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Harv72b

The Kiev in Ranked - An Analysis In Season 9

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The Kiev is the least stealthy tier 8 destroyer in the game, with the added bonus of packing the torpedoes with the shortest range.  Conventional wisdom would therefore suggest that it would be a terrible ship to bring into Ranked Battles; this is not true.

Given the map setup in season 9, the Kiev offers one huge advantage over any other destroyer in the game--its speed.  With Sierra Mike attached and speed boost activated, Kiev will top out at 48.1 knots in a straight line.  Tack on the special speed boost module and you can maintain that speed for 3 minutes at a time, which means that you can beat every other ship in the game to the crucial third cap in each battle.  Comparing base speeds vs. other commonly seen T8 destroyers gives an idea of just how big an edge this is:

Ship Base Speed
Kiev 42.5
Benson 38
Kidd 38
Lo Yang* 38
Z-23 37
Harekaze 35.5
Akizuki 33

* Note that almost all Lo Yangs will be equipped with hydro rather than speed boost, making for an even bigger edge to the Kiev.

In other words, if the Kiev captain boosts immediately to the outlying cap while the rest of the team primarily focuses on the "home" cap, the player in the Kiev will win the race to that cap against anything but another Kiev.  Competent play from that point will usually result in an early 2:1 cap advantage for the Kiev's team, either through the Kiev capturing that third point or, should the opposing team dedicate a large number of ships against the Kiev, through the remainder of the team pushing into the enemy's "home" cap with a numerical advantage.  This does of course make two rather significant assumptions given the nature of Ranked play: that the Kiev driver is capable of competent play, and that  the rest of the team is capable of sticking to a plan and properly reacting to the enemy's disposition...but both of these factors play into the use of any ship in Ranked, with the possible exception of a particularly skilled player in a carrier.

With that early 2:1 cap advantage, the pressure is placed firmly upon the opposing team to make something happen--they become the ones who have to push into opposition and risk ships in order to make up the point differential.  Also working into Kiev's favor is that her speed and exceptional gun range (14.76km with Advanced Firing Training) allows the Kiev player to quickly react to any pushes by the red team, laying down long range HE fire and/or dropping torpedoes along the paths of advancing enemy ships to blunt their advance.  Alternately, should a path open up to the enemy's "home" cap, Kiev can quickly boost there for a cap trade. Best of all, the remarkably flat firing trajectories of the guns allows for accurate fire from even maximum range, while the speed & fairly small profile of the Kiev makes it an extremely difficult ship to hit with return fire when firing in open water. 

The final thought above is key--a well played Kiev is the ultimate open-water "cruiser" at this tier, equally capable of burning down battleships at maximum range or decimating cruisers and enemy destroyers at medium ranges.  This is not a sneaky "ambush" destroyer, and playing Kiev as such wastes most of its potential.  It's important to keep those guns firing as often as possible, drawing fire away from less nimble teammates while forcing Damage Control Party use and giving second thoughts to any enemy destroyers trying to push into torpedo range.  Should one or more enemy ships make a concerted push toward you, your torpedoes are quite lethal even when dropped into the path of an advancing ship well outside of their normal range, particularly when combined with a well-placed smoke screen.

My own results had me moving from a starting point of Rank 19 down to R10 in 43 battles, 41 of which were fought in Kiev (plus two Lo Yang battles after I made grievous early mistakes in Kiev, which resulted in 1 win and 1 loss).  Even taking into account a brutal Monday night session which saw it take 14 games to move from R12 to R11, that comes out to a very respectable 58% win rate.  Keep in mind that I am far from a unicum-level player, even in my primary class of destroyers, and that I can count on one hand the number of wins where I was truly "carried" by my team (only one comes to mind).  It's not just me, either--according to WoWS Stats & Numbers, Kiev currently ranks 4th among NA destroyers in overall win rate, slightly ahead of the far more popular Benson.  In damage per battle Kiev comes 3rd among destroyers.  Among regular Kiev players (20 or more ranked battles in ship) 8 out of 10 have posted a win rate above 50%, with 4 above 60%, but it should be pointed out that these stats are only updated through the opening weekend of season 9 as of this posting.

