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So, Tecku recently made lists of his favourite and least favourite zombies. This inspired me to do the same, only with both plants and zombies, and with fifteen per list, not ten. Note that for these lists, GW plants/zombies are not going to show up. It's just PvZ1, PvZA and PvZ2.
Top Fifteen Best Zombies
So which are my favourite zombies of all the PvZ games?
15th: The Leader
Conga Leader was a great way to incorporate the powers of the Dancing Zombie into PvZA, with such an unusual and different form of gameplay. It had a lot of use in Brainball as well, and was fun to fight. However, it can also be very difficult to beat in the early-game without using Jalapenos, due to the sheer numbers and lack of crowd controllers you get.
14th: The Thief
Bungee Zombie was a clever way to help the zombies out without directly attacking. It could easily be countered once Umbrella Leaf was unlocked, but otherwise, you'd usually just have to accept the losses. It could be frustrating to fight, but it's one of the only ways to weaken a defence that's prepared for anything, and fills a need for the zombie side. It's also rather useful in Vs. Mode and I, Zombie.
13th: The Summoner
Tecku put this in first place as the best zombie. I like it, but not that much. It's better implemented than Conga Leaders, but I don't see why it would make first place in any list of good zombies. Its power allows it to overwhelm defenses that lack AoE while still having the weakness that if one stops, all stop, but the zombie is rather underused and not challenging enough to beat.
12th: The Crusher
Zombotany Zombies aren't exactly original. They're just zombies with plant powers. However, the Squash Zombie managed to be dangerous and unique among the Zombotanies, partly because it's the only one that's fast. It could quickly take out a defensive plant and leave you at the mercy of Gatling Peas and other menaces, or let a Tall-nut Zombie through deep into the lawn. Jalapenos could be more devastating, but are usually easier to kill, and in all honesty, they're TOO devastating.
11th: The Flock
I hate Chicken Wranglers and like them at the same time. An original, albeit frustrating concept, with a good, but not perfectly infallible, counter. It's like the Fisherman Zombie, only good. It's original and frustrating, but the counter isn't perfect and it has multiple other counters that you can use as well.
10th: The Diver
Specifically the PvZ2 version. Snorkellers were fine in PvZ1, but they're trickier to beat in 2 because of their health, and the tide system affects them in a way that means they can be rather easy to beat at some times, but really tricky at other times. However, unlike every other zombie in Big Wave Beach, they're well-balanced in any situation.
9th: The Musician
It's Laura Shigihara but zombified! Lel, anyway, this piano-playing zombie fitted perfectly in Wild West. There's nothing I can say about it that Tecku didn't already, so I'll quote him: "The Piano Zombie has the ability to scramble up lanes, which is very original. However, the real genius is putting him in the Wild West. In other levels, this mechanic might have been annoying but it works wonders here. Players can use the mine carts to keep the heaviest firepower on the toughest zombies, even if they change lanes. Alternatively, the player can set the heaviest firepower on the Piano Zombie itself, or employ a Spikeweed or Spikerock to end the farce quickly."
8th: The Disabler
It disables plants, IT MUST BE EVIL, IT MUST BE WIZARD OR OCTO! No. Ladder Zombies are perfectly balanced because they have weaknesses, and are limited to only disabling certain plants, AKA defenders. Magnets and instants easily counter the ladders, even after they are placed, and perhaps, the reason you get Coffee Bean after beating the first level with these guys, is so that you can counter them with Magnets? They can ruin a defence, but you can also dig up the laddered plants as a last resort, unlike with Wizards or Octos.
7th: The Jumper
George Fan's favorite zombie was the Pole Vaulting Zombie, due to the hilarity involved when a player encounters it for the first time, using a specific example where a player tries to block it with the Wall-nut, only to have the zombie jump over it. The Pole Vaulter is the perfect way to prepare a player for upcoming challenges, by showing them that not all zombies are as simple as "I have more health than the last guy".
6th: The Behemoth
The Gargantuar was the perfect "ultimate zombie" for the end of Adventure Mode. It's extremely tough to beat, and poses two separate threats, a direct "smashy smashy" threat and the threat of the Imp, infiltrating deep into your defences, but despite that, it's not overpowered. It's strong, but counterable. That's what I like about it. It poses a challenge, but a fair one.
