From Dustloop Wiki
Combo Notation GuideCharacter Name Abbreviations
7 7 8 8 9 9
4 4 5 5 6 6
1 1 2 2 3 3
Numbers represent direction on a keyboard numpad. For example, 236+P becomes 236P.
> = Proceed from the previous move to the following move.
/land = Indicate that the player must land at that point in the sequence.
, = LinkTo perform a second action after the first action completely finishes its animation. the previous move into the following move.
->/~ = CancelTo bypass the remaining time or frames in an action by proceeding directly into another action. the previous special into a follow-up special.
dl./delay = Delay the following move.
whiff/(whiff) = The move must whiff (not hit).
c. = Close
f. = Far
j. = Jump
hj./sj. = High Jump/Super Jump
jc = Jump Cancel
hjc/sjc = High Jump Cancel/Super Jump Cancel
dc/adc = Dash Cancel/Air Dash Cancel
CH = Counter Hit
AA = Anti-Air
IAS = Instant Air Special
[X] = Hold input.
]X[ = Release input.
(move) = Move is optional.
[X] or [Y] = Perform sequence X or Y.
[sequence] xN = Repeat sequence N amount of times.
(N) = Hit N of a move or move must deal N amount of hits.
IAD = Instant Air Dash
MC = Mortal Counter
JI = Jump Install
RC = Roman Cancel
RRC = Red Roman Cancel
YRC = Yellow Roman Cancel
PRC = Purple Roman Cancel
IK = Instant Kill
AN = Answer
AX = Axl Low
BA = Baiken
BE = Bedman
CH = Chipp Zanuff
DI = Dizzy
EL = Elphelt
FA = Faust
IN = I-No
JA = Jam
JC = Jack-O'
JO = Johnny
KU = Kum Haehyun
KY = Ky Kiske
LE = Leo
MA = May
MI = Millia
PO = Potemkin
RA = Ramlethal
RV = Raven
SI = Sin Kiske
SL = Slayer
SO = Sol Badguy
VE = Venom
ZA = Zato-1

Combo List

  • All damage values are damage dealt to Sol unless the combo cannot work on him, in which case the character with the closest defense modifier is used.
  • Damage values listed for combos with interchangeable combo parts assume the highest damage variation unless otherwise stated.
  • As Zato's combos are very different depending on whether or not Eddie is summoned, Solo Zato combos will be listed first and then conversions possible with Eddie will be listed second.
Solo Zato
Combo Position Damage Tension Gain Works on: Difficulty Notes
5P > c.S > 2D -> [236H to summon Eddie when possible] Anywhere 48 3-5% All [1] Very Easy Basic hit confirm. Tap 5P c.S and then end on 2D on hit and continue into f.S on block.
5P > c.S > 2H > 22H Midscreen 108 5-7% All [1] Very Easy Highest damage possible off these starters without running momentum. Prioritize knockdown, but use this combo if needed to finish a round.
Dash -> 5P > c.S > 2S > 5H(3) > 22H Anywhere 130 18-20% All [2] Easy 2K will also work as a starter for this combo. Dash is necessary unless the opponent is directly in front of Zato, as the first active will whiff otherwise, causing the combo to drop. This combo is also possible on any crouching opponent.
AA 6P(2) > jc > j.K > j.H > j.D Anywhere - - All [1] Very Easy Standard anti-air conversion. Can spend meter to end the combo with Executor for corner carry, though you will want to omit normals after j.K to ensure stability against lightweights. Using a superjump or a higher level normal such as j.S will also increase Executor stability. It is important to antiair with only the first hit of 6P, as the second has a much worse hurtbox for avoiding jump in attacks. Practice the timing in training mode against a variety of jump in attacks to become comfortable with this!
CH 2H > 22H > IAD > j.H > j.D Midscreen - - All [2] Easy Anti-air conversion off of a counter hit 2H. 2H is a stronger anti-air than 6P in terms of meterless reward, but lacks upper body invulnerability. 2H is a stronger choice to interrupt rejump attempts as well as to call out steeper angles of approach from the opponent, and is also slightly faster than 6P to come out. The IAD is a link after Zato recovers from Invite Hell, so hold up after inputting 22H while practicing to learn the timing when an IAD is possible.
  • Additionally, the standard Solo Zato knockdown combo (5P > c.S > 2D -> [236H to summon Eddie when possible]) is ideal after any jump in sequence, such as IAD > j.S > j.H. Omit the c.S in order to ensure that 2D will connect with the opponent at all ranges.

