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Hermetica

Dear forum: How do I Kagerō?

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So I've been working my way up the IJN torpedo boat line because I wanted something different from my usual USN DD gameplay, and I've been doing reasonably well so far. The line really started to click with me starting with the Akatsuki: she had good torps with reasonably fast reload times, she was fast, she was decently maneuverable, and her guns—while not exactly award-winning—were better than most people thought they were.

Then I unlocked the Kagerō. And I gotta say, I'm pretty underwhelmed so far. She's about as maneuverable, but she's slower. Her guns are almost identical to the Akatsuki's, but at a tier higher and with shorter range, so decidedly worse. Her torpedos take forever to reload, and she has less flexibility with them because she only has two launchers (and one fewer torpedo total). Granted, they hit harder than the Akatsuki's, but I wasn't exactly struggling to kill things with her, so this doesn't feel like much of an upgrade to me. I guess I can take torpedo reload booster instead of smoke, but given that she's slower than the Akatsuki and can't evade enemy gunboats as easily without smoke AND that means I'm playing more selfishly, I'm not a huge fan of the idea. She definitely does have the stealth thing going for her, but again, I wasn't really struggling with managing spotting distances in my Akatsuki.

Overall, she just feels like a bit of a downgrade to me. I would honestly rather be facing Tier IXs in my Akatsuki than in my Kagerō. If anything, she just kinda feels like the power creep hit her pretty hard. What, if anything, am I missing? Are there any Kagerō pros out there that can give me any advice? I'll be playing her all the way through, since I do intend to complete the IJN torpedo boat line, so I'd love to actually learn to enjoy her.

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I might be able to help.  I have a lot of IJN torp boat videos on my YouTube channel.  Here’s a recent Kaveri video, though going through the IJN DD playlist will have a lot of good info for you.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

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Not a pro, but decent with the Kagero. Some tips in case you don't have time to watch the very solid video above.

What, if anything, am I missing?

They're different ships, in a different meta. The Akatsuki is a harasser. High speed lets her get in and get out, decent guns and torp flexibility lets her spam a bit if you're caught.

The Kagero is a stalker. She's slower, but has much better concealment. The kag will very often be the most stealthy ship in your match by a fair margin. You'll want to avoid usual dd spots and capture points and firing so you're not spotted and run down by speedier dds (or planes) (or radar, which is much more prevalent in tier 8+). You'll also usually need to leave your team a bit more. Tiers 8-10 have a lot more bow tanking BBs and CAs, so they'll often be pointed at your BBs, unable to zigzag. By flanking them, your torps are much more likely to hit (or the enemy turns to avoid them, exposing their broadside to your bb friends). Though that also leaves you vulnerable to enemy dds running across you and to planes. Knowing where enemies are, and where they're likely to go is important defensively as well as offensively - and takes some practice. Her guns do more damage than most other dds at the tier, but fire _much_ slower, have horrible range, and generally should not be used. You'll mostly leave them for the late game to finish off wounded ships or to start fires on enemies who are looking the other way (or after/before torps hit them to punish DCP use).

Like the video, I run torp reload. If I get spotted by a dd, they're already too close and sitting in smoke won't save me. If I get spotted by radar, smoke won't save me. If I get spotted by planes, they're just going to drop a fighter over the smoke, leaving me stuck while reinforcements close the distance.

 

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Don't let your team mates push you into doing stupid things. Most of them don't know how to play their own ship, let alone yours.

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the ijn torp boats are not nearly as powerful as they once were considering the amount of radar ships and cancerous cv has multiplied since the golden ages of japanese destroyers.

you can play aggressively with torp reload booster and dump 16 torps at a time or play safe with smoke to help "counter" cv. I cant tell you which one is correct that is purely up to the player and how you want to play.

Ideally you want to prioritize your torpedoes in terms of reload modifiers and damage compared to guns, the japanese torps deal alot of damage, have decent speed but have an average detection range.

The ship its self has outstanding detection range so you are able to control when fights are taken with enemy dd and the guns pack a good punch with high alpha damage but a sluggish reload and gun traverse time.You want to prioritize sending torps the direction of bb as they are easiest to hit and use your stealth to keep cruisers and enemy dd lit for your team to attempt to help. Abuse the super stealth of the ship and dont be afraid to get as close as 6km from bb to make sure your torps hit the spot.

as far as cv go your best bet is to just back out of queues when you see the cv number jump up because what is counter play.

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Kagero is a really fine ship. 

Use your concealment and focus on your positioning.

The ship is not the best to contest a cap. Assume you will not be able to outgun an enemy DD and try to avoid close encounters.

You must outlive enemy DDs by detecting them for your mates to kill them.

