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The balance between Plants & Zombies

by EA_Roger
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Original Post

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★★★ Novice

Resurrecting an old thread, it looks like.  I started playing about a month ago, after the last expansion was out.  Just hit 50, playing almost exclusively as zombies for PvP.  My take is that overall it's pretty balanced between plants and zombies.  BUT... the zombies require more particular decks and generally more rare cards to compete at the highest levels.

 

I say that, because it was quite a challenge against 40+ players as a zombie, though I eventually found decks that could climb the ladder.  But they were custom-made decks and weren't very effective until I had most of the particular cards I was looking for.  Fast forward to 50, and I just bought some plant heroes to fill out my set and have some fun.  However, even though I had purchased quite a few packs and had decent cards on both sides, I had recycled most of my legendary plants to get better zombies.  Even the ones often used in the decks I faced against the highest level plants.  So I put together a mish-mash deck with Rose, with a little strategy built in, but also using some beginner cards... and I had no problem beating 40+ zombie players.  I don't think it had to do with the skill of the players, and I did have plenty of experience playing as zombies, so I knew what I'd probably come up against.  But ultimately I'd say the zombies don't have quite enough powerful non-Legendary/Super-Rare cards that you can build combos around (I'm looking at you, Venusflytraplanet and Heartichoke that's WAY too powerful and easy to get).

 

TL/DR: Plants really feel like easy mode, even though ultimately both sides can have good enough decks to win.

Message 81 of 98 (1,224 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★ Guide
The balance of the game is pretty good. Of course, the devs and everyone who keeps up with these threads should know this... win rates were at least at one time 49/51, and all of our fierce debating and anecdotal bs has been aimed at cracking which side has the slight advantage. These data are actually available!... somewhere. Someone has access to them! Hints are given in these threads that the dev team knows more, even, such as which heroes are the winningest, and which cards they are using.

So, 1) I think we all have to take a deep breath and remember that the people who are most qualified to comment on win rates and balance aren’t us.

2) Plant strategies are, and always will be, more straight-foreword. Plant players have plenty of decisions to make up-front, during deck construction, but the lack of a “trick phase” for plants is not a disadvantage. Playing cards over two phases means ALL zombie tricks come with an opportunity cost. You can choose not to play the trick you planned to play when Tricks hit (in response to changes in circumstances), but you cannot choose to play a zombie instead... and meanwhile, your trick might no longer be relevent. Lost opportunities most likely mean losses... and frustration. Oh, and plants have several ways of zapping your brains or making your tricks irrelevant before you get to play them.

3) I believe that point #2 hollows out the “middle class” of zombie decks. There are good decks, put together by players who understand opportunity cost and how to minimize it, and there are decks put together with too much optimism and speculation, which get hosed because plants get planted.

Conversely, some of the “best” zombie decks out there use few or simple, low-cost tricks. The current Valkyrie build, for instance, is a deck that tends to play only cheap (cost) and straight-foreword tricks, and likes to finish games in the zombie phase. Sports tends to clog lanes with Coaches and doesn’t care if it taps out of brains. Both are popular, I believe, because they’re easy to play... more so, I believe, than for any other reason.

4) Players look for the path of least resistance. Right now, it seems as though plants are the more popular choice (just based on anecdotal wait times... but not just from me), but this doesn’t mean they’re better. It just means they’re simpler. Probably.

4) People are distracted by big numbers. When we complain, we should all of us think long and hard about what’s actually killing us. This is a game to twenty, so it doesn’t matter that that Zomblob has 26 attack or that Pepper M.D. is a 26/26. A 4/4 Starfruit drooped on an open board is far more relevent.

Being scary is not a reason for nerf, and (even though it hasn’t happened for awhile) I’m sick of seeing postings that “card x is so broken... I still won the game, but...” If you beat it, it’s not better than whatever cards you are playing! So continue playing those cards, and relax. Not all wins have to be dominant... or pretty.

5) A new set just came out, so everyone should be having more trouble finding wins. There are more cards, there is more competition, there should be more strategy. UL players have no business calling the game unbalanced because their path to UL was a little bit harder than they predicted. This goes for now, the past, the future.