5th: The Sequel's Thief
Pirate Captain's parrot was a creative twist on the Bungee. Easier to kill, due to Butter and the fact that it has to travel a fair distance before it reaches the plant, but if it successfully survives...it can strike a second time. It has the weakness of Blover to deal with it in Dead Man's Booty, which makes it easily countered when you're not yet prepared, and so it's fun and challenging to fight, like the Chicken Wranglers or even Gargs.
Disco-trons were a great twist on Dancing Zombies. While the original's summoner was too easy to beat, this guy is a challenge. It essentially summons Pogo Zombies, albeit ones which are weak to Blover, and it has a ton of health, but as with every strong zombie in Far Future, it fits perfectly because of Power Tiles balancing it out. It also has the added weakness of E.M.Peach, which is a great way to counter it and buy some more time, especially if you don't have Blover.
3rd: The "Scientist"
Rocket Zombie isn't as good as PvZGW's Scientists, but I said I wasn't including GW stuff...the Rocket Zombie is a very clever idea, in that it's probably the fastest zombie in the series, aside from Chickens, but it also has the feature that if it gets hit by a slowing attack, it totally loses the speed boost. It's easily beaten using Snow Peas or Wall-nuts, but otherwise, it's a big threat. I might be putting him a little high on the list, but that's probably because I really like his visual design as well as technical design.
2nd: The Space Ogre
Don't click the link or hover over it, and tell me within three guesses what I'm talking about.
I hate the Zomboni for the fact that it is HORRIBLY hard to take down, often harder than Gargs, but it's still got a weakness, a fair one, and it can be beaten without that weakness too. It's very dangerous, because it crushes everything and paves the way for a Bobsled Team, but it's also perfectly fair. Something that many powerful zombies in PvZ2 aren't.
1st: Mr. Boss Guy
Zomboss is not only pretty hilarious at times, but he makes for some of the funnest boss battles I have ever played. Even in Dark Ages and Big Wave Beach, he still proves fun and fair to fight, albeit rather difficult at times. But nothing, nothing at all beats that original battle. It had super-strong attacks that are counterable, but also had that uncounterable, seemingly cheap attack that really isn't as unfair as it seems. He's fun, he's tough, and he's my favourite zombie.
Bonus: The...Ice Pusher?
Yeah, I couldn't come up with anything good there. But the Troglobite is a very creative, unique, and dangerous zombie. Probably, it would've been between fourth and fifth, because it's such a deadly zombie, but with counters such as Hot Potato, Rotobaga, Laser Bean, or just heavy firepower.
Top Fifteen Worst Zombies
Unfortunately, for every really good zombie, there is at least one bad one. One that I absolutely despise. Here are those ones.
15th: The Aquatic Jumper
This guy is too fast for his own bucking good. Oh dear, I'm already bringing out the pony-profanity and I'm just starting this list. That's a bad sign. He is almost as fast as a Chicken, but spawns on his own, rather than being summoned from a zombie when you start attacking him. Not cool.
I admit that I made a zombie on PvZCC, that, like these, is just a tank with lots of health. But I tried to make it like a stronger Buckethead, incorporating it with the theme of the helmet zombies, even giving it a Ducky Tube variant. However, DJ Zom-B, Robo-Cone and the Knight are all really pointless, strong zombies. Zom-B has no reason to exist. Robo-Cone is the least bad of the three, but still, what's the point when the other machine zombies in Far Future have almost as much health AND special abilities? And the Knight is the worst of the bunch because he can occur in large amounts due to Kings. Some may consider Football Zombie to be a pointless tank, but I don't, nor do I consider Pharaoh to be this. At least they have slightly different powers, even if it's just speed alterations.
13th: The Tank-Jumper Combo
THIS. GUY. HAS. TOO. MUCH. HEALTH. FOR. A. FAST. JUMPING. ZOMBIE. Plus he can jump about two spaces, meaning he nullifies MULTIPLE Wall-nuts if they're too close together.
12th: The Sun-stealer
Huh. I just put on my list of least favourite zombies, a zombie that was in Tecku's favourites. Why? Because IT'S TOO DAMN WEAK. A REGULAR ZOMBIE IS HARDER TO BEAT. Ra Zombie should be tougher, stealing sun faster, having a bit more health, just SOMETHING TO MAKE IT A THREAT! I know it's an early zombie, but PvZ1 gave you Pole Vaulters really early, and they were a threat!
11th: The Timeless Behemoth
I know. I put Garg in my list of favourite zombies. But notice how I didn't ever mention PvZ2. That's because PvZ2's Gargs are about as strong as GIGAS because they have more health and move faster. Well done PopCap. You made me hate a zombie that I liked in the original.
10th: The Hookers (that didn't come out right)
They hook your plants, and pull them forwards. This is bad enough, messing up your defences with no apparent counter. It's worse when you realize that as it's in Big Wave Beach, they can then pull your plants into water to kill them! And the ONLY counter is Infi-nut's forcefield, which nullifies them completely. This means that they are either incredibly OP or completely harmless, depending on your plants.
9th: The Laser-er
If it hadn't been nerfed, he'd have been in the top three. But, they're now at least tolerable in Terror from Tomorrow. If, for some reason, you don't know what Gargantuar Primes are, they're Gargs with 180 health, and lasers that are uncounterable and have infinite range. This doesn't work because ranged attacking zombies need to have a reliable counter or else they are OP in large numbers. Primes, since the nerf, take a lot longer to shoot lasers however, which makes them less of a threat and more manageable.
THREE GARGANTUARS?!?! The Adventures Garg is only bearable because of Zombifreeze, which can only be fuelled by Twin Sunflowers. In Brainball, they are downright uncounterable, because their Imp will allow the next wave to spawn right next to the targeted building, and as such, even relatively weak waves can get through. This means that you will keep on stealing brains like that, while other people take away your brains through the same OP tactics. Unless they're hackers, then they'll take all your brains in fifteen minutes without Gargs.
I've never played the Chinese version of PvZ1 or 2. But this...thing is the reason why I will never consider trying PvZ2C. Forgetting for the moment that zombies can be levelled up to triple their usual health, the Cavalry Zombie is a threat at level 1, due to being a Bull, that launches a freaking KNIGHT AT YOUR PLANTS!!! Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, it even leaves the lance like a surfboard!
6th: The Zombie Wall-nut
I bet you expected that link to take you to Wall-nut Zombie. Nope. The Trash Can Zombie is a basically pointless zombie, the only reason it exists is as a Zombie version of the Wall-nut in Vs. Mode, which isn't a huge help since it's a freaking SHIELD ZOMBIE, so catapults, spikes and fumes are all prime ways to take it out.
5th: The Blacksmith
Based on the game's coding, the removed Blacksmith got replaced with the King. And he's OP because his supposed COUNTER DOESN'T HELP. Admittedly though, he's not a massive pain in AC, compared to other zombies...
4th: The Juggler
It's bad enough that most of your arsenal is not only unable to hit him but is also blocked by him. It's even worse that he PUNISHES YOU FOR USING MOST OF YOUR ARSENAL!!! The only effective counter in AC is Iceberg PF!
3rd: The Spellcaster
I'm not counting Octo with Wizard for the simple reason that: I CAN ACTUALLY BEAT IT. Wizards nullify every single plant in seconds in AC, but Octos can be countered with Magnifying Grass (so far). Wizards are absolute monsters, and I don't know how they got past beta testing without getting nerfed.
2nd: The Wave Rider
Surfer was an original concept done wrong. And it's all because of one thing: If you kill him while he's holding the Surfboard, it STILL gets placed. If that wasn't the case, this would be perfectly fine!
1st: The Explodonator
Anyone who knows me well saw this coming from a mile away. Jack-in-the-Box Zombies are my absolute WORST NIGHTMARE. They destroy Glooms due to their short range, they destroy Spikerocks in ONE HIT, and nothing short of Cob Cannon spam can guarantee that they don't cause any damage in Survival: Endless! Now that I think about it, I DO hate these guys more than Wizards! They are a complete pain in the fYAYing aYAYhole. Huh, wait, why are my swears being fluttercensored?
Well there you have it. The best and the absolute worst zombies, in my opinion.
Bonus: The OP Flock
The OP version of the Flock. The Chicken Wranglers. Weasel Hoarder is EASILY more evil than the Jester, and would come between him and Wizard. The Chicken Wrangler was a great zombie. Perfectly balanced, highly creative and dangerous. But Weasel Hoarder decided to rip him off, and make him eight times harder. Literally, as Weasels have eight times the health of Chickens. Lightning Reed is no longer a counter, and so you have to rely on plants that would usually be considered too expensive to deal with early Chickens, such as Laser Bean or Snapdragon.
Dealing with these guys in high levels of Icebound Battleground...I don't want to think about it. They'd be almost as nightmarish as Wizards.