TL;DR: Should You Pull?
What Does It Do?
“In pulls she ghosted me
In dreams she came
My gems are gone from me
She is to blame
SS Korrina and Summer Marnie
In one design
The Phantom of the April Event is here
So don’t get left behind”
Special Costume Zinnia’s first alt comes with an unexpected but understandable twist; her role as the Phantom Thief and yet another foil to Steven references her theft spree of Mega Stones in her delta episode.
Special Costume Zinnia’s most distinct quality is her B Night Slash; while a single use move, it sits at a powerful 240 BP max with only two gauges, and affects all opponents. What’s more, she steals all stats of targets struck for herself, always critically strikes with the attack, and applies a new, unique effect: No Stat Increases Effect, preventing targets from getting stat buffs for a duration. Its powerful BP and incredible area of effect stat stealing effect allows her to amass her stats for herself extremely quickly and efficiently while removing a significant portion of the strength of her targets, which also ties into her sync move, which scales of how many stats she has raised.
Her Trainer Move, Catch Me If You Can!, provides protection from stat drops, raises her evasiveness by one stat rank, and critical-hit-rate by two stat ranks. X Attack All and Crunch add to a very cohesive buffing package that gives her good damage outside of her single use B Move and further distributed buffing utility for herself and her allies. Special Costume Zinnia is further complemented by a variety of useful passives; while Vigilance is a lesser convenience, Team Rebuff Command (Dark) gives yet another rebuff option for a type that already has access to existing rebuffs and zone options, while Unbuffed Foe Freebie 9 also allows her to function as an extremely gauge efficient component, though her gauge was never particularly tight to begin with due to decent speed and reasonable gauge costs.
A significant note about Special Costume Zinnia that tends to be easily mistaken is that unlike her contemporaries such as Lear and Sygna Suit Korrina, Special Costume Zinnia is not reliant on her targets being buffless to get the meat of her offensive capabilities. Her offensive scaling and design is much more similar to a unit such as Summer Marnie, with a kit scaling primarily with self buffs and having debuffs to employ.
How To Use It?
Sync Grid Considerations & Lucky Skills
Just as a thief is often burdened most by the weight of their bounty, so too is Special Costume Zinnia burdened with both the privilege and curse of powerful, yet expensive grid options. While riddled with a variety of good options, Special Costume Zinnia has indisputably the most expensive grid of this batch of April units, such that it’s difficult to access her full slew of tools in a single package. Special Costume is also especially reliant on three copies relative to the other units in this batch; while not lacking in terms of her base kit by any means, the disparity between her base and full kit is also the most massive.
While Crunch On a Roll 1 is the only useful tile of which Zinnia can procure at one or two dupes, three dupes is where she strikes gold. Rising Tide is probably her most prominent option as it ties extremely well into her innate scaling and its extremely easy cost for its reward. Zinnia’s other nuke option is Unbuffed Foe Sync Up 9, which allows her sync nuke to be elevated to even more ridiculous levels. However, Unbuffed Foe Sync 9 should never been taken over Rising Tide due to the grid placement costing more tiles for a lesser and stiffer multiplier, notably as she only has one opportunity to stat steal that is also often utilized early rather than late, such that even the No Stat Increases Effect may not last that long by the usual sync duration. While taking both tiles may also seem appealing, the excess damage can often be redundant and confines Zinnia to only On a Roll with the remaining energy, and Zinnia also struggles to take both syncs due to expensive tiles leading up to the bottom tile. Defense Crunch 9 is another appealing tile that adds further depth to Zinnia’s utility, notably allowing her to drop two stages of Defense 60% of the time as a further offensive increment; she can take Rising Tide alongside both On a Roll and Defense Crunch and choose between two tiles or one tile and Better Prepared 3. Speaking of Better Prepared 3, Better Prepared 3 and Insult to Injury provide some well needed DPS due to B Night Slash’s one use nature and the otherwise low base power of Crunch despite her high Attack, defense drops and debuffs. This also allows her to play as a reliable DPS component while other nukers can take the role in her place, though Zinnia’s strength means that she usually outscales most nukers, and has merit for being amongst the strongest if not the strongest nuker in the game with her slew of steroids.
The final and distinct utility that SC Zinnia’s grid provides is Unbuffed Foe Staggering Hit 6, which provides her attacks with a 70% chance to flinch against unbuffed targets. A 70% flinch rate is unprecedented, being the second highest rate in the game behind Sygna Suit Lyra’s Hassling Hit 9’s guaranteed rate. The cost of the tile is also surprisingly fluid, being able to be taken across the full DPS builds and the standard Rising Tide builds. Buff Block Extension 3 can be useful to prolong the duration of which targets cannot receive buffs, which can be helpful when assisting nukers of that nature, namely Lear and Sygna Suit Korrina, and their difficulty to time their nuke with most targets’ tendency to buff before their sync move.
Critical Strike 2 is standard for any offensive unit, while Head Start 1 can round off offensive cores and crucially better enable Zinnia to employ sync moves using Unbuffed Foe Sync Up 9, as the extra turn skip can critically allow her to get a sync off before most bosses commonly use stat buffs and remove that steroid.
A thief’s best strategy is a swift hit and run, and Special Costume Zinnia is no exception. Her single use B Move and powerful sync nuke means she’s best played in short battles, namely the Champion Stadium, where she’s more likely to make use of the rewards of her B Move. The new additions to the parameters, namely 5 Stat Buffs and 5 Stat drops at the beginning of a battle, also play incredibly well with her utilities.
Nevertheless, the scaling also gives her potent long term power especially since her stat stealing also is very helpful for those contexts despite the single use. Her utility is particularly useful against Cresselia and Latias, whose stat buff orientated playstyles and tendency to debuff accuracy tend to make them amongst the most specific and difficult Legendary Arenas in the game. SC Zinnia even has excellent utility in Extreme Battles due to the ability to immediately steal all the stats of enemies and prevent them from gaining more stats for a set duration.
Kalosian Champions Calem and Serena form arguably Zinnia’s strongest offensive core, and notably provide a rebuff source that can be lowered up to three stages, and the first to be done without a super effective stage. While less synergistic, Sygna Suit Cyrus can also provide a steroid source for Zinnia and function as a serviceable offensive supplement.
Compositions can also seek to employ Zinnia for her stat-less or blank slate utilities, namely her flinch, freebies and stronger nuke power, which has seen an increasing amount of synergistic Supports and mechanics in recent days. Offensive partners such as Lear and Korrina complement Zinnia wonderfully and form an offensive core that can allow one partner to facilitate the sync nuke for the other, while utility based pairs such as Grimsley and the recent additions of Ball Guy and Special Costume Shauna are also capable of providing stat management for Zinnia to make full use of her utility talents.
Is It Worth Pulling?
Despite the thiefly ensemble and grandiose entrance, Special Costume Zinnia has unfortunately arrived at a time most inopportune, immediately after a far more powerful Dark predecessor in Champion Marnie was introduced, leaving only the most dedicated or spoiled rich to commit to her. While very powerful in her own right and not a bad investment by any means, incentive to acquire her should be left to those who enjoy her aesthetic or character or those in need of a powerful Dark-type offensive powerhouse.