Jeremy enjoys gaming when not working as a manager at the same college he graduated from.
What Is Plants vs. Zombies 2?
PvZ2 is an excellent free-to-play mobile game that combines a charming aesthetic with great tower defense gameplay. Using dozens of unlockable lawn warriors, you fend off undead enemies through strategic placement of your versatile units. Each offers different powers, with some excelling in offense while others stall zombies or produce "Sun" (the resource needed to place plants).
While all troops have their uses, some are generally better than others; which defenders reign supreme? These are the ten best plants in Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time!
10. Lightning Reed
Cost (at level 1): 125 Sun
For just 25 more Sun than the standard Peashooter, Lightning Reed offers several helpful additions. He can target enemies in either his row or adjacent ones, ensuring he's never wasting time idly, and his shock attacks chain to nearby enemies, making him a sweet crowd-control unit. Additionally, his attack can't be blocked or reflected, excellently countering annoying Jester or Shield Zombies.
Reed's only failing is a lackluster plant food effect (creating a cloud that can only damage one enemy at a time), but that's a small complaint for a versatile warrior who won't break the bank.
9. Cold Snapdragon
Cost: 150 Sun
Regular Snapdragon certainly isn't a bad unit, but he's far outclassed by his icy counterpart. For the same price, Cold Snapdragon deals identical damage with the same range (attacking all enemies ahead in a 3x2 area), but with the added bonus of chilling his targets, reducing their movement speed. Additionally, his frigid nature makes him immune to the frozen winds seen in the Frostbite Caves world.
His only downside is being a premium plant, meaning you'll have to pay real money or catch a special event to unlock him, but he's undoubtedly one of the best guardians available.
8. Laser Bean
Cost: 200 Sun
While useful in regular levels, Laser Bean is essential for endless mode due to his piercing laser, which strikes all enemies throughout his row. While damage output is low for his cost, he hits all foes simultaneously and can't have his attack reflected or blocked. And since the beam doesn't contain a fire nature, it won't interfere with the freezing effects of plants like Cold Snapdragon or Frozen Peashooter.
Pair Laser with plants that deal heavy damage to singular foes to finish off any units who close in, or use Wall-nuts or other stalling plants to delay their arrival. As a final bonus, Laser wields a great plant food attack, striking all forward enemies in the row with a punishing beam.
7. Primal Potato Mine
Cost: 50 Sun
Primal Potato Mine offers an excellent upgrade to his modern counterpart. While he costs slightly more sun, his punishing one-use explosion hits a much larger radius and he arms more quickly, meaning you don't have to worry nearly as much about stalling.
As long as you keep an eye on the situation and remember to plant him slightly in advance, you essentially have a much-cheaper Cherry Bomb whose range can be further improved once you max out his level.
6. Winter Melon
Cost: 500 Sun
Winter Melon costs an insane amount of Sun, but we'll soon see how to quickly accumulate it, mitigating the issue. And he's worth the investment, slowly lobbing melons that deal heavy splash damage and chill foes.
Not many zombies can break through a few columns of Winter Melon, and he's especially handy for free-to-play users who don't have access to as many freezing units. If you see a Winter Melon about to be eaten and know you won't be able to save it, try shoveling it out of the ground for a partial refund (once you've unlocked the corresponding upgrade).
5. Gold Bloom
Cost: 0 Sun
Recharge: Very Slow
While Gold Bloom takes its sweet time refreshing, it begins levels active (unlike most plants), letting you harness it immediately. Bloom simply produces an instant dose of a few hundred sun, giving you an enormous amount of energy for free!
Thus, Bloom's an excellent resource-generator who won't take up one of your limited grid spaces. He's a premium plant, but was available for free in the past special event "Rescue the Gold Bloom"; players who missed out should keep their eyes peeled in case it ever returns.
4. Shadow Peashooter
Cost: 125 Sun
With his base abilities, Shadow Peashooter shoots projectiles at about the same speed and damage as a normal Peashooter, but he sacrifices himself to deal massive damage to an enemy when they close. However, he really excels when combined with Moonflower, who turns his attacks into row-wide beams (similar to Laser Bean) and gives them a stall effect, slowing enemies.
Thus, while Shadow requires other plants to access his true potential, his powerful abilities and affordable price make arguably the best offensive warrior when at full power.
Cost: 25 Sun
Compared to the standard Sun-producing Sunflower, Sun-shroom is half the price, but he only generates 25 at a time. However, he gradually grows as time passes, eventually producing 50 and then 75 Sun, meaning he eventually exceeds Sunflower despite his discount!
His durability is standard, but Sun-shroom's makes an effective last-resort stall tactic, as his low cost means you can use him to briefly fend off zombies without bankrupting.
