Zao – Japanese Heavy Cruiser | World of Warships

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The Zao is a Tech-Tree Tier 10 Japanese Cruiser. It is a heavy cruiser. It has 12x 203mm guns with improved HE alpha and dispersion.

Price: Tech-Tree

I do play this match when I record the video, giving you live commentary and thoughts whilst playing the ship.This is actually a recorded video, and not taken from twitch. 😀

I hope you enjoyed the video, and if did, leave a comment, like or sub. Also, if anyone would like to ask me question about the ship, you can join me on twitch/discord/youtube comments, and if anyone wants to know any of the builds I run for T8, T9 and T10 ships, they are available on discord, link below.

00:00 Introduction
01:39 Armour Layout
02:07 Build
03:22 Game 1
19:02 Score 1
20:10 Game 2
33:15 Score 2
34:09 Build
34:47 Statistics
35:10 Summary and Conclusion


  1. Good video. Would be great to see St. Vincent to be featured.

  2. Zao used to be my absolute favorite ship in the game. Had the tools to do just about anything between stealth torping, cap contesting, dd hunting,and even late game brawling with the torps. But power creep and legendary mod nerf has really made it a sad ship to play now. Napoli is a much better successor especially with it’s ability to really brawl.

    • How was legendary mod nerfed? They took the rudder buff and applied it permanently to the ship….

    • @Mathew Long It is a lot more sluggish than It used to be. It was a direct nerf to the module itself.

    • Unique Upgrade was better prior to this, not only because of the rudder, but also the fact that people played closer ranges. I have showed in this video, that people will run away from you in Zao, and even with Range mod and Spotter Plane, you’re barely in range anymore, this is why Unique Upgrade for randoms, isn’t as good as Range Mod, nowadays. I used to use the legendary a lot prior to it’s nerf. But nowadays, I prefer using the range mod, as it gives you extra range which helps you perform better overall.

    • @Keller 13 Module never took a nerf. it was actually buffed the only thing negative it had was worse turret traverse and they got rid of that penalty. Its not sluggish at all. However, the legendary only has a 8% range increase and your dispersion makes it laser like. at no point was there ever a rudder shift penalty on the legendary So I will call you on that. My most played cruiser is the Zao and legendary unlock was the Zao’s legendary. Zao’s legendary was basically an Accuracy and range buff legendary which was at the time the best legendary of all of them other than the Yamato’s Legendary. Not even DM’s speed juke legendary was better than the Zao’s. at this point the only legendary to run on any ship for randoms: Khaba’s, Henry IV’s, Gearing’s and Yamato’s legendary mods are a no brainer.

  3. [Голубь_Авангарда]Сахарок

    Love Zao very much, it’s shows power of HE shells and glorious of IJN cruisers

    • [Голубь_Авангарда]Сахарок

      @MalteseKnight very much 🙂 But i think would be better if it was a little short video(20 min at least)

  4. The only thing i love about Zao are those amazing 203 mm guns, the are very easy to aim and their fire chance and damage are also really good.
    The rest of the ship is meh.
    I can only wish that there is a ship with Ibuki performance but with Zao’s fire power, that would be my type of ship.

  5. I’m looking forward to wg finishing testing this ship.

  6. I’m still struggling with the Zao but I’ll try and implement what you’ve said here…still with only 1.4k games played or something like that since the game came out I’m not the best player out there.

    cheers Malta and keep them coming

  7. Thanks for the video malta, would love to see how to play the chad (radar) mino next one xD

  8. Malta keep on the good job bro. Its very helpfull for new players and old tomatos.

  9. I’d be curious to see a thought process on Nevsky since it’s sorta replaced Zao as that kiting HE spammer except it has Radar utility, and being soviet, is tankier than you would expect with its armor scheme. Goliath would be an equally interesting pick, given the similarities.

    • best kiting HE cruiser on TX probably hindi

    • @OneManThrillRide Hindi/Nevsky/Zao in that order. However, I love the Zao for its trollish armor it has. Not to mention a 9.9K concealment which Nevsky or the Hindi does not have when talented into Concealment expert. As fast as I can get into a fight is as fast I can break contact…quick. the Zao is my most played cruiser in the game even though its power crept to holy high hell…..

    • @OneManThrillRide Kiting? no. thats the Zao. hands down. Hindi has worst gun angles in terms of kiting. All Zao needs to do is fight from a distance and with its maneuverability, it will outlast and hindi or nevsky.

    • @Jose Mercado lol .. zao outlast hindi … amd btw whoever kites is in a big advantage anyway. but at least u can chase guys with hindi zao can never use back guns when in pursuit mode

  10. glad that we can see zao out of nda finally, took the team long enough, luckily its not turbo op like some other recent releases (certain classes are being favored)

  11. Yo Malta, thanks for this new video, great format. I think, you should not go so deep in explaining the ship but go more into your thought process during the game, like in the first episode of this series. You could explain the ship and its build before and after the matches and in it talk only about the thought process. That would ceep the viewer more in the flow of the battle.

  12. I really like running double rudder mod on zao it’s so much fun shifting around like a fletcher. Or acceleration + rudder

  13. austinpowersfasjer

    Please underestimate Zao’s AP. Ive played over 1000 games in it. Zao AP either bounces/shatters or overpens. It even overpens citadels of light cruisers.

  14. Sadly the whole IGN line from the t5 on is this slow shooting slow turret moving weak armored , no aa ship line with only the 155 mm mogami having competitive dpm. I think that World of Warships is on its way out. New Des Moines buff coming with nuclear engines and laser-guided missiles. Zao getting a turret Nerf and hydro acoustic search will be removed as a consumable.

  15. Zao was my very first T10 ship. The playstyle back then i used most was the “annoy the enemy as much as possible” style.
    Get on some flank. Shoot once or twice, set fires. Wait, go dark, then pop up somewhere else (or in the same location, lol), shoot one or two salvos again, repeat. If someone tries to push you, torp them. Make the enemy play a very annyoing game of “whack-a-mole”.

    Back then that worked, there was way less spotting. It was amazing. Nowadays i almost never play her anymore.

  16. Great video, MK. I’d love to hear your thought process on the Nevsky in a future video.

  17. I feel that Zao buff is coming soon!

  18. Hello Malta, great vid, and thank you for featuring my favorite ship. Personally, I think zao is much better than henry or hindy. Those ships are good at farming damage, but zao is better at making game-winning plays due to its concealment, torps (capable of devastating an enemy push). The concealment translates to greater and more consistent damage vs dds – (who cares if you have more dpm if you are forced to shoot from 14 km away). It is also easier to find crossfires on cruiser broadsides with zao AP.

    My playstyle is pretty different from the way you play – I spend a lot of time concealed to maneuver into the optimal position to make a play.

  19. Thanks for sharing! But yeah I have the build in the video 😀

  20. I use accel + concealment mod.
    And RPF instead of deadeye/outnumbered.

    Knowing the location of the nearest enemy ship enables you to take more aggressive positions.

    I use it like a large DD.

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