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YMMV / Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes

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  • Accidental Innuendo: Mirror-Nut's ability description contains a part that can be read in a less clean sense.
    "When your Nuts get hurt, do 2 damage to the Zombie Hero."
  • Base-Breaking Character: Solar Flare's cute design and child-like voice and demeanor has the community up in arms over whether she's a Moe or Tastes Like Diabetes. And that's nothing to speak of her status in the metagame...
  • Demonic Spiders: It's a Plants vs. Zombies game. What did you expect?
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  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Before the game even came out, shipping Green Shadow with Solar Flare was and is extremely popular, mostly since they were the two most notable heroes at the time, and the plants they are based off of (Peashooter and Sunflower respectively) were also frequently shipped. Night Cap is also commonly thrown in, usually paired with Solar Flare, but the other permutations aren't unheard of either.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Ever since Set 1, there has come a set of Zombie-throwing Zombies as a Running Gag. Let us take a look at its history, shall we?
      • It all started with the Imp-throwing Gargantuar that made a Swabbie in a random lane when hurt. Its original Flavor Text was initially humor, until the Gargantuar-Throwing Imp became a real thing.
      More successful than the Gargantuar-Throwing Imp
      When lifting a Gargantuar, always bend at the knees. He learned this the hard way.
      • After that came the Imp-Throwing Imp, which made a random Imp that costs 2 brains or less in a random lane when hurt.
      • Finally, there was the Gargantuar-Throwing Gargantuar, introduced in Set 4, that made another random Gargantuar in a random lane when hurt.
      The ultimate, epic, last, absolutely final conclusion to the Zombie-throwing Zombie saga. ...or is it?
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    • The Impostor Zombie, when killed, will conjure a 1-cost Imp card and give it a Mustache. Not only does it give the card the Mustache tribe, it literally gives the Imp a huge goofy mustache on their face when they're played.
    • The Exploding Imp has 6/1 stats and does 1 damage to itself at the end of each turn. The bomb it's holding does not explode when this happens. Instead, he just bonks himself in the head with it. This also puts a logical reason behind the Exploding Imp not dying the turn he is played if his health is buffed.
    • Smelly Zombie, being one of the basic Sneaky cards got a tribe change in Colossal Fossils. Originally a Garbage Zombie, he is now a Pet Zombie. This is his new Flavor Text:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Electric Boogaloo, being a dancing villain who attacks with electricity, seems to have inspired another pair of dancing villains, High Voltage, in San Fransokyo.
    • Professor Brainstorm is a grown (zombie) inventor who entered a science fair with a device that was sure to win. Then he lost to a baking soda volcano. Dr. Doofenshmirtz sends his condolences.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Weenie Beanienote  being jokingly considered a Memetic Badass and the most overpowered plant in the entire game, similar to the memetic treatment of Magikarp and the 0/0 dart monkey.
    • Like Weenie Beanie above, there's also the Swabbienote  being jokingly coined as one of the most powerful zombies in the game. It is even more joked on when he gets a mustache from Imposter.
    • Similarly, there's Ra Zombienote . Memetically, like Weenie Beanie, it's considered one of the best cards in the game. From this, there's two subcategories:
      • "Teleport Ra", where the Zombie player uses Teleport to play a Ra Zombie during the Zombie Tricks phase. Not only is it underwhelming, but it's also utterly useless since the Plants have already played their turn and spent their sun. Memetically, it's considered a superb move.
      • "Ra Moon Rising", aka a situation where Bad Moon Rising spawns the Ra Zombie who again, has an utterly useless ability during the Tricks phase, and is one of the most underwhelming zombies that Bad Moon Rising can spawn. Memetically, it's considered the best thing to spawn from Bad Moon Rising.
    • One of the Plants is called Sportacus. Thanks to sharing a name with Sportacus of LazyTown, the fandom has been very quick to make Lazytown memes over this.
