Plants vs. Ghouls quest chain

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NeutralPlants vs. Ghouls
Level range

20

Zone

Hillsbrad Foothills

Notable rewards

This quest chain is an homage to the Plants vs. Zombies game by Popcap Games. The reward for completing it is the Singing Sunflower pet.

Upon the release of Cataclysm came a new daily quest allowing one to continue playing the mini-game once per day.

Plants vs. Ghouls

Brazie the Botanist is having problems with undead attacking his farm. He blames the warden at the Sludge Fields for his problems. But that's something to worry about later. For now, he needs help defending against the zombies.

Because we don't want zombies on the lawn.

N [20] Basic Botany

This is a tutorial of the basic elements of the chain. You need to defend a single row against zombies. You need to plant a couple of Spitters to ensure the zombies don't reach the house (and eat Brazie's brains). Completing this quest unlocks the Sunflower.

N [20] Flower Power

More zombies come. You only need to defend the middle three rows, not the entire board. For this quest, you have to plant enough sunflowers to generate more Solar Power, so you can plant more spitters. During the quest, a zombie will drop Freezya seeds, letting you slow zombies down. Completing this quest unlocks the Rocknut.

N [20] Ghouls Hate My Grains

Yet more zombies approach. This time, you have something that can stop them... for a while. The Rocknut. You continue to Brazie's house, and during the process find Strangler Vine seeds dropped by one of the oncoming zombies. Completing this quest unlocks the Pumpkin Bomb.

N [20] Someone Setup the Pumpkin Bomb

You now have a full suite of tools against zombies. Having successfully defended Brazie so far, Warden Stillwater sends the toughest foes yet! Abominations!

And worse, you have to survive two massive waves of zombies.

N [20] Lawn of the Dead

Warden Stillwater himself appears, and sends wave after wave of zombies after you. And you? You must defeat him ... with plants.

Against all odds, you and your chlorophyll-laden friends defeat the monsterous Warden Stillwater!

Brazie awards you a packet of your very own sunflower seeds, and your choice from among a couple of things that would help you with your own garden.

Rewards

One of these:

Inv pants leather 21.png [Botanist's Britches] Inv wand 04.png [Brazie's Plant Light]

Plants vs. Ghouls tutorial

Brazie nameplate.jpg
PvG progress bar.jpg

When you start each of these quests, you go into an individually phased state and point of view. You are given a vehicle interface with which to plant seeds, and are given a progress bar to show how far you are in the quest.

Note that if you die (presumably from dots) during the quest, you immediately exit the phased state and 'vehicle'.

The elements

Sunflower and solar power orb

The "field" is a 5 x 8 grid of lawn squares. Zombies of various sorts will appear at the right side, and walk to the left. If they reach the house, you lose.

Each row of the field has a forsaken sprayer (Fertilize-o-tron 2000) on it, providing you with a mulligan or 'do-over'. The first time (for each row) that an undead goes past the left-most column, the sprayer will be sent out across the lawn, killing all undead on that row.

Each square of the board can hold a single plant. If the plant gets destroyed, the space is freed, and another plant can be placed there.

Each plant type requires a different amount of Solar Power in order to be placed on the field, which is subtracted from the amount you have currently.

Every now and then, a Solar Power orb will drop on the field. This appears as a glowing yellow ball. You collect these (by right-clicking on them) to gain Solar Power. Orbs that remain uncollected will disappear after a time. You may start the quest/game with some of these already on the board. If so, you should collect them to provide you with an early start.

The plants

You gain access to more plant types as you progress through the quest chain, and even in the middle of quests. Once you gain a plant ability, you can use it thereafter.

Spitter
Ability rogue venomouswounds.png  Plant Spitter (20 Solar Power) — Creates a Spitter, which shoots acid at incoming zombies. instant (10 second cooldown)
You start with this ability in the first quest (N [20] Basic Botany). The Spitter has low health, but is your basic damage-dealing plant. One spitter can defeat a zombie before it can run more than 4 squares. Tougher foes take longer.
Sunflower
Inv misc flower 01.png  Plant Sunflower (10 Solar Power) — Creates a Sunflower, which concentrates Sun Power from the sky. Sun Power is used to create other plants. instant (8 seconds cooldown)
N [20] Basic Botany unlocks this ability, which you then use in subsequent quests. Every now and then, a white light aura will surround the sunflower for a short while. Shortly thereafter, a Solar Power orb will fall to where that sunflower is.
Freezya
Inv misc herb frostlotus.png  Plant Freezya (20 Solar Power) — Creates a Freezya which shoots chilling blasts at incoming ghouls, reducing movement and attack speed. instant (10 seconds cooldown)
During N [20] Flower Power one of the zombies will drop a bag. You need to collect (right-click) the bag to gain Freezya seeds. Freezya plants are more durable than spitters, or at least seem that way, since they slow down the attacks the undead make against it.
Rocknut
Trade archaeology stoneshield.png  Plant Rocknut (15 Solar Power) — Creates a Rocknut, which absorbs attacks from incoming ghouls. instant (18 seconds cooldown)
Completing N [20] Flower Power unlocks this ability. Rocknuts can be thought of as the 'tank' of the plant world. They do absolutely no damage, but they can take quite a bit of punishment. Zombies and ghouls take a while to defeat one of these, but abominations walk right past them.
Strangler Vine
Inv misc herb nightmarevine.png  Plant Strangler Vine (30 Solar Power) — Creates a Strangler Vine, which grasps and gradually kills 1 attacking ghoul. instant (20 seconds cooldown)
During N [20] Ghouls Hate My Grains, one of the ghouls will drop a bag with these seeds in it. A Vine-y tentacle emerging from the ground. Strangler vines will pick up nearby undead and slowly throttle them. They might pick up undead from adjacent rows, and undead in adjacent rows may stop to beat on them.
Inv misc food 25.png  Plant Pumpkin Bomb (40 Solar Power) — Creates a Pumpkin Bomb, which explodes, destroying all nearby zombies. instant (25 seconds cooldown)
Unlocked by completing N [20] Ghouls Hate My Grains. Shortly after being planted, they will explode, dealing damage to undead in each adjacent square. While they don't stick around long, they are great for getting rid of abominations.

