Survival Endless Guide by Draco89123
Plants vs. Zombies on SuperCheats.com
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The Ultimate Survival Endless Guide
===================================

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Written by Mike D. (Draco89123) v1.0
Copyright 2009

I really don't care what happens to the information presented on this page, 
post it wherever you like.

For questions, contact me at emailisforidiots@gmail.com

(Updates Pending)
How-To Consumable Use Guide
Setup Guide
Table of Contents
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This guide is designed to give you the requisite knowledge to build your own 
Survival Endless build that will survive indefinitely. Whether youíre here 
for curiosity, for fun, or for money, this guide will equip you with the 
latest and most effective strategies known. You shall be a Survival Endless 
master even if you come in here not knowing what this mode even is.

This guide will be broken down according to how every build must deal with 
the zombie pressure. Iíll be here to show you how each area of the map has 
its own tricks up its sleeve and what answers have been given to the problems 
presented. Like any game with varied strategy, there is always preference 
for who wants to play what. Cob Cannons are such a dominant force in 
Survival Endless that every build can be categorized by how many Cob Cannons
there are. Before we go into the detail of Cob Cannons, I shall introduce 
you to the regionalization of the map. I will be using Last Stand as an easy
means to show theoretical concepts, because it has the exact same map 
(Pool: Day) as Survival Endless. 


==========
The Layout
==========


http://a.imagehost.org/view/0671/SurvivalRegionDiagram

The map is a 9 column by 6 row grid and youíll notice a couple of things 
right off the bat. The map is symmetrical, therefore there is always a top 
region corresponding to a bottom region that deals with the exact same 
pressures but not necessarily at the exact same time. For simplicity, I 
will refer to each as pairs. The pairs of rows in the water are referred 
to as Pool Rows. The pairs of rows closest to the edge of the pool are 
called Inner Rows. And finally, the outermost rows furthest from the pool 
are Outer Rows. I do this because then you donít have to count the row to 
figure out which Iím referring to. This is very easy to visualize.


==========
The Ground
==========


Youíll also notice thereís a region of the map not labeled. Itís the 
front-most 2x2 square on the ground. This is that way for good reason. 
No plant can survive there. You will find out very shortly that the primary 
difficulty of surviving Survival Endless is from fighting the ground forces. 
The Zomboni, Giga, and Catapult zombies will make quick work of anything 
placed there, even with maximum possible DPS (damage per second) from 
Torchwood plus Gatling with Glooms helping out. 

The corresponding brown region (column 7 counting from the left) behind the 
death zone is reserved for highly replaceable plants, because they serve as 
a buffer and will undoubtedly come into contact with all sorts of zombies. 
Only put easily replaceable plants here. This area is where you would put 
your queued up Freeze Shrooms, Spikerocks, or Fume Shrooms, but weíll leave 
the explanations for that later.

The orange region behind that (columns 5 and 6 counting from the left) are 
important because they are very safe. Unless a zombie breaks your front lines, 
these plants will see very little action. Imps are thrown over it, and 
everything else attacks other regions before they get to this one. This is a 
very good place for Cob Cannons because of that. It is also the best 
determiner for how healthy your base is because this IS your main line. If 
any of the plants in this area are compromised for long, you will have some 
serious worrying to do.

The green region behind that (columns 3 and 4) are no different from the 
orange region except that they are vulnerable to Imps from the Gargantuars. 
This restricts them from being Cob spots, but Pumpkins allow any other plant 
to be there. The main concern of this region is what should be done to take 
care of those Imps and the remaining spots are used toward helping out the 
rest of the build.

The final back region, which happens to be blue (and columns 1 and 2), has 
very special properties because of the unique pressures it has to face. 
Catapult zombies go directly for your 1st column of plants, so this region 
MUST contain an Umbrella plant. The remaining 3 slots must protect the base 
from Digger zombies that also happen to target the 1st column; in addition, 
this area must handle the Imps who overshoot theprevious green region. Weíll 
discuss later on how that is accomplished, but now on to the pool regions.


========
The Pool
========


The pool is far, far simpler than the ground because of simpler zombie 
design. Only Dolphins and Jacks will give you trouble. Notice how you can 
plant things right up front because of the easier nature of these zombies. 

The first region, the red (columns 8 and 9), represent the area that will be 
directly dealing with the mass of regular zombies. In addition to that, 
there is always the constant threat of an immediate Jack explosion. The Jack 
steps onto the map and explodes instantly after, taking out either one or 
both of the plants in that region. Although very rare, it can happen at any 
time without warning. This fact is very important for the 6 Gloom setup 
because Glooms are a vital part of the buildís DPS; theyíre expensive, and 
take long to replace. The vast majority of builds use the power of this 
setup; there are exceptions but this regionís vulnerability is important 
to the survival of A LOT of layouts. Weíll discuss how to deal with it in 
detail.

The white region behind that (columns 5, 6, and 7) is a very stable area 
because only Dolphins and ambush zombies (that pop from underwater at the 
middle and end of the level) nibble at your plants. The Dolphins are the 
bigger threat because they waste no time getting over there and getting to 
work. This area will require constant Pumpkins no matter what build you use.