Any deck that has a win rate even marginally above 50% has the potential to climb to the top, and there are plenty of these available on both sides. The rest is just investment... monetary, to get the cards you want, or time, to grind them levels.
Message 82 of 98 (1,163 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★★ Guide

@puntwothreewrote:

4) People are distracted by big numbers. When we complain, we should all of us think long and hard about what’s actually killing us. This is a game to twenty, so it doesn’t matter that that Zomblob has 26 attack or that Pepper M.D. is a 26/26. A 4/4 Starfruit drooped on an open board is far more relevent.



a very good point Thumbs up

Message 83 of 98 (1,128 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★ Apprentice

Starfruit is easier to remove than a valk or zomblob using mo monument for one turn kill.

Message 84 of 98 (1,116 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★★★ Novice

Zomblob only does 1 point of damage using the mo monument.  It gets buffed after the attack.

Message 85 of 98 (1,100 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★ Guide
@markall42 I really wasn’t trying to make any sort of comparison with my post, nor was I complaining about starfruit, nor was I planning to have yet another conversation about M. Monument on yet another thread. I was making a general point about numbers.

You can pretty impressively overkill people with plants or zombies in this game; my point was that overkill shouldn’t enter the balance discussion. If you lose a game because of a card, it doesn’t matter if you lost by 1 or 1000, and a card with 1000 attack likewise isn’t worth its weight in sawdust if it doesn’t win you the game.

So this is all I’ll saw about Starfruit V. Valk (because Blob, as previously stated, doesn’t work as intended with Monument.) Valk is a three drop, Monument is a two drop... when played on the same turn (typical), they come down at 5. Starfruit is a 5 drop, which can easily be played on a Pumpkin Shell or a Pea Patch. Either way, you’re probably winning turn five.

Most aggressive plant and zombie decks can present lethal damage by turn five or six. This is not extraordinary or even unusual. Only one hero that I know of has a mission to win by turn 6. It’s... Grass Knuckles.

If you’re looking for a way to combat Valkyrie decks, I would suggest browsing the forum some more... as there are players that frequent this forum who have found success V. Valk builds and have discussed this at length.
Message 86 of 98 (1,090 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★ Apprentice

Plant decks with Wingnut are the main anti-valk decks, plus trying to make sure you don't charge the valk up if possible.

Message 87 of 98 (1,082 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★★★ Novice

Yeah, bounce or insta-kill works pretty well, too.  I don't necessarily want the games to go on forever.  Though I did just have a 23 or 24 round game with my Smash insta-kill deck against a plant insta-kill deck, and that was pretty fun.  But I do generally like the games more that last at least a 'little' longer, and require a bit more tactics.  Rush decks have their place certainly, but unlike a lot of other CCGs that mostly need overwhelming force and numbers to pull it off, PvZ is starting to get a lot of ultra-powerful cards that will basically win themselves.

I'm especially frustrated with the Combustible decks, as they're way too easy to put together, and really don't have much of a counter because of the turn order.  Even if you manage to have an insta-kill card in your hand, along with a Bonus Track Buckethead on the field, Combustible can still break through and finish the game by turn 7 before you have a chance to counter.  And since repeat moss works off of tricks, it's easy enough for the plant player to just put a deck together with 4 repeat mosses, every damage or buff trick they have, and they'll win 90% of the games.  You're lucky to have anything on the field, and can almost never fill all lanes, though it wouldn't matter anyway.

 

Fortunately not many people play the truly cheap decks.  And I think giving both plants and zombies a couple more options for reliable stalling cards would fix a lot of the problem.  It's not really a good setup when only about half the heroes on each side can use the only reliable cards to stop the crazy one-hit-wonder decks.

Message 88 of 98 (1,072 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★ Guide

I always find the most frustrating decks to be Solar Flare decks.  Most of the ones I encounter tend to be mostly direct damage and insta-kill cards, with only a couple plants thrown in.  The result is that I keep playing zombies, and they keep dying, with no one actually losing health until after turn 10 or so.  It's not that it's impossible to beat, but it's just frustrating to not have ANY of your cards have ANY effects.  At least with powerful cards on the field, even if they end up wiping each other out, you still had some actual interaction!

Message 89 of 98 (924 Views)

Re: The balance between Plants & Zombies

★★★★ Novice
I believe EA has rigged the draw luck to give the illusion of balanced hero’s and to level the playing field for players. Too often I get everything I need exactly as I need it or it seems my opponent does.
Message 90 of 98 (799 Views)

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