|Combo Notation Guide||Character Name Abbreviations|
|Basic combos are simple combos with the fewest requirements and conditions possible.
c.S > 2S > 5H > 22H
A simple combo, requiring no Eddie control, into moderate damage that also creates space for Zato to control.
Works on counter-hit and can be done from common jump-ins like j.S and j.H, if the 2S is omitted.
Can opt to safely Summon EddieGuard:
(214H) afterward, a great way to get your neutral game started.
5K/2K > 2D > 214H
May not seem like much, but this is one of Zato's best combos due to the strength of the okizeme he gets after a 2D knockdown.
At max range 2D may not connect after 2K, be careful with the range at which you choose to gatling into 2D. Will work off of most jump-ins, but 2K is often omitted for consistency.
The Empty Eddie SummonGuard:
(214H) afterwards leaves you in the perfect position for Zato's strongest Okizeme, however the summon itself is not safe if 2D is blocked, so be sure to confirm the hit before commiting to the summon. Alternatively, 22H can be used to hit OTG and for more damage in exchange for oki.
|Core combos balance potency with consistency. They:
236H / 214H~]H[, CH 2H > 214S, delay ]S[, delay 2H > 214K, c.S > [2S] > [2H], delay ]S[,]H[, delay 2H > 214K, c.S > 2S > 2H > 22H
This is the core of Zato's sandwich BNBs. There are many variations for damage or meter build as well as different ways to end the combo for the best oki, but this core sequence is the first you should learn.
The delay before releasing S to get "Leap"Guard:
can vary by how far / high in the air your opponent was when the 2H connected and if the 214SGuard:
-8 hit or whiffed. If the opponent files over your head you delayed too little, if they fall too far and both hits of "Leap" do not connect, you delayed too much. 2H should be delayed to connect between the two hits of "Leap", this helps stabilize the combo in addition to adding some damage. Be sure to hold forward then down-forward during the middle c.S > 2S > 2H sequence as you need to move Eddie further away from Zato. You cannot move Eddie too far away, so it's easiest to just hold the directions.
Hitting this combo near to the corner can be tricky as you often cannot move Eddie far enough away for the "Leap" to not send the opponent over your head. Instead move Eddie towards Zato so "Leap" combos them into the corner.
CH Starter > 236P, dash, [S] > 22[H], , delay ]SH[, dash, 2[S] > 2[H], WS, Wall Ender
The combo is the core of Zato's same-side midscreen BNBs. It can be confirmed into from 5H and 2D, but the 236P must be buffered if the starter is a S normal. Additionally, CH S normals only allow for both hits of "Pierce" to combo into each other if the opponent was CH crouching.
This version of the combo is tailored for round-start distance but can work from any positioning with adjustments. If you are close enough to combo 2S > 2H instead of 2S > 22H, do so, as it allows for more time to dash up and combo afterwards and does more damage. The delays in the combo vary slightly based on the weight of the opponent, generally it's more lenient on heavy characters and harder on light characters.
The 236P, dash, 2S > 22H > ]X[ sequence is a very common string in not only Zato's combo but also his pressure, so it's important to become very comfortable doing it, and not releasing the incorrect Eddie move. Parts of this sequence are also present in many other more situational starters and mixup sequences.
2D / 5D, ]P[, dash, c.S > 5H, ]S[, 6H > 214S, WS, Wall Ender
Being able to combo after a 5D meterlessly is one of the privileges afforded to Zato.
There are many ways to set up the mix prior to this combo, a common one is show in the clip. This combo will not work if more Eddie meter is spent than a 236P, 236K, or 236S costs before the mixup connects.
Note that as 5D does greater wall damage than 2D this combo will normally wallsplat on the second hit of "Leap" when 5D is used as the starter. A higher damage combo can be routed for that specifically, but this one will get the job done.
This combo can also be done from slightly outside the corner.
Full Combo List
- Currently, every damage value here has only been dealt to Ky.
- Difficulty here is assuming you are comfortable controlling Eddie movement and negative edge inputs. If you are not, many of these combos will be much more difficult until you are.
