Huh. So trees aren't the only plants that can break things...
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Plants vs. Zombies 1
Normal game modes
- In the flash version's survival, the Fume-shroom and Sun-shroom combo becomes this at night. Sprinkle the cake with Grave Busters and Wall-nuts, as well as some Chompers to deal with Giga-football Zombies for success and profit.
- Cattails in any pool stage. It fires spikes that home in on the screen & can also pop balloons, making it easier to take Balloon Zombies down, and has damage output comparable to a Repeater.
- The Gloom-shroom/Garlic combo. The garlic diverts the zombies down to other lanes and clustered up together so that the Gloom-shroom can blast them. This can eliminate at least 75% of the zombies types in the almanac. Unfortunately, they don't stop Zombonis and Gargantuar, so keep some one-hitters and a front row of Spikerocks as buffer.
- This combo really shines on Last Stand. Throw in a few defensive plants, and your Gloom-shrooms and Garlics can handily deal with any zombie that shows up with minimal sun cost. Which, in turn, means you can then use the excess sun to fill the back of your lawn with Marigolds for quick and easy cash farming.
- The Spikeweed/Wall Nut combo. The zombies are kept on the spikeweed by the wall-nut, and the spikeweed destroys them with minimal losses. For even more fun, try upgrading that Spikeweed to Spikerock.
- Using the Hypno-shroom on any sufficiently powerful zombie. The Football Zombie is the most tempting target, though the Dancing Zombie is even better, with the back-up dancers also turned around. And the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie would mean no longer any risk of blasting your plants, and one free explosion against the other zombies if you're lucky.
- Cob Cannons takes the cake. You can click it to fire off a cob missile at any destination. The missile then decimates everything around it. Generally, though, it's very expensive and not really worth playing in Adventure and mini-games, but it's very much invaluable in Survival: Endless. With enough of them to continuously fire at regular intervals, one can go on indefinitely. Due to this, a cobless setup is a popular Self-Imposed Challenge.
- The Melon-Pult was already pretty powerful because its projectiles are worth 4 peas in terms of damage, but the Winter Melon upgrade increases the lethality by having its projectiles freeze the zombies on impact.
- The Repeater/Gatling Pea + Torchwood combo is this in Bonus Adventure levels and the Survival and Survival (Hard) levels, simply because the Torchwood doubles the damage of ALL peas that pass through it plus gives them splash properties. The only place where it's useless is in Survival Endless, as due to the increasing sun cost of upgrade plants, the Gatling Pea becomes a total Sun sink.
- The Pumpkin can be placed on top of plants to give them some more health. That's pretty much placing a Wall-nut on top of them, making the annoying Imps far less of an inconvenience.
- Chomper and Wall-nut Combo. Plant a Chomper behind a Wall/Tall-nut and it will actually eat the zombie attacking the nut. Add the pumpkin to the mix and you can effectively wall off almost every zombie type in the game.
- Starfruits edge slightly into Difficult, but Awesome, since they can't shoot straight ahead. But they're relatively cheap(125 Sun), recharge very quickly, and having a full column of them is basically the same as having a couple of Peashooters per row. A few rows will stop most Zombies short of the Gargantuar. Doubly useful in the New Game+, since Crazy Dave will insist on choosing some plants for you and taking up some of your slots—You're not gonna need much else than Sunflowers, Starfruits, and maybe some prep or emergency plants anyway; though you will need some Anti-Air plants for later Pool levels, and Starfruits struggle on Roof levels(if they're placed any further back than the first slanted tile, they won't be able to hurt the Zombies).
- The Ladder Zombie can sometimes be this, due to the shield protecting from peas and the ability to render defensive plants pointless.
- The level "Me Smash!" gives you the Gargantuar, the zombie that takes extreme amounts of damage and One Hit Kills most plants. No, seriously. You'd have to try to lose the level or not use Pole-vaulters to lose the level.
- Dancing Zombies. He sends out more zombies to shield him and wreck the rows below and above him.
- The Digger zombie avoids some of the hardest defenses very easily. Sure, you'll need to send another zombie to eat the brains, but still.
- You can actually have the Digger zombie eat the brains if you can time it so that a magnet-shroom steals his pickaxe while he has already dug past most of the lawn.
- In some versions, you can rapidly place Bungee Zombies on Sunflowers and gain a ton of sun in the process. This will make getting Better Off Dead so very much easier.
Plants vs. Zombies 2
There's more breaking in this game than Boom Blox and Wrecking Crew!
- The Plant Food power-up, which enchants the power of the plant that it is used on. For example, Peashooters fire rapid pea bursts, Walnuts gain an extra layer of health & Potato Mine places 2 armed Potato Mines on 2 random tiles. Even better when combined with the Power Tiles in the Far Future (which gives Plant Food to all plants on similar tiles if one receives it, essentially a free plant food for several other plants).
- The Plant Leveling System. A good number of the plants below are already game breakers at level one. Now, after an admittedly long time getting seed packets to level them up, you can buff their attack/defence/utility, lower their cost price, increase their special effects, and boost their Plant Food powers even more. Furthermore, what used to be Overshadowed by Awesome plants can now kill zombies in less than five attacks, while some decent plants like Laser Bean become ridiculously effective.
- If you manage to max out a plant's level, there's still Mastery levels. Not only do Mastery levels give extra damage for your already powerful Plants, they also give a chance for them to use their Plant Food power when planted!
- For Plant Food effects, Iceberg Lettuce takes the cake. Normally it's a bomb-style plant that temporarily freezes whoever walks into it, but when you Plant-Food it, it casts freeze on every zombie on the screen, similar to Ice-shrooms from the first game. In conjunction with Bloomerangs, which shoot through stacked zombies, the final waves become useless. Both plants are available in Egypt, the first world you visit. And the best part: when you use Plant Food on an Iceberg Lettuce, it doesn't die, meaning that if one freeze wasn't enough you can just do it again. Then you combine it with Kernel-Pult's Plant Food special, butter bombing all zombies which does stack with the freezing.
