|Model Number: MS-06R-2||Pilot: Johnny Ridden|
|Cost: 2000 Hp: 580 Transform: X Form Change: X|
The late model of the Zaku II High Mobility type was a further improvement over the mass-produced Zaku II. True to its namesake, it boasted excellent mobility and thus was fielded only by the best pilots in Zeon. Only four of such models were produced, of which one was piloted by Johnny Ridden, who was also known as the Crimson Lightning.
|Main||Zaku Machine Gun||60||14~113||Staggers in 4 hits|
|Sub||Cracker Grenade||2||39||Throws 3 grenades in a horizontal arc|
|Special Shooting||Zaku Bazooka||4||104||Deals above average damage|
|Special Melee||Command Dash||–||–|
|Slash-through||90||BC~B Derivative. A high-performance single slash|
|5B||5BBB||178||Average 3-stage melee combo|
|8B||8B||80||Dust Down on hit|
|4/6B||4/6BB||129||Good startup and wraparound|
|2B||2BB||138||Bounces target upon completion|
A: AB, AC, BC
BC: A, AB, AC
AC: AB, BC
Johnny’s Zaku II functions best at the medium-close range,and relies on its machine gun and grenades to force movement before following up with the bazooka or a melee attack. Its general playstyle is making use of hit-and-run tactics, and players are expected to incorporate the BC Command Dash to make a quick approach, dealing damage before retreating away.
The Zaku II has above average boost dash speed compared to most other 2000 cost units, but other parameters such as ascent/descent and turning speed are more or less similar.
Main: Zaku Machine Gun
Fires 3 rounds with a single input, up to a maximum of 12 if held continuously. Reloads on empty with a 5-second reload time. Staggers the target on 4 hits.
While the rate of fire and projectile speed on this weapon are similar to other Zaku machine guns, this variant cannot be manually reloaded and the rounds have weaker tracking.
While it performs fairly decently at medium range, it’s a bit risky to overly rely on this for self-defense due to the 4-hit stagger and the lack of self-defense options that can be canceled into. While the firing angle on this is wide, do keep an eye on the target’s movements so as not to accidentally put yourself in a state of vernier. However, one of the key features of Johnny’s Zaku II is that it can cancel into the BC command dash directly from the machine gun. Thus, it’s possible to maintain a fluid offence off the same attack vector by utilizing a combination of both the machine gun and the command dash.
Sub: Cracker Grenades
The Zaku throws 3 cracker grenades in a fan-shaped arc towards the target. Reloads in 5 seconds on empty. The grenades explode on contact with any surface and causes Flame Stun on hit. While this allows for easy follow-ups, be careful not to hit yourself or your ally with this.
The cracker grenades also have a slow startup and cause vernier, so you will be vulnerable while throwing. Additionally, there is a wide gap between each thrown grenade, which limits the effectiveness of this weapon at close range.
Regardless, this is a versatile tool that serves many purposes. For example, you can use this as a “net” of sorts when pursuing the target, for self-defense against incoming melee suits, or for catching targets that are below you.
While the Down value dealt is high, the damage proration is excellent, so you can still expect to get some good damage off this if you follow up with a melee combo.
Special Shooting: Giant Bazooka
The Zaku fires a round from the Giant Bazooka. Reloads in 5 seconds on empty. The projectile fired has excellent speed and does good damage, but has poor tracking and a fairly long reload time. However, there is no cancel protection incurred when canceling into this from the Machine Gun. This weapon’s startup speed is normal, but it also inherits some inertia from the previous move and also recedes a little due to the recoil of this weapon. The giant bazooka works best at medium range, so reserve usage of this weapon for its ideal range to make the most out of it.
Due to its fast startup and inertia inheritance, you can use this as an interception tool against opponents that are closing in, but be careful of the boost consumption.
Special Melee: Command Dash
Johnny’s Zaku II barrel rolls forward upon input. The approach vector can be curved slightly with directional input, and you can also rainbow step from it. More importantly, you can also cancel into the Machine Gun, Cracker Grenades, and Giant Bazooka directly from this move. While it can’t be used while in Overheat, the Zaku II automatically freefalls at the end of the motion while inheriting the inertia from the dash. Thus, when canceling into the machine gun, you maintain pressure on your target while still being mobile.
When used in green lock, the Zaku II will instead dash towards whichever direction it is facing, making this useful as a self-defense measure. The command dash is pretty much the lifeline of Johnny’s Zaku II, so make sure to use this move regularly regardless of whether you’re attacking or retreating.
