10. Lunamaria Hawke
Lunamaria is a red coat Mobile Suit pilot of ZAFT who pilots her own customized ZAKU Warrior and serves under Talia Gladys, the Captain of the Minerva. In Gundam SEED Destiny, she plays the role of a supporting character. Her interactions with the characters around her enable them to grow and move the plot forward.
Being a red coat pilot of ZAFT, Lunamaria is one of the four elite Mobile Suit pilots assigned to the Minerva during the second Alliance – PLANT war. In combat Lunamaria mostly uses long range fighting as her ZAKU is customized for long range combat. Her ZAKU, unlike other ZAKU’s, is equipped with a heavy beam cannon, similar to the one the strike has. With such a powerful weapon, her ZAKU is able to shot powerful beam at a significant distance.
Although her Mobile Suit is customized as a long range fighting machine, the pilot, Lunamaria is not lacking any skills when it comes to other skills that are necessary in war. She is fairly good in concealing her position in combat, and her close combat skills are pretty good as shown when she started piloting the Impulse.
In the early episodes of Gundam SEED Destiny, Lunamaria, although mainly a range fighter, had the worst precision and accuracy among the four elite Mobile Pilots aboard the Minerva. Her skill with aiming however improved after she got tips from Athrun Zala during gun shooting training.
9. Sting Oakley
He is one of the newer biological CPUs of the Earth Alliance, they are categorized not as human beings, but they are instead called extendeds. The Extendeds are Human beings that have been modified to be superior in warfare compared to naturals by enhancing their mental and physical capabilities. Along with Auel Neider and Stella Loussier, they make up the well-known Mobile Suit team of the Earth Forces, Phantom Pain. Just like his team mates, Sting Oakley pilots a Mobile Suit that comes from the second stage series Mobile Suits of ZAFT. In combat, Sting shows that he is capable Mobile Suit pilot as he is able to stand his ground when fighting against the red coat pilots of the Minerva.
Using his Mobile Suit, Sting Oakley demonstrates that he is skilled enough to use mobile weapon pods as he uses the mobile weapon pods of his machine as his main weaponry when in combat. He is also shown to be capable of flying at high speeds as he demonstrates it when he transforms his Mobile Suit into Mobile Armor mode which gives him enhanced speed.
Although he is an extended and a member of Phantom Pain, he doesn’t actually manage to shoot down significant targets.
8. Stella Loussier
Stella is another Extended and is also a member of Phantom Pain. Unlike her teammates, Stella specializes in close combat fighting. Her skills in close combat are greatly shown as she usually fights using melee techniques. However, Stella Looussier is an excellent Mobile Suit pilot and as such she is also not lacking in other skills that are necessary in the making of a great or excellent Mobile Pilot.
When she desires, she can evade enemy range attacks and dash right towards the enemy, or she can avoid enemy attacks and then conceal her presence in the battlefield giving her the advantage of a surprise attack. Stella is also not a bad fighter when it comes to mid-range combat. Her Mobile Suit is generally designed for close combat fighting but it does come with range fighting capabilities, and Stella uses these capabilities very well.
Her greatest weakness is that she has a “break-down” word. Whenever she hears the word “die” or any sentence that implies she is going to die, her composure breaks down. She becomes reckless and irrational. All her skill in combat is lost as she loses control of herself. The only way for Stella to calm down when she is in this state is when she is comforted and reassured that she will be protected and that she will not die. However the reassurance only works for two people, her Captain, Neo Roanoke, and her enemy, Shinn Asuka.
7. Auel Neider
Auel Neider is another Extended who is also a member of the Earth Alliance Mobile Suit team, Phantom Pain. Although many would argue that Stella Loussier is a better pilot than Auel Neider, we don’t agree. Just like his teammates, Auel is a very skilled Mobile Suit pilot. He is both well versed in close combat fighting and long range fighting and he usually uses both during battles.
Just like his teammate Sting Oakley, Auel uses a weapon system that is considered hard. This weapon system is the multiple lock-on system, a system that enables Mobile Suits to target and destroy multiple enemy Mobile Suits simultaneously.
Although there is no scene showing him inside the cockpit of his machine while using the system, we can see that his Mobile Suit is definitely capable of firing multiple beams at once while targeting multiple targets simultaneously. This specific skill along with his other skills in combat make Auel Neider a very skilled, deadly and better than Stella Loussier and Sting Oakley when it comes to being a Mobile Suit pilot.
