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Zao

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Zaō
Zaō_wows_main.jpg
Cruiser | Japan | Tier X
Tech Tree Position
Ibuki
Arrow_down.png
Zaō_icon_small.png
stock
 top
General
Research price238000 exp
Purchase price20,000,000 Credits
Hit Points40,800 
Main Battery
203 mm/50 18th Year Type4 х 3 pcs.
Rate of Fire4.38 shots/min.
Reload Time13.7 sec.
Rotation Speeddeg./sec.
180 Degree Turn Time36 sec.
Firing Range16.23 km.
Maximum Dispersion136 m.
HE Shell203 mm HE Type1 
Maximum HE Shell Damage3,400 
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell19 %
Initial HE Shell Velocity920 m./s.
HE Shell Weight155 kg.
AP Shell203 mm AP Type92 
Maximum AP Shell Damage5,400 
Initial AP Shell Velocity920 m./s.
AP Shell Weight155 kg.
Secondary Armament #1
100 mm/65 Type986 х 2 pcs.
Firing Rangekm.
Rate of Fire20 shots/min.
Reload Timesec.
HE Shell100 mm HE Type98 
Maximum HE Shell Damage1,700 
Initial HE Shell Velocity1000 m./s.
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shel%
Torpedo Tubes
610 mm Quintuple4 х 5 pcs.
Rate of Fire0.58 shots/min.
Reload Time104 sec.
Rotation Speed25 deg./sec.
180 Degree Turn Time7.2 sec.
TorpedoType F3 
Maximum Damage21,367 
Torpedo Speed76 knot
Torpedo Range8.01 km.
AA Defense
25 mm/60 Type96 Triple mod. 111 х 3 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second36.3 
. . . Firing Range2.49 km.
25 mm/60 Type96 mod. 120 х 1 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second36 
. . . Firing Range2.49 km.
40 mm Bofors "Chi" Type989 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second99 
. . . Firing Range3.51 km.
100 mm/65 Type986 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second124.8 
. . . Firing Range5.01 km.
Maneuverability
Maximum Speed34.5 knot
Turning Circle Radius840 m.
Rudder Shift Time7.7 sec.
Concealment
Surface Detectability Range12.6 km.
Air Detectability Range7.46 km.
Battle Levels
12345678910
Wows_anno_flag_japan.png
X
Ship_PJSC034_Zao_1944.png
20,000,000

Zaō — Japanese Tier X cruiser.

A very powerful cruiser in all respects. Compared with the preceding classes of heavy cruisers, Zao had a greater number of main battery and AA guns, thick armor, and a reinforced torpedo armament.

Modules

Main Battery Guns Rate of Fire
(shots/min)
180° Turn Time
(sec)
Maximum Dispersion
(m)
Maximum HE Shell Damage
(HP)
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell
(%)
Maximum AP Shell Damage
(HP)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
( Credits)
203 mm/50 Type184.4361363,400195,400 02,100,000
Hull Hit Points
(HP)
Armor
(mm)
Armor
(mm)
Main Turrets
(pcs.)
Secondary Gun Turrets
(pcs.)
AA Mounts
(pcs.)
Torpedo Tubes
(pcs.)
Hangar Capacity
(pcs.)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
( Credits)
Zaō (A)40,80016203469/11/20/640 02,800,000
Torpedoes Rate of Fire
(shots/min)
Torpedo Tubes Reload Time
(sec)
180° Turn Time
(sec)
Maximum Damage
(HP)
Torpedo Speed
(knot)
Torpedo Range
(km)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
( Credits)
Type93 mod. 30.41717.223,7666712 30,0002,500,000
Type F30.61047.221,366768 02,500,000
Fire Control System Firing Range Increase
(%)
Maximum Firing Range
(km)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
( Credits)
Type10 mod. 1016.2 01,600,000
Engine Maximum Speed
(knot)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
( Credits)
Propulsion: 159,000 hp34.5 01,400,000

Compatible Upgrades

 Slot 1  Main Armaments Modification 1 Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 Magazine Modification 1 Spotting Aircraft Modification 1 Damage Control Party Modification 1
 Slot 2  Damage Control System Modification 1 Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 Engine Room Protection
 Slot 3  Main Battery Modification 2 Secondary Battery Modification 1 AA Guns Modification 1 Aiming Systems Modification 1 Torpedo Tubes Modification 1
 Slot 4  Damage Control System Modification 2 Propulsion Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 1
 Slot 5  Torpedo Lookout System Concealment System Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 2 Ship Consumables Modification 1
 Slot 6  Main Battery Modification 3 Torpedo Tubes Modification 2 Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 Improved Bridge Auxiliary Armaments Modification 2

Player Opinion

Performance

The ninja among Tier X cruisers, the Zao specializes in striking with a single massive salvo, then slipping away before the enemy can retaliate.

