EXVSFB/Zaku III Kai
THIS IS VERY MUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS. FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ANYTHING AS REQUIRED AND MAKE IT LOOK PRETTY AS DESIRED.
AMX-011S Zaku III Custom
|AC||Pressure||1||0 (Stun on hit)|
MODE CHANGE: THE POWER OF A CYBER NEWTYPE
CSb is unusable at the start of a round or life, and gradually charges up over time. When activated, the Zaku III's mobility dramatically improves, as does its melee damage and range. In addition, 5B and 4/6B can now be followed up with a third B instead of only being 2-hit strings. The only downside is that your dash B launches the opponent instead of stunning them in this mode.
MELEE: [Brackets denote change during CSb]
|B, B, [B]||Normal Melee||125 |
|8B||Tackle||80 ||Extremely high priority|
|4/6 B, B, [B]||Horizontal Slash||121 |
|2B||Upward Slash||76 ||Launches opponent skyward|
|BC||I cannot be defeated!||39 ||Has 3 potential follow-ups.|
|Automatic BC follow-up||Spin Kick||124 ||Does not act as a second hit for combo/forced down purposes. Can be followed up with dash > 5BB/BBB combo if BC was the combo starter.|
|BC, A||Beam Rifle||126 ||Very slightly more damage, but the beam can miss due to forced knockdown|
|BC, 2B||Self-Destruct||272 ||Seems to pick a random winner if you both die and empty your teams' resources.|
|Boost Dash B||Pass-through attack||70 ||Stuns on hit [launches instead of stun during CSb; delay dash cancel to combo]|
|ABC (Burst Attack)||I swear on this rose!||245  (With A Burst)||The super acts like a melee combo; you are not invincible during it.|
BASIC COMBO ROUTES:
5BB>5BB does 200 flat and is the best you can get off of 5B without wasting a self destruct or super. You have to immediately rainbow cancel out of the second B or they'll touch the ground and the third B will do almost nothing. You can also get screwed by uphill terrain.
5B>2B>BC gets you an easier 193.
8B>5BB>5B (only works against the wall) = 181, you can also go 8B>Grab for 175 because the 3rd 5B is hard to hit.
8B>5B = 93
8B>CSa = 146
4/6B>2B>BC = 188
2B>5BB>boost dash (the one that uses the X button, not the double tap on the pad)>5B = ~200. ^If you can't get this one just do 2B>5B>Grab for 196
Dash B>2B>BC = 183, (seems to be the most you can get off non-powered-up Dash B stun, better combo may be possible off immediate cancel).
BC > Dash > 5BB = 186
Pressure>2B>5BB = 141; recommend saving Pressure use for when CSb is ready/active. Pressure > Burst attack does 194.
A>boost A> boost A = 137 (individual non-consecutive shots do 65)
ReGelg Assist = ~40 per volley; ~120 if all 3 shots connect
POWER OF A CYBER NEWTYPE COMBOS:
Awakened 5BB>5BBB = ~256 damage
Awakened 4/6BB>5BBB = ~257 damage
Awakened 2B>5BB>Grab= 260 damage
Awakened 8B>5BBB = ~261 damage (only works against the wall)
Awakened BC>2B = self destruct for 348 damage (!!!)
Awakened Super = 288 Damage
Pressure>5BB>5BBB = 231 (More than Pressure > Burst Attack gives you without CSb)
Dash B > Delayed rainbow cancel > 5BBB = 259 damage
BC > Dash > 5BBB = 270
-Comboing into the super or the self destruct is pretty much worthless because of the damage reduction
-The gun won't combo off itself unless you boost in between shots
-The gun's damage decreases off consecutive hits
-The fully charged gun does not consume ammo
-The gun will usually whiff if you combo into the grab. Use the regular version if you're using it as a combo ender.
-Your self destruct explosion can catch your target's teammate.
-You can cancel out of the self destruct and just hit them with your sword instead until the moment you die. It does hardly any damage, but may be useful if you realize you're about to cost yourself the match. You can also just dash away.