2. Primal Sunflower
Cost: 75 Sun
Primal Sunflower is a great alternative to Sun-shroom, as the two are neck-and-neck for the best resource manufacturer. Primal costs 25 more resources than a regular Sunflower, but automatically produces 75 Sun with each burst.
Thus, you're soon acquiring vast amounts of energy that easily compensate for the slight price increase. This is also vital to a quick defense in higher levels of endless mode, where you'll need to crank out Sun as fast as possible.
Cost: 50 Sun
Explode-O-Nut costs the same as a regular Wall-nut, stalling foes with his impressive durability. However, he has the phenomenal addition of detonating enemies in a 3x3 area once eaten/destroyed, essentially providing a free Cherry Bomb, and he has a surprisingly fast recharge for a one-off plant.
In short, Explode is cheap, durable, powerful, and not as slow to recharge as you'd expect. Just bear in mind he's a premium and usually requires real-world cash to unlock.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 Updates
Today's units highlight the cream of the literal crop, showcasing the best of nature's defenders. As an ongoing title with constant updates and tweaks, we'll undoubtedly encounter more awesome lawn guardians in the future, and remember that each plant levels up at different rates. Thus, your "weaker" units might actually be stronger until their harder-to-level superiors can catch up, helping all units see usage.
But for now, as we eagerly await our next batch of zombie-slaying flora, vote for your favorite plant and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
theelitesniper_2 on August 24, 2020:
i like lightning reed cause well when ya have like 3 rows of them they are OP
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on June 17, 2020:
True, against single-zombie threats, Laser Beans aren't as great. But they're essential for endless mode and they have other benefits; their beam hits immediately across the screen (whereas peas have to travel) and pierces through not only zombies, but most enemy shields/defenses.
bob on June 17, 2020:
I don't think laser beans are that good the cost is to high for something that does a little bit over a peashooters damage but it does shoot all zombies in the row but the cost is just to high for the low damage
Stuff on June 12, 2020:
I vote caulipower
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on June 07, 2020:
Bonk is good when you're starting out, but you'll eventually unlock better melee plants.
bob on June 07, 2020:
bonk choy should be on here
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on June 07, 2020:
@ooga booga man
Correct! I'll try to periodically update the list with new plants, we'll see if pokra makes the cut then.
ooga booga man on June 05, 2020:
pokra wasn't in PZ2 when this was made, E-BOY.
e man on May 27, 2020:
i think pokra shold be on the list because its very op at its first level
MetalVN on May 19, 2020:
I vote Lightning reed cuz It can take out annoying jester zombie and shied zombie
No one lol on May 12, 2020:
I vote shadow peashooter
mojo on April 12, 2020:
lava guava is my favourite as it is so powerful and fun to play
Tigers Emperor on March 11, 2020:
Shadow Peashooter is my favourite, as he can slow down and stun zombies when his beam hits them (his beam is lane wide and is at average 70 dps). In my opinion, his powered version is the best plant, and he is very useful in endless levels combined with moonflower.
Icccccce on March 01, 2020:
Winter melon is my favourite because I looooooove watermelon and winter
Reef on February 28, 2020:
My favourite plant is strawburst
Snowman on December 09, 2019:
Apple mortor is my favorite, it trivializes anything prior to futuristic and is still a great option end game, and nothing beats moonflower in sun producing capacity
ANOMONUYSSSSS on October 28, 2019:
i like caulipower, apple morter celeri stalker, peanut, thyme warp, witch hazel, ghost pepper, jack o lantern and pokra.
Nobody123000 on July 20, 2019:
Hi, I don’t really like puffshroom but, puffshroom is cheep in sun but his attack is very weak. I personally like Hypnoshroom even though it cost I think 100 sun it’s very useful in the harder levels because the stronger zombies get hypnotize and attack the other zombies.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on April 27, 2019:
Good suggestion! Puff-shroom's definitely a worthy and easily-obtained plant. I use both him and Reed frequently in "Battlez" mode, especially when you need cheap units in levels where Sun is limited.
It might help to combine Reed with stronger plants like Pea Pod or Winter Melon; Reed handles crowd control while they focus on taking down bigger threats. Hurrikale's also a nice quickly-recharged supplement that pushes zombies back, giving Reeds more time to take down bigger threats. Of course, we all have our favorites, and I appreciate your insight!
BEWARE DANGER on April 26, 2019:
Very nice article man. But i would disagree with you about lightning reed. Sure you put it in the lowest rank in this list but I honestly don't think Lightning reed is overall that good as people say it is. Throughout the high levels and worlds more and more plants have proven to be far superior than Lightning reed ever could be. Sure it's very effective against Jester and chicken zombies and has good range but once you get up to the very high levels it becomes quite unreliable as it has very low attack power. I also thought that perhaps puffshroom should deserve a spot as it has served as a powerful plant and good defense for a plant with zero-cost and fast recharge. But then again that's my opinion and not yours so anyways keep up the good work!