- READ THIS IF YOU ARE NEW TO ZATO COMBOS: Generally speaking you are trying to move Eddie away from you at all time in combos, as either the opponent is getting knocked away from Zato and Eddie and you want Eddie to chase them or you need Eddie to be behind them to launch them back towards Zato. As such, it's usually necessary to input moves with a forward direction in order to move Eddie while comboing. An example is c.S as 6S, 2S as 3S, and 2H as 3H. Additionally, you will often have to hold two or more buttons at once and only release the one you want (aka the one listed in the combo). After releasing this button you want to release all the other buttons you have held while Eddie is busy doing a move and can't do another. This way you can gain the ability to use these normals again without accidentally doing an Eddie move. I won't list those inputs like that for simplicity sake, but below is an example of what a more thorough notation could look like if you are confused.
236H > CH 2H > 214[S] > ]S[ > delay 214S > c.S > 2[S] > 2[H] > delay ]S[ > delay 214S > c.S > 2S > 2H > 22H.
236H > CH 2H > 214[S] > ]S[ > delay 214S > 6S > 3[S] > 3[H] > delay ]S[ > ]H[ > delay 214S > c.S > 2S > 2H > 22H.
||Anywhere||38||All|| Very Easy||More or less hits possible, depending on range and dash momentum.||1.27|
||Anywhere||37||All|| Very Easy||Basic gatling into knockdown after mash. Can meaty 22H afterwards.||1.27|
||Midscreen||All|| Very Hard||If you are around half-screen, use this route instead of the above to corner carry into a wallbreak, the buffed meter usage of 236S allows you to use a second Leap and still unsummon at the end.||1.21|
||Anti-air||30||All|| Very Easy||Barely counts as an actual combo, but if you're comfortable with summoning in neutral, this is the only thing you can get off of normal hit 6P||1.27|
||Anywhere||56||All|| Very Easy||This is it, this is the best reward you can hope for off of 6P without spending meter||1.27|
||Corner||200||All|| Easy||Easier to perform, but fully consumes Eddie gauge.||1.27|
||Corner||202||All|| Easy||Fully lets you refresh your Eddie gauge, but has tighter timing and is slightly more difficult to perform. Dash as close as possible to the opponent before using c.S to ensure the following hits connect.||1.27|
||Midscreen||100||All|| Very Easy||Decent combo that gives a soft knockdown, allowing for a summon. In the corner you're probably better off going for a leap loop, but midscreen this is a solid solo option.||1.27|
||Corner||232||All|| Easy||A simple leap loop off of c.S; one of the higher damage normal hit meterless combos in the game.||1.21|
||Corner||235||All|| Medium||A meterless combo that wallbreaks and fully replenishes Eddie gauge. Substitute the last 6H for super for oki. Doing 99 too late will not let you do j.D; you must 99 as soon as 6H lands.||1.27|
||Corner||254||All|| Easy||An easy, high damaging frog loop that fully consumes Eddie gauge. It's recommended to substitute final hit for 632146S to regain Eddie gauge and keep the pressure on.||1.27|
||Corner||214(Taunt) / 213(Respect)||All|| Medium||You'll want to wait to do the second 2H until the opponent lands from 236S. Taunt should be inputted shortly after the second 236S and then quickly use ]P[ to wallbreak. Alternatively, using a Respect (hold forward while pressing Taunt) will allow for 5P to be used instead, allowing for Eddie gauge to be refreshed.||Video||1.27|
||Anywhere (With Eddie ready)||184||Everyone|| Easy||Easy route or burst bait attempt. 214[K] and  should be held for a brief window to allow the burst to whiff while also moving towards the opponent. If the opponent don't burst immediately, 236H will combo and you can still get a decent punish.||1.21|
||Midscreen (With Eddie ready)||187||Everyone|| Medium||Meter build route. The delay on the first ]S[ is variable depending on how high in the air the opponent was hit, normal vs counter hit, and how far away they were. Can end in 632146S instead of 22H for corner carry, oki, and a full Eddie Meter.||1.27|
||Midscreen (With Eddie ready)||192||Everyone|| Medium||Damage route. The delay on the first ]S[ is variable depending on how high in the air the opponent was hit, normal vs counter hit, and how far away they were. can end in 632146S after delay ]S[ > 2H for sandwich oki or replace 22H with 632146H for damage.||1.27|
||Midscreen||180||Everyone|| Medium||An unsummon reset from a normal frog loop. You want to aim for the first drill of ]K[ to come out at the apex of 2h's launch height to give you enough time to catch with 2S. Useful for looping pressure in situations where you may not want to cash out completely with the above damage route. Keep in mind this combo does not require any specific starter as long as you can setup a frog loop and have enough Eddie gauge for it, you have a lot of ways to go into this.||Link||1.27|
||Midscreen (With Eddie ready)||241||Everyone|| Medium||Very difficult at max range, if you are close to the wall 2S > 2H will connect for more damage and an easier ]S[ extension or a 22H / 632146S ender.||1.21|
||Anywhere||154||Everyone|| Very Easy||1.21|
||Anywhere (Airborne CH only)||177||Everyone|| Easy||Can be extended with 236S near to the corner instead of 22H or with either Super.||1.21|
||Anywhere||72 (214H) / 84 (2HH)||Everyone|| Very Easy||Simple solid jump in combo, flight can be used to delay your landing time to bait out anti-airs||1.27|
||Anywhere||190||Everyone|| Medium||Delay the initial j.H to allow them time to fall, then a small delay between j.D and j.S. Second j.H is delayed to allow them time to fall for j.D to connect. Generally easier on higher weight classes.||Link||1.21|
||Midscreen (With Eddie out, Sandwiched, and having used a "Pierce" or "Leap" previously)||107||Everyone|| Medium||Meter build route, can end in 632146S instead of 22H for corner carry, oki, and a full Eddie Meter.||1.21|
||Midscreen (With Eddie out, Sandwiched, and having used a "Pierce" or "Leap" previously)||108||Everyone|| Medium||Damage route, can end in 632146S after delay ]S[ > 2H for sandwich oki or replace 22H with 632146H for damage.||1.21|
||Midscreen (With Eddie Ready)||Everyone|| Hard||Very difficult at max range, if you are close to the wall 2S > 2H will connect for more damage and an easier ]S[ extension or a 22H / 632146S ender.||1.21|
Zato has two sets of combos to worry about. With and without Eddie. With Eddie can be further subdivided into combos where Eddie is already summoned or combos where Eddie is not summoned but can be. However, Zato's combo structure does not change greatly when Eddie is already out vs ready to be summoned, generally only the first few hits of the combo will differ.
When Zato does not have access to Eddie his combo potential is very limited, as he has no standard airdash to close the distance, no advancing specials, and generally slow normals and specials. Eddie-less combos are generally focused on securing a small amount of damage while giving Eddie more time to return. There are situations where Zato gets respectable damage without Eddie but generally these are limited to having meter or catching an opponent in the air.
Eddie allows Zato to really open up his combo game, granting him some of the highest combo damage in the game. Furthermore, he gets the ability to combo off hits meterlessly that no other character in the game can such as normal throws and 5D. Nearly anything becomes a combo starter when Eddie is already summoned, you are only limited by your creativity and the Eddie gauge. However, listed below are some of the most common normal starters you will see for Zato.
|5P/2P||Fastest Pokes. At point blank can combo into 6P for a soft knockdown.|
|5K/2K||Low starter. Combos into 2D for a hard knockdown or can be extended with 2D > ]P[ or ]S[ if Eddie is already summoned.|
|c.S||Primary meaty option as well as blockstring and combo filler. Confirms into 5H > 22H on grounded hit and 2S > 2H > 22H on air hit.|
|f.S/2S||Long range pokes. Only comboable on CH or air hit into 22H. 2S or 2S > 22H can combo on air hit into 236P allowing for a much bigger combo.|
|5H||Long range, extremely active, and hits low to the ground. Confirm into 22H for a soft knockdown. On CH 236P will fully combo.|
|2H||Slow committal AA, generally only used as a punish combined with 236H/]H[ or as a hard read.|