Survival Endless Guide - Guide for Plants vs. Zombies

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The Ultimate Survival Endless Guide
===================================

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Written by Mike D. (Draco89123) v2.0
Copyright 2010

I really don't care what happens to the information presented on this page, 
post it wherever you like.

Any questions, comments, concerns, or if you have new ideas, new tactics, 
or just a willingness for PvZ discussion, you can email me:

emailisforidiots@gmail.com

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=================
Table of Contents
=================

D.1   The Layout
D.2   The Ground
D.3   The Pool
D.4   The Plants
D.5   The Zombies
D.6   Build Practice
D.7   Build Theory
D.8   Build Database
D.9   Zombie Stats
D.0   Conclusion


============
Introduction
============

This guide is designed to give you the requisite knowledge to build your own 
Survival Endless layout that will survive indefinitely. Whether you’re here 
for curiosity, for fun, or for money, this guide will equip you with the 
latest and most effective strategies known. You shall be a Survival Endless 
master even if you come in here not knowing what this mode even is.

This guide will be broken down according to how every build must deal with 
the zombie pressure. I’ll be here to show you how each area of the map has 
its own tricks up its sleeve and what answers have been given to the problems 
presented. Like any game with varied strategy, there is always preference 
for who wants to play what. Cob Cannons are such a dominant force in 
Survival Endless that every build can be categorized by how many Cob Cannons
there are. Before we go into the detail of Cob Cannons, I shall introduce 
you to the regionalization of the map. I will be using Last Stand as an easy
means to show theoretical concepts, because it has the exact same map 
(Pool: Day) as Survival Endless. 


==============
D.1 The Layout
==============


http://a.imagehost.org/view/0671/SurvivalRegionDiagram

The map is a 9 column by 6 row grid and you’ll notice a couple of things 
right off the bat. The map is symmetrical, therefore there is always a top 
region corresponding to a bottom region that deals with the exact same 
pressures but not necessarily at the exact same time. For simplicity, I 
will refer to each as pairs. The pairs of rows in the water are referred 
to as Pool Rows. The pairs of rows closest to the edge of the pool are 
called Inner Rows. And finally, the outermost rows furthest from the pool 
are Outer Rows. I do this because then you don’t have to count the row to 
figure out which I’m referring to. This is very easy to visualize.


==============
D.2 The Ground
==============


You’ll also notice there’s a region of the map not labeled. It’s the 
front-most 2x2 square on the ground. This is that way for good reason. 
No plant can survive there. You will find out very shortly that the primary 
difficulty of surviving Survival Endless comes from fighting the ground forces. 
The Zomboni, Giga, and Catapult zombies will make quick work of anything 
placed there, even with maximum possible DPS (damage per second) from 
Torchwood plus Gatling with Glooms helping out. 

The corresponding brown region (column 7 counting from the left) behind the 
death zone is reserved for highly replaceable plants, because they serve as 
a buffer and will undoubtedly come into contact with all sorts of zombies. 
Only put easily replaceable plants here. This area is where you would put 
your queued up Freeze Shrooms, Spikerocks, or Fume Shrooms, but we’ll leave 
the explanations for that later.

The orange region behind that (columns 5 and 6 counting from the left) are 
important because they are very safe. Unless a zombie breaks your front lines, 
these plants will see very little action. Imps are thrown over it, and 
everything else attacks other regions before they get to this one. This is a 
very good place for Cob Cannons because of that. It is also the best 
determiner for how healthy your base is because this IS your main line. If 
any of the plants in this area are compromised for long, you will have some 
serious worrying to do.

The green region behind that (columns 3 and 4) are no different from the 
orange region except that they are vulnerable to Imps from the Gargantuars. 
This restricts them from being Cob spots, but Pumpkins allow any other plant 
to be there. The main concern of this region is what should be done to take 
care of those Imps and the remaining spots are used toward helping out the 
rest of the build.

The final back region, which happens to be blue (and columns 1 and 2), has 
very special properties because of the unique pressures it has to face. 
Catapult zombies go directly for your 1st column of plants, so this region 
MUST contain an Umbrella plant. The remaining 3 slots must then protect 
the base from Digger zombies that also happen to target the 1st column. If 
that's not enough, this area must also handle the Imps who overshoot the 
previous green region. We’ll discuss later on how that is accomplished, but 
now on to the pool regions.


============
D.3 The Pool
============


The pool is far, far simpler than the ground because of simpler zombie 
design. Only Dolphins and Jacks will give you trouble. Notice how you can 
plant things right up front because of the easier nature of these zombies. 

The first region, the red (columns 8 and 9), represent the area that will be 
directly dealing with the mass of regular zombies, but there is always the 
constant threat of an immediate Jack explosion. The Jack steps onto the map 
and explodes instantly after, taking out either one or both of the plants 
in that region. Although very rare, it can happen at any time without 
warning. This fact is very important for the 6 Gloom setup because Glooms 
are a vital part of the build’s DPS; they’re expensive, and take long to 
replace. The vast majority of builds use the power of this setup; there are 
exceptions but this region’s vulnerability is important to the survival of 
A LOT of layouts. We’ll discuss how to deal with it in detail.

The white region behind that (columns 5, 6, and 7) is a very stable area 
because only Dolphins and ambush zombies (that pop from underwater at the 
middle and end of the level) nibble at your plants. (column 7 is also safe 
from ambush zombies) The Dolphins are the bigger threat because they waste 
no time getting over there and getting to work. This area will require 
constant Pumpkins most of the time.

The backmost purple region of the pool (columns 1, 2, 3, and 4) is completely 
and utterly safe. You will lose before these plants are compromised. They 
don’t even need Pumpkins. They serve as good Cob spots or areas to put your 
Twin Sunflowers.

That concludes all the regions of the map. Now let’s move to the plants 
you’re going to be putting on these regions.


==============
D.4 The Plants
==============


The design philosophy of a successful Survival Endless build involves using 
the upgrade plants. These plants get 50 sun more expensive for every instance 
of that plant on the field in Survival Endless, which is a unique restriction 
for this mode. Many plants start costing 700-1100 sun at any given point. 
People would assume that using cheaper unupgraded plants would be the way to 
go, but the goal of using upgrade plants is to make a build so good, by 
maximizing the effectiveness of each tile, that losing the expensive plant 
is extremely rare.


****************
Offensive Plants
****************


Gloom Shroom:

This is the heart and soul of ANY successful Survival build that I’ve come 
across. The reason why we categorize builds by number of Cobs is because not 
every build has Cobs, but every known successful build up to this point has 
Glooms. These guys have unparalleled DPS to all the zombies within a 1 tile 
radius of itself. With enough of these guys, everything will fall. They do 
have a few weaknesses, though. They suffer most from the upgrade plant 
penalty. Their price will range from 500 to 1200 sun normally because of the 
abundance of Glooms you’ll have on the field. They also have a long cooldown, 
so they can only be built or replaced one at a time in between long intervals. 
Don’t forget that you need to wake these guys up too since it’s during the 
day, which is another 75 sun. They are also extremely vulnerable to Jacks. 
Even though they can make quick work of Jacks once they’re in range, the 
Jacks can still explode when they’re close but still alive. Jacks can take 
out 1-2 Glooms in an instant, and are considered very dangerous for this 
reason. Since Glooms are the bread and butter of nearly every build, the 
survival of the build is contingent on keeping them alive. Replace as soon 
as possible.

Cob Cannon:

While the Glooms are required by every build, the Cob Cannons are extremely 
influential in how you play your build. These guys require two slots and 
cannot use Pumpkins. So, any spot where any zombie has a decent chance 
of nibbling on these plants will be off-limits. They can easily cost 
1000 sun just like Glooms, have a long cooldown, and the void left by their 
death can definitely be felt. Replace as soon as possible. They work 
exactly like Cherry Bombs with their blast radius, which is a 3x3 area 
centered on where you click. They also have the added benefit of having a 
lower cooldown of ~30 seconds when the Cob lands. A lot of builds are 
designed around the constant use of extreme force of these explosions 
at the front of the map. They also have the benefit of being ungrabbable by 
Bungee zombies because they’re too big. One can come up with interesting 
layouts to make their base less vulnerable to Bungees with this information.