The backmost purple region of the pool (columns 1, 2, 3, and 4) is completely 
and utterly safe. You will lose before these plants are compromised. They 
donít even need Pumpkins. They serve as good Cob spots or areas to put your 
Twin Sunflowers.

That concludes all the regions of the map. Now letís move to the plants 
youíre going to be putting on these regions.


==========
The Plants
==========


The design philosophy of a successful Survival Endless build involves using 
the upgrade plants. These plants get 50 sun more expensive for every instance 
of that plant on the field in Survival Endless, which is a unique restriction 
for this mode. Many plants start costing 700-1100 sun at any given point. 
People would assume that using cheaper unupgraded plants would be the way to 
go, but the goal of using upgrade plants is to make a build so good, by 
maximizing the effectiveness of each tile, that losing the expensive plant 
is extremely rare.


================
Offensive Plants
================


Gloom Shroom:

This is the heart and soul of ANY successful Survival build that Iíve come 
across. The reason why we categorize builds by number of Cobs is because not 
every build has Cobs, but every known successful build up to this point has 
Glooms. These guys have unparalleled DPS to all the zombies within a 1 tile 
radius of itself. With enough of these guys, everything will fall. They do 
have a few weaknesses, though. They suffer most from the upgrade plant 
penalty. Their price will range from 500 to 1200 sun normally because of the 
abundance of Glooms youíll have on the field. They also have a long cooldown, 
so they can only be built or replaced one at a time in between long intervals. 
Donít forget that you need to wake these guys up too since itís during the 
day, which is another 75 sun. They are also extremely vulnerable to Jacks. 
Even though they can make quick work of Jacks once theyíre in range, the 
Jacks can still explode when theyíre close but still alive. Jacks can take 
out 1-2 Glooms in an instant, and are considered very dangerous for this 
reason. Since Glooms are the bread and butter of nearly every build, the 
survival of the build is contingent on keeping them alive. Replace as soon 
as possible.

Cob Cannon:

While the Glooms are required by every build, the Cob Cannons are extremely 
influential in how you play your build. These guys require two slots and 
cannot use Pumpkins. So, any spot where any zombie has a decent chance 
of nibbling on these plants will be off-limits. They can easily cost 
1000 sun just like Glooms, have a long cooldown, and the void left by their 
death can definitely be felt. Replace as soon as possible. They work 
exactly like Cherry Bombs with their blast radius, which is a 3x3 area 
centered on where you click. They also have the added benefit of having a 
lower cooldown of ~30 seconds when the Cob lands. A lot of builds are 
designed around the constant use of extreme force of these explosions 
at the front of the map. They also have the benefit of being ungrabbable by 
Bungee zombies because theyíre too big. One can come up with interesting 
layouts to make their base less vulnerable to Bungees with this information.

Fume Shroom: 

This mushroom is the little cousin of the Gloom. While these do not attack 
nearly as fast as the Gloom does, their range is a lot longer. They, like 
their cousin, attack all units in their range, which happens to be exactly 
the 4 tiles in front of them. This has certain advantages and complements 
the weakness of Glooms rather beautifully. These guys are extremely useful 
for taking out Jacks and Zombonis, in addition to adding more DPS to 
everything in the row. Combinations of Fumes and Glooms can make you 
immune to Jacks, which is very important as we shall see later on. They also
have a low cost and low cooldown, which makes them easily replaceable, but 
you do need the Coffee Bean. Their overall DPS contribution is small so 
their priority is less.

Winter-Pult: 

Melon-Pults should not be used in Survival Endless. There has been some 
controversy over their DPS vs. Winter-Pults, but Iíve personally tested it 
myself and Winter-Pults not only do more damage to zombies than their 
unupgraded counterparts (unless the shot is blocked by buckets, doors, etc., 
then itís equal), but they also provide that lovely splash snare. The snare 
in PvZ is very useful because it is a 50% reduction of movement AND attack 
speed. Very few builds can live without the synergy potential of snare. 
These guys attack their row at any distance and vary their initial timing, 
but it stays constant after that. Their impact does a sizeable amount of 
damage (4-5) to the zombie theyíre targeting and 1 damage to everything 
within a 1 tile radius of that impact point. It is highly recommend having 
at least one Winter-Pult in each row (even Pool) for this reason. They all 
do well to cover for each other. If you only have one in the row, be warned 
that it can get distracted by landing Imps if itís too far back, or zombies
will just naturally become unsnared by random chance. There is nothing wrong 
with adding additional Winter-Pults to the important rows if the build 
benefits from it.

Spikerocks:

These guys have their place in Survival Endless, but itís not for what you 
think. They are mainly used as buffers for Gargantuars, actually. A 
Spikerock can take 9 swings before it dies (3 per spike) or tire pops from 
Zomboni/Catapult zombies. They are moderately expensive and their cooldown 
is also moderate. So theyíre replaceable but not as easily as other things. 
Because of this restriction, you canít just wantonly place them like you 
could in other modes. They still canít go in the death zone mentioned 
earlier, but the brown region right next to that is where they find good 
use. In Cob builds, they serve as a deterrent for Dancer zombies, Zombonis, 
and Gargantuars. However, they cannot handle them alone. Theyíre only used 
as a safety net if you make mistakes with the Cob timing. In this fashion, 
you can actually afford the upkeep. Another interesting application of 
Spikerocks is actually for Digger zombies. If placed in the far left column 
where the Digger zombies pop out, they willdie before they reach the next 
plant. Itís rather nifty but I never use them that way because they do not 
help with the Imps. Iíll explain in detail about this later. They also can 
attack any and all zombies within range, ignoring shield damage, treating 
most zombies as the 10 hp lamers that they are, which is pretty cool.

