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Best ship lines of each class in 2021 (DD, CA/CL, BB, CV)

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This topic is old as WOWS itself, but with each rework and recently added IT BB line let do a quick refresher.

If you're to pick just 4 lines of each tech tree ship class, what would they be and why? I.e. one destroyer, one cruiser, one battleship and one aircraft carrier line, all the way to T10. No premiums!

My picks to kick off the discussion:

DDs: US. Although T5-T6 are not fun at all, and T10 is hardly better that T9, I find most of US DDs easy to play. They're reliable all-round performers. There are DDs that do something else done better than US, but generally US DDs for me deliver consistent results. But it's a victory by points, not by a knockout. UK DDs are very close second, starting from T6 they become really fun to play. Not picking them because they've got slower torps, lower HP and weak AA at mid- and higher tiers.

CA/CLs: Here I'm almost on a fence: UK CL or US CL line. Both are good. But in UK line there are more fun to play ships (all good except T3, T5 and T9, vs US - good ships start at T7+). UK has torps and smoke, US has better guns and AA. Depending on the matchmaking and map one could perform a bit better than the other. But both are solid. If I must pick only one I'd go with UK because of torps. Sneaking on a BB from around the corner and delivering devastating strike is a pleasure unavailable to US CLs. So I'll go with UK CL line.

BBs: RU. Only T3 and T4 were historic ships. Everything else are paper projects and wild fantasies of WG Devs. They're as historic as Pokemons in Roman Empire. But in THIS GAME they come up very strong. They reward good positioning and punish mistakes. No gimmicks, very basic and sturdy ships, good at punching holes in other battleships. Limited repairs: probably patching holes in a ship with her heroic crew until they run out of men. In principle that is very Russian. Simple as a hammer, nasty as a sickle. I'll take this.

CV: I dislike CVs. But they're here to stay. And they're required to complete some of the campaign missions. Here's the difficult part: mid-tiers and top tier games are very different. But if T10 is a destination, and the rest of the tiers is the journey, then I'd pick IJN CVs. T4-T8 have better torps, better bombs, and decent HE rockets to hunt down DDs. They're stealthy and fast. Planes are more fragile and one need be more considerate how to use them. AP bombers require precise drop (same as GE CVs). It's more like a samurai sword and mastery of the weapon, than spray-and-pray US or UK planes with HE bombs and rockets (although Tiny Tims also require more skills to hit anything). That precision strike and high skill level which rewards you greatly is very Japanese, so I stick with IJN CVs.

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DDs: IJN gunboat line. Akizuki and Kitakaze are little fire-spewing monsters, and I’m more of a cruiser player anyways.

CLs/CAs: German. This was the first line I ground to tier X, and is still my overall favorite. IMO, every ship in the line is adequate-to-solid, with the only ship I really don’t like being Roon at tier IX. They have consistent HE, long range guns with good ballistics, very strong AP, and lots of short range torpedoes for when things get hairy. The CAs are also tough as nails if you know how to play them correctly. Hindenburg is my ship of choice when I need to take out a tier X. 

BBs: Probably the original American battleship line. IMO, they’ve weathered the changes to the meta better than most other trees by virtue of being generalists. The dreadnoughts aren’t quick or flashy, but they get the job done, and the super heavy AP at tier VIII+ is nasty. I probably would have selected German BBs a couple months ago, but the skill changes have not been kind to them.

CVs: I don’t have nearly as much experience playing CVs as the other classes. If I had to choose one, I’d select the American line, mostly due to its versatility. Near the end of a match when you’ve taken losses, you may not have enough of the ideal plane type to strike your target, but you’re likely to have a full or nearly full squadron that will do in a pinch. I also think the aircraft strike the right balance between the slow and tanky UK and the quicker but more fragile KM/IJN planes.

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DD - IJN gunboat

CA - USN heavy

BB - French

CV - USN

edit: so far the USN sub seemed best, just in case subs come sometime late this year.

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6 minutes ago, TaxDollarsAtWork said:

DD - PA DD, favourite line in game

CA - NA

BB - NA

 

Interesting choice for DDs! It's underrated line due to DW torps and seemingly being at a disadvantage against all other DDs. But I'm planning to explore more of these ships. T7-T9 look particularly strong.

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3 minutes ago, The_Longest_Torpedo said:

Interesting choice for DDs! It's underrated line due to DW torps and seemingly being at a disadvantage against all other DDs. But I'm planning to explore more of these ships. T7-T9 look particularly strong.

