Gaia Gundam

Model Number:ZGMF-X88S

Pilot: Stella Loussier

Cost: 2000 Hp: 580 Transform: X Form Change: O

Gaia

True to its namesake, the Gaia Gundam was developed for ground-based combat. Capable of transforming between a traditional Mobile Suit form and a four-legged Mobile Armor form, the Gaia Gundam was adept at both ranged and melee engagements.

MS Mode Ability Summary

Ranged

Armament

Ammo

DMG

Notes

Main

Beam Rifle

7

70

Orthodox BR.

Charged Main

Beam Rifle Multi-shot

132

Transforms into the MA mode.

Sub

Abyss Gundam Summon: Beam Volley

2

141

5AB. Abyss fires a multiple beams at once.

Abyss Gundam Summon: Rush

95

*AB. Abyss charges at the enemy.

Special Shooting

Chaos Gundam Summon: Missiles


2

 

5AC. Chaos fires a volley of missiles.

Chaos Gundam Summon: All-range Attack

131

*AC. Chaos deploys its Mobile Weapon Pods.

Special Melee

Transform

Transforms into MA mode.

Burst Attack

I don’t want to die!

   

Melee

Input

DMG

Notes

5B

5BBB

160

 

8B

8B

60

Transforms into MA mode

8B~A

132

Transforms back into MS mode

4/6B

4/6BB

112

 

2B

2B

65

Melee Counter

CC8B

CC8B8BB

142

 

Cancel Routes:

A: AB, AC, BC

CSA: BC

AB, AC: BC

Any melee: AC, BC

MA Mode Ability Summary

Ranged

Armament

Ammo

DMG

Notes

Main

Beam Rifle

4

65

Separate ammo pool from MS mode.

Charged Main

Beam Cannon

120

 

Sub

Abyss Summon

2

141/95

Shared ammo with MS mode.

Special Melee

Transform

Transforms to MS Mode.

Melee

Input

DMG

Notes

5B

5BBBB

209

 

8B

8B

70

Same move as 8B in MS mode but with more damage.

8B~A

142

Transforms back into MA mode.

4/6B

4/6BBB

174

 

2B

2B

85

Great hitbox.

CC8B

CC8BB

137

 

Special Shooting

AC

60

Meteorite kick. 2 ammo.

Cancel Routes:

A: AB, AC, BC, 8B

CSA: AC, BC

AB: AC, BC

Overview

In its Mobile Suit mode, the Gaia Gundam is an all-rounder which has a heavier focus on ranged combat, while in its quadrupedal MA mode (aka dog mode) it becomes a close-range melee specialist. 

Unlike other Transformable Mobile Suits that have a Mobile Armor mode. Gaia cannot transform with traditional MA transformation input. Instead, you have to transform using the Special Melee transformation inputs, or certain other moves. This is why it’s categorized as a form change suit and not a transformable suit. 

Gaia’s best playstyle is one where you use your MS mode to play a shooting-based neutral, then switch to the MA mode for close-ranged combat and for launching surprise attacks with the meteor kick. Gaia relies a lot on its assists in Chaos and Abyss that help lay suppressive fire and create offensive opportunities.

Gaia cannot be played using one mode only— mastering the MS requires players to be able to switch seamlessly between both forms depending on the situation.

MS Mode Ability Details

Ranged Weapons

Main: Beam Rifle

An orthodox Beam Rifle for a 2000 cost unit. As always, this is a great poke tool for hit confirming, and it has good cancel routes in AB, AC, and BC that makes it easy to throw out a checking BR shot before going for other moves.

Charged Main: Beam Rifle Multi-Shot 

2-second charge time. Transforms into the MA mode and fires 3 pairs of beams. Each shot does 43*2 damage, and after proration hitting the full volley nets you 132 damage. Note that the startup on the firing sequence after transforming is rather slow. 

You can immediately transform back into MS mode by using the BC cancel route, or you may choose to stay in your MA mode. The charge gauge for this move is shared by your MA mode, meaning you can charge CSA in MS mode, switch to MA mode, and then perform the MA mode’s CSA immediately without having to charge. And vice versa.