That concludes the offensive plants. Youíll notice that Iíve omitted a great 
deal of plants you normally would use in other modes. However, in Survival 
Endless, they either do a negligible amount of damage because of their 
single target nature, or their use is too impractical for the magnitude of 
units youíre going to face. Iíd like to make a special note of Torchwood 
with Gatling. They have good short term DPS, but due to their limitations, 
they have no long lasting build. None. Now, we shall move on to the niche 
plants.


============
Niche Plants
============


The niche plants, as the name implies, serve a very specific and unique 
function that is either required or recommended for any and all layouts. 
Luckily there arenít too many of them.

Umbrella Plant:

These guys are absolutely necessary, end of story. They serve the function 
of blocking (within a 1 tile radius of their placement) the Catapult shots,
which ignore your Pumpkins and destroy your plants with a couple of hits. 
The Catapult zombie will always attack the backmost plant of its row, so it 
is required that you put an Umbrella Plant in the blue region on the map 
(ground columns 1 or 2) because only in those spots can the Umbrella reach 
the back. After that, Catapult zombies can be ignored. Umbrella Plants also 
have the added bonus of blocking Bungees from stealing your plants. Aside 
from the necessary 2, you can have additional ones in your map. Bungees are
usually not a big threat for reasons we shall see, so itís not entirely 
recommended. You can make interesting designs using a combination of 
Umbrella Plants, Cob Cannons, and Gloom Shrooms to block off your valuable 
plants from this threat.

Cattail: 

These guys are very useful for constructing a build before its completion, 
also good for picking off some zombies in a significant capacity, and also 
good for helping with Digger zombies sometimes, but theyíre mainly used for
Balloon zombie control. You need two of these Cattails to take care of air 
indefinitely. There is another stipulation, and thatís if the Cattails are 
too close to the front (3 tiles or less from the right edge), then they have
a chance of letting a Balloon zombie pass. Cattails attack the closest 
zombie to them (always air first) and continue sending lagging shots to a 
unit until it is dead. The closer they are to their target, the less 
downtime they have in between target switches, which means more DPS. 
Cattails are also not necessary and as an alternative you can bring along 
a Blover.

Twin Sunflowers: 

Theyíre powering your army and providing you with the currency to build your
plants up. These should be kept in safe spots and in spots that are not very
useful for other offensive plants. The number of Twins required will be 
dependant on your play style. If you must make regular use of Cherry Bomb, 
Jalapeno, Squash, and Freeze Shroom, then 5-6 will be your recommended 
amount, because you also have to deal with Jack accidents and Pumpkins. 
If you rely on Cobs and little use of items, you can get away with 2-4 
Twins depending on the skill of the player and the maintenance required of 
the layout.

Gold Magnet:

For those who want to use Survival Endless as a means of getting money, 
having about 2 of these on the map gets the vast majority of coins that 
drop. A lot of optimized Survival builds are designed for those who are way 
past their need for money and are only it for the challenge. So, you can 
usually take one of these builds and replace 2 of the less necessary plants 
for Gold Magnets. Just make sure you know what youíre doing, otherwise 
youíll find out the hard way.

Pumpkin:

This is a no-brainer, an absolute must, and I usually forget that this is 
even a plant. Whether or not you need the Imitator version of this depends 
on the maintenance requirements of your build, which is the sum of your debt
accumulated by Imp, Digger, Dolphin, and Football zombies. Jack explosions 
and Gargantuar/Zomboni squashings also affect this, but itís hard to factor
their small influence into it.

Now that weíre done with the tools youíll be working with, itís time to take
a look at the opposition youíll be facing.


===========
The Zombies
===========


The Horde: 

These are the Regular, Conehead, Buckethead, Newspaper, Pole-Vaulting, Pool,
Pogo, Ladder, and Screen Door zombies. For all intents and purposes, these 
guys can be ignored if youíre doing the build right. Theyíre the lowest on 
the totem pole because of their relatively unexceptional nature and are good
for fodder and money.

Jack-In-The-Box Zombie: 

Jacks are quite possibly the simplest and most complex special zombies of 
Survival Endless. If not for these bastards, we wouldíve had a fully 
automated build by now. Alas, Survival Endless actually requires thinking, 
and we have our thanks to these guys, the killer of Gloom builds. Once 
thought to be an inevitability, they can be worked around. They are of 
average health, equivalent to all the other bipedal specialist zombies 
(17hp) and they attack normally too. Their one special feature is that at 
(seemingly) random intervals, they explode and take out anything within a 
1 tile radius. This can be disastrous for close range plants because there 
seems to be no way around getting close with the zombie horde all the time.
Well, Iíve already gone on long enough about how evil they can be, so what 
can people do to handle this threat? Well, thereís one way of taking care of 
inner row Jacks, and two ways of taking care of outer row Jacks.

