Know thy enemies is key to kill them. In this complete guide, we will go over every single zombie that you will face in the game. We will provide information on their HP, their special abilities, and the best ways to kill them effectively.
We have divided the zombies into their perspective world zones to help you easily locate them. Now, because you do not have all the plants available during your first round of the game, this guide is written only with the plants that you have at your disposal. In addition, this guide will use no premium plants.
Quick Zombie Killing Reference Guide Index
This is a quick index for the different zombies. You can jump to different parts of this zombie killing guide with the links.
These zombies appear in every single stage of the game. Thus we have grouped them together and generalized them into
How to Kill Regular Zombies
Anything kills the regular zombies. These zombies usually appear near the beginning of the game to “rush” you. You will have to plant a basic yet cheap plant to take this out early on. Our favorite is the potato mine or kernel-pult.
The potato mine is best to be used together with iceberg lettuce because the potato mine takes some time to be ready.
In pirate seas stage the spring bean works well in the beginning. For Wild West world setup up lightning reeds for stages with chicken wranglers. You typically will need at least 2 lightning reed to take down the regular zombies.
How to Kill Conehead Zombies
Having a little more HP than the regular zombies, they come pretty early in the stage too. The conehead zombies are usually the 4th or 5th beginning waves. Take them down just like regular zombies using the same as regular, although you will need to double that firepower.
For example, the conehead will take 2 peashooters and 4 lightning reeds and so on.
How to Kill Buckethead Zombies
The buckethead zombies are heavily armored and pretty hard to kill. You will either need a fully buffed offense with 2~3 repeaters or other strong plants to take it down.
In general, plants that instantly kill zombies do well against bucketheads, for example potato mines, cherry bombs, and spring beans in Pirate Seas world.
Ancient Egypt Zombies
In this world, you have Cabbage-pult, iceberg lettuce, bloomgerang, bonk choy, repeater as your main plants. You have twin sunflower as gated plant.
How to Kill Camel Zombies
A great way to kill camel zombies is by stacking two bonk choy together. The bonk choy will still take 1~2 hits before taking down the entire camel, but it’s a cheap way to start up your defenses.
As the stage goes on, you want to defend your base with 2~3 bloomerang as they will be dealing stacked damage to the mobbed camel zombies.
How to Kill Ra Zombies
Kill the Ra zombies like you would do with the regular zombies. Its only specialty is to steal your sun, however they do a pretty bad job at it. You are able to get the sun before they absorb it.
How to Kill Explorer Zombies
Explorer zombies can be tricky because they destroy all of your plants as they touch. They can be really tough when combined with gravestones thrown by the tomb raisers.
Your best bet is to kill them as soon as you can. Consider using cabbage-pult to lob the cabbage to damage the explorer. Like the camel zombie, stack up a couple of bloomerang and use the plants food to kill them fast can help too. But because they come fairly frequently, it’s best to have the proper defense instead of relying on plants food boost.
In addition, avoid using wall-nut to defend against explorers as resistance is futile.
How to Kill Pharaoh Zombies
Pharaoh zombies are tough cookies to crack. They boast an even higher armor and defense than buckheads. At this point in time, most of the plants food powerups only have the capability to crack their shell. You need to have a full brigade of damaging plants to kill them effectively.
Set up 1~2 repeaters and/or 2~3 bloomerang. Add the bonk choy front line plus wall-nuts. Your best shot against pharaoh is to wear them down and go for the kill. Alternatively, you can kill them easily with potato mine, although you will need great timing to be successful at it.
Tomb Raiser Zombies
How to Kill Tomb Raiser Zombies
Tomb raisers will raise tombstones all over the stage and can be quite trouble some. The best way against them is to have 1~2 cabbage-pult plus bloomerang as your front line to destroy them. The other concept is that the more plants that you have on the field, the less spaces that tomb raisers can raise their tombstones.
How to Kill Tombstone
Tombstones are road blocks that have a ton of HP. There is no good way against them. What we usually do is to plant bonk choy next to them for damage. The bonk choys will prioritize and hit zombies as zombies get close. In addition, use grave busters to quickly destroy the tombstones.
Pirate Seas Zombies
In pirate seas, you obtain these additional plants: kernel-pult, spikeweed, coconut cannon, spring bean, threepeater. You can get spikerock and cherry bomb from locked gates.
How to Kill Swashbuckler
The swashbucklers arrive in waves and sometimes double at the time. They arrive by swinging the rope onto your 5th row. They have a defense of regular zombies. The best way to handle them is by using spring bean for the initial waves, and later on switching to double row of spikeweed.
The double row of spikeweed can also effectively take out all incoming imps from the imp cannons.
How to Kill Seagull
Seagull zombies are a little more nasty because they can bypass the spikeweeds and attack your plants. They can be killed instantly by kernel-pults if the kernel-pult shoots out butter attack. Our favorite method is to defend the seagull using wall-nut on the third row with kernel-pults placed behind it. This way the kernel-pult can take its time to bring down the seagull.
However, if there are multiple seagull zombies attacking you. A blast of plant food on kernel-pult can clean them all out.
How to Kill Imp Cannon
The imp cannons have really high HP and will shoot out imps. Like swashbuckler zombies, a double row of spikeweed can take them out easily. However, after the third imp blast, the cannon will explode and unleash 6 or so imps starting from your third line of defense.
