Welcome to my FAQ. My objective is to help you by supplying a lot of strategies based on my experience playing through the entire game, as well as things I have picked up from watching various videos and reading other sites. To beat any specific level there are a lot of youtube videos out there with walkthroughs. Hence, I am not going to do a level-by-level walkthrough. It would be redundant and hard to really follow anyways being text-based. So here is the Table of Contents: I. PLANT OVERVIEW - If you skim this, at least read the ** marked sections which discuss specific strengths or weaknesses of a plant. II. IAP DISCUSSION - IAPs are actually done pretty well in PvZ2. I talk about how to get the most out of them. III. COIN MANAGEMENT IV. DEALING WITH MULTI-STAR LEVEL RESTRICTIONS V. GENERAL HINTS VI. IMITATOR IDEAS Hope this is helpful! -- RandomSome1. (aka joe1512 as per tips Ive left on other sites) I. PLANT OVERVIEW ----------------- a) SUNFLOWER/TWINFLOWER - These are your resource generating plants. The main thing to balance is how long do you crank out sunflowers, vs when to start dropping real defenses. One strategy is to use Mines/etc to delay the initial zombies while you build up your resources. Money used on mines however is permanently lost and does not contribute to continuing resources. Another strat is to drop a few sunflowers and use cheap but permanent plants to deal with early zombies. This gives slower resource generation but tends to give you a breather when your existing defense attacks the second zombie that later comes out on that row. You also need to balance the space-efficiency of Twin-Sunflowers, vs their much higher cooldown and lower cost-efficiency. This depends on how cramped your battlefield is. Many will drop 2 Sunflowers, then get 3 Twinflowers for the remainder of that column. ** You DO NOT WANT to plant your sunflowers at the very back! Sunflowers are cheaper than your shooters and its much better for the shooters to be protected. This also helps vs zombies that can appear in your midranks. You do NOT want them to land behind all your shooters and start munching on sunflowers with no way to stop them! Plant them on the 3rd/4th Column;try it out. FOOD: Sunflower produces an instant 125 sun. Twins produce an instant 225 sun. * A good strategy for hard levels is to buy two plant foods, use 1 on Sunflower then plant a twinflower and use the food on that. This gives you a HUGE head start. Keep planting twinflowers while setting up defenses. * Using Plant Food on a twinflower is a good way to pass some of the levels that require you to generate X amount of Sun, in a pinch. b) PEASHOOTER - 100 Sun Basic but lousy plant. Other similarly priced plants deal similar damage but offer more utility. FOOD: Big stream of bullets down the row that deals substantial damage. c) WALL-NUT - 50 Sun. Stops most enemy zombies who must chew through it in order to proceed towards you. I am a fan of wallnuts and use them often. Keep in mind that they are using sun while not doing any actual damage. They are thus best used when you dont have a lot of space to work with, such that your shooters wont have time to kill zombies before they are within eating distance. FOOD: Gives them a suit of armor, increasing their health considerably. Extremely useful if you find a food and already have 4. Use it on the nut. ** You can manually Shovel a wounded wallnut and replace with a fresh one. You don't have to have the First-Aid unlocked to do this. d) POTATO MINE - 25 Sun Blows up a zombie that steps on it. Very cheap, but a long 'arming' period. Has to be used in advance. This is used in the "delaying strategy" where you set up your sunflowers and blow up approaching zombies while building up Sun. It can also be an alternative to the WallNut in areas where you don't have much space before zombies are within eating range. Instead of 50 sun wallnut+shooter, this kills a threat for very cheap. FOOD: Instantly arms it AND generates several copies of it. A weak power. e) CabbagePult - 100 Sun. Same price as Peashooter but much better. Shoots OVER any obstacles. Attacks slower but deals twice the damage per hit. FOOD: Attacks EVERY onscreen enemy with a cabbage, dealing massive damage. * Its special power COUNTERS enemies that can appear in unusual locations such as Exploding Cannons, Swingers, Dust Devil guys, Prospector, etc. f) Bloomerang - 175 sun. Fires boomerangs that can hit up to 3 enemies, then return and hit them again. For its cost, it actually has about 2/3rds the