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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

Bloons Tower Defense 6 strategy guide UPDATED, part 1

Since Optimist students are too busy creating award-winning student journalism to play mobile games, we asked star player and South senior Oscar Burkson to help update our Bloons Tower Defense Strategy Guide. Burkson has more than a decade of experience playing the Bloons Tower Defense franchise, and will be writing a three part series to update Optimist’s highest-viewed story. He said this was his favorite tower defense game and has over 100 million Bloons popped. “There’s a monkey for everyone,” proclaims Burkson.

From this point onward, Burkson will be taking over writing this guide to the latest BTD installment because he knows way more than us.

The addition to BTD6 that separates this game from the previous installments of the series is the addition of ‘Heroes’. Currently, there are 13 Heroes in the game, 4 of which you unlock by leveling up and the rest can be purchased with the in-game currency, Monkey Money, which is earned by completing maps. Heroes are created equal, but some are more equal than others. Every Hero is capable of being the best to use for a certain map, game mode, or challenge. When it comes to leveling, the Heroes are sorted into 4 leveling groups that are not displayed in-game, meaning that not every Hero will level up at the same rate. The 4 groups are: Base (Fastest), x1.425 (Fast), x1.5 (Medium), and x1.71 (Slow). In addition to each Hero’s leveling rate, there are also Experience Multipliers based on the difficulty of the map: x1.0 for Beginner, x1.1 for intermediate, x1.2 for Advanced, and x1.3 for Expert maps. There are other factors that affect Hero experience, such as Monkey Knowledge and the Energizer upgrade for the Monkey Sub.

 Top 3 Heroes ***NOT ORDERED***

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  • 5,000 Monkey Money to unlock
  • $800 to place
  • Medium Leveling
  • Can attack the whole track regardless of placement
  • Can target and pop camo Bloons when placed, leads at level 6, ceramics at level 7, MOABs at level 14, BFB at level 16, and DDTs and ZOMGs at level 20
  • Level 3 Ability: Stuns Bloons in a large radius for a decent amount of time
  • Level 10 Ability: Hits all Bloons on the screen, damaging all of them, and causes some to be sent back to the beginning of the track.
  • A LATE-GAME HERO!!! Starts off the game with low popping power and slow-ish attack speed, but ends up doing massive damage.


  • 3,000 Monkey Money to unlock
  • $600 to place
  • Fast Leveling
  • Can target and pop all Bloon types when placed
  • Gains huge bonus damage to MOABs at level 8, even more so at level 12
  • Strips special properties off non-MOAB class Bloons at level 9
  • Can solo a BAD at level 20
  • Level 3 Ability: Prevents Bloons from regrowing for 6 seconds. Reduced cooldown and increased duration at level 12
  • Level 7 Ability: Provides massive buffs to towers in a large radius, at the cost of 10 lives, 1 life at level 16
  • Level 10 Ability: Places a curse on a targeted MOAB class Bloon causing damage over time until destroyed. Also, causes the affected MOAB to not spawn any children Bloons. Works faster and damages BADs at level 20


  • 5,000 Monkey Money to unlock
  • $600 to place
  • Fast Leveling
  • Crazy fast attack speed, hit multiple bloons with a short range
  • Can damage frozen Bloons at level 9 and lead Bloons at level 13, all others when placed
  • Level 3 Ability: Jumps and places her swords in the track in the place of the first Bloon, popping and doing damage to all Bloons that touch them. Increased damage at levels 12, 15, and 20
  • Level 10 Ability: Sweeps the track from back to front, doing massive damage to all Bloons. Increased damage at level 16 and sweeps 3 times at level 20

Worst 3 Heroes ***NOT ORDERED***

Striker Jones:

  • Unlock at level 21
  • $750 to place
  • Fastest Leveling
  • Attacks fast with low damage output against single Bloons, better for clustered Bloons
  • As he levels up, increases attack speed, blast radius, range, and pierce for Bomb Shooters and Mortar Monkeys
  • Level 3 Ability: Shoots a projectile at the strongest Bloon on screen and causes AOE damage the stuns all Bloons affected. Increased blast radius and effect duration at level 14 and reduced cooldown at level 15
  • Level 10 Ability: Resets ability cooldown of all Bomb Shooters and Mortar Monkeys. At level 20, doubles pops and damage of all Bomb Shooters and Mortar Monkeys for 10 seconds
  • Cannot detect Camo

Obyn Greenfoot:

  • Unlock at level 28
  • $650 to place
  • Fastest Leveling
  • At level 4, spawns a totem on the track that slows Bloons. Increased slowing effect and decreased cooldown at level 15
  • Greatly increases range and pierce for Magic Monkeys in Obyn’s radius at level 11
  • Level 3 Ability: Spawns a thorn bush that acts as a pile of 50 spikes. Upgraded to 100 spikes at level 7
  • Level 10 Ability: Spawns a group of trees that bursts into bundles of bananas after absorbing too many Bloons, can be set to spawn in a specific spot in Obyn’s radius
  • Cannot detect Camo


