|Damage||Blocks incoming projectiles, but is vulnerable to lobbed shots|
|Absorbs||18 normal damage shots|
|Special|| His shovel cannot be damaged|
Can throw the plant off the lawn if there are too many plants behind him, or if the plant is in the 8th or 9th column
|Weakness|| Lobbed-shot plants|
(Plant Food only: stops digging)
(above, behind or beneath)
(splash damage makes him drop the shovel)
|First seen||Lost City - Day 4|
|Excavator Zombie once heard a song about having a hammer. He liked the idea, but decided it was too mainstream for him - so he got a shovel. Now he's confident that he's clearly the coolest zombie, the others are just too jealous to admit it.|
Excavator Zombie is the seventh zombie encountered in Lost City in Plants vs. Zombies 2. It holds a golden shovel and can protect itself and all zombies behind its from incoming projectiles shot by straight-shooting plants. Additionally, it can shovel up plants when it gets close to them and throw them three spaces back. The shovel cannot be destroyed, but it will be dropped after receiving 45 or more damage all at once. After dropping the shovel, Excavator Zombie cannot dig up or eat plants; it just simply walks through them.
As the Almanac suggests, its weakness is lobbed-shot plants, such as A.K.E.E. or Melon-pult. Additionally, it can be attacked by plants that do not shoot projectiles in a straight line, such as Rotobaga, Split Pea, and Starfruit. The player can also use an area of effect plant, like Laser Bean or Fume-shroom, to bypass it as it goes through the shovel. Coconut Cannon's projectiles can drop the shovel if their area of effect damages the zombie, making it moving forward into the player's house without eating the plants.
Digs up plants and throws them behind him.
Damage: blocks incoming projectiles, but is vulnerable to lobbed shots
Excavator Zombie once heard a song about having a hammer. He liked the idea, but decided it was too mainstream for him - so he got a shovel. Now he's confident that he's clearly the coolest zombie, the others are just too jealous to admit it.
Excavator Zombie absorbs 18 normal damage shots and degrades upon absorbing 9 normal damage shots, before dying at 18 normal damage shots.
Neon Mixtape Tour: "Rescue the Gold Bloom" Epic Quest - Step 2
Excavator Zombie is one of Lost City's most dangerous zombies. They are very fast, and defensive plants like Wall-nut are useless against them. After they have reached the sixth column, it is considerably hard defeating them without the help of instant-kills like Cherry Bomb and plants like Hurrikale.
If you see this zombie on the seed selection screen, make sure to bring a plant whose attacks are not absorbed by the shovel (e.g. as Penny mentions, lobbed-shot plants). However, the player needs to act fast as this zombie can reach their lawn mowers quickly without stalling plants like Stunion. After seeing this zombie entering the lawn, plant a lobbed-shot plant and try to use other plants to keep it stunned for a while (two A.K.E.E.s are enough to kill him). When these zombies come alone, using a Bonk Choy can be a good way to defeat them (the punches bypass its shovel, and when it shovels the Bonk Choy, it can still punch it from behind). Similar to Bonk Choy, the Celery Stalker and Split Pea can also attack the Excavator Zombie from behind. The Excavator Zombie is also weak against the Laser Bean since the its laser bypasses the shovel. Two columns of Laser Beans should be enough to kill the Excavator Zombie before it get near your defensive plants.
Do not use Plant Food on the straight shooting-based plants when Excavator Zombie is approaching. It will only compound your problems, as Excavator Zombie will block them all, wasting Plant Food. Exceptions are anything that can penetrate through the shovel.
Primal Peashooters, while they will not damage the zombie it will still stun or push back the zombie making it useful for stalling. But in order to kill it, you must bring Blover if you don't bring any plant to kill it directly.