firepower of a peashooter vs 1 foe. However, it shines against multiple enemies which multiplies its effective firepower. FOOD: Shoots boomerangs in 4 directions. Surprisingly weak, almost always used as a bad version of the Peashooter power. It can theoretically be used against enemies that have gotten behind or beside it. ** Boomerangs are AMAZING against CANNONS and BARRELS. Most plants struggle vs barrels because they are so tough. But the boomerang takes out the zombie that is PUSHING the barrel, making it a sitting duck. The cannon's constant zombie spam can tank modest attacks indefinitely. But the boomerang will always penetrate and do 2 pts of damage per attack no matter what. g) GraveBuster - 0 Sun. Eats graves in Ancient Egypt. Really useful to reclaim space for building and prevent graves from blocking non-catapult type weapons from working. The only down side is that it takes a Plant Slot. And moderate cooldown. h) Iceberg Lettuce - 0 Sun. Freezes zombies for 10 seconds. This is one of the BEST plants in the game! Seriously! It works perfectly to delay early game zombies while planting Sunflowers, allow weaker plants to kill tougher enemies (coneheads,etc), and gives you a breather long enough to build a defense. FOOD: Freezes ALL zombies on the screen. Very powerful and overlooked. ** This plant PERMANENTLY neutralizes the Egyptian Archeologist..the one with the torch that 1-shots ANY of your plants, including wallnuts. One freeze puts out his torch and turns him into a normal zombie effectively! i) Bonk Choy - 150 Sun. Rapidly attacks zombies within 2 squares range. A really fun plant, but honestly not very useful. The problem is that he is NO TOUGHER than any other plant! His high firepower is enough to kill weak zombies but any armored zombie will be able to eat him before he can defeat them. Unimpressive and disappointing. I really wanted him to be a Wall-Nut/Melee type combo. The hitting behind ability is pretty worthless too. Basically you MUST use a wall-nut with this guy. This makes him very vulnerable to Archeologists and anyone that can bypass front ranks. His only utility is that he can be put in the front where you wouldnt want your shooters due to lessened effectiveness. Spikes eventually take over this role however. FOOD: Rapid attack that does lots of damage, but the range stinks. j) Kernel-Pult - 100 sun. Like a cabbage-pult in that it shoots half the speed of a Peashooter, and fires over obstacles. However, this plant is odd in that it will shoot a Kernel which only deals 1 damage ( not 2 like a same-priced cabbage). However it occasionally shoots a butter projectile that does two damage and STUNS the enemy for 5 seconds. Thus this plant effectively slows down enemy zombies on average. It is a bit unreliable though. I like this plant because it is cheap, kills early zombies just fine, yet maintains a good amount of Utility later on. FOOD: Does a BUTTER attack at every enemy onscreen. This only does 2 damage unlike the 5+ damage of the Cabbage power, but stuns every enemy for a while. Hence this power is superior to the Freeze one in my opinion. ** A butter attack will INSTANTLY KILL any flying enemy! This includes the zombies tied to a pelican in the pirate levels, as well as the horribly annoying Parrots that the Captains launch. ** Therefore, use the Plant Food power when there are these kinds of foes on the screen. In particular you must use this power vs the PARROT ONLY when it lands on your plant and is about to carry them off. The Power cannot hit a Parrot in flight. k) Repeater - 200 sun. Double-strength pea shooter. This is a much stronger plant than the normal pea shooter, being twice as space-efficient, yet not costing any more than double. It is still inexpensive enough to be able to be used reasonably early in the game. However, it is rare to be able to use this as your very first drop to take out early game zombies. FOOD: Rapid volley of peas doing massive damage, just like the Peashooter. However, it finishes by firing one very large Pea that does high damage. m) Snapdragon - 150 sun. Flame attack that hits enemies two squares away as well as in the above and below column. I don't really like this plant all that much. A BonkChoy can be used early and actually kill normal zombies. This plant cannot defeat even one normal zombie that approaches it, instead spreading its firepower over 3 rows. Its usage is similar to the bonk choy in that WallNuts are necessary for it to be effective. You also must commit to having quite a few of