Felt like a natural plus given how common BBs are with 9/10 games having 5 per side

And I say this as a guy who isn't a fan of torp boats at all

The short spamy smoke is a treat too, in a radar heavy world its a nice inbetween of the advantages of USN and RN style smokes

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45 minutes ago, Nevermore135 said:the slow and tanky UK and the quicker but more fragile KM/IJN planes.


Common mistake.  The UK actually has faster TBs and DBs than USN does.

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1 hour ago, The_Longest_Torpedo said:

This topic is old as WOWS itself, but with each rework and recently added IT BB line let do a quick refresher.

If you're to pick just 4 lines of each tech tree ship class, what would they be and why? I.e. one destroyer, one cruiser, one battleship and one aircraft carrier line, all the way to T10. No premiums!

My picks to kick off the discussion:

DDs: US. Although T5-T6 are not fun at all, and T10 is hardly better that T9, I find most of US DDs easy to play. They're reliable all-round performers. There are DDs that do something else done better than US, but generally US DDs for me deliver consistent results. But it's a victory by points, not by a knockout. UK DDs are very close second, starting from T6 they become really fun to play. Not picking them because they've got slower torps, lower HP and weak AA at mid- and higher tiers.

CA/CLs: Here I'm almost on a fence: UK CL or US CL line. Both are good. But in UK line there are more fun to play ships (all good except T3, T5 and T9, vs US - good ships start at T7+). UK has torps and smoke, US has better guns and AA. Depending on the matchmaking and map one could perform a bit better than the other. But both are solid. If I must pick only one I'd go with UK because of torps. Sneaking on a BB from around the corner and delivering devastating strike is a pleasure unavailable to US CLs. So I'll go with UK CL line.

BBs: RU. Only T3 and T4 were historic ships. Everything else are paper projects and wild fantasies of WG Devs. They're as historic as Pokemons in Roman Empire. But in THIS GAME they come up very strong. They reward good positioning and punish mistakes. No gimmicks, very basic and sturdy ships, good at punching holes in other battleships. Limited repairs: probably patching holes in a ship with her heroic crew until they run out of men. In principle that is very Russian. Simple as a hammer, nasty as a sickle. I'll take this.

CV: I dislike CVs. But they're here to stay. And they're required to complete some of the campaign missions. Here's the difficult part: mid-tiers and top tier games are very different. But if T10 is a destination, and the rest of the tiers is the journey, then I'd pick IJN CVs. T4-T8 have better torps, better bombs, and decent HE rockets to hunt down DDs. They're stealthy and fast. Planes are more fragile and one need be more considerate how to use them. AP bombers require precise drop (same as GE CVs). It's more like a samurai sword and mastery of the weapon, than spray-and-pray US or UK planes with HE bombs and rockets (although Tiny Tims also require more skills to hit anything). That precision strike and high skill level which rewards you greatly is very Japanese, so I stick with IJN CVs.

I will agree on DD's except that the tier 5 and 6 are not fun but they do take more work than the other tier 5 and 6 DD's do to do well.

CL's, I agree that the RN CL's are good and once again disagree on the tier 5 and 9 not being good and most of they have a heal from very low tier.
For CA's I think that they all have their appeal.

BB's, I would say that the US are the most user friendly even if not the best and that the French come in a close second.

CV's The US is the best in an all around sense because the IJN have the problem of only having one reliable way to attack DD when the need arises although their AP dive bombers will tear up cruisers and BB's. The RN and German lines have oddball attack methods for some of their planes and suggest learning the more vanilla methods that both the US and IJN have first.

Edited by BrushWolf
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Ijn hugmo line. Best gun/torp combo and decent smoke.

probly sov heavy cruier cause petro was (is?) op. Plus having and understanding radar wins games.

britbb cause conq is a beast and fun to play. He for days, super superheal and ap that will surprise whoever goes broadside. Very fun ship to play.

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5 hours ago, gbgentry said:


Common mistake.  The UK actually has faster TBs and DBs than USN does.

Marginally, yes, but the rocket planes are significantly slower, to the point the average player won’t really notice the difference in the former, but in the latter case it’s huge.

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No premiums ??? Easy...

  • DDs
    • IJN Torp DDs
      • I love to torp the fatsos
  • Cruisers
    • RU Cruisers
      • I love to burn the fatsos...
  • BBs
    • German BBs
      • If I had to be a Fatso, she better have torps...
  • CV...
    • Only in PTS baby... You will never see me in a CV on the live server ever...
      • After patch 0.8.0....
Edited by Navalpride33
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DD hard choice. USN are really good at everything. Great team dds. I hated the Benson but Mahan, Fletcher and Gearing are great. Both IJN lines are great especially t8 and up. 
However give me the KM dds. Great hybrid dds. Loved the line. 
 

