Survival Mode Strategy Guide - Guide for Plants Vs. Zombies

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 | |                                                                       | |
 | |        GTM Build : An Expert Build For Survival Endless               | |
 | |        FAQ by FallEnd ([email protected])                            | |
 | |                                                                       | |
 | +=======================================================================+ |

 |  [001] Legal Matters and Rules of Use                                     |

 All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
 respective trademark and copyright holders.

 You may use the information presented here any way you like. However if you
 plan to post it somewhere or use a major portion of this FAQ in your own work,
 please send me an email first. The email is not actually required but I will
 definitely appreciate it. You don't have to wait for my reply or permission.
 Also please remember and obey these rules :
    <1> ABSOLUTELY NO financial gain involved.
    <2> Give credit where credit is due.
    <3> If you post this FAQ, don't alter it AT ALL.

 Please pay attention to those simple rules. If you are caught breaking it, I
 will have to blacklist you.

 Copyright 2009 Ferdi

 |  [002] Introduction & Contact Information                                 |

 This FAQ will give you an in-depth explanation about my currently strongest
 build for survival endless. Learn how to fully utilize it and it will survive
 for a long time.

 I haven't checked PvZ communities for quite some time. It is always possible
 that this build had already been introduced by someone else. At least it
 hasn't been mentioned on the FAQs page of PvZ. Rest assured that I designed
 the build presented here myself.

 I decided to write this FAQ as informative as possible so even a beginner may
 be able to learn a thing or two. If you plan to design your own build, you may
 find the theory behind this build interesting.

 If you have any question, I suggest that you post your question on GameFAQs
 message board first as it is likely that you will get your answer much faster
 that way. I don't have much free time online.

 You can contact me at ([email protected]) for questions, suggestions, etc.

 |  [003] Table of Contents                                                  |

    [001] Legal Matters and Rules of Use

    [002] Introduction & Contact Information

    [003] Table of Contents

    [004] Layout and Glossary

    [005] The GTM Build : Reason and Purpose
          [005a] The history behind it
          [005b] What a GTM build is
          [005c] Why I wrote this FAQ

    [006] The GTM Build : Basic Layout
          [006a] How to make it automatic : THE GOLDEN RULE

    [007] The GTM Build Type A : Classic GTM
          [007a] How to play : The weakness of Type A
          [007b] How to play : The strength of Type A

    [008] The GTM Build Type B : True GTM
          [008a] The fall of 6 Glooms
          [008b] Jacks : The true problem and answer
          [008c] Winter Melon : How to retain its full power
          [008d] Type B : step by step
          [008e] How to play : The weakness of Type B
          [008f] How to play : The strength of Type B
          [008g] How to play : Modification of Type B

    [009] The GTM Build Type G : Special GTM
          [009a] How to play : The weakness and strength of Type G

    [010] GTM vs. Zombies : Testing

    [011] Questions and Answers

    [012] Version History and Updates

    [013] Credits and Thanks

    [014] Closure

 |  [004] Layout and Glossary                                                |

 This is how I will describe various layouts in this FAQ :

             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
          #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #         Legend :
       O  #  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  #
       I  #  .  .  x  .  .  .  .  .  .  #         .  Open Land
       P  #  _  _  _  _  _  _  y  _  _  #         _  Open Water
       P  #  _  _  _  _  _  _  y  _  _  #         #  Edge of Map
       I  #  .  .  x  .  .  .  .  .  .  #         x  Spot I3
       O  #  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  #         y  Spot P7
          #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #

 The zombies come from the right side of the map. I will use # symbol only on
 occasions where I don't have to show the entire map.

 The map is symmetrical with 3 major rows and 9 columns. The rows are inner
 land row (I), outer land row (O), and pool row (P). The columns are numbered
 from left to right so when I write P7 Gloom, you will know that it is located
 on y spot.

 The GTM build itself is symmetrical; so when I write P7, it means both P7 on
 the top half of the map (top P7) and P7 on the bottom half of the map
 (bottom P7).

 I won't write the word "row", so inner Jacks means inner row Jacks. Also, most
 of the time I won't write a complete name of a plant nor a zombie, so Fume
 means Fume-shroom and Balloon means Balloon Zombie.

 These are some of the weird terms that I will use in this FAQ :

   <1> Automatic    : Able to take down both Zombonis and Footballers at the
                      same time.

   <2> Point damage : The amount of damage done to a zombie's hitpoints. For
                      example : pea inflicts one point damage and a fume cloud
                      inflicts one point damage to every zombie. When a regular
                      zombie has taken 10 point damage, he will die as he only
                      has 10 hitpoints (HP).

   <3> DPS          : Point damage per second. I will use Cyrad's Plants FAQ
                      for reference. Here are some of the most important ones :
                        Gloom        : 3 DPS
                        Fume         : 1 DPS
                        Gatling      : 4 DPS
                        Fire Gatling : 8 DPS (direct) 4 DPS (splash)   !!!
                        Winter Melon : 2 DPS (direct) 1 DPS (splash)
                        Melon        : 2 DPS (direct) 1 DPS (splash)

                        Fire Gatling is Gatling + Torchwood.

   <4> Tile damage  : The amount of damage a zombie take when he walk one
                      complete tile.

       #  #  #  #     G = Gloom. When a zombie walks from I9 to I8 (2 complete
       .  .  .  #     tiles), he takes 2 Gloom tile damage on I9 and 4 Gloom
       G  .  .  #     tile damage on I8 for a total of 6 Gloom tile damage.
       G  G  G  #

       #  #  #  #     W = Winter Melon. When a zombie walks from I9 to I8 he
       .  .  .  #     takes 1 Winter Melon tile damage on I9 and 1 Winter Melon
       W  .  .  #     tile damage on I8 for a total of 2 Winter Melon tile
       _  _  _  #     damage.

                      You can convert tile damage into point damage but the
                      resulting point damage will be different for every
                      zombie, depending on the amount of time they spend on the
                      corresponding tiles. For example : a Buckethead (which
                      walk slowly) will take much more point damage than a
                      Footballer (which run) from the same Gloom tile damage.

                      This concept is very important in this FAQ. If you don't
                      understand, please email me and I will try to explain it

   <5> Instant      : This refers to Cob from Cob Cannon, Squash, Cherry,
                      Jalapeno, Freeze, Doom, and their Imitator. Blover is not
                      an Instant.

   <6> Delay        : This refers to cheap, fast-charging plants. Delay is used
                      as a sacrifice to halt Gigas and Gargantuars for a short
                      while. Puff (it is free) and its Imitator are the best
                      Instant. Another examples are Sun-shroom, Pot, etc.

   <7> Wakeup       : This refers to a slight delay between a zombie entering a
                      plant's attack range and the plant actually attacks him.
                      It is random and almost all of the attacking plants have

   <8> AOE          : Attack that damages all of the zombies within its area of
                      effect. Fume cloud from Fume-shroom is a good example.

   <9> MJ           : Dancing Zombie, the one who summons Backup Dancer.

  <10> Dancer       : Backup Dancer. I write this so you won't confuse Dancer
                      with Dancing Zombie (MJ).

  <11> The Big Four : This refers to Giga, Gargantuar, Zomboni, and Footballer.
                      The big bad guys of the land based zombies.