    • Comparing the characters from here with the characters from Cuphead is a very popular trend, particularly because several characters share similarities — Conehead with Cuphead (Non-Human Head naming scheme beginning with C), Solar Flare/Sunflower with Cagney Carnation, Neptuna with Cala Maria (mermaids wearing octopi on their heads), Captain Deadbeard and the Zombot Plank Walker with Captain Brineybeard and his ship (pirates and their ships), Professor Brainstorm/Dr. Zomboss and Zombot 1000 with Dr. Kahl and his robot (Mad Scientists and their mechas), and so on and so forth.
    • X throwing Y Explanation 
    • Clock Tribe Explanation 
    • Instead Explanation 
  • Narm Charm: Seedling's attack animation is so ridiculously over-the-top and flashy for a freaking seed that it loops back around to being epic.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Galactic Gardens update introduced Environments, cards that can be played on Ground lanes to alter the field. One particular environment, the Graveyard (makes all Zombies played in that lane Gravestones), makes extremely unsettling noises when played. Though there is some Nightmare Retardant: the sound played by the environment whenever a zombie is revealed there sounds like a hair dryer.
    • The Aerobics Instructor's death animation consists of her throwing her dumbbells up into the air and having them come down on her skull with two sickening thuds.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Z-Mech used to be considered the worst Hero in the game by a long shot thanks to being Overshadowed by Awesome and lacking any hard removal abilities for strong plants. When Season 2 came out, both his classes received some very good and effective units such as Disco-Naut, Binary Stars, Gas Giant, Zombot Battlecruiser and Intergalactic Warlord, the Crazy Class got the new Overshoot trait, and his signature Superpower was revamped as well. Even so, he was still a hero on the lower tiers. Then Set 3 came out, and gave him Quickdraw Con Man, Stompadon, and Jurassic Fossilhead, buffed the damage of Exploding Fruitcake from 6 to 7, allowing it to kill most Plants for cheap cost, and gave the Crazy class Unexpected Gifts which helped him get much-needed card draw. All this elevated him from being a bottom of the barrel Tier-Induced Scrappy to a upper mid-tier hero.
    • A cross-game example is the Blooming Heart. In Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, she was reviled as one of the worst plants in the game due to being a money premium but extremely underwhelming for one (only targeted one zombie, and had a glitch that caused her projectiles to sometimes make zombies invulnerable). In Heroes, she's deemed one of the best 1-cost plants considering that she's a strong 2/2 and her ability increases her strength every time she deals damage, making her extremely useful as a first-turn play.
  • That One Attack: Several tricks can be very nasty if used properly.
    • Wall-Nut Bowling. It's a 9 Sun trick, but once it's played, it deals 6 damage to all ground lanes, then makes a Wall-Nut in each of them. Either your zombie teammates are going to take a huge beating, or you will take at least 6 damage if one of the lanes is empty. And if Go-Nuts and/or Three-Nut is on the field, it also means that each of those wall-nuts get a nice attack boost!
    • Espresso Fiesta gives a plant three bonus attacks during the 'Plants Play' phase. Heaven help you if this is played on a strong plant, since it will finish off your Zombie teammate then hit the zombie hero behind. And that's not including the inevitable attack it'll use on your zombie hero during the attack phase (if not removed via a Zombie Trick), thanks to the lane probably being cleared out.
    • Berry Blast is a pretty dangerous and very versatile card, since it deals 3 flat damage and can be used on both zombies and the Zombie Hero. The Zombie Hero needs to be especially careful when facing a Kabloom class Hero because they can easily weaken a zombie for a plant to finish off, or even finish off the Zombie Hero if they're at low health and low block meter.
    • Rolling Stone and Weed Spray are this for a Guardian Plant Hero who focuses on Nuts. The first is a One-Hit Kill on any plant with 2 or lower strength without triggering "when damaged" abilities, meaning that this one trick can easily get rid of more powerful Nuts like Mirror Nut and most defensive plants, which tend to have low attacking power. The second is basically the first except it affects all plants on the board with 2 or less strength. It's lessened as a threat ever since Three-Nut came out, which makes all plants played have 3 Strength as long as it's on the field.
