|“||Produces spiked balls that do extra damage to Ceramic and Fortified bloons.||”|
|~ In-game description|
Spiked Balls is the 3rd upgrade of Path 1 for the Spike Factory in Bloons TD 6. It is a returning upgrade that corresponds to Spiked Ball Factory in BTD5. Like Spiked Ball Factory, the Spiked Balls upgrade replaces standard spike piles with spiked balls that pop up to 14 bloons per ball, but each spike now deals 2 damage to all bloons, as well as +3 damage to Ceramics and +1 damage to all Fortified Bloons, including MOAB-class with the Fortified property.
The Spiked Balls upgrade converts the Spike Factory's spike piles into spiked balls. These spiked ball projectiles are light-black balls tipped with orange spikes around them. When a spiked ball reaches below 10 health (i.e. less than 10 pierce left), it will slowly degrade by one spike at a time.
The body of the Spike Factory with the Spiked Balls upgrade becomes red on its upper body and grey on its lower body, with a lighter shade of grey at its front. The icon on its "belly" becomes a 9-pointed curved star, implying the shape of its new projectiles. Its "feet" are now red and are elevated by a light-grey base. Its spout is enclosed by 6 grey sector-shaped flaps that open perpetually whenever it releases spiked balls. Its "furnace holes" from the White Hot Spikes upgrade remain, surrounding its spout. The Spike Factory also gains spiked protrusions across the top of its body.
Crosspathing with Path 2 turns its "feet" purple and replaces the spikes on the side of its body with two storage depots on opposite sides, the depots becoming larger with each Path 2 upgrade. Crosspathing with Path 3 changes its lower body from grey to blue, while adding Smart Spikes changes the spikes on the side of its body into two large gears.
Spiked Balls gains 1 extra base damage, for 2, 3 additional ceram damage, for 5, and 1 additional fortified damage, for 3 against fortified leads and MOABs, and 6 against fortified cerams. It also gains 4 more pierce, for 14.
Spiked Balls defaults on Normal targeting priority, which dispenses the spiked balls onto nearby bloon track in a semi-sporadical behavior. If given Smart Spikes, it will also receive Close, Far, and Smart.
- Normal: Targets spike piles in a somewhat sporadical way, spreading spikes as evenly as possible within its range.
- Close: Targets the closest region(s) of track within range.
- Far: Targets the furthest region(s) of track within range.
- Smart: Prioritizes the track with the Bloon the farthest through it, then targets the spot on that track closest to the exit.
- Updated as of Version 28.2
|Upgrade Cost (3-x-x)||$1,955||$2,300||$2,485||$2,760|
|Total Cost (3-0-0)||$TBA||$4,700||$5,080||$TBA|
|Total Cost (3-1-0)||$TBA||$5,300||$5,730||$TBA|
|Total Cost (3-2-0)||$TBA||$6,100||$6,565||$7,320|
|Total Cost (3-0-1)||$TBA||$4,850||$5,240||$TBA|
|Total Cost (3-0-2)||$TBA||$5,250||$5,670||$TBA|
- Main article: Spiked Balls/Strategies
Spiked Balls is a powerful mid-game upgrade that can be used for tanking a considerable amount of stronger mid-game bloons, particularly against spaced to small groups of Ceramic Bloons. With its increased pierce and damage per spike, particularly versus Ceramics and Fortified Bloons, it becomes a viable option as a backup defense when placed near the end of the track. Spiked Balls is additionally still highly valuable for late-game when it comes to cleaning up spaced Super Ceramic leaks, especially on short maps.
Similar to almost all Spike Factory upgrades, it would be wise to place Spiked Balls as back from the map track as possible to maximize the size of its spiked ball stockpiles. Similarly, add backup defense to reduce the overload for the Spiked Balls, and it will be able to complement with good cleanup of any bloons that manage to sneak by the main defenses.
- Usually, the best crosspath for Spiked Balls is to use the 3-2-0 crosspath for the overall increased attack speed. The main reason for using Path 2 crosspathing instead of Path 3 is to restore stockpiles at a faster rate. However, 3-0-2 may be used for a variety of other uses, as this crosspath will have greater spike lifespan, specific targeting options for use on multi-lane maps, and brief start-of-round attack speed boosts. 3-0-2 also costs considerably less than the other 3-2-0 crosspath.
- Spiked Balls deals extra pierce and extra damage. The extra damage allows it to tank stronger mid-game bloons better because each spike can skip bloon layers, essentially tanking more RBE per spike against stronger bloons. On top of that, Spiked Balls deals extra damage to Ceramics, excelling against Super Ceramics, which form majority of health of non-blimp bloons in the late-game.
- While Spiked Balls is able to tank spaced leaks effectively, it may struggle at tanking densely packed bloons. Adding bloon-popping power and/or stalling support such as 0-1-2 Ice Monkeys or 4-2-0 Bloon Impact can help separate groups of bloons into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- This upgrade can serve as a stepping stone to the much more powerful Spiked Mines, a handy upgrade for thinning out many densely packed bloons, especially against Round 63. Alternately, a small army of 3-2-0 Spiked Balls can be used as effective support against spaced bloon leaks if effective grouped popping power can be managed from using other towers.
- Unlike Perma-Spike, the Spiked Balls upgrade can be discounted by the benefits of Monkey Business and Monkey Commerce. If planning to set up an army of 3-2-0 Spiked Balls to defend an exit instead of using 0-2-5 Perma-Spike plus Alchemist buffs, it would be wise to add a discount village nearby the Spike Factories prior to upgrading them, for maximum money saving.
- Spiked Balls can work on maps even with simultaneous lanes, but it will not perform well on maps that greatly limit open space near map exit(s).
