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crazyferret23777

Zao worth the grind?

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I'm currently at the Aoba and am wondering if the Zao is still a good ship in the current meta. I have the Yoshino and it seems that the Zao plays like a much stealthier Yoshino with the ability to ambush with it's great concealment. Thoughts on this ship from people who play her? Also do people use range mod on her? I'm assuming the 12km torps are better because you cans stealth torp. TIA

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The zao is one of my favorites. Most of the player base looks at its he and use AP as an afterthought. The trick to it is to look to use its AP as much as possible and fall back on he when you need to. Use it for ambushes. Get on the flanks and wait for cruisers to show a broadside and then hammer them and get out, rinse and repeat. 

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Nah. Too many downsides for upsides that aren't as unique anymore. Range is bad. Firestarting isn't anything suuuuper special, although its not terrible (the rate of fire kinda mitigates its ability to start fires). Its not the most maneuverable. Tends to eat random citadels with a small HP pool. Torp angles are bad enough that getting them off requires a lot more effort than is usually worth. It's not the fastest. Firing angles are bad. Gets targeted by everyone in randoms. So on and so forth...

It has issues. It's not terrible, but its NOT a good ship for its tier either. Making your way to tier 10 is probably more of a hassle than its worth.

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Yes the Zao is an excellent ship, and made all the better with the torpedo range buff. I often have used the ship to stealthily sneak around, set some fires to ships and fade back into stealth as needed. Armor is decent, but not as strong as Des Moines or Hindenburg though.

The Zao also possesses some flexibility in it’s roles since you can mount either Def AA or Hydro.

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12 minutes ago, Sou1forge said:

Nah. Too many downsides for upsides that aren't as unique anymore. Range is bad. Firestarting isn't anything suuuuper special, although its not terrible (the rate of fire kinda mitigates its ability to start fires). Its not the most maneuverable. Tends to eat random citadels with a small HP pool. Torp angles are bad enough that getting them off requires a lot more effort than is usually worth. It's not the fastest. Firing angles are bad. Gets targeted by everyone in randoms. So on and so forth...

It has issues. It's not terrible, but its NOT a good ship for its tier either. Making your way to tier 10 is probably more of a hassle than its worth.

If you use the main gun range extender module ( regular module not the Legendary one), use the spotter plane time extender modules, mount and use premium spotter planes. You can light long range fires on enemy BBs early in the battle, then go dark again by the time they decide to fire back at your Zao. And with premium Consumables you can do this a few times in the battle. I often have had little trouble at all in getting some perma fires going on a few BBs doing this. 

Edited by Admiral_Thrawn_1

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It is still a solid cruiser.  AP ambushes with its sub 10km concealment are nasty.  The HE alpha is still nasty.  Rail guns make it easy to hit people at range, including those gun boat DDs.   12km hard hitting torps are good for kiting.  You still have troll armor that lets you get away with stupid stuff.  30mm plating isn't as useful as it once was.   I find the handling to be pretty meh.  Not a ship you really want to go into CQC with.  

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5 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

If you use the main gun range extender module ( regular module not the Legendary one), use the spotter plane time extender modules, mount and use premium spotter planes. You can light long range fires on enemy BBs early in the battle, then go dark again by the time they decide to fire back at your Zao. And with premium Consumables you can do this a few times in the battle. I often have had little trouble at all in getting some perma fires going on a few BBs doing this. 

Well, my Zao hates me just in general. I honest to god probably average less than a fire every 20 shell hits in the thing, but that's just me. I probably average twice the fires in my Worcester with IFHE than my Zao. 

And yeah you use the range mod + premium spotter plane. 

My issue is why take the thing when you have better, safer options. Henri IV comes to mind.

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36 minutes ago, crazyferret23777 said:
I'm currently at the Aoba and am wondering if the Zao is still a good ship in the current meta. I have the Yoshino and it seems that the Zao plays like a much stealthier Yoshino with the ability to ambush with it's great concealment. Thoughts on this ship from people who play her? Also do people use range mod on her? I'm assuming the 12km torps are better because you cans stealth torp. TIA

now that Yoshino is out... not really. 