For those curious, my captain build can be found here on ShipComrade, and searching my username on WoWsReplays will yield some of my Kiev battles in Ranked (link goes to WoWsReplays home page, not trying to self-promote).  The captain build is certainly open for debate--Radio Location would have come in handy many times, but I just didn't want to give up the 1/2 second reduction in firing rate which Basic Firing Training provides.  The only truly mandatory skills in my opinion are Last Stand, Survivability Expert, and Advanced Firing Training (although I'd highly recommend Demolition Expert as well).

Is Kiev a better choice than Lo Yang, the most popular Ranked destroyer?  That's definitely up for debate...Lo Yang's versatility makes it an excellent choice, while Kiev only holds a real advantage in the speed category.  As detailed above, though, Kiev's speed can be a very big advantage indeed when used properly.  I'm quite interested in any other opinions on Kiev in Ranked, regardless.  Thanks for reading to this point!

Edited by Harv72b
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I ran a kiev a couple of times and thought it was a much better gunboat than the aki, with the only drawback being its horrible stealth.

Its speed and manoverability meant it could get out of that initial clash and be an early game DD more often than not, whereas the aki was dead from focus fire or torp spam if tagged in the first cap, and only seemed to carry battles if it survived to the second half of a match.

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when first I tried it last season I got to 11...  so far this one...looks like the better FF to play

LAzaxE8.jpg

 

and the Kiev is a good bargain against most DDs one on one///

 

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Kiev may be able to get to that off cap first, but if any other destroyer comes along she will also be spotted well before she can see who is spotting her.  If the late-coming red destroyer has any cruiser support, that enemy destroyer doesn't need to give its position away...its supporting cruiser can chase the Kiev out of the cap.  Of course the Kiev could smoke to break detection.  But, as you stated, Loyangs are quite common, and I have seen numerous Z-23's.  Their hydro will defeat Kiev's smoke, as will the somewhat uncommon supporting radar cruiser.  Sitting in smoke with a highly visible Kiev will also undoubtedly result in a torpedo magnet.  Overall, I think there are still other destroyers with much more to offer than Kiev's speed.

Having hit a bit of a slump tonight, however, several losses strung together have me backed up against my R15 safety net.  I have nothing to lose but a few games' time.  Perhaps I'll give Kiev a try.

Edited by desmo_2
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12 minutes ago, desmo_2 said:

Kiev may be able to get to that off cap first, but if any other destroyer comes along she will also be spotted well before she can see who is spotting her.  If the late-coming red destroyer has any cruiser support, that enemy destroyer doesn't need to give its position away...its supporting cruiser can chase the Kiev out of the cap.  Of course the Kiev could smoke to break detection.  But, as you stated, Loyangs are quite common, and I have seen numerous Z-23's.  Their hydro will defeat Kiev's smoke, as will the somewhat uncommon supporting radar cruiser.  Sitting in smoke with a highly visible Kiev will also undoubtedly result in a torpedo magnet.  Overall, I think there are still other destroyers with much more to offer than Kiev's speed.

Having hit a bit of a slump tonight, however, several losses strung together have me backed up against my R15 safety net.  I have nothing to lose but a few game's time.  Perhaps I'll give Kiev a try.

Yes, situational awareness is crucial when you're going for an early cap in Kiev (any DD really, but especially Kiev).  Given how quickly you can get to that outside cap, it's pretty easy to figure out which direction the enemy DD is approaching from & dump torps along its predicted route (easier still if you opt for a Radio Location build).  Then it's just a question of determining if you can smoke & complete the cap or if you're better off bailing for the moment until you have a better idea of exactly what's there...my own experience was that I was able to chase the enemy DD out and complete the cap far more often that not.  The one time I misjudged & got focused down, I was at least able to identify that 5 enemy ships had rushed that cap, which allowed my teammates to push their home cap hard & secured the win (the time that I got carried).