For inner row Jacks, you require two pool Glooms and 1 Fume that attacks 
off-screen. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0838/InnerJackTactic

Notice how the absolute right edge is about a third of another tile, which 
means zombies can be attacked before they even get on the grid. The Fume 
can be closer but not too close for obvious reasons. Immediate Jack 
explosions will not plague you as long as you satisfy those conditions. 
Iíve not tested the arrangement with the Fume one tile back, where it only 
attacks on-screen tiles. This solution is on such a hairy edge that it is 
unlikely to work, but youíre all welcome to experiment.

For outer row Jacks, you can Cob them before they reach your plants (which 
doesnít work out so well for those inner row Jacks since they explode 
before you can react) or you can use a special arrangement I discovered a 
while back to lead to the first Cobless build, which was a big deal because 
it was unheard of to not be using 6 Cob Cannons to get past 100. Hereís the 
bare minimum required to be Jack immune in their exact positioning.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0568/OuterJackTactic

It also has the added bonus of taking out Zombonis by itself along with most
any other zombie except Football zombies and Gargantuars. Now, weíll get a 
little more into discussion about this arrangement because there actually is
some variability at a cost. For some odd reason, that exact distance from 
the right edge makes the build perfectly immune, no matter what. If the 
arrangement is moved forward one tile, itíll be crushed rather quickly, so 
the only alternative would be to move it back. As it turns out, the farther
back you move it, the more vulnerable to Jacks it becomes. One tile back, 
it may take your Gloomís Pumpkin (if the Gloom has no Pumpkin when the Jack 
nicks you, then it dies) with a very small chance of taking it out in one go. 
This is still perfectly manageable and Iíve seen it put to good use in a lot 
of the minimalist Cob builds, where they only have 2-4 Cobs and let the 
zombies come to them, allowing the small number of Cobs to recharge in time. 
Just remember that every tile you scale back, you lose 2 possible spots to be 
used for other plants, like Winter-Pults.

As a final note, Iíve studied a lot about the nature of Jack explosions and 
their timing. The positions at which they explode are constant and occur 
usually as they cross the border from one tile to another. This a rough 
estimate and not necessarily true the farther back in the base you let them 
go. Also, the farther they get, the more likely chance they have of blowing 
up since their missed opportunities for exploding continue to go up. At 
first itís, say, 1/8, then 1/7, then 1/6, etc. These are just some things to
keep in mind, and one day itíd be really helpful to find out exactly where 
all the explosions occur. The final thing Iíd like to mention is what really
makes Jacks a force to be reckoned with. When youíre in the later waves 
where multiple Jacks come out, they have a very deadly cascade effect as a 
product of not only weakening your defenses but increasing their probability
of exploding as they go along. One blows up and takes out a Gloom, so the 
other 2 live, then another blows up a couple seconds later, and so on. This 
means that a chain of Jacks can take out 3 Glooms in an instant, possibly 4 
if they take out your replacement before it can help. That is also something
to keep in mind and Jacks are always to be taken seriously.

Zomboni:

These guys are the ice machine rovers of death. They cannot be slowed and 
have a surprising resistance to damage especially by Winter-Pults. They 
leave a trail of ice behind that blocks placement of any plants there 
(sorry consumables!). Jalapenos can melt the row it affects but itís not 
that useful for this function because of its long cooldown. Zombonis also 
flatten any plant in its way, making it especially dangerous and it is the 
second most likely reason youíll die in Survival Endless, next to 
Gargantuars. 

Zombonis are usually taken care of by Glooms or Cobs, same as everything 
else. Inner row Zombonis that are not taken care of by Cobs or Spikerocks 
are taken out by the 6 pool Gloom setup. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0938/Orthodox6gloom

Even with the 6 Gloom, they will reach that third tile from the edge if itís
a Spikerock or a plant with a Pumpkin. Unpumpkined Fumes can survive 
surprisingly, which is why that inner row Jack setup actually works, which 
Iíll link again.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0838/InnerJackTactic

Outer row Zombonis are taken care of similarly. You can either use the outer 
row setup for Jacks or rely on the panacea of Cobs.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0568/OuterJackTactic

Iíd like to make a note that you should notice which plants have Pumpkins 
and which donít for good reason. Yes, you do actually need 2 Fumes and 1 
Gloom as they are bare minimum for this to work.

Now youíre probably all wondering why Pumpkins can make or break whether or 
not you get flattened by Zombonis. The answer lies in the fact that Pumpkins
add width to the plant. If the Zomboni touches the plant, it gets flattened,
so a Pumpkin decreases the distance the Zomboni has to travel to reach your
plant. Pumpkins make your plants fat. It really is that close and it is 
definitely worth it because now you can ignore even the monstrous Zombonis.
Unpumpkined plants are obviously vulnerable to Football zombies, so you can 
use Pumpkins in the Zomboniís absence or just deal with the replacement 
costs.