Fume Shroom: 

This mushroom is the little cousin of the Gloom. While these do not attack 
nearly as fast as the Gloom does, their range is a lot longer. They, like 
their cousin, attack all units in their range, which happens to be exactly 
the 4 tiles in front of them. This has certain advantages and complements 
the weakness of Glooms rather beautifully. These guys are extremely useful 
for taking out Jacks and Zombonis, in addition to adding more DPS to 
everything in the row. Combinations of Fumes and Glooms can make you 
immune to Jacks, which is very important as we shall see later on. They also
have a low cost and low cooldown, which makes them easily replaceable, but 
you do need the Coffee Bean. Their overall DPS contribution is small so 
their priority is less.

Winter-Pult: 

Melon-Pults should not be used in Survival Endless. There has been some 
controversy over their DPS vs. Winter-Pults, but I’ve personally tested it 
myself and Winter-Pults not only do more damage to zombies than their 
unupgraded counterparts (unless the shot is blocked by buckets, doors, etc., 
then it’s equal), but they also provide that lovely splash snare. The snare 
in PvZ is very useful because it is a 50% reduction of movement AND attack 
speed. Very few builds can live without the synergy potential of snare. 
These guys attack their row at any distance and vary their initial timing, 
but it stays constant after that. Their impact does a sizeable amount of 
damage (4-5) to the zombie they’re targeting and 1 damage to everything 
within a 1 tile radius of that impact point. It is highly recommend having 
at least one Winter-Pult in each row (even Pool) for this reason. They all 
do well to cover for each other. If you only have one in the row, be warned 
that it can get distracted by landing Imps if it’s too far back, or zombies
will just naturally become unsnared by random chance. There is nothing wrong 
with adding additional Winter-Pults to the important rows if the build 
benefits from it.

Spikerocks:

These guys have their place in Survival Endless, but it’s not for what you 
think. They are mainly used as buffers for Gargantuars, actually. A 
Spikerock can take 9 swings before it dies (3 per spike) or tire pops from 
Zomboni/Catapult zombies. They are moderately expensive and their cooldown 
is also moderate. So they’re replaceable but not as easily as other things. 
Because of this restriction, you can’t just wantonly place them like you 
could in other modes. They still can’t go in the death zone mentioned 
earlier, but the brown region right next to that is where they find good 
use. In Cob builds, they serve as a deterrent for Dancer zombies, Zombonis, 
and Gargantuars. However, they cannot handle them alone. They’re only used 
as a safety net if you make mistakes with the Cob timing. In this fashion, 
you can actually afford the upkeep. Another interesting application of 
Spikerocks is actually for Digger zombies. If placed in the far left column 
where the Digger zombies pop out, they will die before they reach the next 
plant. It’s rather nifty but I never use them that way because they do not 
help with the Imps. You can use them for Imps too, but then they can't be 
used for Diggers. I’ll explain in detail about this later. They also can 
attack any and all zombies within range, ignoring shield damage, treating 
most zombies as the 10 hp lamers that they are, which is pretty cool.

Gatling Pea/Torchwood:

Finally we have Fire Pea builds! These guys are really great at burning 
down just about anything, but it's tough to push back a huge wave when 
there's Zombonis and Screen Door zombies and Gigas to deal with. By 
themselves, they cannot manage certain units, but with the help of Freeze 
Shroom or Cob Cannons, there seems to be work-arounds. Their strength is 
that they melt things. Their weakness is their inefficiency with their 
shot. If their shot gets blocked, they suck really hard. Diggers and Imps 
can get in the way real quick, so some players put a Split Pea in front of 
the Torchwood to handle both the Digger and the Imps in that row, since 
the Split peas can shoot a double fire shot backward. It contributes about 
as much as 1 Gloom's worth of DPS to Diggers and 1.5 Glooms to Imps. Some 
other people put Fumes in front to counter Screen Door, or Spikerock to 
counter Giga/Zomboni. But there are still a lot more limitations to them. 
They only damage things right up in front, and unsnare potentially 
dangerous zombies. Unsnared Gigas are scary. You normally have to dedicate 
an entire row to Peashooter/Torchwood, and it only seems to be viable for 
the outer row. They serve as an alternative to Fume/Winter-Pult since 
the bread and butter DPSer types are few and far between. They're fun 
builds and they're useful if you want a challenge.

That concludes the offensive plants. You’ll notice that I’ve omitted a great 
deal of plants you normally would use in other modes. However, in Survival 
Endless, they either do a negligible amount of damage because of their 
single target nature, or their use is too impractical for the magnitude of 
units you’re going to face. Now, we shall move on to the niche plants.


************
Niche Plants
************


The niche plants, as the name implies, serve a very specific and unique 
function that is either required or recommended for any and all layouts. 
Luckily there aren’t too many of them.

Umbrella Plant:

These guys are absolutely necessary, end of story. They serve the function 
of blocking (within a 1 tile radius of their placement) the Catapult shots,
which ignore your Pumpkins and destroy your plants with just a couple of 
hits. The Catapult zombie will always attack the backmost plant of its row,
so it is required that you put an Umbrella Plant in the blue region on the 
map (ground columns 1 or 2) because only in those spots can the Umbrella 
reach the back. For builds where you potentially leave the back columns 
open, it'll still attack the farthest back planted tile, so you cannot avoid 
it. After that, Catapult zombies can be ignored. Umbrella Plants also 
have the added bonus of blocking Bungees from stealing your plants. Aside 
from the necessary 2, you can have additional ones in your map. Bungees are
usually not a big threat for reasons we shall see, so it’s not entirely 
recommended. You can make interesting designs using a combination of 
Umbrella Plants, Cob Cannons, and Gloom Shrooms to block off your valuable 
plants from this threat.

Cattail: 

These guys are very useful for constructing a build before its completion, 
also good for picking off some zombies in a significant amount, and also 
good for helping with Digger zombies sometimes, but they’re mainly used for
Balloon zombie control. You need two of these Cattails to take care of air 
indefinitely. There is another stipulation, and that’s if the Cattails are 
too close to the front (3 tiles or less from the right edge), then they have
a chance of letting a Balloon zombie pass. Cattails attack the closest 
zombie to them (always air first) and continue sending lagging shots to a 
unit until it is dead. The closer they are to their target, the less 
downtime they have in between target switches, which means more DPS. 
Cattails are also not necessary and as an alternative you can bring along 
a Blover.

Twin Sunflowers: 

They’re powering your army and providing you with the currency to build your
plants up. These should be kept in safe spots and in spots that are not very
useful for other offensive plants. The number of Twins required will be 
dependant on your play style. If you must make regular use of Cherry Bomb, 
Jalapeno, Squash, and Freeze Shroom, then 5-6 will be your recommended 
amount, because you also have to deal with Jack accidents and Pumpkins. 
If you rely on Cobs and little use of items, you can get away with 2-4 
Twins depending on the skill of the player and the maintenance required of 
the layout.

Gold Magnet:

For those who want to use Survival Endless as a means of getting money, 
having about 2 of these on the map gets the vast majority of coins that 
drop. A lot of optimized Survival builds are designed for those who are way 
past their need for money and are only it for the challenge. So, you can 
usually take one of these builds and replace 2 of the less necessary plants 
for Gold Magnets. Just make sure you know what you’re doing, otherwise 
you’ll find out the hard way.