Solo Zato Metered Conversions
Combo Position Damage Tension Gain Works on: Difficulty Notes
2K > f.S > 2S > RRC > 22H Anywhere - - All [1] Very Easy Off of most hits it is not possible for Zato to secure a combo into Invite Hell for a knockdown due to the dash momentum required to make gatlings to 5H connect. Because of this as well as the inability for 2K starts to gatling into a 2D knockdown, it is often necessary to spend meter on Red Roman Cancel to ensure knockdown and get your gameplan going.
2K > f.S > 2S > RRC > IAD > j.S > j.H > 5P > 2D > 236H > Okizeme Anywhere - - All [4] Hard A harder variant of the above combo that leads to more corner carry and a better okizeme situation. The difference in execution required is significant enough to mention both, though if this croute is comfortable for you it is preferred. You will need to manually time the IAD after RRC as well as link the aerial series into 5P, which will take a bit of practice to get comfortable with!
  • Additionally, any special cancelled route ender that Zato has access to can be replaced by Amorphous if additional damage is needed to end the round. If possible, avoid P and K normals as these will rapidly increase combo proration, and cancel into Amorphous after an H normal such as 2H or 5H.

Combo Theory

Without Eddie and Notes on Spending Meter

  • As Solo Zato, your number 1 priority at all times is to route into a knockdown whenever that is possible. Routes have been provided for this, and always prioritize such routes over damage or other rewards.
  • Generally, it is not worth it to spend your meter on supers as Zato. Use YRC in neutral for movement and approaches, whiff cancel OS, and RRC to ensure knockdowns. Executor is worthwhile if comboing an airborne opponent while Eddie is available to be summoned.
  • Related, there are routes to combo off of Great White. I will not be teaching you them, as you will actually become worse at the character if you try to incorporate Great White into your gameplan. An optimized combo using Great White will do at most 10 more damage than a meterless alternative, and leads to worse pressure than normal summoning Eddie. Just don't use it.

With Eddie

  • Midscreen combos with Eddie summoned force you to choose between cashing out on damage using an aerial nobiru ender or 2D unsummon/resummon for a slightly advantageous wakeup situation. Which option is preferred will vary based on the matchup, gamestate, and player preference.
  • In general, it is not advised to use 2D unsummon/resummon systems against characters who have strong options for avoiding interacting with mawaru okizeme. Specifically, characters with 2 hit reversals can hit and kill Eddie and also hit Zato if they choose to challenge you, so your okizeme must be safer and less strong to deal with this in the midscreen. In addition to this, characters such as Answer, Slayer, and Baiken have unique special moves and/or movement tools to bypass 2D unsummon/resummon systems, and you must either be prepared with specific punish knowledge or choose high risk/medium reward.
  • Most combos with Eddie are enders that you can incorporate after running any of Zato's okizeme setups, and transition very easily out of generous hit confirmation windows.

Damage or Unsummon? (rough guideline of what Eddie ender to use)

  • Damage: Jack-O, Baiken, Answer, Sol, Leo, Sin, Chipp, Slayer
  • Unsummon: Kum, Ramlethal, Raven, Johnny, May, Zato, Potemkin, Venom, Dizzy, Faust
  • Variable: Elphelt, Ky, Millia, I-No, Axl, Bedman, Jam

Video Examples

Bashe's Zato=1 Basic Combos Guilty Gear Xrd Rev2