them. This means that it can be easily hosed by Archeologists, as well as foes that can bypass early columns of defenses. FOOD: Hits a 3x3 area in front of it for high damage. Really weak power. ** You can DEFINITELY HOSE YOURSELF with this plant!!! If you see an archaelogist and use the Freeze trick to extinguish its torch so that it does not auto-kill your WallNut. Guess what happens when you hit it with FIRE?! You guessed it. It relights the torch and it will autokill your wallnut and your Snapdragon. This plant also unfreezes any frozen foe, meaning even with freeze it still cannot 1v1 even a basic zombie. Yuck! n) Spikeweed 100 sun. Damages enemies that step on it. Typically deals around 5 peas worth of damage to a normal speed zombie. This plant is a much better alternative to the Snapdragon/Choy. It CANNOT be killed by anything except a Barrel, so you can happily deploy it on the front lines when space starts running out, to get more firepower. FOOD: Lousy power that does damage to foes in that column. However, it seems to only affect spaces that have no plants in them. ** This plant is a bit of a NOOB TRAP against barrels. Many look at it and think that it counters barrels right? Um, not really. Barrels counter IT! 100 sun to kill 1 barrel is a bad trade. A cherry bomb for 150 will kill a lot more stuff by way of comparison. I'd avoid using these vs barrel levels. o) Coconut Cannon 400 sun. Manually fired. Shoots a projectile that kills all within a small area of effect. I don't really like this plant. It takes forever to get it in the field, has to be manually clicked, and is easily blocked by weaker zombies. It needs to be able to take out problem zombies really fast or take out big areas of them to be of use. FOOD: Wakes cannon (if needed), fires 1 giant coconut that pushes enemies back and kills them. p) Spring Bean 50 sun. Bounces zombies back a space then goes to sleep. This plant is used for Water levels, as it will insta-kill any zombie that is within 1 range of any water...even Barrels! After usage, it goes to sleep for 20 seconds or so. This means that it is meant for places where zombies only occasionally show up. You cannot really protect it during recharge either except through Iceberg, etc. ** Many of the 3 star pirate levels can be beated MUCH easier using this! One bean will be able to take out pretty much an entire level worth of rope-swinging pirates. As long as you can deal with the Cannons and Pelicans (if they exist on the level), these can work much much better than dropping a WallNut at the same location! * You can always shovel and replant one if you need an emergency reload. * Dont forget, these guys KILL BARRELS in 1 hit, includuing the 2 mini zombies within! q) Cherry Bomb. 150 Sun. Blows up, killing zombies in a medium area. Very powerful plant but of extremely limited use. 150 sun is a LOT which will never again be able to help you. Using early on will hugely gimp your defenses. It also doesn't help you vs Cannons which is a bummer. Its primary use is for emergencies vs enemies that have gotten past your lines. It is satisfying to use lategame on huge groups, but youve got enough firepower already to deal with it anyways, surely. FOOD: n/a r) Spike Rock - 250 Sun. Upgraded spikeweed. Double damage, kills 3 wheeled vehicles. Little used plant. The spikeweed is already sufficient to extend your firepower to the front ranks when space is tight. This one is less cost-effective and its better space-effectiveness isn't as useful in my opinion since you can place it anywhere. Its best use is on levels with BARRELS. It kills 2 of them for free, only dying on the 3rd barrel. In most levels though, there aren't ever 3 barrels in the same lane, and if they are then youve gotten a ton of damage in already with this plant. Another idea is to put it in front of a WallNut. This does tons of damage to most zombies, failing vs Pelicans and Archeologists. Its an improved version of the Bonk/Snapdragon strategy. FOOD: Sucks in all enemies on that Row toward itself and deals lots of damage. A bit weak and can actually HELP the zombies move in faster. However, theoretically usable vs a zombie that has bypassed you somehow. s) ThreePeater - 300 sun. Triple shot peashooter, except shoots ONE pea in THREE DIFFERENT ROWS! This plant is very space-effective, being 3 peashooters in 1 plant. It is very hard to use well though. It cost a fortune making it difficult to drop early on. Its firepower per lane is 1/3rd of its cost! Yuck. It is not usable on the 1st or 5th