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An Ultra-Super-Late and Not-So-Serious Guide to the Kutuzov

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Note:  Since I got a Kutuzov over the summer from a giveaway, I wanted to finally write a guide for another Russian ship.  Basically it’s me explaining how OP this ship is in the current meta.  LittleWhiteMouse has released reviews of this ship, but I sort of want to relate with a more in-depth guide.  Now that she’s gonna be gone from the premium shop, forever, I wanna give a review, sort of silly and humorous, but that’s the way I like it.

 

 

Guide Written as of Patch 0.6.10.1-0.6.13

 

 Project 68bis Sverdlov-Class

Mikhail Kutuzov

Slav Hardbass

 

The Quick Review

 

Quick Summary: One of two prime examples of why smoke cruisers should not have HE.  She is basically a better Chapayev with smoke instead of radar, and favors heavily in the current smoke meta.  Initially when released, she was OK, but with the introduction of new mechanics such as IFHE she is a monster in the right hands.

 

Most Relatable Ships: Chapayev, Belfast

Resemblance: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

                                                            Chapayev            Belfast        

 

Of course, Chapayev is related to the Sverdlov-class, and Mikhail Kutuzov is part of the Sverdlov-class.  The differences are more HP, regular citadel (since a lot of Russian cruisers have artificially nerfed citadels), longer range, good torpedoes, better AA, slower top speed but better turning capabilities, and worse concealment, oh, and Chapayev has radar while Kutuzov has smoke. It goes without saying that Kutuzov uptiers a lot better than Chapayev.

 

Belfast and Kutuzov are pretty similar to be honest.  They are both smoke cruisers with HE, and they are really good in the current meta.  That’s basically where the similarities end, but that’s all that matters mostly.  Both don’t really need skill to do well with, but both in the right hands are extremely powerful. 

 

Anyway, the Kutuzov is basically the ultimate troll at Tier VIII.  She farms on obliviousness, and is quite forgiving of mistakes because of semi-tricky armor, quick rudder shift, and smoke when all else fails.  She can stay at mid-to-long range by HE spamming, and not even have a need to smoke since you can just dodge, and use your smoke when you occasionally get stressed out.  Alternatively, you can get into mid-to-close range and use your smoke offensively to drive people back.  This tactic is much, much more risky and challenging, and relies a lot on enemy players running instead of aggressively charging your smoke, especially with the new smoke changes that allow you to be seen when firing.  Radar is also a serious issue too, and death is almost certain if you are caught off-guard.  However, it is much more rewarding as you will be guaranteed the front-row seat to the action, allowing for more consistent damage output.

 

Anyway, it’s up to you what to do, but personally I’d recommend the second tactic since it’s just way more invigorating to play.  Gets me killed sometimes, but it works mostly.

 

Next stop, the skill breakdown.

 

For those of you who don’t know what these are, “skill floor” is the experience needed to play the ship at an average performance.  “Skill ceiling” is the amount you can achieve if you are at peak performance.

 

Skill Floor: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme

Skill Ceiling: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme

 

As you can see, the ship is really easy to play, and basically all you need to know is how to aim and dodge.  However, how much you can impact the match is high. Your subtle influence is by fire; setting fires that will make people waste their repair parties or doom them with the fires that they cannot repair.  That can pile up quickly in the match, and you can get a witherer within the first five to ten minutes if you are really lucky.

Anyway, down to the pros and cons.  I swear it’s gonna get more humorous, that was the boring part.