CL VMF. Especially when it had Kirov but still those light cruisers have great guns

CA toss up with KM and IJN

BB MN. Fun line

CV Merica 

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21 hours ago, The_Longest_Torpedo said:

This topic is old as WOWS itself, but with each rework and recently added IT BB line let do a quick refresher.

If you're to pick just 4 lines of each tech tree ship class, what would they be and why? I.e. one destroyer, one cruiser, one battleship and one aircraft carrier line, all the way to T10. No premiums!

My picks to kick off the discussion:

DDs: US. Although T5-T6 are not fun at all, and T10 is hardly better that T9, I find most of US DDs easy to play. They're reliable all-round performers. There are DDs that do something else done better than US, but generally US DDs for me deliver consistent results. But it's a victory by points, not by a knockout. UK DDs are very close second, starting from T6 they become really fun to play. Not picking them because they've got slower torps, lower HP and weak AA at mid- and higher tiers.

CA/CLs: Here I'm almost on a fence: UK CL or US CL line. Both are good. But in UK line there are more fun to play ships (all good except T3, T5 and T9, vs US - good ships start at T7+). UK has torps and smoke, US has better guns and AA. Depending on the matchmaking and map one could perform a bit better than the other. But both are solid. If I must pick only one I'd go with UK because of torps. Sneaking on a BB from around the corner and delivering devastating strike is a pleasure unavailable to US CLs. So I'll go with UK CL line.

BBs: RU. Only T3 and T4 were historic ships. Everything else are paper projects and wild fantasies of WG Devs. They're as historic as Pokemons in Roman Empire. But in THIS GAME they come up very strong. They reward good positioning and punish mistakes. No gimmicks, very basic and sturdy ships, good at punching holes in other battleships. Limited repairs: probably patching holes in a ship with her heroic crew until they run out of men. In principle that is very Russian. Simple as a hammer, nasty as a sickle. I'll take this.

CV: I dislike CVs. But they're here to stay. And they're required to complete some of the campaign missions. Here's the difficult part: mid-tiers and top tier games are very different. But if T10 is a destination, and the rest of the tiers is the journey, then I'd pick IJN CVs. T4-T8 have better torps, better bombs, and decent HE rockets to hunt down DDs. They're stealthy and fast. Planes are more fragile and one need be more considerate how to use them. AP bombers require precise drop (same as GE CVs). It's more like a samurai sword and mastery of the weapon, than spray-and-pray US or UK planes with HE bombs and rockets (although Tiny Tims also require more skills to hit anything). That precision strike and high skill level which rewards you greatly is very Japanese, so I stick with IJN CVs.

I think there is too much variance to say that one dd line is better than the rest, so I will split them into gunboats and torpboats. UK CL are one of the worst ship lines in the game and they have been severely powercrept. RU BBs are ok but nowhere near the best line for randoms play, the guns are way too inconsistent. And im going to pretend CVs dont exist.

Here are the best ship lines to play currently:

Torpedo DDS: US DDs. They have some of the best torps in the game, combined with really good reload and conceal. Pretty much everything you would ask for from a torpedo destroyer. Also has one of the best smokes as a bonus.

Gunboat DDS: IJN gunboat dds. Now the gunboat dd pick is probably the most debatable out of my picks because it really does come down to personal preference at that point.

Cruisers: US CA. The des moines was and still is the best tier 10 crusier all around, and the grind to get her is, simply put, amazing. Pretty much every ship on the line is overpowered for her tier.

Battleships: US BB. A mainstay of both comp and randoms, montana is the best all around battleship. It has arguably the best guns at tier 10, it has some of the best armour at tier 10, and it is incredibly tanky with the heal. 

 

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  Interesting thread.  I'll begin with 2 caviats:

  My experience in CV's is VERY limited- I'm guessing 3 dozen games max.  Additionally,  ALL but one of mine were obtained via missions or crates etc- with Langley being the sole exception.   I don't especially like playing them, suck rocks at them,  and have done essentially no levelling up.   Thus no recommendation!

  I play Co-op 98% of the time.  The rest is in Ranked, clans, and the occasional Random match.   My last OPS match was more than a year ago- and it will stay that way, since WG has effectively abandoned the mode.   I'm bored to tears with the handful of ops that are left, and when I do remember they're there (lol), it's always Newport- which I've always disliked.

  I said that to say this:  My picks are for the mode I play- Co-op.   YMMV, if you're looking for a line to grind in Randoms.

