Bloons TD 6: How to Pickle with Geraldo

A guide to the use of jar of pickles, an odd buffing item that trades off damage and fortified damage for attack speed.

 

What pickles?

You can find pickles in the Geraldo shop from level 1 in the top right corner, they have a base price of $50 and last for 8 rounds.

The pickles will be upgraded when Geraldo reaches level 11, now adding a point of fortified damage.

At level 16 the pickles are upgraded again, now adding a second point of fortified damage.

Pickles I

Level 1 pickles are available instantly, providing +1 damage but reducing rate of fire by 20%

Projectile Damage
New Damage
Change (%)
1
2
+60%
2
3
+20%
3
4
+6.67%
4
5
0*
5
6
-4%**
6
7
-7.7%

*At 4 damage the overall tower damage will increase due to cleaving in most situations.
**At 5 damage performance may still increase before round 80 on high pierce towers.

As you can see, towers with 3 or less damage gain a direct benefit in overall dps, while a tower with 4 or 5 damage could circumstantially perform better depending on the towers pierce and fire rate. Ideally low level pickles are best used on a Bloonjitsu or Nevermiss to aid them with carrying the earlygame near and after round 40.

Pickles II

Unlocked at level 11, the second level of pickles can help with midgame fortified moabs, such as on round 64. These pickles extra damage can make them useful on towers with even higher base attack.

Projectile Damage
New Damage
Change (%)
New Damage vs Fortified
Change vs Fortified (%)
1
2
+60%
3
+140%
2
3
+20%
4
+60%
3
4
+6.67%
5
+33.33%
4
5
0%
6
+20%
5
6
-4%
7
+12%
6
7
-6.67%
8
+6.67%
7
8
-8.57%
9
+2.86%
8
9
-10%
10
+0%

Benefit is felt at a much higher level now, not only does the bonus fortfied damage make it easier to justify on higher damage towers, there is now less of a downside in giving 7 damage towers pickles (this allows them to oneshot rainbows), as the dps vs fortifieds is slightly higher, so any wastage is now outweighed by the benefits of cleaving.

As for general use, typically this upgraded potion is worth giving to towers with a base damage of 5 or lower and performs best on super monkeys, buccaneers (3/4-1-0) and tack shooters.

Pickles III

The third and final level of pickles, unlocked at level 16, provides geraldos units one massive increase in damage versus fortified and can entirely replace the need for shattering shells in later maps with some units as 1 damage towers can now ignore the fortified property entirely.

Projectile Damage
New Damage
Change (%)
New Damage vs Fortified
Change vs Fortified (%)
1
2
+60%
4
+220%
2
3
+20%
5
+100%
3
4
+6.67%
6
+60%
4
5
0%
7
+40%
5
6
-4%
8
+28%
6
7
-6.67%
9
+20%
7
8
-8.57%
10
+14.29%
8
9
-10%
11
+10%
9
10
-11.11%
12
+6.67%
10
11
-12%
13
+4%

As shown with the table, potential benefit can be felt on almost any tower, provided fortified bloons in the lategame are the source of ire, for this use case dropping 4 pickles before the start of round 98 will allow towers to more easily deal with the fortified bfbs and ddts at the end of the game. The last tier of pickles would be worthwhile on a tower with up to 8 base damage with a maim moab present, or 7 otherwise.

Tl;dr / Summary

Pickles level I should be used on towers with 3 or less damage most of the time.
Pickles level II (unlocked at level 11) can be used on towers with 5 or less damage.
Pickles level III (unlocked at level 16) should be used on towers with 7 or less damage, particularly before the start of r98.

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