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Shels

Poor Lexington, especially in ranked

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I think it is the consensus that the Lexington is at the bottom of the tier 8 CV pool.  With it's 1/1/2 flight group, it just doesn't have the ability to effectively contest the twin fighter squadrons on the Shokaku or Enterprise, and its single squadron is much smaller than the uber-sized one on the Graf Zepplin.  The strike potential isn't terrible on paper, especially running AP bombs when there are vulnerable targets in the match, but because the Lexington has such a hard time establishing air-control, those strike squadrons are very vulnerable.  I am not a unicum CV driver, but I've now reached T10 ranked battle playing just the Big E, and each time, I was matched against a poor Lexington.  Every single match was a blow-out on the CV side and victory.  Using the twin fighter squadrons of the Enterprise I was constantly able to lock-and-strafe the single Lexington fighter squad, then go on to wipe out the strike planes.  With the smaller number of players in a ranked match and the tendency of everyone to stay together, especially when a CV is present, all I had to do was keep my fighters near our ships, then intercept the attack group.  After that, while the Lexington is suffering the abysmally long squadron reload period, my strike planes would go in against no resistance save any DFAA carrying ships and proceed to smash things up.  These aren't exactly novel tactics, but none of the Lexington drivers were able to counter it because the flight-group basically cripples them against a Shokaku or Enterprise.

For the sake of your team, if you want to drive a Lexington in ranked, I urge you to reconsider.  In my experience, both this season and last, the Lexington is just not competitive, not even close, against the Shokaku or Enterprise.  Especially against the Enterprise, I would argue, due to the extremely large fighter reserves, bonus from Dogfighting Expert, and barely smaller squadron size.  I have the Shokaku and Enterprise and leveled through the Lexington a long time ago, so the only tier 8 CV I haven't played is the Graf Zepplin.  There are probably the few extremely good Lexington drivers out there that can make it work (pre flight-group changes, I had unicum status in the Ranger running the old 0/1/3 strike flight-group), but I argue that it is a massive uphill struggle that does not help your team.  In randoms the Lexington may do better, where there are more ships to engage so the chances of catching one without cover is higher, and due to the different objectives in a random match as the opposing team's ships are less likely to be clustered together for mutual support.  But in ranked, it just seems to be a futile exercise.

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I agree that Lexington is a bad choice for ranked because the spotting of fighter squadrons is too big of an advantage in the domination mode. In standard battles in random, I find it performs just fine as long as I use my fighters exclusively to cover my strike craft while they are en route and strafe any enemy fighters that try and interfere. 

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I can't recall a time outside Launch, where Lexington was a respectable CV.  At launch her Stock Spec was 2/1/1 and that was a reason why I grinded for her in those days.  My luck is that WG nerfed the sh*t out of her 2 weeks after I got her, and she's never recovered since.  The USN CV Revamp has actually made her worse, which is an amazing feat considering how bad she was before the Revamp.

 

It's a bad, bad CV.

 

I got this old VIII Ranked screenshot towards one of the prior Tier VIII Ranked Seasons.  Lexington was bad then.

ulEwbnV.jpg

It was bad in another subsequent VIII Ranked Season, and she'll be bad when this one ends also.  She's consistently been a bottom feeder.  Very few ships perform as bad as Lexington.

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Alpha Tester
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Lexington is a ship damned by the balancing issues with the fixed 6-plane USN squadron setup. If we exclude 2-TB loadouts for having insane strike power, 2/1/1 is the "dominant" Lexington loadout with basically zero competition. It's also probably dominant over 3/1/2 Shokaku, YMMV on the strike versus AS comparison of 2/2/2 Shokaku. The only answer is probably Enterprise using its huge fighter hangar to wear Lexington out, which kind of goes to show why 2/1/1 Lexington is kind of OP. But 1/1/2 Lexington is thrown in the other direction, being so bad at fighters and mediocre at strike(because of the weaknesses of dive bombers). This should have been fixed by just abandoning fixed size squadrons, at least on this ship, and giving us a 8/6/10 aircraft count Lexington or something similar. 

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When I was grinding the USN CV line I was eagerly anticipating the 2/1/1 Lexington.  I must have been just a month behind Haze, because just two weeks before I got it, that loadout was removed. Grinding the 2/0/2 and 0/1/3 loadouts was painful, but at least there was a choice with clear strengths.  Now, the only loadout just seems mediocre.  I rarely if ever have any trouble against a Lexington when using my Enterprise or Shokaku.  Maybe dual fighter squads with lower tier or smaller squadrons, similar to Enterprise, while keeping T8 strike planes would balance things out.

Edited by Shels

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4 hours ago, Shels said:

When I was grinding the USN CV line I was eagerly anticipating the 2/1/1 Lexington.  I must have been just a month behind Haze, because just two weeks before I got it, that loadout was removed. Grinding the 2/0/2 and 0/1/3 loadouts was painful, but at least there was a choice with clear strengths.  Now, the only loadout just seems mediocre.  I rarely if ever have any trouble against a Lexington when using my Enterprise or Shokaku.  Maybe dual fighter squads with lower tier or smaller squadrons, similar to Enterprise, while keeping T8 strike planes would balance things out.

I was pi**ed, man.  I was getting slaughtered in Ranger by all those Strike Hiryus in those days.  I still remember, in the days prior to Strafe existing, Strike Hiryu 0/3/3 (that's no fighters, remember?) could literally run over an AS Ranger with 2 fighters.  It was an awful experience.  But what kept me going was seeing Lexington ahead just one more tier with 2/1/1.  She was the first USN CV with fair attack power with considerable fighter power.  Godd*mn was I mad when that spec was removed.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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On 8/28/2018 at 1:08 AM, Shels said:

I rarely if ever have any trouble against a Lexington when using my Enterprise or Shokaku

Bingo. 

The superior fighters count for little when all the Shokaku and Enterrprise need their fighters to do is to tie up the Lexington fighters long enough to get their superior strike groups in. It's no where near as bad as the old 1/1/1, its a straight up improvement over the 2/0/2, but it still doesn't really hold its own.

It's terrible for ranked for a few reasons including its massive detection, you can't hide the ship.

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