Pumpkin:

This is a no-brainer, an absolute must, and I usually forget that this is 
even a plant. Whether or not you need the Imitater version of this depends 
on the maintenance requirements of your build, which is the sum of your debt
accumulated by Imp, Digger, Dolphin, and Football zombies. Jack explosions 
and Gargantuar/Zomboni squashings also affect this, but it’s hard to factor
their small influence into it.

Now that we’re done with the tools you’ll be working with, it’s time to take
a look at the opposition you’ll be facing.


===============
D.5 The Zombies
===============


The Horde: 

These are the Regular, Conehead, Buckethead, Newspaper, Pole-Vaulting, Pool,
Pogo, Ladder, and Screen Door zombies. For all intents and purposes, these 
guys can be ignored if you’re doing the build right. They’re the lowest on 
the totem pole because of their relatively unexceptional nature and are good
for fodder and money.

Jack-In-The-Box Zombie: 

Jacks are quite possibly the simplest and most complex special zombies of 
Survival Endless. If not for these bastards, we would’ve had a fully 
automated build by now. Alas, Survival Endless actually requires thinking, 
and we have our thanks to these guys, the killer of Gloom builds. They can 
be worked around. They are of average health, equivalent to all the other 
bipedal specialist zombies (17hp) and they attack normally too. Their one 
special feature is that at (seemingly) random intervals, they explode and 
take out anything within a 1 tile radius. This can be disastrous for close 
range plants because there seems to be no way around getting close with the 
zombie horde all the time. Well, I’ve already gone on long enough about how 
evil they can be, so what can people do to handle this threat? Well, there’s 
one way of taking care of inner row Jacks, and two ways of taking care of 
outer row Jacks.

For inner row Jacks, you require two pool Glooms and 1 Fume that attacks 
off-screen. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0838/InnerJackTactic

Notice how the absolute right edge is about a third of another tile, which 
means zombies can be attacked before they even get on the grid. The Fume 
can be closer but not too close for obvious reasons. Immediate Jack 
explosions should not plague you as long as you satisfy those conditions. 
I've never personally witnessed a Jack explosion with this setup, but
the rarity of Jack accidents requires a humungous sample size before we
could get statistical confidence.

For outer row Jacks, you can Cob them before they reach your plants (which 
doesn’t work out so well for those inner row Jacks since they explode 
before you can react) or you can use a special arrangement I discovered a 
while back to lead to the first Cobless build, which was a big deal because 
it was unheard of to not be using 6 Cob Cannons to get past 100. Here’s the 
bare minimum required to be Jack immune in their exact positioning.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0568/OuterJackTactic

It also has the added bonus of taking out Zombonis by itself along with most
any other zombie except Football zombies and Gargantuars. Now, we’ll get a 
little more into discussion about this arrangement because there actually is
some variability at a cost. For some odd reason, that exact distance from 
the right edge makes the build perfectly immune, no matter what. If the 
arrangement is moved forward one tile, it’ll be crushed rather quickly, so 
the only alternative would be to move it back. As it turns out, the farther
back you move it, the more vulnerable to Jacks it becomes. One tile back, 
it may take your Gloom’s Pumpkin (if the Gloom has no Pumpkin when the Jack 
nicks you, then it dies) with a very small chance of taking it out in one go. 
This is still perfectly manageable and I’ve seen it put to good use in a lot 
of the minimalist Cob builds, where they only have 2-4 Cobs and let the 
zombies come to them, allowing the small number of Cobs to recharge in time. 
Just remember that every tile you scale back, you lose 2 possible spots to be 
used for other plants, like Winter-Pults.

As a final note, I’ve studied a lot about the nature of Jack explosions and 
their timing. The positions at which they explode are constant and occur 
usually as they cross the border from one tile to another. This a rough 
estimate and not necessarily true the farther back in the base you let them 
go. Also, the farther they get, the more likely chance they have of blowing 
up since their missed opportunities for exploding continue to go up. At 
first it’s, say, 1/8, then 1/7, then 1/6, etc. These are just some things to
keep in mind, and one day it’d be really helpful to find out exactly where 
all the explosions occur. The final thing I’d like to mention is what really
makes Jacks a force to be reckoned with. When you’re in the later waves 
where multiple Jacks come out, they have a very deadly cascade effect as a 
product of not only weakening your defenses but increasing their probability
of exploding as they go along. One blows up and takes out a Gloom, so the 
other 2 live, then another blows up a couple seconds later, and so on. This 
means that a chain of Jacks can take out 3 Glooms in an instant, possibly 4 
if they take out your replacement before it can help. That is also something
to keep in mind and Jacks are always to be taken seriously.

Now, for Jack recovery, I'm going to assume you've sustained heavy losses,
otherwise there's nothing to recover from and you're fine and dandy. But
that will not always be the case. When you hear a Jack Explosion, there's
two possibilities, Inner Row or Outer Row. It is definitely within your
interest to figure out which. Drop everything and assess the situation.
Once you have a successful endless build, the only serious threat are
these guys, so there is never harm in being too careful. If its Outer Row,
depending on the setup, you're usually safe and it's a lot easier to
notice the damage since you're not going to be having Zombies obscuring
your plants on the main line. Inner Row, on the other hand can get pretty
messy when Gigas come out. I always check my 6 Gloom first if I'm using it
and I'll immediately replace a Gloom if 1-2 are taken out. Cannot stress
that enough. Immediately. Every second you hesitate is another second
only your 2 Glooms are handling the Gigas and not 3 or 4. My next step is
delay. Freeze Shrooms are great for this, and you don't have to go
overboard with consumables unless the pressures really on. I'll Cherry Bomb
afterward and that'll usually take care of 2 waves of zombies. Cherry Bomb
is best if your build needs consumables for the outer row too. After that
the Gloom/Cob cooldown should be up and your second replacement is finished.
If you run into more desperate situations, time delay is everything. Throw
cheap squashable plants to protect your other plants, because you don't
loss of your good plants begetting more loss of your good plants.

Zomboni:

These guys are the ice machine rovers of death. They cannot be slowed and 
have a surprising resistance to damage especially by Winter-Pults. They 
leave a trail of ice behind that blocks placement of any plants there 
(sorry consumables!). Jalapenos can melt the row it affects but it’s not 
that useful for this function because of its long cooldown. Zombonis also 
flatten any plant in its way, making it especially dangerous and it is the 
second most likely reason you’ll die in Survival Endless, next to 
Gargantuars. 

Zombonis are usually taken care of by Glooms or Cobs, same as everything 
else. Inner row Zombonis that are not taken care of by Cobs or Spikerocks 
are taken out by the 6 pool Gloom setup. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0938/Orthodox6gloom

Even with the 6 Gloom, they will reach that third tile from the edge if it’s
a Spikerock or a plant with a Pumpkin. Unpumpkined Fumes can survive 
surprisingly, which is why that inner row Jack setup actually works, which 
I’ll link again.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0838/InnerJackTactic

Outer row Zombonis are taken care of similarly. You can either use the outer 
row setup for Jacks or rely on the all-powerful Cobs.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0568/OuterJackTactic

I’d like to make a note that you should notice which plants have Pumpkins 
and which don’t for good reason. Yes, you do actually need 2 Fumes and 1 
Gloom as they are bare minimum for this to work.

Now you’re probably all wondering why Pumpkins can make or break whether or 
not you get flattened by Zombonis. The answer lies in the fact that Pumpkins
add width to the plant. If the Zomboni touches the plant, it gets flattened,
so a Pumpkin decreases the distance the Zomboni has to travel to reach your
plant. Pumpkins make your plants fat. It really is that close and it is 
definitely worth it because now you can ignore even the monstrous Zombonis.
Unpumpkined plants are obviously vulnerable to Football zombies, so you can 
use Pumpkins in the Zomboni’s absence or just deal with the replacement 
costs. (150, big whoop)

Balloon Zombie:

Make sure you either use 2 properly placed Cattails or always bring the 
Blover card when they come around. Balloon Zombies can be snared by Freeze 
Shroom only and when their balloon pops, they can sometimes land on those 
unpumpkined plants annoyingly.