  • 5,000 Monkey Money to unlock
  • $850 to place
  • Fastest Leveling
  • Very large range
  • 2 unique targeting settings (Divide and Conquer, Zone Defense)
  • Level 8 provides Camo Detection to all towers.
  • Controls drones similar to Engineer Monkey’s ‘Sentry Guns’ (up to 4.) Starts with 1, gains second at level 7, a third at level 11, and his fourth at level 19
  • Level 3 Ability: Temporarily gain 4 more drones
  • Level 10 Ability: Summons a large combat drone for a short time, dealing big damage. Becomes permanent at level 20, changing the ability to enhance the combat drone
  • Low damage output
  • Cannot pop lead without combat drone



  • 3,000 Monkey Money to unlock
  • $1,200 to place
  • Medium Leveling
  • Generates bonus money each round, up to $800 at level 17
  • Also generates lives and can go up to 100 over maximum lives at level 16
  • Gets ‘Bloon Trojan’ at level 7. Targets a random Bloon and causes it to spawn no children when popped and give an extra $1 for every layer. Can affect BFBs and DDTs at level 18
  • Level 3 Ability: The 4 closest monkeys get +1 damage for 6 seconds but can’t attack for 2 seconds afterward. At level 13, increased damage, and 6 monkeys are affected for 8 seconds
  • Level 10 Ability: For 10 seconds, makes newly spawn Bloons spawn 1 rank lower than usual, making yellow Bloons spawn as green Bloons or BFBs as MOABs. The affected Bloons also give double cash when popped. At level 20, this effect lasts for 20 seconds and causes the affected Bloons to give triple cash

My Hero Tier List (Indisputable Fact) ***NOT ORDERED IN TIERS***

Which Hero should I use?

In the tier list above, I show Striker Jones being way worse than all the other Heroes, but there’s not a huge difference between the Heroes. If they were placed on a scale from 1-10, the ones in the top tier would be 10’s while Jones would be somewhere around a 7. Your Hero choice is only important until you can gather up cash to buy your favorite monkeys. That being said, there are certainly game modes and maps where some Heroes fare better than others.

For maps like Monkey Meadow, where one path loops, or Rake and Underground, where two paths cross, it is beneficial to use a hero with fast attack speed and good pierce (for amateur Blooners: amount of Bloons a projectile can go through). For these maps, I would recommend Quincy, Adora, or Sauda.

On the other hand, there are maps with long paths that don’t loop over themselves or two paths that don’t overlap like my favorites: Cracked, Streambed, and Cornfield, but also my least favorites: Bloody Puddles and Muddy Puddles. For these maps, I would recommend Heroes with large maps and sometimes multiple projectiles, like Quincy, Capt. Churchill, and Etienne.

Maps that are mostly water such as Peninsula and Flooded Valley are where the Heroes Pat Fusty and Admiral Brickell come into play as they can both be placed in water, leaving the small amount of land for high damage output towers like Sniper Monkeys. Pat Fusty is the only Hero/Tower that can be placed on both land and in water. Admiral Brickell can only be placed in water.

My 4th and final type of map is maps with several non-removable obstacles. A few examples of these would be Town Center, Hedge, Encrypted, and Moon Landing. There are no Heroes that you get from leveling up that can see through walls but there are a few that you can buy for Monkey Money. Psi, Ezili, Adora, and Etienne can all see through and damage Bloons through walls, and for that reason, I cannot recommend these Heroes enough for these maps.


Editor’s Note: Burkson will do his best to reply to BTD queries in the comments.

View Comments (8)
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Oscar Burkson, Staff Writer
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Comments (8)

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  • S

    Some GuySep 5, 2022 at 2:13 am

    Gwen: B+. Average damage, passable support. Cannot pop purples. Will place burn effect on any Bloon hit.
    Psi: A+. Pretty good—Global range, inherent camo detection, overall good damage. Can insta anything up to a B.A.D., therefore good lategame.
    Churchill: A. Expensive, but really good damage, not heavily outclassed even in midgame. Zero support, but made up for it in damage.
    Ezili: B-, lategame A. Bad unless lategame, though pretty good with a Prince of Darkness build, then again averge ultralategame.
    Sauda: A+. Very good damage, though short range. Pretty good with the right placements. Amazing at earlygame rounds, maintains average damage afterwards.
    Quincy: B+. Average damage. All-around ok hero.
    Obyn: A. Average damage, but amazing with druids.
    Pat: A-. Synergises well with Tack Shooters. Average damage, but knockback and hug makes up for it.
    Adora: A+. Synergises well early game with 402 Ninja+420 Alchemist. Midgame bad. Lategame VTSG buff makes her good again.
    Brickell: A. Apart from positioning, pretty good as support/safety net. synergises well with water towers, also lategame VTSG buff.
    Etienne: A-. Good range, UAV is pretty good, UCAV is very useful because global range. Average otherwise.
    Benjamin. A+. Good for banks boss events, not good in CHIMPS. But good money generation and also amazing synergy with banks. No damage.
    Striker Jones: A. Amazing with Maulers. With the Mauler nerf though, the strategy had to be altered.