5BBB: Heat Hawk Combo > Shoulder Tackle
The overall performance of the 1st hit isn’t bad, but 4/6B beats it in all parameters aside from damage output.Thus, this melee chain is best used as part of a combo rather than a melee starter.
The 3rd stage of this melee (shoulder tackle) is a multi-hit attack so it will likely down the target before the full sequence of hits finish if used as part of a combo. It also launches the target vertically slightly. As such, only use this when you follow up from BC~B. In most situations, it’s better to use 8B as a finisher rather than this.
Using 8B instead of the third stage of the 5B set counts as a cancel route, so the Down value dealt and amount of boost consumed is the same as using 8B raw. Due to the high down value, you’ll deal a Forced Down on the target when following up after BC~B, and you can also slip away with a 8B~A freefall after concluding the combo.
8B: Flying Kick
The Zaku II does a flying kick that causes a Dust Down. Cancelable to Main upon hit, resulting in a freefall. The startup and size of the hit box is decent. As it can be canceled to Main, it’s a good option for quickly ending the combo and making a getaway. However, the Zaku II stops abruptly the moment the kick connects, so keep this in mind.
4/6B: Heat Hawk Combo
Johnny’s bread-and-butter melee when initiating a combo. This is cancelable to 8B on the first stage, and has a ~A derivative on the second. Overall good performance with a decent startup, good wraparound angle and rush speed. While it won’t win you every exchange against a melee-oriented sutis, it’s good enough to be relied on in most situations. The animation is short and the Zaku II gains altitude in the second stage so it has good cut resistance.
4/6BB~A Derivative: Heat Hawk Combo > Giant Bazooka Follow-up
Zaku II finished the combo with a shot from the giant bazooka. Incurs Forced Down on the target upon hit. The shot does not consume any AC ammo but deals less damage (90 damage upon hit, 15 damage from explosion). However, the animation itself is fairly long, and does consume boost, so it is very possible you might be in the Overheat state upon finishing the attack. That being said, a hit with this finisher guarantees a Forced Down on your target.
2B: Uppercut > Slash
A two-stage melee attack that bounces the target on hit. Easy to follow up on after.
CC8B: Slash-through > Heat Hawk Combo
A three-stage melee combo. The Zaku II stops abruptly (though it does appear to inherit some inertia) before proceeding with the second and third stage of the melee. This is easy to use, and has good reach. The second and third stage of this melee have little movement, so it’s easy to get interrupted. However, the animation itself concludes quickly, thus allowing you to to deal maximum damage in a short period of time.
Heat Hawk Combo
The Zaku strikes the target with the Heat Hawk before finishing it off with a series of hits from the Cracker Grenades and Giant Bazooka. Like most Burst Attacks, the first stage of the attack is a melee strike that has super armor. While there is some movement prior to the Zaku II firing its ranged weaponry, the movement is minimal, making this attack not particularly cut-resistant. Additionally, since the cracker grenades and bazooka shots are regarded as ranged attacks, they can get nullified by barriers even if the first stage of the Burst attack connects. It’s entirely possible for suits with ranged barriers active to recover before the Burst animation ends. Since there is a high risk of retaliation, make sure not to use this Burst Attack against any suits that have any ranged barriers active.
|AB>>5BB~8B(~A)||195||Fire the Main at the end to freefall|
|5BB>5BB~8B||226||Fire the Main at the end to freefall|
|4/6BB~BC~B>8B~A||224||Fire the Main at the end to freefall|
|CC8BB>8B~A||Fire the Main at the end to freefall|
- The general approach when using Johnny’s Zaku II is to engage in a medium range battle centered around the machine gun. Maintain pressure on the target with your ranged tools before closing in for a quick melee when the opportunity presents itself.
- The Cracker grenades form a key component of the Zaku II’s playstyle. While it’s not recommended that you use this raw, force movement with the machine gun before catching them with the grenades. If you do hit with it, the resulting Flame Stun will give you plenty of time to follow up with the Bazooka or for a quick melee.
- Unfortunately, the Machine Gun does not have a manual reload so always keep an eye on it.
- The Zaku II will lose out on the damage race relying on its ranged tools alone, so it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to melee.
- While it’s strong in pursuit tactics, the Zaku II falls a bit short in terms of self-defense. Keep those melee combos short and sweet before zipping out. 8B~A is especially important as it lets you free fall immediately after a melee combo.
- While you can rely on the machine gun, grenades, and bazooka for self-defense, the startup for some of these tools are lengthy and may not be suitable for some situations.
- Alternatively, you use the BC Command Dash to zip away. When in green lock, the dash instead moves towards whichever direction the Zaku II is facing. Exploit this by switching to a distant target, facing the Zaku II to the rear and activating BC.