It is quite honestly a problem with his base weapon...or it was for me. I just put a level 3 alternate weapon on him then ran the stage. Dragon Spear ftw. Though the majority of the stage I did use his cards, as breaking open the earth with mystic arts is always fun.
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I've played with him some in ambition, with a tier 4 weapon. I'd say it was because of the base weapon you saw problems.
While his damage isn't as insane as it was in 5XL, or as strong as other people in 8, his combos fill the musou/rage bars about as fast as any other character I have tried so far. His standard musou sucks compared to 5XL though.
His Strong attack 4, the lightning one, it spreads it hits twice and the second hit will spread in arc that if you have the lightning conduction element, the one that makes lightning strike on every attack you hit with, it makes the the lighting arc in hit every enemy around him.
I think it's also really good with elements, I think all the hits it does makes it pretty effective.
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But as mentioned earlier, that Rage Gauge is gonna be filling up QUICK with Zuo Ci. Get used to seeing his Rampage a lot.
Which means he's very easy to level up fast.
I did a 3 battle campaign in ambition on normal and went from 1 to 13. Came back to camp and did an 8 battle campaign on hard and hit 21 With my bonus experience from the campaign hit level 31. I was also using a Growth bodyguard.