    • Whack-A-Zombie functions similarly to Rolling Stone, except it removes zombies with 3 or lower strength which tend to have good support potential. It's especially aggravating in the hands of Wall-Knight, who also has Shamrocket to deal with zombies above 3 strength.
    • Set 4 brings us the Plant equivalent to Weed Spray — Shrinking Violet. It debuffs a zombie and those next door by 2 strength, and kills those whose strength dropped to 0 or less. This is extremely potent against Imps, as well as some powerful zombies like Tankylosaurus and Stompadon. Even if it doesn't kill, you'll still have up to three zombies severely gimped.
    • Set 4 also brings us the Zombie equivalent to Whack-A-Zombie — Knockout. This destroys all plants with 3 or less attack in a lane, making 3 Strength no longer the "safe number". This makes it far riskier for Plant players to use Briar Rose, Power Flower, Wing-Nut, and several other 3-Strength plants that are otherwise very effective and safe from many other instant kills.
    • Rocket Science is a rather cheap and effective card that costs 3 brains, and it instantly one hit kills any plant with 4 or more strength. Placing down a strong plant or boosting one with tricks, only for it to get Rocket Science'd gets very frustrating.
    • The Plant counterpart of Rocket Science, Shamrocket, costs 3 sun, kills any zombie with 4 or more strength, and is equally as frustrating for the zombies as Rocket Science is for the plants.
    • Lurch For Lunch. For the low cost of 2 brains, it allows a zombie to do a Bonus Attack in the Tricks Phase. Naturally, it will be used on a strong zombie in order to clear the lane and get a direct hit on the Plant Hero, a strong zombie with Strikethrough or Frenzy, or one that has effects that trigger when it hits something.
    • Teleport. This allows a Zombie Hero to play a zombie minion during their tricks phase, allowing things like Professor Brainstorm dropping a high-powered Valkyrie before proceeding to use Lurch for Lunch to remove the opposition, or Immorticia dropping a Zombot 1000 to destroy all the plant resistance. In all cases, the Plant Hero has little to no way to counter since Zombie Tricks come after the Plants' phase. Even its Flavour Text says it all:
    • Zombot Stomp is this for any Plant player who uses Zerg Rush Pineclone decks. This bounces all plants on ground lanes back into the Plant Hero's hand, meaning that they'll have to replay all of them again. Since Pineclone costs 4 sun, that can be a pretty hefty amount. Furthermore, if a Hero has more than 10 cards in their hand (which could be pretty likely thanks to up to six cards being bounced), they become unable to block, and since Zombie Tricks come after plants play, this means guaranteed hits on the Plant Hero without any chance to block them.
    • While it takes a long time before it can even be played, most Plant players without Doom-Shroom or Tactical Cuke will dread to see Gargantuar's Feast. This summons three random Gargantuars on the Zombie side, and since Gargantuars are one of the most powerful class of zombie, often with powerful abilities and huge HP counts, this makes the Plant Hero's survival prospects become a lot bleaker. Even if the Plant Hero has Doom-Shroom, they won't be able to use it until the next turn since Gargantuar's Feast is played in the Tricks phase.
    • Similarly, there's Bad Moon Rising. Transforms all zombies on the field into random zombies that cost 5 brains or more, and can easily turn the tide like Gargantuar's Feast except it costs 4 Brains less, and can make anywhere from Ra Zombie to even Zombot 1000. It also counters the transformation from The Great Zucchini. As it's a trick card, the Plant Hero has no way to counter it for that turn.
    • Going Viral. This trick gives all zombies on the board +1/+1 and Frenzy to prevent chump blocking, shuffles 3 of itself into the deck, then draws a card to keep card advantage plus triggering any Dino-Roar effects — such as Stompadon's to buff cards in the Zombie Hero's hand too. It can backfire if it clogs the deck with more of itself, but more often than not the Zombie Hero would have a field of strong, frenzied zombies before it happens.