Once they are dead, use your positioning for area denial and/or caping.

You are more useful at mid to late game.

Hope this helps

 

PS: Watch a lot of @Destroyer_KuroshioKaivideos. 

PS2: Once you feel confortanble with the ship, try using TRLB instead of smoke

 

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@Hermetica

The sad truth is akat is the superior DD. Akat has better dpm, which the kagero can only match by giving up smoke. Besides the concealment module and a slight bump in HP, kagero is a straight up downgrade.

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7 hours ago, Telastyn said:

The Kagero is a stalker

This really captures all the important parts about Kagero(and her sister premiums). 

Kagero has the BEST concealment in his MM range, only other Kageros( Kagero, Asashio, Harekaze and Yukikaze) can match your concealment and you out spot everything else. So, either you use this concealment to its full extent or you will have some hard time(not that you can't succeed, but just way harder). 

Also don't be afraid to use your guns explicitly when you're running away. There is a dilemma for gunboats who wants to run you down. You out gun them if they only use their front guns or you out run them if they try to use all guns. 

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I have to say that I don't like playing mine and thanks god I have almost grinded through it.

You need to choose between torp reload booster and smoke, which can be a difficult choice. I went with the reload booster, which means I have to be very careful when getting close to enemies.

Generally speaking, stay at range and fire those torps as much as you can. Mid-late game when red DDs and radars are dead (hopefully), you can start to get closer to things (caps and BBs) but you need to survive until that moment.

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As an IJN main, the Kagero was one of my favorite ships;.....not only to grind up but, to play.  Radar and Planes ruined that to the point I no longer play randoms; because, her real strength is stealth.....  And, Stealth is gone for good.  So, she sits because she isn't a gun boat and blind firing torps "hoping for a hit" all the while getting yelled at in Random matches by the BB's hiding in the rear with nothing to shoot (and, getting negative karma every match) just isn't worth it anymore.

If I were you, I'd swap gears and grind the Russian line.  Or, any nation's line that hosts gun boats: even, with high detection rates because a lot of DD drivers now hide till later in the game and call that success.....>!  No thanks.

So, to answer your question directly:  stay with the Carrier till you see where all the radar ships are cause your AA is so bad and then, go to the off side of their Carrier's focus and stalk an enemy ship and dump all 16 torps and run back to a place to hide cause their carrier can and will simply destroy you and there is nothing you can do......  Or, just don't play her outside of COOP like many of us are now doing.....

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In a lot of aspects Kagero does seem like a downgrade, but others have said, it marks a change in playstyle. No longer should you shoot torps willy nilly, but you must be patient, wait for a golden opportunity to launch torps as xclose as possible, and in general remain hidden as much as you can. It's as others have said. If Akatsuki is a harasser that makes its presence known, Kagero is a stalker you don't realize has been following your for 2 minutes until you eat 3 torpedoes on a broadside.

Yugumo is basically Kagero 1.5. Same playstyle, slightly more gun range (means you can start safely using guns at range again) and longer torpedo range. These range upgrades don't seem impressive on paper, but they greatly increase the flexibility of Yugumo over her predecessor. 

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Kagero is all about using stealth to spot the enemy and put torpedoes in their way at awkward times. The rest of the IJN torp boat line plays that way.

Akatsuki is honestly the weird one, it's got terrible concealment (Jervis and Gadjah Mada both outspot it).

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its simple how to kagero, its like doing the Ashashio.

rule number 1: always look at your mini map often

rule number 2: try to take caps but because you have no support often because you were applying rule number 1, your job is to leave the cap or flank open and move if you have no support. dying in cap with no support or on an open flank alone is not your job.

switch flanks or relocate if you have no support or if your flank is camping too far back to support.

your job just got easier if you have too many campers because your job is to pick your spots to do damage now cuz it will likely lead to loss.

so find a spot and drop your torps, but also close enough to the campers where they can spot for you and drop smoke and start using ur guns.  this is ideal because if enemy pushing or your spotter dies or are dying, all you have to do is outrun the slowest team mate.

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2 hours ago, sapient007 said:

Kagero has the BEST concealment in his MM range, only other Kageros( Kagero, Asashio, Harekaze and Yukikaze) can match your concealment and you out spot everything else. So, either you use this concealment to its full extent or you will have some hard time(not that you can't succeed, but just way harder). 

Just to nitpick:

Asashio is an Asashio-class destroyer, not a Kagerou-class. 

That aside, I'm pretty average, so I'm not the best person to ask, but I scout first, torp second, essentially. Since I mostly use Yukikaze (8km torps), it's a matter of abusing the incredible concealment to out-spot enemy DDs and torp when anyone pushes in too far or positions themself badly. Smoke is used sparingly for an emergency escape or to conceal an allied cruiser. Engine boost is used for emergency escapes or emergency positioning to an ally that needs smoke.

