Beginner's Guide: Survival Endless builds.
Setting up any sustainable endgame builds usually require a lot of sun to set up. Therefore, anyone new to Survival: Endless should at least read this section before venturing off to other builds.
Setting up the builds
Since most endgame builds need a lot of sun. The player should jump start the sun economy by having a lot of Sunflower while fending off the zombies. The build used for setting up is a traditional 8 Cob Cannons build. Imitater or 10th seed slot is optional in setting up this build.
By the time the second flag is up, the pool should have at least 4 Gloom-shrooms with Pumpkins as well as the land mostly filled with Sunflowers.
The choice of seed packets for third flag and onward is based on the zombies and setup. So be sure to understand what respective seed packets should be taken to handle the zombies while developing further into the desired endgame build.
Example of adapting to specific zombies at 3rd and 4th flags is shown in the gallery:
Gallery of a playthrough building the traditional 8 Cob Cannon setup after flag 2:
Traditional 8 Cob Cannon by 3C妹妹.
Now obviously the main damage dealer for this build are the 8 Cob Cannons. For the timing of this build, send the Cob Cannons shown below as soon as the next horde of normal zombies or Gargantuars become visible on the screen. You can still survive without the Gloom-shrooms at the 8th and 9th column provided the timing of Cob Cannons is done right.
Be sure to bring the right plants to maintain the endgame build such as:
- Lily Pad, Fume-shroom, Gloom-shroom and Coffee Bean
- For Jack-in-the-Box Zombies encounter.
- They can explode and take down the Gloom-shrooms in the pool.
- When rebuilding the Gloom-shrooms, suppress the zombie hordes using instants.
- For blowing off Balloon Zombies.
- For maintenance, priority for repairing should go to
- Dolphin Rider Zombies
- Digger Zombies
- For maintenance, priority for repairing should go to
- Spikeweed and Spikerock
- For maintenance as Zombonis, Gargantuars and their Giga-counterpart.
- Squash and Cherry Bomb
- In case if there is not enough firepower to suppress the advancement of zombie hordes.
- Imitater (optional)
- A second Pumpkin is very useful for newcomers as they are getting in the ropes for the timing of 8 Cob Cannons.
- Ice-shroom and Coffee Bean (optional)
- 3.5 seconds is a lot of time to recharge the next pair of Cob Cannon as well as getting some breathing space.
- Jalapeno (optional)
- Despite Squash's smaller effective range, Squash is still a better option as it recharges twice as fast.
Example of a video playthrough of the traditional 8 Cob Cannon build in late game.Here is a low maintenance version of the setup. The need for maintenance due to Digger Zombies is reduced significantly and Tall-nut is maintained for Dolphin Rider Zombies. Therefore the build is less stressful on repairing defenses while requires a slightly more precise timing for the 8 Cob Cannons.
4 Cob Cannon Builds
Traditional 4 Cob Cannon builds are versatile and slow-paced. The build can handle Zombonis and Gargantuars finely, although not Giga-gargantuars and Balloon Zombies. You can just let the game run by itself and moderate the build sparingly. Even if the Gloom-shrooms are destroyed by Jack-in-the-Box Zombies, 4 Cob Cannons and any instants (Squash, Cherry Bomb and Ice-shroom) is still good enough to sustain the weakened row 2 or 5. Giving as much as 10+ flags for repairing as well.
Traditional Cobless build
Traditional Cobless (no Cob Cannon) build functions similarly to the 4 Cob Cannon build except relying heavily on instants. This can be stressful since you spend more focus on instants while maintaining the Pumpkins. Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is a real threat here. Consecutive explosions can happen and take out 3 Gloom-shrooms on the pool and severely weaken the rows 2 or 5. No amount of instants can save you from this kind of abrupt situation. Therefore, it will be a miracle that the Traditional Cobless build can survive for 1000 flags.
Other Traditional Cob Cannon builds
2 Cob Cannon build
- Functions similarly to 4 Cob Cannon. You can still survive indefinitely with proper management of instants.
6 Cob Cannon build
- The timing for this is using a single Cob Cannon shot that should hits majority of the zombies in the spot for every time the zombie icon at the bottom moves.
10 Cob Cannon build
- Having two Cob Cannons on the pool where ambush zombies can appear.
- Timing is slightly faster than 8 Cob Cannon builds.