Balloon Zombie:

Make sure you either use 2 properly placed Cattails or always bring the 
Blover card when they come around. Balloon Zombies can be snared by Freeze 
Shroom only and when their balloon pops, they can sometimes land on those 
unpumpkined plants annoyingly.

Catapult Zombie: 

Make sure to put an Umbrella in each 2x2 back corner, then you can forget 
about them. If youíre not damaging the outer row Catapults, theyíll 
eventually get bored and move forward.

Dolphin Zombie: 

Heís another of the more complicated zombies but with a very simplistic 
effect at the end of the day. He can take initial hits before entering 
the pool, but never enough to be killed off. He jumps in with 
invulnerability and arcs over your plants with invulnerability. He also 
happens to be immune to snare when in this leap-frogging process. Heís not 
actually invulnerable, because he can be killed at any point by a Cob, and 
Freeze Shroom works on him too. If you have the standard 6 Gloom, heíll land 
on your third column of Glooms and start nibbling away. Without the Cob, 
you can only kill him so quickly, so he is usually guaranteed to get bites 
off. If heís snared prior to getting into the pool or Freeze Shroomed, 
then his damage will be vastly reduced. Dolphins require the most frequent 
Pumpkining because of their numbers and speed, so you must always keep 
watch of that. Winter-Pults are very unreliable with their start times for 
attacks, so good luck getting them to nail the Dolphins.

Digger Zombie: 

These guys are very straight-forward, too, and you actually donít want to 
use Magnets for them. There will be just too many of them for your poor 
Magnets so you need dedicated ways of kicking their butts when they pop 
out of the ground. That leaves you two viable options, Glooms or Spikerocks. 
A Spikerock will take them out with no damage felt but at the expense of 
doing no damage to Imps. 3 Glooms are required to take out a Digger without 
a single nibble. 2 Glooms is a good balance since they sometimes take them 
out with small damage or no damage. Glooms are affected by the same variable 
starting time as Winter-pults, essentially, so how much damage you take from 
a Digger is dependent on when the Gloom wants to get off its lazy butt. This
randomness will plague you in a lot of things, and this is no exception.

Gargantuar: 

Bum, bum, buuuum. The most intimidating zombie ever conceived for this game.
The only zombie in the game that can sustain a heavy damage consumable. Some
people say he IS the difficulty of Survival Endless and he is the biggest 
reason you will fail. He specializes in crushing noob builds and laughs as 
he strolls right past your Starfruit and Threepeaters. Nothing short of 
unmitigated rape will stop these titans. You might think youíre cool for 
putting down 8 Cattails and you took down that one Giga all by your lonesome,
but fast forward 50 flags and now 12 Gigas come out with 8 Zombonis and the 
Football zombies are eating all of your snare. Yea, good luck. Go find 
another guide. Thereís no solution.

Just kidding. Even though Gargantuars can take a heavy damage consumable, 
they canít take two. The red eye Gargantuars, a.k.a. Gigas, are only 50% 
more HP, so they take 3. (their Imps are also 50% more hp) Henceforth, I 
shall refer only to Gigas, because if you can take down Gigas, you can take 
down their weaker counterpart. As a matter of fact, some builds even ignore 
the weaker brother, *cough* Cobless setup.

Rule of thumb, always snare the Gigas. Unsnared Gigas will squash their way
to your Umbrella Plant before you can even press the space bar to rest 
your arthritic hands. There are only two ways to handle Gigas, woo surprise,
Cobs, Glooms, or both. It turns out that 3 tiles and a Spikerock gives 
you enough room to Cob the living hell out of Gigas if you have 6+ Cobs. So,
for Cobs, both outer and inner rows are handled exactly the same. The inner 
row only seems to require 1 Cob though if you have the 6 Gloom watching your
back, since having 3 Glooms worth of DPS apparently helps out somewhat.

Now for those of you wondering how you can stop 12 of these guys without 
constantly bombing them with napalm, well you have to pump your build with 
more Glooms, like crack. And you still have to use heavy damage consumables,
just now theyíre cards instead of cobs, and they cost sun, not spots. They 
never really wanted to balance a build strong enough to handle 20 Gigas 
without cheating (the number always changes because God laughs at you), 
so there you go. Either Cob spam or Cherry Bomb, Freeze Shroom, Jalapeno, 
and Squash spam. So, how do you manage without sucking on the teat of Cob 
Cannons? Well, you do literally stuff as many Glooms as possibly you can. 
Exhibit A.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0493/GodSlayer

Take note of the seriousness of this photo. These are god slayers and take 
their job very seriously. Also take note of the Freeze Shroom in the 
picture. Itís a reminder that the Gigas must be snared the whole time. It 
also shows that these 5 Glooms canít do it alone and they need a Freeze 
Shroom when the Gigaís in range of all of them. 5 Gloom beatdown while 
frozen equals dead Gigas. This requires Freeze and Imitator Freeze.

There are other ways of taking out Gigas. Exhibit B. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0221/GodSlayer2

Note that you still require full snaring and 4 open spots. The Winter-Pult 
obviously doesnít have to be up front. This one takes up more space than 
Exhibit A but is more independent because you donít need the Freeze Shroom 
normally.