 

Cost: 10,250 Doubloons Removed from Premium Shop FOREVER as of 0.6.12, can be sold for full refund until 0.6.14

 

Strengths:

  • Smoke generator on a Russian cruiser.  Excellent in the smoke meta.
  • Massive health pool for a light cruiser, thanks to Soviet ship designs.
  • Citadel is at the waterline, unlike most Russian cruisers, which have them artificially raised.
  • For whatever reason, she has 26mm of armor instead of 25mm like she should.  Immune to 155mm HE.  Russian bias.  ))))
  • Turret armor is pretty darn good.
  • Forward and backward arcs of fire are excellent, allowing for kiting tactics.
  • Stalin-blessed rounds spread the flames of revolution
  • IFHE makes the already excellent shells deal consistent damage.
  • Stalinium rounds easily punch through inferior capitalist and fascist steel.
  • Shell ballistics are quite good, but not flat enough to hit islands all the time.  This allows for some form of island-camping at mid-range.
  • Beyond excellent range for a light cruiser, outranging every cruiser except Moskva, tied with Henri IV.
  • Torpedoes have actual range, unlike 80% of what the Russian cruisers use.
  • AA defense is superb.  Most carriers will stay away from you even without defensive fire just because of the fear factor.
  • Power/weight ratio is better than a lot of cruisers, with Propulsion Modification 2 you take off like a rocket.
  • Turns pretty darn good, both with a fast rudder shift and good turning circle for its size.
  • Concealment is pretty decent, can get down pretty low with concealment builds.

Weaknesses

  • Often bottom tier due to Tier VIII-X matches.
  • Spotted in smoke is an instant Gulag Ticket if you are broadside to anyone.
  • People will shoot you nonstop if you are spotted, since they want to get rid of Russian bias.
  • Citadel is still very vulnerable to AP.
  • This ship is huge, like longer than gulag life sentences.  Torpedoes are usually the way you die, since you got zero torpedo protection, and you are a huge target for shells too.
  • Gun turret survivability is horrible if they get penetrated.
  • Shell damage is quite low, due to light cruiser guns.
  • Unless you have IFHE, your shells will mostly shatter on the targets you are shooting.  Fires are the only way to deal constant damage.
  • AP, while being superb for its caliber, is still 152mm AP, and loses to all heavy cruisers at the tier.
  • At peak range, it can take forever for your shells to come back.  We’re looking at like 12 second flight times at max range.
  • Torpedoes have pretty meh arcs, mount survivability is nonexistent, and their reload is really long when they break.
  • Determined carriers will go for you, and unless you have defensive fire they will hurt.
  • Even with good maneuverability, the ship is insanely long.
  • Concealment is pretty awful without any builds, and still loses to most cruisers.
  • Spotted at 7.7 km in your smoke when firing, making close range deadly even with smoke up if you fire.

 

If that ain’t enough, I’ve got…

 

The More Serious Review

Spoiler

I have a habit of making nicknames for ships based on their characteristics.  In case you can’t remember the ships, the order is as follows.  I ordered them based on their release date, in case you wanted to know the reasoning behind it.

 

Cruiser

Characteristics

New Orleans

Boring Numbers and Stuff

Mogami

Atago/ARP Takao

Kutuzov

Admiral Hipper

Chapayev

Prinz Eugen

Edinburgh

Charles Martel

 

Survivability

 

HP: 40,700

Armor:

·         Forward and After Ends: 26mm

·         Armored Deck: 26mm

·         Bulkheads: 50mm

·         Citadel Belt: 100mm

·         Citadel Deck: 50mm

·         Turrets and Barbette: 100-180mm

·         Superstructure: 13mm-100mm

Torpedo Protection: None

 

With an HP pool exceeding even heavy cruisers at this tier, Mikhail Kutuzov is heavy for a light cruiser.  Thanks to Soviet ship design, you have about 16,640 tons at Tier VIII, while most cruisers weigh about 10,000-12,000 tons here, with Admiral Hipper/Prinz Eugen being higher at 18,200/19,050 tons.  Tonnage is proportional to HP, and Kutuzov is heavy.

