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300-SpikeFactory

This page will act as a comprehensive guide to utilize and optimize the use of the Spiked Balls upgrade.

Summary[]

Spiked Balls is a powerful mid-game upgrade useful 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 for 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.

Tips[]

The best advice for utilizing Spiked Balls to its maximum is to weaken the stronger bloons and large groups of bloons as much as possible with high-DPS towers, complementing the main DPS towers with good cleanup versus any weaker spaced bloons. Place Spiked Balls near the end of the track to provide as much time to build up large stockpiles of spikes.

General Tips
  • 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.
    • Adding brief start-of-round attack speed boost is useful, and so is the special target priorities via Smart Spikes for reducing random spread. However, it's the Long Reach upgrade that is worthy of more mention. 3-0-2 Spiked Balls is not a bad option for intentionally cutting budget costs while still having rather decent overall stockpiling power, even if only marginally better at heavy stockpiling potential. In fact, on short maps such as Workshop, this crosspath can handle the Round 40 MOAB better than the 3-2-0 Spiked Balls due to the brief start-of-round attack speed boost.
  • 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.
  • It is notable that the Spiked Balls upgrade does increase pierce and damage, meaning it still has an advantage over other bloons. For instance, it is slightly more effective against Regrow Bloons due to being able to skip one layer per spike, and it can handle spaced MOABs relatively well.
  • It is quite useful against leaking Ceramics, due to its increased damage to those types, although alternate options remain more reliable against denser groups of Ceramics. However, the Spiked Balls upgrade remains a good option against spaced leaks in all stages of the game.
  • Spiked Balls is able to tank a considerable amount of stronger mid-game bloons with its increased damage per spike, but it struggles very much against densely packed bloons.
  • Ensure that the Spiked Balls is not too overwhelmed with bloons by having effective grouped bloon popping power. It is also helpful to add stalling support such as 0-1-2 Ice Monkeys or 4-2-0 Bloon Impact's stuns in order to 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 is 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 Permaspike plus Alchemist buffs, it would be wise to add a discount village nearby the Spike Factories prior to upgrading them, for maximum money saving.
  • On Hard Difficulty, one 3-2-0 Spiked Balls costs $6590 ($2485 + $865 + $650 + $755 + $970 + $865). This is particularly useful on CHIMPS Mode, where every little dollar saved can make a great difference in a game.
  • 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.
  • 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).
Strategical Tips
  • Spiked Balls army is viable on the following Expert Maps on CHIMPS: Workshop, Quad, #Ouch, Dark Castle.
    • Two of the four maps, Workshop and Dark Castle, are both single-exit maps, making them excellent choices.
    • Spiked Balls army is surprisingly good on #Ouch, with one at each exit. Spiked Balls army also works well on Quad with at least two near the lower-left and upper-right diagonal lane, placed outside the central space.
  • Spiked Balls is a useful upgrade for beating early MOABs, even the ABR Round 40 Fortified MOAB, to which Spiked Balls deal additional damage. When combined with adequate defenses, a 3-2-0 Spiked Balls can easily tank early MOABs in up to medium-length maps. The opposite 3-0-2 Spiked Balls can even tank an entire MOAB on Workshop.
  • Due to the fact that spikes are not affected by rounds in Apopalypse Mode, Spiked Balls is by far one of the most effective mid-game options for securing the exit. On this game mode, the balls won't disappear just because the round ended.
  • Multiple 3-2-0 Spiked Balls are generally more efficient at popping bloons from Rounds 81+ compared to a single 4-2-0 Spiked Mines, as multiple Spiked Balls can stockpile greater numbers of spiked balls at an overall faster rate, can utilize its extra damage versus Ceramics property against Super Ceramics, and still deal decent damage against MOAB-class bloons especially Fortified MOAB-class.
    • 4-2-0 Spiked Mines, however, remains superior versus densely grouped bloons, such as the masses of bloons spawned from Unstable Concoction explosions.
  • Four 3-2-0 Spiked Balls plus four separate Berserker Brew Alchemists all underneath 2-0-2 Monkey Commerce Villages can be used to secure the exits on #Ouch CHIMPS, which is very helpful for catching stray bloons, specifically Super Ceramics.
    • Don't substitute the four Berserker Brews with two Stronger Stimulants. The Acidic Mixture Dip effect actually has higher uptime than the Berserker Brews anyway, not to mention that Stronger Stimulant is far more expensive and cannot be fully discounted.