Now, for the outer rows. Theyíre a little more difficult to handle because 
of Jacks. You canít just put 4 Glooms in a row and call it a day. If we take
our answer to Jacks and Zombonis, and add an additional Gloom to the mix, we
can work without Cobs. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0691/ExhibitC

This setup has precisely enough DPS to take out normal Gargantuars by 
themselves, and since Gigas are only 1 consumable awayÖ you use Cherry Bomb, 
Jalapeno, and Squash to bridge the gap. This is the only non-Cob outer row 
solution to Gigas that doesnít get its butt handed to it by Jacks. Scale 
it back and it has the effect described in the Jacks section.

I just want to add that all these answers to Gigas make their younger 
brother garbage. You can ignore Non-Gigas with these heavy damage-dealing 
formations outside of some crazy flukes.

To top it off, people can use the minimalist form of the Jack/Zomboni answer
in conjunction with a small number of cobs, usually 2-4. This requires 
that you scale it back at least 1 or 2 tiles from the original position, 
because the build is placing a lot of emphasis on those Cobs.

Aside from the above listed methods, there arenít any more tested ways of 
dealing with Gigas that isnít highly situational or impractical. There is 
but one more zombie to deal with.

Imp: 

These fat midgets have the potential to be very annoying if you donít watch 
out for them. When a Gargantuar reaches its 50% hp mark, heíll take the 
time to throw the little guy from his back to about 5 tiles ahead of him. 
Imps land on the plants in columns 2,3, and 4 the vast majority of the 
time. So they breach basically the two back regions on the map. Since many 
Gargantuars can come out at any one time, there will be many Imps at one 
time. However, their attack is slow and their health is low, so you donít 
need to Pumpkin often when they show. 
 
The only way discovered so far to take care of Imps effectively is to also 
use Glooms in the back. 

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0521/DiggerGloom

Like so. The formation doesnít need to be exactly that, but the Glooms must 
be in range. Now, to discuss Gloom placement. Even though Gargantuars 
throw their Imps relative to their own position when they get to 50% HP, the
range at which they land can be generalized. If they move too far in, they 
wonít even bother throwing their Imp. This can make things more difficult be
cause that throw serves as a good way to stop the Gigas for a short while. 
No throw means less time to DPS them down before they reach your plants. 
Only bases that are scaled really far back have to worry about this, though.
With that in mind, there are two columns that Glooms can be placed in to hit
99% of the Imps that land. The red bracket is where they land, and the 
yellow bracket is the area for effective Gloom placement.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0995/ImpRegionDiagram

Notice that the right side of the yellow bracket is not within range of 
Digger zombies, so ideally the left side of that bracket is the most bang 
for your buck since it hits 99% of all Imps and 100% of all Diggers. Iíd 
also like to point out that the transition from 2 Gloom to 3 Gloom coverage
for Imps is not very noticeable. 

This is why Glooms for Digger zombies are probably more useful than 
Spikerocks. Why? Because, if you lay down Spikerocks to take care of Digger 
zombies, you have 0 Glooms to take care of Imps. This is what the setup 
would look like:

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0221/DiggerSpikerock

So for 3 slots, youíre getting 3 Glooms worth of damage to Diggers 
(3 Glooms = 2 Spikerocks) and 1 Glooms worth of damage to Imps. If you use 
Glooms for Diggers, like the one shown earlier, for 2 slots you get 2 Glooms
worth of damage to both Imps and Diggers. Now, simple math dictates that 
3 + 1 = 2 + 2. So for 2 slots, you get the same overall DPS. Not to mention,
the difference between 2 Glooms of damage to Diggers is minimal compared to
3. Itís all about diminishing returns and maximizing your effectiveness per 
tile space.

One final note is that Imps are very wide and heavy-set, so their hitbox is 
actually larger than where they land. So, horizontally speaking, Glooms can 
reach them about 1.3-1.4 tiles away aside from the normal 1 tile range. We 
shall see that this is the same for Bungees too.

Bungee: 

These guys come every beginning of a flag (end of first half and end of 
second half), but not at the beginning of the level. They vary in number, 
even in the later flags, from just about 1 to 10 at a time. There are 
multiple ways of dealing with Bungees. You can either block them with 
Umbrella Plants, which is somewhat hard to manage with a very large base, 
or DPS them down before they pick up your plant and leave. So, how does one 
go about that? Well, snared Bungee zombies surprisingly stay down twice as 
long, but they have 23 health so it is still quite a feat to bring these guys 
down in time. You can use a properly timed Freeze Shroom, which will freeze 
them in place if theyíre out and not moving, snare them, and damage them. 
The key to timing it is to see the targets land, wait 3 seconds, then Coffee
Bean the Freeze Shroom. If it works out, they should be frozen as quickly 
as they possibly can. This way, your Winter-Pults, Glooms, or Cobs can 
handle them. You can also Cob them without any help if you have good 
timing and reaction speed.