 There are six important terms left. They are "Layered Defense", "Winter Box",
 explained later in the appropriate sections.

 |  [005] The GTM Build : Reason and Purpose                                 |

 ----- [005a] The history behind it -----

 It began when I was looking for a nice build to use in survival endless. What
 I wanted was a build that strike the best balance among these conditions
 (your opinion may differs) :

   <1> Automatic

       I always prefer a build that can deal with the majority of the zombies
       by itself. That will give my hands, my eyes, and my brain plenty of time
       to rest during playing.

       To do this, the build has to be able to deal at least with both Zombonis
       and Footballers at the same time (note that the Zombonis are immune to
       Winter Melon's slowing effect). Once a build can handle them; it should
       be able to handle the rest of the land based zombies. We won't discuss
       pool zombies since they are weak.

       The only exception is Gigas. I really doubt there exists a build that
       can take them down by itself (inner Gigas are still possible) and
       survive a significant number of flags.

       It should be clear that the build will be a 6 pool Glooms build.

   <2> Jack-resistant

       I hate hate HATE these buggers. Inner Jacks with their sudden explosion
       are THE game breaker for me.

       The only way to completely prevent this, unfortunately, is by abandoning
       the pool Glooms completely. This can be achieved by using an 8 Cob build
       (no less).

       But an 8 Cob build is absolutely a no go as it is not automatic. This is
       getting complicated...

       Please hear me out on this :
       >> With 6 pool Glooms build, there's NO way to stop the inner Jacks
          explosion completely. No matter how much DPS you pump out you can't
          stop it 100%. Sooner or later, it WILL happen. I have experienced it
          myself from time to time. <<

   <3> Strategy instead of luck

       What if you have to replace those pool Glooms while at the same time
       that damn Zomboni start to flatten your inner Glooms ?

       What if the Spikerocks get destroyed before you can replace them ?

       What if a Giga successfully break through your front defense ?

       What if this ? What if that ? What if...etc ?

       A good build should try to address these kind of situations as much as
       possible instead of playing dice with lady luck.

       This actually includes condition <2> above, but I separate it to stress
       its importance in a 6 pool Glooms build.

   <4> Less maintenance

       This holds the lowest priority. Still I will be glad if I don't have to
       handle Pumpkins, Spikerocks, Blovers, and Instants all at the same time.

  To make a long story short, I decided to design my own build from scratch.
  After a LOT of frustration, the GTM build was born.

 ----- [005b] What a GTM build is -----

 The GTM build is basically a 4 Cob build. It is designed to minimize the luck
 factor as much as possible while offering maximum protection.

 For me, this build is very interesting because it manages to break so many of
 those unwritten, golden rules of survival endless at the same time. If you
 search the internet for survival endless strategy; you will undoubtly come to
 a contact with those rules.

 I will give you some interesting examples :

   <1> Pea-based plants are completely useless

       It is true 95% but I will utilize the 5%. The strategy won't be apparent
       at first but once you figure it out, you will definitely appreciate
       their unmatched DPS that the Glooms can only dream of.

   <2> Put as many Winter Melon as possible

       Again, I will utilize the 5%. You will see just how much havoc a SINGLE
       Winter Melon can truly wreak.

   <3> Winter Melon reigns supreme while Melon-pult is useless

       Again... you know the rest...

 Those rules make a nice guideline; but it will do you no harm to experiment a
 little, right ?

 As for GTM itself, just read this FAQ and you will understand what it means.
 I can't truly tell you now as it will make you go WTF :D

 ----- [005c] Why I wrote this FAQ -----

 At first, I planned to post this build on GameFAQs message board. But it will
 take too much space there to fully explain this build. So I wrote this FAQ.

 |  [006] The GTM Build : Basic Layout                                       |

 Before we discuss the build, let me tell you that I test my builds at 100+
 flags (not starting from 0 flag). For example, when I say "tested it for 20
 flags", it really means that I tested it during flag 101-120, at the very

 GTM build has three major variants that will greatly affect the playing style.
 I call them Type Alpha (A), Beta (B), and Gamma (G). Every one of them shares
 a same basic layout explained below :

          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            [ ] Pumpkin

 I place only the absolutely necessary plants first :

   <1> Glooms on P9, P8, and P7 are required.

   <2> Glooms on I2 and O2 are required to kill Diggers and Imps. This solution
       required the least space available. If you use just a single Gloom (on
       either I2 or O2), it will put a heavy burden on the pumpkins and you
       will have to help the Gloom from time to time.

   <3> Umbrella on I1 is required. I choose I1 to save space on outer row
       (outer row is more vulnerable than inner row).

   <4> Twin Sunflower on P1 is required. It will get protection against Bungee
       from the Umbrella on I1. I also save some space on land row (land row is
       much more vulnerable than pool row). Pumpkin is not actually necessary.

   <5> Cobs on P2, P3, P4, and P5 are required.

   <6> Winter Melon on I3 is required. It will get some protection against
       Bungee (thanks to I2 and O2 Glooms). It is also located at the back area
       of your base for added protection. Please note that the distance between
       Winter Melon and the target doesn't seem to affect the time needed for
       the melon to hit the target. The only exception is when the target is
       really close; the melon will hit directly instead of being lobbed.

 Any other plants (extra Twin Sunflower/Winter Melon/Gloom/etc) can be added

 ----- [006a] How to make it automatic : THE GOLDEN RULE -----

 First, I will assume that the zombies are under a (somewhat) constant slowing
 effect from Winter Melon. The table below shows the probability of zombie's
 survival. I choose Gloom tile damage as basic unit since in most builds Glooms
 are the main damage dealer.

 |  Gloom tile dmg  | Giga   | Gargantuar  | Footballer  | Zomboni  | Other  |
 |        10        | Never  |  Never      |  Never      |  Never   | Never  |
 |         9        | Might  |  Never      |  Never      |  Never   | Never  |
 |         8        | May    |  Never      |  Never      |  Never   | Never  |
 |         7        | Always |  Never      |  Never      |  Never   | Never  |
 |         6        | Always |  Never      |  Might      |  Might   | Never  |
 |         5        | Always |  May        |  Always     |  Always  | Never  |

 I hope that's not too hard to understand. The data comes from my own
 observation and experience so there might be some mistakes there.

 If we work on the minimum requirement (based on the data above), we can make
 a build automatic against land based zombies by ensuring that both inner and
 outer rows can reliably inflict 6 Gloom tile damage plus some added DPS
 to every zombies. Zombonis and Footballers might still survive, but it
 shouldn't be too overwhelming unless in some special case. 7 Gloom tile damage
 will be even better, but we will work with 6 due to space constraint.

 Also note that a Giga is killable with as low as 6 Gloom tile damage, but
 you will have to use Instant (one is enough) or Delay (delay him twice to be
 safe) to help.

 Lower than 5 Gloom tile damage is not even worth mentioning. You will need
 some extra heavy DPS from Fire Gatlings just to make up for the lost damage.

 Remember that 6 Gloom tile damage is THE GOLDEN RULE in GTM build.

 Sometime we use other plants than Gloom to damage the zombies so we have to
 figure out how to convert their tile damage into Gloom tile damage. The
 formula is easy :

     X tile damage = (X DPS / Z DPS ) x Z tile damage

     So :  1 Fume tile damage = 1/3 Gloom tile damage
           1 Fire Gatling tile damage (direct) = 8/3 Gloom tile damage
                                      (splash) = 4/3 Gloom tile damage

     Further notes :
       <1> Winter Melon tile damage is irrelevant because we use them mainly
           for their slowing effect, not their DPS. We will ignore them but
           remember that they still contribute some extra damage.

