|“||Adds extra pierce and damage to Commander and all Subs in its radius.||”|
|~ BTD6 description|
Sub Commander is the final upgrade in Path 3 for the Monkey Sub in BTD6. It allows the Sub to grant +4 pierce and double damage for all Monkey Subs in its radius, including itself. The double damage buff towards nearby Subs increases for most attacks that deal extra damage to any Bloon type (darts, ballistic missiles, Bloontonium Reactors, Energizers, Pre-Emptive Strike passive ability missiles) but it will not affect the First Strike ability missiles. Sub Commander buffs prioritize before Alchemist buffs (e.g. Berserker Brew).
The Sub Commander also attacks 2x faster than Triple Guns. Because the Sub Commander can affect itself, it now deals 4 damage for the main dart, 8 versus MOAB-class, and 2 damage for the Airburst Darts, or 4 versus MOAB-class, and Airburst Darts have 9 pierce. Sub Commander alone deals decent DPS for its cost, but its most redeeming factor is its Sub Commander buffs to nearby Subs, allowing the nearby Monkey Sub army to deal immense damage to Bloons, especially in late-game where Bloons become dominated with MOAB-class and Ceramics.
Sub Commander is a highly versatile tower whose benefits lie primarily in buffing nearby Monkey Subs. Although the most powerful when paired with multiple nearby Subs, the Sub Commander itself can solo a few difficult rounds without the help of nearby Subs around it. On its own, a lone 2-0-5 Sub Commander can solo the hyperclumped Ceramics on Round 63 with relative ease on most maps, given sufficient range.
In order to make the most of this upgrade, multiple Subs should be placed nearby, preferably multiple 2-0-3 Triple Guns or multiple 0-3-2 Ballistic Missiles. 2-0-3 Triple Guns spam is highly effective against wiping out multiple bloons along a far range but with effective seeking power to catch any outlying bloons. On the other hand, 0-3-2 Ballistic Missile spam is highly effective at DPS overall, but comes at the cost of rather limited range. However, spamming enough of 0-3-2 Subs around the Sub Commander may counteract such a limitation, given how the Ballistic Missile upgrade naturally grant such Subs with a sizeable range buff.
The one other very powerful interaction with Subs is with Pre-Emptive Strike's passive ability missiles. Assuming standard blimp health rules, Pre-Emptive Strike nearby a Sub Commander can single-handedly nullify the presence of incoming DDTs (until Round 131), including Fortified DDTs (until Round 110), which a non-supported Pre-Emptive Strike cannot destroy in one hit.
- It is recommended players place the tower in the center of an area with lots of water (such as Spice Islands, Cubism, Peninsula, #Ouch) to maximize its potential. Even low-level Subs become much more effective when combined with this tower and Triple Guns or Armor-Piercing Subs can even destroy ZOMGs when positioned correctly.
- When utilizing the special +4 pierce and double damage that Sub Commander provides to nearby Subs, it's best to start off with spamming in x-x-3 Subs, rather than x-x-4 Subs. Although a single Armor Piercing Darts nearby Sub Commander effect will produce more damage overall than two Triple Guns Subs nearby the same Sub Commander, the increased numbers of Airburst Darts from extra Triple Guns Subs is superior when it comes to effective cleanup.
- A Monkey Knowledge upgrade exists that allows the Sub Commander to affect ALL Monkey Subs on screen. (Sub Admiral)
- If the "Sub Admiral" Monkey Knowledge is not unlocked or is inactive, it is best to crosspath Sub Commander to 2-0-5 rather than 0-2-5, as the extra range will allow a greater quantity of Subs to be provided the special Sub Commander benefits. In addition, the Advanced Intel special range will allow the Sub Commander's increased attack speed to become utilized to the optimal potential.
- Even if the "Sub Admiral" Monkey Knowledge is unlocked and is not inactive, it is still better off going for a 2-0-5 Sub Commander to take advantage of its increased damage via near-global attack range. The pierce buffs and lead-popping from Path 2 are not nearly as strong.
- Sub Commander is able to beat Round 63 on its own on most maps, provided it or other towers can pop Lead Bloons. Add Alchemist buffs to help improve its performance against dense Bloon rounds even further.
- The double-damage buff provided by Sub Commander affects all nearby Monkey Sub attacks, including internal crosspath benefits (i.e. Heat-Tipped Darts plus Bloontonium Reactor or Energizer), except for First Strike ability missiles.
- Sub Commander used to have no effect on itself. This was changed as of Version 8.0, as it now gains Sub Commander buffs of its own plus doubled attack speed.
- In addition, Sub Commander now has an additional 2x attack speed to itself only.
- Version 18.0 changed the description for Sub Commander to accommodate the new changes. Prior to this update, it used to be "Grants +5 pierce and +1 damage to all Subs in its radius."
- Even though the Version 18.0 patch notes stated that it granted 2x damage for all Energizers and Ballistic Missiles, the double damage buff also applies to Armor Piercing Darts versus MOAB-class too, as tested on here. It has also been tested on all sorts of other projectiles on this wiki page too (as shown in the "Support buffs" section of the gallery section).
- One x-x-4 Armor Piercing Darts supported by Sub Commander is the same as a Sub Commander of the same crosspaths except without the double attack speed.
- In Version 23.0, there was a bug where Pat's Rallying Roar damage buff prioritized before the Sub Commander damage buff, leading to affected Monkey Subs actually gaining double the Rallying Roar buff instead of just a straight +1 or +3 damage buff. This made pairing a Sub Commander + Triple Guns army a much stronger synergy with Pat than normal. This was fixed in Version 23.1.
- Sub Commander is the only Tier 5 Monkey Sub to have a visible monkey.