The final way is for your base to handle it all by itself. This requires 
extreme Gatling plus Torchwood DPS (which doesnít work in Survival Endless 
anyway), or Winter-Pults and Glooms. With enough Glooms, theyíll die snared 
or not, which means your 6 Gloom front will always be safe. However, if you
donít have space for such a large amount of Glooms, youíll need to enlist 
the help of Winter-Pults. Because Winter-Pults and Glooms both start at 
random times with their attacks, their delay can be so long that you need at
least 1 Winter-Pult and 4 Glooms just to secure a plant 100%. 3 Glooms will 
be around 90-95% security. If you already have a Winter-Pult in every row, 
every plant not covered by an Umbrella must be in range of 4 Glooms. But 
like the Imps, the Bungees are wider; therefore their horizontal hitbox 
allows them to be hit by Glooms 2 spaces away. This does not work vertically
or diagonally, though. If you fail to achieve 3-4 Glooms for some spots, 
whenever those spots get targeted, you must use a Freeze Shroom or be 
prepared to replace the plant.

After learning all this theory, itís time to see these things put into 
practice. Itís one thing to memorize the tactics laid down by your 
forefathers, itís another to see these in action. Like I said, I categorize 
these builds by their number of Cobs, from 0 to 8. There are builds that
are more than 8, but theyíre no different from the 8 Cob.


=============
Cobless Build
=============


http://h.imagehost.org/download/0111/Elegant

I happen to be the designer of this build, so I have the most knowledge 
about the only successful Cobless build out there. I say ďonlyĒ because 
any other variation of this build is no significant variation, just a small
change in the back corners or the pool. The meat and potatoes canít really 
differ. There are some modification to this build that makes it different 
from the standard approaches. For one, the Umbrella plant is optimally 
placed so this build is Bungee immune. For two, there is a third inner row 
Gloom that is used for Imps and also acts as a safety net and makes this
build very resilient to failure.

You should see that this build is a combination of the inner row answer to 
Gigas (5 Gloom which requires Freeze Shroom and its Imitator) and the 
only non-Cob answer to outer row Gigas (which requires consumable rotation).
The original Pumpkin card is enough to cover for the maintenance. 

There are two weaknesses to this build. The first of which is dealing with 
the fact that every zombie will get uncomfortably close to your base, so 
visibility and pressure issues will arise, like finding spots to place your 
Freeze Shroom. The second problem is that it canít do anything to stop the 
premature Jack explosion of the pool Glooms. This can be a game breaker if 
you do not replace them immediately and react accordingly. Since youíll be 
down a Gloom for a little while, it is difficult to prevent any other loss 
of plants in the mean time, especially that first inner row Gloom. The key 
is to focus all your consumables on stalling time and minimizing damage. 
That means Freeze, Puff Shroom, Cherry Bomb, etc. Cherry Bombs have the 
added benefit of affecting both rows, so use the Cherry Bomb for the 
afflicted side before the Jalapeno.

The key to the consumable rotation is to use them only when the Gigas are 
about to smash your plants. Use the Squash as often as possible because 
of its cheaper cost and lower cooldown. Aside from that, donít let your 
Freeze Shrooms go to waste all too often, and make sure to queue up Freezes 
during the breaks.

The highlight of this build is that for non-Giga levels, you can watch the 
destruction of all the zombies completely automated. It is rather beautiful 
to see everything fall without you doing much of anything. It also provides 
an alternative to the usual Cob spam thatís required of you for the Cob 
builds. People recommend this build if you donít like all the excessive 
clicking of Cob Cannons.


============
2 Cob Builds
============


The main trouble of these builds is that they quickly let unsnared zombies 
get by, so Freeze Shroom is a must for its equalizing power. It gets 
everything snared and removes the debt accumulated for lost time. These are 
probably the slowest builds because they require the zombies to go the most 
distance before the next wave comes. As a result, you can get away with a 
low Sunflower count.

http://i27.tinypic.com/27zg603.jpg
(By FlyinFree)

FlyinFreeís build employs the delay tactic and making full use of those 2 
Cob Cannons. It seems like this build also requires full consumable rotation
and both the Pumpkin card and its Imitator. He also uses Spikerocks for 
Diggers because he wants to keep the Gloom cost down just in case he loses 
the pool Gloom or that front ground Gloom. You can see too that he employs 
the most stripped down version of the Zomboni/Jack answer. It was his build 
that actually showed me the second Gloom in this formation was unnecessary.

http://a.imagehost.org/view/0825/Draco2Cob 
(By Draco89123)

My version of this build does not require a consumable rotation, but I do 
bring a Freeze Shroom and Cherry Bomb just in case. When there are Jacks in 
the level, I replace those regular sunflowers for Fumes to handle the Jack 
accidents. I rely on using Puff Shroom and its Imitator to severely slow 
down the Gigas so that my Cobs can take care of them.


============
4 Cob Builds
============


These are probably the easiest and most flexible of builds. 4 Cobs is 
halfway to constant Cob spam every wave, so the Cob rotation for this build 
involves Cobbing every other wave and just drawing out the zombies long 
enough to take care of the in between.