Spike Count Calculations[]

This section is used to calculate overall popping power of the Spiked Balls and how certain bloon types consume the spike piles from Spiked Balls. To calculate equivalent maximum tanking damage, the following equation is used: (spike count * lifespan * damage) / (attack cooldown).

  • Assuming no buffs are added to the Spiked Balls, and all bloons have standard HP and remain undamaged, the following lists how many equivalent Spiked Balls spikes are required to fully destroy certain bloons whole:
    • Prior to Round 81:
      • It takes 44 Spiked Balls spikes to destroy a regular Ceramic fully, with 2 to break off the Ceramic shell and 42 to destroy the Rainbows. This is equivalent to 4 Spiked Balls spike piles, rounded up. To break 4 Ceramics requires at least 13 Spiked Balls spike piles.
      • It takes 68 Spiked Balls spikes to destroy a fortified Ceramic fully, with 4 to break off the Ceramic shell and 64 to destroy the 32 Yellow Bloons that spawn from overkilling Fortified Ceramics by 4 damage. This is equivalent to 6 Spiked Balls spike piles, rounded up. To break 4 Fortified Ceramics requires at least 21 Spiked Balls spike piles.
      • For MOABs, it takes 100 Spiked Balls spikes to destroy the MOAB layer, equivalent to 8 Spiked Balls, rounded up. Full-health Fortified MOABs prior to Round 81 take 134 Spiked Balls spikes instead, equivalent to 10 Spiked Balls spike piles.
      • Tanking an entire MOAB takes 276 Spiked Balls spikes to tank fully. This is equivalent to 20 Spiked Ball spike piles.
      • Tanking an entire Fortified MOAB takes 406 Spiked Balls spikes to tank fully. This is equivalent to exactly 29 Spiked Ball spike piles.
    • From Round 81 onwards:
      • Up to 12 Spiked Balls spikes are required to destroy a regular Super Ceramic layer, and it takes 4 Spiked Balls spikes to destroy the single Rainbow underneath. This is a total of 16 Spiked Balls spikes per full-health Super Ceramic.
      • Up to 20 Spiked Ball spikes are required to destroy a Fortified Super Ceramic layer, and it takes 4 Spiked Ball spikes to destroy the single Rainbow underneath. This is a total of 24 Spiked Balls spikes per full health Fortified Super Ceramic.
      • To tank MOAB-class bloons, it will require nearly the same amount of health prior to freeplay health-ramping, although it may need more.
  • One fully stockpiled 3-0-1 (and 3-0-2 Spiked Balls) can tank up to 4000 Ceramic damage rather than ~3535 Ceramic damage from 3-2-0. Therefore, 3-0-2 can sometimes be worthy enough over 3-2-0 in some cases, because it has a slight edge overall at tanking damage if maxed out despite its slower refresh rate.

Map-Specific Strategies[]

Note: The following sections are currently updated to acknowledge information correct as of Version 25.0. This strategy section may be out of date.

The following are map-specific strategies for utilizing Spiked Balls. Use of Spiked Balls may not always be the best choice on all maps, but the maps where Spiked Balls will work are listed here.

Most Single-Lane Maps[]

TBA

Bazaar, Chutes, Rake, and other "Hard Intermediates"[]

TBA

Workshop[]

TBA

#Ouch[]

TBA

Quad[]

TBA

Other Expert Maps[]

TBA

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