Hello everyone! I've seen lots of people on this subreddit asking about what tanks to grind for, what is meta, and what's changed in this game from when they last played, so I've decided to make a big ol' post with as much info as I can, and try to answer everything that I've commonly seen on this subreddit. Hopefully if anyone has any questions regarding such things, this post can help answer it =)
Before I start please note that tank reviews and such are going to be my opinion. Obviously the meta tanks are going to be ones that are widely agreed on, but for tanks such as 'Best/Worst Tier VIII premium' there will obviously be some of my opinion. Feel free to disagree with me if you'd like =)
Now, onto the post:
'I'm returning to the game – what's in the game now?'
I'll do my best to sum up everything that you can see in the garage:
Campaigns: These are basically sets of missions that you can complete to receive special reward tanks. There are two Campaigns – one of which ends with the Obj. 260 final reward, and the other ends with the Obj. 279 (e) final reward. I'll summarize them both.
The first campaign focuses on doing exceptionally well in different tank classes in order to complete the missions. There are four tanks to unlock, and you must unlock them in order. Each tank requires 15 missions from each class to unlock, so you need to complete 75 missions per tank.
The tanks to unlock from the first campaign are:
- Stug IV (a fairly mediocre Tier V German Tank Destroyer)
- T28 HTC (a pretty good Tier VII American Tank Destroyer)
- T55-A (an excellent Tier IX 'German' medium)
- Obj. 260 (an excellent Tier X Russian Heavy)
These missions will often relate to the class you're playing e.g getting spotting damage in a light tank, or blocking damage in a heavy tank. Once you complete all 15 missions of one class, you're awarded with a female crew member and a part for the tank you're trying to unlock. If you complete mission 15 with honours (basically fulfill a slightly harder requirement on top of the normal mission requirements) you'll get a mission order, which can be used to skip any mission you like. If you get 4 orders, you can use them all to skip an entire mission line that you don't like (most people usually skip the SPG missions using these, but it's up to you).
Campaign 2 works in a similar way, except the missions are now grouped together via nations, not tank classes. The nations are split four ways: Bloc (Germany and Japan), Alliance (Britain, America, Poland), Union (USSR and China) and Coalition (France, Sweden, Czech and Italy). Complete all 15 missions from all four groups and you'll get a tank. Like the first campaign, you have to unlock the tanks in order.
The tanks to unlock from the second campaign are:
- Excalibur (an alright Tier VI British Tank Destroyer)
- Chimera (a good Tier VIII British Medium)
- Obj. 279 (e) (an overpowered Tier X Russian Heavy – one of the best tanks in the game currently)
These campaigns are worth doing, not only for the rewards from each mission and the tanks at the end, but also the female crew members. Female crew have Brothers in Arms trained by default and have enough experience to get one crew skill of your choice. This can be incredibly useful for getting a commander instantly trained with Sixth Sense on one of your tanks.
Blueprints: These are a fairly new addition to the game that allow you to discount experience costs on tanks. Different tiered tanks require different blueprint costs, and get discounted differently, but the long and short of it is that if you get a blueprint for a specific tank, that tank's experience cost will decrease by a percentage (normally about 10%). If you get all the blueprints required for that tank, you can research it for free!
You can get blueprints for tanks by receiving them as daily rewards, so just play the game and complete the goals at the bottom left of your garage.
There are also universal and national blueprint fragments. These allow you to work towards creating blueprints for tanks you want. You'll need universal blueprints no matter what tank you're making them for, and national blueprints of the nation the tank is from. So if you want to discount a Japanese tank, you'll need universal fragments and japanese national fragments. The cost of creating these blueprints varies per tier, with the higher tier tanks costing more fragments to create.
Bonds: Bonds are a rare and special currency that you can receive in small numbers by completing daily missions. You also receive bonds from completing premium account missions, or by playing exceptionally well in Frontline or Ranked Battles. Bonds are used mainly for two things:
- Enhanced equipment – a special set of equipment that is better than normal equipment, and gives slightly higher bonuses. For example, a standard gun rammer without the equipment slot bonuses gives -10% to reload speed, an enhanced rammer gives -13.5% to reload speed. These pieces of equipment usually cost around 5000 bonds per piece, so it's expensive.
- Buying select tanks from the bond shop – there are a select few tanks in the bond shop that you can purchase for bonds. These range from lower tier rare premiums to clan wars reward tanks, and go from Tier V to Tier X. Some notable tanks here are the T26E5 Patriot, M60 and FV215b. These are all extremely expensive, and take either excessive Ranked Battles grinding or Frontline grinding, so get saving!