Football Zombie:

They're more just annoying than difficult. They're the zombie that makes you
want to Pumpkin your front but can't because of Zombonis. They'll eat your
snare too because they just won't die. When Football Zombies are in the
composition, I usually pay extra attention to the snare application over
the waves. Freeze Shroom is very good at destroying any damage/snare debt 
accumulated as a result of these jerks.

Catapult Zombie: 

Make sure to put an Umbrella in each 2x2 back corner, then you can forget 
about them. If you’re not damaging the outer row Catapults, they’ll 
eventually get bored (technically run out of ammo) and move forward.

Dolphin Zombie: 

He’s another of the more complicated zombies but with a very simplistic 
effect at the end of the day. He can take initial hits before entering 
the pool, but never enough to be killed off. He jumps in with 
invulnerability and arcs over your plants with invulnerability. He also 
happens to be immune to snare when in this leap-frogging process. He’s not 
actually invulnerable, because he can be killed at any point by a Cob, and 
Freeze Shroom works on him too. If you have the standard 6 Gloom, he’ll land 
on your third column of Glooms and start nibbling away. Without the Cob, 
you can only kill him so quickly, so he is usually guaranteed to get bites 
off. If he’s snared prior to getting into the pool or Freeze Shroomed, 
then his damage will be vastly reduced. Dolphins require the most frequent 
Pumpkining because of their numbers and speed, so you must always keep 
watch of that. Winter-Pults are very unreliable with their start times for 
attacks, so good luck getting them to nail the Dolphins.

Digger Zombie: 

These guys are very straight-forward, too, and you actually don’t want to 
use Magnets for them. There will be just too many of them for your poor 
Magnets so you need dedicated ways of kicking their butts when they pop 
out of the ground. That leaves you two viable options, Glooms or Spikerocks. 
A Spikerock will take them out with no damage felt but at the expense of 
doing no damage to Imps (unless you build another 2 Spikerocks for their 
column, usually 3-4). Returning back to Glooms, there is a Gloom arrangement 
where you just leave the back column empty, forcing the Diggers to walk a 
tile. It is a similar concept to the Spikerock. With 1 well placed Gloom, 
you can achieve Digger immunity and have 1 Gloom's worth of DPS for Imps. 
The only issue is that this takes up a whopping 3 spots. However, the 2 
blank spots aren't entirely unusable and can be used for Freeze Shroom 
slots. There are some builds that rely on stockpiling a large number of 
Freeze Shrooms so this has its obvious use. For 95% of the other builds 
out there, you can do the standard 2 Gloom and fill up those back slots 
with whatever.3 Glooms are required to take out a Digger without a single 
nibble. 2 Glooms is a good balance since they sometimes take them out with 
small damage or no damage at all. Glooms are affected by the same variable 
starting time as Winter-pults, essentially, so how much damage you take from 
a Digger is dependent on when the Gloom wants to get off its lazy butt. This 
randomness will plague you in a lot of things, and this is no exception.

Gargantuar: 

Bum, bum, buuuum. The most intimidating zombie ever conceived for this game.
The only zombie in the game that can sustain a heavy damage consumable. Some
people say he IS the difficulty of Survival Endless and he is the biggest 
reason you will fail. He specializes in crushing noob builds and laughs as 
he strolls right past your Starfruit and Threepeaters. Nothing short of 
unmitigated rape will stop these titans. You might think you’re cool for 
putting down 8 Cattails and you took down that one Giga all by your lonesome,
but fast forward 50 flags and now 12 Gigas come out with 8 Zombonis and the 
Football zombies are eating all of your snare. Yea, good luck. Go find 
another guide. There’s no solution.

Just kidding. Even though Gargantuars can take a heavy damage consumable, 
they can’t take two. The red eye Gargantuars, a.k.a. Gigas, are only 50% 
more HP, so they take 3. (their Imps are also 50% more hp) Henceforth, I 
shall refer only to Gigas, because if you can take down Gigas, you can take 
down their weaker counterpart. As a matter of fact, some builds even ignore 
the weaker brother, *cough* Cobless setup.

Rule of thumb, always snare the Gigas. Unsnared Gigas will squash their way
to your Umbrella Plant before you can even press the space bar to rest 
your arthritic hands. There are three ways to handle Gigas: Cobs, Glooms, 
Firepeas, or some combination of all those. It turns out that 3 tiles and a 
Spikerock gives you enough room to Cob the living hell out of Gigas if you 
have 6+ Cobs. So, for Cobs, both outer and inner rows are handled exactly the
same. The Inner Row only seems to require 1 cob blast though if you have the 
6 Gloom watching your back, since having 3 Glooms worth of DPS apparently 
helps out somewhat.

Now for those of you wondering how you can stop 12 of these guys without 
constantly bombing them with napalm, well you have to pump your build with 
more Glooms, like crack (or Fire pea like crack). And you still have to use 
heavy damage consumables, just now they’re cards instead of cobs, and they 
cost sun, not spots. They never really wanted to balance a build strong 
enough to handle 20 Gigas without cheating (the number always changes 
because God laughs at you), so there you go. Either Cob spam or Cherry 
Bomb, Freeze Shroom, Jalapeno, and Squash spam. So, how do you manage 
without sucking on the teat of Cob Cannons? Well, you do literally stuff 
as many Glooms as possibly you can. 

Exhibit A.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0493/GodSlayer

Take note of the seriousness of this photo. These are god slayers and take 
their job very seriously. Also take note of the Freeze Shroom in the 
picture. It’s a reminder that the Gigas must be snared the whole time. It 
also shows that these 5 Glooms can’t do it alone and they need a Freeze 
Shroom when the Giga’s in range of all of them. 5 Gloom beatdown while 
frozen equals dead Gigas. This requires Freeze and Imitator Freeze.

There are other ways of taking out Gigas. Exhibit B. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0221/GodSlayer2

Note that you still require full snaring and 4 open spots. The Winter-Pult 
obviously doesn’t have to be up front. This one takes up more space than 
Exhibit A but is more independent because you don’t need the Freeze Shroom 
normally.

Now, for the outer rows. They’re a little more difficult to handle because 
of Jacks. You can’t just put 4 Glooms in a row and call it a day. If we take
our answer to Jacks and Zombonis, and add an additional Gloom to the mix, we
can work without Cobs. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0691/ExhibitC

This setup has precisely enough DPS to take out normal Gargantuars by 
themselves, and since Gigas are only 1 consumable away… you use Cherry Bomb, 
Jalapeno, and Squash to bridge the gap. This is the first non-Cob outer row 
solution to Gigas that doesn’t get its butt handed to it by Jacks. Scale 
it back and it has the effect described in the Jacks section.

I just want to add that all these answers to Gigas make their younger 
brother garbage. You can ignore Non-Gigas with these heavy damage-dealing 
formations outside of some crazy flukes.

To top it off, people can use the minimalist form of the Jack/Zomboni answer
in conjunction with a small number of Cobs, usually 2-4. This requires 
that you scale it back at least 1 or 2 tiles from the original position, 
because the build is placing a lot of emphasis on those Cobs. Heavy Freeze
Shroom spam also seems to make this work.

Now, for Firepea:

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/bc9037b51fa3635e8ad4b20c.jpg
-(By Market Trojan Prince)

The arrangement seems to be 4 Gatling and a Torchwood for the entire row. 
Those Spikerocks there also are necessary and must be maintained during 
downtime waves. On another note, dead Gigas absorb peashots, which sucks.

Aside from the above listed methods, there aren’t any more tested ways of 
dealing with Gigas that isn’t highly situational or impractical. I'd also 
like to make a note that these are the only methods that can handle things
by themselves. Hybridizing and synergizing is definitely recommended. There
is but two more zombies to deal with.