    • Sun Strike makes all Plant Teammates have Strikethrough for the turn it's played. Your Zombie Teammates won't be able to stop any of them from hitting you, allowing the plant side free guaranteed hits on you unless you're lucky enough to block. Especially bad when Chompzilla's buffed units get a hit on you, or when Rose uses it with Shooting Starfruit or an Evolved Tricorn to deal 10+ damage to face if not blocked.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: A natural occurrence with card games.
    • High-tier — Plants:
      • Solar Flare and Wall-Knight are among the two most powerful and annoying Plant heroes. Both being solar plants, they both have access to high damage and healing, as well as being able to do so early on, thanks to plants like Sunflower and Metal Petal Flower. Solar Flare also has her signature superpower, which deals two damage to a target and gives a permanent +1 boost to her amount of sun. She also makes it insanely hard to progress due to her amount of tricks designed to screw you over, and the ability to spam mushrooms. Wall-Knight, however, is near impossible to get through, as he has a ton of defensive plants, and a signature ability that makes him Nigh Invulnerable for one turn. And when he plays his Wall-Nut Bowling, Mirror-Nut and Spineapple combo, the game becomes borderline unwinnable... until Weed Spray is played, pretty much decimating all his 2 or less power units even if they're boosted by Spineapple, without any retaliation from Mirror-Nut. What really makes Wall-Knight problematic is his huge amount of control- besides his teammates, the Solar and Guardian classes have access to a TON of instant kills, ranging from Lawnmower, Squash, Shamrocket, Whack-A-Zombie and Doom-Shroom, allowing him to survive very well into the late game where he then unleashes Wall-Nut Bowling, Cornucopia, and other dangerous stuff.
      • Season 2 made Solar heroes into these, thanks to the Solar Class getting the incredibly cheap Heartichoke + Venus Flytraplanet combo, allowing them to deal huge direct damage to the Zombie Hero in a Cycle of Hurting while also regaining pretty much all their health back. There's also Astro Vera, who gives the Plant Hero 10 HP and increases their Maximum HP by 10, when combined with Heartichoke, that's half the Zombie Hero's maximum health gone! Tellingly, the Sneezing Zombie was made presumably to counter these (prevents any healing on the Plants' side and also gives the Plants -1/-1).
      • Captain Combustible is reviled for his extremely potent superpowers and his access to both Mega-Grow and Kabloom plants, with obtusely powerful, low-cost options such as Black-Eyed Pea and Bonk Choy up to game winners such as Grapes of Wrath and Kernel Corn. What makes him especially reviled, however, is the infamous Re-Peat Moss strategy; this involves stalling the game and allowing Captain Combustible to take enough low-damage hits to build up superpowers, and on a turn with 8 or more sun, playing Re-Peat Moss in an unoccupied lane and dumping all of the cheap damage buff powers on it, sometimes draining the zombie hero from 20 to 0 in one turn! This, however, is now easily shut down by the Bonus Track Buckethead, whose ability prevents any Extra attacks from all plants, that includes the Re-Peat moss, and the Gargantuar Mime which turns this on its head by doing its own Bonus Attack every time Re-Peat moss does one.
      • Season 2 turned most Kabloom Heroes into this, at least before the Nerf to Mushroom Grotto that increased its sun cost by 1. Thanks to the new Environment Mushroom Grotto, they're able to amass huge amounts of mushrooms before placing a Pineclone down to turn all of them into a deadly rush of 3/3 units. And to take it further, they also get Molekale which turns all those Pineclones into 5 sun plants.
      • Green Shadow went from one of the more average-level heroes into a common and dangerous Plant Hero because of a single card: Clique Peas. A 1/1 for 1 sun that gives all Clique Peas in the game +1/+1 when a Clique Peas is played, including itself and those in your hand/deck and shuffles two more Clique Peas into the deck. This could easily amass around 4 or so 5/5 units before Turn 4 to massively pile on the hurt. And on top of that, she can use Rescue Radish to bounce Clique Peas back to her hand and play it again, boosting them even further! Finally, they're also Bean plants, which means that when they're played they will activate Admiral Navy Bean to give the Zombie Hero a smack in the face for two damage and chip away at their Super-Block Meter, which will add up from the stream of Clique Peas being played. It's died down a very good bit after Clique Peas took a rather hefty nerf, where their sun cost also increases per Clique Peas played.
