Spike Storm ability: Shoots out a thick layer of spikes over the entire track.
~ BTD6 upgrade description
Spike Storm is the fourth upgrade for Path 2 for the Spike Factory in Bloons Tower Defense 6. It grants an ability that spawns extremely quickly roughly over the whole track for 1.0s. By default, a minimum of 200 spike piles will be produced for the duration of the ability, because the ability attacks 200 times per second. Just like MOAB SHREDR, the previous upgrade, all spikes from this Spike Factory including those from the ability will deal +4 damage to MOAB-class bloons, inflicting up to 5 damage to those bloon types per spike. Cooldown for this ability is 40 seconds, and spike piles spawned from the ability last for up to 20 seconds before each spike pile starts disappearing.
Spike Storm ability has a few special interactions with crosspathing. Bigger Stacks increases the pierce of each spike by +5, and White Hot Spikes allows it to damage Frozen and Lead, just as it would in BTD5. Long Reach increases the lifespan of the ability spikes by 50%, lasting for 30 seconds instead of 20 seconds. Because any attack speed buff increases the total number of spikes spawned via the ability, the brief start-of-round attack speed bonus from Smart Spikes is able to affect the Spike Storm ability. The one other interaction with Smart Spikes is that Spike Storm ability will only spawn on active lanes, minimizing wasted spikes on certain multi-lane maps.
Spike Storm is a powerful option for covering spikes across the screen for widespread damage. Due to inheriting the properties of MOAB SHREDR, which allows it to deal increased damage to MOAB-class bloons, its ability is a good option for severely hurting the HP of small groups of weaker MOAB-class. Although most effective at breaking down MOAB-class layers, it still serves a purpose as an emergency stopper against leaking bloons. The Spike Storm ability is less weak versus normal bloons compared to MOAB SHREDR, but it is not a fully reliable option for handling normal bloons.
The main use for Spike Storm is its incredible power at breaking down MOAB-class bloons, most especially on rounds where the main issues are spaced blimps. Both crosspathed Spike Storm options are equally viable versus singular BADs in their own right, with the 2-4-0 being more effective overall but 0-4-2 more reliable in specific scenarios and against just the BAD's tough layer. When paired with Bigger Stacks and White Hot Spikes, the Spike Storm's main strength comes from countering DDT layers and countering the DDT offspring of singular BADs, provided that other defenses handle all other bloon types so that its spikes do not waste on much weaker bloons, as well as for handling singular BADs themselves.
It is usually recommended to go for Path 1 crosspathing, as the extra spikes and Lead-popping power typically outweigh the benefits of increased spike lifespan and early-round speed boost. However, Path 3 crosspathing is useful for dealing early-round damage if activated during the short speed-buff window. As a bonus, adding Smart Spikes allows the ability to only target active lanes, which is useful on maps like Chutes, Muddy Puddles, and Bloody Puddles, but this special interaction will not work on maps with only simultaneous lanes, such as #Ouch, Cargo, or Workshop.
For context, a 1-4-0 Spike Storm versus a single Round 100 BAD will deal around ~5500 damage per ability on most single-lane maps. A 0-4-2 Spike Storm will deal around ~9000 damage if activated at the start of the round, but only deal ~4000 damage afterwards.
2-4-0 Spike Storm is useful for countering DDTs and inflicting large damage against singular BADs.
One 2-4-0 Spike Factory costs $12,205 on Hard Mode.
Attack speed buffs increase the number of spikes ejected from the Spike Factory when the ability is used. Buffing the tower through Overclock and Call To Arms is suggested to increase the effectiveness of the Spike Storm abilities.
The Spike Storm ability is more effective on shorter maps and maps with no multiple entries and/or exits, as the spike storms are densely packed. This makes it a very viable option for maps like #Ouch or Geared.
Spike Storm and its ability is weak against Super Ceramics, so use this with caution in the late-game.
Spike Storm is widely used as a widespread anti-MOAB-class option, even in the initial release of the game. It received some noteworthy buffs to push the Spike Factory's popularity outside of just Perma-Spike. Crosspathing benefits for its weaker 0-4-2 crosspath have also been implemented to compete with the traditionally popular 1-4-0 and 2-4-0 crosspaths.
Spike Storm costs less ($6500 --> $5000)
Spike Storm (as well as MOAB SHREDR) deals increased damage to MOAB-class (4 --> 5)
Spike Storm ability now (correctly) deals +1 damage to MOAB-class as intended
Spike Storm ability spikes now lasts 50% longer with Long Reach
Base projectile lifespan reduced from 70s to 50s
0-4-2 Spike Storm now targets only active paths (e.g. on Bloody Puddles)
Spike Storm cooldown was decreased overall since initial release of BTD6. Instead of 60 seconds in BTD5, it is now 40 seconds.
On earlier versions of BTD6, particularly on initial release, Spike Storm with Bigger Stacks or White Hot Spikes only featured a larger spout with a black color instead of red, without the change in the body color.
Although the patch notes for Version 7.0 stated that Spike Storm formerly costed $6000, this was in fact incorrect, as it costed $6500 on Medium like the BTD5 counterpart.
There is a bug with 0-4-2 Spike Storm that causes all Spike Storms to distribute at the beginning of the bloon track on the Workshop map.