       <2> Melon-pult tile damage is irrelevant. We won't use them as primary
           damage dealer anyway. Still, they contribute some extra damage.

       <3> Spikeweed and Spikerock tile damages are irrelevant. The GTM build
           doesn't utilize them. Also in most other builds they are used as
           buffers (against Zombonis, Gargantuars, and Gigas), not as damage
           dealers. However if you need them :
             1 Spikeweed tile damage = 1/3 Gloom tile damage
             1 Spikerock tile damage = 2/3 Gloom tile damage

       <4> Instants tile damage is irrelevant. I hope I don't have to explain

       <5> The rest of the attacking plants (for example : Cactus, Cattail,
           Starfruit, etc) have one or more major flaws in them that prevent
           them from being used effectively against land based zombies.

 Let's discuss the basic layout as an example :

          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            [ ] Pumpkin

 A zombie walking from I9 to I7 will take precisely 7 Gloom tile damage (2 on
 I9, 3 on I8 and 2 on I7). The danger comes when that Winter Melon on I3 get
 distracted too often. If this happen, a Footballer just might be able to reach
 I4 and start damaging the plant there (if there's any).

 As long as the Winter Melon on I3 doesn't get distracted too often, the inner
 row is already automatic.

 |  [007] The GTM Build Type A : Classic GTM                                 |

 Type A is the classic, old school version. It is very easy to understand and
 play. Unfortunately, it is also the weakest one and I can't guarantee its

 Type A is very very different from Type B. What is written here for Type A
 doesn't apply to Type B. Please keep that in mind.

 We will start from the basic layout and work on it step by step :

          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            [ ] Pumpkin

   <1> First, I want to be able to kill inner Jacks ASAP so I add a Fume on I6.
       This enable us to shoot the off-grid inner Jacks. The zombies are
       damageable before they even enter I9, there's a little space to the
       right of I9 (hence off-grid) where you can attack them.

         I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [F] .  .  .  #            F   Fume

   <2> I also want to be able to damage outer Jacks ASAP so I add a Fume on O5.
       Fume on O6 is not possible since it won't leave enough empty space on
       the outer row to pump out Gloom tile damage (on outer row) from the inner

         O  #   . [G] .  . [F] .  .  .  .  #
         I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [F] .  .  .  #

   <3> Now, we need to place a Gloom on the inner row in order to pump out as
       much damage as possible to the outer row.

       The answer, no matter how stupid it sounds, is on I7. But by doing this
       we need to recalculate the tile damage for inner row to check whether it
       provides at least 6 Gloom tile damage or not.

         O  #   . [G] .  . [F] .  .  .  .  #
         I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [F][G] .  .  #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G] #

       A zombie walking from I9 to I8 will take 2 Gloom tile damage on I9 and 4
       Gloom tile damage on I8. that's 6 Gloom tile damage in total. Now in
       order to keep inner row automatic, we will pump out some more DPS on I9
       and I8. A Winter Melon on I4 and a Fume on I5 seem to be the best

       Also, there's an empty spot on P6. I will place a cattail there to
       handle those Balloon completely.

         O  #   . [G] .  . [F] .  .  .  .  #            c   Cattail
         I  #  [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .  #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G] #

   <4> There's one more row to handle. We need to use O1, O3, and O4 to take
       care of the outer zombies.

       First, the Footballers have a nice chance to survive all the way to I6
       (due to their speed and hitpoints) and start biting the O5 pumpkin. So,
       we definitely need a Winter Melon on the outer row to reduce the damage
       on that poor O5 pumpkin. I will place the Winter Melon on O1.

       Next, I will place a Fume on both O3 and O4. Their AOE seems to be the
       best choice in order to damage as many zombies as possible.

               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            F   Fume
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
                                                     c   Cattail
                                                     [ ] Pumpkin

       The outer row is complete. Now we need to check its Gloom tile damage :
         >>  On O9, 1 Fume tile damage from O5 Fume.
         >>  On O8, 1 Gloom tile damage from I7 Gloom and 2 Fume tile damage
             from O5 and O4 Fume.
         >>  On O7, 1 Gloom tile damage from I7 Gloom and 3 Fume tile damage
             from O5, O4, and O3 Fume.
         >>  On O6, 1 Gloom tile damage from I7 Gloom and 3 Fume tile damage
             from O5, O4, and O3 Fume.

         >>  Total on the outer row = 3 Gloom tile damage + 9 Fume tile damage
                                    = 3 + (9/3) = 6 Gloom tile damage

   <5> The build is complete and able to inflict 6 Gloom tile damage on both
       inner and outer row. Now we have to test it. Let's take this build for a

          ..... testing .....
          ..... please wait .....

          Done ! Press any key to continue...

 ----- [007a] How to play : The weakness of Type A -----

 Well, it doesn't take too many time to quickly find its weak points. Actually,
 even without testing we can make an educated guess about them. I will list
 them along with the best way to deal with them (hopefully).

               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            F   Fume
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
                                                     c   Cattail
                                                     [ ] Pumpkin

 First, I7 Gloom is very vulnerable to certain zombies. Furthermore, if we lose
 it, we will lose 3 Gloom tile damage on the outer row. This is dangerous.

 Second, it is very vulnerable to Jacks. Inner Jack explosion is dangerous as
 always and outer Jack explosion can take out I7 Gloom sooner than you think.
 This build offers no concrete solution for this.

 Third, it is vulnerable to Bungee, most of the time the Bungees can survive
 and grab your plant if you don't do anything.

 Four, it only has 2 Twin Sunflower. Actually, it is enough for Pumpkins and
 Freezes. However, If you suffer some major loss, you might want some extra sun
 production. Bring Sunflower and plant on either I1 (Umbrella), P6 (Cattail),
 I5, or I4. Be careful with I5 and I4. Two extra Sunflowers can give you around
 500-1000 extra sun at the end of the round.

 These are the zombies to watch out for. If necessary, we will use I4 and I5 to
 help defend I7 Gloom.

   >> Zombonis
      Just keep I7 Gloom unpumpkined and they will be taken out automatically.
      Pumpkin is fat and the Zombonis only need to touch the I7 Pumpkin to
      flatten the I7 Gloom along with the Pumpkin. Don't worry, that
      unpumpkined I7 Gloom will survive, except against Footballers and

   >> Gigas
      Cob them first. Next, just keep delaying them using Puff and Imitator
      Puff (you need to be on your toes). If Delay is too much hassle, bring
      Freeze and Imitator Freeze instead. It is easier at the cost of some sun.
      Cob - Freeze - Cob - Freeze - ... the Gigas will soon fall.

   >> Footballers
      If there are no Zombonis around, Pumpkin the I7 Gloom and that's all. If
      there are Zombonis around you can't Pumpkin the I7 Gloom so you will need
      to pump out extra DPS. The initial Winter Melon on I4 and Fume on I5 is
      good but Melon on both spot is even better. To do this, just bring
      Melon-pult (not Winter Melon) along. It recharges fast so you can fill
      I4 and I5 with them quickly.

