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T8 Baltimore Captain Skills?

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With Baltimore now at T8, I've been contemplating on what skills to take. So far I've dropped SI in favor of SE, since Baltimore no longer possesses the repair party, and I've found that having three charges of radar(with the premium consumable) is adequate for use in both randoms and Operation Cherry Blossom. And I'd personally rather have the little bit of HP given by SE over the extra charge of radar and DFAA(which usually doesn't get used) or hydro. However, apart from the basic 10 points, I'm not entirely sure what to choose.(note that my goal in the captain build isn't really min/maxing but more of generalizing enough to enhance both weaknesses and strengths, letting my skill as a player compensate the rest)

I currently have: PT, EM, SE, CE. The skills I'm looking at are BFT, AFT, SI, DE, Vig, AR, PM, and EL. Now, obviously I can't choose all of them, but there's quite a good selection of skills from the third level that would mesh well with Baltimore.

I'm currently looking at going this route:


The idea being, take AFT with AAGM2 to extend the range of the Bofors, BFT not really being necessary because 1) It's a USN cruiser so CV captains are less likely to fly near you to begin with, and 2) the bulk of the DPS is in the Bofors, and they don't really need a DPS boost since I usually take DFAA into randoms/ranked. The range would serve them better than a DPS boost.

Vigilance would be to help in counteracting and screening for torpedoes. Taking radar will help to actually spot DDs to shoot at them, but Vigilance is some insurance against being surprised by a spread they may have dropped and as a substitute for hydro in case there is a CV in the match(I'd rather have DFAA and not need it instead of having hydro and needing DFAA). AR is an obvious choice to me at T8 since Baltimore can no longer recover HP(barring the use of Halsey) so AR's benefits just get better as the match progresses and you inevitably lose HP.

Alternatively, I could forego AFT, and take something like Vigilance/BFT, SI/BFT, AR, PM/EL instead. Though I feel that dropping AFT may not be optimal without taking BFT to compensate having the smaller AA radius with as much DPS within that radius as possible.

Apart from that, assuming I go with the build in the above image, exactly what order should I take the skills in? I'm thinking given the general lack of CVs and when they are present, their reluctance to try and get near USN cruisers would make AFT the lowest priority. Especially since the only tangible benefit Baltimore gets from AFT is in her AA battery. So the question is, AR or Vig first? Both have intrinsic value, and both should be useful more often than not. And I can take either one at the moment with my current captain as she has 13 points total, with 3 unused.


So, I'm looking for opinions. Also, this thread could serve as a sort of reference for other players asking the same question, so differing opinions and discussion is openly welcome. I'm going to note that the captain I currently have on Baltimore will stay. My old Baltimore captain is on Buffalo now, and if/when I do push to Des Moines, the Buffalo captain will more than likely go up to the T10.

Edited by GhostSwordsman
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Survivability expert on Baltimore? It's only a bonus 2,800 hit points, or an extra +6% of your top HP.

Using SI and having an extra catapult fighter/radar and hydro/DFAA is not only more useful to you in helping not take damage (be it from torpedoes or planes), but is more useful to your team in avoiding damage and gaining information.

DE gives you a good boost on fire chance, which is important because while your AP is good, you're going to be firing HE a lot at anything angled, which most ships will be.

Personally I'd build this for pretty-much every USN heavy cruiser, Baltimore included.


Given that CVs aren't super common, I'd probably wind up taking hydro over DFAA to help with deepwater torpedoes, and radar because radar is the push of a button for information and destroyer area denial.

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