Sub: Abyss Gundam Summon

The Abyss Gundam is called out of the briny depths to attack the enemy. Shared ammo with MA mode. Reloads once both ammo has been expended, takes 15 seconds to fully reload. Abyss may perform one of either inputs:

5AB: Beam Volley

Abyss fires a spread of beams, just like in the “Ignited” opening for Gundam Seed Destiny. This has nothing to do with gameplay, but for you Gundam nerds out there the names of the weapons that Abyss fires are the Callidus Multi-phase Beam Cannon, the Balaena Kai Dual Beam Cannon, and two sets of the 3-barrel Beam cannon.

This move has poor muzzle correction and tracking, but the scope of the attack is wide and the beam projectiles travel quickly. There is also no damage proration, meaning you do full damage on this even cancelled from your Main or other moves.

This is a great move for racking up damage or scoring downs. Note that the Callidus Beam Cannon (chest cannon) is a one-hit down, while the other beams cause stagger. Either way this is a great option against characters with super armor, like Bael. Just be wary that the reload time is really long, so only use this when necessary.   

*AB: Rush

Abyss charges at the enemy with its Beam Lance, and upon contact it performs a multi-hit stab. Abyss’ charge speed is very fast, so fast that its average tracking almost doesn’t matter. 

This is a great move both offensively and defensively. However given the limited ammo and the shared ammo pool with your MA mode, you really need to pick each use carefully.

Special Shooting: Chaos Gundam Summon

Reloads when empty. Takes 13 seconds to reload 2 ammo.

The Chaos Gundam, designed for space combat, heeds your call. Performs one of two inputs:

5AC: Firefly Guided Missiles

Chaos fires 8 missiles one after another. The missiles track well enough to consistently hit enemies who are not paying attention to the move. Because enemies can step a single time to cut tracking on all missiles, try and use this on enemies who are not paying attention to you, and are less likely to perform a sidestep.

*AC: Mobile Weapon Pod

All-range attack. Chaos deploys its two Mobile Weapon pods to fire Firefly Guided Missiles at the enemy from various angles and distances. Depending on your lever input the pods are positioned differently.

If Chaos is destroyed while the pods have been deployed, they will still continue their attack. However, if Gaia is downed then the pods are destroyed as well. Until the pods disappear Chaos cannot be summoned again.

8AC: Pods are positioned on the left, right, and above the enemy

2AC: Pods are positioned on the left and right of the enemy, on the same vertical plane

 4AC: Pods are deployed to the left of the enemy

6AC: Pods are deployed to the right of the enemy

Special Melee: Transform

Transforms into MA mode. 5BC makes you somersault forward while transforming, while directional inputs make you somersault in the respective direction. When performing this in overheat you can only flip forward.

If you continue holding the lever in the set direction you will automatically boost dash in that direction after the transformation. This does not work for 2BC, though. 

This carries over a lot of inertia, meaning you can move good distances by boost dashing or boost dash jumping before transforming in the same direction. You can also input C~BC to spend a bit more boost and greatly increase your travel distance.

Aside from transforming to your MA form, this move can be used for movement similar to the Reborns Gundam. You can also use this to mix up your landing timing, or landing in MA mode to refill boost.

Melee Set

5B: 3-stage Beam Saber Combo

Standard beam saber combo. You can cancel into 8B during the first two stages of the combo. This move is not particularly spectacular or noteworthy.

8B: Transformation Attack

One of Gaia’s most important melee attacks. Transforms you into the MA mode to perform an attack, leaving you in the MA mode after. 

As you transform regardless of whether you hit the 8B attack or not, you can use 8B raw and then sidestep to transform to MA mode with a sidestep motion. During F Burst you can cancel from A~8B as a an alternative transformation route that also allows you to cut tracking.

8B~A: Transformation Beam Rifle

Gaia transforms back into the MS mode to fire a Beam Rifle shot. One-hit down. Forced PoV change.

This attack costs no ammo but takes up some boost to perform. You can cancel this into BC to once again transform back into MA mode, helping to keep this move safe. 

This and 8B are really important moves in Gaia’s kit for seamlessly transforming while attacking. It allows you to take any melee combo as an opportunity to pick the form you want to stay in after the combo.