   >> Dancers
      Sometime MJs come moonwalking to I8 and summons the Dancers on I7. Those
      MJs will be killed quickly but never before they raise their hand to
      summon the Dancers. The Dancers attack I7 immediately and pose high
      threat to an unpumpkined I7 Gloom.
      This one is hard to handle since the Dancers attack VERY quickly. All
      those Glooms and Fumes around sometime can't kill them fast enough
      (before they take the first bite) due to wakeup time. The best solution
      will be Gatling on both I4 and I5.
      Gatling's attack is triggered by the presence of a zombie in front of
      them. So the Gatlings will pretty much be "turned on" during the whole
      flag. All those peas flying around might have a better chance in catching
      the Dancers.
      Gatling has a long recharging time so if you can't plant one, Fume will
      be the next best choice. Note that Gloom on P6 might be able to help out
      a bit but I won't count on them due to their wakeup time.

   >> Jacks
      Outer Jacks can explode and take out I7 Gloom. There's nothing we can do
      about it. Inner Jacks with their sudden explosion are also very
      dangerous. Just hope that I6 and I5 Fumes can take them out quickly.

   >> Bungees
      Use Freeze after they throw the target and just before they actually
      enter the stage. With added time to damage them, they should be killed
      quickly enough.

 So, considering Zombonis' threat, the modification needed for I7, I5 and I4
 are :
   - Zombonis    : unPumpkin I7 Gloom
   - Footballers : Melon on I5 and I4
   - Dancers     : Gatling on I5 and I4 or at least Fume on I5
   - Jacks       : Fume on I5

 They are listed in their order of priority, so if you face Footballers and
 Dancers both at the same time, use the solution for Footballers. Jacks hold
 the lowest priority because those other three pose a constant threat.

 Should you lose I7 Gloom, try to replace it immediately while buying some time
 with Instants. If you lose it for too long, sooner or later the outer row will
 fall (even much sooner if all of the Big Four are around).

 ----- [007b] How to play : The strength of Type A -----

 Type A has only one strong point, unfortunately. And that's that you don't
 need Spikeweeds or Spikerocks for the outer rows.

 This is Type A    :     O  #   .  . [F][F][F] .  .  .  .  #
                         I  #   .  .  .  .  .  . [G] .  .  #

 Compare with this :     O  #   .  . [F][F][F] .  .  .  .  #
                         I  #   .  .  .  . [G][G] .  .  .  #

 The second example is what I see in most other 4 Cob build. In theory, both
 provide 6 Gloom tile damage on the outer row. But in reality, the second
 example can't kill Zombonis fast enough before they reach I5 Pumpkin. Against
 both Zombonis and Footballers, the second example will usually require
 juggling with Fumes, Pumpkins and/or Spikerocks on I5. This is not the case
 with Type A.

 What gives ?

 The answers is because Type A has only 1 wakeup time (from I7 Gloom) compared
 to the second example's 2 wakeup times (from I6 and I5 Gloom). Because of that
 Type A is able to pump out just a littleee bit more damage on the outer row.
 This enables Type A to kill the Zombonis faster, just right before they reach
 I5 Pumpkin.

 Gee... even 1 wakeup time can cause all that hassle...

 That concludes our journey with Type A. Easy enough to understand, right ?
 Well, there's plenty of surprises waiting for you in Type B.

 |  [008] The GTM Build Type B : True GTM                                    |

 Type B is the superior one. It is much stronger than Type A. Unfortunately,
 it is also probably a rather difficult to understand. If you play Type B
 right, it can survive for a long time.

 Type B uses a very different approach than Type A. Instead of working on it
 right away, we will analyze a few things regarding a build's survivability
 first. Let's begin...

 ----- [008a] The fall of 6 Glooms -----

 A 6 pool Glooms build usually relies on Glooms and Fumes to provide the
 damage. Winter Melon is used mainly only for its slowing effect. Now, Glooms
 and Fumes have AOE damage capability so in theory, they will give the same
 damage to whether 1 zombie or 100000 zombies in their area of effect. Once you
 can kill a zombie, you should be able to kill that type of zombie no matter
 how many they are on screen.

 In reality, a 6 pool Glooms build will face an increasing difficulty as the
 number of the zombies piles up. That build's power and effectiveness is
 clearly decreasing as the time goes by.

 So why does it happen despite all of those AOE attacks ?

 Can you see it ? Once your build is able to (somewhat) prevent it from
 happening, it should be able to maintain its effectiveness longer and increase
 its chance of survival significantly. That's what Type B tries to do.

 From my observation, there are two major cause to that problem. I call them
 DISASTER ONE and DISASTER TWO. I will explain them along with my suggested
 method to deal with them.

 ----- [008b] Jacks : The true problem and answer -----

 Inner Jack is the main cause of downfall in many builds. But Jack himself is
 not the real problem. Confused ? We will go slowly and start by analyzing what
 happens when Inner Jack explode. Take a look at Type A :

               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            F   Fume
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
               [u][G][W][W][F][F][G] .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
               [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
                                                     c   Cattail
                                                     [ ] Pumpkin

 Let's assume an attacking wave of Jacks + Zombonis + Footballers. When a Jack
 suddenly explode on I9, usually this chain of events will happen :

 <1> Jack explodes, taking out I9 and I8 Glooms with him. Even if you replace
     one of the Glooms (say I8 Gloom), you will still lose 2 Glooms tile damage
     on I9 and I8 while waiting for the Gloom to fully recharge.

         O  #  [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .  #
         I  #  [u][G][W][W][F][F] G  .  .  #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G] _  #

 <2> Since you only have 4 Gloom tile damage on the inner row, there's a
     really good chance that a Zomboni may survive and flatten I7 Gloom (with
     or without Pumpkin). Instants may help you prevent this for a while, but
     you can't rely on them to bail you out every time.

         O  #  [W][G][F][F][F] .  .  .  .  #
         I  #  [u][G][W][W][F][F] .  .  .  #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G] _  #

 <3> Now you lose 1 Gloom tile damage on the inner row and 3 Gloom tile damage
     on the outer row. This is TROUBLE. With all of those lost damages, the
     zombies are able to pierce your defense even deeper now, especially the
     outer row.

         O  #  [W][G][F][F][F] <---- .  .  #        <---- Zombies' attack
         I  #  [u][G][W][W][F][F] <---- .  #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G] _  #

 <4> GAME OVER. Please insert coin(s) to continue...

 Can you figure it out ? This brings us to DISASTER ONE :

 DISASTER ONE : You only have one line of defense. When enough of your key
                plants are taken out, your build starts to crumble.

 Jacks fully exploit DISASTER ONE to defeat you. As you can see from the above
 example, Jack initiates a chain of event that takes out your key plants one by
 one (in this case I9, I8, and I7 Glooms).

    How do we prevent the Jack incident ???

 mmm, wrong question... as I already told you before : with 6 pool Glooms build
 there's NO way to prevent Jacks incident 100%. The right question is :

    What to do after Jack incident happens ???

 "Buy time with Instants and repair the damages ASAP" ...wrong answer...
 There's a much better answer and that answer will also answer DISASTER ONE :

 CURE ONE : You have to design your build so it will still function at (near)
            full capacity even after your key plants are taken out. Remember
            the 6 Gloom tile damage rule. ---> Layered Defense

 Do you understand ? If your build can still provide 6 Gloom tile damage on
 both land row even after a Jack incident, it has a much greater chance to
 recover and survive. But how do we do that ?