- Spiked Balls is a useful upgrade for beating early MOABs, even the ABR Round 40 Fortified MOAB. When combined with adequate defenses, a crosspathed Spiked Balls can solo an entire MOAB on most maps.
- Due to the fact that spikes are not affected by rounds in Apopalypse Mode, it becomes one of the best mid-game options for securing the exit. On this game mode, the balls won't disappear just because the round ended.
- Spiked Balls have a high synergy with Alchemist buffs, not just because of the Berserker Brew or Stronger Stimulant buffs alone, but also because it attacks slow enough to have quite high uptime for Acidic Mixture Dip buffs, even with the 3-2-0 Spiked Balls crosspath.
- Graphs created by FabrizioBS. Stats accurate on Version 26.2.
The following graphs represent stockpiling potential with Spiked Balls, ignoring external buffs and only taking into account internal buffs via crosspathing. The raw 3-0-x Spiked Balls produces spike piles at a rate of every 1.75s, while a raw 3-2-0 Spiked Balls produces spike piles every 0.98s.
While the rate of producing Spiked Balls is higher with 3-2-0, the total number of spike piles becomes at least roughly equal with 3-0-1 starting from ~81 seconds, ignoring bloons already hitting stockpiles.
Maximum number of spike piles with 3-2-0 is ~52.0 spike piles, for 3-0-1 is ~61.9 spike piles, and 3-0-2 with start-of-round benefit is an additional +6.
Bug Fixes and General Changes
- The price of the Spiked Balls upgrade in BTD6 decreased to the same price as the Spiked Balls Factory upgrade did for Bloons TD Battles Mobile at the time of Bloons TD 6's initial release date, specifically many updates since the Spiked Ball Factory got its first price buff on Version 3.1.
- Assuming that Freeplay rules are off, it takes 21 spikes to fully pop a Rainbow Bloon with Spiked Balls, compared to the 47 which would be the same as the RBE of a Rainbow Bloon itself. This is due to the bypassing of certain grouped children bloons (i.e. in this case the Zebras, the Pinks, the Greens, and the Reds). In this way, the amount of spikes required to pop a Rainbow Bloon is more than halved.
- Specifically speaking, 1 spike to pop the Rainbow into Blacks and Whites, 4 spikes to pop all of the Blacks and Whites into Yellows, 8 spikes to pop all of the Yellows into Blues, 8 spikes to pop all of the Blues.
- The overall cost of any non-Path-3 variant of Spiked Balls is always cheaper than the equivalent Spiked Ball Factory crosspath, regardless of version of BTD6.
- Unlike the Spiked Ball's BTD5 counterpart, Spiked Ball Factory, the Spiked Balls machine gains spike protrusions on its body.
Trivia (Version History)
- Although Spiked Balls was not directly nerfed in Version 22.0, the base spike lifespan nerf greatly affects 3-2-0 Spiked Balls army strategies, as now only roughly up to 50 spiked balls (instead of 70) would be placed on the map per 3-2-0 without buffs. This is equivalent to 680 less stockpiled damage or 1700 less stockpiled damage versus Ceramics. Path 3 crosspath Spiked Balls remain unaffected, although still less efficient than 3-2-0.
- Ninja Kiwi specifically used a base spike lifespan nerf to both indirectly nerf the 3-2-0 Spiked Balls and to indirectly buff Path 3 crosspathing. According to the description of the Version 22.0 patch notes, they even directed their intentions to nerf Spiked Balls in said version.
- One fully stockpiled base 3-2-0 Spiked Balls in Version 22.0 can tank up to around 5950 Ceramic damage, while a fully stockpiled base 3-2-0 Spiked Balls before the Version 19.0 +1 damage buff could tank up to around 4760 Ceramic damage. So overall, while a 3-2-0 Spiked Balls now can stockpile less, it has a faster regeneration rate compared to 3-0-2.
- Maximum bloon tanking potential with Ceramic damage has changed a lot in history, with assumption that the 3-2-0 crosspath is exactly 1s attack cooldown instead of negligibly faster values:
- Version 8.x to 18.x:
- 3-2-0: 3730 → 4760
- 3-0-2: ~1623 → ~2164
- Version 19.x to 20.x:
- 3-2-0: 4760 → 5950
- 3-0-2: ~2164 → ~2705
- Version 21.x:
- 3-2-0: 5950
- 3-0-2: ~2705 → ~3864
- Version 22.x:
- 3-2-0: 5950 → 4250
- 3-0-2: ~3864
- Version 23.x to 24.x:
- 3-2-0: 4250
- 3-0-2: ~3864 → ~4857
- Version 25.x to incumbent:
- 3-2-0: 4250 → 3500
- 3-0-2: ~4857 → 4000
- Version 8.x to 18.x:
- Ever since Version 7.0 until Version 24.0, a 3-2-0 Spiked Balls consistently costed $6000 on Medium. Even though Version 22.0 swapped the prices for Bigger Stacks and White Hot Spikes, and Version 23.0 nerfed the base Spike Factory price in exchange for some Path 2 price buffs, the cost of 3-2-0 Spiked Balls remained consistent until Version 24.0, where Spiked Balls received a small price nerf.
- On Cornfield CHIMPS, all 9 Fortified DDTs on Round 99 can be fully tanked by a minimum of 15 3-2-0 Spiked Balls placed near the end if other towers pop all the 60 MOABs in full. This was valid between Version 19.0 until Version 26.0, when the Spiked Ball pierce got nerfed.
- The popularity of Spiked Balls in difficult CHIMPS games has increased ever since gaining a +1 damage buff in Version 19.0, as it has become a versatile cleanup tower across all stages of the game. In fact, Spiked Balls has been utilized to beat CHIMPS on Dark Castle, Workshop, and even #Ouch (by Jajajosh).
- The current record for beating CHIMPS Mode with the most number of Spiked Balls is 41.