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This is the article used for general card terminology. These terminologies are often used in place of other words.

General Terminologies

Area of Effect

Area of Effect, or AoE for short, is a certain card type which affects most or all minions. Some targets for Area of Effect cards include all (opposing faction), all (friendly faction) or both.

Board control

Board control is an unofficial card term, referring to a player's ability to keep the opponent from building up minions on the board so that they don't gain an early or late advantage. Control decks are often most associated with this term due to their removals and their large minions late game.

Buff

A buff is the opposite of a nerf, and is a change made to a card to make it more effective or powerful. Buffs include Soul Patch and at one point, A Shadow Falls.

Alternatively, buffing a fighter refers to increasing its stats or ability. The Beastly and Mega-Grow classes specifically specialize in buffing fighters. Buffing cards include Going Viral, Fertilize, Blazing Bark, and Rock Wall. Cards that buff themselves include High-Voltage Currant, Overstuffed Zombie, Zombot's Wrath (when conditions are met), and Alien Ooze (when used on heights and Environments).

Build-around

Build-around is a term used to a card with specific synergies, which can encourage the player to build specific decks around them. Some decks are built around one or multiple cards or a tribe. Some examples of decks that are built around a card or a tribe are Re-Peat Moss (due to its powerful synergy with tricks) or the Flower tribe (due to Briar Rose or Power Flower due to both having a huge benefit with the same tribe on the board). Many build-around decks have win conditions, most normally one turn kills or to put strong board control with those cards.

Burst

Burst, or Burst potential, refers to a player's ability of dealing massive damage in one or two turns, allowing a player to finish off the opponent very easily. It can play a role in aggro decks because they work as a strong finisher if the player loses board control. Combo decks often rely on burst to kill their opponent from full health.

Card Advantage

Card Advantage is a term to describe which player has more access to cards within their hand. Having more cards allows a player to have more answers to threats that are played on the board.

Cost

Similar to mana, cost is a neutral term for the sun/brain price of cards. An "x-cost" card requires x sun/brains to play. Pea Pod, Arm Wrestler, Bungee Plumber, and Superpowers are all "1-cost" cards.

Curve

Curve is a term that refers to the distribution of the cost of cards in a deck. Playing cards on curve means playing a card on the earliest turn possible for their costs, which can provide a tempo and card advantage.

Drop

Drop is a term used to describe the cost of a card. Example: A "2-drop" is a card which costs 2 sun/brains, such as Newspaper Zombie.

Face

Face is a slang term which refers to the player's hero as a target for damaging attacks or effects. Example: By "going face" or "attacking face" refers to focusing attacks against the enemy hero rather than teammates on the board. "Face damage" refers to damage to the enemy hero. Face decks are normally associated with aggro decks due to their aggressive playstyle focusing on the opposing hero than teammates.

Lethal

Lethal is a term originated from the game Hearthstone which means to have sufficient damage to defeat the opposing hero and win the game. To "have lethal" is a measure of having imminent and unavoidable success. To "miss lethal" is when a player who has lethal on their turn should win the game, but it does not occur due to an unexpected block from the Super-Block Meter or an overlook in card combos that could have let them win the game.

Mana

Mana is a neutral nickname given to the sun/brain currency of cards that is derived from the resource in the game Hearthstone. It is similar to drop. Example: Winter Squash and Mad Chemist cost "4 mana" to play.

Meta

The meta, or the metagame, describes the trends of decks within Plants vs. Zombies Heroes. The meta is primarily an interest seeking to anticipate the choices of the opposing hero. Due to being able to not see the hero being fought against and not being able to see their deck, the contents of the deck and the deck do not become clear until a key card or a hint is revealed. The player being able to anticipate their opponents' moves gives the player a strong tactical advantage.

Mill

Mill is a term that originated from the game Hearthstone which refers to a range of phenomenon related to card draw. In Plants vs. Zombies Heroes, milling refers to forcing the opponent to overdraw, resulting in their Super-Block Meter unable to block more hits because the player cannot add the resulting Superpower into their hand. Mill decks are decks that aim to win by overdrawing the opponent. Typical mill cards include Regifting Zombie, Pogo Bouncer in conjunction with In-Crypted or Mixed-Up Gravedigger, Backyard Bounce and Zombot Stomp.

Mulligan

The mulligan, also known as a card selection stage, occurs at the very start of a match before play. In-game, this is called "redrawing cards." Both players are given 4 randomly chosen cards from their respective deck as their starting hand, which they can redraw as many as they want if they are not happy with their hand. After redrawing a card, there is no way to redraw the new card they are given. Once both players are finished with the mulligan, the game goes into play with the first turn occurring.