-Fun fact: if you win with the self-destruct, Mashymre will have a different win quote and be holding up the ReGelg's head.
The Zaku III relies on teamwork and extremely efficient pressure and cyber newtype mode management. Unfortunately, it does not have the mobility, melee range and/or speed, or effective ranged tools to go toe-to-toe with the vast majority of suits in its normal mode, and has to rely on the over-enhanced newtype inside to do all the work. Without CSb available, you'll have to stay back and let a sturdier, more mobile suit do most of the work. (Either play the distraction and let the higher-cost suit punish landings, or support the higher-cost suit from a distance, but you'll only be a liability most of the time if you try to engage an enemy head-on in normal mode.)
Once CSb is available, however, the game changes. Communication with your teammate is essential to maximize this strategy, but you can switch to playing up front, with melee range and mobility worthy of a 2500 while your cyber newtype awakening lasts, while your more expensive partner stays out of the fray for a short while. Not only that, but you get your full 5BB>5BBB confirm off of a Pressure stun while awakened, meaning that you get a virtually free high-damage punish on anyone who doesn't take you seriously. (Keep in mind that you can activate pressure and release CSb after the stun connects to surprise your opponent.)
Alternate half-bursts and CSb to minimize the time you spend being useless. Remember that letting your partner die is far more costly to your team than dying in the process of protecting them, and accept that many any teams will try to ignore you and double team your partner because of how depressingly useless you can be without CSb or a burst active. Punish them for underestimating you. In your awakened mode, with a burst available, they won't be able to get away for long, and a cyber-newtype-buffed "I swear on this rose!" does considerable damage.
The Zaku III was essentially deemed not worth the effort it takes to play it by the JP Wiki :(. Only being useful for half the match or less, having to have effective communication between you and your partner to employ proper strategy, and losing out in the distraction and front-line categories to other 1000-cost suits because it only does each job halfway contributed to this assessment. If you're feeling motivated, though, you can win by effectively winning a war of attrition. You should get at least one guaranteed cyber newtype pressure combo or burst attack per life, and you have at LEAST 3 lives. If your partner plays properly you should have 4 or 5. If you have good fundamentals, you can even get a second pressure>CSb combo in the same life now and then. In most cases, the enemy suits cost more than yours does. If you keep trading life evenly, the venerable upgraded fodder suit you're in is more efficient, and the enemy will run out of points first.
The main flaw with this strategy is that your opponents will do their absolute best to ignore you, and will be on your more expensive teammate like vultures, knowing you have poor ranged attacks and mobility. When you activate CSb, they will switch from passively avoiding you to actively running away while continuing to take pot shots at your teammate. How well you mitigate this will often be the deciding factor in your success or failure as a 1000-cost pilot.
---One option is to partner with another 1000 cost suit, but fellow 1000-costs are very poorly suited to covering for you while you charge up. If the opponent is smart they'll just continuously kill you before you can become effective while your 1000 cost partner desperately tries to keep up with two mobile suits that outclass him/her.
---I would recommend having your partner bait your opponents into your attacks. If both opponents are focused on you, it shouldn't be too difficult for a higher cost suit to capitalize on being ignored while they waste time costing you 1000 points at a time. Be a good teammate and help set your partner up for free kills. If both opponents are focused on your partner, then punish their landings whenever possible and don't be afraid to go in for a melee. Directly engaging an opponent in normal mode is different from running up and stabbing them in the back.
--Your grab (BC) is rather easy to land, automatically dashes toward the opponent, and works as a combo starter. If you're forced to engage the opponent in your normal mode, it's a decent option for outmaneuvering them at close range if there are any gaps in their offense. (For example, you can sometimes catch the Exia's dagger flip during recovery, whereas it would catch you with a faster melee attack if you tried to punish that recovery with 5B.)
Good luck, and Sieg Zeon.
[This strategy section needs significant review and more elaboration, and is based primarily on my own limited experiences - DMac]