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AlcatrazNC

After some CW in Zao...

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Well i must say it's a really good ship. I find it pretty balanced to be fair. It feels like playing a regular IJN cruiser but with railgun and armor. The shell velocity is really good, especially after playing Ibuki with horrible shell speed and 0 armor. 

Both HE and AP are strong : HE have a really high alpha damage and fire chance and AP combined with this railguns punish broadside really hard. I even managed to citadel a Hindenburg, even though he had a pretty sharp angle.

Armor is indeed really trollish and it makes the ship really powerfull because firing arcs are good and you can bring 9 guns on a target without showing too much side. Even against a Yamato I angled and ate heavy damage instead of citadels, allowing me to repair a good part of my HP lost. And talking about heavy damage, I feel like as a Zao it's not always that big of an issue compared to other CA. I'm currently leveling both Ibuki and Saint Louis and when I receive some heavy damage in these ship, well most of the time i die like 3-8min after. In my Zao i eat a heavy damage, I can still survive to other attack as long as i can angle and run away. Maybe it's because Zao take less damage than the 2 other ?

 

Zao is a really good ship but she also has some weaknesses. Actually 2 "great" weaknesses :

-Reload. Compared to other IJN Cruiser her reload isn't bad to be fair : 12 or 13 sec instead of 15 sec. But compared to other T10 ship it's pretty meh. But since Zao is not a brawler but a mid-long range shooter it's not that disturbing

 

-Torps arc. God these arc are really awfull. I've missed lot of opportunities just because i lacked like 2-5° on my torps arc.

 

Since there is no CV in clan wars i don't know how strong Zao AA is but with defensive fire i think it can be quite good.   Do i think this ship need buff ? Well she could receive a buff on reload but once again, since she's not a brawler but a long range shooters, these 13 sec isn't that bad. Other than that, no Zao is fine as she is and don't need buff. Sure i'll have to unlock my own Zao and try playing it in random to have a better idea of her potential but I think every player who can do well with any IJN cruiser will do really well with Zao

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Welcome to club Zao, shes a great ship... easily one of my favorites after I got her.  Enjoy the flamethrower :cap_like:

 

B

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Would depend where you are in the league. In the lower parts you may get by with sloppy ship comps but in the top it's not viable. 

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I think Zao could honestly have a small HP and turning circle buff. Those two things kinda force you to play as a long-range HE spammer, instead of using that great concealment to get up close and nuke things. That along with the lack of team utility kinda makes the Zao mediocre for competitive from what I can tell (although I don't have any tier 10 competitive experience). 

But she is still good in random battles, because you rarely get the chance to get in close in any cruiser.

Edited by Aduial

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2 hours ago, AlcatrazNC said:

Armor is indeed really trollish and it makes the ship really powerfull because firing arcs are good and you can bring 9 guns on a target without showing too much side.

 

I kind of want to disagree here. If you aim directly ahead and then look how many degrees the back turrets are off (Alt. Battle interface tells you) you will see 40° and 45° iirc. That is quite bad, especially when comparing it to some other Cruisers. Bot back turrets on Hindenburg will for example tell you 35°, and the most extreme case I have seen so far is Pensacola with 30°. 

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The problem with the Zao in CW is that she can't trade shots with other T10 CAs due to her low rate of fire and HP pool. The Zao is ludicrously strong against BBs because of her troll armor and high fire chance, but against HE spamming cruisers with decent shell velocity like the Moskva, Hindenburg, or Henri IV, the Zao will probably struggle. 

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Lemme tell you, there is nothing so hilariously trolly as AA build Zao. I have swatted down full Hakuuryu airstrikes and midway airstrikes. CV's never attack Des Moines' nor Minotaurs unless they have no other option. They will go after a Zao and it is hilarious demolishing their air wing. The majority of the Zao's effective AA is in the 100 mm, with Defensive AA and Manual Targeting you can reach out a distance with more then 300 or so DPS. Coupled with range increases and you can smack down panes at obnoxious ranges.

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Played the Zao in some clan wars scrimmages I have to admit Im struggling with her. If you can stand off at range she does ok but often in clan wars you have to push a cap or defend a cap and that means getting into brawling ranges and shes just not good at that. Her low RoF and low HP pool are a hindrance and yes you have to show ALOT of broadside to get all 12 guns on target. Her torps hit hard and are fast but the firing arcs are so limited you have to be right on top of another cruiser to land any torp hits unless the other cruiser player is just a total potato..... And you have to show a good bit of broadside as well....

Ammo selection at times can be a nightmare. Had AP loaded and jumped a USN cruiser who was bow on. I fired my AP and got a ton of bounces so switched to HE. I popped him with an HE salvo and about that time he turned broadside, and had I had AP loaded I could have crippled him... but that 13 second reload seems to take FOREVER in a brawl...... By the time I switched back to AP he re-oriented bow on against me... was super frustrating... Not sure if I should have just stuck with the AP and waited for him to make a mistake....

Really making a push to finish the Roon grind as Hindy seems like she will be much more suited to clan wars type battles.

 

Edited by Jason082278

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