      • A certain specialized deck of Nightcap's is a pretty common and annoying occurrence seen in set 3. Nicknamed "Cyclecap", it's an aggro deck that requires placing Astro-Shroomnote  or Admiral Navy Beannote  on a Planet of the Grapesnote . Supporting this is Lima-Pleurodon note  and Shroom For Two, which places down two units for the price of one. This gives Nightcap a Cycle of Hurting strategy that has a great amount of card drawing and direct face damage during the Plant Phase by using swarms of weak, Zerg Rush minions and environments that cost 2 or less, and even if they do go down to a wide-area kill, he can place another rush the following turn.
      • Set 4 gives us Rose, a Smarty/Solar hero. Her two classes synergize well, giving her a great amount of control via her signature move Goatify, One-Hit Kill cards from both classes and bounce, freeze and debuff cards from Smarty. She has usage of Strikethrough and healing, and has the dreaded Briar Rosenote . Thanks to her Solar Class and the Solar Winds environmentnote , combined with Briar Rose to remove any zombies that dare to touch the spawned sunflowers or placed Sunflower Seedsnote , she's nearly guaranteed to have one lane with sunflowers which will boost her sun production to the point where she can send in several Smarty threats far earlier than expected (such as Dark Matter Dragonfruit, Brainana, Bird of Paradise, etc).
    • High-tier — Zombies:
      • Professor Brainstorm has a massive amount of card draw abilities, useful tricks, lots of aggressive zombies with great synergy including Zombot Drone Engineer and Gadget Scientist, his Signature Superpower allows him to get a really powerful zombie card if lucky, and the ability to play Zombies during the tricks phase thanks to Hail-A-Copter, Beam Me Up, and especially Teleport. His most infamous strategy, known as "OTK Valk" (One-turn-kill Valkyrie), is to play lots of Crazy Glass Cannon zombies to power up a Valkyrie as they get killed, and during the Zombie Tricks phase, send in a high-strength (more than the Plant Hero's HP) Valkyrie on an empty lane using Teleport, then use Lurch for Lunch to make the Valkyrie do an extra attack for a One-Hit Kill with the Plant Hero unable to do anything about it unless they played a Brainana that turn. Said strategy is back with a vengeance in Set 4, where OTK Valkyrie can also be performed by playing Valkyrie on a Mustache Monument to make it do a bonus attack, without even needing to teleport the Valkyrie since both Mustache Monument and Valkyrie can be played on the Zombie Phase!
      • Brainy Heroes are the Zombie Side's Season 2 high tier scrappies, mostly due to Medulla Nebula, an environment that costs 2 brains and gives 3 brains when the Zombie Hero places a teammate on them. This allows them to amass HUGE amounts of brains via Brain Vendor and other Zombies. Wise usage of Medulla Nebula can allow Gargantuars to be easily played in turn 3. In rare cases, a Brainy Hero can even pull off a Gargantuar's Feast, an 11 Brain cost Trick... on turn 4. As for Teleport, it got even better thanks to the new Teleportation Zombie who costs 2 Brains and allows Zombies to play Zombie Teammates during the Tricks phase as long as it's alive. The new Event Card "Bad Moon Rising" only makes Brainy an even higher-tier scrappy since it is a 7-cost trick that turns all zombies on the field into random 5 or more cost zombies, essentially a budget Gargantuar's Feast. They also have the very dangerous Kitchen Sink Zombie Teammate. Tellingly, the Medulla Nebula card was nerfed by increasing the cost from 2 to 3 in order to make the class more balanced, and Set 4 nerfed it further by decreasing the number of brains Medulla Nebula gave from 3 to 2, reducing ramp potential.