 The only way to do that is by making multiple lines of defense. This brings us
 to the concept of Layered Defense. Take a look at this example :

         I  #   .  .  .  . [F][F][G] .  .  #
         P  #   .  .  .  .  . [G][G][G][G] #

 Inner row provides 6 Gloom tile damage. Now, what will happen when a zombie
 takes out I7 Gloom ?

         I  #   .  .  .  . [F][F] .  .  .  #
         P  #   .  .  .  .  . [G][G][G][G] #

 Inner row will provide 8 Gloom tile damage now. Let's assume a zombie gets
 lucky and takes out I6 Fume.

         I  #   .  .  .  . [F] .  .  .  .  #
         P  #   .  .  .  .  . [G][G][G][G] #

 Inner row will provide 10 Gloom tile damage now. Do you see ? Even if the
 zombies take out I7 Gloom (which is a key plant) and I6 Fume, the inner row
 will still be able to dish out at least 6 Gloom tile damage. The I7 Gloom
 and I6 Fume act as buffers for inner row.

 For inner row, it is not that difficult to design a Layered Defense because
 we can rely on pool Glooms to provide damage. Pool Glooms (except I9, I8, and
 perhaps I7 which are vulnerable to inner Jack) in general are very safe. Even
 if we take Jack incident into account, it is still not too difficult. Let's
 take a look :

         I  #   .  .  .  . [F][F][G] .  .  #
         P  #   .  .  .  .  . [G][G][G][G] #

 What do we do if, say, a Jack explodes and takes out both I9 and I8 Gloom ?
 First, we replace I8 Gloom and then take out I7 Gloom (or let the zombies take
 it out).

         I  #   .  .  .  . [F][F] .  .  .  #
         P  #   .  .  .  .  . [G][G][G] .  #

 Inner row will still provide 6 Gloom tile damage now, without having to
 replace BOTH I9 and I8 Glooms. If required, we can place Gloom on P5, P4...P1
 (although that will be crazy) to strengthen inner row's Layered Defense

 The best solution for Jacks is a preparation through Layered Defense !

 Now, how do we handle the outer row ? As you can see from type A, outer row
 depends greatly on I7 Gloom to provide damage. As I7 Gloom is very vulnerable,
 it becomes outer row's weakness. This, unfortunately, holds true with the
 majority of 6 pool Gloom build that depends too much on inner Glooms. Those
 inner Glooms will become outer row's weakness.

 We can't rely on inner row (unlike pool row) so outer row should depend as
 less as possible on the inner row. Since outer row has to provide a majority
 of its own damage, there's only one choice for it : FIRE GATLING.

 Yes, that's right. No other plant can reasonably provide 6 Gloom tile damage
 using the space available on the outer row.
           1 Fire Gatling tile damage (direct) = 8/3 Gloom tile damage
           6 Gloom tile damage = 6 x (3/8) Fire Gatling tile damage (direct)
                               = 2.25 Fire Gatling tile damage (direct)

 We will need at least 3 Fire Gatling (3 Gatling + 1 Torchwood). In theory it
 is possible to use 1 Fire Gatling and 3 empty tiles to deal the same damage.
 However due to Gatling's single target nature, we will use 3 Fire Gatling and
 1 empty space instead. So remember, we can use 1 tile only for Fire Gatling,
 no more.

         O #  [L][G][L][L][D] z1 .  z2 .  #        L  Gatling
                                                   D  Torchwood

 Fire Gatling has a very small AOE damage, dealing half damage to the zombies
 extremely close to its target. However, half is enough. 3 Fire Gatling will
 deal (3 x (6/2.25))/2 = 4 Gloom tile damage by their AOE damage. That's very
 respectable and you can't just ignore it.

 As you can see from the layout above, as long as your Gatlings and Torchwoods
 survive, outer row provides at least 6 Gloom tile damage on O6. Furthermore,
 should the need arise, we can use O2 for Gatling instead of Gloom (but pay
 extra attention to Diggers and Imps). We will use any extra empty space on
 outer row as buffer for Layered Defense.

 The question arise of how to deal with the zombies behind Fire Gatling's
 target (outside its AOE). For example : if there's Gargantuar on z1 and
 Footballer on z2, the Gargantuar will become a meat shield while the
 Footballer will quickly closing on I6 carrying his full HP along.

 There are two answers. First, we can damage z2 using inner Gloom. However this
 answer defeats the purpose of Layered Defense earlier so we will abandon it.
 The only answer left now (no matter how crazy it sounds) is slowing down z2.

 Note that we can't slow down Fire Gatling's target on z1. Its fire peas negate
 the slowing effect (on the target ONLY, its splash damage doesn't negate
 slowing effect). However slowing z1 down is rather unnecessary. We will just
 kill it ASAP. 3 Fire Gatlings actually dish out (6/2.25) x 3 = 8 Gloom tile
 damage, it will be enough to kill z1 (except Giga) by itself. It is z2 that we
 really need to slow down.

 And just how do we slow z2 down ? Clearly a Winter Melon on outer row won't do
 the job. It will just get distracted by z1. Well, don't fret yet, there's a
 way to slow z2 down.

 For this, we have to utilize a fact very rarely used in other builds. That's
 the fact that Winter Melon slowing effect affects the row ABOVE and BELOW its
 point of impact.

 We will use I3 Winter Melon to slow z2 down...yes that's true...

         O #  [L][G][L][L][D] z1 .  z2 .  #        L  Gatling
         I #   . [G][W] .  .  .  .  i  .  #        D  Torchwood
                                                   i  Point of Impact

 If we can get I3 Winter Melon to hit i spot, we can slow z2 down. I3 Winter
 Melon is also very safe (watch out for Bungee though) so it is reliable. But
 is there a way to REALLY do this ?

 Yes, there's a way ... and that will bring us to DISASTER TWO and CURE TWO...

 ----- [008c] Winter Melon : How to retain its full power -----

 Consider this example :

         I #   .  . [W] .  . [F] .  .  .   #
         P #   _  _  _  _  _  _ [G][G][G]  #

 Let's assume an increasing number of Footballers assault inner row non stop.
 Inner row provides 7 Gloom tile damage, enough to kill Footballers
 automatically. But as the number of Footballers grows, the I3 Winter Melon
 will start to get distracted by surviving Footballers on I7. More Footballers
 will come undisturbed by the slowing effect (except on I7) with some remaining
 HP. In turn, they will distract I3 Winter Melon even more and allow even more
 Footballers come undisturbed by the slowing effect. This is a disastrous cycle
 of events. Those Footballers will put an increasing pressure on I6 Pumpkin and
 will be able to pierce it eventually.

 That will happen despite the 7 Gloom tile damage provided. Remember that those
 Gloom tile damage requirements I wrote earlier holds true only under a
 (somewhat) constant slowing effect.

 That's our DISASTER TWO.

 DISASTER TWO : Winter Melon slowing effect's effectiveness starts to decline
                as the number of flags grows. More and more zombies distract
                it, allowing more and more zombies behind them go undisturbed.

 You might think that DISASTER TWO is inevitable but it is not. There's a way
 to keep Winter Melon retains its effectiveness even against an increasing
 number of zombies.

 You probably already know that Winter Melon slowing effect affects a roughly
 3x3 tile area. This is the key and we will utilize it against DISASTER TWO.