To counter the imp cannon explosions, place the double spikeweed on the second and third row. Your only weakness though would be if the stages also have seagull zombies.
If the imp cannon arrived on the walk-able deck, you can also place spikeweed or spikerock to continue damaging the cannon. However, this strategy is a little weak because barrel rollers can break your spikes. Lastly, the easiest way would be to place coconut cannon at the base of your land, and blast imp cannons to pieces as soon as you see them.
How to Kill Barrel Roller
Barrel rollers are nasty zombies that unleash two additional imps when barrels break. And the barrels can rollover your plants and killing them instantly. You can either have enough fire power to break them or use spikeweed to break the barrel.
Your “catapults” will bypass the barrel and attack the roller zombie. However, kernel-pult is best to be used as it slows down the rolling speed while your other plants do their job.
It should note that spring bean plant food combo can knock roller away from the barrel so it stops rolling. In general, your best bet is to use coconut cannon and killing them at first sight. Placing spikeweed as a consumable to take out barrel rollers can get quite costly, especially for some stages where barrel rollers come in mobs.
We also like to use cherry bomb whenever there are a few imp cannons and barrel rollers around. Cherry bomb does the job right.
How to Kill Pirate Captain
Pirate captains have the defense similar to the normal zombie. However, they unleash parrots within about 10 seconds of appearing on the screen. These parrots can instantly take out one of your plant if you do not have enough defense.
The pirate captains are one of the most annoying zombies in the game as they can really screw you up. Your main goal is to place them at an even higher priority than imp cannon or barrel rollers. Setup your coconut cannons to kill them on sight. You can also consider to use kernel-pult as defense to buy yourself sometime if the kernel-pult can freeze the captain.
How to Kill Parrot
Parrot zombies are super annoying that they can kill your plants instantly. However, they can be killed by luck if you have double snapdragon defense or 2~3 rows of repeaters. The best and cleaniest way to kill parrots is by blasting plant food on kernel-pult. The butter attack instantly kills the parrot zombie. However, you will have to time it exactly, as the parrot can actually “dodge” your bullets if you do it too fast.
Another trick is actually to “shovel” the plant if you see that the plant is a goner. If you have the recycle powerup, you will at least get some sun back to replant. But it’s much easier to kill parrots before they get to you.
Wild West Zombies
For Wild West stage, you will have split peas, chili beans, lightning reed, tall-nut, pea pod, melon-pult. And winter-melon as locked gate plant. By this stage, you should have at least the cherry bomb from Pirate seas world.
How to Kill Prospector
Prospector zombies have the health of a regular zombie, they blast off to the back of your line maybe about 10 seconds into play. The best way to kill them is to kill them before they blast off. You will need about 5~6 lightning reeds or some serious fire power, as they never come alone and always with some other zombies.
You can also setup split peas which does double pea attack to the back. Although, we find that coconut cannon does the job better at killing them before they blast off. You will have less micromanagement to do. You can also consider freezing them or use double snapdragon near the front to kill them fast.
How to Kill Poncho
Poncho zombies come in two flavors, armored with metal plate and without. The armored ponchos have the defense of bucketheads which can be quite hard to kill. We like to use instant kill plants such as potato mine or chili bean to kill them early. Then we switch to coconut cannon or cherry bombs to do the job efficiently.
Once you unlock winter melon, you can consider to use the combo of winter melon + spike weeds against ponchos. The winter melons slow down armored poncho, which makes them much more vulnerable to spikeweeds.
How to Kill Zombie Bull
Zombie bulls are heavily armored rides that carry the rider. The best way to kill it is similar to poncho zombies, however, with zombie bull, you will have to place a tall-nut to stop it from slinging the zombie rider into your defense.
Your best bet to kill the bull itself is with high powered plants like melon-pult, winter melon, and coconut cannons. We like the usual kernel-pult however to freeze the bulls.
Zombie Bull Rider
How to Kill Zombie Bull Rider
The zombie bull rider can deal serious damage if you do not defend with tall-nuts. The thrown imps can take out a couple of your plants before your plants can kill them. Worse yet, the imps can be thrown directly into your base and eat your brains if you setup the defense too thin.
The best way to kill zombie bull rider is to block them with tall-nut, then they are weak imps that can be killed with pretty much anything.
How to Kill Pianist
Pianist zombies are heavily armored zombie like the barrel roller. You can kill them instantly with spikeweeds. The pianist rarely come in mobs and thus make the spideweeds an attrative option. With pianist zombie, you need to be careful about using wall-nuts as your defense as they an run over it. The pianist zombie also does a ton of direct damage to tall-nut.
It is the best for you to kill them fast, or kill them when they “dance” the zombies into your strong lanes. Like the other powerhouse zombies, the coconut cannon and cherry bomb does their jobs best against them.
How to Kill Chicken Wrangler
Chicken wranglers unleash a bunch of chicken that can clear your defense fast. The best way against chicken wrangler and its pets are with lightning reeds. For the stages with chicken wrangler, either setup 1 line or lightning reed to clear the chicken only. Or you can setup an entire field consisted of lightning reeds. If you can setup a complete defense of 3~4 rows, the lightning reeds will fry pretty much all the zombies easily.