6. Neo Roanoke/Mu Laflaga
Neo Roanoke was the Captain of the Earth Alliance Mobile Suit team, Phantom Pain. Just like his team, he himself was also subjected to bodily modifications in order to enhance his mental and physical capabilities, making him a better Mobile Suit pilot. However, compared to his subordinates, he himself did not require as much bodily modifications and maintenance. As a Captain, he was rarely seen piloting a Mobile Suit but from what we know of him, he is actually Mu La Flaga from Gundam SEED. How he survived from his incident in Gundam SEED however shall be tackled in another article.
Although Neo was rarely seen piloting a Mobile Suit in Gundam SEED Destiny, Mu’s Mobile Suit skills were shown in the later part of Gundam SEED Destiny. Since Gundam SEED, Mu La Flaga has been an excellent Mobile Suit pilot. In Gundam SEED, he was already skilled enough to go up against coordinators. Usually he would fight Rau Le Creuset and he would be able to stand his ground against him. Mu is also suspected to be a Newtype, an evolved version of human beings. Because they are further evolved, they have superior physical and mental capabilities making them better Mobile Suit fighters.
In the later part of Gundam SEED Destiny, Neo Roanoke regains his memories of being Mu La Flaga. He then pilots the Akatsuki demonstrating his skill and capability to use very efficiently the weapon pods of the Akatsuki. The final battles in Gundam SEED Destiny also showcase the abilities of Neo Roanoke or Mu La Flaga with his close combat and ranged combat skills.
5. Yzak Joule
In Gundam SEED Destiny, Yzak Joule served as a red coat pilot of ZAFT under the command of Rau Le Creuset. He piloted the GAT-X102 Duel and all though he was taken down by Kira Yamato more than once, he was able to stand his ground against him before being taken down. Compared to Athrun Zala, Nicol Amalfi, and Dearka Elsman however, Yzak is a very emotional fighter. He let’s his angers and frustrations get to him and may be a factor on why he never got close to defeating the GAT-X105 Strike.
In Gundam SEED Destiny, Yzak serves ZAFT as a commander but he still goes out to the battlefield. In the first half of GUndam SEED Destiny, during ZAFT’s mission of splitting apart Junius Seven, Yzak is reunited with Athrun Zala. Dearka Elsman is also present in the scene. Although their objective was to split up Junius Seven, because of the interventions of the Earth Forces elite team, Phantom Pain, Yzak, Athrun, and Dearka were forced to fight them first.
During their fight, Yzak manages to land significant hits with the beam axe of his ZGMF-1001/K Slash ZAKU Phantom. Something that the rest of the red coat pilots of the Minerva have not yet done at this point. Although Shinn is a very skilled pilot, during his numerous encounters with Phantom Pain before this, he never got to significantly damage them. This shows how much skill Yzak Joule has as a Mobile Suit pilot.
4. Shinn Asuka
Shinn Asuka is one of the protagonists in Gundam SEED Destiny. He is a member of the crew of the Minerva as a red coat Mobile Suit pilot. Being a Coordinator as well as a red coat, Shinn Asuka demonstrates impressive skill when piloting a Mobile Suit. From the start of Gundam SEED Destiny up to the end of it, Shinn has always been shown to be an excellent Mobile Suit pilot. In the early episodes of Gundam SEED Destiny, he managed to save the Minerva from sinking by destroying an entire Orb fleet by himself. He also managed to stand his ground when during his encounters with Phantom Pain.
Shinn’s skill in battle quickly made him an ace pilot in the early episodes of Gundam SEED Destiny. What gives him his skills is his drive in becoming a better Mobile Suit pilot. Shinn’s fighting style mainly focuses on close combat fighting which is pretty clear as when he is in fights, he prefers to use his beam saber rather than shoot his beam rifle and when he took down the Orb fleet, he used the Sword Silhouette of the Impulse. However, Shinn is also a very skilled in ranged combat as we can see when he uses his beam rifle or when he uses the Blast silhouette of the Impulse.
Although Shinn Asuka is a very skilled Mobile Suit pilot, he has a great weakness. He has a short temper, and when he gets angry he loses his composure and begins to fight out of impulse. It takes higher ranking officials such as Athrun Zala who is a member of FAITH and Captain Talia Gladys to keep in his place when he in that kind of state of mind.
We can see Shinn’s skill in battle as he is able to stand his ground against Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala. He was even take down the Freedom, piloted by Kira Yamato, during operation Angel Down. Because of his skills, Shinn was awarded with the highest medal of ZAFT and was made a member of FAITH.