Imp: 

These fat midgets have the potential to be very annoying if you don’t watch 
out for them. When a Gargantuar reaches its 50% hp mark, he’ll take the 
time to throw the little guy from his back to about 5 tiles ahead of him. 
Imps land on the plants in columns 2,3, and 4 the vast majority of the 
time. So they breach basically the two back regions on the map. Since many 
Gargantuars can come out at any one time, there will be many Imps at one 
time. However, their attack is slow and their health is low, so you don’t 
need to Pumpkin often when they show. 
 
One way discovered so far to take care of Imps effectively is to also 
use Glooms in the back. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0521/DiggerGloom

Like so. The formation doesn’t need to be exactly that, but the Glooms must 
be in range. Now, to discuss Gloom placement. Even though Gargantuars 
throw their Imps relative to their own position when they get to 50% HP, the
range at which they land can be generalized. If they move too far in, they 
won’t even bother throwing their Imp. This can make things more difficult be
cause that throw serves as a good way to stop the Gigas for a short while. 
No throw means less time to DPS them down before they reach your plants. 
Only bases that are scaled really far back have to worry about this, though.
With that in mind, there are two columns that Glooms can be placed in to hit
99% of the Imps that land. The red bracket is where they land, and the 
yellow bracket is the area for effective Gloom placement.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0995/ImpRegionDiagram

Notice that the right side of the yellow bracket is not within range of 
Digger zombies, so ideally the left side of that bracket is the most bang 
for your buck since it hits 99% of all Imps and 100% of all Diggers. I’d 
also like to point out that the transition from 2 Gloom to 3 Gloom coverage
for Imps is not very noticeable. 

This is why Glooms for Digger zombies are probably more useful than 
Spikerocks. Why? Because, if you lay down Spikerocks to take care of Digger 
zombies, you have 0 Glooms to take care of Imps. This is what the setup 
would look like:

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0221/DiggerSpikerock

So for 3 slots, you’re getting 3 Glooms worth of damage to Diggers 
(3 Glooms = 2 Spikerocks) and 1 Glooms worth of damage to Imps. If you use 
Glooms for Diggers, like the one shown earlier, for 2 slots you get 2 Glooms
worth of damage to both Imps and Diggers. Now, simple math dictates that 
3 + 1 = 2 + 2. So for 2 slots, you get the same overall DPS. Not to mention,
the difference between 2 Glooms of damage to Diggers is minimal compared to
3. It’s all about diminishing returns and maximizing your effectiveness per 
tile space. However, some people have made successful builds using Spikerocks 
in the third row to take care of Imps too, which looks really cool, but still 
an inefficient tile placement until proven otherwise. Only high # cob builds 
can afford to sacrifice 4-5 spaces for what can be handled in 2.

One final note is that Imps are very wide and heavy-set, so their hitbox is 
actually larger than where they land. So, horizontally speaking, Glooms can 
reach them about 1.3-1.4 tiles away aside from the normal 1 tile range. We 
shall see that this is the same for Bungees too.

Bungee: 

These guys come every beginning of a flag (end of first half and end of 
second half), but not at the beginning of the level. They vary in number, 
even in the later flags, from just about 1 to 10 at a time. There are 
multiple ways of dealing with Bungees. You can either block them with 
Umbrella Plants, which is somewhat hard to manage with a very large base, 
or DPS them down before they pick up your plant and leave. So, how does one 
go about that? Well, snared Bungee zombies surprisingly stay down twice as 
long, but they have 23 health so it is still quite a feat to bring these guys 
down in time. You can use a properly timed Freeze Shroom, which will freeze 
them in place if they’re out and not moving, snare them, and damage them. 
The key to timing it is to see the targets land, wait 3 seconds, then Coffee
Bean the Freeze Shroom. If it works out, they should be frozen as quickly 
as they possibly can. This way, your Winter-Pults, Glooms, or Cobs can 
handle them. You can also Cob them without any help if you have good 
timing and reaction speed.

The final way is for your base to handle it all by itself. This requires 
extreme Gatling plus Torchwood DPS (which doesn’t always work especially 
if they're behind the Torchwood), or Winter-Pults and Glooms. With enough 
Glooms, they’ll die snared or not, which means your 6 Gloom front will 
always be safe. However, if you don’t have space for such a large amount 
of Glooms, you’ll need to enlist the help of Winter-Pults. Because 
Winter-Pults and Glooms both start at random times with their attacks, 
their delay can be so long that you need at least 1 Winter-Pult and 4 
Glooms just to secure a plant 99.9%. 3 Glooms will be around 90-95% security. 
If you already have a Winter-Pult in every row, every plant not covered by 
an Umbrella must be in range of 4 Glooms for that kind of security. But 
like the Imps, the Bungees are wider; therefore their horizontal hitbox 
allows them to be hit by Glooms 2 spaces away. This does not work 
vertically but it does have an effect on diagonals. To clarify what I mean 
exactly, consider the following: 

A and B are Glooms, X is a Bungee, and underscores are blank spaces:

X _ A
_ _ B 

Both B and A will attack X, because X is within 2 horizontal spaces of 
the Glooms. If you fail to achieve 3-4 Glooms for some spots, whenever 
those spots get targeted, you must use a Freeze Shroom or be prepared to 
replace the plant.


==================
D.6 Build Practice
==================

*************************************
Actually Building Your Layout In-Game
*************************************

I won't go into too much detail about it because it's very easy to do. 
I'll just tell you what I normally do.

-For the first level, I bring:

Sunflower
Imitater Sunflower
Potato Mine
Lily Pad
Cattail
Pumpkin
Fume
Gloom
Bean
Garlic

The beginning is all about getting your economy up. The only focus should
be building Sunflowers uninterrupted until 80-90% of the map is Sunflower. 
Now, obviously, the early zombies won't let you go that easily. That's 
why I bring the Potato Mine. You can use the Rake too, but you'll need 
the Mine for the 2nd and possibly 3rd zombie. Now, I'd be careful about 
your initial Sunflower placement. I normally put them all in one row. I'm 
making sure to place the original Sunflower every time the cooldown is up
so I want the odds of me having to use a Potato Mine early to be as
low as possible. That's why I stick to one row and just a throw two 
Garlics up front and call it a day. Another tip is to always prioritize 
original Sunflower over Imitater when you can only afford one in the 
beginning. It takes like 3 seconds for Imitater to activate unlike the 
instant original, so if the cooldown of the original comes up before those 
3 seconds, it would've been faster just to wait. Also, a rule of thumb for
Potato Mines, 3.5 spaces is about the proper amount you need to place away 
from the zombie.

So after you're done and you're all Sunflowered up and you got your Garlic 
protecting the Outer Rows, you'll notice Potato Mines don't cut it
anymore. You have to stop Sunflower production a little bit to save
for a Cattail but they literally take care of the rest of the wave
for you. Once you have two, you can focus on producing more Lily Pads,
making more Sunflowers, and starting to add Pumpkins and Glooms to your
build. That's pretty much it for the first level. The rest is pretty easy 
and I leave that to you.

***************
Consumable Tips
***************

My general philosophy with consumables is to use them as effectively as 
possible. That requires two things. Infrequency (timing) and placement 
(spacing). Now when I say infrequency, they very well may be used every
time their cooldown is up, but I want your attitude to be "reluctant to use
it unless for good reason." They cost Sun, and you don't know when you will
need it, so don't waste it. Aside from using them less often, you can just
make use of them better to achieve the even more efficiency. For example,
Jalapenos attack the whole row. They can attack 2-3 waves worth of zombies
if you wait long enough, so you can double or triple the effectiveness of
these guys just like that. Cherry Bombs work this way to a lesser extent
and can reach 2 waves at a time. Cobs are just free Cherry Bombs but they
follow the same rules.