- Iceberg lettuce itself, once it reaches high enough levels. At level 11 and above, it removes the weakness of affecting only a single zombie, instead affecting all zombies in a 3 square area on a single row. At level 16, that changes to a 3x3 area akin to Stallia. Furthermore, at such levels its freeze time outlasts its recharge time, meaning that one can now indefinitely Stun Lock zombies with it.
- On the same update as the one the levelling system was introduced, Bloomerang's damage was accidentally ramped up to unbelievable amounts. It was enough that two bloomerangs alone could kill a Robo-cone. Three could kill everything but Jurassic Gargantuars, and four meant not even they are safe. However, the day afterwards, they reverted it so that it dealt the same damage as normal, but it was a fantastic single moment of glory.
- The Pirate Sea introduced a plant that behaved similarly to the Cob Cannon: The Coconut Cannon. Unlike the Cob Cannon it fires its powerful projectile down the lane that it was placed on rather than firing it like a mortar, but it takes up only one space, it costs 400 sun, and it recharges its projectile in 16 seconds.
- Although if you have loads of sun handy, shoveling it and replanting is even faster (though nowhere near as good as simply using cheaper cherry bombs).
- Spring Bean's Plant Food effect normally is only situationally useful (i.e in Pirate Seas), but with Blover you can create a powerful combination: after most zombies are knocked to the air by Spring Bean, immediately plant Blover to blow them all away, clearing the field from most zombies. Sadly no longer work as of version 6.7.1.
- Of course, in Pirate Seas it's a colossal Game Breaker all on its own. If you have the zombies in the right position, the Plant Food effect can clear the screen of ground-bound zombies. Gargantuars included.
- Winter Melon. Just... Winter Melon. Much like the original, it has Splash damage. It also slows down all the zombies it hits. This may not sound like much, but you're making every other plant twice as efficient. You can also infinitely stall gargantuars with this thing. Basically, slow them, then plant down a Puff-shroom. They will crush the Puff-shroom, but after they're ready to crush another plant, the Puff-shroom will have been fully recharged. Plant another one. Rinse and repeat. What makes the plant more effective than it was in the first game? Now it's a standalone plant and recharges faster. The only problem in this plant is that it costs a hefty 500 sun.
- Laser Bean at Level 1 is a pretty decent plant, having the same DPS as a Peashooter but with the ability to hit all zombies in the lane, at twice the cost. The Plant Leveling System turns it into a ridiculous plant as it gains a good bit of damage to its attacks per level. Level it up enough and Laser Beans can nullify threats like Explorers, Jesters, Excavators, Turquoise Skulls, Punks, MC Zom-Bs, and more in a jiffy. Furthermore, what puts it above other piercing plants is that there is no limit for how many zombies it can hit and can't be blocked/reflected (unlike Bloomerang, AKEE, and Cactus), while it has a range of the entire row plus offscreen when placed in the back column, unlike the limited-range Fume-Shroom and Snapdragons.
- Infi-Nut's Plant Food Powerup. It creates a forcefield that has a crazy amount of health and can survive Gargantuar attacks, stops almost all zombies from getting through, and best of all, neutralizes certain zombies' attacks/equipment such as imp cannons, the Surfer's surfboard, Fisherman Zombie's fishing hook, the Hunter Zombie's snowballs, the Troglobite's iceblock pushing, the Excavator's shovel, the Punk's kick, the All-star's charge, etc.
- Blover gets a buff: now it can blow away any zombies in midair, not just flying ones. Really good, but wasn't reaching game breaker status. When Jurassic Marsh came out, however, Blover became absolutely insane. For one, it can blow away anything that the Primal Peashooter knocks back, which can potentially be a ton, and it can also blow away anything kicked by the Velociraptor. That, combined with the cheap cost and fast recharge makes Blover quite the necessity for getting through Jurassic Marsh. And if you can get it up to level 10... it becomes free to use.
- Thanks to the levelling system, Tile Turnip became one of the best plants in the game. At only level 3, it only costs 615 sun to plant three, while it costs 750 at low levels. It makes power tile combos such as Shrinking Violet + 5 Strawburst much easier to get. At level 9? The first three tile turnips are completely free. That's right, three free power tiles for nothing. But what takes the cake is that it no longer has a cost increase per planting once it reaches max level, meaning that the first 3 are free and the rest will always cost 200.
- Puff-shroom's plant food attack. It spits out a ton of spores... and makes every other Puff-shroom do the same. If you fill the lawn with them, nothing save for Jesters and Excavators will survive. The icing on the cake is that it also resets their limited lifespan.
- Even without power tiles, Sun-Shroom plant boosting allows for a very fast start in any survival stage except for the very first level. Its a good tactic regardless of sun-production plant, but with the Sun-Shroom you get both instant suns and jumps them right to their largest size / output for the least sunk sun cost.
- For a limited time, Fume Shroom became one of the absolute most bonkers plant in the game. Normally, it attacks all zombies within 4 spaces in front of it, but an update accidentally buffed its actual attack range to 5 spaces... and also hit the rows above and below it! In short, Fume Shroom turned from a short-ranged multi-target fighter, into a semi-short-ranged AoE plant. Once you plant at least four columns, nothing short of the game's worst Demonic Spiders or a Gargantuar army can get anywhere near your back lane. Unfortunately, the Sixth Anniversary update reverted these changes, making Fume Shroom's range back to the same as it was before.
Big Wave Beach
- While the Bowling Bulb was a pretty decent plant, being able to hit a huge amount of zombies in multiple lanes thanks to its bouncy projectile, it suffered from a crippling weakness where it kept regenerating the green (weakest) bulb and firing it out whenever there was a zombie in its lane. As such, it couldn't perform well. However, get this to Level 3 and that huge weakness is rectified- it now regenerates the blue bulb (medium) first, then the orange (strongest), then the green. As the blue bulb does 3x the damage as the green one, this results in a huge boost in damage per second.
