People underestimate just how good the Carrier Flagship is a standalone tower. With little to no assistance, it is capable of soloing all the way to Round 82! If you're smart with your money, you can have it as early as Round 55, which might as well then be a free ticket to the endgame, basically. More attack damage; lead popping power; good super ceramic damage; even if you don't have any other water towers, the tower specific gains alone justify the purchase enough... especially since it is among the cheapest Tier 5 upgrades in the game at $25,000 on Medium.
Below I have listed every combination I have tried with this tower, as well as what cross-path was used (if not using a hero) and how well it did comparative to how long it lasted versus my expectations.
But before that, let's go over the towers that we know already have completed the run with the Carrier Flagship.
Wizard Lord Phoenix 0-5-2 (ubrt)
While I haven't had much success myself with this tower, we know that this combination works courtesy of ubrt on YouTube. And really, it makes sense why: both towers make up for each others weakness in the early game, which becomes redundant late-game when you have both Tier 5 upgrades purchase. But even, the sheer power of the Wizard Lord Phoenix ability is MASSIVE!
Even before the v11 buff to the Wizard Lord Phoenix (when this run was attempted), the power of the Tier 5 Phoenix Summon ability was just incredible! While you do lose the base tower throughout the duration of the ability, the actual damage output of the Lava Phoenix more than makes up for being one-tower short. Especially since the ability does a real number on practically EVERY tower on the map!
And now that the tower has been buffed further with a permanent phoenix carried over from the Tier 4 ability, this opens up the possibility to complete this combination on other maps. I've been trying myself, but getting that start is hard...
Frozen Over is a very different map to Logs.
Tested this combination on Park Path. Hold's up alright until the 80's, but it then starts to get overwhelmed. Round 81 was a struggle, but Round 82 was just straight up impossible. Mind you, I did go for the Carrier Flagship first... I might retry this by going for Wizard Lord Phoenix first instead. If that is possible, this combination on this map is highly doable.
The only issue is getting that start and clearing the first few purple Bloons rounds. Round's 25 and 32 require perfect micro to get past, plus getting lucky with the Wall of Fire at other points. But if everything falls into place, you can definitely set yourself up for the late game.
Homeland Defense (Schwax)
Congratulations to Schwax on completing this run RIGHT before v12 came out and made it impossible due to a bug fix. As you'll see later down, I'm amazed that someone had the same amount of patience and endurance to put up with the torture of getting the Monkey Village set-up. More so that they went for an option that, in hindsight, I didn't think would make a big enough difference...
More fool me.
A 5-2-0 Carrier Flagship can already pop all Bloon types, so all you're getting out of the tower is additional attack speed and power... when the ability is active. And it has a LONG cooldown period! But as it turns out, it's plenty enough to make it work...! Or rather, plenty enough that it COULD work.
Still, a success is a success, especially one that was done at the last POSSIBLE moment.
Two thumbs up, mate!
Alright, time to go over MY combinations, now.
This was the first combination I tried alongside the Carrier Flagship. My reason being that Gwendolin - despite often being cited as the best hero in the game - has not cleared the challenge yet. Though the reasons why are understandable: limited camo popping power... in fact, she has none outside of her abilities.
That said, Gwendlin's base power more than makes up for it. High pierce and damage output, as well as burn effect that does extra damage over time. Not to mention that her abilities on their own are REALLY powerful! And then you have her Heat It Up passive ability, where every so often, she applies a fire effect to nearby towers. Early game means this only adds +1 pierce to the affected towers, but late game means that it also adds +1 damage to the affected towers!
So partnering up with the Carrier Flagship, how did she fair? Quite well, actually.
Round 92 was the final limit, but I was surprised by how well Gwendolin was able to support the Carrier Flagship. The problem in the end turned out to be packed MOAB-class Bloons... which was an especial problem on 92 with that near endless stream of fortified MOAB's. (For anyone curious... it's 50 of them STRAIGHT!)
Even then, I don't think Gwendolin would have been good enough to help the Carrier Flagship through Round 93, let alone Round 95. Because Gwendolin can't target camo Bloons outside of her abilities, she provides little assistance to the Carrier Flagship, which can only JUST pop the DDT's. But JUST isn't good enough; it needs to be ABSOLUTE.
I don't think this combination is possible, but it was amazing how close it came.
Glue Storm 2-5-0
Not sure why I tried this combination... but amazingly, it worked really well!