Nerf

A nerf is a card change made by developers to make a card less effective or powerful. Nerfs are also used in level redesigning to make a level easier. A few examples of nerfs include Zom-Bats, Impfinity Rides Again, and A Shadow Falls.

Removal

Removal is a term to refer the elimination or destruction of minions from the board. There are two types of removal, hard removal and soft removal. Hard removal normally ignore most effects or traits, such as transformation effects or destroy effects. Some examples of hard removal are Goatify or Locust Swarm. Soft removal are removal cards, which use damage to remove a card. Some examples include Berry Blast and Cakesplosion.

Tempo

Tempo is an unofficial term that describes which way the momentum of a match is going, as well as a label for decks that tend to maintain tempo on their side. Tempo is concerned with the player's control over the game in the immediate and short-term, particularly with minions played on the board. Tempo is closely related to board control.

Top-deck

A top-deck is a slang term for a card that has just been drawn from the top of the deck. A top deck can be either used as a term for a player to draw a card with no cards in their hand or a player drawing a card that can help deal with the situation rather than playing other cards already in their hand. Top-decking can also refer to drawing the best card possible for the current situation. For example, if the opposing Plant Hero has a full board of 2-Strength plants, the best possible top-deck for a Hearty hero would be Weed Spray.

Trading

A trade or trading involves the loss of one or more cards or teammates in order to destroy one or more teammates. Value trading is when one player plays less cards than the opponent in order to remove one or multiple teammates. If a Peashooter has been buffed with Embiggen and Fertilize, using Rocket Science to remove it can generate a 3-for-1 trade for the Zombie Hero, due to the Zombie Hero using one card to take out a Peashooter (1 card) buffed with two other cards, which will give the Zombie Hero a card advantage. Value trading also includes the cost of the card. For example, using Bungee Plumber to remove a Magnifying Grass would be a more value trade than using Rocket Science, due to the cost difference of Bungee Plumber.

Value

Value refers to how effective a card is compared to other cards that have similar characteristics. For example, a Pea Pod has more value than a Peashooter because of its ability to gain +1StrengthPvZH/+1HeartPvZH at the beginning of every turn. Value can also refer to how a card can effectively neutralize a combination of cards, sometimes with a lower cost. Notable examples of cards with high value in this sense include Rocket Science, Squash, Lawnmower and Cut Down to Size.

Win condition

A win condition is a specific means or strategy by which a deck can achieve victory. Decks may have one or more win conditions, and a win condition may be a specific aim of the deck or simply one of various ways in which it could win the match. Re-Peat Moss decks, for example, generally aims to obtain victory through its namesake card.

Deck Archetypes

Aggro

An aggro deck, sometimes known as a rush deck, is a deck whose main purpose of winning is to do damage to the enemy hero as quickly as possible, through the use of playing low-cost minions and damaging tricks to overwhelm the opposing hero. Some aggro decks use board clears to clear the way for the weaker minions such as The Chickening or Sour Grapes to finish the opposing hero off. The Imp tribe and the Mushroom tribe are often used in aggro decks due to their cheap costs and overwhelming playstyle.

The term aggro itself is derived from the word "aggressive," referring to how quickly the deck aims to deal damage.

Combo

A combo deck is a deck which involves using two or more cards to execute a great effect within the game, normally game-winning. Most combo decks are normally aiming for a one-turn kill, but some are used to establish powerful board control over the board. Combo decks are mostly control, and normally have cards to delay the opponent until key cards are drawn. Some aggro decks are considered to be combo decks, due to some cards being able to establish board control.

Control

A control deck, sometimes known as a late-game deck, is a deck which revolves around winning the game in the late game through removal cards, stalling, healing and powerful cards in later turns. Control decks try to control the early game, before having a balance of large teammates to eventually overwhelm opponents.

Gimmick

Gimmick decks, sometimes known as meme decks, generally only have one win condition reliant on a single combo or card. These are arguably the least consistent decks to play, but are usually the most fun (or frustrating for the opponent). Notable gimmick/meme decks include double Sergeant Strongberry and, more recently, placing Heartichoke on Venus Flytraplanet.

Midrange

A midrange deck is a deck that attains victory during the mid-game. They are a mix between aggro decks and control decks, by seeking to control the early game, then overwhelming the opponent using medium-sized minions before the late game. Midrange decks often try to use minions with high value for efficient trading and maintain card advantage through card draw or tempo plays..

Zoo

A zoo deck is a deck focused around a large amount of low and medium-cost minions. Zoo decks generally aim to flood the board with minions, overwhelming the opponent and achieving victory through board control. Zoo decks use mostly cheap minions and efficient trading to dominate the battlefield, before turning their attacks toward the enemy hero. To put it simply, a zoo deck acts as a control deck, before it's the right time to strike, becoming an aggro deck.