 CURE TWO : Confine the zombies in the smallest possible area. If it is small
            enough, Winter Melon can affect roughly the entire area due to its
            3x3 slowing area; no matter where its point of impact is.
            ---> Winter Box

 Let explain it with example :

         O #   L  L  L  D  .  . [p] .  .   #        L   Gatling
         I #   .  .  W  .  .  . [G] .  .   #        D   Torchwood
         P #   _  _  _  _  _  _ [G][G][G]  #        p   Any plant

 Suppose we can confine the zombies on O9, O8, I9, and I8. Now no matter where
 I3 Winter Melon hit, be it I9 or I8, its slowing effect will always affect O9,
 O8, I9, and I8 due to its 3x3 slowing area. No matter how many times inner
 zombies distract it, it will do its job on O9, O8, I9, and I8. In fact, that
 single I3 Winter Melon will slow down the entire land based zombies that come
 attacking from the right.

 We can achieve this by ensuring that both O9-O8 and I9-I8 receive at least 6
 Gloom tile damage. The layout above suggests that both inner and outer row
 receive 6 Gloom tile damage already. Unfortunately, when I tested it, it was
 too unreliable. Zombonis (remember, unaffected by slowing effect) frequently
 flatten O7. A Giga is a nightmare to handle. Even a Ladder can survive and
 place his ladder on O7. This is because Fire Gatling's AOE area is very small.
 Fire peas also negates slowing effect and makes Giga more dangerous as he
 moves with normal speed on O9 and O8. We have less time to Cob/Instant that
 normal speed Giga.

 However, if we scale it back just one tile on the outer row, it will work
 really well. This is how we will combat DISASTER TWO :

         O #   L  L  L  D  . [p] z1 .  z2  #        L   Gatling
         I #   .  . [W] .  . [G][G] .  .   #        D   Torchwood
         P #   _  _  _  _  _  _ [G][G][G]  #        p   Any plant

 Do you remember our discussion about how to slow z2 down for the Gatling ?
 That's how. No matter where I3 Winter Melon hits the inner zombies, O9 and O8
 will be affected by the slowing effect. As a bonus, if I3 Winter Melon hits
 I8, O7 will be affected too. Now, those Gatlings will be busy killing z1 while
 I3 Winter Melon will slow z2 down constantly... a match made in heaven ...

 That confinement area (I9, I8, O9, O8, O7) is what I call the Winter Box.

 During my testing I found that that Winter Box is not 100% perfect. However
 it is easy enough to handle. First, Zombonis might be able to flatten O6 from
 time to time. This happens rarely enough though that you can Pumpkin O6
 reliably. Second, Ladders might survive and place their ladder on O6. However
 just place a Gloom on I6 or O6 and they will have zero chance.

 With a Winter Box, you will only need a total of TWO Winter Melons to slow
 down the majority of the attacking zombies. I have seen builds utilizing 8+
 Winter Melons and I have got to say that my 2 Winter Melons are far more
 powerful (regarding slowing effect not DPS).

 Utilize a Winter Box to keep your Winter Melon at full power !

 Since zombies have less area to wander in a Winter Box, they will sometime
 come extremely close to your base. You will need some extra attention and
 prepare for the worst. This calls for a more stressed gameplay (compared to
 a more scaled back base with more relaxed gameplay). However, design your base
 carefully and you will have your Layered Defense to back you up in case of
 something awful happens.

 One Winter Melon that does its job properly is more useful than 10 Winter
 Melons that are easily distracted. Maintain your Winter Box as best as
 possible. It is a very POWERFUL ally.

 You have read about DISASTERs and their CUREs. Now, armed with the knowledge
 of Layered Defense and Winter Box, let's design Type B.

----- [008d] Type B : step by step -----

 We will start from the basic layout and work on it step by step :

          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            u   Umbrella
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           W   Winter Melon
         [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
         [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .            cc  Cob Cannon
          . [G] .  .  .  .  .  .  .            [ ] Pumpkin

   <1> First, we will make a Winter Box. To do this, we need to place a plant
       on both I7 and O6. For I7, we will use a Gloom so I9 and I8 can provide
       6 Gloom tile damage as well. Please note that although both Type A and B
       use I7 Gloom, the main reason for it is very different. We will consider
       what to put on O6 later.

         O  #   . [G] .  .  . [p] .  .  .   #        p   any plant
         I  #  [u][G][W] .  .  . [G] .  .   #
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]  #

   <2> Inner row provides 6 Gloom tile damage already. Now we need to place 3
       Fire Gatling on the outer row so it can provide at least 6 Gloom tile
       damage as well. Fortunately, there's enough place on the outer row for
       precisely 3 Fire Gatlings (O5, O4, O3, and O1) with O6 for some added
       damage. A Fume on O6 seems to be the best choice for some extra damage.
       O6 Fume also acts as a buffer. Don't forget that we also need a Gloom
       on I6 to take care of any surviving Ladders on O7.

         O  #  [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .   #        L   Gatling
         I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [G][G] .  .   #        D   Torchwood
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]  #

   <3> A Winter Box is complete and both inner and outer row provide 6 Gloom
       tile damage. Now we will check our Layered Defense:

         -  O6 acts as a buffer for outer row. If it gets taken out, O9-O6
            still provides at least 6 Gloom tile damage from 3 Fire Gatlings.

              O  #  [L][G][L][L][D] .  .  .  .   #

         -  I7 acts as a buffer for inner row. If it gets taken out, I9-I7
            still provides 8 Gloom tile damage from P9, P8, P7, and I6.

              I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [G] .  .  .   #
              P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]  #

         -  I6 also acts as a buffer as long as the pool Glooms stay intact. If
            both I7 and I6 get taken out, I9-I6 still provides 8 Gloom tile
            damage from the pool Glooms.

              I  #  [u][G][W] .  .  .  .  .  .   #
              P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G][G]  #

         -  P9 and P8 act as buffers against Jacks. If both get taken out by a
            Jack explosion, replace P8 and let I7 get taken out. That way,
            I9-I7 still provides 6 Gloom tile damage.

              I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [G] .  .  .   #
              P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc _ [G][G] _   #

       Amazing, isn't it ? Layered Defense and Winter Box work together so
       smoothly. Now, we will discuss P6. You can place a Gloom here to add
       even more buffer for inner row and Jacks. Or you can place a Cattail
       here to handle Balloons completely. Your choice... I usually choose

         O  #  [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .   #        L   Gatling
         I  #  [u][G][W] .  . [G][G] .  .   #        D   Torchwood
         P  #  [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]  #        c   Cattail

   <4> Only I5 and I4 left. We will use them to help defend I7 Gloom. A Fume on
       I5 and a Winter Melon on I4 will provide extra damage on I9 and I8 (this
       is similar to Type A). As an alternative you can use them for extra
       buffer, just utilize Gloom properly. I prefer the first use however.

               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .            L   Gatling
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .            D   Torchwood
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .
               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .

   <5> The build is complete. Both land rows provide at least 6 Gloom tile
       damage with Layered Defense and Winter Box protecting you. Now we have
       to test it. Let's take this build for a spin.

          ..... testing .....
          ..... please wait .....

          Done ! Press any key to continue...

 ----- [008e] How to play : The weakness of Type B -----

 Type B has several weakness similar to Type A although they are not, in any
 way, game breaking. I will recap them for you :

               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .            L   Gatling
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .            D   Torchwood
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .
               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .

 First, to defend I7 Gloom as long as possible (in order of priority) :
   - Zombonis    : unPumpkin I7 Gloom
   - Footballers : Melon on I5 and I4
   - Dancers     : Gatling on I5 and I4 or at least Fume on I5
 This is similar to Type A. Don't worry too much. I7 Gloom's main use IS NOT
 for damage but for maintaining your Winter Box while acting as a buffer. You
 can afford to lose it for a long time.

 Second, other zombies to watch out for :
   - Jacks       : Fume on I5 (lower priority than 3 zombies above)
   - Gigas       : Cob - Freeze - Cob - Freeze - ...
   - Bungee      : Freeze just before they actually enter the stage
 Also, Zombonis might be able to flatten O6 from time to time. This happens
 rarely enough though that you can Pumpkin O6 reliably. Also don't worry too
 much, O6 Fume is similar to I7 Gloom above in function.

 Third, should your Winter Box get heavily compromised, use Freeze to
 compensate while reconstructing it. This happens VERY VERY rarely and even if
 things get very rough, remember that your Layered Defense is still there.
 Use 6 Gloom tile damage rule and you Layered Defense will protect you.

 Fourth, use I1 (Umbrella), P6 (Cattail), I5, or I4 if you need extra sun.
 Be careful with I5 and I4.

 If you compare Type A and Type B, you will see that Type B has one less Fume
 on the inner row (I6, Type A has Fume, B has Gloom). During my testing I
 found out that that caused an insignificant difference on I9 and I8. Type B
 can handle inner zombies as well as Type A can. If you remember, even in
 Type A, I6 Fume is used mainly to help kill inner Jack ASAP not as primary
 damage dealer.

 I need to stress one more important thing. I7 Gloom and O6 Fume are, more or
 less, expendable and I mean it (very very unlike Type A). Don't burden
 yourself too much with defending/replacing them. They will be taken out
 eventually (O6 by Zombonis usually). Don't use Pumpkin for them if they are
 needed someplace else. Don't waste too much sun on them if they keeps getting
 taken out and wait for an easier wave. Without I7 and O6, Type B is still
 automatic; the only zombies it can't kill by itself are Gigas and Bungee.

 I7 and O6 exist, essentially, in order to maintain your Winter Box as small as
 possible. I also put them as close as possible to the zombies so you will get
 more buffers for Layered Defense. Even without them, your Winter Box is still
 there, only larger and therefore, weaker. However, those 4 Cobs and Freeze are
 more than enough to cover for that.

 Don't stress yourself too much with defending/replacing I7 Gloom and O6 Fume !

 ----- [008f] How to play : The strength of Type B -----

 Type B is strong and resilient. It uses every trick I can offer to fight
 DISASTER ONE and TWO. To defeat Type B, the zombies will have to weaken your
 Layered Defense and Winter Box severely first. Although that might happen, it
 still has a very good chance of survival compared to some of the other builds
 I saw. As long as you play it right, it will retain its power after
 1, 10, 100, 1000, or even 10000 flags.

 If you read my explanation about Type B carefully, you will understand its
 strength by yourself. If you still need me to list its strength manually, just
 send me an email, okay ?

 ----- [008g] How to play : Modification of Type B -----

 The Type B I described above, in my opinion, has the best balance between
 power and gameplay. It offers good protection without making the gameplay
 overly stressed or complicated for you.

 Your opinion, as always, may vary so feel free to modify it to suit your need.
 Remember that that will be some tradeoffs, so you better be familiar with the
 strategies behind Type B in order not to make disadvantageous tradeoffs.

               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .            L   Gatling
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .            D   Torchwood
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [t] cc cc cc cc[c][G][G][G]
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .
               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .

 Replaceable plants are I2 OR O2, O6, I4, I5, I7, and P6. Also remember that
 you can afford to lose O6 (you can replace I6 too) and I7 (you can replace
 I4 and I5 too) completely. Some example :
   <1> Gloom on P6 as another buffer. It might help you catch I7 Dancers too.
       Bring Blover for Balloons.
   <2> Gatling on O2 for added DPS. Watch out for Diggers and Imps.
   <3> Gatling on O5 and Torchwood on O6 for even more DPS. Don't lose O6
       Torchwood though.
   <4> Twin Sunflower on I4. Move the Cobs to the left. Then 4 (!!!) Gold
       Magnets on P5 and P6 for some serious cash machine. Bring Blover for

               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .            L   Gatling
               [u][G][W][t][F][G][G] .  .            D   Torchwood
                cc cc cc cc[U][U][G][G][G]           t   Twin Sunflower
                cc cc cc cc[U][U][G][G][G]           U   Gold Magnet
               [u][G][W][t][F][G][G] .  .
               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .

   <5> Take out I7 and O6. Twin Sunflower on I4. This will give you a more
       relaxed gameplay.
   <6> Spikerocks as extra buffers.
   <7> 3/2/1/0 Cob variant. Plant extra Twin Sunflower and bring more Instants.
   <8> ...etc... use your imagination.

 There's one note regarding modification. In my opinion, pool Winter Melons
 are almost useless in Type B. Their extra DPS and slowing effect on pool row
 is unnecessary. They give slowing effect for I9 too most of the time but this
 is unnecessary as well (because of a Winter Box, I9 and I8 will receive
 constant slowing effect from I3 Winter Melon already). They might have some
 use if you scale back your base though.

 I didn't discuss any modification for Type A. This is because Type A is weak;
 modification may just make it even weaker. Feel free to modify Type A though,
 its replaceable plants are the same as Type B with one exception, you can't
 replace Type A's I7 Gloom.

 |  [009] The GTM Build Type G : Special GTM                                 |

 This has been a long read, hasn't it ? Don't worry, this one will be short :D

 Type G, although it has a fancy name, is basically just a Cob-less variant of
 type B. Yes it is that simple. I specifically mention Type G though, because
 it has a major advantage rarely seen in other builds for Cob-less playing.

 As you can see from Type B above, no MAJOR modification required. You can
 replace those Cobs with whatever you want and Type G will function similarly
 to Type B. No major modification to outer, inner, or pool row really is
 required. Remember to take care of your Winter Box and bring more Instants

 I would recommend that you at least :
    -  Plant 2 or more Twin Sunflowers.
    -  Plant 1 Umbrella to protect those Twin Sunflowers.
    -  Leave 1 or more empty space for Freeze. Use or store your Freeze there.

 This is an example of Type G :

               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .            u   Umbrella
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .            t   Twin Sunflower
               [t][t] l [u][c][G][G][G][G]           l   Lilypad
               [t][t] l [t][c][G][G][G][G]
               [u][G][W][W][F][G][G] .  .
               [L][G][L][L][D][F] .  .  .

 3 extra Twin Sunflowers (5 in total), 1 Umbrella to protect them, 2 pool
 Glooms for Layered Defense, and 2 empty space for Freeze. Feel free to use
 your own design.

 If you face Gigas, bring as many Instant as possible (see next subsection if
 you need recommendation) and some Delays (even bring non-free Delays if
    -  Inner Gigas : 1 Instant or 1-2 Delays will kill them.
    -  Outer Gigas : 2 Instant or several Delays will kill them.
 I can't recommend Freeze enough. It targets all Gigas on screen, extremely
 useful. Also, be careful when using Delay against Fire Gatling's target
 (the one without slowing). I recommend Delays for inner Gigas only. Just use
 Instants for outer Gigas.

