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The looming CV rework will inevitably change the current meta for the short term, much like the US cruiser split gave us 2 months of perma-radar. Instead, we will likely find that AA defense will become an absolute necessity for a couple of months. 

Now, most experienced players out there know which ships are AA monsters, and those ships will be avoided by the more prudent CV players in favour of easier prey. So, speccing out a ship to exploit its potential for a big surprise to the CV driver, a ship that isn't ordinarily thought of as an AA beast, could reap great rewards. 

What are your favourite ships to spec with a full AA build to take a CV driver by surprise? Mine are Kirov, Bayern and Farragut. 

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Texas, Queen Elizabeth will probably have a grand time.  They're BBs and the preferred targets of CVs, but they have great AA for their tiers.  TX in particular because Tier V in general has abysmal to non-existent AA.

My list of low key ships that actually have great AA and catch CVs by surprise?

IV CL Yubari - Defensive Fire in Tier IV.  She's a pretty uncommon ship too, I expect whoever takes out their Yubari when the Revamp goes live will be in for a treat.

V BB Texas - Tier V BB with lethal AA, in a tier where most of her peers have very bad AA suites.  While she may be a too obvious AA Bote, do consider that she will be seeing lots of new CV players in this tier bracket.

VI BB Queen Elizabeth - She has some issues, i.e. being a worse version of Warspite.  But her AA is actually extremely good for a Tier VI BB.  Lots of people also trash her name, but again, her AA is extremely good.  So the disrespect she gets may invite CVs to come after her.  Which is what an AA QE wants.

VII BB Gneisenau - Everyone expects Secondary Spec German BBs.  In such a spec, Gneisenau has good AA still but a serious, same or higher tier CV would plow through it.  But an AA Spec Gneisenau has traditionally been a "No Fly Zone" that eats even Tier IX planes.

VII BB Hood, Duke of York - Decent AA if not the best long range.  DOY has dangerous medium range AA.  Where KGV gets ripped apart by CVs, DOY can swat planes.  Hood however has Defensive Fire.  Her AA overall is actually mediocre, but pop Defensive Fire and it boosts her short range AA Rockets and shreds everything.  Her DF *only* buffs the AA Rockets but it lasts long.  Both of these Premium BBs are rare sights in PVP, so they may not be an obvious AA BB like Colorado.

VII BB Lyon - Most people go for Main Battery Builds, some even Secondary Spec, but in AA Build, she's lethal against aircraft.

VIII CAs Admiral Hipper / Prinz Eugen - Before Cleveland and Baltimore went to Tier VIII, these 2 German CAs had outstanding AA.  An AA Build still works wonders on them, but nobody ever really talks about German Cruiser AA until Tier X.  Germans start having good AA on their CAs starting Tier VIII.

VIII BB Kii - Fantastic AA, better than the Tier VIII USN BB AA, matter of fact.  While she may seem like a too obvious AA Bote, she is a rare sight.  So you are banking on CV players not recognizing how dangerous she is as an AA threat.

IX CA Roon - See above.

High Tier USN DDs - They either get Hull-C / AA Hulls or Defensive Fire naturally built in.  Kidd, Fletcher, Gearing can throw some CVs surprises.

IX Jean Bart - Very powerful AA suite and it can get lethal with an AA Spec.  I got her on this list solely because of her "newness" and not all players will know about her AA reputation.  I doubt this will change with another 1-2 months.

I'm likely missing more.


There's lots of great AA candidates out there but they are all obvious AA threats.  Cleveland, Baltimore, Des Memes, Salem, Worcester, Seattle, Atlanta, Iowa / Missouri, 'Bama, NC, Montana, Hindenburg, etc.  All great AA ships, but again, they're too recognizable as such.  They have an AA reputation to go with them.


Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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