- Big Wave Beach part 2 gives us a new plant: The Banana Launcher. Think of it as a slightly weaker Cob Cannon with a fast recharge and takes only one space. It also reloads a bit faster. Be very thankful it's there for Big Wave Beach. If it wasn't there, you'd have one hell of a time winning. Banana!
- From Frostbite Caves, the Chard Guard only costs 75 sun, has a faster recharge than other defensive plants, and pushes zombies away. It can do that three times, and can push back multiple zombies! Level this up to Level 5 and the number of pushes it can do becomes six.
- One update has inadvertently buffed Rotobaga's plant food damage to extreme levels. Now its able absolute destroy any zombies that get caught in its 4 paths, including Jurassic Gargantuars! In fact, its powerful enough to take out 2 whole phases from the Zombots! However, it can also cause a Game-Breaking Bug where the attack restores a zombie to full health and makes them invulnerable.
- The Rotobaga itself is a pretty useful plant itself. Having two rows of Rotobagas can easily thin out hordes of zombies. Three rows will destroy even tough zombies like Gargantuars in little time. Only Jester Zombie and Excavator Zombie can counter this. Rotobaga is also extremely helpful in Big Wave Beach, as it has ways to counter the three zombies which make that level such a nightmare. Rotobaga's diagonal line of fire makes it good for clearing out surfboards and octopi, even ones on the first column, making Surfer zombies and especially Octo zombies much less of a threat. In addition, the Rotobaga's ability to levitate saves the player sun from planting lily pads and also makes it useful against Fisherman zombies as even if a Rotobaga is hooked, it won't be dragged into the water like most plants.
- Stallia is a pretty decent plant to use to stall a 3x3 group of zombies, costing 0 sun. Once it gets to level 5, however, that's when it becomes even more useful- it also does a Knock Back to all zombies it affects when it triggers. Zombies being knocked back are airborne for a very short while, meaning that if you combo this with Blover, you essentially get a 3x3 One-Hit Kill that costs 50 sun (25 if the Blover is Level 5-9, completely free if the Blover is at max level) and has a much faster recharge time than a Cherry Bomb.
- The Red Stinger at the three nearest tile columns serves as a cheaper, more powerful alternative to the Repeater, which can easily take out Zombie Chickens and Ice Weasels while also doing quite a bit of damage to stronger zombies. His low cost means that he can be planted near the start of levels, allowing you to set up a good defence early on, but he still does enough damage to be helpful when stronger zombies appear later on. Three rows can deal with Gargantuars with relative ease but also take out large hordes of zombies, which is an ability many higher-damage plants lack as they have a slower firing rate. The only real drawbacks are the limitations on where you can put him and still have him attacking at full power, his fairly weak Plant Food effect, and the fact that many other plants gain better cost decreases and damage increases as they level up.
- Gold Leaf is extremely useful in The Lost City. When you plant it, the tile becomes a sun-producing tile as long as you have a plant on it. So naturally, you'd want to plant Gold Leaf on your back row, and if said back row is also full of sun-producing plants, their tandem can easily ramp up your sun production to such degree that planting expensive game breaker plants such as Winter Melon becomes a piece of cake. Their only drawbacks are that they recharge reaaaally slowly, and that unlike Tile Turnip, they cannot be used anywhere else other than their home world.
Neon Mixtape Tour
- Thyme Warp is often considered one of the most useful plants in the entire game. For a low cost of 75 sun, you can send EVERY zombie back to the front lane. This can completely turn a hopeless match right on its head and save your brains if used properly. While it does completely heal the zombies, this isn't a big deal, since they'll probably re-accumulate the damage once they reach the tile they were warped from, and if a zombie's headgear was destroyed, they won't get it back. So the only real downside to this plant is its slow recharge and the fact that it can only be used in Neon Mixtape Tour (Which isn't too bad either, since it's That One Level.)
- Primal Peashooter is incredibly powerful, especially in conjunction with the aforementioned Blover. While it shoots slowly, it makes up for it by adding knockback, in which it can sometimes push a zombie back a column when it hits. This makes it a very powerful plant against Gargantuars. When combined with Blover, the knockback outright kills. However, it is nearly useless against the Jurassic Bully, who No Sells its knockback and has a ton of health.
- The Primal Wall-nut may cost 25 sun more than his modern counterpart, but he can stall up to three Gargantuar smashes and All-Star Zombie tackles! And to top it off, he has a fast recharge, making him useful for stalling Gargantuars indefinitely. Level it up to increase its health and it will survive more Gargantuar smashes.
- The Primal Potato Mine. While it costs 25 sun more than its modern counterpart, it has a larger 3x3 range akin to Cherry Bomb and Grapeshot, and it has a much faster arming time. It also has a faster recharge time (Sluggish) compared to the former two (Slow). Place it in the middle of the crowds (with the help of stunning plants, of course), and you've got yourself a cheaper, faster-recharging Cherry Bomb. Spud-Oop! Get this to Level 4, and its explosion radius allows it to even affect two lanes above and below it! At Level 5 it'll arm so fast and have just enough health that you can plant this on top of a single normal-speed zombie and it'll blow up before getting eaten! Also, it and the regular Potato Mine are not banned from Last Stand levels, unlike other bomb plants, and if planted in those levels, they will be instantly active when the level begins. This means you can win almost any Last Stand by overloading your field with cheap potatoes backed up by a few slowing or stalling plants.
- Shadow-shroom is a pretty decent plant, but not a game breaker. When given plant food, however, it becomes incredibly powerful. When used, every zombie on-screen becomes poisoned, damaging them very much. By the time the poison wears off, they're either dead or so weak that the other plants can finish them off. Best of all, the poison completely ignores headwear, meaning that a durable buckethead, knight, blockhead or fossilhead dies just as quickly as a regular zombie. At level 4 and above, anything not a Zombie Bull, Far Future robot, Gargantuar, or Zomboss is already dead.