Freeze Shroom is my favorite consumable, so I'll give a disproportionate 
amount of time to them. Despite people saying that Freeze Shroom is only 
good for Gloom/Fume builds, EVERY build could use more time. Let's get past
the obvious, though. This guy Freezes things in place, but where should 
things be frozen in place? Close to your plants, duh! Freeze next to your 
Glooms, your Spikerocks, your Fumes, whatever. Timing is of the essence.
Many builds require that you Freeze properly and in optimal DPS positions.
Next, you need to protect these guys from getting killed. Do you have spots
well protected by Glooms? Queue some Freeze Shrooms there. It's always nice
to have at least 1 dedicated slot to Freeze Shroom, because wasted Freeze 
Shroom is probably the second leading cause of death aside from Jack
accidents. You can use Freeze against Gigas to help burn them down, against
Jacks to prevent their explosions, against Diggers/Dolphins to stop their
nibbles. Freeze Shroom is very versatile and powerful. You get more sun
and less cooldown on all the rest of your cards because of that bought 
time. You can also rest yourself and set the game to your pace. Every time
a hard wave starts, open with a well-timed Freeze for good measure. Stops
Bungees and ambush zombies in their tracks and it makes your snare rotation 
more efficient. Leaving them asleep is perhaps their best attribute,
because now you can have more Freeze Shroom than a person should ever have.
Something a little less known is that a Freeze Shroom will still activate
if it's awake when killed/flattened, so you can time it where a Giga swings
and activates the Freeze Shroom for you.

One last note, Puff-Shrooms are great if you have extra card slots. They're
free and amazing against Gigas. Their low cooldown makes them excellent
buffers against Football zombies too.

================
D.7 Build Theory
================

If you don't understand the fundamental workings of what's going on, it is 
very difficult to establish truly successful survival builds. I think one
of the most fundamental things we can talk about is the orthodox 6 Gloom.
The reasons why you have successful builds, usually, are those pool Glooms. 
You can't just put a Gloom out in front on the ground, otherwise it'll get
squashed. That space must be earned by enough pool DPS to clear enough 
zombies for the Inner Row. The bare minimum is not until 3 tiles; this 
has been experimentally proven. Therefore, the closest you can get to 
working on the Outer Row starts 3 tiles back. So we have the Pool Row 
covering for the Inner Row. And the Inner Row covering for the Outer Row.
So, now you can see that the highest DPS possible buys you the most freed 
tiles for the subsequent row. More tiles usually means a stronger defense, 
so a good objective for designing your build is to squeeze in as much DPS 
as *necessary* for all 3 types of rows.

There is one more factor we must consider too with build theory. We must 
understand that all we're really doing is bringing a Zombie HP pool to 
zero before it reaches our base. That's a set number in terms of time 
and hp per wave. So then we can treat each tile as a unit of damage done 
over a distance.

Let's look at a build using this row analysis.

http://h.imagehost.org/download/0111/Elegant

Let's take the inner row for example. Disregarding the Freeze Shroom, that's
3 on-screen tiles before the zombies reach your plants. This means in 3 
tiles, you need to do enough damage to kill them. Since they travel at a 
constant rate, that can be equated to seconds. If it takes X seconds to cross 
a tile, you'd need to do Y damage in X seconds. Going from 3 tiles to 2 tiles 
is 66% of the distance and thus you're doing 66% of your original damage. If 
your original damage amount was the bare minimum to survive, then you need a 
50% damage increase to compensate. (1.5 x 0.66 = 1.0)

Now, I obviously wouldn't scale the Inner any more forward, because that 
would contradict what I already said about it being impossible. 50% is a 
tremendous increase in DPS, but the farther back your build goes, the less 
the penalty there is for making it 1 tile closer. For this build, the Inner
row is most vulnerable because it is the closest to the horde and loses a
Gloom right off the bat if you mess up. The Outer row is most incompetent 
because it has the weakest defenses at its disposal. Instead of 5 Glooms 
and 3 tiles like Inner, Outer has only 2 Glooms and 2 tiles where those 
Glooms get to do their damage. Fumes help too, and I've always been under 
the impression that Fumes attack at 1/4th the speed of a Gloom, so 4x the 
distance with 1/4th the DPS = 1 tiles worth Gloom damage. Still not 
nearly as much as the Inner row though. By looking at builds with this 
perspective. You can quickly figure out the vulnerabilities and strengths 
of any layout.

After learning all this theory, it’s time to see these things put into 
practice. It’s one thing to memorize the tactics laid down by your 
forefathers, it’s another to see these in action. Like I said, I categorize 
these builds by their number of Cobs, from 0 to 8. There are builds that
are more than 8, but they’re no different from the 8 Cob.

==================
D.8 Build Database
==================


==============
Cobless Builds
==============


============================================================================
http://h.imagehost.org/download/0111/Elegant
-(By Draco89123)

I happen to be the designer of this build, so I have the most knowledge 
about the first successful Cobless build out there. There are some 
modifications to this build that make it different from the standard 
approaches. For one, the Umbrella plant is optimally placed so this build 
is Bungee immune. For two, there is a third inner row Gloom that is used 
for Imps and also acts as a safety net. That third layer of Gloom defense 
makes this build very resilient to Jack explosions because you can still 
survive with a completely lost layer of Glooms.

You should see that this build is a combination of the inner row answer to 
Gigas (5 Gloom which requires Freeze Shroom and its Imitator) and the 
a non-Cob answer to outer row Gigas (which requires consumable rotation).
The original Pumpkin card is enough to cover for the maintenance. 

There are two weaknesses to this build. The first of which is dealing with 
the fact that every zombie will get uncomfortably close to your base, so 
visibility and pressure issues will arise, like finding spots to place your 
Freeze Shroom. The second problem is that it can’t do anything to stop the 
premature Jack explosion of the pool Glooms. This can be a game breaker if 
you do not replace them immediately and react accordingly. Since you’ll be 
down a Gloom for a little while, it is difficult to prevent any other loss 
of plants in the mean time, especially that first inner row Gloom. The key 
is to focus all your consumables on stalling time and minimizing damage. 
That means Freeze, Puff Shroom, Cherry Bomb, etc. Cherry Bombs have the 
added benefit of affecting both rows, so use the Cherry Bomb for the 
afflicted side before the Jalapeno.

The key to the consumable rotation is to use them only when the Gigas are 
about to smash your plants. Use the Squash as often as possible because 
of its cheaper cost and lower cooldown. Aside from that, don’t let your 
Freeze Shrooms go to waste all too often, and make sure to queue up Freezes 
during the breaks. The highlight of this build is that for non-Giga levels, 
you can watch the destruction of all the zombies completely automated. It 
is rather beautiful to see everything fall without you doing much of 
anything. It also provides an alternative to the usual Cob spam that’s 
required of you for the Cob builds. People recommend this build if you 
don’t like all the excessive clicking of Cob Cannons.

As a little bit of trivia, I call this layout the Elegant Build because
it actually handles Imps better than if you had stuck 3 Glooms in the back
for Diggers and just had 2 Glooms in the front of the Inner Row. Since 
Glooms have greater horizontal range, and Imps are fat to begin with, the 
Gloom coverage overlap is optimal for 99% of the Imp landings and that
completely surprised me.

v2.0- This build has really stood the test of time. All I could do was modify
one of the pool Winter-Pults so it could get a Freeze slot.