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1 hour ago, Edgecase said:

Kagero is all about using stealth to spot the enemy and put torpedoes in their way at awkward times.

This is the Kagero in a single sentence.  Provide vision for your team while denying the enemy vision.  Use your torpedoes to help control the map.  While the guns are surprisingly good, they are situational because they can sacrifice the Kagero's biggest asset, its stealth.

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12 hours ago, kagero__ said:

Don't let your team mates push you into doing stupid things. Most of them don't know how to play their own ship, let alone yours.

Yeah this is one of the problems when using DDs like Kagero is some players expect you to cap bases even when facing string gunboat DDs. When Kagero is far more valuable if you stay out of the bases and instead launch torpedoes from stealth on unsuspecting enemy ships. To accomplish this a Kagero player often has to slip behind enemy lines undetected so that the enemy BBs and maybe CAs can be targeted. Of course you will sink the occasion DD with your torpedoes as well. So trying to cap a base at least early on is one of the worst ideas, despite what some teams will try and tell you.

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5 hours ago, Cpt_Cupcake said:

The sad truth is akat is the superior DD. Akat has better dpm, which the kagero can only match by giving up smoke. Besides the concealment module and a slight bump in HP, kagero is a straight up downgrade.

This is my opinion, as well. I have the Kagero, but seldom play it. In addition to the above, playing Kagero means you face tier 10 (and 11 and 12) opponents regularly.

Look, I used to be a pretty fair basketball player, but I'm not going to play pickup games against NBA players. I have done that, and it was no fun-I got smoked. If others want to, fine, but I'm ok playing with and against people at my level.

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simple rule no cap till radar ships dead. dont even bother trying the post up on islands waiting for you to get on cap and if ya do ur dead. radar ships you are like a passive cruiser torping form concealment, if they push up smoke up and support with guns. end of day dont cap if team is camping like 2 squares back.  relocate let em deal with that flank by themselves.

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Thanks for the advice, all. Seems like the answer is to lean into that concealment, because that ultimately is the only significant, clear-cut advantage she has over the Akatsuki. And, hey, fair enough - I started playing this line because I wanted something different from the other high-tier DD line I have (USN DDs), and it certainly is that.

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1 hour ago, Hermetica said:

Thanks for the advice, all. Seems like the answer is to lean into that concealment, because that ultimately is the only significant, clear-cut advantage she has over the Akatsuki. And, hey, fair enough - I started playing this line because I wanted something different from the other high-tier DD line I have (USN DDs), and it certainly is that.

Think of it like a persistent light form of radar.  Enable your concealment circle on your mini map, and when you place that circle at, or just beyond the caps edge at the enemy's side, anything trying to push into cap gets spotted.  This works best when you have lots of support to blast these poor saps.  You watch them die without lifting a finger.  Its quite powerful.

DDs radar, smoke, hydro, it makes little difference, you are the ultimate zoning machine.  Pull back a bit and as soon as it wears off creep back in and push them out.

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Just finished grinding out Kagero and I have to admit I hated her at first, but gradually got better at her, like all ships really.

DANGER DANGER PARAGRAPH LENGTH REPLY

Spoiler

 

I kind of followed a checklist at the start of the match:

  1. CV Present?
    1. If YES: I tend to play closer to my team as getting caught by any CV that wants you dead will have your [edited], either by their hand or by simply spotting you. Play more passively, and punish aggressive plays by other ships by playing on the corners of the cluster of teammates your supporting and torp any ship out of position or making a hard push, bow tanking, ect.
    2. if NO: You have a lot more freedom to go out on your own without CVs present and sneak around the unprotected flanks of your enemies. You still need to pay caution to other DDs and Radar, as most of the time if your found out they'll generally try to hunt you down and isolate you from the rest of your team: make sure to always have and escape route in-case you over-extend to far to kill that bow-tanking Vladivostok.
  2. Radar Ships Present?
    1. If YES: During the first 5 min of the match ALWAYS assume that all 2-3 of them are going to be going to the cap that you're going to, so don't just charge into cap points: play cautiously and have a quick way to quickly escape their radar range. After you know where the radar ships are on the map, respect their presence and keep them out of 10km of you if you can. Baiting out there radar or making them go hard for you is also good: the faster you or your team can get rid of one the better.
    2. If NO: Well aren't you lucky? That means as long as a cruiser with Hydro doesn't get close to you, they really can't get a good bead on you and can only hope to zigzag. Still, you have a tiny HP pool, getting spotted and shot at by a cruiser is not something you want unless you are intentionally baiting them to go broadside into the loving embrace of a torpedo spread you fired on them.
  3. Can the enemy DDs Out-Spot Me/Out-Trade Me?
    1. If YES: Well, technically they'd also be a Kagero or Asashio, which means, unless you run RL like a try-hard, you'll pretty much stumble into each other. The Kagero has the best concealment for her tier at 5.4km/2.5km max. This makes her a fantastic scout and allows her to dictate what fights she can take with most other DDs. Still, you REALLY don't want to get into a gun duel with anything besides other IJN Torp DDs, as pretty much every other DD at tier VI-X can outgun you. This mainly in part of the really slow reaload, glacial turret traverse that WILL fall behind in high-speed turns without the help of Expert Marksman, and a #2 gun that gets knocked out 50% of the time. However, ever since the IJN 127mm HE alpha buff, you are very good at finishing off enemy DDs, so only use your guns in defense and in situations where you know you will be able to out-trade and kill the enemy DD.
    2. If NO: You dictate what fights you want to take. As said above, your gun handling is awful, but you can easily finish off enemy DDs. Hit-n-Run against DDs that can outgun you. Use your torpedoes as well, they're reasonably fast and can sometimes net you a kill in the heat of a knife-fight if the enemy DD gets complacent and you have good shot on them