The foes

Zombie
your typical walking dead. Slow, stupid, ravenous. Doesn't do great amounts of damage compared to other undead you face. Isn't quite so fast, either.
Ghoul
Faster, stronger, hungrier. Better in every way than the zombie, if you're trying to raise an undead army.
Abomination
Just plain nasty. So big, they walk around Rocknuts. Too big to be picked up by Strangler Vines. To Tough to be killed by a single Pumpkin Bomb.
Warden Stillwater
Your average end-of-level boss monster. He wanders up and down the edge of the field, causing you problems.

Tactics

General tactics

The quest starts slowly, giving you time to start planting and gathering energy. While not as important on earlier quests, from N [20] Ghouls Hate My Grains onwards, you will want to have up to 10 (two rows) sunflowers as early as you can. Keeping them as far to the left as you can lets you keep producing Solar Energy for as long as possible.

Your next priority is to create some offense. A row or two of spitters will do that. You will likely have to plant some spitters to ward off wandering zombies before you finish planting all the sunflowers you want.

You may need to plant a Freezya or Rocknut in order to delay the undead long enough for you to get spitters (or even more sunflowers) out. Remember, though, that they buy you time. They don't put the foes down themselves, so you have to have them supported by spitters or strangler vines', depending on what you have available and can afford.

Save your Pumpkin Bombs for when you can take out foes you can't stop short of the house - like when abominations show up. Be sure to let the undead you want dead advance at least one column in, so you can catch the ones following them at the same time. If you need to replant part of that row, the pumpkin bomb may give you the space to do so.

Specific quests

Basic Botany

It is hard to lose this one, unless you fail to catch on about the Solar Power orbs. You only face zombies, you only have one row to defend, and you only have one plant you can use. You will eventually need more than one Spitter in the row, to ward off the "massive wave", but once you catch on to the basic mechanics, it is really pretty easy.

Flower Power

You have to defend 3 rows this time. The basic strategy of "plant lots of sunflowers first" works well. Since the outer rows are not being attacked, you can even plant your sunflowers there and not worry about them. You CAN plant just 3 sunflowers and survive, but there's no reason to limit yourself to three.

Midway through the quest event, you should find the Freezya plant seeds. And just in time, as you will also face Ghouls. While a single spitter can take down a slow moving zombie, ghouls are both too fast and too tough for that. Add Freezyas to your defense on each row as energy and time permit.

When you have spare energy, adding more spitters can't possibly hurt.

Ghouls Hate My Grains

You start off with the Rocknut, in addition to all the previous plants you had available.

Start off, again, planting as many sunflowers as you can get away with. You will face those fast moving ghouls early on, though, so your first priority for defense might be to place a rocknut to block them. Cheaper than a freezya. ... but you'll eventually have to put down spitters and freezyas anyway. The rocknut will last a fair while against a single zombie, but you'll want to get a spitter out fairly soon if it is blocking a ghoul or two.

Once you get Strangler Vines, you can place them pretty much at need.

Someone Setup the Pumpkin Bomb

Foes come thick and fast in this quest. Much the same strategy as for the previous quest, but you have strangler vines from the outset now. You most definitely need two columns (or the equivalent) of sunflowers to generate Solar Power as fast as you will need.

Consider using Strangler Vines to halt Abominations long enough for your spitters to get some hits in on them. Twice as expensive as Rocknuts, but they do (often) distract the abomination long enough for you to hit it with something else. And hey, they do take out the occasional zombie or ghoul while they're waiting.

While Pumpkin Bombs are expensive, they can also clear out a large chunk of the mobs in three whole rows. Take advantage of that when you can, by planting them at least one row or column in from the edges. The cooldown time on them ensures that if you pop one side as soon as you can, the other side will be pressing against your defenses by the time you get the chance to do it again.

Lawn of the Dead

Warden Stillwater adds three new elements to the scenario. First, your objective is to defeat him. You can beat on zombies until you are blue in the face, but until the Warden is defeated, They Just Keep Coming.

Second, the Warden will occasionally throw pots of scourge goo into the field. These will kill any plants that get caught in the goo. He favors throwing them way in the back, which means you will need to replant your sunflowers often. Possibly also some of your other plants as well.

Third, he sets up Obelisks, which do for him much of what your Rocknuts do for you: Ward off hostile fire. Spitters will eventually chew through them, but Strangler Vines will pick them up and bash them about. ... and all the while the vine has them, they aren't doing the warden any good.

The standard strategy that you've developed over the last three quests should continue to server you well: build up sunflower power as fast as you can, set up spitters and freezyas to take down the zombies and ghouls, and put rocknuts up to give them the time to do so.

When you have breaks between abomination bashings, throwing a pumpkin near Warden Stillwater, in the right-most column, will help take him down. And unlike the previous quest, you should have a few such breaks available.

Trivia

Two hidden feats of strength existed, and were accessible via macros, until they were removed entirely in Patch 6.0.2: [Bloom and Doom] & [Don't Want No Zombies on My Lawn].

Progression

  1. N [20] Basic Botany
  2. N [20] Flower Power
  3. N [20] Ghouls Hate My Grains
  4. N [20] Someone Setup the Pumpkin Bomb
  5. N [20] Lawn of the Dead