- The Dusk Lobber is rather weak on its own, and deals badly against isolated enemies, but when powered and facing groups of zombies, it becomes a monster. Due to each of its shots doing Splash Damage that even hits other lanes and firing three shots in three lanes when powered, the overlapping explosions will cause even more area damage. When planted in groups near a Moonflower, it will take care of horde of weaker zombies in a jiffy. Furthermore, it's very cheap for a plant that can potentially outdamage Melon-Pult, costing only 150 sun. Getting this to a higher level makes it even more painful.
- Power Lily. She basically give the player one Plant Food for 175 sun. Now combine that with the Imitater to halve her recharge time...
- The Imitater. It creates a second seed packet for the previously selected plant. Using this with a slow-recharging game breaker (Such as the previously mentioned Gold Leaf, Thyme Warp, and Power lily, or the later mentioned Electric Blueberry and Gold Bloom), or a sun producer (Especially Moonflower) will make the game very much easier.
- The Strawburst takes time to grow, but when fully charged, it can be tapped to fire out a 45-damage 3x3 Splash Damage attack. An entire column of fully charged Strawbursts can decimate most huge waves instantly. Each Plant Food attack deals 20 damage to all zombies on the lawn, and if that's not enough, it also recharges the strawberry to its largest size. Two power tiles, and Coneheads and most special zombies are killed, leaving only more durable ones like bucketheads behind. Four or more and only the toughest zombies will survive.
- The Sweet Potato. Using this plant, you can create some truly effective choke points by having her attract zombies to lanes that are guarded by plants such as laser bean while leaving the other lanes safe for sun production and other supporting plants. She used to cost 300 sun before an update reduced it to 150, but she still recharges slowly.
- The Cactus fires thorns that can penentrate through enemy lines for good damage. When an enemy gets closer, it buries itself and deals damage from below, not unlike the spikeweeds/spike rocks. Of course, you actually have to pay real money to get it.
- The Electric Blueberry. For only a low cost of 150 sun, you get a plant that can OHKO anything, including Gargantuars. Sure, it takes time to charge up, but it still has about as much time as the Citron, which costs far more and only causes forty damage to zombies. Of course, great power comes with a great price, as this used to be the most expensive premium plant to date, 7 dollars (Now costs 3), has a very slow seed recharge time, and targets a random zombie on the lawn.
- Using Electric Blueberry in Last Stand levels makes things incredibly easy (unless there's Imp Cannons, Chickens, or Weasels). Plant 10 or more of them at the start and most of the zombie waves will be fried with great ease.
- Not as much of one after Neon Mixtape Tour part 2 was released, as it has took a pretty hefty Nerf- it now usually prioritizes all other zombies over Gargantuars, making it extremely unreliable at killing Gargantuars, its previous selling point.
- Jack O'Lantern is a very powerful plant. On tapping, it deals up to 15 damage on all zombies three squares in front of it for one rechargeable charge- 2-3 taps are enough to kill most things that are weaker than Bucketheads, and a single tap can clear chickens/weasels with ease too. On holding, it can deal continuous damage totaling instakill damage in all with the same range, although this is risky considering how much micro-ing it needs. It quickly incinerates most zombies in front of it if they're not Imp Dragons. Best of all, it's compatible with icy plants as it will only thaw zombies when active, unlike other fire plants that constantly attack and thaw the zombies. If leveled up, its flame length gets longer along with better damage too. Of course, it's very expensive, costing 7 dollars.
- Grapeshot, a direct upgrade to the already-powerful Cherry Bomb with same sun cost and recharge time. After detonating a 3x3 area for instant-kill damage, it also produces an 8-way Spread Shot of powerful bouncy grape projectiles that hurt a lot and hit multiple times. Timed right, it can kill Far Future machines and Gargantuars (that aren't the Jurassic Gargantuar) in one use. The only drawback is that it, like Jack O'Lantern, is also very expensive, costing 7 dollars.
- In a rare example, it doesn't make Cherry Bomb Overshadowed by Awesome despite being a direct upgrade... in fact, it makes Cherry Bomb even better as both Grapeshot and Cherry Bomb can be used together. Imitate the Grapeshot and you've cut down the recharge time of a 3x3 area instant kill by two-thirds!
- Similarly to Bloomerang, Grapeshot was also accidentally buffed so that the bouncing grapes instakilled everything, including even Jurassic Garantuars at full health! Sadly, it was reverted in one day.
- Snapdragon is already a strong plant especially when placed in numbers, but the Cold Snapdragon, its ice-themed counterpart, is even better. It performs like Snapdragon, with same sun cost, recharge, damage, but instead of thawing chilled/frozen zombies, it chills them down instead and is thus compatible with icy plants and can also harm Imp Dragon zombies. Finally, it's also immune to the freezing winds and Hunter Zombie snowballs in Frostbite Caves thanks to its fur coat. Its only drawbacks are that it does not hit zombies directly above it and its plant food effect is slightly weaker, but that isn't much of a problem.
- The Shrinking Violet. For the cheap cost of 50 sun, it shrinks down a 3x3 area of zombies, causing them to take doubled damage and deal halved damage, greatly reducing the threat of Gargantuars, Far Future machines, Bucketheads, Knights, Blockheads, and Fossilheads. More importantly, its secondary effects make it strong- it removes all the Imps from Gargantuars and Zombie Bulls, and removes Zombie Parrots, Zombie Chickens and Ice Weasels from their respective owners, making all of them much less of a threat. Its Plant Food effect is also powerful- it shrinks all the zombies, including those off-screen, making final waves in Endless Zones a much easier time. Its only drawback is its rather slow recharge.
- The Hypno-shroom can be this when there's Newspaper Zombies around. When he's angered, he'll rush into the Hypno-shroom, hypnotizing him while he retains his eating speed. If you manage to make him stay alive, he'll mow down every zombie that's on his path.
