Hello ladies and gents!
This guide is going to be geared towards the new player. It is one thing for us to point you at a Tier 10 and say "this is going to be perfect as your first Tier 10". What I want to do is point out the 'Icons of WoT' that you will find along the way.
These tanks are icons for a myriad of reasons. Unique Mechanics. Real world history. They could be a ton of fun to play. Sometimes, they are just so bad, you need warned ahead of time.
I will be presenting to you each nation, and giving you 3-5 tanks from each that you, as a new player, should try to experience playing – or in some cases – avoid playing at some time in your playing career. I will be using the following criteria in my choices:
- Must be at lowest Tier V, and at highest Tier IX. While there are several fun tanks at tier IV and lower, and many iconic Tier X's, tier V to IX is where you will spend the majority of your time in game, so this is where I am concentrating on.
- They must currently be in the tech tree. Yes, there are many fun/unique tanks that are now collector tanks in the collector store (you have to have a tank of the same nation/tier unlocked to get access to these tanks). There are even many awesome and fun premiums out there. But for the purposes of this guide, I am going with tech tree only.
- I will describe why they are icons and why I believe you should experience playing them or even keeping in garage.
- I am human and can't keep my opinions fully out of this. So in that stead, I hope that our community can also chime in and add in their opinions on some iconic tanks that they think I overlooked.
These will be in no particular order. These are just tanks that are iconic. Hopefully, once you play them, you will find out why!
|M4A1||A classic vehicle. The M4 Sherman is one of the most well known tanks in history. In game, it is quite decent in its historical setup with the 76mm. However, this tank comes into its own with the 105mm howitzer mounted. No, you will not always have great games in it. However, it is rare to come away from a match without at least 1 laugh from a massive damage roll when a HE round from your howitzer hits and penetrates your enemy. This is a fun one to keep around for occasional credit grinding or random low/mid tier lols.|
|T29||While only a test-bed in real life, this tank has become a monster in this game. Even from the earliest days of WoT, this has been very powerful. The turret is nigh impenetrable frontally by anything it can face. It has a good 'stock' configuration with the 90mm from the M6 Heavy the tier before. Fully upgraded, this is one of a handful of tanks in this game that you can single handedly control the match in, even when bottom tier. Good in a beginner's hands. Monstrously overpowering in a good player's hands. This heavy will almost assuredly help you appreciate learning the art of hull-down.|
|T49||There are some amazing scouts in this game. This is not one of them. There are amazing combat lights in this game. This is not one of them. There is only 1 King of Derp. This is not him. Let me introduce you to the Prince of Derp. This is one of the tanks where it isn't the best at anything other than being a rush of excitement and fun almost every time you take it out in a match. The ability to speed along side of and/or behind an opponent, then tick off 1/2 or more of their health in a single hit? Evaporate enemy light tanks in a single shot? That is what this is about. Far from the best scout. However, easily one of the most fun light tanks you will ever play. Well worth keeping in garage just for the lol-factor alone.|
|T95||There are many TD's that are technically 'better' vehicles. There are, however, none more intimidating. Affectionately known as "The Doom Turtle" for good reason. You can solo hold a flank against insurmountable odds, because people are afraid to push you. You are nigh invulnerable frontally and will laugh as enemies donk shot after shot into you as you absorb it all without losing a single HP of damage. Yes, it is slow. Yes, it has weaknesses. In relation to WoT, it is still probably the most iconic TD in this game. This is a TD that you will learn to be cautious of, as the first time you make the mistake of wondering in front of one in a match, you will learn a very painful lesson.|
|M44||Who said I couldn't call an arty iconic? You want to be hated? You want to be cursed at? You want people to tell you how they hope that you and all your family die of aids, cancer, being raped, or name-your-terrible-end? This is the vehicle for you. Great at earning credits. Often called one of the most OP/broken vehicles in the game. Whether you love arty, hate arty, or just don't care either way, you have to admit, this one stands out.|
|Rhm.-B. WT||There are some really iconic TD's in the German tree; almost all of them for historical reasons. However, for gameplay reasons, this one takes the strudel. A tissue in a hurricane has more armor. What makes this one stand out is the turret and 2 great gun choices. You can't go wrong with either gun, but my personal opinion is to use the 15cm for the lols. It is worth keeping in your garage. It is very powerful in the right circumstances, and it is rare that the 15cm gun won't give you at least 1 smile per match.|
|Tiger I||In a tree full of historically significant tanks, one of them has to stand out. While not well armored compared to its peers, it has one of the best DPM's tier-for-tier in the game. It has an amazing ability to whittle away tons of health before the enemy even realizes it is gone. One of the first tanks people often admit to grinding to because of how famous it was from WW2. Don't expect the armor to save you. If you can keep safe while letting the gun sing – you should have some memorable matches before you move up to the recently buffed big brother Tiger II.|
