The first and most important step of the ZZ Method. It involves orienting all 12 edges, while simultaneously placing the line edges (DF and DB). After the EO part, the cube is reduced to <R, U, L, D, F2, B2>. After placing DB and DF, the cube is reduced to <R, U, L>, meaning it can be solved completely by turning only the R, U and L layers.
Looking at the edges on the U face, D face, F face of the E-slice, and B face of the E-slice:
- If the sticker has L/R color it's a bad edge.
- If the sticker has F/B color, look at the sticker on the other side of the edge.
- * If the side sticker has U/D color, it's a bad edge.
Orienting 2 Bad Edges
Place one bad edge on F/B using <R, U, L, D, F2, B2> and then do a F/B quarter turn. Repeat with Orienting 4+ bad edges approach.
Orienting 4 + Bad Edges
Place four bad edges on F/B using <R, U, L, D, F2, B2> and then do a F/B quarter turn. Repeat until there are no more bad edges.
Orienting 6 Bad Edges
Often, 6 bad edges can be oriented more efficiently by placing 3 bad edges into F/B using <R, U, L, D, F2, B2>, performing an F/B quarter turn, and then using the 4 + approach to correctly orient the remaining 4 bad edges.
Solving the Line
Place DF and DB in their solved positions using <R, U, L, D, F2, B2>.
In order to improve ease of learning and simplify the planning step, beginners may treat EOLine as two steps - EO+Line. Using this approach only EO is planned during inspection. The solver looks-ahead for the line edges during EO execution to plan for placement of the line. Although sometimes a useful fallback for difficult EOLine cases, EO+Line causes the solver to focus on the line edges during the inital steps, rather than looking ahead for the first 1x2x2 block. This significantly reduces the likelyhood of a smooth transition from EOLine to F2L.
Sometimes, DL and DR are also solved before ZZF2L (3-gen F2L). This is known as EOCross. This practice is common among solvers making the transition from CFOP as it allows F2L to be solved in much the same way as before. Although useful for making the transition, using EOCross is generally regarded as slower than EOLine because it is extremely difficult to plan and execute as a single step, and also results in a significantly less efficient F2L.