Now Follow that checklist on the start of the match: knowing what your up against is important for the Kagero. 

Other advice? I run Torpedo Reload on her instead of smoke. This is far riskier since if you get spotted, you have to either duck behind and island, into friendly smoke, or wait for that 20 sec timer: no smoke means no get out of jail free card if you get spotted when you really don't want to. However, the Kagero lives and dies on her torpedoes: you miss all 8 of your torpedoes, then you just have to sit there twiddling your thumbs, and not really contributing to your team as you wait 1 min and 50 sec. Torpedo reload basically gives you a second chance because hitting ships with torpedoes can be tricky, as it all depends on what the enemy ship you launched them against is doing. 

"Oh! I thought he was going to stop turning, not turn in!" or "Oh hey, there's another target that needs to die..." or "OH crap! WHERE DID HE COME FROM?!" ect. ect. It allows you to continue contributing to your team by putting more fish in the water much faster, because it's not easy to judge what the enemy captain is going to do with there ship. Sure, the more you play torpedo DDs, the more you get accustomed to what a captain might do with their ship, but more often than not they'll do something you weren't expecting... aaand now all your torpedoes missed. The best thing I love about torpedo reload is that most of the time, when an enemy dodges your first set of torpedoes, they're like "Hah! I dodged all his torps, he can't do anything to me for a whil-!" ...And then you see them panic as the second set of torpedoes come at them while they're broadsiding.

Still, it goes without saying, taking Torpedo Reload over smoke means you have to both play a lot more conservatively with your guns and you have to be very mindful of your positioning. You get caught in a bad spot, you will die or lose most of your HP. Best example I have is I forgot where the enemy Worcester was, and I ended up being stuck behind an island with a Midway coming after me... yeah it wasn't a good round for me.

The last thing I should add is pick your torpedo targets carefully: if you have a choice of a DD, CL, CA, angled-in BB, and broadsiding BB you want to pick the target that is least maneuverable and least likely to dodge all your torpedoes. Sure there are times where I've hit DDs doing 38 kts, very maneuverable CLs and CAs, but you have to make the best of your torpedoes, as they have such a long reload time. So don't waste your torpedoes nilly willy: choose the most pre-occupied target that is NOT playing evasive (I.E. Not maneuvering like crazy) and let them loose. Other things to look for: they're stuck next to an island and cannot maneuver well? Bow tanking BB? Any Ship that has overextended and realizes the crapthey're in and is about to turn? BB or CL/CA pushing hard into your team? Those are all things you need to keep your eyes peeled for. And don't be too hair triggered either, sometimes waiting for the right opportunity to where you know EXACTLY where they're going to steer their ship is the moment you let your fish go loose. Getting as close as you can (in good safety of course, you don't want to get TOO close) is also a good idea, as it reduces the time it takes for your fish to reach your target and also helps reduce the torpedo dispersion (I.E. the farther your torpedoes travel, the farther apart they'll drift from each other, making it easier to comb through them).

 

WOW. This turned into an paragraph on how to get gud on Kagero. Sorry for the long reply, I tend to make really lengthy, in-depth replies. Hope it helps though. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:28 AM, Destroyer_KuroshioKai said:

I might be able to help.  I have a lot of IJN torp boat videos on my YouTube channel.  Here’s a recent Kaveri video, though going through the IJN DD playlist will have a lot of good info for you.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Just do what he does.

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