Equipment: I'll quickly cover this since it's a very new addition, but each tank above Tier V has a special equipment slot for its tank class. Light Tanks get a scouting slot, Mediums get a mobility slot, Heavies get an endurance slot and Tank Destroyers and SPGs get a firepower slot. Each equipment is placed under a certain class that defines what it does e.g a gun rammer is a firepower piece of equipment. Match the equipment to the slot in your class of tank, and you get a slight bonus (so a rammer goes from -10% to -11.5% in a firepower slot on a Tank Destroyer for example). It's still a new system so people are still messing with it and finding out what pieces combo well with others, so try it out for yourself and have fun!
'What tank line should I grind down?'
I'll sum up what tech tree tanks are meta and are friendlier to newer players. I'll also put what to avoid as it's either underpowered or outclassed. I will be discussing the top tier tanks in particular, although I'll mention if the tree has any real stinkers.
What is meta: The EBR 105. No questions. It's fast, has a punchy gun, ridiculously good for active scouting. Also has one of the best concealment values at high tier. However, the wheeled vehicles in general are very tricky to play properly, and the Tier VI sucks, so be careful if you're newer at the game.
Best for a new player: The Russian Light Tanks are fairly foolproof – they all have decent armour, good guns, exceptional mobility and are general good all rounders. The T100-LT is still seen competitively from time to time, and is an excellent scout for nearly all situations. All the tanks up the tree are also pretty decent, and once you get to Tier IX you'll really start to love them.
What to avoid: There are two biggies to avoid here: the Rhm Panzerwagen and the Manticore. The Rhm Panzerwagen has a pretty awful grind up to it (except the Tier IX, which is okay) and has the lowest win ratio at Tier X. The gun blooms a ridiculous amount, it has no armour and it's a huge target for a light tank. The DPM is also pretty bad.
The Manticore is very similar. Sure it's small, but the DPM is atrocious, the tank only holds 20 shells and the grind to it is not very fun, with the Tier VII tank being one of the worst tanks tier for tier in the game. I would not recommend it.
What is meta: The Obj. 430U is probably the best Tier X medium right now. It has enough armour to make heavies blush, a ridiculously strong turret, punchy alpha damage and exceptional camoflage, especially considering how well armoured it is. A good 430U player is nearly impossible to dislodge without artillery support.
An argument could also be made for the new STB-1, as it's fast, has insane gun depression and turret armour, exceptional DPM and is very sneaky too. However, I'd say the STB-1 takes much more skill to make work than the 430U.
Best for a new player: The 430U line is the same as the Obj. 140 line up to Tier IX, so you get two for one. And both lines are great. I'd say if you want to just faceroll, the 430U is the best. If you want to truly learn how mediums play though, the T-54 (and Obj. 140 to a lesser extent) is one of the best tanks to learn in. It has a bit of everything, and takes skill to make work. I also think it's much more fun than the 430U. The line that leads to them both is a solid medium line, with the only real sucker at Tier VII, but overall a nice line.
What to avoid: The only really bad Tier X medium line right now is the 121 and the Chinese mediums, which are all pretty mediocre. The Tier VII and Tier IX are okay, but the Tier VIII and Tier X suck. Other than that, the rest of the Tier X mediums are actually pretty well balanced.
What is meta: Tech tree wise, I'd say something like the Obj. 277 or the Super Conqueror. The Obj. 277 is ridiculously fast for a heavy, and has a punchy gun with decent DPM and handling. The Super Conqueror is slower, but has great gun depression, a near impenetrable turret and some of the best gun handling and DPM amongst Tier X heavies.
The true meta Tier X heavies are the T95/FV4201 Chieftan and the Obj. 279 (e) I discussed earlier. The Chieftan is a very heavily armoured medium more than a heavy and has one of the best consistent guns in the game. Also it has the best turret in the game. Obj. 279 (e) has ridiculous hull armour that is hard to penetrate even with gold, and also gets high DPM and good gun handling to boot.
Best for a new player: As far as forgiving heavies go, the IS-7 is one of the best. Fast, very nice armour scheme, great turret and a punchy gun. The IS-7 line is also very forgiving with some real gems in there such as the IS-3. Spaced armour on the sides makes it more forgiving if you get flanked and the high alpha allows you to pack a punch. Most of the russian heavy lines stem from this line also, so you get alot of value.
What to avoid: Both of the top tier French heavies are pretty mediocre now, especially after the Kranvagn got buffed around a year ago. I'd say the Japanese heavies as well, because of how much you get gold spammed driving them, but it heavily depends on the matchup, as some of the Japanese super heavies are literally impervious to lower tiered tanks.
