47,925 $51,755 $57,510 $28,511 $33,548 $36,229 $40,257
Crosspath (0-5-2) $41,580 $48,925 $52,835 $58,710 $29,106 $34,248 $36,985 $41,097

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



Pre-Emptive Strike near-immediately deals damage to any blimp entering the screen, no matter how many of them. In addition, its high damage missiles make it acceptable at cleaning up after spawning a lot of Super Ceramics. Sub Commander combined with Pre-Emptive Strike is an acceptable combo on easier maps, destroying DDTs while providing damage to other bloons. However, it can struggle against ZOMG-dense rounds, though with a faster First Strike ability this weakness is partially mitigated.


  • Each missile deals 750 damage, enough to destroy the outer layer of a non-freeplay MOAB, a DDT and a BFB. Note that it leaves the children unharmed.
    • Starting Round 83, normal BFBs are no longer instantly popped.
  • The triggered special missiles can be fired at an infinite fire rate, always shooting a missile at every MOAB-class bloon that spawns from the entrance.
  • Note that the Pre-Emptive Strike missiles will not be able to fully pop Fortified DDTs and Fortified BFBs, since the Fortified DDTs on round 99 have 1,104 health each and Fortified BFBs have healths ranging from 1,500 to 1,902 depending on the round.
    • If boosted by a Sub Commander, the Pre-Emptive Strike missiles will fully pop the Fortified DDTs on round 99. However, that's no longer enough to fully pop even an ordinary DDT by round 138 (which is mostly Fortified DDTs).
  • Regardless of camo detection, Pre-Emptive Strike will still shoot triggered special missiles to DDTs that come from the entrance.
  • Although the Pre-Emptive Strike is extremely powerful at obliterating MOABs that spawn from the entrance, there may be a lot of Ceramics that spawn underneath. Ensure defenses can handle the Ceramics underneath, especially on Rounds 81+.
  • Pair with Sub Commander for far more effective Pre-Emptive Strike demolition. With double damage for the passive ability, it can take out the Fortified DDTs on Round 99 with ease, assuming standard blimp health.
  • The better crosspath for Pre-Emptive does not matter much, as its main strength comes from its automatic pre-emptive missile attacks. But if a crosspath is warranted, try the 0-5-2 crosspath for improved attack speed for the improved close-range missile attacks or the 2-5-0 crosspath if bloons are often outside of the Pre-Emptive Strike's range.

Version History[]

When first released in the game, it was one of the most reliable options for stripping down ordinary DDT layers in late-game. With many other anti-DDT alternatives becoming viable later on as updates went by, Pre-Emptive Strike received a few additional price cuts and attack buffs in following updates to compete in its expertise.

  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike missile damage to Ceramics and MOAB-class increased (+4 → +10)
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike missile fire rate increased (2s → 0.5s)
  • Buff Price reduced ($40,000 → $35,000)
  • Nerf First Strike Capability ability missile deals less damage (16,700 → 10,000)
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike price reduced from $35,000 to $32,000
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike ability cooldown reduced from 60s to 45s
  • Buff [Undocumented] Pre-Emptive Strike initial cooldown reduced from 20s to 5s
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike's ability missiles and ballistic missiles can deal 2x more damage if affected by Sub Commander buff. Doesn't affect First Strike Capability ability missiles.
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike base range increased (42 → 60)
  • Nerf Pre-Emptive Strike ballistic missiles are now limited to base range, unless Advanced Intel is purchased.
  • Buff Adding Twin Guns increases ballistic missile rate from 0.5s to 0.425s
  • Buff Adding Airburst Darts increases ballistic missile rate from 0.5s to 0.25s
  • Nerf Pre-Emptive Strike's Ballistic Missile range reduced from 60 → 50
  • Nerf Pre-Emptive Strike's 0-5-1 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced from 0.425 → 0.4375
  • Nerf Pre-Emptive Strike's 0-5-2 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced from 0.25 → 0.328125
  • Nerf Pre-Emptive Strike's x-5-x Ballistic Missile's splash should no longer hit Camo without Camo Detection
  • Description changed from "Automatically triggers a MOAB Assassin effect whenever MOAB-Class Bloon spawns from the Bloon entrance" to "Automatically triggers a powerful missle attack whenever MOAB-Class Bloon spawns from the Bloon entrance."
  • Description changed from "Automatically triggers a powerful missle attack whenever MOAB-Class Bloon spawns from the Bloon entrance." to "Automatically triggers a powerful missile attack whenever MOAB-Class Bloon spawns from the Bloon entrance."
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
  • Nerf 0-5-2 Pre-Emptive's Ballistic Missile missile rate buff reduced from 0.75x attack cooldown to 0.90x attack cooldown
    • i.e., attack rate reduced from 0.328125s to 0.39375s
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 Affected by First Strike Capability ability missile pierce nerf
Increasing the strength of the basic Ballistic Missile attack on the Pre-Emptive Strike sub, so that it can bring a little more to the table after the initial single hit on each spawn.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike missile damage increased from 1 → 10
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike missile ceramic damage increased from +10 → +15
  • Buff Pre-Emptive Strike missile MOAB damage increased from +10 → +15
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
  • Nerf 0-5-2 Pre-Emptive Strike no longer grants an attack speed buff to Ballistic Missiles.
    • i.e., Ballistic Missile attack rate reduced from 0.39375s to 0.4375s


When activating First Strike Capability:


Official artworks[]



  • This upgrade is one of four x/5/x upgrades to keep the same ability as the preceding upgrade, the others being the Druid, Spike Factory and the Heli Pilot.
  • This upgrade is one of the few Tier 5 upgrades to have multiple appearances from crosspathing. It will have a second gun if there are any upgrades on the bottom path.
  • This, Carpet of Spikes, Bomb Blitz, Elite Defender, Legend of the Night and Commanche Defense are the only upgrades that have automatic abilities. (Pre-Emptive Strike with its triggered missiles, Carpet of Spikes with its periodical Spike Storms, Bomb Blitz with its global destruction when bloons leaked, Elite Defender with its x4 attack speed when bloons leaked, Legend of the Night with its black hole, and Commanche Defense calling backup Comanches)
    • However, it can be seen as an attack especially since it has no cooldown.
      • The latter three's passive abilities are affected by Energizer, but Pre-Emptive Strike does not get affected.
  • Despite Ballistic Missile's base attack rate got several buffs since Version 22.0, Pre-Emptive Strike is still unchanged and 0-5-2 crosspathing got some nerfs.