 ----- [009a] How to play : The weakness and strength of Type G -----

 Please read Type B's sections for this. What is written there applies here as
 well. I will write info that applies to Type G only.

   <1> Winter Box increases your Instants' usefulness
       This is a major advantage rarely seen in other builds. Since you confine
       the zombies in a small Winter Box area, your Instants will hit much more
       zombies within their AOE. This applies primarily to Cherry. Squash might
       also benefits from this a little.

       Cherry on I8 will hit all outer, inner, and pool zombies attacking from
       the right (except off-grid ones). As a bonus, I8 will always be
       available for Cherry bombing since Zombonis will be killed before the
       ice trail can covers I8. However, all of this hold true as long as your
       I7 Gloom survive.

       As you can see, this applies to Type B as well; but this effect is much
       more useful in Type G due to a lack of Cobs.

   <2> How to kill Gigas

       Just use your Instants cleverly and they will die. I will give you an
       example :
          - Top outer Gigas            : O7 Jalapeno
          - Top inner Gigas            : I8 Delay
          - Bottom inner & outer Gigas : I8 Cherry
       Alternate between Freeze and Imitator Freeze while you are at it and use
       Squash and/or more Delays to hunt down any surviving Gigas.

       I fully realize that Type G (against Gigas) gives you a more stressed
       gameplay than usual. That's the prize you have to pay for Layered
       Defense and Winter Box. Is it a fair tradeoff ? You be the judge...

 That's all for Type G. Whewww...

 |  [010] GTM vs. Zombies : Testing                                          |

 The theory I wrote here might make it sound easy to design a GTM build. In
 reality, it took A LOT OF playing and testing before I came up with these
 stable builds you see here.

 When I finally designed these stable builds, I was already sick and tired with
 PvZ. The slightest sound of PvZ's music was enough to make me looking for the
 mute button immediately.

 I have never reached any record breaking number of flags. My highest record
 for the stable Type B you see here is around 200 (still going strong).
 Unfortunately, at that time (and even now) I didn't have any more drive to
 play PvZ.

 Now this might interest you. While testing the stable builds, I saw that the
 builds flowed very smoothly. Every strategy, every plant's placement, Layered
 Defense, Winter Box, etc fell into their places very perfectly. It was like
 watching pieces of jigsaw puzzle assembling themselves. The strategies work so
 well together you just have to admire its beauty. It works, trust me.

 Nevertheless, there will be people who demand proof...

 For this, I really have to thank A_Dry_Bone of GameFAQs message board.
 He/she posted this screenshot in a thread titled "Survival Endless 2000" :

 In case that link doesn't work, here's the build :

               [L][L][L][L][D] +  +  .  .            L   Gatling
               [u][G][.][W][.][.] .  .  .            D   Torchwood
               [t][G][t] c [W][_][G][G][G]           +   Spikerock
               [t][t][t] c [t][t][G][G][G]           u   Umbrella
               [u][G][.][W][W][G] .  .  .            G   Gloom
               [W][G][W][F] F  F  .  .  .            W   Winter Melon
                                                     .   Empty land space
                                                     _   Empty pool space
               Flags : 2,128                         t   Twin Sunflower
                                                     c   Cattail
                                                     F   Fume

 Those empty spaces are used to store Freeze. There are 6 Freezes in the

 As you can see, the top half of that build employs a basic version of Type G.
 As it survives at least 2,128 flags; I have no doubt that Type B and Type G
 can at least do the same.

 This is the thread's link for that screenshot :

 Thank you, A_Dry_Bone, you really help me here.

 |  [011] Questions and Answers                                              |

 Q : What does GTM mean ?

 A : GTM stands for both :

        >> Gatling - Torchwood - Melon-pult (in order of their importance) and

        >> Gloom on sevenTh coluMn.

     They are the defining characteristics of my builds

 Q : What is the real use of Melon-pult ?

 A : Since they are both powerful and fast-charging, you can fill I4 and I5
     with them quickly and get some nice extra DPS. You can use that to defend
     I7 Gloom, especially against Footballers.

 Q : Why do you include Type A if it is weak ?

 A : First, I want to show at least one classic (Gloom - Fume - Winter Melon)
     solution. Second, Type A doesn't use Spikerock, so it might interest you.

 Q : Can I use Gatling for inner row too ?

 A : In theory, yes. You will have to use Gatlings for both land rows though.
     (inner Gatlings with outer Glooms just won't work). This is an example :

               [L][G][L][L][D] .  .  .  .            G   Gloom
               [L][u][L][W][L][D] .  .  .            L   Gatling
               [t] cc cc cc cc[W][G][G] _            D   Torchwood
               [t] cc cc cc cc[W][G][G] _            W   Winter Melon
               [L][u][L][W][L][D] .  .  .            u   Umbrella
               [L][G][L][L][D] .  .  .  .            t   Twin Sunflower

     There's NO possible modification for this one. You can swap Umbrella,
     Winter Melon, and Twin Sunflower placement but that's it.
        <1> There's no inner Gloom to help kill outer Ladders, you will need
            to abandon O6.
        <2> Umbrella on I2 for maximum protection area.
        <3> Winter Melon on I4 so it won't get distracted by Imps too much.
        <4> Winter Melon on P6 to help freeze inner zombies.
        <5> P7 Gloom to help kill inner Ladders and Zombonis.
        <6> P8 Gloom as buffers.

     The Winter Box is an absolute must. Defend it as best as possible. Without
     it, your Torchwoods will come under heavy attack from the Big Four and
     those Torchwoods are VITAL. I have tried to make a smaller Winter Box but
     unfortunately the one above is the best that I can come up with.

     In practice, this build is fun while it lasts. Once the zombies can take
     out your Torchwoods constantly, things start to get ugly.

     A candidate for Type O (Omega) :) ?

 |  [012] Version History and Updates                                        |

 07/Nov/2009   : Initial version complete. v1.00

 This is my planned updates. However since I'm tired with PvZ, I won't add them
 unless requested to do so.
    - More screenshots.
    - Easier Instants' sequence of use for Type G.
    - Type O (see "[011] Questions and Answers")
    - Your suggestions here

 |  [013] Credits and Thanks                                                 |

 My utmost thanks and gratitudes to :

    - Jeff "CJayC" Veasey and Allen "Sailor Bacon" Tyner for GameFAQs

    - Draco89123 for his survival endless FAQ

    - Cyrad for his/her plants FAQ

    - A_Dry_Bone for a much needed screenshot

    - The rest of PvZ players on GameFAQs. Once you all shot PvZ all the
      way out to GameFAQs' main page. That's how I found PvZ.

 |  [014] Closure                                                            |

 This FAQ is technical and relies on calculation. There may be errors that I
 missed out. DPS number, Gloom tile damage requirement, etc maybe wrong.

 However, GTM build really works in practice. Even if the numbers and
 calculation are all wrong, the strategies behind them work and the
 builds themselves behave like I expected.

 So please think twice before anybody decide to be an idiot/1337-wannabe and
 send me something like this :
    "j00 f00ls... G100m h4s 3.5 dps... d13 p134s3... kthxbai...

 I'm open to any contribution, just keep some manners okay ?

 My English writing skill is also not the best one in the world. Forgive me for
 any minor grammatical errors but do tell me about any major ones.

 And now, we have come to an end. Has this been a pleasant ride for you ?

 Copyright 2009 Ferdi
 - EOF -

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