**INDIVIDUAL BOSS NOTES**Bamboo Pandamonium
I chose this guy first for a few reasons: Zero doesn't have a guard break outside of Yodantotsu with the knuckles equipped, and this boss is easy enough to defeat with the base moveset.
Pandamonium doesn't have too much to write home about. His missiles do need to be watched though, because what goes up must come down. Sometimes there's a rather large delay in between the launch and the detonation, but those bad boys will always come down at the worst possible moment whenever you take your eyes off of them. You can get boxed in pretty hard by the bamboo shoots if you get caught napping. His grenade toss can be a pain post-desperation, but he doesn't get a chance to pull that off in this fight.
Speaking of, Pandamonium's desperation is arguably my favorite one in X8. It doesn't involve filling the screen up with stuff like so many of the others do, it's just a single powerful hit...so powerful that it's enough to take Zero out in a single hit. The recovery animation leaves him wide open though, and you can get several jump kicks in before his next attack. The damage is absolutely unbearable.Gravity Antonion
GRAVITY Antonion? SQUEEZE Bomb? The BGM provided itself lol.
Anywho, this fight is a prime example of the importance of knowing where to stand on screen. You can't take Antonion on the ground because he can just charge you. Likewise if he's on the ceiling and lands next to you, he can go for a Juuhazan. If you're in the wrong spot, it's gg. The best thing to do in this fight is keep your distance until you get a good opportunity to churn out some damage.
Thankfully, there's a lesser-known trick involving Antonion's block toss; any guard break can fling his rock right back at him if you time it right. Do this three times in a row and he takes damage. You can sneak in some punches in between tosses for even more damage. Managed to land this for a rather satisfying finish!Dark Mantis
This is a prime example of how useful Zero's weapons are. This fight is a 10/10 with no gear, and a 7/10 with Ganzahana. Dark Mantis isn't too bad normally, he's pretty formulaic about what he does. His projectile is odd but once you resist the urge to jump it gets much easier. The real problem is hitting the dude. You can land normal punches on him for the first half of the fight, but once the blades appear on his arms you can forget about it.
Let me be clear, it is nearly impossible to safely punch him past 50% health, because his hitbox is so huge. Ganzahana is the only thing that Zero has that allows him to attack without being hit in the process. Gigabolt Man-O-War
This is arguably the toughest Maverick in this run. Mr. Jellyfish here puts so much junk on the screen that it can be difficult to get around. Without the Z-Saber to bat away the projectiles, there are so many "no win" situations that you can be placed in. It he uses his ultimate twice in a row and there's a big jellyfish coming at you, gg. Because of this, the objective for this fight becomes clear: kill him before he has a chance to do anything crazy.
Before his desperation phase, you can manipulate him pretty easily. Punch him on the ground until he coughs up the little jellyfish, and then whack him with Ganzahana to push him into his ultimate attack. Once that happens you pretty much roll dice and pray that he doesn't put you in a situation where the big jellyfish can come at you. I chose to use the double attack to net a kill where I could; it's rare that he was that generous with his move choice, and I had to capitalize before he changed his mind.Avalanche Yeti
If Gigabolt Man-O-War is the toughest Maverick in this run, Avalanche Yeti is a VERY close second. You can bait a lot of his stuff by sticking on the walls, but what makes this fight tough are the limitations of the K-Knuckle. You don't have the luxury of being able to shoot or slash those icicles out of your way, if he's on the far side of the screen and decides to spray a fan of ice your way, it's gg. Even using the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku will result in you taking a little damage.
Beyond that, his ultimate is arguably the most annoying one in the game. Those snowflakes are very random and make dodging his attacks that much harder. I opt to use his weakness here because it's the only way to get any sort of breather here. Raijinken is interesting in that it works a lot like Kazuya's EWGF in Tekken. If you plink dash and special, you get an instant uppercut, while holding the button gives you a little dash beforehand. Being able to do the quick version helps a lot with clearing the snowflakes out of the way, along with hitting the big guy of course.Burn Rooster
3rd hardest Maverick, easily. He's moderately difficult normally, but once he goes Super Saiyan the fight becomes an absolute nightmare. You can guard break him to take him down a level, but your only guard break is a close-range move and you have to keep doing it in order to keep his power level in check. Of course, the other option is to hit him with a good old fashioned Shoryuken and call it a day. Optic Sunflower
Much tamer boss than the previous few. Watch what level he's standing on and you shouldn't get hit by his lasers. His ultimate is painful but dashing at the right time keeps you out of trouble. What you DO need to watch out for are those capture balls. Past 50% he likes to toss one out and immediately follow it up with an ultimate. If it were just one ball I'd be fine with that, but I've seen up to 3 at a time on screen at once. Nothing worse than finding the perfect dodge spot only for a ball to appear and hold you down for a charged laser. Jerk.
Aside from that he's remarkable easy to damage. He stands still a lot making him a prime target for jump kicks and punches. Just watch your screen position and you should come out on top.
He's easy, but at the same time not as easy as you'd think. Those little blue orbs in conjunction with the crystal wall pushes him into borderline Rogue Legacy territory. Thankfully they do eventually disappear, and sometimes he'll mercifully use his easy-to-dodge ultimate in order to give you a breather.
After a guard break he stands still long enough for you to really let him have it, so oblige!