- Escape Root is the only plant that allows you to move positions of plants around, giving it great utility. When armed, it has a chance of exploding in a 3x3 area for instakill damage. Its Plant Food is no slouch either, causing it to spawn two random explosives that deal instakill damage each and can potentially explode a 3x3 area. Unlike Primal Potato Mine, it will spawn the explosive on top of or near a zombie, causing guaranteed instakill damage with greater accuracy. Furthermore, there's a Good Bad Bug with it that allows one to swap out a force-fielded Infi-Nut to a different column, allowing it to keep the forcefield there even if the nut is removed after that, thus making it a great defence◊ against both Surfers and Fishermen.
- Explode-O-Nut pretty much makes the Wall-Nut obsolete. For the mere cost of 50 sun, you get a Wall-Nut that explodes like a cherry bomb when defeated, killing all zombies in a 3x3 radius around it. It also has a much faster recharge than Wall-Nut, and unlike Primal Potato Mine, can hit airborne enemies in its radius. This also turns many of the more threatening zombies' One-Hit Kill abilities against them since killing the nut blows it up, often on them.
- As a direct upgrade to the Cherry Bomb, the Bombegrenate can be this. It functions like a Cherry Bomb except it also produces a 3x3 grid of exploding seeds for even more damage. And as mentioned above, it can be used alongside Cherry Bomb, Grapeshot, and an Imitator in order to reduce the cooldown of a 3x3 explosive by a huge amount.
- The Missile Toe is a direct upgrade in every way to the Banana Launcher above except cost, which is the same. Like the Banana Launcher, one taps and holds to target a tile, and it will launch a projectile that lands on and hits said tile. Like Banana Launcher, its explosion causes 60 points of damage. Unlike Banana Launcher, it also causes slowing on all zombies in a 3x3 area around the point of impact. Furthermore, while Banana Launcher needs to recharge if Plant Food is used on it, Missile Toe gets fully recharged after a Plant Food attack! Finally, like Cold Snapdragon, Missile Toe is also immune to freezing from chilling winds and Hunter Zombie Snowballs, making it much more viable for use in Frostbite Caves.
- The Hot Date is a direct upgrade to the Sweet Potato. While only costing 25 more Sun at 175, it diverts zombies in adjacent lanes to its lane just like the Sweet Potato, except that when it's finally eaten, it gets the added benefit of exploding into a lane of flames like the Jalapeno, instantly killing almost everything it attracted. Being immune to freezing and actively heating up plants is another bonus. It's also very useful in Icebound Battleground when it comes to melting blocks containing zombies, since it'll melt the blocks, attract the zombies to it, won't be disabled by cold winds/snowballs, and then burn the entire row of iceblocks in one go after that.
- Caulipower is a direct upgrade to the Electric Blueberry. For 100 extra sun, you get a plant that charges up, targets a random zombie (including Gargantuars), then shoots a projectile at it. Unlike Electric Blueberry, said projectile doesn't kill zombies... but it hypnotizes them instead, essentially getting rid of them and turning them into an ally. Targeting a buckethead, Far Future Mech or a Gargantuar can easily turn the tides against the enemy. Its Plant Food is no slouch either, throwing away five zombies for a One-Hit Kill.
- Where it truly shines, however, is Battlez. Due to the massive ramping of the health of zombies, Caulipower makes use of this by not only bypassing the health completely, but hypnotizing the zombies to make a near indestructable wall of a zombie.
- While it needs a few level ups to truly become one, the Electric Peashooter soon becomes an insanely good plant and quite possibly the best Peashooter variant in the game. It fires out a slow moving electric ball at a slow rate (about the same rate as a Melon-Pult), but when that electrical ball touches an enemy, it deals damage, and if the ball gets near a zombie including those in adjacent lanes it zaps them, and at a pretty rapid rate. This allows it to fry weasels and chickens easily making it excellent against them. Finally the ball itself hits every zombie in the lane like how Laser Bean hits all zombies down the lane, and can't be reflected by Jesters or blocked by Excavators! The only downside is the weak damage before a few level ups and that Torchwood doesn't affect its power in any way.
- The Solar Tomato is an instant-use plant that costs 100, stuns a 3x3 group of Zombies and causes each to drop 50 sun. In levels with low zombie concentration, it's so-so to decent. In levels with higher zombie concentration such as Endless zones, it can easily blow both Gold Bloom and Sun Bean out of the water. By dropping this in a huge horde, one can not only halt the zombies' advance but also gain an ungodly amount of sun profitnote after counting in the initial 100 sun cost, and to top it all off it has a far shorter recharge time than Gold Bloom.
- Holly Barrier's essentially a defensive combination of Banana Launcher, Endurian, and Chard Guard. While its direct damage to zombies attacking it is worse than Endurian, what makes it stand out is that it can launch a targeted projectile anywhere on the lawn, up to three times. When that projectile hits the ground, if it's an empty tile it leaves a barricade that also damages zombies attacking it. More importantly, the impact when it hits the ground knocks back a 3x3 area of zombies... and this also means that if timed right with Blover, you get a 3x3 One-Hit Kill.
- Gold Bloom has a whopping 75 second recharge time between plantings, making it the slowest in the entire series. What does it do that's so powerful? It is free and gives 375 sun the instant it's planted, and is plantable as soon as a level starts, effectively allowing the player to start every level with over 400 sun! Coupled with the Imitater and one can go absolutely nuts at the start every level with 800+ sun!
- Shadow Peashooter is useless when unpowered. When powered by Moonflower, however, it essentially becomes a Laser Bean that slows zombies on hitting them, effectively giving it the same dps over zombie distance walked as Laser Bean. Due to its slowing effect being similar to that of Stallia, it also can be used along with fire-based plants. As long as you can keep it away from Zombies, it serves as a very effective support plant while also dealing a good bit of damage. However, planting them in the front lines isn't necessarily a bad idea, as when a zombie gets too close, they will hide underground (rendering them immune to practically everything at the cost of not being able to actively attack), and when the zombie steps on they, they instantly kill the zombie by dragging them down a la Nightshade, including being able to do this several times if powered by Moonflower. Its Plant Food effect when fully-powered is also no slouch, as it drops a shadowy nuke that acts like a Smart Bomb similar to Strawburst's PF. Unlike Strawburst's, Shadow Peashooter's is far more damaging.