With Parasol Zombie
A Parasol Zombie and Excavator Zombie pair can be very hard to defeat, because they move very fast and can stop any projectile. Instant-use plants are still your best choices to kill them, along with two plants with forward projectiles and two lobbed-shot plants in the same lane. Two Red Stingers and two A.K.E.E.s can kill them. Plants that can attack through multiple zombies, such as Bloomerang, Snapdragon, Lightning Reed, Laser Bean, and Fume-shroom, can also simultaneously bypass the Excavator Zombie's shovel and damage both the Excavator and Parasol Zombie, making them another way to defeat the pair of zombies. Banana Launcher and Lava Guava are also good choices as they will cause a lot of damage to other zombies as well.
Note that, unless they are behind, above, or below it, Homing Thistles will not be able to strike it, since they will shoot its shovel rather than its back.
In this level, Excavator Zombies only come in the first and last lane, where there are endangered A.K.E.E.s. They can throw them behind, making them vulnerable. Therefore, you can plant one more A.K.E.E. to kill them as soon as possible, so they cannot reach your endangered plants. One A.K.E.E. cannot handle this zombie if it is protected by other zombies in front of, because the target of A.K.E.E. is still limited.
Excavator Zombie only appears in 3 levels in Modern Day, one being the Zomboss battle. Both appearances it is very deadly. In Modern Day - Day 12, this zombie is paired with Parasol Zombie, as well as dinosaurs and the objective of not losing more than 10 plants. It will also appear very early in the level too. Using Guacodile in this case will help immensely, as it will not count as losing a plant. However, it is still a poor choice unless you use Plant Food or plant them directly on the Excavator Zombie. Modern Day - Day 25, is a bit different. Excavator Zombie can shovel up valuable plants like Coconut Cannon closer to the zombies, rendering them useless. Kernel-pult and Coconut Cannon (splash damage to get rid of shovel), are the player's best methods of dealing with this zombie in that level.
Excavator starts appearing during Level 11 onwards of Highway to the Danger Room. It can be very threatening, especially if multiple Lost City portals spawn early. Instant use plants should be used, as well as lobbed shot plants. However, with other zombies such as Shield Zombie and Jester Zombie, using area of effect plants are more optimal.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Excavator Zombie.
- When it shovels a Potato Mine or Primal Potato Mine before it is armed, it will activate on the tile it lands on.
- Unless it is planted right underneath it, it can shovel up Chard Guard before it can hurl it backwards.
- Similarly, Guacodile will not trigger its rush attack unless it is planted right on Excavator Zombie. If a Guacodile gets shoveled up, it will not do its rush attack after it lands, assuming there are no zombies on the tile.
- It does not eat Infi-nut's or Moonflower's shield. Instead, it smashes it with its shovel, dealing the normal damage equivalent of a bite. It also does this to delayed instant-kill plants sometimes, like Stunion and when it "eats" the player's brains.
- When it loses its arm, it will not show the bone that most zombies do.
- There is a glitch where a plant gets shoveled up even if the player used Hurrikale to push back an Excavator Zombie in the middle of it act.
- The phrase "a song about having a hammer" may be a reference to the song "If I Had a Hammer" by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays.
- If the plant it is shoveling is in the seventh or eighth column, it will be thrown to the rightmost column instead of being thrown off the lawn like Mecha-Football Zombie or Fisherman Zombie. This happens as long as there are no more plants behind.
- However, if the plant is in the rightmost column, it will be tossed away normally.
- There is a glitch where the sound effects of it shoveling up a plant are heard even after it dies.
- Even though Cactus has the ability to pierce through zombies, it does not take damage when Cactus' thorns pierce through its body.
- Even though Primal Peashooter's projectiles inflict no damage to this zombie, the latter can still push it back.
- If the player completes a level without an it shoveling up a plant, they will earn the Shovel Off achievement.
- In some areas of the Chinese version, such as the world preview, it has a silver shovel.
- In previous versions of the Chinese version, it was immune to lobbed-shot plants. This made it nearly impossible to kill.
- It is one of the two zombies to have a shovel, with the other being Mixed-Up Gravedigger.
- It is voiced by Chris Sampson according to the credits.
- If it is hit by a straight-shooting projectile during its shoveling animation, it will not take damage despite the fact that it is not being protected by the shovel during the animation.
- In its Almanac entry (in both the international and Chinese version), for some reason the icon for health is green instead of purple.