Japanese cruiser captains will be delighted to know that the Zao finally gets an entire new model of gun, replacing the venerable 3rd Year Type that has been the trademark of the line since the Furutaka all the way back in Tier V. And what an upgrade it is! The HE and especially AP shells gain considerable potency, and Zao delivers them with an accuracy and velocity unprecedented in the line. To further sweeten the deal, Zao also gains two barrels for a total of twelve, and they are mounted in a friendlier setup of four triple turrets. The one downside is that the turret traverse---already a drawback of the line---suffers a further setback. This makes it especially important that the Zao is doing the ambushing rather than the reverse.

Fortunately this is not difficult to ensure: Zao can reach a detectability radius of 9.90 km with a (highly recommended) stealth build, which is the best among all Tier X heavy cruisers and nearly as good as the light cruisers. This stealth combines well with her high-alpha, low-rate-of-fire main battery: she can fire a punishing salvo, then go dark before the enemy can effectively return fire.

Her upgraded torpedoes offer another opportunity to use her stealth: with a 12 km range, she can launch these from beyond her detection radius, and even from beyond the range of radar. With two quintuple launchers on each side they can easily devastate unwary victims, and can serve as a good area denial tool. However, their poor firing angles and extremely long reload means they must be used judiciously, with their poor usefulness in brawls being worth a special mention because of their poor firing angles. (The stock torpedoes offer ludicrous speed and a faster reload, but their much shorter range renders them useless in most situations.)

Zao's survivability is on the lower side of T10 cruisers, and can sometimes be a mixed bag. She has the smallest health pool of all Tier X cruisers, even counting the light cruisers (with the exception of Smolensk and Colbert), and her armor is not particularly thick. Her anti-aircraft suite and consumable toolkit are unremarkable. However, she does have a few factors working in her favor. She is relatively fast and has a good rudder shift (albeit with a slightly lackluster turning circle), giving her decent ability to reposition and dodge incoming fire. Her citadel is quite hard to hit, is protected by a small but steeply angled turtleback, and her hull is rather narrow - the so-called "troll armor" - often allowing her to seem to cheat death by the virtue of avoiding taking citadel hits and yielding over penetrations against large caliber AP when broadside. Still, taking Zao into a stand-up fight is not advisable, as her low HP pool can prove to be her undoing in fights against enemy BBs with large caliber (434mm+) guns due to overmatch, as well as against some cruisers.

Pros:

  • Very good HE firepower with high alpha damage, good fire starting ability and superb accuracy (which can be further enhanced by equipping the Improved Bridge (–7% dispersion of main battery shells / +8% main battery firing range.) unique upgrade and the Aiming Systems Modification 1 (Increases the firing accuracy of the main battery and secondary battery, accelerates the traverse speed of torpedo tubes, and extends the firing range of the secondary battery: -7% main battery dispersion. / +20% torpedo tubes traverse speed. / +5% secondary battery firing range. / -5% secondary battery dispersion.) upgrade)
  • Good AP performance with high damage per volley, great accuracy and decent penetration
  • Very good ballistics performance with fast flight time at all ranges
  • High base speed of 34.5 knots
  • Good maneuverability (7.7 seconds rudder shift time)
  • Fast, powerful torpedoes, with two quintuple launchers on each side of the ship
  • Excellent concealment with all relevant upgrades

Cons:

  • One of the lowest health pools among Tier 10 cruisers
  • Poor main battery firing angles - bringing all guns to bear while staying reasonably well protected can be quite tricky and must be done with care
  • Subpar turret traverse speed
  • Very poor torpedo firing arcs, with the launchers being located in the aft section
  • Because of their exposed position, her torpedo launchers are prone to incapacitations and destruction

Research

The only research to be done is the torpedoes, which are highly recommended, as unlike the stock torpedoes they can be launched from beyond detection range.

Optimal Configuration

Upgrades

The recommended upgrades for Zaō are as follows:

Commander Skills

Consumables

Zaō can equip the following consumables:

Camouflage

Type 1, 2, or 5 camouflage can be equipped for credits; Types 1 or 5 are recommended at a minimum to reduce detectability range.

Players who wish to spend doubloons can equip Zaō with Type 20 camouflage that lowers her detection radius, reduces the accuracy of incoming shells, reduces her repair costs, and increases the amount of experience she earns.

Signals

Gallery

Historical Info

Historical Gallery


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