- Either use the Cob Cannons to blast the ambush zombies in the pool or Ice-shroom to freeze the surface of the water.
The Structure of Traditional Builds and Common Variants
Pool Glooms and Jack-in-the-Box explosionPool Glooms are important in smoothing the incoming waves of zombies in 4 or more Cob Cannons while being the main damage output for 4 or less Cob Cannon builds. 3 of them are able to handle Zombonis and slowed down Gargantuars without squishing the lone Pumpkin in the 2nd row. However, it cannot handle Giga-gargantuars even when they were slowed during their entrance. So players are advised to use instants or cheap stalling plants like Puff-shrooms or Sun-shrooms to deal with them. Another issue is that the Winter Melon has limited range, therefore it is possible for Football Zombies and Gargantuars to damage plants in column 6. Last but not least, Jack-in-the-Box Zombies are notorious at taking the Gloom-shrooms due to their speed. They explode at a known probability. (I have not read through the details properly so no numbers yet) There are two possible initial explosions that can occur to the build.
This is when the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie instantly explode right as he enters the lawn. He can take down one Gloom-shroom along with the Pumpkins. Apparently Pumpkins are considered as separate plants when it comes to Jack-in-the-Box while grouped into one when squished by vehicles or Gargantuar.
This is when the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie enters the lawn without being slowed down and stayed for too long. Here he takes down two Gloom-shrooms, severely weakening the defense for the affected lane. Instants are heavily used to maintain the incoming zombies. If another Jack-in-the-Box explodes again in the affected lane, it will be very difficult to fight off the hordes as well as putting a dent on the sun resources.
Land of Fumes
This structure of Fume-shrooms and Gloom-shrooms are able to take down Zombonis and any slowed down zombies before touching them except for Football Zombies and Giga-gargantuars.
Fire PeasThis Gatling Peas and Torchwood combo disintegrates almost every zombie in its lane with its massive damage output and small splash range. With at least three Gatling Peas, you can ensure the constant stream of damage dealt to the horde of zombies. One interesting point is while burning peas unfreeze the first zombie in the front, their splash damage do not unfreeze the affected zombies. Moreover, Catapult Zombies will never get unfrozen by the burning peas by direct damage. So Ice-shrooms are very handy when it comes to slowing down the horde at the back. However, the massive damage done is never good enough to hold of groups of Gargantuars, screen doors and ice resurfacers. Gargantuars just take too long to collapse while the metallic duo negates the splash effect. However, there are ways to work around these pests.
Here we have a common structure for Fire Peas structure. By using Gloom-shrooms to filter out any Screen Door Zombies too near to the defense and Spikerocks to pop off Zombonis and stall Gargantuars. This is a very common and solid structure for dealing with these zombies. However, it's weakness here is doing the massive splash damage at the very last moment. So instants should be used to support the lane well.
Here is another variant of the build where a Fume-shroom is used to deal with Screen Door Zombies. Screen Door Zombies without slowdown will collapse just as they are about to reach the Fume-shroom. So this is another good variant of Firepeas in Endless builds.
Imps are launched onto the back of the defense at column 2, 3 and 4 as they are occupied by the Pumpkins. The regular Pumpkins represents where the Imps would normally land in the traditional endgame builds while the Imitater Pumpkins represents where they can also land if the Gargantuars thrown them at the column 9. Two Gloom-shrooms are recommended to deal with these critters. Imps come in abundance so the Pumpkins' maintenance should be prioritized first.
Digger Zombies will tunnel to the back of the lawn, snaps out from a couple seconds of dizziness and begin eating from the opposite direction. Once again, two Gloom-shrooms are recommended at dealing with them as they take at 2 to 4 bites off the Pumpkins.
Alternatively you can use three Gloom-shrooms to handle the Digger Zombies. The bites the Digger Zombies can make is reduced down to 0 to 2 with this Gloom-shrooms position. Cutting down the need of maintenance to a point you can repair those Pumpkins every 2 flags/5 minutes.
This is an odd structure to deal with Digger Zombies as it leaves a single tile of empty space. They can snap out of dizziness and begin waddling towards the plants but they will be dead before they can even touch the plants even if you plant the Pumpkins. However I would not recommend this structure as having a single Gloom-shroom to deal with the nasty Imps is a bad idea.