What is meta: Tank Destroyers generally aren't very favoured by the meta right now, but the ones played with the most success have to be the OBj. 268 V4 and the T110E3. Both for the same reason – they are both ridiculously well armoured. T110E3 requires around 260mm pen to reliably go through frontally, and the 268 v4 has two very hard to hit frontal weakspots, with the rest of the tank pretty much being immune to damage. They also both have meaty guns that hit hard with good penetration.
Best for a new player: Honestly I'd say either of the meta TDs are also pretty easy to play. The 268 v4 is alot faster with an easier grind down the line, but the T110E3 punches harder. Up to you really. Keep your front pointed at where the damage is coming from and you'll be fine.
What to avoid: There are two main bad Tier X TDs. The Foch B and T110E4. Foch B has a terrible grind and very bad penetration for a Tier X TD. Sure the clip potential is hilarious, but realistically you don't get to dump it all into one enemy that often.
The T110E4 is a much more weakly armoured T110E3 with a worse gun and a turret. The only real redeeming factor about it is the alpha damage and penetration. There are alot of very average Tier X TDs, but none that I think are truly terrible other than these two.
Tbh, they are all pretty similar. I'd say avoid the French arty, but the rest are fine. I'm not a huge SPG fan personally, so maybe my opinion is a little biased, but they all do pretty decent.
'What Tier VIII premium do I get?'
This gets asked alot. What I'll do is make a list of the best and worst Tier VIII premiums. Obviously this is my opinion, so take it with a pinch of salt. Also, I am not factoring in their use as crew trainers, so bear that in mind. Most of these aren't on sale all the time, but I've included at least one tank that you can get all year round.
The best lights:
- LT-432. One of the best light tanks tier for tier in the game currently, and by far the best at Tier VIII. Has more armour than many of the mediums at tier, a punchy little gun, ridiculously stealthy and low profile, and somehow -7 degrees gun depression. Straight up outclasses many light tanks at its tier.
- M41 90mm+HWK 30. I've grouped these together because they are essentially the same tank.They both have exceptional DPM, good alpha, very good view range and high penetration HE shells that can shred other light tanks. Overall very solid tanks, with the only real downsides being their size.
- EBR 75 FL 10. The wheely premium. Great two shot autoloader, very fast, easily capable of carrying a team if driven by a good player.
The best mediums:
- Progetto 46. One of the best mediums at Tier VIII. One of the best guns you'll ever use, fast, manoeuvrable and the autoreloading mechanic makes it incredibly flexible. Can do anything. It has no armour however, so be careful with it.
- Centurion 5/1. Very effective on a ridgeline with a high penetration gun. Very good turret armour and upper hull, with good view range and decent mobility to boot. Only downside is it's a fairly large medium tank, but it's a hell of alot better than the tech tree Centurion.
- Bourrasque. Effectively a light tank with a medium tank gun. Insanely fast, insanely stealthy, excellent gun with great alpha and double tap potential. Incredibly high skill cap – a good player can easily carry a game with one of these. Quite hard to get to grips with the playstyle however, so not the best for a newer player.
- CS-52 LIS. A brand new premium, but one I think is extremely powerful. Effectively a T-44 with a bigger gun and a better turret. Flat out better than the tech tree Polish medium, has good alpha, DPM, mobility and enough armour to shrug off low tiers.
- T-54 Mod. 1. A seriously underrated medium in my opinion. The gun isn't the best, but has good handling and nice alpha. The armour is good enough to shrug off most lower tiers, it has a very nice turret, and it's very nimble. Kinda slow, but hey, turbocharger exists now =3 One of the best mediums for a new player to start learning in (although I wouldn't recommend buying a Tier VIII premium until at least you grind to Tier VIII down a tech tree first)
The best heavies:
- Obj. 252/Defender. Has a ridiculously powerful armour scheme for Tier VIII – is virtually inpenetrable by many lower tiered tanks, and even some of the older pref. mm premiums struggle against it. Also has a hard hitting gun with good penetration, making it a good credit earner.
- Obj. 703 II. Is great for very similar reasons to the Defender. Has better frontal armour than some of the superheavies at tier, and yet also gets some absurdly good gun handling (the hidden dispersion stats are incredibly good for a heavy tank). Can battle some Tier IX heavies comfortably and win.
- T26E5/Patriot. It's literally a better Pershing disguised as a heavy tank. Very good DPM, penetration, turret armour and gun depression. Also quite mobile for a heavy. Get this on a ridgeline and you're very hard to dislodge. This tank can be bought for bonds as well, meaning you don't have to pay real money to get one.