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Hard to say, the Zao is a fantastic ship, but it loses its main draws in a CV heavy meta.  Contrary to popular perception, the Zao performs best as a frontline support ship.  Its great stealth + fantastic alpha makes it lethal at ambushing DDs and cruisers from just outside its detection range.  It's also fairly agile with a comfortable stealth torp window which makes it very strong at kiting BBs.  With CVs present the Zao can't reliably use its stealth to fight on the frontlines and is forced into the long range HE spamming role where it's heavily out classed by things like the Henri.

 

The CV population has been in decline, but there are still constant balance changes being made which could threaten to bring them back. 

Edited by yashma
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50/50. Zao is a strong ship and I enjoy it, but there are simply more interesting options. I have Zao, Hindering, Des Moines, and Henri IV and I play Zao the least often.

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34 minutes ago, yashma said:

Hard to say, the Zao is a fantastic ship, but it loses its main draws in a CV heavy meta.  Contrary to popular perception, the Zao performs best as a frontline support ship.  Its great stealth + fantastic alpha makes it lethal at ambushing DDs and cruisers from just outside its detection range.  It's also fairly agile with a comfortable stealth torp window which makes it very strong at kiting BBs.  With CVs present the Zao can't reliably use its stealth to fight on the frontlines and is forced into the long range HE spamming role where it's heavily out classed by things like the Henri.

 

The CV population has been in decline, but there are still constant balance changes being made which could threaten to bring them back. 

I agree 100%   It was my first t10, and even though i wasn't very good...I played like I was and won in the Zao. I prefer fighting close and using the "legendary" upgrade mod.  The shot groupings are unreal with it. Its not that often that I miss the extra range I give up.

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1 hour ago, ElectroVeeDub said:

I gave up on the Zao in 2015 when I hit the newly nerfed Mogami... I still haven't returned to the line 4 years later.

Mogami is fun as hell

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While the verdict on the Zao...  varies, to say the least, I think most won't dispute that Myoko and Mogami can both be really fun ships to play.

Myoko gets 10 IJN 203mm rifles with DD accuracy at tier 7, where most of her heavy cruiser peers have 8/9 guns with WORSE shell performance and accuracy.  On top of this she has decent stealth, 6 hard hitting 10km torps per side, and a BB resistant deck armor scheme.  Not to mention one of the best relative AA values for tier out of the whole IJN CA line.  She's hilarious overgunned for tier 7, and if you're on top of your concealment game and don't get caught out broadside she's a blast to play.

Mogami with the 155s is the tier 8 Helena.  Or should I say the Helena is the tier 7 Mogami.  Compared to Myoko her relative strengths are much worse for the tier, and her hull is actually squishier, but the 15 155mm guns really make up for it.

Whatever you do I'd recommend at least trying out the Myoko!  Worst comes to worst you'll have a solidly performing t7 to grind credits with.

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Still a highly relevant ship to the actual meta of High Tier combat.

 

Excellent guns with powerful HE & AP shell selection.  The HE has very good raw damage and high Fire Chance.  The AP is solid, underrated IMO and will punish targets if the situation is right.

Shell flight behavior that are like railguns and even better than prior tiers of IJN Cruisers.  Zao's shells fly faster, more level.

Spoiler

eYL912D.jpg

Zao is the template of IJN Cruiser Accuracy because of the IJN Heavy Cruiser Line Buff a while back where all their 203mm armed CAs got the "Zao Dispersion Buff."

The addition of 12km torpedoes gives her even more viable weapons to use in a game.  You'd be surprised with what you get in hits.

Couple that with Zao's excellent concealment she has a lot of options.  Her concealment is in the ballpark of Worcester and Minotaur, so she is in excellent company.  This IMO is a huge reason why she survives so much.

 

Zao IMO is best used aggressively, but still far enough where she can easily fade away with her Ninja Concealment.  You are not a Des Moines that needs to fight in super close ranges.  Skirmishing at 13, 14km or so is where she's really good at.  She's one of the sneakiest Cruisers in High Tier but her gunnery makes her dangerous, especially in picking out DDs and Cruisers that have no idea you're there.  Her AP is very good against other Cruisers.  And if things look too stupid?  Chuck torps, stay in concealment, and sail away and get some distance.  If Zao has to fight at long range, she's fine that way also, but it removes the options of the 12km torpedoes.