DD:  I'll agree with several of the posters above,  my pick for best first/only line to run all the way to tier 10 is US.   And for the same reasons:  They're good enough at everything to at least be relevant in the majority of games.   Great, long lasting smoke is their "best at" quality.   They also have very good guns, high rate of fire, speedy traverse, and typically well placed for good fields of fire.  Both types of ammo are above average to good, but not best in class.   You DO have to learn to use the guns effectively, as the shells are slow, and they aren't long range spammers.  (unless the target is huge, clumsy and/or distracted)   Once you do, they become pretty deadly- esp at close range.   Torps are initially short to med range, but they hurt, and you often get a lot of them.   At high tiers, the line shifts towards a more torpedo oriented ship, and you get longer ranged fish.   AA- for whatever it's worth these days- is usually decent to pretty good, once you get out of the WW1 and interwar ships.   Mostly due to those dual purpose 5" guns.    Low to mid tier, they're generalists- and can do well  gunboating OR torpedo chucking.   Great for dealing with enemy DD's, and contesting caps.   Starting at tier 8, the focus shifts strongly towards torpedo boats with good guns.   Benson can have a bit of a learning curve, while you adjust your play, lol.  It's VERY worth it, though.   Fletcher is more of the same- but better.  Gearing is almost edging towards pure torpedo boat- mainly thanks to it's fantastic torpedoes, and the meta up there.  (for pewpewpew!!!  you really want to look at IJN gunboats or French DD's esp)   The other main reason I picked this line, is because I liked each and every one of them!   Nicholas , Mahan, and Benson being major favorites.

  I know the OP didn't ask, but- a fringe benefit of this line, is that there are a large number of premiums covering most tiers- and nearly all are good.  Some are REALLY good.   So you can get captain trainers; first win farmers, and/or alternate options all the way up.

  Runner up:  French.    This one is very much a matter of taste, as they are very different from the other lines.  And that's why I like them!   FAST gunboats with rather good torpedoes as well.   They trade smoke for a main battery reload booster.   In play, you're essentially a tiny light cruiser w/o the citadel.   Made to hunt other DD's.   Stealth isn't the best, but you are a GUNBOAT- your guns will be firing a lot,  making you UNstealthy anyway, lol.   Very fun to play, for adrenaline junkies like me.  Kleber is considered one of the better tier 10 DD's, and worth the grind.

Honorable mentions:  RN and Germans.   I'm only on tier 6 with the trees, but have a large collection of early releases and/or premiums for both lines- up to tier 8.    Solid lines.   They are both tending towards the all-rounder type, like the US.   I'm working on these now, and really like both.    The Germans have hillariously good AP,  like the cruisers.

 

Battleship.   Again, I'm going to go with the US line- the original one.   ESPECIALLY as a first grind.    They're user friendly- easy to learn, and their performance increases with player skill.   They also have, for the most part, excellent guns;  good health and tankiness;  Very good AA; and are fairly maneuverable.    They DO require some skill and attention to get the best out of their armor (they like an active hand- not a sit and tank style), but by the time you get well into the mid tiers it'll be second nature.    They start out slow and fat,  but turn better than many of their contemporaries- and have faster turning turrets.   The guns are solid, and reasonably accurate.  (no BB is truly accurate in the lower tiers- all will troll the hell out of you)   Each ship builds upon the last consistently, until you finish Colorado.  They share the same playstyle, and use the same captain skill builds.- mid range brawlers, that reward an active, aggressive playstyle.   They hit like trucks, too.   AA starts coming into it's own around Colorado as well.    From there,  I STRONGLY recommend going with North Carolina, and running that line to the end first.   

  These are different animals entirely- Fast battleships!   Long and narrow, as opposed to short and wide.   3x3 turrets, until Montana at tier 10 which gets a second turret aft for a 12 gun broadside.   AA takes a big leap forward in power, as does the main battery accuracy and hitting power.    It takes some time to adjust to the speed, handling and different playstyle,   but once you do, these BB's are freaking beasts!    You also gain considerably better armor protection in the bow- but are a bit more vulnerable in the flanks.   Secondaries are okay, but nothing special.  Mainly for adding some chip and fire damage.   Like the prior ships, they share a basic playstyle and build upon each other.   Iowa is a freaking monster, and Montana also- but in a different way.  

  Runner up:  French (again!)   This line is less uniform, you kinda get a bit of everything ship design-wise.   They tend to have slightly smaller main guns, with poorer accuracy than the US- but often make up for it in number of barrels, and speed.   Lyon, at tier 7 has 16 guns!!- and a 27 kt top speed.   LOTS of secondary guns is another hallmark, as well as better than average AA.   These, too are easy to play, FUN, and generally pretty good ships.   The line is, imo, good all the way up.    The tier 9 is a HUGE favorite of mine.  (surpassed, really, only by the premiums Jean Bart, and Bourgogne)   Again, a line of general duty battleships- with no major specialties, or glaring flaws to balance those out.

