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BTD6

Camo Bloons popped by flares lose their camouflage permanently.
~ In-game description

Signal Flare is the third upgrade of Path 3 for the Mortar Monkey in Bloons TD 6. Explosions from Signal Flare can decamo and damage Camo Bloons. Upon detonation of the main explosion, an additional non-damaging secondary flare blast covers a wide radius, which decamos up to 80 Camo Bloons (+10 decamo pierce with Bigger Blast) within the blast radius, similar to a Shimmer, although bloons without Camo can also consume pierce of the secondary flares. Each flare has a blast radius of 52 (72 with Bigger Blast). The Mortar Monkey gains camo detection. Signal Flare can also decamo Camo Blacks, Camo Zebras, and even DDTs, despite being unable to damage them by default. If Level 5+ Gwendolin is present, she will grant extra attack speed and blast radius to it.

This upgrade costs $765 on Easy, $900 on Medium, $970 on Hard, and $1,080 on Impoppable.

Description[]

Overview[]

Decamo flare lead

Signal Flare decamoing Camo Leads and burning bloons, separately

Signal Flare changes the Mortar's red colors into a brighter red, specifically more color saturation, as well as adds a red rounded ring pattern around the lips of the Mortar barrel. The monkey wears black gloves, and the helmet is more scarlet instead of "fire engine red".

Crosspaths of the Signal Flare change its appearance. With Path 2 crosspaths, Faster Reload changes the monkey's helmet becomes a general's hat, and the Rapid Reload upgrade changes the base of the Mortar into a rounded grey base instead of a rectangular green base. With Path 1 crosspaths, Bigger Blast tips the barrel with yellow and Bloon Buster changes the main color of the Mortar from green to light-grey.

Signal Flare creates invisible flares that decamo bloons across a wider area than the main blasts. It can also detect camos directly.

Targeting Priorities[]

Mortar Monkey has only one target priority, "Set Target". This allows the Mortar Monkey to land shells within anywhere inside the target reticle. Tapping on the "Set Target" button prompts the player to change the target position of where the Mortar Monkey will land its shells. By default, once the Mortar Monkey is bought, the Mortar Monkey's target reticle is placed near the start of the first bloon track.

If Striker Jones's Level 7+ Target Focus ability is activated, all Mortar Monkeys are automatically set to Follow Touch / Follow Mouse temporarily, unless manually re-targeted via Set Target, and snap back to their old Set Target option once the ability is finished.

Full Popology[]

Updated as of Version 41.3
Base stats
  • Explosion:
    • Lobbed projectile, explosion type, detects camo, targets at a custom-aimed location with deviation of 8, 0.5s deployment cooldown, 2.0s attack cooldown, 20 blast radius, 2 damage, 25 pierce. Applies Burn status effect, dealing 1 damage every 1.25s for 3.75s. Upon expiry, create Flare.
  • Flare:
    • Burst, normal type, detects camo, 52 blast radius, 80 pierce, 0 damage, removes Camo properties.
Crosspathing interactions
  • 1-0-3: Blast radius of Explosion increases from 20 to 28, blast radius of Flare increases from 52 to 72, and Explosion pierce increased from 40 to 45.
  • 2-0-3: Explosion damage increased from 2 to 3.
  • 0-1-3: Explosion attack cooldown reduced from 2.0s to 1.5s
  • 0-2-3: Explosion attack cooldown reduced from 1.5s to 1.08s.
Monkey Knowledge Interactions

Attack Interactions[]

See also: Attack Interactions/Bloons TD 6/Military
Updated as of Version 39.2
Base attack(s)
  • Explosion:
    • Explosion Type (pops White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Explosion
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Area of Effect Area of Effect
    • Full Map Range (unspecified description of how the tower can attack beyond basic range) Full Range
    • Erratic Movement (small projectile deviation from reticle) Erratic Movement
    • Extra damage to all bloon types (unspecified damage) Extra Damage (2)
    • Burn (standard bloons, 1 damage per 1.25s for 3 Burn (1 damage per 1.25s for 3.75s)
    • Burn (MOAB-Class Bloons, 1 damage per 1.25s for 3 Burn Blimp (1 damage per 1.25s for 3.75s)
  • Flare Explosion:
    • Normal Type (pops Black, White, Purple, Lead, Frozen) Normal
    • Also affects Camo Bloons Camo Detection
    • Burst (unspecified variant) Burst
    • Area of Effect Area of Effect
    • Erratic Movement (small projectile deviation from reticle) Erratic Movement
    • No damage to all bloon types (unspecified damage) No Damage
    • Decamo, (MOAB-class bloons, unspecified alt variants) Universal Decamo