row since you would waste 1/3rd of its firepower. Using it on the 2nd and 4th row is the best use. This does cause an odd distribution as the 3rd row will have DOUBLE firepower. You usually want equal firepower per row. FOOD: Fires projectiles everywhere hitting most enemies in front of it. Its kind of weak honestly. ** Using these on Rows 2/4 and Lighting on 1/5 will even out the power, such that Row 1/2/4/5 will have Pea and Zap, and row 3 has double pea. ** If you are gonna use this, drop your sunflowers on row 3, or 1/5, and definitely not on 2 and 4. t) Split Pea 125 Sun. Shoots 1 pea forward, 2 back. While seemingly very cost effective, shooting backwards is usually not very desirable, except in edge cases. It usually means you messed up. Its very weak firepower forward and not cost or space effective. FOOD: A combination of Peashooters plant food ability firing forward PLUS the repeater ability firing backwards. u) Chili Bean 50 sun. Any zombie that eats this will die and make a cloud of Slowing affecting nearby zombies. Basically a much better version of the Potato Mine that instantly arms and has a lingering effect...though not much of one. Best used for early game delaying while ramping up sunflowers, as well as dealing with zombies that have bypassed your defenses. FOOD: Clones itself twice over and applies to random lanes. Meh. v) Lightning Reed 125 sun. Zaps enemies with lightning. Chains and hits other zombies within a small radius. Furthermore it can hit zombies in the ABOVE and BELOW lanes too! One of my favorites. Introduced late as an anti-chicken plant, this is an awesome plant. Cheap enough to drop early game, it has enough firepower to 1v1 early game zombies. The fact that one in lane 2/4 can cover all 5 lanes is pretty sweet. However its overall firepower vs 1 foe is about 2/3rds that of a peashooter. Still, in bulk, they deal tons of damage especially vs large groups of enemies. Lots of these plus a Wallnut defense is very formidable. Its only weakness is it isn't very Space-efficient and has trouble vs extremely armored foes. Hence need for Spikeweed/Wallnut/Freeze FOOD: Creates a Cloud that runs around zapping enemies. Works much like the Lightning Powerup, except you cannot control it. One of the best powers out there. ** Hard counters chicken farmer zombies. These don't show up much, but don't forget about them when getting those stars. ** AMAZING vs Barrels, since it hits the barrel and CHAINS to kill the much weaker zombie pushing the barrel. Making it a sitting duck. ** Sucks vs PARROTS who apparently can take a comical amount of lightning damage. Feather insulation FTW? ** However, if you time it right you can trigger the cloud just as the parrot lands causing it to take massive cloud damage and die. u) TallNut 125 sun. Bigger version of WallNut. Unlike in PvZ1, this does not seem to block any more than normal zombies. Has twice normal health, but costs more. Same uses as normal walnuts. FOOD: Gains armor, as per normal wall nut. ** Remember you can take BOTH PLANTS and use them both when appropriate. This halves the cooldown effectively. v) Pea Pod 125 sun per planting. Peashooter stackable to 5! Awesome plant, one of my favorites. Cheap enough to use early to kill beginning zombies, and then you can pile them up to have 5 peashooters worth of firepower all in ONE SLOT! Amazing. Slightly less cost-effective however to compensate. FOOD: Fires volley of large peas. Kind of lousy really as the initial delay can cause issues with targeting and fast killing. ** DO NOT USE THESE on "only have X plants total" levels. EACH PLANTING counts as a plant! Fail. :-( ** DO NOT USE THESE on "only use X amount of Sun" levels. They just aren't cost effective enough to work well. ** ABSOLUTELY use these on the Wild West wagon levels! Drop 1 ASAP in the 5-column wagon and crank it up ASAP to 5 peas. w) Melon-pult 325 sun. Like a big Cabbage, doing 4 pea damage per shot. Also does AREA EFFECT damage in a 1 square radius. Costs 325 and does double damage of the 100 sun Cabbage. Not exactly a very good deal. So expensive that you cannot use it until much later. I prefer cheaper Area effect solutions such as Spikeweed, Lightning, boomerang, etc. FOOD: Fires 8 damage melons at EVERYTHING on the screen. Pretty much the ultimate Plant food ability. x) Winter Melon 500 sun. Like melon-pult but with slowing effect. Havent really used this one. Just too expensive, unless you cheat like crazy with plant food and twin sunflowers. Even then I can see better uses for the