- Sling Pea is a plant that's essentially Cattail/Homing Thistle... if it was half the cost (125 sun max, 100 sun min), had a fast recharge rate, could target up to 5 zombies, was able to hit Excavators, did area Splash Damage, and if there's few zombies on the screen it'll concentrate its attacks on them. While its damage at level 1 is nothing to write home about, it starts getting much better at levels 5 and beyond, and at higher levels, it becomes ridiculously powerful. They're also capable of targeting zombies that are offscreen, which means that with a lot of these at high levels you won't even see any zombies enter the screen alive. Finally, their Plant Food is no slouch, firing a lot of projectiles into the air that deal good damage and stun zombies on hit. Their weakness is that they can't function well against Jesters and Parasols, and that their targeting tends to fail against ambushes.
- Parsnip, at first glance, is just another short-range DPS plant like Bonk Choy or the various Snapdragons. But it's not just a short-range DPS plant; it's the short-range DPS plant, with absolutely obscene damage output. A level 1 Parsnip will kill a regular zombie in two snips of its claw, and even coneheads can't get at it before being snipped to death. A column of these plants is death to all weaker zombies, and then you add shooter and wall plants. Even better, when a zombie is about to finish eating it, it pulls a Guacodile, jumps out of its spot, and charges down its lane damaging everything in its path, which given its usual damage output generally clears the front ranks enough for you to rebuild your front line. And its Plant Food ability creates two smaller Parsnips that also charge down the lane - and deal enough damage to take down Gargantuars. Leveling it up just makes it even more unfair.
- The mints give huge temporary buffs to plants of their family and activate a special effect at the cost of 0 sun, like Filamint buffing the damage of Electric plants, but has a small drawback of very slow recharge and can't be imitated. The 2nd mint introduced is Reinforce-mint, which buffs most defensive plantsnote in several aspect, but mostly toughness, temporary. Doesn't sound that exciting, except... it also activates Plant Food ability of every single plants in its family on the field, and is especially devastating if you have many Holly Barrier or Pea-nut planted.
- To add more fuel to the fire, Enforce-Mint also knocks back all zombies on screen. In short, if you time it right with Blover you have a dirt cheap Smart Bomb on your hands. If the Blover is level 10, the combo costs literaly nothing to place.
- Bombard-Mint isn't too shabby either. Not only does it boost the explosive plants to insane levels, but it also causes some explosions itself, often times clearing all zombies off the board.
- Even if it didn't set the whole lawn on fire for a few seconds, Pepper-Mint would still be a powerful ally because the plants in its family are some of the strongest in the entire game.
- On a similar note is Arma-Mint, which turns catapult and player controlled plants into weapons of mass destruction, while also firing stunning projectiles at the zombies.
- Spear-Mint not only boosts zombie piercing plants like Laser Bean and Cactus, but it also spawns 5 Spikerocks at the rightmost columns of the board. This ability not only makes her an extra source of damage, but the Spikerocks she summons can be shoveled up for extra sun.
- Conceal-Mint makes your shadow plants stronger and activated their powered states temporarily. Get several columns of Dusk Lobbers and even the strongest zombie hordes will wish they've stayed away.
- Spikeweed + Wallnut + Bonk Choy = a defensive wall that damn near nothing but a large group of extra-tough zombies can get through.
- Spikeweed + Wallnut + Snapdragon = Like the above, except its Area of Effect incinerates groups of weaker zombies in front within seconds. Also useful against Jetpack zombies as one column is enough to kill them all. The Imp Dragon does throw a wrench in this plan due to its fire immunity, however, as do Turquoise Skull Zombies who destroy it from afar.
- An alternative to Snapdragon is Laser Bean. Despite the higher sun cost, it can hit all the zombies in one lane for the same amount of damage, and hit the Imp Dragons while sniping Turquoise Skulls.
- Replacing the Snapdragon with the Cold Snapdragon (itself a Game Breaker) gives the best results- not only does it hurt as much as Snapdragon, it can hit Imp Dragons, and instead of thawing zombies, it chills them to take more damage from the spikes!
- Then theres the Snapdragon + Infi-Nut + Laser Bean, which with a few minor tweaks depending on the world, can actually carry you through most of the game! Its even better with a Tile Turnip placed on the Snapdragons on lanes 2 and 4, which acts as pretty much a Oh Ko on almost Any zombie in the game for 2 rows ahead!
- Here's an even better one: Spikerock + Endurian + Cold Snapdragon = No non-Gargantuar zombies can survive.
- If you have enough Plant Food in survival modes (or a Power Lily), you can use the Sun-Shroom + Tile Turnip method to quickly amass a huge amount of sun at the start of the level. If you chose the extra sun at the start of the level it's even better- you will need to use one less plant food as you can quickly place the second tile turnip without having to give PF to the first Sun-Shroom. In Far Future, you don't even really need the Tile Turnip for it since there are already power tiles placed.
- Electric Currant + Garlic + Spikerock = The Garlics at the Top and Bottom rows coax every Zombie (save Robots, Garguantuars, etc), and the Electric Currants's electric fence and Spikerocks do massive damage. The Spikerocks also have the benefit of stalling the Garguantuars as well. And in Frostbite Caves, you don't even need the Garlics!
- Replacing Spikerocks with Lava Guavas means that not only will the Electric Currants and Garlics stay thawed, but when a zombie gets lured into the Electric Currants's fence, the Lava Guavas will not only erupt, dealing damage in a 3x3 area, but it also leaves behind a lava puddle that does great damage. Compound this with the Electric Currant's Plant Food ability, which boosts the damage of its fence, and literately nothing survives in the Icebound Battleground.
- The Aloe works good with any defensive plant (besides Infi-nut and Explode-O-Nut), but it especially pairs well with Kiwibeast and Chard Guard: The former will become stronger as it takes damage and won't shrink back down as it gets healed, while the latter will be able to push zombies back much more frequently because the Aloe will both heal it and restore its leaves.
