It's really strong and has a cool moveset.
Meanwhile I've been able to kill Zedonius! It took me a week or something... Unfortunately, as I said, I had to use Izuna drops against gaja. I killed the first spawn, brought Zed to 50% of his health, killed the second gaja spawn. On the third gaja spawn I simply ignored them, Zed did a grab and I went for an easy TTTT and he was dead. Yeah. Useless to say that he alone is like the easiest boss in the game, the gaja are the real problem. Oh and his dive is really obnoxious. I think I can dodge it when he's at long range, but if Zed is close when is about to dive, I just can't dodge. I think it's the single attack in the game I can't figure out... Though, it's not a big deal.
Took a break, then I started Ayane's chapter. A few minutes to adapt to her, I was able to reach the first save statue. Then I started the second gauntlet in the market. I thought it would have been a total nightmare, but surprisingly it took me just a few tries... that was unexpected, I thought that would have been harder than Zed... Then, died once at the vang elfs, did the last room befor the boss (easy) and died just a couple times at the witch before I remembered all her attacks and killed her.
So, I see that a lot of people struggle really hard with Ayane in this game, and dislike her. I have to say that I dislike her too, because in order to make things less frustrating it's necessary to abuse her GT and use the flying swallow. It's also important to remember that in this game blocking is stronger than in other NG games, so even if you should not abuse it you can do it sometimes and it save your life, especially if you can time your counter consistently. I'll talk about my strats enemy per enemy.
: just use the basic combo and they should be delimbed easily.
: when they are close I do a direct wind run (I mean without dashing) into a GT. Then I just do the regular combo over and over on their knocked out body
If other enemies come to interrupt I just stop attacking and block, but in if other enemies are off camera they will be less aggressive and sometimes will not even interrupt you. There's not much to say about them, really straightforward enemies, because in fact Ayane seems to be really straightforward, just knock enemies down and beat them as much as you can...
: I don't know how much people struggle against them, I found them extremely easy, because I learned how to fight them properly during the other two playthrough on warrior and mentor. Everything they do can be blocked and will break your guard, except for their shoulder ram, which is the only unblockable attack they have. I think sometimes their jumping attack could also hit me while I was blocking, so I'm unsure about that but just keep them off camera and they shouldn't be aggressive while you are killing one of their companion alone. Block their attacks, then dodge cancel the last one, do SS, if they get stunned proceed with the full normal combo, if they dodge or activate hyper armor just block after the second S attack and you'll be safe against anything they can do off their dodge or hyper armor. The FS has a high chance of staggering and beheading them. The weaker ones should be delimbed really easily, the brown ones have only more resistance to delimbing and more health but the strategy is the same. You should just keep one of them on camera and it'll be fine most of times
: I was so scared about them, I can't belive I got grabbed only three times in total. The FS has high beheading rate. The normal combo delimbs them easily. You can knock them down with the GT and beat them when they are on the ground, they'll get delimbed in a moment. If you hear one of them is chanting his magic, just start evasive movements. Really, not much to say...
Winged vang elfs
: if you can fight them with Ryu you can do it with Ayane, just remember that mashing S is the best dlimb combo with Ayane. The only problem about these guys is when they use their two hyper armor moves which I can't still predict. Though, most of the times they they are right after a save statue so no big deal. Rachel disagree of course... seriously though, when I punish after their combos, sometimes they just go into hyper armor moves that deal high damage.
But yeah, that is all for Ayane. Mashing S, direct GT into knockdowns, FS with high behead rate, manipulating the camera, countering and throwing some random kunai from time to time. I don't find the need to use her aerial combo into grab (which is also prohibited by the rules).
Really, I'm surprised because a lot of people find her difficult to use even with ninpo and UT's, even Iraquoz found her marketplace section frustrating. But at this point, I don't think there's anything that could stop me from finishing the game on these restrictions. I think I can fight Elizabeth and kill her in a couple of tries with the damn loop. Maybe Dagra Dai? I don't know, I just can't think I've done this, this game was really accessible.
So, if I should give an opinion about the hardest fights in the playthrough
, I would say:
1 - Zedonius: the fight that forced me to use Izuna and basically killed the run. The gaja can coordinates their attacks with Zed and create a true nightmare.
2 - Armadillo: at least Zed was extremely fun to learn, this one is just frustrating. Maybe I still judge it easier than Zed because I did it in less tries, but if I could remove one fight from the game that would be Armadillo. I think there are maybe some tricks I still couldn't figure out, I think I forced him into a loop sometimes, but I couldn't reproduce it at will. I just don't know, at some point the temptation to upgrade the Void and smashing it into his face was really strong.
3 - I don't really know, maybe Momiji? Maybe she was really the hardest to do, but I think that if I replay her right now I shouldn't have much trouble. The true walls have been the two aforementioned fights but playing and learning her trough MN has been nice.