Sun. FOOD: Everyone on screen eats an 8 damage frost-melon. Stupidly powerful. ** Tempting to get one of these for hard lategame levels where you can simply use its crazy good Plant Food power to dominate. II. IAP DISCUSSION ------------------ If you want to support the developers through IAPs this is perfectly fine. That said, there is a wide variety of things you can spend cash on. You want to be smart about what you buy. Here are the choices: a) Coins - NO! Don't buy coins. In general gameplay you simply do not need coins. You typically get around 400 coins per level that you play and it is pretty easy to grind for coins, plus keys at the same time. Even in the hardest levels you only really need to spend 2k of coins to get a massive advantage. b) Keys/Gates - NO! Waste of money. By the time you get all stars on a levelyou will surely have gotten all the keys that you need. Keys simply allow you to get certain upgrades slightly faster. Not worth it. c) Plants - These are worthwhile purchases as they give you new strategic options. However, note that they will allow you unlock plants that you can ALREADY unlock later on by playing! Hence, you want to ensure that you only ever buy the truly LOCKED plants that cannot be otherwise obtained. i) SnowPea - decent choice. good early on and great utility later. ii) torchwood - meh. I never liked it in PvZ1. very 1 dimensional. iii) Squash - no need. potato mine is plenty early. Then Chili. It is better than Chili Bean for sure, especially for killing enemies behind you. iv) Jalapeno - This is pretty redundant with Cherry bomb. v) Imitator - YES! Great choice. TONS of awesome uses for this. vi) Power Lily - No idea how it works. Wasn't in PVZ1 so I have no opinion or advise. d) Unlocking Worlds - Absolutely not! Why pay to skip content!?!? e) Abilities. These are decent choices. You DO get these later on, but I believe they stack. I think... i) More Sun - Good choice. Useful early to streamline sunflower planting, AND lategame to rush TwinFlower and PlantFeed. ii) Shovel boost - This just isn't much of a factor. iii) More slots for plants - Skip this. Early game you may feel like you need the slots but by midgame I dont even use several of my slots. III. COIN MANAGEMENT -------------------- There are several things you can do with Coins. Buying powerups that let you kill zombies with gestures, and buying Plant Food. I would actually recommend to AVOID using the gestures altogehter except maybe as a last resort to win a hard level that you have invested in already. Like mines and bombs, they help you get by but are somewhat of a trap. They contribute NOTHING to your permanent defenses so once you get past the problem area, you will be in the same situation on the very next wave! Except worse most likely. The only legit usage would be on the awful "can only lose X plants" levels especially on the Pirate levels vs the Parrot zombies. Those are extremely luck-based and taking out a Captain quickly is worthwhile, although there are better Plant Food Power ways. It is better to use your coins UP FRONT to establish strong defense quickly, rather than using it to bail yourself out. If you did it right, your defenses should be more than adequate to deal with most situations. Strat 1: Drop a Sunflower, buy a plant food, feed to sunflower. This gives you a 125 Sun head start. You would then use this Sun to a) Drop a twinflower immediately, then sunflower/twinflower ramp up. You might even buy a SECOND plant food to use on the TwinFlower. b) Be able to immediately drop WallNuts on key places to have them all ready early to avoid waiting on cooldowns later. c) use a Imitated Sunflower to drop Sunflowers at double the normal rate. d) Use an imitated Twinflower along with second plant food to hugely increase production extremely quickly. That said, you should rarely use coins. NEVER use them just because you can. Save em up for difficult levels. NEVER use coins on the first go at a level! I recommend not using coins to jumpstart until youve tried the level at least twice. Using coins to jumpstart a failure strategy will simply waste coins, or worse yet you spend more and more coins to salvage the level and waste 20k on one freaking level! As I say in the general comments, use the PRESET DEFENSES levels or at least Conveyer belt levels to grind for coins and keys. It is less stressful, much faster due to no sunflower management and there is no ramp up period which means zombies come out quickly. The faster zombies come out, the more chances for earning