 

Now, onto the armor and module layout.  Unlike most Russian cruisers, Mikhail Kutuzov has a citadel at the waterline, making her tougher to kill easily.  Compared to ships like Chapayev or Dmitri Donskoi, which have high citadels for their size, this is good.  Now, that doesn’t mean you are uncitadelable, but your chances of being deleted instantly or taking citadels is not as high.  100mm of armor ain’t gonna stop any cruiser shells you see, so consider that too. 

 

One more thing to note, the Russian bias 26mm is enough to shrug off 155 or 152mm HE (without IFHE).  I don’t know why it has 26mm of armor instead of the normal 25mm.  Guess just blame Russian bias.

 

Here’s a survivability comparison, redone from previous guides.  The deck is an approximation based on looking at the armor model.

Cruiser

HP

Citadel Belt Thickness

Relative Citadel Height

Citadel Locations

Torpedo Protection

New Orleans

35,400

127mm

102mm

One Deck Above Waterline

Well Below Waterline

Engines

Magazines

4%

Mogami

39,200

100mm

140mm

Half or One Deck Above

Waterline

Engines

Magazines

16%

Atago/Takao*

40,100

102mm

127mm

Half or One Deck Above

Below Waterline

Engines

Magazines

16%

Overweight Light Cruiser

40,700

100mm

Half a Deck Above

Magazines and Engines

None

Made in German

43,800

13+80+30 (Angled) mm

Turtleback at Waterline

Magazines and Engines

10%

Chapayev

37,000

100mm

One or Two Decks Above Waterline

Magazines and Engines

None

Krupp Stahl

45,000

13+80+40 (Angled) mm

Turtleback at Waterline

Magazines and Engines

10%

Replaces Half of the Ship**

36,400

114mm

Slightly Above Waterline

Magazines and Engines

None

Charles Martel

38,000

100mm

100+40mm

Two Decks Above Water

Magazines

 Engines

16%

*Has repair party

**Has the infamous super repair party

You do have no torpedo protection, so any torpedo damage will result in a large chunk of your health taken off plus pretty much a guaranteed flood.  

 

Kutuzov seems about the median of the citadel vulnerability spectrum, but unlike most cruisers at the tier she has a way to negate damage.  That’s smoke.  The only other cruiser that has smoke too is Edinburgh.  By using smoke wisely, you can bail yourself out of even the most dangerous situations.  When I mean wisely, I mean when there’s not a radar ship in range or you’re not below 8 km, then you’re just being plain dumb.

 

Smoke also provides your best time to fire, leading us to…

 

Artillery

 

Main Battery: 4 x 3 152mm/57 MK-5-bis

Rate of Fire: 7.5 rounds per minute

Reload Time: 8 seconds

            180o Turn Time: 22.5 seconds

            Traverse Speed: 8 degrees per second

            Range: 19.1 km

            Dispersion: 164 m

            HE Damage: 2,200

            Fire Chance: 12%

            AP Damage: 3,300

            Velocity: 950 m/s

            Shell Weight: 55 kg*

*Source: NavWeaps.com

 

These Russian bias launchers fire twelve units of bias every eight seconds for a total of 90 opportunities to set fires per minute, or about 10 shells that actually will cause fires if everything is ideal, which usually it’s not and you will set more or less depending on who you’re shooting at or if Stalin will bless you will shells laced with the flames of Bolshevik revolution. 

 

However, the shells without any modifiers are pretty weak.  They cannot penetrate extremities of battleships at any tier you face, and most cruisers you face have the same case.  This leaves your primary source of damage being fires, unless you have IFHE.

 

With IFHE, you can rack up damage ridiculously fast on cruisers and battleships, especially the former.  Battleships such as New Mexico, Colorado, Izumo, or any of the British battleships you see are basically fodder for you.  Since they lack any or have few armored deck sections, almost all of your shells will be penetrations. 

 

Now, even if you have IFHE, that does not mean you should neglect AP.  Soviet ballistics are superb for their caliber to say the least (I <3 220mm railguns on Moskva).  The 950 m/s velocity, combined with a 55 kg shell and with low drag coefficients, make the AP’s penetration well above average.  You can citadel any cruiser you see below 12 km, and battleships will receive a nasty surprise when you can penetrate their upper belts for 7k+ damage per salvo.  However, don’t use AP unless you are sure you won’t bounce and you can get a penetrating shot.

 

Down to the comparison, which is mainly based on DPM.

Cruiser

Firepower

RPM

HE Alpha

Fire Chance

AP Alpha

HE DPM

AP DPM

Meh

3 x 3 203mm/55 Mk14

5

2,800

14%

4,600

126,000

207,000

Best IFHE CL

5 x 3 155mm/60 3rd Year Type

6

2,600

10%

3,300

234,000

297,000

Literally Ibuki

5 x 2 203mm/50 3rd Year Type mod. E

4

3,300

17%

4,700

132,000

188,000

Pan Paka Pan

3.75

123,750

176,250

Sverdlov

4 x 3 152mm/57 MK-5-bis*

7.5

2,200

12%

3,300

198,000

297,000

Chapayev

4 x 3 152mm/57 MK-5*

German Science

4 x 2 203mm L/60 SK C/34

4.62

2,500

13%

5,900

92,400

218,064

Edinburgh

4 x 3 152mm/50 Mk XXIII

8

It’s

Not

3,100

Belfast

297,600

Charles Martel

3 x 3 203mm/55 Modele 1934

6

2,800

15%

4,900

151,200

264,600

*In-game, there is no difference between the MK-5 and the MK-5-bis mount.  However, in real life the bis had higher max elevation, which explains Kutuzov’s range.

 

155mm Mogami easily trumps the Russians in HE DPM, thanks to massive Japanese bursting charges.  Thank god it can’t use BFT or AFT anymore, but then I guess the Russians and Edinburgh would benefit too if they could use those skills.

 

Anyway, DPM isn’t everything.  While in theory the two Russian cruisers have the second-highest HE and AP DPM, their shells are weak compared to heavy cruisers.  Unless you have IFHE, your HE DPM against battleships and cruisers is hampered by the extremity armor they have.

 

Take a look at the individual shell qualities.

Cruiser

HE Penetration* (mm)

AP Penetration at 10 km (mm)

AP Overmatch (mm)

Fat American Shells

33.83 (43.98)

231.67

14.196

IFHE Monster

25.83 (33.58)

141.06

10.84 

Just More Japanese Heavy Cruisers

33.83 (43.98)

205.34

14.196

Bababaka!  Doitsu no kagaku wa sekai ichi!***

50.75 (65.98)

236.65

14.196

Staliniums

25.33 (32.93)

142.36

10.629

Edinburgh

None

125.15**

10.629**

Cartel

33.83 (43.98)

225.94

14.196

*Parentheses indicates with the Inertial Fuses for HE shells skill

**Edinburgh has British AP, so it has short fuses and is likely to not penetrate that much armor before exploding, and also her shells ricochet a lot less thanks to reduced autobounce angles.

***Japanese way of saying “Fool!  German Science is the Best in the World!”

 

Anyway, Kutuzov has one significant advantage over the rest of these ships, and that is feeding on obliviousness.  You have two tools, the first being smoke.  Smoke will get you out of bad situations as long as you are smart about it, and gives you roughly 100-110 seconds of firing time, deploying for 20 seconds and lasting for 89 seconds.   This allows you to fire about 12-14 salvos.

 

The other tool you have is the sniping meta.  Although a lot of people like to shoot cruisers, Kutuzov seems to be either an exception, or just extraordinarily hard to kill.  If you stay above 15 km away from people, they seem to be reluctant to shoot you.  The extraordinary maneuverability of the ship will do the rest to protect you.

 

Ok, so onto the not so important part of artillery.

 

Secondary Battery: 6 x 2 100mm/70 SM-5-1s

                        Rate of Fire: 15 rounds/minute

                        Reload Time: 4 seconds

                        HE Damage: 1,400

                        Fire Chance: 6%

                        Velocity: 1,000 m/s

                        Range: 5 km

 

Unless you seriously screwed up, secondary armament shouldn’t be on your mind.  Yeah it’s pretty good, but playing cruisers for secondaries is a dumb idea.  

 

Don’t even ask for a secondary armament comparison, it isn’t worth my time or the space. 

 

Torpedoes

 

Torpedo Armament: 2 x 5 533 mm Quintuple PTA-53-68-bis

                                    Torpedo: 53-51

                                    Reload Time: 131 seconds

                                    Damage: 14,400

                                    Speed: 60 knots

Range: 8 km

 

Rarely do Russian cruisers use torpedoes, and even though these are 8 km torpedoes, they still are seldom used.  That doesn’t mean they are useless, and in fact it’s probably one of the best torpedo armaments for a cruiser at the tier.  I’m just saying we’re way beyond the feasibility of using torpedoes as your main weapons on cruisers.  This ain’t tier V.

 

Now, torpedo tube survivability is pretty trash for cruisers.  You probably will lose a launcher, or at the very least get it incapacitated several times.  Don’t go fishing for torpedo runs, since it’s pretty obvious to your target with pretty bad torpedo arcs that you go for a torpedo attack.   

 

All cruisers can only fire half of their torpedo armament at a time.

Cruiser

Torpedo Armament (Torpedo)

Damage

Reload Time

Range

Speed

Spotting Range

New Orleans

No

Expose Your Citadel

4 x 4 610mm Quad (Type 90 mod. 1)

17,233

109 seconds

10 km

62 knots

1.6 km

Pan Paka Pan*

Actually Usable Russian Torpedoes

2 x 5 533mm Quintuple PTA-53-68-bis (53-51)

14,400

131 seconds

8 km

60 knots

1.2 km

Made in German

4 x 3 533mm Drilling (G7a T1)

13,700

68 seconds

6 km

64 knots

1.3 km

Useless Russian Torpedoes

2 x 3 533mm Triple 1-N (53-58U)

17,933

74 seconds

4 km

65 knots

1.3 km

Nobody Expects These Torpedoes

2 x 3 533mm TR Mk IV (Mk IX**)

15,533

72 seconds

10 km

62 knots

1.3 km

Le Croissant

2 x 3 550mm tube lance-torpilles (23DT)

14,833

90 seconds

9 km

60 knots

1.3 km

*Atago/Takao can fire only one torpedo launcher per quarter of the arcs.  Their arcs are almost covering all 360 degrees however.

 

Honestly I never get why people don’t expect Edinburgh’s torpedoes, but it seems pretty easy to land hits with them.

 

Anyway, Kutuzov has usable torpedoes at the very least, but they won’t save you all the time.  The combined damage from these torpedoes will leave them to die, if they don’t straight up die immediately. 

 

Anti-Aircraft Defense

 

 

Short-Range AA Guns: None

 

Medium-Range AA Guns: 16 x 2 37mm V-11

                        Range: 3.5 km

                        Damage Per Second: 147.2

 

Long-Range AA Guns: 6 x 2 100mm/70 SM-5-1s

                        Range: 5 km

                        Damage Per Second: 117

 

Total Damage Per Second Below 3.5 km: 264.2

With Defensive Fire: 792.6

 

Definitely a strong point of this ship here.  Most of the time Russians don’t have that great AA guns, being above average at best.  Not for Kutuzov.  I remember when she first came out back in OBT I was really surprised when I lost 3 squads of planes in Ranger within 30 seconds.  That was also back when I thought US cruisers had the only significant AA, but anyway, if you are a carrier, stay clear of this ship, unless you have no one else to target.

 

To you, the AA suite of Kutuzov is enough to even be a pain to Tier IX and X carriers.  Planes are usually of little concern to you, due to the fear factor that this ship possesses as well as the superb maneuverability.

 

Cruiser

Short-Range DPS

Medium Range DPS

Long-Range DPS

Max DPS

With Defensive Fire*

American Flyswatters

136.1 at 2 km

95.4 at 3.5 km

58.4 at 4.5 km

289.9 at 2 km

597.1 at 2 km

lol AA

None

86.8 at 3.1 km

40.4 at 5 km

127.2 at 3.1 km

381.6 at 3.1 km

What AA?

None

50.4 at 3.1 km

40.4 at 5 km

90.8 at 3.1 km

272.4 at 3.1 km

Russian Bias

None

147.2 at 3.5 km

117 at 5 km

264.2 at 3.5 km

792.6 at 3.5 km

German Flyswatters

52.8 at 2 km

135 at 3.5 km

99.6 at 4.5 km

287.4 at 2 km

756.6 at 2 km

Not So Russian Bias

None

128.8 at 3.5 km

78 at 5 km

206.8 at 3.5 km

620.4 at 3.5 km

One Less AA Gun Than Hipper

44.4 at 2 km

135 at 3.5 km

99.6 at 4.5 km

279 at 2 km

748.2 at 2 km

Lend-Lease AA

85.4 at 2 km

87.6 at 3.5 km

90.1 at 5 km

263.1 at 2 km

Nope

More Lend-Lease AA

57.6 at 2 km

63.6 + 48.4 = 112 at 3.5 km

34 at 5 km

203.6 at 2 km

495.6 at 2 km

*Defensive fire boosts weapons of 25mm or larger.  Therefore, weapons such as the 20mm Oerlikon are not affected.

 

As you can see, the AA is ferocious due to the damage and large range for its max DPS.  The only cruisers that rival her are the Germans and Chapayev while defensive fire is active.  The catch is when that consumable is not a factor, and there your DPS is mainly based on range.  You still have the best AA for a Tier VIII, but that won’t always save you all the time.

 

Dodging plus your AA is what keeps you alive against carriers, so let’s get on with that.

 

Maneuverability

 

Propulsion: 121,100 hp

Max Speed: 33 knots

Rudder Shift Time: 6.5 seconds

Turning Circle Radius: 760 m

 

Now most Russian cruisers have horrid maneuverability, like equal worse than battleships of the same tier.  Kutuzov does not have that issue, and in fact turns better than a fair amount of the cruisers at this tier.  Not always in the turning circle, but in rudder shift time it wins out every time.  6.5 seconds is lightning fast for a ship this size. 

 

Speed-wise, she is a bit slow.  Not as slow as the Germans, but by Russian standards she lags behind.  This isn’t much of an issue, since by now cruisers have generally similar top speeds, and you also have smoke.

 

Now let’s compare…

Cruiser

Top Speed

Turning Circle

Rudder Shift Time

Deja Vu

32.5 knots

660 meters

6.9 seconds

Mogamon

34.5 knots

750 meters

7.1 seconds

Atago/Takao

35.5 knots

790 meters

8.1 seconds

Russian Bias

33 knots

760 meters

6.5 seconds

German Science

32 knots

740 meters

10.7 seconds

How Do I Turn

33.5 knots

890 meters

9.7 seconds

Why Is It Worse Than Hipper

32 knots

770 meters

10.9 seconds

Dragster*

32.5 knots

680 meters

9.6 seconds

Gib Engine Boost

32.5 knots**

690 meters

9.8 seconds

*Edinburgh has the ridiculous acceleration of British cruisers.

**Martel can hit 39 knots with engine boost active

 

 

 

Concealment

 

Surface Detection Range: 14.5 km

Air Detection Range: 9.3 km

 

Communists sure love getting noticed, and this ship is no exception.  With the second-worse concealment of cruisers at this tier (hell battleships can sneak up on you with only slightly worse concealment), you need to rely on your smoke to stay alive below 12 km.  The concealment is enough to escape from some battleships or cruisers chasing you, but if they have any spotting support from a destroyer or carrier, you got a big issue. 

 

It is worth noting that you can sneak up to most caps in the game without being spotted until you can safely stop in the cap and smoke, but only do that if you are sure there aren’t many ships around nor there isn’t a destroyer lurking either.

 

Comparison time!

Cruiser

Surface Detection

Air Detection

Minimum Surface Detection*

Sneaky

11.8 km

7.5 km

9.1 km

Mogami

12.1 km

8.5 km

9.3 km

Tsundere

11.9 km

8.7 km

9.1 km

Communist Party

14.5 km

9.3 km

11.1 km

German

14.2 km

9 km

10.9 km

Can Stealth Radar

13.2 km

8 km

10.1 km

Another German

14.9 km

9.4 km

11.4 km

More Sneaky

11.7 km

8.1 km

9 km

La Baguette

13.7 km

8.2 km

10.5 km

*Using camouflage, concealment module, and concealment expert.

 

 

 

Customization

Spoiler

Bold indicates I recommend

Upgrades:

Slot 1:

Main Armaments Modification 1 is what you want.  Your mount armor is good, but the durability is mediocre.  Basically, that means if the turrets get penetrated, they probably will break.  The torpedo tubes are about as strong as

 

Slot 2:

Here you probably want AA Guns Modification 2.  The AA defense is very effective against equal or lower-tier carriers, but beyond that a determined and skilled high-tier carrier can easily take you down.  This will at least offset that risk somewhat, but to be honest there is not much else to take in this slot.

You can also take Aiming Systems Modification 1 if you want more accurate guns, although the accuracy buff is somewhat negligible with cruisers in general. 

 

Slot 4:

I would recommend having Damage Control Modification I for this slot.  Your engine and rudder are plenty well protected from most HE you see, and if you get citadeled that’s likely the result of being dumb.  This modification will not add torpedo protection however, since she has none to start with.

 

Slot 5:

Many take Steering Gears Modification 2, but Kutuzov already turns on a dime.  I take Propulsion Modification 2 to get myself out of standstill situations in smoke faster, since nobody expects this ship to take off like a rocket.

 

Slot 6:

Pretty obvious choice here, Concealment System Modification 1 is what you want.  Concealment is king in the high-tier meta, but to be honest it’s more to do with the fact that Target System Acquisition Modification 1 does not suit this ship’s playstyle.

 

Commander Skills:

This is for dedicated captains on this ship, or most Russian cruisers from Tier VI-IX in general.  Disregard if you are training a captain for destroyers or some other ship.

One-Point Skill(s):

Priority Target is a must for cruisers in general, since it is important to know when you are about to get some shells thrown at you.  There are times when your lock-on number is pretty high when you don’t expect people to shoot at you.  This skill is a life-saver.

 

Two-Point Skill(s):

Adrenaline Rush is a pretty good choice at this level, since more damage taken converts into more damage inflicted on enemies.  Often times what I do is get myself damaged to about half health within the opening moments of the battle, and that brings my reload from 8 seconds to about 7.2 seconds.  Doesn’t seem like much but it can make a big difference, and it helps nonetheless.  Once you get down to really low HP, the reload can be as low as 6.4 seconds.

Expert Marksman is also a good one, but your turret traverse is already pretty good.

Three-Point Skill(s):

First, take Demolition Expert to have Stalin himself bless the shells for better fiery Bolshevik revolutions.  That’s not actually why, it’s more of a given on cruisers in general.  More fires = more damage = more gains.

After that, you can take Superintendent for the extra smoke charge, although I have seldom had a serious need for more than two charges (premium smoke is kinda a given).  Once the flashpoint of the battle is over and less people are around to shoot you, smoke is not necessary unless you really screwed up.

 

Four-Point Skill(s):

Inertial Fuses for HE Shells is a great skill to take on this ship.  It will allow you to deal damage with HE consistently, and if you take demolition expert the fire penalty is negligible.  This allows you to penetrate the extremity armor of all ships you see, only being stopped with the decks of certain battleships such as the USN Tier VIII-X which have a 38mm weather deck, or the German armored decks of various thicknesses (I swear Bayern is like invincible to just about everything when angled). 

Also, take Concealment Expert to make you sneakier.  It will help with that awful concealment at least.

Advanced Firing Training is good for those who see carriers often, as it boosts your already excellent AA defense.  Fun fact: there was a time where Kutuzov could get almost 23 km of range with AFT before the rework that nerfed AFT to 139mm or below guns. 

 

I’ll be honest, you can take a lot of skills on this ship and they will almost always help.   The only ones that won’t are the ones that affect aircraft

 

 

Is she worth keeping?

Uh, you’d be kinda dumb to sell this ship.  Despite the smoke mechanic changes, the ship still is very good when played right, just can’t get away at like 5 km if you smoke and fire.  You can’t get it back once you sell it, so consider that too.  It’s easily the one of the best Tier VIII premiums right now, if not the best.  Keep all premiums anyway, doesn’t matter how bad they are, even if they are just for lolz.  You never know when they might receive a buff, and Wargaming will probably not nerf a premium directly after what happened with the M26 in World of Tanks… 

Well, thanks for reading!  If you have any questions, complaints, comments, concerns, or gulag notices; please post them below.

Edited by ValkyrWarframe
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Nice review and addendum to LWM'S seminal treatise. Only a fool would sell this ship and lose such a nasty fun little beast. Thanks for the time and effort!

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56 minutes ago, ValkyrWarframe said:

Now that she’s gonna be gone, forever,

I almost choked when I read this; I thought for a second you meant LWM was going somewhere forever. LOL!! (THANK GOD, MY BAD!!)

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38 minutes ago, Umikami said:

I almost choked when I read this; I thought for a second you meant LWM was going somewhere forever. LOL!! (THANK GOD, MY BAD!!)

Hopefully not :)

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1 hour ago, ValkyrWarframe said:

 

Is she worth keeping?

Uh, you’d be kinda dumb to sell this ship.  Despite the smoke mechanic changes, the ship still is very good when played right, just can’t get away at like 5 km if you smoke and fire.  You can’t get it back once you sell it, so consider that too.  It’s easily the one of the best Tier VIII premiums right now, if not the best.  Keep all premiums anyway, doesn’t matter how bad they are, even if they are just for lolz.  You never know when they might receive a buff, and Wargaming will probably not nerf a premium directly after what happened with the M26 in World of Tanks… 

Well, thanks for reading!  If you have any questions, complaints, comments, concerns, or gulag notices; please post them below.

 

Sold my Kutuzov, and used the doubloons to buy a Missouri.  Have no regrets at all.  Hated the Kutuzov play style.

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Had the Belfast which at tier 7, which is superior in terms of MM and impact on game, sold back the Kut and do not miss it.  Get all the sit in smoke and set people on fire enjoyment with the Belfast.  Tier 8 is a mess and since most of the time I was tiered up when playing my Kut, might as well play one of my great 10 tier cruisers ( have them all).  Have not spent the doubloons, will see if anything special is done for the holidays  

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She is to good at making money, can't sell her. If you get a game where you aren't bottom tier she is really fun. Tier ten matches seem to be the 18k HE spam from smoke but lower tier matches are a lot of fun. If I had a desperate need for a ship, maybe I would sell her.....maybe..

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2 hours ago, TheDreadnought said:

 

Sold my Kutuzov, and used the doubloons to buy a Missouri.  Have no regrets at all.  Hated the Kutuzov play style.

I mean, the ship is pretty easy to play, doesn't take much skill.  I can see why you don't like the playstyle.

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