 

I play my ships aggressively to a fault.  My Survival % in my Tier X Cruisers aren't as high as they could be, especially my DM which I play very aggressively to try and support the caps.  With Zao, I can still get good results and have a Survival % that is above and beyond what my other Tier X Cruisers get, despite seeing a good amount of action.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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I'm not a competition level player at all....  But, I have the entire IJN line and the Zao is one the best CA's in the game;...........if, you know how to play her....  She embodies the Tzu quote:  "Fight where the enemy isn't..."  An "In and Out" flank combatant where you pop in with a great concealment, and hit the first target with guns, as you are turning out and then, launching the first spread of torps into the zone and then, wiggling and launching the other set....  Anyone chasing you is an idiot.

In, blam, blam, blam and out.......circle around and do the same thing again....  And, anyone stern chasing a Zao needs therapy......  I've killed more enemy ships running way than attacking....  Again, I am a Potato !  But, if I had to chose, it's would be the Zao.

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The Zao is my favorite ship by far. Great concealment and very strong guns. It's HE shells can take out great chunks from BB's at longish distance and it's excellent AP can do real damage to any ship that gives you broadside. Even her torpedoes are a little more functional than most of those on cruisers. Like all cruisers you have to be mindful of what's aiming at you but her maneuverability and reasonable armor mean she is quite effective in open water which for me at least is much more fun than hugging islands. Late game she is also effective enough to move in and help mop up remaining ships.  

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Zao lacks utility tool but makes up for it by having deadly armement good concealment and good armour. In fact if WG decided to give Zao a radar, she would have been quite a broken ship.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Legio_X_ said:

Mogami is fun as hell

Sure man! Five citadels from the front  and getting deleted is a blast! The Mogami ain't got nothing on the Emerald! :)

It's not the same ship it used to be...

Edited by ElectroVeeDub

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5 hours ago, crazyferret23777 said:
I'm currently at the Aoba and am wondering if the Zao is still a good ship in the current meta. I have the Yoshino and it seems that the Zao plays like a much stealthier Yoshino with the ability to ambush with it's great concealment. Thoughts on this ship from people who play her? Also do people use range mod on her? I'm assuming the 12km torps are better because you cans stealth torp. TIA

If im in a dd there are two ships i dont want to see... mino first and foremost... followed by zao. Its HE is laser accurate and smashes lolibotes... it has 20 x 12km x 24k damage death fish... it kites like a god... it flanks like a champ... fires are amazing... AP is nothing to sneeze at. The slow reload is annoying but also lets you go dark easily. You can also slot acoustics or dfaa per your tastes/meta. Slot dfaa and a fighter plane and youre guaranteed to never see another cv. Lol.

Downsides? Firing angles... handling... tankier than mino but not a hindy or henri for sure...

Still a great boat when played to its strengths.

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Zao excels as a surprise HE spammer, but her AP is where the big damage lies--any broadside BB or CR will get eat lot of regular pens. From experience, you'll want to use AP on Khab/Harugumo and HE all other DDs since 1) their angled armor is enough to bounce your AP and 2) your railguns hit hard. She also plays well, as already noted, as an long-ranged HE spammer if run the spotter plane.

She's stealthy, so can sometimes yolo to bother red BBs w/ fires. Her armor is good for trolling even Yamato fire, but don't get cocky as her deck armor's weak.

W/ the Legendary Module, Zao is arguably among the most irritating T10 CRs because with it, her MB accuracy gets superior to Yamato's and her agility improves (think Mogami w/ rudder mod). That is especially when well-aimed AP volleys rack in cits/pens easy. I've gotten a few Devastating Strikes off cruisers that showed broadside to my LM-equipped Zao.

She's not a forgiving cruiser, but play her well and she kicks bum and takes names.

About the only major weakness is she's not meant to fight off CVs, but for time being, that's a minor concern.

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8 hours ago, crazyferret23777 said:
I'm currently at the Aoba and am wondering if the Zao is still a good ship in the current meta. I have the Yoshino and it seems that the Zao plays like a much stealthier Yoshino with the ability to ambush with it's great concealment. Thoughts on this ship from people who play her? Also do people use range mod on her? I'm assuming the 12km torps are better because you cans stealth torp. TIA

Very much worth it.

8 hours ago, Ducky_shot said:

The zao is one of my favorites. Most of the player base looks at its he and use AP as an afterthought. The trick to it is to look to use its AP as much as possible and fall back on he when you need to. Use it for ambushes. Get on the flanks and wait for cruisers to show a broadside and then hammer them and get out, rinse and repeat. 

Agree, the Zao is an AP beast. 

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