- E75 TS. Very fast, very heavy, pretty well armoured, exceptional turret and a good gun. One of the best tanks in the game for ramming with. It's a Lowe but better.
- Chrysler K. The tank that started alot of drama a few years ago, it has a super strong turret and a very strong lower plate. The gun also handles very well. One of the best side scrapers at tier. However, has bad penetration, so isn't great for making credits.
The best Tank Destroyers:
- WZ-120-1G FT. It's the WZ-120, a Tier IX medium, without a turret, downtiered. Very mobile for a Tank Destroyer, punchy, high DPM gun with alright handling, and very good frontal armour.
- Skorpion G. Ye, it had to be here. One of the best turreted TDs in the game in my opinion. Punchy gun, high DPM, great gun handling, very fast, great credit earner. Bad camo, but who cares =P
- SU-130PM. Basically a Russian Skorpion. Good for all the same reasons except hits even harder.
- TS-5. Very well armoured, very high DPM, great gun handling. Very slow, but can hold flanks all by itself thanks to the high DPM.
Now the worst:
The worst lights:
- T92. It's a Bulldog that's slightly better. That's it. The Bulldog is already terrible, and as the saying goes 'you can't polish a turd'. Just don't get it. Outclassed by most other lights at it's tier.
- M41 D. Bad for very similar reasons, except at least the T92 is low profile. Big target with a high dpm gun, but it's not high enough to justify using over the Black Dog or HWK 30. Just bad.
- Senlac. I mean, it's okay, but there's no reason to play it over the Black Dog. It's not like you'll be playing the British Lights anyway, so it's not even useful as a crew trainer. Not recommended.
The worst mediums:
- M46 Patton KR. It's a worse Pershing. The Pershing is already pretty mediocre and has been powercrept loads, so the Patton KR just looks even worse by comparison. Also has one of the worst aimtimes on a 90mm gun at Tier VIII for some reason.
- FV4202. I know alot of people love this tank, but I think it's pretty bad. Turret isn't nearly as well armoured as you think, it's not that fast, low DPM gun. It's just flat out worse than the Cent. 5/1. No real reason to play this thing.
- Panther 8.8. Whew. Just awful. It's got alot of health but that's the only redeeming feature. Huge poorly armoured target, bad gun handling, bad penetration. Stay away. The Pz. 58 Mutz is much much better if you need a German medium.
- M48A2 Raumpanzer/59-Patton. Again, grouping these because their one weakness is the same. I personally quite like these tanks, but I admit they are terrible because of one critical failing. THAT CUPOLA. They effectively have no armour, even if they do have decent stats everywhere else.
- AMX CDC. Very fast, with good penetration, but the gun handling kills it. Also has no armour at all. Again, I know alot of people love this tank, but personally I feel it's just worse than something like a Bourrasque.
The worst heavies:
- VK.168.01/Mauerbrecher. For a superheavy, it has too many weakspots. The cupola, lower plate, machine gun port. Add to the fact it weighs the same as half of Germany and it's stupidly slow means it's not great fun to play on a lot of maps either. The gun at least hits hard with good gun handling for the alpha it has though.
- KV-5. Yeah, I know this tank is balanced around not meeting higher tier tanks that often, but even against same tier tanks it suffers. EVERYONE knows about good ol' R2D2 on the front, and the gun's penetration isn't good enough, even after it got buffed a while back. It has exceptional DPM and decent handling on the gun though. I love the KV-5, but it just isn't competitive anymore. On the plus side, it has one of the best credit multipliers on any premium in the game.
- WZ-111. Again, I know it's balanced around pref. mm, but the 112 is too, and the 112 is alot better than this thing. The armour on the 112 is at least competitive – the WZ-111 has very weak armour. The lower plate can be penetrated easily, and the gun doesn't have enough penetration to contest equal tier heavies.
The worst Tank Destroyers:
- Kanonenjagdpanzer 105 (and technically the 90mm one too): If you want a stealthy, fast, accurate long range sniper TD, buy the Strv. S1. Hell, buy the SU-130 PM. They are both alot better at it than this thing. Laughably bad DPM, and a very trollish gun – it always seems to miss for me.
- AMX canon d'assaut 105: Bad for the same reasons as the KaJaPa 105. It's just worse than the Strv. S1 or SU-130PM when it comes to sniping. Also, as I've discussed, French TDs aren't exactly the best, so not as useful as a crew trainer.
And that's it. Congratulations if you made it to the end lol. I have probably missed some tanks, or some features, if I have, just comment and let me know. I know I haven't covered everything, but I've gotten as much as I think I can into a Reddit post at least =P