    A+ generally refers to meta most of the time
    A is meta with a specific build
    A- is above average
    B is just average

    It should be noted that heroes were not meant for lategame, they were meant for early to midgame, as a tower that levelled up occasionally and help you out. Only very occasionally could they be useful lategame.

    P.S. I did not include Geraldo because he was nerfed too much, and it’s too painful to talk about. You actually need brains now 🙁

  • C

    ConnorMay 20, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Most of these are pretty wrong. Here would be my changes.

    Gwen down to B+ tier. She’s very strong just not one of the strongest heros. She’s not A put putting her in B would not feel right either.

    Churchill down to A. Churchill solos a lot but his high price reliance on straight lines and the fact that Sauda exists puts him down a peg. Still amazing though.

    Ezili gets her own tier labeled “Garbage never get me”. She is outclassed by every hero and her only real use is in challenges or maybe a lazy ABR game. She does nothing and every good quality about her is done better by heros who do more. Terrible early and mid game. Ok round 100. Past that she is awful. F tier all the way.

    Geraldo is also S tier he can solo CHIMPS mode like Sauda before him.

    I haven’t used Psi so I have no opinion on this child.

    Obyn goes to B tier. He is only good with Druids and the Avatar of Wrath and Poplust is a strategy that has tested time but Obyn is only a big factor in the early game. On harder maps another hero like Sauda could be better. He is still 8/10 better than other heros with Druids but he is ONLY good with Druids.

    Adora is probably B tier for one reason. You need to power level her through Blood Sacrifice. Get a tower level it sacrifice. At being a super good tower power leveled Churchill is just better, requires less micro in late game and is cheaper in monkey money.

    Admiral Brickell is my favorite Hero or at least second favorite but she is B
    tier. She has to be put on water, most maps have little water and needs a lot of water to operate. But if all her criteria are met, get ready to Sub Spam and Carrier Flagship your way to an easy victory.

    Quincy and Pat’s placement is fair. Good damage with Quincy’s sheer narcissism making him a jack of all trades except for pink balloons and DDTs. Pat’s stun and roar and push back make him make great synergies with overdrive snipers and basically every tower.

    Etienne is VERY strong A+ probably but his frenchness puts him down to A proper. A good enough early game good mid game and amazing late game with perma UCAV is a deadly combination. UAV is also very good camo. You just need to pump a few levels into him not like Adora. But he’s French so it is even worth it?

    Ben. Ben in D tier? That’s ridiculous. Ben’s easily S tier. He makes money, even more than Geraldo if you play it right. Good support in Biohack, life regen through cyber security, Bloon trojan making big bloons easier, Bank Hack making banks even better and syphon funding making 63 and 76 infinitely easier. Yah Ben is S tier.

    Striker Jones is the weirdest hero in the game from a tiering standpoint. He is simultaneously broken and bad. Not ezili bad or Sauda good but still. With Maulers he is amazing S tier even. With Artillery Battery he is B tier. With Bloon Impact he is C. And with no supporting capabilities F tier.
    I think he is around Obyn viability so B tier.

    So this list is very flawed. In my opinion only 3 of the placements are fair 4 if you count Psi. The only thing that seemed to matter was damage with the top heros being damage based and the bottom being support(Except the French Person who is both) which is flawed because the best towers in the game are support. Perma-Brew, Overclock, Villages, Poplust,Shinobi Tactics,Sub Commander,Carrier Flagship and Energizer are all some of the best towers in the game or have some phenomenal strategies revolving around them. The only thing more powerful than support is money generation and Ben is the very best at that. Even with just 2 banks you get enough money in impoppable to get Crossbow Master, XXXL Trap, Bloon Solver and Carpet of Spikes. I didn’t even have Ben. I would’ve gotten 9k extra from the banks at a minimum and 30k from Ben for just a small investment at the start. Only Sauda and Geraldo can boast that level power and only Sauda for the ease of use. So “Very Situational” isn’t true in the slightest. In Conclusion this list is very flawed with a preference toward damage and Ezili for some reason.

  • L

    LukaJan 26, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Part 2 when?

  • E

    Elise SJan 5, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Wow! Unfortunately, this is wrong. Completely.

    • E

      Elise SJan 5, 2022 at 10:49 am

      I just read the article and it turns out I’m wrong.

      • E

        Elise SJan 11, 2022 at 1:25 pm

        Do not be fooled. This “Elise S” is not me. This article IS wrong. I am not. I am never.

  • C

    coolguy666Dec 16, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    who is the best monkey unit

  • G

    gravytrainDec 16, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    oh my god yes