Glue Storm as a standalone tower is NOT one you would ordinarily think of using in this context. I mean, what benefit does it really supply late-game? Turns out it's a lot. Not only does the ability effective last for a whopping 15 seconds, but the glue applied - if corrosive - deals an extra +1 damage per corrosion tick. That might not sound like much, especially since glue doesn't really affect MOAB-class Bloons, but it adds up over time.
But the main benefit was that it slowed down the super ceramics, meaning that you could focus all of your firepower into defeating the bigger Bloons, and then clean up the mess afterwards. It was actually surprising how good it turned out to be.
Of course, there is no way that this tower will ever clear 2-Tower CHIMPS with the Carrier Flagship - if not at all, really. But it was a fun idea I tried, and surprisingly effective to boot.
Logic makes sense: make Pat a water tower by placing him in the pond next to the Monkey Buccaneer; he gets speed buff from Carrier Flagship, and he provides the Carrier Flagship with Rallying Roar attack buff.
OK, OK, Round 88 ISN'T terrible, but comparative to how well I EXPECTED this to go, this was nowhere near what I thought would happen. I was expecting Pat to help the Carrier Flagship into the 90's, but that didn't happen... and I know why, too:
Pat's absolutely ABYSMAL range! No amount of speed buffs are going to make THAT useful for anything...! Unless there was some way of turning him into a cut-price Wreck-It Ralph.
Pat's benefits of applying extra damage through his ability, multi-layer damage, instantly destroying up to a ZOMG layer, and knockback are not enough to help. Such a shame...
Sorry, big guy!
Primary Expertise 5-2-0
A 3+-2-0 Monkey Village and a Carrier Flagship... what kind of combination IS this?
One that you wouldn't think of using, but turns out to be amazingly effective, and goes to show just how powerful the Carrier Flagship really is...!
If you can get this all set-up, that is.
The logic behind using Primary Expertise makes sense: the Mega Ballista attack is an incredibly power attack with near infinite pierce and enough attack power to wipe out super cermaics in a single shot. It's the perfect endgame clean-up tower, as long as you have a tower that can deal with MOAB-class Bloons. Fortiunately, the Carrier Flagship is ideal!
In fact, it NEARLY worked! I came so close, but Round 95 with the large number of DDT's was too much... the Mega Ballista attack just couldn't attack fast enough to clear the Bloons out quickly enough. Not to mention its shots were often blocked by blimps anyway. But this is possible; if Primary Expertise is ever buffed, I will give this a second try...
That said, I'm not going to sit here and make it sound like this was easy, because it wasn't to begin with. The ONLY way you're going to get anywhere with this combination is to use a 5-2-0 Monkey Buccaneer, which means you need to rely on the Monkey Village for your camo detction. And this brings about the first major complication: affording Radar Scanner.
This was a nightmare! Probably more tedious than ISAB's attempt to make Quincy and Anti-Bloon work, I bet! Because the only way you're going to afford the upgrade is to solo to Round 24 with a Buccaneer with Grape Shot... that's it. Spend any more money, and you've lost.
And OH MY GOD, this absolutely SUCKED!!!
The placement of the Monkey Buccaneer and the micromanagement required to clear Rounds 19-23 just about drove me INSANE! You want "the best boat I've ever seen?" Well, try soloing a 0-1-0 Buccaneer to Round 24! The requirements are so demanding and specific that it is almost reliant on LUCK at points! It is THAT hard! I actually could have sworn it was impossible at points!
This would have been avoidable if Grape Shot attacked faster or if Radar Scanner cost less (which it probably should, in my opinion - I don't want to spend $2000 on camo detection).
*deep breath* But... it can be done. And from there on, you're in the clear to do whatever you want. It's easy going from here to Round 94. You try saying "the next 70 rounds will be easy" in any other context.
Apache Prime 5-2-0
Fortunately, there is an easier way to Round 95: Apache Prime!
And the how is pretty straight-forward and easy to explain, but only you follow these steps:
- Solo the first few rounds with an unupgraded Monkey Buccaneer until you can afford a Heli-Pilot.
- Invest money on purchasing IFR to clear Round 24.
- Invest money towards Razor Rotors to clear Round 28.
In all seriousness, you can actually get a 3-2-0 Heli-Pilot set-up in time, at which point just invest money towards your Carrier Flagship, and you're set. Don't worry TOO much about the Apache Dartship and Apache Prime; you'll be able to get those pretty early: Dartship mid-late 60's; Prime early 80's. And from there on... relax!