  I agree, for the most part, with the Soviets being a good line too.   They ARE basic and deadly effective.   I gave the above 2 lines the nod, because I find them more FUN to play.

Cruisers.  Here the waters get much more muddy.    There are a lot of really good cruiser lines.    I'm a lot more hard pressed to pick just ONE...   So I'm going to cheat, lol- and pick TWO.   It still adds up to 4 lines, right?

Light cruisers:   US line is hands down my favorite- mainly because of the GUNS.   Aside from the tier 4 and 5, they don't get torpedoes- so WG gave them better guns, and excellent consumable options instead.   As a side benefit, they aren't as glass cannon-y as the Brit, French, and Soviet lights, either.    Again, all are good- and tier 6 up, they share a pretty straitforward playstyle:  blow the hell out of things with your guns.   Enjoy the fireworks show when CV's get too close.   Both ammo types are good- don't forget  about the AP!!   Good rate of fire, and usually a large number of barrels, too.   No gimmicks here- just strait up gunships.

Heavy cruisers:  Here you have my true loves!   And a much tougher decision.   I tend to lean towards German and US with Japan being the first runner up.   French are too easily crushed for my taste;  Soviets are even worse- until you get to tier 10;  Italians are just... eh. not to my taste.  

 Brits are too new, and I'm only on tier 6- but I LIKE it!  They also are a much better choice for a 2nd or third line- once you've learned how to play heavy cruisers.

  Germans are tough.  they get turtleback armor which helps a lot vs other cruisers.   They have very accurate guns with great AP.   HE is decent, but not much more.   Short ranged torpedoes- but lots of them- and they get very generous firing angles.   Best hydro.   Average AA.   The tier 10 is VERY much worth the grind, and one of my all time favorites.   The only downside is that Hipper and Roon are both kind of vanilla, and not that exciting to play.   Roon has that annoying backwards armament, too.

US:  Start out very fragile, with Pensacola, and end with an 8" machine gun called Des Moines.   EXCELLENT guns!!   They're accurate, both ammo types are good, and they hit like trucks.   I use them as cruiser smushers, and citadel crushing machines.    Pensacola makes up for it's irritating flimsiness, slow traverse, and horrid stealth with 10 of these 8" rifles.  Challenging to survive in and master, but an excellent cruiser trainer because of it.  The tier 7 is a significant improvement- and they just keep getting better.   Great AA too.

  I guess I'd give the nod to the Germans-  the extra survivability really helps,  and they have that extra short range torpedo punch, if something gets too close.    It's a VERY close thing though- I love my US CA's too.

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Once upon a time I played nothing but randoms, then almost all co-op. Now its probably 90% co-op, with what's left divided between Ops, Randoms, and Ranked... probably in that order.

I'm also still leveling several lines, so that's going to color my opinions as well.

I'll look at CVs first: based on my vast knowledge of having not played them since the rework I'll just have to pass on giving an opinion. 

BBs, well, I was having the most fun with the Germans, having gotten that line up to Bismarck. I'm not really a fan of the slow reloads and sluggish handling of them, so I rarely play. The USN line thru Montana seems like the best choice honestly, just not really my jam.

For Cruisers I'm favoring the USN CA and CL lines, great guns, good AA, decent at pretty much anything. 

The UK heavy cruisers seem to be a good amount of fun as well, but I'm only up to about tier 7 or so in them. My opinion may change as it goes up, lol.

I was looking thru my inventory yesterday and noticed I have Bionic permanent camos for tiers 6,7 and 8 of the French CL line, so I've decided to try them out and see how they feel. No judgment yet though.

DDs were my first love in this game. The IJN line was my absolute favorite, and saw my first 19 point captain. I played them primarily as torpedo boats (prior to the line split and CV rework). When leveling the USN line I realized that the USN DDs were better torpedo boats, the mechanics working on the guns knew what grease was for so the turrets turn the same day the ship does, and they actually had some AA. 

TLDR:

CV - meh 

BB - USN

CL - USN

CA - USN

DD - USN

I'm sending a trend there, lol.

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From a purely co-op POV (and mostly tier 6):

DD: Japanese gunboats. I LOVE the Akizuki. For mid-tier, I really like the USS Farragut.

CA/CL: Leander and Chester are my faves. If you like tier 6, pretty much all of the cruisers are good, though.

BB: I really like the Iowa. Like, a lot!

 

 

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