- Shrinking Violet + 5 Strawbursts + Tile Turnip = Shrink every zombie on the screen, then kill all of them. Not even Gargantuars survive!
- Interestingly enough, the Zen Garden can become this in and of itself, since plants that reach full growth give you either a crap-ton of coins (which can be used for power-ups or extra Plant Food in a pinch) or a one-level upgrade to a specific plant that gives said plant an instant free Plant Food boost each time a new one is planted. The latter gives way to even more insane Game Breakers, as it basically gives you things like instant double-health Wall-Nuts and sun-spewing Sunflowers that actually earn you a profit for planting them. The catch is that the plants take time to grow... but these wait times are effectively nullified by the Zen Garden's bee, which can be sent to any plant to cut its wait time down by at least 10% (and, on certain lucky occasions, up to half) of its total wait time (so using the bee on a Twin Sunflower, which has a six-hour / 360-minute wait, will always reduce the wait time by at least 36 minutes, no matter how much time remains). The bee has a cooldown period between uses, but unlike the plants' several-hour-long waits, the bee's ready for another use in a mere 30 seconds, which makes the whole "waiting" gimmick arbitrary at best (since you can easily blow through a five-hour waiting period in as little as 5 minutes). You also win new Zen Garden plants fairly frequently (usually at least one per level), which makes for a Boring, but Practical strategy for passing tough levels by grinding Zen Garden plants in easier levels, boosting them up to full growth, and then taking on hard levels with an unstoppable army of super-powered plants. Even works for conveyor belt levels (with a few exceptions). A few examples of powerful Zen Garden boosts include...
- Zen-boosted Sunflower, Sun Shroom, Primal Sunflower and to a slightly slower extent, Twin Sunflowers. Infinite Suns!
- Zen Garden boosted Bonk Choy, Snapdragon and Wasabi Whip can effectively be used like Cherry Bombs since both of them deal a massive amount of damage within a 3x3 area. What really makes these strategies so effective, however, is that all three plants cost 150 sun like the Cherry Bomb and recharge much faster.
- The Cold Snapdragon's boost works similarly, but it also freeze any zombies that it hits (excluding Frostbite Cave zombies) in exchange for dealing less damage.*
- Zen Garden boosted Spring Bean. Jesus Christ. If you have a Pirate level that doesn't have three plank rows together, planting a boosted Spring Bean will literally instakill every single thing on the screen except Seagull Zombies and Imp Cannons, including Gargantuars, for only fifty sun points.
- If you plant a Blover at the same time the spring bean knocks the zombies back, every zombie on the screen will fly away. Too bad this won't let the Yeti give you his lunchbox, but this is still all very viable in Endless Zones. However, this combo has since been neutered: Zombies knocked back by Zen-boosted Spring Bean are now immune to Blover.
- Zen Garden boosted Coconut Cannon. Place one down and it will launch a huge coconut that drags any zombies that it hits (including Gargantuars) to the right end of the screen before exploding. Using this will come in handy during the later stages of the endless zones.
- Zen Garden-boosted Melon-Pult. Plant one down and it will launch a large melon at every zombie on screen. This ability is especially deadly because the melons deal splash damage, so if enough zombies are clumped up on-screen then even Gargentuars will suffer massive damage.
- This strategy will also work with the Winter Melon, but that plant is more expensive than the Melon-Pult.
- Zen Garden-boosted Citron. Did anybody order one large full-lane fatality or easy Garg K.O.!?
- Zen Garden boosted Inifinut becomes quite invaluable in the Big Wave Beach Part 2 levels, since it allow you to put up multiple barriers that can stop Surfer Zombies far into the water as well as keep Fishermen Zombies at bay for a very long time.
- Zen Garden boosted Magnifying Grass. While Magnifying Grass is usually too expensive to be of any use, Boosted ones can destroy multiple zombies at the low cost of 50 sun. If you place down a lot of Sun-producers, this effect gets even longer!
- Zen Garden-boosted Starfruit and Rotobaga. Imagine either 5 streams of 10 greatly damaging stars or 4 streams of 15 powerful rutabagas all coming from the same plant. These attacks will not only destroy groups of zombies easily, but can even cause heavy damage to a Gargantuar if placed on the same tile as one* !
- Zen Garden boosted Puff-Shroom. Placing one will make ALL Puff-Shrooms use their Limit Break, while resetting their lifespan. The Limit Break only gets deadlier when more of them are placed down.
- Zen Garden Boosted Fume-shroom and Chomper. They both makes sure NO zombies get even close to the end. However, the Former causes damage alongside that, and the latter instantly kills three zombies beforehand!
- Zen Garden boosted Primal Peashooter is pretty similar. What makes this effect so powerful, however, is that every zombie knocked back by this attack can be launched offscreen by Blover! Just keep in mind that this attack deals less damage and can't throw back the Jurassic Bully (and its stronger cousin Rocksmasher Zombie).
- Zen Garden boosted Hypno-shroom. Place 'em on a lane and that lane's gonna be safe for a long while when a zombie eats it, because it'll turn into a hypnotized Gargantuar. In Jurassic Marsh, it's even better- the Jurassic Gargantuar is slower and has more health, allowing him to stay in the lane for a longer time! Since Raptors and Stegosaurs count hypnotized Gargantuars as zombies, they will also send him back towards the house, giving him even more staying power!
- Zen Garden boosted Sun Bean. Zombie eats it, explodes for 15 sun times their health before exploding. On a buckethead, that's 975 sun right there. On a Robo-Cone, that's 1875 sun. No longer the case, however, as there's now a hard cap of sun that a PF'd Sun Bean can give.
- Zen Garden boosted Magnet-shroom. Place one down and it will unleash a wave of electricity that will attract up to 20 metallic objects, making it very useful for nullifying Bucketheads and Knight Zombies. As if that wasn't enough, the Magnet-shroom will then throw the attracted objects forwards, dealing 15 damage per metallic headpiece and 25 damage per Treasure Yeti head. Punk Zombies will also be killed instantly with this ability due to the amount of piercings they have on their faces, although their heads won't be thrown as projectiles.