|E-50||A tree full of historically significant tanks, and I go with a tank that is at best a paper concept? You can keep your Panther's and Tiger's. I – and many others in the game before you – take a sick and twisted joy out of ramming an enemy to death. One of the 3 or 4 best tanks for ramming in the game, you will find yourself grinning savagely as you slam into the enemy and do 500, 600, 700, even upwards of 1k damage on a lightly armored opponent. It doesn't happen very often, but the opportunity will arise, you will take it, and you will love it.|
|VK 100.01 P||A heavy tank that isn't the Tiger 2, or other historical icon? No. This is a proto-Maus. It has absurd amounts of armor. Properly angled, it can even shrug off Tier 10's like they are nothing – if they are guilty of auto-aiming. It is slow as molasses. The stock gun works surprisingly well, and the top gun is beastly when top tier. When top tier against VI's and VII's, you are practically unkillable. Yes, people want the Maus because of how absurdly armored it is. However, this one is more absurd, considering the amount of armor it has against the opponents it gets to face.|
|Leopard PT A||'German Accuracy' is a meme in this game. However, this is the tank that defines it. What used to be a tank nobody wanted, WG buffed it and it suddenly became a mobile murder-mobile. Great gun handling, great mobility, all tempered a bit with armor that is about tough as a soft, fluffy pillow. Even after recent nerfs to undo what WG felt to be an overbuff, it is still considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, mediums at tier 9 in the game.|
|KV-2||Average armor. As quick as an one-legged cheetah. As stealthy as an elephant with bad gas. The KV-2 just doesn't care. Top or bottom tier. Open or city map. If there is ever a tank that I believe that every single player in this game should have in their garage, it is the KV-2. Once you fully research this out, you will start to realize why there are so many videos from content creators that feature the tank we lovingly call "The King of Derp". It is nearly impossible to play this tank and be mad. If you ever need a pick-me-up – KV-2 is here for you.|
|T-34-85||Based on a variation of one of the most famous tanks of WWII, this medium tank will captivate you and have you begging for more. If there was ever a perfect introduction to medium tank play, this is it. Mobility is high. It has armor that can work in the right situations. Gun choices galore. Even better? This leads to many of the most beloved high tier mediums in the game. If you want a medium tank branch to go down first – choose this, and you will likely be 100% satisfied|
|T-54||From an icon of WWII to an icon of the Cold War. In the beginning of WoT, this was known as the UFO – the netcode was so bad, that this tank appeared to 'teleport' around the battlefield. Now, it is easily one of the most dominant – in a good player's hands – tanks in the entire game. High mobility, good armor, and gun choices that will leave you satisfied. There are many who keep this in garage with a good crew, even after unlocking the Object 140 at tier X. It is absolutely a keeper.|
|IS-3||In a tree full of memorable and iconic heavies, it is hard to be more memorable than this. Trollish armor. Powerful Gun. Decent mobility. This is a heavy many folks will tell you they enjoyed – and for good reason. This one will likely give you a lot of fond memories as you work your way up to Tier X.|
|S-51||Another arty? Has Private_Public gone mad? Nay, I say! Nay! After changes to SPG's over the years, this is not the dreaded and fearsome armageddon machine it used to be. It no longer 1-shots even Tier 10's with impunity. However, for many players, this is the first SPG where you cross the 200mm size mark with a gun. It is slow, with terrible gun handling. You play this for one reason only – the splash radius and damage potential can cause grins for you, and many curses flung your way post-match.|
|Black Prince||The UK tree has some really great and memorable tanks that are great fun to play. This one is an icon for a different reason. It is almost universally agreed upon as one of the worst heavy tanks tier for tier in the game. I personally loved it (then again, I'm daft in the head and love bad tanks). The mobility is bad. The armor only sort of works when top tier. The gun will have you crying many salty tears for how anemic it is. However, it is definitely all worth it, as Tier VIII+ in this branch are all good-to-great.|
|Conqueror||The Centurions are icons for historical reasons, so it is hard to keep them out of this list. This is an icon because of gameplay reasons. Years ago before changes to the tree, this was a rough stock grind. Now, this is one of the easiest stock grinds at Tier IX. Fully upgraded, this heavy is more powerful than many Tier X tanks. It also includes a British mainstay – HESH rounds (HE rounds with high pen) that lets you do nasty things to tanks that have light armor or if you catch them in the side/rear. Take what you have learned about playing hull down and abuse it, here. You will find it pays off as you bounce shot after shot.|
|ALL UK Lights Tier 5+||I have a soft spot for the Covenanter in my heart. I still find it fun to play. But my goodness, is the rest of the branch made of rotten haggis. Some people will defend the Tier X as being "OK" and fun to play. However, the rest of the line to get there will have you hating yourself and wondering why WG would ever purposely try to ruin an entire tech tree with the stench of a single branch this bad.|