Costs[]

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-X-3) $765 $900 $970 $1,080 -
Total (0-0-3) $1,995 $2,350 $2,535 $2,820 $1,397 $1,645 $1,775 $1,974
Crosspath (1-0-3) $2,420 $2,850 $3,075 $3,420 $1,694 $1,995 $2,153 $2,394
Crosspath (2-0-3) $2,845 $3,350 $3,615 $4,020 $1,992 $2,345 $2,531 $2,814
Crosspath (0-1-3) $2,250 $2,650 $2,860 $3,180 $1,575 $1,855 $2,002 $2,226
Crosspath (0-2-3) $2,675 $3,150 $3,400 $3,780 $1,873 $2,205 $2,380 $2,646

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

Strategy[]

Summary[]

Signal Flare is useful for combined damage and decamo for an affordable price. The infinite range of the Mortar Monkey also makes it handy on maps with lots of obstructions that can block Line of Sight or with poor central placement. It is especially useful as a cheap counter against the camo leads on Round 59.

For its price, Signal Flare has a rather generous radius for its decamo, along with a decent amount of pierce for its cost. As such, it serves better than Shimmer on modes that enable Mortar Monkeys, a little more effective than Submerge and Support in terms of terrain flexibility, and offers extra offense in the form of Burny Stuff's napalm. In addition, it is a stepping stone to the defortifying Shattering Shells. Overall, Signal Flare a great choice for countering Camo properties at specific points on screen, as a primarily supporting unit.

Although Signal Flare is typically usable on its own, it can benefit from a synergy that revolves around it. In terms of choice of Signal Flare synergies for Gwen versus Striker, both heroes can buff Signal Flare but offer very different benefits to it. Both grant similar buffs to Signal Flare at different levels (first: Level 5-17 Gwen, Level 4 and 7 Striker; second: Level 18+ Gwen, Level 18+ Striker), although a greater radius benefit from Gwen much sooner, and Striker grants faster attack speed sooner at the expense of a weaker radius bonus. Regardless, Signal Flare doesn't actually require either Gwen or Striker in order to become a reliable decamo source, though their other benefits can assist progression into Shattering Shells and Blooncineration.

Tips[]

  • Signal Flare can be used to strip camo from any specified location, stripping camo quite reliably even without crosspaths.
  • 0-2-3 is generally the better crosspath for the Signal Flare, as it allows the Mortar to catch faster bloons easier, although Signal Flare generally should not be relied on for decamoing fast bloons anyway.
  • Try to target the Signal Flare Mortar onto the center of a track bend, which should maximize potential for catching bloons.
  • The amount of decamo pierce is very generous, but not infinite, and even non-Camo Bloons can consume pierce of the decamo blast. In Race Event scenarios, adding extra Signal Flares or targeting closer to regions without much incoming bloons will help prevent pierce-capping the decamo blasts.
    • Since the 1-0-3 crosspath doesn't offer much bonus pierce compared to uncrosspathed Signal Flare, the best Signal Flare for that purpose would be 0-2-3 for most cases.

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

Signal Flare was changed drastically since it was first released in BTD6, given the usual Black Bloon immunities for the napalm and the competitive decamo options from other sources. It gained a huge buff in Version 27.0 to become more versatile compared to better decamo options, especially anti-DDT options, such as Submerge Sub or Cleansing Foam. But from version 28.0 to 32.0, it had required Paint Stripper MK to decamo DDTs. Luckily for it, version 33.0 restored the 27.0 buffs. As it had a ranged advantage compared to other decamo options, its decamo blast radius and price were nerfed in 37.0. It has its price increase in exchange for greater flare blast radius to improve general reliability of this decamo.