- In Big Wave Beach Last Stand levels, there's a trick where you can use boosted Lily Pads. Boosted Lily Pads create more lily pads. This can only end so well. By using boosted Lily pads, you can effectively gain unlimited sun via planting it, then digging it back up for a 100-sun profit. With this trick, you can create whatever strategies you want, such as 6 columns of full Pea Pods behind a boosted Torchwood, One column of Fume-shrooms on top of Tile Turnips, a metric shitton of Coconut Cannons, or even a large amount of Winter Melons. You can turn BWB Last Stand levels into a joke with this strategy. And considering it's That One Level, that's entirely justified.
- This only works with the Lily Pad, oddly enough. Other duplicated plants like Potato Mines don't give any sun if you dig out the clones. You can still abuse it to fill leftover room for basically free, but that's it.
- Sadly, this is no longer the case, because the 4.0 update patched this glitch out. Now the only way to have infinite sun on Last Stand levels is to hack the game.
- Zen Garden boosted Tangle Kelp. This can only be used on Big Wave Beach levels, but when used, it will drag 4 random zombies underwater for an instant death. Combine with Imitater and you can practically massacre the zombies! Just remember that this attack can't kill Deep Sea Gargantuars.
- Zen Garden boosted Bowling Bulbs. Imagine a multi-use explosion that occurs THREE TIMES. It's not even mediocre against Gargantuars. Well, more specifically, Grouped Gargantuars, but they can bounce back and forth and back and forth to cause MASSIVE damage to the Gargantuars!
- Zen Garden-boosted Dandelion. Place one down and it will release 10 big bombs that deal big damage (enough to kill a basic zombie in one shot). Use this attack enough times and many zombies will be killed.
- Zen Garden boosted Chard Guard. All zombies hit with this will be sent back backwards, even if they are above or below the Chard Guard. For the endless zones, you can combine this with the Imitater to effectively keep the zombies crowded at the far right of the screen while your attacking plants wail away at their health.
- Zen Garden boosted Stunion. Put him down and he will stun all non-mechanical zombies within a 4x3 range for 18 seconds. Just like the aformentioned Chard Guard, you can combine this with the Imitater to keep the zombies from getting far as your attacking plants kill them.
- Zen Garden-boosted Toadstool. The Toadstool already eats zombies within a 3 tile range and then produces 50 sun upon swallowing its prey, but its plant food power-up has it eat 4 random zombies in a 5x3 range and then produces 50 sun for each zombie that it ate. With the Zen Garden-boost, you can massacre small groups of zombies and get a return profit for each Toadstool that you plant.
- Zen Garden-boosted Shrinking Violet. Shrinks ALL zombies on the screen, effectively halving all their health, destroys Imps, instantly kills Seagulls, makes Chicken Wranglers and Weasel Hoarders useless, and prevents Gargantuars from throwing any Imps. Also, it affects the entire playing field, which means any zombies that are off-screen during huge waves also get shrunken.
- Boosted Shadow-shroom might be one of the most powerful things in the game. It deals 45 damage to all zombies on the screen over a small period, even zombies that don't eat. And what's more, it ignores armor, so Bucketheads, Knights, Pharaohs, etc get killed as quickly as a regular zombie. Unless you're in Far Future, the shroom will kill everything except Gargantuars and a few types of zombies note . Even better, Shadow-shroom costs a meager 50 Sun and recharges pretty fast.
- Boosted Dusk Lobber will launch 4 large bulbs at random groups of zombies. These bulbs deal huge damage to any zombies they hit and will explode in a 3x3 area, making them great for crowd control.
- Boosted Explode-O-Nut gains an armor like Wall-Nut... except that when this armor is destroyed, it explodes in a 3x3 area like a Cherry Bomb, leaving the nut underneath which explodes similarly when destroyed. Place one of these for 50 sun and a much faster recharge than Cherry Bomb and it's enough to kill a Gargantuar that has to smash it twice without throwing the imp note !
- Boosted Strawburst causes immense damage to all zombies on screen the instant it's planted. If you enough sun producing plants, you can plant this guy endlessly. It's also a great way to counter the infamous Octo Zombie, since the Smart Bomb will destroy all octopi on-screen.
- Boosted Kiwibeast. This allows it to not only use a powerful 5x5 area attack, but it also makes the Kiwibeast grow to maximum size at full health (normally it needs to take damage in order to grow). A max-size Kiwibeast deals a 5x5 area attack that does great damage, and two columns of boosted kiwibeasts will make very short work of mooks that dare approach it.
- Boosted Parsnip. Like Guacodile's Plant Food, it sends out two copies of itself that rush down the lane. Unlike Guacodile's Plant Food, Parsnip's does far more damage and can make short work of even Gargantuars. If it's leveled up a few times, most things will not be able to survive it.
- Boosted Snap Pea both devours 4 random zombies and shoots their heads at other zombies for additional damage. Combine with Imitater and the zombie hordes become an all you can eat buffet.
- Boosted Zoybean Pod automatically summons a Gargantuar Zomboid. Add in Imitater and some splash damage plants and you have an unstoppable army of behemoths at your disposal.
- Zen garden boosted plants are even more powerful in Beghouled, where any plants that drop down activate their plant food effect. Depending on how many spaces you clear at once, several powerful boosted plants will fall down and cause chaos. Best of all, these boosted plants aren't even removed from the zen garden after the level is completed! So you can use them there and in another level for twice the easiness!
- The addition of the level system has made the Zen Garden even more bonkers thanks to the Marigold. Each Marigold nets you 500 coins, and if you have a deep reserve of plants for the garden (which is pretty easy, as the levels like to drop them) you can plant twelve at a time for 6000 coins ever seven and a half hours. And considering it costs coins to level up plants and that you can buy seed packets for coins in the shop now, you're gonna need those coins.
Now you know what to bring when these guys show up.