His major weakness is that he usually loses his temper during battle, he then becomes a slave to his emotions. He frequently enters SEED mode using the first method of entry, where a burst of emotions enables a person to enter SEED mode.
3. Rey Za Burrel
Rey Za Burrel is another member of the crew of the Minerva. He is also a red coat Mobile Suit pilot of ZAFT. Along with Shinn Asuka, Lunamaria Hawke and Athrun Zala, they make up the elite Mobile Suit team of the Minerva. Unlike Shinn Asuka, Rey Za Burrel is calm and logical.
Although Rey only uses a ZAKU warrior in battle, he still proves that he is an excellent Mobile Suit pilot as he is able to stand his ground during battles with Phantom Pain. Rey was even skilled enough to fend off the Captain of Phantom Pain.
In later episodes of Gundam SEED Destiny, we can see more of Rey’s skill as he is made into a member of FAITH. The best scene where we can see Rey Za Burrel’s skill is when he fights Kira Yamato, piloting the Strike Freedom, and Rey is piloting the Legend. Throughout their fight, Rey was able to keep Kira Yamato in place, proving for a short time that he is skilled enough to go against Kira.
The only weird thing about Rey is that he thinks he himself is Rau Le Creuset because he is in fact a clone of Al Da Flaga, the same as Rau Le Creuset, and as such he believes he also has the mentality and skills of Rau Le Creuset himself.
However Kira Yamato tells him that he is not Rau Le Creuset, that he is his own person and each person only has one life.
2. Athrun Zala
Athrun Zala is the other main protagonist in Gundam SEED Destiny, the other protagonist is Shinn Asuka. Even since Gundam SEED, Athrun Zala has been known to be an excellent Mobile Suit pilot. In Gundam SEED Destiny however, his skills in piloting a Mobile Suit diminished because his mind-set and philosophy are wavering. During the early episodes of Gundam SEED Destiny, Athrun still was not sure what he should be fighting for. He even asked Kira Yamato about what they should be fighting for.
In Gundam SEED Destiny, when Athrun was piloting the Saviour, he fought with Kira Yamato, piloting the Freedom. During their fight, Athrun did not give Kira as much of a challenge as he did back in Gundam SEED. Athrun gave Kira a much harder time during their battle in Gundam SEED at the Marshall Islands.
When Athrun decided to join forces with Kira, he regained much of his previous Mobile Suit skills as his determination and mind-set were not clear. He could now fight with a clear goal in his mind. He now knew what he should be fighting for and he truly believed what he was fighting for.
His excellent skill in piloting Mobile Suits was made clear during his final fight with Shinn Asuka. Although Shinn is an excellent pilot, he did not put up quite a challenge against Athrun.
Note: Aside from his battle Kira Yamato where Athrun was piloting the Saviour, Athrun has never lost a match to anyone else while in SEED mode.
1. Kira Yamato
Kira Yamato, since Gundam SEED, has always been shown as an excellent Mobile Suit pilot. Ever since episode two, Kira has always managed to defeat his enemies. Sometimes his victories don’t even seem to make sense, because unlike Athrun, Kira is a normal citizen, and he never received proper military training. Although he is a student taking robotics, he never received training on how to pilot a Mobile Suit.
In episode two of Gundam SEED though, Kira somehow manages to complete the operating system of the Strike, make it better, and fight off ZAFT Mobile Suits at the same time.
All of that would have been almost impossible for any Coordinator, the only reason Kira could do all of these and get away with it is because he is the Ultimate Coordinator. In Gundam SEED Destiny, Kira pilots the Freedom again and demonstrates exceptional skill in Mobile Suit piloting.
We can see this as Kira is now more determined than he was in Gundam SEED. Kira is just as good as he was when he got the Strike in Gundam SEED if not better. Aside from being good at piloting a Mobile Suit, Kira Yamato is a good person by nature, he truly does not want to take another person’s life if he can help it. This side of him is his only visible weakness. In battle he will only aim for an enemy Mobile Suit’s head or limbs in order to disable them, but never the cockpit. Shinn Asuka managed to defeat him by taking advantage of this weakness of Kira Yamato.
Overall though, even with his handicap, Kira is still a very overwhelming Mobile Suit pilot. In Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny, he might have the fastest reflexes when it comes to fighting. The only character that has given Kira Yamato a challenge in a real battle is Athrun Zala in their battle in Gundam SEED at the Marshall Islands.
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