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/2356/timeisyourfriend.png
(By halibabica)

Halibabica has come up with a very interesting pattern where he goes even 
more minimalist with the ground support and takes out the Fumes. Jacks 
are apparently no problem for him since the Cobs take them out before they 
reach any ground plants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkAb8SfzlAo
I couldnít find a link to his setup, but there are a lot of videos of this 
guyís build.
(By Shapes112)

Shapes112ís build is what introduced me to the flexibility of the 4 Cob and 
it shows the pacing of the game by these builds, which makes it very level 
and nonchalant. I believe Shapes112 requires consumable rotation and all 
sorts of other hijinks based on its asymmetry and his constant switching of
plants to fit his needs. He has definitely proven that 4 Cob can manage 
1,000 flags just like the rest of them. 

http://h.imagehost.org/download/0020/United_Field_A 
(By Draco89123)

As inspiration from Shapes112ís build, I decided to optimize both sides, 
make it symmetrical again, and make it so the build can always deal with 
anything that comes out and not need to switch things out. You can still 
switch things out, but basal form can handle anything without any 
modification. This build requires no consumable and no imitator card, so I 
just bring Puff Shroom and its Imitator because you can never go wrong with 
free delays. You do need to bring a Blover for air, though.


=============
6+ Cob Builds
=============


Now that weíve moved beyond just having 4 Cobs, the Cob rotation becomes 
extremely important for maintaining yourself in the later waves. These 
builds always rely on Cobs, even for simpler levels with the basic zombies 
because of the sacrifices they made to have such raw power. The Cob rotation
involves Cobbing whenever you have a pair up, but only one pair per wave. 
The idea is to Cob as late as possible. You can time this based on the 
Dolphins, but the best timer is to make it so the Cobs land right before the
Zomboni is about to get popped by the Spikerock. That is a good way to get 
in the groove, and if you maintain that for every level, nothing will give 
you trouble. Football zombies, Dance zombies, Jacks, and Gigas still pose a 
threat so they are the main priority of these builds.

To optimize Cob blast placement, target the inner row 7th column tile to hit
everything within that open area. It helps against pool zombies and is best 
for dealing with the entirety of a wave with just 2 shots. The next tactic,
like all the other Cob builds, is to stall the zombies with Puff Shrooms and
Freeze Shrooms if you need time for your Cobs to recharge.

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/2668/endlessiamsooty.jpg
(By Iamsooty)

This is the first successful build for Survival Endless. This defined what 
being a viable build meant and laid the foundation for all Cob buildsout 
there. It established the idea of using Glooms in the back, using the 
orthodox 6 pool Gloom, and using Spikerocks and open space to buy enough 
time to kill everything with Cobs. The card selection suggests that it 
required the usual consumable rotation, Pumpkin replacement, and Spikerock
maintenance.

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/557/endlessproz.jpg
(By Proz)

This was the start of the 8 Cob builds. Why stop at 6? The outer rows were 
always more vulnerable because they werenít getting Gloom protection. 
People answered that for the longest time with a butt load of Winter-Pults 
for the outer row, but then Proz decided to be really ballsy and put an 
extremely vulnerable Cob Cannon on the front lines and just made his Cob 
rotation constant. With 8 Cobs and proper timing, there is no gap in between
waves, so if done correctly, everything would be dead before they even 
reached the Cob Cannons. If a Cob Cannon does get eaten, or mistakes are 
made, then consumables are recommended to bring along as backup.

http://i32.tinypic.com/11in8km.jpg
(By Cob Cannon)

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8528/endlesstaikanatur.jpg
(By Taikanataur)

http://g.imagehost.org/download/0335/Low_Maintenance_3
http://g.imagehost.org/download/0093/Low_Maintenance_2
(By Draco89123)

Finally, the rest of these links are just tweaks of the 8 Cob design. 
Theyíre designed for ease of use with Freeze Shrooms, or more elegant 
Umbrella Plant placement, or whatever. They essentially all follow the same 
Cob rotation. My builds at the end show that the 6 pool Gloom is entirely 
superfluous for these setups, and as a result, Jacks are no longer a 
concern, which makes sun no longer a concern.

============
Zombie Stats
============


Special thanks to A Guy for his contributions.


Regular: 10
Conehead: 27
Buckethead: 65
Football: 80
Pole-Vaulting: 17
Newspaper: 8 hp Newspaper + 9 hp Zombie
Screen Door: 65 hp blocked, 10 hp penetrated
Michael Jackson: 17
Backup: 10
Ducky Tube: 10
Ducky Tube Conehead: 27
Ducky Tube Buckethead: 65
Snorkel: 10
Zomboni: 60
Bobsled: 14 hp bobsled, 10 hp per zombie
Dolphin: 17
Jack-in-the-Box: 17
Balloon: 1 for balloon, 10 for zombie
Digger: 15
Pogo: 17
Bungee: 23
Ladder: 25 hp for ladder, 17 for zombie
Catapult: 35
Imp: 3
Gargantuan: 150 (2 Consumables worth)
Giga-Gargantuan: 300 (3 consumables worth)
Yeti: 46


==========
Conclusion
==========

Hopefully this guide will be complete enough for you to not only be able to 
play a build past 100 flags, but design a new build past 100 flags.

Any questions, comments, concerns, or if you have new ideas, new tactics, 
or just a willingness for PvZ discussion, you can email me.

emailisforidiots@gmail.com

Thanks imagehosting.com for your awesome image hosting. =P