      • Starting with Set 3, another Class is starting to become a terror to play against — Hearty. They have the Jurassic Fossilhead, which has Untrickable (cannot be affected by Plant tricks) and is a 2-brain 2/3 that gets +3/+3 if evolved from (played on to replace) a Professional Zombie, and the very-durable-for-a-1-cost Planetary Gladiator is an ideal Professional zombie to Evolve, resulting in a 5/6 on turn 2 that can't be crippled/removed with Squash, Lawnmower, Shamrocket, Goatify, Transmogrify, etc. Then there's the Demonic Stegosaurus Stompadon which buffs all zombies in the hand by +1/+1 when a card is drawn, which gets really deadly with Going Viral. Thankfully, both cards got nerfed, withJurassic Fossilhead's Evolution getting dropped down to +2/+2, and Stompadon getting its cost increased from 3 to 4.
      • Rustbolt, the Brainy/Hearty class hero has become a high tier pick that most Plant players dread to face in Set 3. His Stompadons buff cards in his hand by +1/+1 each time he draws a card (and thanks to his Brainy class which specializes in card draw, this is very easy to do) which easily strengthens the Untrickable Jurassic Fossilhead as well as the Trickster who can use a Bonus Attack when played to potentially one-shot the Plant Hero. He also has Parasol Zombie to give Untrickable to two other minions, as well as Zom-Blob which has Bullseye and 1 attack but if Evolved from another zombie, it gains attack equal to the amount of brains gained that turn — and Brain Vendor and Medulla Nebula can very easily allow him to get a 10+ power unit with Bullseye on turn 4, no less. Set 4 gave this particular strategy a hefty nerf by giving nerfs to Leprechaun Imp, Zom-Blob, Medulla Nebula, Jurassic Fossilhead and Stompadon, making it no longer extremely prevalent anymore.
    • Low-tier — Plants:
      • Citron was considered the worst Plant Hero before Season 2 came out. Being Smarty/Guardian, a tactical support class and defensive class, he had no real way to buff the damage of his minions, and any strategy that relied on Nuts was easy to foil via Weed Spray. Other heroes could do Nut and Freeze Decks better than he could for the most part. His main niche was having lots of Amphibious plants. When Season 2 came out, both his classes did receive better Teammates such as Starch-Lord, Cool Bean, Dark Matter Dragonfruit and Go-Nuts, as well as some nice environments such as Force Field.
    • Low-tier — Zombies:
      • Before Season 2 came out, Z-Mech was unanimously considered the worst Hero in the game by the community. His Unique Superpower had a random aspect to it and didn't even deal good or reliable damage, his teammates between Crazy and Hearty had little to no synergy (Hearty having little to no Dancing tribe zombies), lacked good ways to draw cards, lacked any reliable late-game removal abilities which makes him suffer once the game gets to its late stages, lacked any reliable way to heal himself outside Medic, and lacked access to the water lane. Finally, most of the things he could do, other zombie heroes were able to do better. His gimmick of sports decks got overshadowed by the high/mid-tier Rustbolt, because Rustbolt had access to not only more, better sports cards, but also some better cards in general such as Teleport or Rocket Science. It's telling that Pop Cap actually revamped Z-Mech and gave him a Balance Buff due to how bad his unique superpower was, and Season 2 gave him some great cards he could use, especially on the Crazy side. In Season 5 and above, he now contains more powerful cards and becomes even more powerful, up there to one of the better heroes in the game with Rustbolt and Professor Brainstorm.
      • After set 3 and 4 came out, Brain Freeze was considered one of the worst zombie heroes in the game. Most of his cards were particularly underwhelming and out of all the heroes that could draw cards, Brain Freeze was one of the slowest. A lot of his tricks would be rendered useless by Untrickable. His gimmick of pet decks got overshadowed by Immorticia, that can also use Teleport and Lurch for Lunch in order to perform OTK Cat Lady more easier. His unique superpower also only affected the ground lanes, which means that opponents can boost plants on heights and water lanes as their advantage. Lastly, his remaining superpowers are underwhelming, including the randomized Dolphinado.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Some teammates have very spectacular attack animations, in particular, Strawberrian's attack animation has him do a somersault towards the enemy while striking down with his sword. It also creates an awesome lightning effect when he strikes down.

Example of: