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Zao - advice needed!

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Beta Tester
110 posts
3,805 battles

Hey guys,


as mentioned in the title, i think i need some advice for playing my Zao. In comparison to the stats of my other jap Cruisers the Zao falls extremely short in terms of winrate while being ok in the fields of damage and survivability (atleast in my opinion). See stats for further judgement




I tend to play my Zao rather aggressively while trying to support capping DDs in the start of the match from somewhat close range. Usually that gets me focussed pretty hard and more then once blown to pieces^^ But i dont want to be the long range HE-spammer that farms BBs for the whole match duration... On the other hand, my low winrate suggests, that this aggressive approach isnt helping my team at all and is probably responsible for the low winrate i have:Smile_sceptic: So i am facing a dilemma here and i am not sure how to tackle this. Be the long range HE-spammer that farms damage und maybe be more useful to the team resulting in better winrate? Or keep the aggressive approach and hope it will even out? Or maybe something in the middle^^ I would be thankful for some advice of pro Zao captains:Smile_child:


Keep in mind that i am a solo-player most of the time! That doesnt mean that i dont like my clan. You have to love the window-lickers^^


Will post captain and ship setups once i am home from work!



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Beta Tester
1,213 posts
6,134 battles

There is nothing wrong with covering your DDs. Zao is best for this because she has great: concealment and dispersion. So you follow your friendly DD at a distance of 5-6km, that way your friendly DD gets spotted first. Before you open fire you start to turn and fire once you are broadside at the enemy DD. This way you will be in a kiting position when the enemy shells come towards you. When you see many shells incoming it is also a good idea to stop shooting, go dark and reposition. Does my DD need more help with the DD? Do I need to start kiting to slow down the enemy BB push? Do I need to harass the incoming radar ship? Can I surprise a broadside cruiser with an AP volley?
Basically pick the biggest threat for your DD.

With that single salvo you can already do at least 5k damage to the enemy DD, which already gives an incredible advantage to your friendly DD :)
During the turn to dodge enemy shells you can also slow your ship down. This will decrease your turning circle, increasing the chance that people will miss you. Though keep in mind, shoot when broadside, or later (some ships have high velocity shells, so than you need to turn a bit further). Basically avoid becoming detected when you still have to show your broadside to get out of a position ;)


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