In all of fighting games, some characters are actually 2-in-1 as players will have to control two characters at the same time to fully use their tools. Guilty Gear Strive also has this character in Zato-1. Normally, beginners are dissuaded from picking Zato-1 as he has complicated button pressing style that is far from most basic characters.
Who is Zato-1 in Guilty Gear Strive
In the Guilty Gear story, Zato-1 is bound to the shadow Forbidden Beast, Eddie, who grants him Shadow Manipulation in exchange of his sight. He is the former leader of the Assassin's Guild with Millia Rage as one of his subordinates. As of Guilty Gear Strive, the Assassin's Guild is now an inactive organization and now working as the subordinate of Director Millia Rage of the Post-War Administration Bureau.
Playstyle-wise, Zato-1 is a puppet character where players will need to use both Zato-1 and Eddie to fight. Their attacks can be used like a tag team and trap opponents in situations that are hard to escape and defend. However, Zato-1 has high barrier of entry which makes him an unlikely pick for beginners to start with.
Zato-1 Move List
For his specials, Zato-1 has an assortment of specials that he can do alone and specific to Eddie only. Zato-1 has special meter for Eddie which limits how long his shadow can assist and fight alongside him. Players will need to be careful to not totally deplete the Eddie meter as Zato-1 is weaker when he's alone. Here are some of his moves listed in Numpad Notation:
- Flight: When in mid-air, dash to any direction
- Summon Eddie: 214H (214H to unsummon Eddie when he is out)
- Pierce: 236P or Release P when Eddie is out
- That's a lot: 236K or Release K when Eddie is out
- Leap: 236S or Release S when Eddie is out
- Oppose Hell: 236H or Release H when Eddie is out
- Invite Hell: 22H (No Eddie OK)
- Break The Law: 214K (No Eddie OK/ Hold OK)
- Damned Fang: 623S (No Eddie OK)
- Drunkard Shade: 214S(No Eddie OK)
- Amorphous (Overdrive Super): 632146H (No Eddie OK)
- Sun Void (Overdrive Homing Projectile Super): 632146S (Repositions Eddie to where the shadow sword lands)
Zato-1 Beginner Guide
For starters, Zato-1 is not a beginner character to begin with. Most discussions with this character will require prior knowledge about fighting games to understand how it works. However, Guilty Gear Strive's Zato-1 has easier tools to work with due to the changes of his inputs. It is true that his inputs are now simpler but the application remains complicated.
But once that complicated part gets understood, Zato-1 players often have a unique pressure advantage.
Zato-1 Tips To Improve
To get started, players will need to know how to make Zato-1 and Eddie synergize their attacks for greater efficacy. Novriltataki's guide on how his Zato-1 buttons work will help you improve.
In hindsight, Zato-1 is one of the characters that have few good players due to the difficulty of what he does. I'll concede that this quest for finding competent techniques will solely rely on how much you like Zato-1 as a character and press onward in learning him.
Best Zato-1 Combos
However, Zato-1 has combos that can be done by beginners. The situation it leads may not be the best but it is a good starting point in learning how he works. Here are some combos that can help you
- close S>far S>5HS>236K
- far S>2HS>236S
- (In corner)close S>2HS>236S>close S>2HS>Wallbreak hit
For now, mess around with his tools and stick with him if you like him. It is really difficult to recommend a 2-in-1 character that thrives on advanced techniques for beginners.