Modern Guide for Skilled Players
Pumpkin have a bigger hitbox detection for getting squished by Zombonis and Gargantuars. If these zombies are about to squish any plant with Pumpkin on, remove the pumpkin so that the plant will not get flattened at all. Please be mindful of Football Zombies when doing so though. Another thing is that Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explosions can take out the Pumpkin only, leaving the plant in it behind.
The rate of zombie waves arriving is affected by the amount of damage done to the current wave of zombies, not previous ones. Because of that, the tempo can be either slowed down using Ice-shrooms or sped up with massive damaging instants. Tempo should be maintained steadily or there will be too many zombies to deal with or the seed packets are still recharging.
Why would anyone in the right mind allow Ladder Zombies to place ladders on their Pumpkins? The answer is maintenance. By now you would probably notice maintaining Pumpkins for Imps is very tedious despite them being 6 normal pea shots weak. So having laddered Pumpkins is not a terrible idea after all. However attempting to ladder the Pumpkins is a challenging task for newcomers so please be careful while doing this.
The terrible encounters for newcomers to ladder the Pumpkins for the two flags are Jack-in-the-Box Zombies, Giga-gargantuars and Dancing Zombies. Zombonis can be halted with Spikeweed. Ladders are removed when explosives are in range, pumpkin gets repaired, Imitaters, the plant in it is dug out or upgraded.
Videos by hitoridakeno.
Jack-in-the-Box Zombie has always been a notorious threat for randomly exploding in Survival: Endless especially for endgame builds with 4 or less Cob Cannons which ends the huge flag streak abruptly. So it was thought that such builds cannot last endlessly without backing up the save file.
The concept of Jack suppression is to eliminate Jack-in-the-Box Zombies before they can pose anymore threat to the endgame build. Initially, everyone has the idea of suppressing Jack-in-the-Box by rotating Instants in rows 2 and 5 to minimize the possibility to Jack-in-the-Box destruction while providing consistent damage for the other rows.
Here is the first cobless build to integrate the structure of Jack suppression. Gloom-shroom seed packet is not brought along when there is no Gloom-shroom taken down. The structure with the aid of Ice-shrooms eliminates Jack explosions that can occur column 8 and before, which accounts for 95% of the possible explosions. The remaining 5% will only take away the very first Gloom-shroom on the pool.
And the idea of suppressing Jack-in-the-Box further developed that year. Since 5% of the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies will explode at either column 8 or 9. Players have decided to move their builds two tiles back to negate the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies explosions. So the remaining 95% can be suppressed with the proper cycle of instants. However, a very small amount Jack explosions (We're talking about less than 1% here) can still occur due to premature freezing by the Winter Melons.This build is one of the refined builds of Jack suppression. There are two different tempo with each having unique method of Jack suppression.
Harmless is a term coined for builds that can be untouchable by zombies (including Jack-in-the-Box) through proper management. There are easily harmless 4+ Cob Cannon builds at the year 2009. However, combining cobless builds and Jack-in-the-Box suppression is like mixing water and oil. It is impossible to have a build with such traits making another structure vulnerable.
This is one of the first attempt on harmless and cobless in the western community. The build is by draco89123. However, there is not a single attempt to suppress Jack-in-the-Box Zombies. So this is actually pseudo/semi-harmless build.This design is based around the idea of 100% Jack suppression. Ice-shroom is required to time on the Bungee Zombies. But since that's the case, Ambush Zombies from the pool can take a bite at the Gloom-shroom at the instant they spawned. However, with a Buckethead Zombie emerging in front of the front most Gloom-shrooms on the pool, this setup is not perfectly harmless.
George Fan: For making this game very appealing especially the game mechanics. I may have doubts in giving my gratitude for making Jack-in-the-Box infuriating to play against though.
Draco89123: Being the first Western player to invent one of the first Cobless build and attempted to communicate with Baidu. Also introduced me to Cobless and mechanics of Plants vs Zombies.
植物大战僵尸吧: For being extremely disciplined and dedicated in making huge advancements to the structure of Survival Endless builds. Still the biggest Plants vs Zombies community out there!hitoridakeno: Being one of the first person outside of 植物大战僵尸吧 to develop into post-2009 strategies and attempted to introduce the more advanced Plants vs Zombies builds especially from the community.
- ^: Strategy page