Obviously you want to be very careful about ensuring that you're stern-on to the enemy DD's general position so it's easier to dodge the expected torpedoes.

19 minutes ago, neptunes_wrath said:

and the Kiev is a good bargain against most DDs one on one///

This.  A well-played Akizuki can outgun you if you can't increase the range quickly enough, and a smart Kidd can whittle you down over time by breaking off contact & healing between engagements, but against any other T8 DD you should be able to win a 1v1 gunfight.  You do need to have a bit of a sixth sense when it comes to predicting where he'll launch his torps at you, though.

46 minutes ago, Dareios said:

I ran a kiev a couple of times and thought it was a much better gunboat than the aki, with the only drawback being its horrible stealth.

Its speed and manoverability meant it could get out of that initial clash and be an early game DD more often than not, whereas the aki was dead from focus fire or torp spam if tagged in the first cap, and only seemed to carry battles if it survived to the second half of a match.

Yeah, being able to get into that cap first is a huge deal in Ranked, and as I alluded above most enemy DDs will break off & dump torps rather than immediately challenge you.  If nothing else, this prevents the enemy team from getting an early cap advantage & forces them to divert more ships to deal with you.

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One game in Kiev.  We won.  There were only two DD's in the game...me and the red Kidd.  I had to slow in my home cap because my team mates were a bit...sluggish...so me and the Kidd hit the off cap at the same time.  I lost a lot of health but managed to kill him.  Alas, an Atago (piloted by @BURN_Miner) got a single hit that started a fire.  A mortal blow.  I burned to death.  Only managed 4th on the team...but we did win.

I may give Kiev a couple more games and see how things go...

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I'm running a 19Pt DD Hunter build with RDF. If you are a super unicum in randoms with Kiev you already know how to play it. With damage being king no other DD can match it.

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2 hours ago, IronMike11B4O said:

I'm running a 19Pt DD Hunter build with RDF. If you are a super unicum in randoms with Kiev you already know how to play it. With damage being king no other DD can match it.

 

That's what I did in clan battles, but with Khab. It worked rather well. It's what I'm probably going to do at rank 10 and after, as well.

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7 minutes ago, LT_Rusty_SWO said:

 

That's what I did in clan battles, but with Khab. It worked rather well. It's what I'm probably going to do at rank 10 and after, as well.

Same here

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I was doing great with Kiev until I got to the 2nd league.  Things got tougher then.  In the first few ranks I would engage DDs and kill them in Kiev.  Note that if you know how to Russian DD you can win every one on one DD engagement with Kiev.  If another DD tries to fight me, they die...end of story.

That said, in the 2nd league more often what would happen is the enemy DD spots me but doesn't engage and his cruiser buddy(s) lights me up.   That's the best way to stop Kievs.  I'm gonna try Loyang but I'll miss the firepower and speed of the Kiev.  I might come back to Kiev if I struggle with Loyang.  

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I went from 23 to 10 in 34 battles using kiev for 31 (3 in oggy). I only ever saw 3 other kievs. I felt like there are so few kievs in ranked that the other team didn't know how to handle it. T8 ships have a hell of a time hitting kiev at 10+ km and red dd's made mistakes like a benson opening fire at 8 km.  With SE, you have 19k health which is pretty beefy and the open water maps let you kite BBs and Cruisers until they are burning. Its a great boat but you have to know how to use it. I play solely ru dds, so that probably helps.  You have to know russian gunboats to do kiev in ranked or else you'll die a lot. 

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I feel like most any ship can work, and work well to R10, then it gets a little harder, and then at R5 even harder and only players who excel at their ship can play whatever they like.

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