Icebound Battleground is the fourth Endless Zone in Plants vs. Zombies 2 found after beating Frostbite Caves - Day 20. As is the case with other endless zones, this one sports more challenging levels than usual as one may not know when the level will have either a three or four-flag level. As the player progresses as well through the higher levels, freezing winds may occur more often and be more violent, and may press harder on the player's well defended columns.
(Crazy Dave appears)
Crazy Dave: Hi neighbor! Welcome to the Icebound Battleground!
Crazy Dave: This place is cold as, uh, ICE... not to mention chock full o' zombies.
Crazy Dave: Best bring some hot zombie-fightin' moves. And maybe a nice warm coat too.
(Crazy Dave leaves)
For this Endless Zone, you should take plants that can melt the ice caused by Hunter Zombies and the freezing wind effect. Dodo Rider Zombies and Ice Weasels can jump over ice floes and cause your lawn defense to be swarmed, so pay attention to them or you will lose the game before you use Power Ups or Plant Food. The frozen zombies can also be dangerous and can cause problems if you melt the blocks too early.
Hunter Zombies, Sloth Gargantuars, Troglobites, Weasel Hoarders, Dodo Rider Zombies, Blockhead Zombies, and Ice Weasels are very dangerous in this Endless Zone. If all are present in one level, they can easily be very overwhelming. Freezing winds can also be very problematic, as they can often disable a great portion of the lawn, leaving you defenseless. This is especially problematic against Ice Weasels, since they can charge right through your frozen plants, causing you to lose Lawn Mowers or even the entire Endless Zone.
Lightning Reed is a good choice in this Endless Zone, as it can electrocute the Ice Weasels in a similar manner to the Chicken Wrangler Zombies and their Zombie Chickens in Big Bad Butte and other Wild West levels. Spikerock is also a good plant to use against Weasel Hoarder. However, unlike with Zombie Chickens, the increased health of Ice Weasels makes Lightning Reed difficult to use. A Laser Bean on the back most column or Fume-shrooms adjacently placed to Sweet Potatoes to lure all Ice Weasels are also good choices. Place two Sweet Potatoes and Fume-shroom at second and fourth rows but keep a Fire Peashooter or a Torchwood to keep them warm or the winds will eliminate them in one or two blows, especially on higher levels. Take Hurrikale or Chard Guard too in order to repel zombies pushed by sliders.
Hunter Zombies, by themselves, are usually not difficult to deal with if you have lobbed-shot or fire plants which they can either ignore obstacles and attack the zombie directly or quickly thaw out plants and are immune to snowballs, especially if you have multiple of these plants, as they can only freeze the front plants which block the straight-shooting plants. So if you have plants way in the back, they cannot target them. If you want to use groups of multi-directional plants such as Phat Beet, Starfruit or Rotobaga to quickly get rid of the ice blocks and free the frozen plant, you should keep a thawing plant close to them so they will not get frozen by the freezing winds.
Troglobite is a very dangerous zombie. Hot Potatoes are the highest priority, so melt all the frozen Yeti Imps quickly or your powerful plants will be destroyed by it. Without it, this zombie can cause the mass destruction of your defenses. Jalapeno (if purchased) is good against Troglobites because it destroys all three ice blocks along with the Troglobite itself. Bowling Bulbs are very useful against Troglobites, especially in groups, as their bouncing shots can target and destroy multiple ice blocks at the same time.
Pyre Vine is an irreplaceable plant, as it can be planted on almost any plant, providing immunity to frost, has a high warming speed, a reasonable price and can defend itself against some weak zombies.
You should note that Blovers cannot be used in this Endless Zone, making Dodo Riders much harder to deal with and leaving you with no choice but to use plants like Hurrikale and Chard Guard to help deal with them. Note that Spikeweed, Spikerock, and Lava Guava do not work on Dodos unless placed directly behind sliders or defensive plants.
Sloth Gargantuars are harder to kill than other Gargantuar variants, thanks to the extra two Imps it throws. This makes them the greatest threat of Icebound Battleground. Avoid using Magnifying Grasses as your only offensive plants, as their attacks do not do splash damage and you will waste more sun if you kill its Yeti Imps, because it takes more sun to kill this variant. Chard Guards can also repel them to prevent your plants from being crushed. Immediately use Plant Food on your Chard Guards if the Gargantuars are attacking at once. Should you feel the possibility of them appearing at higher levels in larger numbers, a boosted Iceberg Lettuce or Stallia will come in handy as they will slow down Gargantuars from constantly throwing Yeti Imps deep to your defenses, while allowing other plants to do more damage.
