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Monalie

Zao

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I just got my first tier X, the Zao, do you have any recommendations on what would be the best upgrades to use?

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1) Main Armaments 2) *any* 3) Aiming Sys or AA-Range (your choice) 4) Steering gears II 5) Concealment 6) Range or legendary

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I think in slot 2 steering gears survivability is the best choice. If you kite at range it is the thing you can lose but a thing you really don´t wanna lose.

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What I find pretty efficient for me is:

1) Main Armaments Mod1

2) Propulsion Modification 1 (anything works for this slot)

3) Aiming Systems Modification 1

4) Steering Gears Modification 2

5) Concealment System Modification 1

6) Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 / Enhanced Main Battery and Steering Gears

(recently unlocked the legendary upgrade and now I am using it instead of the range mod)

 

The first one is a no-brainer - you need your guns and your torps. 

The second is a matter of personal choice. If I take a torp or a citadel hit in the engine, I will be a sitting duck, hence I find this helpful sometimes.

For the third slot - Zao is already very accurate but more shells on target are always a good thing.

4th - dodging shells instead of tanking. No-brainer for me.

5th - compliments the already good concealment and gives extra stealth range for torping BBs when needed.

6th - use range (for a kiting cruiser it's a great choice) and then slap LU when available. Extra rudder shift and range + accuracy - what's not to love.

 

This is the captain build that I use. Not saying it's the best for everyone, but works great for me.


In most of my builds I tend to rely on adding to the ship's strong sides and not trying to compensate for the weaknesses. An AA build on Zao is a waste for me - you will shoot some planes down but at the expense of raw damage. Also when you compliment the accuracy, Zao becomes a menace for DDs even at range - I have not yet seen another cruiser that can reliably plant 8-10 shells on target at a DD @12-15 km. As everyone knows - killing underaged boats wins games :cap_rambo:

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Would it be worth to spec out of vigilance to get torpedo armaments expertise for Zao. 10% reduction in torp reload for such a long reload is quite a lot in absolute terms. And if running mainly hydro, vigilance is not so important. However when hydro is on cooldown and you have the legendary that vigilance with +25% spotting range of torpedoes could mean getting hit or dodging them...:Smile_unsure:

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Just thinking here at loud some captain skill choices are very difficult to ponder as there seems to be so few those must have 3 point skills for Zao.

 

As Zao only has 40,800 hit points, is superintendent very viable? Could those 3 points go into something else perhaps Torpedo armaments expertise? How many times in game one extra charge of all consumables is needed especially in high tier where you use premium consumables anyway? God forbid would Survivability Expert be of more effective HP value because Zao low HP and maybe very seldom use last heal and get low heal value of that anyway (3500 health more and thus bit more for each heal but one heal less)? Of course superintendent gives you one more hydro/defAA and fighter/spotter but if there are no planes or game ends before you can use them all..

 

As said before, vigilance is nice to have but perhaps not needed skill so those 3 points could go somewhere else too. Demo expert is almost straight damage potential buff but as you have already 19% fire chance that 2% more is not the end of the world. Besides fire damage is not very consistent as different mechanics to counter fires exist. Of course the same applies to Torpedo armaments expertise as very inconsistent damage and hydro counter.

 

There seem to be not so many viable 4 point skills, only Concealment expert.. perhaps RPF could be a choice for turning your guns in advance and getting more intel because those turrets are rather slow?

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On 4/11/2019 at 2:01 PM, TohtoriP said:

As Zao only has 40,800 hit points, is superintendent very viable?

Not too much, no. There are very rare cases where you can use all the heals (when focused by HE spammers for example. Most of the time just premium heal is enough. I use SI because I did not find much use for the other skills (I have demo expert and torpedo reload perks). I guess one can swap for BFT instead, however I did not.

 

On 4/11/2019 at 2:01 PM, TohtoriP said:

God forbid would Survivability Expert be of more effective HP value because Zao low HP and maybe very seldom use last heal and get low heal value of that anyway (3500 health more and thus bit more for each heal but one heal less)?

Uhm... No. HP is not really a problem for the Zao if played correctly. Use stealth and maneuverability, do not go too close unless you absolutely have to. If you make a mistake and get focused down, neither SI, nor SE will help (valid for most CAs and CLs).

 

On 4/11/2019 at 2:01 PM, TohtoriP said:

There seem to be not so many viable 4 point skills, only Concealment expert.. perhaps RPF could be a choice for turning your guns in advance and getting more intel because those turrets are rather slow?

I find almost no use of RPF on Zao. If you are close enough to hunt DDs yourself, you are playing it wrong and often you will pay the ultimate price for such decisions. That of course does not mean you shouldn't shoot DDs when possible - this wins games after all. Also Zao is extremely good at hitting fast moving targets at range (and hitting a DD often results in taking 40-50% of its health, not to mention the broken modules).

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