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The Big D
Plants Versus Zombies is a tower defense game. Or, at least, a defense game - a house, after all, is not exactly a tower. As such, learning how to stop zombies from getting to your sweet, sweet brains is the entire point. There are numerous ways of going about this, and some are better for certain situations. In this guide, I'll be teaching you three basic defense set-ups which will help keep zombies away. Seeing as this is a basic defense guide, the plants used in this guide are ones you'll receive early in the game.
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The Chomper Wall
Plants Versus Zombies is all about keeping zombies from getting to your home, and the Chomper Wall defense is an excellent strategy for keeping them at bay. It also is relatively inexpensive and very effective against most types of zombies. You will need Peashooters, Chompers, and Wall-nuts for this defense.
The concept is simple. As resources come in, focus on building a line of Wall-nuts across the map about three spaces away from the right side of the board. This is easy to do thanks to the low cost of that plant. Before the first wave of zombies approach the main form of offense against the zombies will bit the basic Peashooter, which is more than adequate for fending off zombies pre-occupied by the Wall-nuts. Place one Peashooter in each lane.
Once the Wall-nuts and Peashooters are built, you'll probably have hit the first zombie wave of the level. This means it is time to start placing down Chompers. Place each Chomper directly behind a Wall-nut. The Chomper can eat any zombie one tile before it, but it has to take some time chewing the zombie before it can eat another. That is what the Wall-nut is for. The Wall-nut will keep zombies at bay, allowing the Chomper time to digest before its next feeding. Once everything is complete, the board should consist of a line of Wall-nuts with a line of Chompers behind it, followed by a line of Peashooters and then, of course, your Sunflowers.
This defense can be used on any map in the game. Its big advantage is that Chompers will eat just about anything, making it very tough for zombies to make progress. In the later game this defense can be upgraded by using Tall-nuts instead of Wall-nuts. Just watch out for enemies like the Balloon Zombie or the Ladder Zombie.
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The Fried Zombie
The Fried Zombie is an offensively-oriented way of defending your home. As the old saying goes, the best defense is often a good offense, and that is where the Fried Zombie excels. Using this defense requires Torchwoods, Potato Mines and Peashooters.
The plant which makes this defense possible is the Torchwood, which is available a little more than mid-way through the game. The Torchwood doubles the damage of peas that shoot through it by turning them into fireballs. The Torchwood itself is expensive, which means that the early game in this strategy consists of a delaying action using Peashooters and Potato Mines to kill zombies while devoting most resources to planting Sunflowers. Once it gets close to the first Zombie wave, its time to start planting the Torchwoods.
It is usually a good idea to place the Torchwoods in a line directly in the middle of the map. This gives you less space to build behind them, but they can't be built to close to the zombies to ensure they are never eaten. Behind the Torchwoods should be two lines of at least Peashooters, then your Sunflowers. Peashooters are perfectly adequate for this strategy, but using Repeaters when possible is more space efficient because you'll only need one line of Repeaters to have the same firepower as two lines of Peashooters. Threepeaters can also be used if you can afford it. On the higher levels this may be a requirement, as you'll need someplace to put your speciality plants like Magnet-Shrooms.
The advantage to the Fried Zombie is that is creates a lot of ranged offensive power at a cost that isn't extravagant. The flaming peas make short work of any zombie. Even Football Zombies and Zombonis go down fairly quickly. The main problem with this strategy lies in those zombies who can avoid peas altogether like the Snorkel Zombie or Balloon Zombie.
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Going Nowhere Fast
This third basic defense is aimed at the night levels. This strategy is all about slowing down enemies. Zombies are slow to begin with, and using certain plants makes their advance even slower. This is also aimed at being a fairly low-cost defense overall, which makes it good for the night levels. The plants important to this defense include the Snow Pea, the Potato Mine, the Ice-shroom, the Puff-shroom, and the Hypno-shroom.
The Going Nowhere Fast strategy is simply about delaying the zombies while they are whittled down by your Snow Peas and other offensive plants. The early game is not much different from the late game. Lay down Sun-shrooms to get your energy income going. As zombies begin to show up, place Potato Mines well in advance of their path. They'll slowly walk towards them and unwittingly blow themselves up. Place down Puff-shrooms as quickly as possible in those lanes where Zombies are not showing up. Don't worry about getting the Snow Peas up yet. Just focus on planting at least 10 Sun-shrooms and killing zombies with Potato Mines. Use Hypno-shrooms if a zombie approaches while the Potato Mine is still recharging.
As the first wave approaches there will start to be too many zombies to kill using just Hypno-shrooms and Potato Mines. Fortunately, you should have at least 10 Sun-shrooms which means a decent economy. Start saving up and planting Snow Peas where appropriate. Don't forget to shore up your defenses with Puff-shrooms, however, as they are free and will be needed because you probably won't be able to afford Snow Peas for every lane. When the first wave hits, have your Ice-shrooms ready. Use it to slow the zombies as needed. Once the first wave is dead, its all about building a line of Snow Peas at the back and lining up Potato Mines and Hypno-shrooms in front of them. Continue to place Puff-shrooms anywhere you can find room for them and using Ice-shrooms to slow zombies.
This defense is good against most the zombies in the game. The biggest issue are those zombies which are extremely tough, such as the Zomboni. Because this is not a high-firepower defense it is wise to bring along a Cherry Bomb or Jalapeno. Doom-shrooms are not a good idea because this strategy tends to use a lot of space thanks to the need to constantly place Puff-shrooms.