coins! IV. DEALING WITH MULTISTAR RESTRICTIONS --------------------------------------- All the 3 star maps are similar in that they hand you restrictions. Here is how to think about dealing with each one. **a) Must produce X Sun Pretty easy. You want to use the sunflower spam strategy and use mines,etc to delay as much as possible, unless paired with the "can only lose X plants" restriction. Always use TwinFlowers for your second row of plants. Drop normal sunflowers towards lategame up front. Think of them as really lousy WallNuts. :-) Anything to increase Sun production. It doesnt have to be SMART sun production, just any ole production. Also you can drop PLANT FOOD on twinflowers for +225. You can also do the Dirty Delay strategy. If you are on the last wave and not quite there, simply delay. Let the 1 zombie left STAY ALIVE! Block him with a WallNut and SHOVEL YOUR SHOOTERS on that row!! Or block him with Ice. If you cannot lose any more plants, use plant food to reinforce a wallnut. Meanwhile you plant sunflowers like crazy and take it out once youve gotten your goal. **b) Can only lose X Number of Plants. One of the hardest types to deal with, since it virtually removes your ability to use mines, bombs, lettuce, and limits WallNut use. Your main enemy here is the awful Pirate Captain with GG Parrot who says "BWAAK...YOU LOSE!". Other big foes are the jumpers...anything that can get behind your front lines. Pirate rope swingers, Claim Jumpers, Dust devils. Cannons are a big threat too, as they will explode eventually and spew mini-zombies all throughout your backline. This almost guarantees loss of several plants. Archeologists are a big problem too since they insta-kill your plants. You cannot even use Lettuce to extinguish them! To deal, you must get at least 1 cheap plant and be ready to drop it after your 3rd sunflower. I recommend a Cabbage, Kernel, Lightning, or Pea Pod ideally. This lets you drop a plant to kill each new zombie per row, while letting you still drop sunflowers to ramp up. **c) Cannot use any Sun for X Seconds. I thought this was the hardest restriction until I learned that spending Sun ONLY RESETS THE TIMER, it doesn't fail the level! I spent good coin on Gestures and dropping lettuce to delay at the very beginning, making it much harder than it needed to be. Actually this restriction is trivial. By the final wave you hardly ever need to keep spending Sun anways. So build your defenses like normal. Then once you are good, STOP USING SUN. Easy! You can still use Lettuce and collect sun and use Plantfood. You can also do the Delay Cheese by shoveling your defenses to avoid killing the very last zombie and using an existing Wallnut and/or lettuce to delay it until you hit the counter. Then finish it off. Just don't FORGET about this restriction like I sometimes do!! **d) Don't Plant on Spore Colony. This one is hard as it eats two columns of space! It is particularly difficult on Pirate levels. Your main threats are zombies that bypass defenses such as DustDevils etc. Use a plant that can deal with those issues if they are in the level, such as a CabbagePult's Plantfood power. Space-efficiency becomes a much bigger deal meaning you will usually want to go 2 rows of sunflower but use BIG plants like Pea Pod or Melon or the like, while using mines,bombs to delay. If you are plant-loss restricted too, you will have to go with 1 row of sunflower (with twinflower), and drop an early game plant such as Corn or Lightning, then drop a really big plant next. **e) Dont Trample the Flowers This is a difficult restriction as it effectively makes the zombies only have to walk half the usual distance to "win". Hence, protection tactics are called for. Lettuce to delay, bombs to delay. Use of Wall Nuts is encouraged and using Tall Nuts TOO in order to half the cooldown can be beneficial. Use of SpikeWeed/Rock is a good way to frontload some defenses if the enemy doesn't have too many bypass-zombies. Put a Spike right in front of your Walls. Watch the state of your Walls! Be ready to shovel and replace when you have time, OR use plant power to reinforce to prevent an untimely loss. You have a good deal of space, so you will want to use cheaper plants with utility such as Corn or Lightning. Repeaters are good too. There is no need to save up for hugely expensive plants. Corn especially has the nice Slowing effect making it a good candidate. Be ready for an emergency. A Corn Kernel Food power will freeze all enemies on the screen, as will a Powered Lettuce. A quick