6.0 (Mortar Monkey update)
  • Released
  • NERF Signal Flare no longer applies Burny Stuff to Black Bloons or Zebra Bloons, nor decamos Black, Zebra, or DDTs.
  • NERF Signal Flare upgrade price increased ($500 → $700).
21.0
  • BUFF Attack speed without Path 2 upgrades increased (2.2s → 2.0s).
  • BUFF Attack speed with Faster Reload increased (1.54s → 1.5s).
  • NERF Attack speed with Rapid Reload decreased (1.07s → 1.08s).
27.0
[...] Signal Flare has had its camo revealing aspect reworked to make it more generally useful.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Signal Flare will now create an additional decamo explosion with a radius of 50 and with 80 pierce.
  • BUFF [Undocumented] Signal Flare will now decamo any camo Black Bloons and camo Zebra Bloons even without Striker Jones or an MIB.
  • BUFF [Undocumented] Signal Flare will now decamo DDTs.
  • NERF [Undocumented] Main damaging explosion no longer decamos. However, since the decamo portion has overall been buffed to have a larger blast radius and higher pierce, this nerf cancels out.
28.0
Bottom path Mortar burns have been reworked to burn faster and last longer at all upgrades; the Extra Burny Stuff MK has been tweaked in order to keep it's [sic] benefit the same comparatively to the new & improved base values.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Burny Stuff DoT duration increased from 3s → 3.75s
  • BUFF Burny Stuff DoT tic interval reduced from 1.5s → 1.25s
  • NERF MK: Extra Burny Stuff buff amount reduced 0.5s → 0.25s
  • NERF Now requires Paint Stripper Monkey Knowledge to decamo DDTs.
29.0
  • BUFF 1-0-3 Signal Flare Camo removal AoE now gains +20 blast radius
33.0
[...] Other similarly priced decamo options are able to decamo DDTs, so Signal Flare feels like a far lesser choice here having this basic decamo utility locked behind Monkey Knowledge, so that’s being freed up.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Signal Flare can now decamo DDTs without needing Paint Stripper MK
  • BUFF Signal Flare can now be buffed by Level 5+ Gwendolin's Pyrotechnics Expert buff
37.0
[...] As the camo property has grown quite weak and currently Signal Flare is considered the best decamo tool, we want to push back slightly on its cost and by reducing the blast radius of the decamo area while emphasizing crosspathing for effectiveness there.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Signal Flare cost increased $700 → $800
  • NERF 0-x-3 Signal Flare decamo radius reduced from 50 → 43
  • NERF 1-0-3 Signal Flare decamo radius reduced from 70 → 63
  • BUFF 1-0-3 Signal Flare decamo bonus pierce increased by +5 → +10
39.0
We’re looking to shakeup mortar in a couple small ways this update, along with Striker Jones changes noted further on for ‘multi-mortaring’ synergy. From the base level Mortar has far more pierce than should ever be necessary at low rounds but doesn’t hit beefy enough for the low fire rate, so we are trading up some base pierce for damage, instead moving this lost pierce up into crosspath. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Signal Flare base damage increased (1 → 2)
  • NERF Signal Flare base pierce reduced (40 → 25)
41.0
[...] Signal flare is too effective a cheap full map de-camo though a little unreliable due to the lower rate & low radius of de-camo, cost is increasing a little but also with greater radius for the de-camo area to improve reliability and a power buff at Shattering Shells for there to be more of a reason to path through Signal Flare rather than stop at it.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Signal Flare price increased from $800 to $900
  • BUFF Signal Flare camo removal radius increased from 43 to 52
  • BUFF 1-0-3 Signal Flare camo removal radius increased from 63 to 72

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

Extra Notes (Version History)[]

Gallery[]

Official artwork[]

Trivia[]

  • Signal Flare was formerly one of two upgrades where a Tier 3 upgrade is cheaper than the base cost of the tower, the other being Primary Training. This no longer is true as of the Version 37.0 price nerfs.
    • Bomber Ace used to fit under this criteria, but was no longer the case as of Version 7.0, when it gained a price nerf to compensate for its large damage buffs.


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