4/6B: Rising Dragon Slash

Quick startup but poor reach. Can be cancelled into 8B after the first hit only.

2B: Upward Slash

1 hit only. Not a particularly great melee move. Can be cancelled into 8B.

CC8B: Horizontal Slash

Multi-hits on the second stage. Difficult to follow-up on.

Burst Attack

I don’t want to die!

Gaia transforms between MA and MS forms to execute this melee combo. Super armor on startup. Compared to other Burst Attacks this has rather good cut resistance, making it a rather safe option for big damage.

MA Mode Ability Details

The Dog form. As a quadruped, Gaia becomes a melee-centric, ground-running suit. While running on the ground you are slightly faster, and your boost economy is extremely good. Pivoting is also improved in this form.

On the downside, boosting upwards requires more boost, and you cannot stay airborne for long in this form. Having said that, you can overcome those weaknesses by using your 2B motion that allows you to gain altitude, or your AC that gives you increased mobility. All in all, your mobility as a 2000 cost is remarkable.

All your weapons force vernier, so attacking in a straightforward fashion yields poor returns. On the flipside, your melee attacks have great cut resistance, and the means to quickly close the gap with your AC meteor kick. You can also use your AB to act as a vanguard for your offense, and your one-hit down CSA to punish landings or score quick downs.

You want to use this form when you’ve been cornered, or when you want to launch surprise attacks. Typically as a 2000 cost unit you’re forced to take the rear guard role, so do be wary of your need to preserve HP and team cost instead of going full rabid. Given the good running speed and good boost economy of this form, you can also use it as a means to close the gap between you and the enemy quickly.  

Ranged Weapons

Main: Beam Rifle

Fires the Beam Rifle mounted on the dog’s back. Inherits inertia allowing you to slide but still forces you to come to a stop to fire. This has only 4 ammo, and the damage isn’t great. All in all this is a poor man’s BR compared to your MS form’s, but it’s still useful for setting up your offense or on defense.

Charged Main: Beam Cannon

2-second charge, shares charge with the MS mode. Fires two beams simultaneously, hitting both scores a one-hit down. 

When fired in the air, you freefall immediately after. Neither Main nor Sub gives you this freedom of movement after, which is one of the strong points of this move. 

Gaia’s offense is very tied into its melee attacks, so charging this while idle is a good habit to get into. Can be cancelled into the AC meteor kick. 

Sub: Abyss Gundam

Exactly the same move as in the MS form.

Special Melee: Transform

Transforms back into MS mode. Similar in all aspects, except it costs more boost to transform into MS mode than the other way around.

Melee Set

Gaia’s melee moves have good cut resistance, but don’t have outstanding priority, meaning you may find yourself losing out in direct confrontations with melee-centric MSes. 

5B: Beam Blade

High damage melee combo with a forced PoV change. Causes an untechable down on the last hit. This move actually causes you to fall rapidly on whiff, so you can use it as a landing tech or a setup for your next attack. You can sidestep and go into your next attack, or cancel into your AC.

8B: Slash-through

Causes an untechable down on hit. Also has the same 8B~A beam rifle cancel route that allows you to transform back into your MS form.

8B Derivative: Transformation Attack

Same move as with the MS form, but with more damage. You have the same 8B~A cancel route for transforming back into your MS form.

4/6B: Spin Slash

Similar to LaGOWE’s spin slash. Travels a good distance and has relatively good cut resistance.

2B: Helmbreaker

Gaia rises quickly before spinning downwards towards the enemy. You cannot sidestep once you make contact with the ground. This costs little boost to rise, making it a useful move for gaining altitude that Gaia so desperately needs. This also has a good hitbox, allowing you to hit enemies caught in your wake. Just watch out for the slow startup.

CC8B: Slash-through

Stuns on hit. Between the first and second hit is a long pause, so be careful about getting cut during the sequence.

AC: Meteor Kick

Reloads 1 ammo every 12 seconds. Gaia kicks off a meteor to dash at the enemy, following an L-shaped path. Similar to Gold Frame’s 4/6AC. There’s some good horizontal movement on this attack that can make it hard for opponents to hit you, but this move is even better when used as a surprise attack. This has really good vertical targeting, allowing you to even hit enemies directly below you.