============================================================================

============================================================================
I'm glad now that more people have invented cobless builds. Variety is the
spice of life and now we have Cobless Firepea builds:

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/bc9037b51fa3635e8ad4b20c.jpg
-(By Market Trojan prince)
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/q_gaoyu/pic/item/a0a6928da15ad6d1503d92ed.jpg
-(By Unknown)
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/jokxurwq/pic/item/6e0aec02f64ff8e3267fb570.jpg
-(By jokxurwq)

If we look at the patterns behind these Firepea cobless builds, the trend 
is to use Gatling/Torchwood over Winter-Pult/Fume in the outer row. The 
maximum number of Gatling Peashooters seems to be 5 and < 3 seems to be only 
for Cob builds or Gloom support (more on that later). They require full 
rotation of consumables, including possibly Puff Shrooms. Some seem to only 
handle one side being Firepea while the other side is the minimal Gloom/Fume 
arrangement with either additional Fumes, the Fumes being pushed way back, 
or they're behind Spikerocks. They make ample use of Freeze Shrooms by 
having at the very least 2 Freeze slots. Some seem to stockpile 6! They're 
great for keeping the rest of the wave stopped while the Firepeas work 
through the crowd.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://bbs.gzhu.edu.cn/attachments/month_1004/1004081354080e5572da6f2623.jpg
-(By shui152)
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/w_i_n_d_fly/pic/item/46bb19f61cf36f1cbc3109b9.jpg
-(By WanderingWind) 
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/6f370a1070204bf7a6ef3f89.jpg
-(By Unknown)

Here are some other Cobless builds I could find that use Gloom/Fume/Pult.
Here we see that shui152 opted for 1 tile scale back to get that 4 space 
inner row and to allow maximum time for Freezing. Snaring might be an issue 
(due to low Pult count) but the build makes regular use of Freeze Shrooms. 
What's very interesting about this layout is that it used the idea of 
turning the back column into extra Freeze Slots. If you have a sufficiently 
high amount of blank spots, you can store a ridiculous amount of Freeze 
Shrooms that can last you entire waves. With this in mind, you can make 
builds go where they normally couldn't otherwise. This build is also 
interesting because of its Fume/Gloom arrangement. Because it is so scaled
back and reliant so much on frontloading damage with constant freeze, he 
managed to move the Fumes 1 tile forward relative to the usual setup. 
When Zombonis come along though, that front Fume will probably get 
flattened, though.

The third build is notable for its different way of handling Dolphins, for
one. They'll jump over that initial Gloom and move a lot more slowly along
the water tile. That Dolphin answer also handles Jack accidents more 
effectively, because, at most, you lose one Gloom. You'll also notice
the unpumpkined Inner Row Gloom, which indicates to me that it's probably
not worth Pumpkining. Jacks definitely have a chance of blowing it up, but
now any one given Jack accident can be manageable. I'd also like to make 
note of that front pool Gloom and how optimally placed it actually is. It's 
the only position for that Gloom to attack Gigas in all the Inner Row tiles.
Also, almost 1600 flags for a cobless build.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://j.imagehost.org/view/0417/Ice_Cube_Build
-(By Draco89123)

So, I basically made my own version using that nifty Freeze Shroom trick.
The biggest issue is that you need to use them if Diggers pop out. They will
always eat your Freeze Shroom. 1 Freeze Shroom can handle a lot of Diggers
though, so you can conserve them if you rotate properly and watch for
future Diggers by their animation underground. You should use the doomed 
ones first. You can also Pumpkin the Freeze if Freeze importance > Pumpkins.
============================================================================

============================================================================
And finally, here's my take on the Firepea:

http://h.imagehost.org/view/0946/Halfway
-(By Draco89123)

Everything seemed to be really strong, and it seems just as strong as the 
other Firepea builds I tested, so I'm sure it can go the distance too. 
Things can get hectic because Firepeas, even if they actually aren't, 
seem faster than other Cobless builds. There's a low margin for error 
when it comes to unsnared Zombies. (even with Freeze)
============================================================================


============
2 Cob Builds
============


============================================================================
The main trouble of these builds is that they quickly let unsnared zombies 
get by, so Freeze Shroom is a must for its equalizing power. It gets 
everything snared and removes the debt accumulated for lost time. These are 
probably the slowest builds because they require the zombies to go the most 
distance before the next wave comes. As a result, you can get away with a 
low Sunflower count.

http://i27.tinypic.com/27zg603.jpg
-(By FlyinFree)

FlyinFree’s build employs the delay tactic and making full use of those 2 
Cob Cannons. It seems like this build also requires full consumable rotation
and both the Pumpkin card and its Imitator. He also uses Spikerocks for 
Diggers because he wants to keep the Gloom cost down just in case he loses 
the pool Gloom or that front ground Gloom. You can see too that he employs 
the most stripped down version of the Zomboni/Jack answer. It was his build 
that actually showed me the second Gloom in this formation was unnecessary.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0825/Draco2Cob 
-(By Draco89123)

My version of this build does not require a consumable rotation, but I do 
bring a Freeze Shroom and Cherry Bomb just in case. When there are Jacks in 
the level, I replace those regular sunflowers for Fumes to handle the Jack 
accidents. I rely on using Puff Shroom and its Imitator to severely slow 
down the Gigas so that my Cobs can take care of them.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://j.imagehost.org/download/0073/Cobbless-Plus-Two-Cobbs
-(By Unknown)

Someone had also used my Cobless build "Elegant" and added 2 cobs to it.
Surviving on 2 Twins is very baller and goes to show how stable Cobs can 
make a build. It also goes to show that Cob designs and Cobless design
aren't incompatible. They synergize a little too well, actually.
============================================================================

============================================================================
3 Cob Build

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/
%C3%FB%D7%D6%CA%C7%CA%B2%F7%E1/pic/item/205cd45f9abbe977faf2c055.jpg
-(By Unknown)

I don't know whether or not to put 3 Cobs into the 2 or 4 Cob category, but 
they play more like 2 cobs so we'll just go with that. They usually require
moderate consumable use like the other 2's but allow you to cut down on Sun
usage.
============================================================================


============
4 Cob Builds
============


============================================================================
4 Cobs are probably the easiest and most flexible of builds. 4 Cobs is 
halfway to constant Cob spam every wave, so the Cob rotation for this build 
involves Cobbing every other wave and just drawing out the zombies long 
enough to take care of the in between. These are usually the most lenient
builds as far as timing and difficulty is concerned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkAb8SfzlAo
I couldn’t find a link to his setup, but there are a lot of videos of this 
guy’s build.
-(By Shapes112)

Shapes112’s build is what introduced me to the flexibility of the 4 Cob and 
it shows the pacing of the game by these builds, which makes it very level 
and nonchalant. I believe Shapes112 requires consumable rotation and all 
sorts of other hijinks based on its asymmetry and his constant switching of
plants to fit his needs. He has definitely proven that 4 Cob can manage 
1,000 flags just like the rest of them. 
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://h.imagehost.org/download/0020/United_Field_A 
-(By Draco89123)

As inspiration from Shapes112’s build, I decided to optimize both sides, 
make it symmetrical again, and make it so the build can always deal with 
anything that comes out and not need to switch things out. You can still 
switch things out, but basal form can handle anything without any 
modification. This build requires no consumable (except Blover) and no 
Imitater card, so I just bring Puff Shroom and its Imitater because you 
can never go wrong with free delays.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/025/1/1/Antipode_by_halibabica.png
-(By Halibabica)

"Antipode Build." This build shows off the power of 4 cob, since it can 
afford to sustain double sided fire pea. Here is a direct explanation
from the author himself:

*********************************
"Gatling Pea and Torchwood - Its important to understand how exactly they 
work.  It’s obvious that the fire peas do double damage and that Gatlings 
spit them out very rapidly but they only hit the first zombie in the row, 
right?  WRONG.  When a fire pea collides with a normal zombie (normal 
being anything that isn’t made of metal), it has a fiery splash effect 
that damages all other zombies nearby the target. The fire counteracts the 
effects of snare, but only on the initial target. Zombies hit by the fire 
splash take one point of damage and remain slowed from snare.  This means 
that Gatlings shooting fire peas can hit multiple zombies at once, making 
them plausible for an Endless build.  But there are some zombies 
that can counter the Gatling + Torchwood combo which must be watched out 
for.  When fire peas collide with screen doors, ladders, catapults, and 
Zombonis, they lose their splash effect and only do damage to the metal 
target that took the hit.  This is the primary reason Gatlings and 
Torchwoods fail in Endless, and the reason why you can’t rely 
on them alone.  I’ll repeat that: YOU CAN’T RELY ON THEM ALONE. Gatlings 
and Torchwoods output tons and tons of damage; enough to drop a 
Giga-Gargantuar in about fifteen seconds.  But they cant stop everything, 
and if you’re going to use them, you need to have a plan for how to take 
out the metal zombies and everything behind the enemy front lines.  
Otherwise, they get backed up and you have a huge wave of zombies 
knocking on your door before you know it."
*********************************
============================================================================

============================================================================
Here's another unique 4 Cob:

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/zhy1013181/pic/item/6dc91af744aeffdd7609d7c0.jpg
-(By zhy1013181)

Spikerock overload for the lulz and very minimalist Gloom/Fume arrangement 
for the outer row.
============================================================================


=============
6+ Cob Builds
=============


============================================================================
Now that we’ve moved beyond just having 4 Cobs, the Cob rotation becomes 
extremely important for maintaining yourself in the later waves. These 
builds always rely on Cobs, even for simpler levels with the basic zombies 
because of the sacrifices they made to have such raw power. The Cob rotation
involves Cobbing whenever you have a pair up, but only one pair per wave. 
The idea is to Cob as late as possible. You can time this based on the 
Dolphins, but the best timer is to make it so the Cobs land right before the
Zomboni is about to get popped by the Spikerock. That is a good way to get 
in the groove, and if you maintain that for every level, nothing will give 
you trouble. Football zombies, Dance zombies, Jacks, and Gigas still always
pose a potential threat so they are the main priority of these builds.

To optimize Cob blast placement, target the inner row 7th column tile to hit
everything within that open area. It helps against pool zombies and is best 
for dealing with the entirety of a wave with just 2 shots. The next tactic,
like all the other Cob builds, is to stall the zombies with Puff Shrooms and
Freeze Shrooms if you need time for your Cobs to recharge.



http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/2668/endlessiamsooty.jpg
-(By Iamsooty)

This is the first successful build for Survival Endless. This defined what 
being a viable build meant and laid the foundation for all Cob builds out 
there. It established the idea of using Glooms in the back, using the 
orthodox 6 pool Gloom, and using Spikerocks and open space to buy enough 
time to kill everything with Cobs. The card selection suggests that it 
required the usual consumable rotation, Pumpkin replacement, and Spikerock
maintenance.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/557/endlessproz.jpg
-(By Proz)

This was the start of the 8 Cob builds. Why stop at 6? The outer rows were 
always more vulnerable because they weren’t getting Gloom protection. 
People answered that for the longest time with a butt load of Winter-Pults 
for the outer row, but then Proz decided to be really ballsy and put an 
extremely vulnerable Cob Cannon on the front lines and just made his Cob 
rotation constant. With 8 Cobs and proper timing, there is no gap in between
waves, so if done correctly, everything would be dead before they even 
reached the Cob Cannons. If a Cob Cannon does get eaten, or mistakes are 
made, then consumables are recommended to bring along as backup.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://i32.tinypic.com/11in8km.jpg
-(By Cob Cannon)

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8528/endlesstaikanatur.jpg
-(By Taikanataur)

http://g.imagehost.org/download/0335/Low_Maintenance_3
http://g.imagehost.org/download/0093/Low_Maintenance_2
-(By Draco89123)

Finally, the rest of these links are just tweaks of the Cob design. 
They’re designed for ease of use with Freeze Shrooms, or more elegant 
Umbrella Plant placement, or whatever. They essentially all follow the same 
Cob rotation. My builds at the end show that the 6 pool Gloom is entirely 
superfluous for these setups, and as a result, Jacks are no longer a 
concern, which makes Sun no longer a concern.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=656107460
-(By EL)

We have an interesting rearrangement of the last 2 cobs and the
Firepea answer in the outer row. This seems like a very balls-out build
and likely to progress quickly. I'm pretty sure ambush zombies will eat
your front Cobs too, so you must time it well enough where they don't
get a single bite. This is one of the more precision-oriented builds.

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/b3315bfc8923443808244d04.jpg
-(By EL)

A whimsical build that's surprisingly effective. It uses Kernel-Pults
that can help stop Gigas (I'd assume?). It requires good Cob timing to 
manage this on only 2 Twins, though. Just another demonstration of how OP 
Cobs can be.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/
%CE%D2%D2%AA%B7%A21000%B5%C4%CD%BC/pic/item/21dc4f3a06fa2adeb311c70d.jpg
-(By Unknown)

http://imgsrc.baidu.com/forum/pic/item/c41190efcc301fdccf1b3e4e.jpg
-(By Unknown)

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/
%C4%A2%B9%BD%B2%BB%CA%C7%D6%B2%CE%EF/pic/item/a6f79af05fbfb83cb17ec5f1.jpg
-(By Unknown)

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/f3dbe754ebb5ddf5b645aeae.jpg
-(By Unknown)

Here are some more slightly modified 8 Cob setups. You can see interesting 
answers to Imp/Digger zombies with the use of space in 8 Cobs. They are the 
least reliant on tile efficiency because all you really need are the Cobs, 
so you can get away with arrangements like these and be really creative.
============================================================================

============================================================================
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/%C6%BD%D4%A8/pic/item/e66b6d0b02cd9811b0351d54.jpg
-(By Unknown)

Another novel 8 Cob. No Bungee to protect yourself from the Catapults! This 
relies on precise timing, because Spikerocks can only take 9 shots before 
they die. It may sound like a lot now, but wait until 3-4 Catapults come out
per row.
============================================================================

============================================================================
For fun, here's 10 Cobs to show you how ridiculous it can get!

http://hiphotos.baidu.com/
kartinglutherking/pic/item/ad79af37e693f51e0b55a96f.jpg
-(By Unknown)
http://hiphotos.baidu.com/jiangxichu_1/pic/item/c08cf27e725b1e2028388a9d.jpg
-(By Unknown)
============================================================================

============================================================================
**If any of you know the names of authors for some of these, please email me 
so that I can give credit where credit is due. I apologize but Google 
translate was bugging out for some of the names.**
============================================================================


================
D.9 Zombie Stats
================


Special thanks to A Guy for his contributions.


Regular: 10
Conehead: 27
Buckethead: 65
Football: 80
Pole-Vaulting: 17
Newspaper: 8 hp Newspaper + 9 hp Zombie
Screen Door: 65 hp blocked, 10 hp penetrated
Michael Jackson: 17
Backup: 10
Ducky Tube: 10
Ducky Tube Conehead: 27
Ducky Tube Buckethead: 65
Snorkel: 10
Zomboni: 60
Bobsled: 14 hp bobsled, 10 hp per zombie
Dolphin: 17
Jack-in-the-Box: 17
Balloon: 1 for balloon, 10 for zombie
Digger: 15
Pogo: 17
Bungee: 23
Ladder: 25 hp for ladder, 17 for zombie
Catapult: 35
Imp: 3
Gargantuan: 150 (2 Consumables worth)
Giga-Gargantuan: 225 (3 consumables worth)
Yeti: 46


==============
D.O Conclusion
==============

Hopefully this guide will be complete enough for you to not only be able to 
play a build past 100 flags, but design a new build past 100 flags.

Any questions, comments, concerns, or if you have new ideas, new tactics, 
or just a willingness for PvZ discussion, you can email me.

emailisforidiots@gmail.com

Thanks imagehosting.com for your awesome image hosting. =P

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