use can prevent a loss when things get hairy. Some zombies are not a threat to your flowers. Flying rope zombies do nothing, as do prospectors and Dust Devils. They blow right past the flowers but don't fail the level. **f) Only use X Sun. This is a challenging restriction which means that you must conserve. That means minimal use of Bombs which cost Sun but dont boost permanent defenses. You need Cost-effective plants too such as Corn, Lightning, Repeater. Pea Pods are out. You generally only use 1 row of sunflowers; they use up your Sun limit! That means only lettuce used for delaying and you crank out cheaper plants ASAP. WallNuts are LESS helpful here as they cost sun but have no firepower. Hence you can get overwhelmed easier. You must prioritize offense. **g) Kill X Zombies in Y seconds. An easy restriction. All you really need to do is store up Plant Food for the final wave. Then use it on your offensive plants all at once. You do NOT need to pick certain plants with more "bursty damage" or anything. I have never once failed this restriction, even when I have occasionally forgotten about it! **h) Never have more than X Plants This is a moderately challenging restriction. Similar to the Spore Colony one, you have to focus on very Space-Efficient plants. Go ahead and use lots of sunflowers though, the usual 2 rows if no "lose X plants" restriction. Use Twinflowers when you can. The idea is to generate a lot of sun quickly while using delay tactics so you can drop the Repeaters, etc. You really need to use TwinFlowers on this level, digging up sunflower and replacing them. Over time you will start removing Sunflowers and replacing with offensive plants. By starting with lots of Sunflowers, you build up a reserve midgame that you can use to keep dropping offense. Your biggest problem on this level is carelessness. Be extremely careful with any 1-shot plants such as Lettuce, Bombs, etc!!! DO NOT USE PEA PODS!!! Each planting counts as a seperate plant, making for a quick loss. You might also consider multi-shot plants for these levels: You can use Lightning, Threepeaters, SnapDragons on Rows 2 and 4 and it will cover ALL FIVE LANES, with double firepower in the middle one. If you do, make sure to put Sunflowers in the midlane, then 1 and 5 to make room for the 2/4 lane plants. V. GENERAL STRATEGIES AND TIPS ------------------------------ 1) On the map, always move forward as quickly as possible. DO NOT grind old levels for cash or even keys or stars. Leave Egypt ASAP for Pirate, and ASAP to Wild West once you have the minimum number of stars. This is the FASTEST WAY to get new Plants and abilities. These will be very helpful once you DO go back to get keys and Stars. 2) Need to grind for coins or Keys? Do the levels where you start with X amount of Sun and pre-build everything. Once you find one that works these are generally much easier, faster, and less stressful than normal levels. Enemies come out fast and furious so theres no wind-up period. More killing means more cash/key chances. Conveyer belt levels might also be a good choice, depending on your preference. 3) YETI levels. I read from several places how you can BLOCK the yeti by putting a wall nut behind him. IT DIDNT WORK!! I know those sites all plagarize each other but geez. Instead, pick at least 1 plant with a 1-column Pwnage plant food power. The repeater (2x shooter) is the easiest and generally best to use. one shot of Plant Food will pretty much take out the Yeti. If you DO screw up and he is about to retreat, RESTART THE LEVEL. Then note which lane he was in and reinforce it heavily! If you restart AFTER he escapes... he won't respawn. Trust me. :-) 4) Don't overdo the 1 shot plants. Its better to use your Sun to make permanent defenses, not overuse mines,bombs,etc. 5) Those Pirate Captains suck bad. I loathe those Parrots that steal your plants. Consider the following ways to deal with them: a) Freeze,bomb them. (not so good on the "cant lose but X plants" levels) b) Use Plant Powers to kill them very fast. This is difficult to do however as theres too much lagtime on most powers. c) Use the CORN plant food power RIGHT as the parrot lands and the butter will 1 shot it. It MUST be stationary though or no Butter will be launched. d) Lightning plants are theoretically good but they seem to do very little damage vs parrots until you have a TON of them. e) Plant food Power on Repeaters will take out a parrot after it lands on your plant if you are fast enough. 