The startup is extremely fast and you travel very far with this move, but the tracking itself is rather weak, meaning enemies sometimes can escape just by boost dashing away. As far as possible, align your axis with the enemy’s to increase your odds of hitting. This move causes a long stagger on hit.

You can use this move even in overheat, but it’s best to use this move with at least some insurance boost to sidestep if things get tricky. The meteorite also has a shooting barrier, but because the rock is behind you it doesn’t account for much.

Recommended Combos (MS)

Ranged Weapons

Input

DMG

Notes

A>>A>>A

147

Zunda.

A~5AB

166

Good damage off a hit confirmed Main.

A>>A~5AB

175

BnB.

A>>2B~8B(~A)

144 (171)

Transform to MA combo. You may input the A~ at the end to revert back to MS mode. 

CSA 

132

It’s recommended that you simply fire all 3 hits of CSA because the proration off this move is so bad that it’s hard to do big damage combos even if you cancel off only the first hit.

*AB>>A>>A

180

 

*AB>?>A~5AB

211

Have to wait for the first Abyss to disappear before you can summon it again. 

Melee

5BB>5BBB

198

 

5BB>5BB~8B~A

209

 

4/6BB>4/6BB

181

 

Recommended Combos (MA)

Ranged Weapons

Input

DMG

Notes

A>>A>>A

137

Zunda.

A~8B~4/6BBB

189

Close range BnB #1

A~8B~AC~8B~4/6B (1 hit)~8B(~A)

195 (204)

Close range BnB #2. Good cut resistance, no boost necessary

A~8B~AC~8B~AC~8B(~A)

209 (218)

Best damage off Main.

Melee

AC~5BBBB~AC~8B~A

263

 

AC~5BBB~8B~A

240

One meteor only combo.

5BBB~8B(~A)

199 (203)

 

5BBBB~AC~8B(~A)

255 (267)

BnB off 5B

5BBBB~AC~8B~AC~8B

270

Biggest damage off 5B.

8B~4/6BB~8B~AC~8B(~A)

   

4/6BB>4/6BBB

213

 

4/6BBB~AC~8B~AC~8B~A

262

 

CC8BB>5BBBB

246

 

CC8BB~AC~8B>AC~8B~A

255

 

Strategies

  • When landing in MS mode you can switch to MA mode and dash on the ground a short distance before refilling your boost, making it very difficult for the enemy to accurately catch your landings.
  • You cannot win the damage race by staying in MS form, and you also can’t force your way in with melee in your MA form. The ideal playstyle is switching constantly between the two to keep opponents guessing, entering and exiting the frontline freely. Poke with MS, go in and do damage with MA, pull out and return to MS and reset the neutral. Rinse and repeat.
  • Try to use your assists before bursting to reload them, as they both have a rather long reload period. Of course, this just means half bursting instead of full bursting is even more attractive for Gaia, giving you twice the number of reloads.
  • Remember that 2000 cost units are often the rear guards of the team, so reign it in and be patient with your offense. Prioritize defense over offense at least until your teammate has died. Play patient, and your time to go on the offense will surely come. 
  • E Burst is alright on Gaia if you’re worried about your defense, but picking E means missing out on a strong comeback factor.
  • F Burst greatly powers up your MA mode offense, and allows you to carry out even more impressive shenanigans with form switching thanks to the increase boost, further-travelling and faster BC, and improved melee performance. Cancelling from your shooting moves to melee is also very desirable.
  • S Burst is for powering up your MS mode. You gain freefalls and more uses of your assists, and of course the ability to rapid fire your Main. This is overall a lower risk Burst compared to F, and if you’re going up against dedicated melee suits that use F Burst like Master or Epyon then you’re more likely to beat them with your S Burst than with your F Burst. 
  • Gaia pairs well with suits that draw attention well, especially those of the all-rounder variety. In the 3000 cost bracket Destiny is the OTL, as both suits have access to both melee and ranged attacks, and can take turns on going on the melee offensive depending on the tide of battle. Another good teammate is Full Saber, who exudes strong pressure and can retreat to the back line giving you the front role if necessary.
  • Gaia also does alright with 2500 aggressive front units, but struggles when teamed with 2000 or 1500 cost partners.