For Levels 20 and beyond, you must take very powerful plants such as Banana Launchers, Winter Melons and Jack O' Lanterns. These plants can help deal massive damage to larger hordes of zombies if you are in danger. Power Lily is also highly recommended, because Plant Food is very scarce in higher levels. Magnet-shrooms can also be useful if you see a lot of Cave Buckethead Zombies. One can use a Plant Food to remove their buckets, making those zombies very easy to defeat. Freezing winds can be a huge problem at higher levels when a horde of zombies is advancing. Plant more than two rows of a thawing plant, such as Fire Peashooter, Torchwood, or Lava Guava, with your attacking plants between them to maximize the thawing rate, or you will have to use Hot Potato to melt your most powerful plants first to buy time for Hot Potato to thaw the others.
If you get all the threats in one level, keep in mind that it is immensely difficult to pass during higher levels without having boosts or Power Ups. To avoid wasting lots of coins, it is advised to have premium plants (such as Power Lily, Torchwood, Hypno-shroom, Ghost Pepper if bought, Hurrikale, or Explode-O-Nut) or single-use plants (such as Cherry Bomb, Bombegranate or Grapeshot) to prevent the zombies from advancing.
As you go through the levels, prioritize getting these plants, in order from most important to least: Pepper-pult, Gold Bloom, Electric Currant, Fire Peashooter, Sun-producer (preferably Sun-shroom or Primal Sunflower), Rotobaga (or Starfruit if available, Phat Beet is not as effective but may be used), Guacodile (or Parsnip/Jalapeno if available), Lava Guava, Imitater, defensive plant (preferably Infi-nut), Spikeweed/Spikerock (Cactus if available too)
With these plants, you can usually create setups to adapt to a level's layout. For example, levels containing sliders that funnel zombies into the middle lanes are perfect for using Electric Currant. If sliders funnel into the bottom or top lanes, Rotobaga/Starfruit are effective. However, there are a few plants that are necessary for each setup: Pepper-pult, Gold Bloom, Sun-producer, Defense, Lava Guava, Hot Potato.
This leaves one to two empty slots, depending on whether you have the eighth seed packet. You can fill these slots with specialties to deal specifically with the Zombies or layout you are given. Plants and layout changes are labeled from most urgent to least urgent.
- Zombies funneled to middle: Electric Currant, Starfruit, Rotobaga
- Zombies funneled to outside: Starfruit, Rotobaga, Phat Beet
- Troglobite: Guacodile/Parsnip/Jalapeno
- Weasel Hoarders: Spikeweed/rocks, Cactus
- Gargantuars: Imitated Lava Guava
- Extra Heat: Fire Peashooter, Imitated Lava Guava
Versatility and adaptability are the keys in this strategy, so the most plants you have the more prepared you will be. Power Lily, although not mentioned is worth bringing. Winter Melon was not mentioned because its freeze would be counteracted by Pepper-pult.
With Pyre Vine, any strategies from other Endless Zones can be used, providing that you have enough sun to spam Pyre Vine.
- Plant a Spear-mint instantly and dig up all Spikerocks to have an instant burst of sun.
- Start planting 5 Twin Sunflowers and 5 Pyre Vines in the first column. Remember to plant the Twin Sunflowers near the Pyre Vines to resist cold.
- Some zombies may be free from their ice block when you're stll busy planting Twin Sunflowers, so use Squash to defend.
- Fill up column 2 and 3 with Pokras and Pyre Vines.
- Use the Spear-mint to defeat some weak zombies and boost Pokras, and plant Pepper-mint to generate heat all over the board. Shoveling the Spikerocks is not necessary as Pepper-mint will unfreeze them, but if you want to plant some instants in the rightmost columns then this should be done quickly.
- If one sees a frozen Weasel Hoarder Zombie in the second column, go to Zen Garden or retire instantly. Unless upgraded, Pyre Vine will help him get free very quickly and Ice Weasel will reach the lawn mowers or your brain in no time.
- In early levels, Lava Guava or Torchwood can be chosen if you haven't seen Pyre Vine yet. Plant 5 Lava Guavas in the second column to warm plants in the two adjacent columns as well as defending against Yeti Imps and Ice Weasels that get past your defenses.
- Instant plants and Plant Food is not very necessary in this strategy, unless one accidentally plant a Pepper-mint or unfreeze a Weasel Hoarder Zombie too early.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Icebound Battleground.
- It has Crazy Dave's longest first-time endless zone speech.
- Despite Snapdragon's ability to breathe fire, this does not make it any more resistant to ice.
- Before unlocking, the stage resembles a giant snow-capped chunk of ice.
- The player can get any plants frozen in ice blocks, including ones that they have not unlocked yet.
- Icebound Battleground, Tiki Torch-er, Arthur's Challenge, and Greatest Hits are the only Endless Zones whose names are composed of two words.
- According to game code in the 3.2 update, it was planned to be called "Frozen Fear".
- Icebound Battleground, along with Temple of Bloom, Tiki Torch-er, Arthur's Challenge, La Brainsa Tarpits and Highway to the Danger Room are the only Endless Zones to have different or extra starting plants, in this case Hot Potato.
- It is the second Endless Zone where the first zombie is not always a Basic Zombie variant (in this case, also Yeti Imp), with the first being Pyramid of Doom.
- *: Removed ~: Epic Quest