6) If you ever have maxed plant food stored and you get another one, use one immediately and get the new one to replace it. Choices are: a) Blasting a bunch of zombies obviously if needed. b) Wall nut reinforcement. c) insta-sun from Sun/Twinflower. d) Clone any Potato/Chili mine. e) Lightning Plant, since the cloud sticks around for a while. 7) Dem Barrels. I hate them as they are incredibly hard to kill. As I said on my plant-specific comments, you should take them out by: a) Lightning plants to kill the PUSHER. b) Boomerangs to kill the PUSHER. c) Spring Bean by the water will 1-shot them! d) SpikeROCK (250 sun version) will kill 3 of them. Dont use Weed because 100 sun is a lot to kill 1 barrel, but 250 to take out 2 of them and do tons of damage in the meantime is well worth it. You rarely even see 3 barrels in 1 given lane. 8) Enemy cannons. Use Boomerangs. ONLY Boomerangs will CONSISTENTLY do enough damage to take them out before they explode and spew mini-zombies behind your lines! All other plants tend to get distracted and blocked by the constant mini-zombie spam and don't do enough damage to the actual cannon. 9) On the challenge levels (the never ending pyramid, etc), you really want to leave 1+ plant food leftover at the end of each level. THEY CARRY OVER!! This allows you to immediately use it on a sunflower/twinflower and get a big head start. Such a head start helps ensure you don't need the Plant food for actual battle nearly as much since you will be so far ahead. 10) There IS no Dr Zomboss fight currently. All the various strategy sites say he appears after beating wild West. Yeah he APPEARS and taunts you, but you cannot yet fight him. There are actually several sites that discuss strategies on how to beat him, but they are clueless and plagarize each other. 11) Zombies attack in the same pattern for all levels. If you lose, try to consider what Bad Thing happened and be ready for that threat.. in the specific lane where it happened. Maybe that Pelican-rope-zombie caught you by surprise since it came so early and all you had was a spring bean. Remember it and put a corn kernel in that exact lane. Are all the barrels coming down a specific lane? Keep that in mind and be ready for it. 12) You can collect Sun and stuff by SWIPING. This works WAY BETTER than tapping on things! Adjust to do swiping and it will improve your game. 13) The mummy memory levels are annoying. However you can interrupt the turning animation of the cards! When you click a card it turns over and reveals a symbol. This makes you think you have to wait for it to be done but this is not so. Clicking another card will immediately reveal the original (and second) cards. One could theoretically just click like crazy with multiple fingers and randomly make some progress as well as reveal lots of cards quickly. VI. Bonus Section. Uses for Imitator -------------------------------------- I broke down and bought this guy, since I loved him from PVZ1. He has many uses as he basically gives you another copy of any given plant, effectively halfing its cooldown. a) Sunflower - Imitating a Sunflower can greatly increase your resource production rampup. There are quite a few ways to do this. Using a Plant food that you buy immediately is the most common. This ensures you can get 2 full rows of sunflower in record speed. The starting with more sun passives can be helpful in this regard. Just cloning a sunflower normally will not give much of a boost, without the passives or fast plant food. b) Twinflower - If you have one or both initial Sun boosts you can drop a twinflower, Plant food it, then drop the cloned twinflower and get a quick column of twinflowers. The long Cooldown of Twinflower is one of its biggest restrictions. c) Lettuce - A second set of lettuce can be very helpful, since it costs no sun and gives a good deal of utility. This is my typical use for most levels (except cant lose but X plant ones). d) WallNut - Allows double the wallnut droppage. Kind of outdated when you get TallNut, but its still useful due to much lower cost of wallnut. e) Shooter - I have used imitator to clone my primary offensive plant (pea pod) on a level. This ensured I could crank them out really fast once I had my Sun generating quickly. Marginal use I guess but it did help out for "free". f) Gravebuster - You probably dont need TWo of them for a level but it is a possibillity. g) Potato Mine/Cherry/Chili - Personally I find Lettuce clone to be more useful overall. The bombs tend to only be useful really early (potato) or really late (cherry). Good luck!!!