The key to this whole thing is getting Razor Rotors, though - hence why it is the image for this section and not the Apache Prime. Once you've done that, you're in the clear. But if you even spend a single cent on your Monkey Buccaneer... game over.
This is definitely easier said than done, but it's a hell of a lot easier than the that stupid Radar Scanner set-up.
No improvement, unfortunately; Round 95 was the same. It MIGHT be possible with perfect micro, but I don't have that. Someone else will have to give this a go for me, to see if it's possible.
A lot of people underestimate just how good Quincy really is. He's actually a really good late-game tower for dealing with MOAB-class Bloons. He just SHREDS those layers off like nothing! The only hero in the game that can match that blow for blow is Churchill.
Of course, I didn't REALLY expect this combination to make it. DDT's were a problem, since Quincy can't damage them. So expectations were Round 95 at best. He didn't make it that far, but he did make it to Round 89, which is still respectable - admit it.
The reason they couldn't go any further was because of one thing, and one thing only: fortified super ceramics. Quincy and a Carrier Flagship are NOT well equipped to deal with these things, especially when they're coming in thick packs. This is a major problem because a lot of the late-game rounds have long strings of packed MOAB-class Bloons - especially MOAB's - which release even more super ceramics in quick clusters. As you could imagine, this makes it a bit overwhelming for the two...
They were able to hold up in the earlier rounds with fortified super ceramics just fine, but once the stream of fortified MOAB's came into the picture, it was all but game over. The MOAB layers were easy, but the rush of fortified super ceramics weren't. They can take out most of them, but not all.
I find this very similar to my Ultra Juggernaut + Sky Shredder Combination: it's not the rush that overwhelms you; it's the odd slip that does you in.
Glaive Lord 5-0-2 (on Park Path)
Usually I test my combinations on Logs... but ever since it was added to the game, I wanted to test a combination on Park Path. It seems like a map where 2-Tower CHIMPS is possible... but after some testing, it's actually not that easy to pull off. The way the map is shaped makes it hard for some towers to hit their mark, unless they get into close proximity.
That said, I wanted to try Glaive Lord after using it in a game on this map. Picking the right tower to pair it with was tough. My first thought was Tsar Bomba, but I couldn't get a start going with the Boomerang Monkey to afford it. I did think of going with Wizard Lord Phoenix, but camo purples were the killer, so that was a no straight away.
In the end, I cam back to old faithful here. And I'm glad I did!
It was a hard start to get right, but I managed to get both towers in place and then went to work building them up. The Destroyer did struggle to hit its mark against fast Bloons, but it was good enough when it came to close range. The MOAB also proved difficult, because I wanted to save up for Carrier Flagship... but in the end, I was forced to go with M.O.A.R. Glaives.
But by the end of it, I was able to get BOTH Tier 5 towers up and running! And from there on, I just had to relax!
While I don't think there would have been enough to beat a BAD or cope with the DDT's, it actually did really well. Glaive Lord's spinning glaives have a pretty big detection area, so if placed in the upper U-turn just above the pond, they can damage MOAB-class Bloons that are coming into the map AND approaching the exit. And it cleans up pretty well; anything that is a non-fortified MOAB or below just melts away to NOTHING!
Round 88 was the limit, though. And honestly, I don't think it would have been any better on Logs.
Still, as far as I know, this is best 2-Tower CHIMPS run on Park Path to date... though I would like it if someone proved me wrong. Still, that's not bad for a combination that has low damage out-put combined.
Urrrrrgh... I am SO over trying to make this Monkey Engineer work in 2TC!
Every combination I have tried with it thus far has proved to be powerful... but not powerful enough. And the reason why is straightforward: You're relying almost EXCLUSIVELY on a single tower to do all the work. Monkey Engineer really IS a support tower, since it doesn't deal a lot of damage itself... especially if you're using the middle upgrade path.
It did show some promise, though. I managed to get to Round 88 before crashing out, so that's not a complete disaster...
What IS though is what is affected by the Overclock ability: the main gun ONLY! It doesn't affect the mini-aces which are the core of the towers damage output at that point. Also, the ability doesn't last the full 60 seconds. I wish I knew the full details as to what gains the full duration of the ability and what doesn't, but trust me when I say that this is really not helpful!
I am determined to make Overclock work, though. And I am tempted to try the 5-2-0 Carrier Flagship crosspath instead, which will make later rounds with camo rushes REALLY difficult. But if it works, it COULD be the difference between success and failure.