|Tortoise||In a line full of heavily armored TD's with high DPM, this is easily the highlight. Tough enough to brawl up close with heavies. Accurate enough to snipe from range. 2nd highest DPM in the game. After buffs to this TD, it has become a gem that many people come to highly appreciate. While the Badger a tier up is more of the same, it just doesn't quite have the same magic.|
|Cromwell||I would be remiss to leave this off the list. Have you ever heard of the concept "spray and pray"? This tank epitomizes that concept. It has a selection of guns that have such bad soft stats, it can't hit a target while on the move, with the target taped to the end of the gun barrel. The real joy in this tank comes when played in platoons of 3. You can swarm an enemy at close range with high mobility. With 3 guns and a high right of fire, you will be draining enemy HP so fast, they are back to garage before they can blink. Good alone. A monster in a platoon.|
|AMX 65T||I hated this tank. Everyone else who has played this tank hates it. You will hate it. If there was an award for 'worst tank in the game', this is surely it. This is a heavy tank with no armor, no mobility, and turrets that don't make up for it. It has gun handling that makes you want to gouge your eyes out with spoons made of sandpaper. If this tank had good mobility, it would be fine. If this tank had the armor to back up the poor mobility, it'd be fine. Without either, this is the most putrid tank in this entire tree, and possibly, the entire game. However, the tier IX and X past it are both definitely good.|
|Lynx 6×6||Until this point, the wheeled lights in this tree haven't been anything of note other than having an awesome anti-scout HE round. This is where you first get access to the high-mobility mode you will come to learn to both love and curse as you play up the tree. This will give you taste of what is to come.|
|AMX 13 90||When I first obtained this vehicle, it was a Tier VII light. Through the years (and expansion to the trees), it has seen time at tier VIII and now tier IX. It is far from the best scout. However, mid-late game, it is probably one of the most dangerous, as you suddenly become capable of possibly removing multiple tanks from the field in a single clip. In this tank, you are able to quickly turn the tide for your team in a tight match.|
|AMX 50 100||It is not a great heavy. It has no armor. It is large. It has a very slow clip load time. However, what this tank excels at is teaching you to conserve your HP, and to be careful on your trades. If you play your cards right, you are now one of the most deadly tanks in the game in the late match. With the ability to do 1800 damage in just a few seconds, you can in a single clip remove 2, 3, 4, or more tanks so quickly, that a tight match is suddenly blown wide open. Be cautious at the start of the match, go wild late match. A good tank to learn an appreciation for how powerful autoloaders can be in 'crunch time'.|
|AMX M4 51||How do you follow up possibly the worst tech tree tank in the game? The WG way – one of the best heavies in the game. Extremely strong frontal armor. 2 good guns that give 2 playstyles – brawling action, or aiming for overmatches on highly angled turret roofs or Swedish TD's. While many do not like the Tier X nearly as much, this heavy proves that the French are the best lovers. It will treat you right every time you take it out for a date.|
|Skoda T 25||Pretty quick. Turns about as well as yak with a rocket stuck to it's back. The autoloader, along with the extremely fast reload, make this a great credit grinder in a good player's hands, and a very deadly opponent on the battlefield. Unfortunately, to get to the next good tank in the tree, you have to put up with some terrible times.|
|TVP VTU||Speaking of terrible times, this is it. While the Tier VII is bad in its own right, this one is takes the bad to a new level. While I liked it (I tend to like 'bad tanks' as it is fun for me to find something positive about them), I'm the oddball here. Take the Tier VI premium Skoda T40. Stick it at Tier VIII with a slightly better gun. That is all you need to know.|
|Skoda T50||Sometimes, the grind is bad and there is never a payoff. In this case, there is a massive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. While buffs to other medium tanks have curtailed enthusiasm for this medium tank some, it is still considered one of the most powerful mediums in the game. It is highly mobile, has very quick damage burst with its autoloader, and quickly reloads its clip, allowing you to keep up the pressure. If you are willing to put up with tier VII and VIII being terrible, then your payoff is 100% worth it.|
|O-I||There is a King of Derp. There is a Prince of Derp. This is the cheap Japanese Imitation Derp. It is massive. It is slow. It is heavily armored. Just like the KV-2, it just doesn't care what match it is in. Also, you will likely be using the same 15cm howitzer up to Tier VIII, so get used to it. You also will learn to get used to seeing your hit-log in match be full of premium rounds, as people just do not bother searching for your weak spots.|
|Chi-Ri||A medium tank larger than many heavy tanks in the game. Decent mobility. Armor that couldn't stop a butterfly from penetrating if it lands too hard. Despite all of this, many who play it fall strangely in love with it. It has one of the more unique guns in the game: a 3 shot autoloader that does low damage, but that loads extremely quickly. I personally never understood the thrill, but many swear by it. Maybe you too, will one day play this tank and fall in love.|
|Type 4 Heavy||Armor that works until it doesn't. That is often the kindest thing people say about this heavy tank. If you are top tier against Tier VII's and VIII's, you are probably going to have a good time. Against Tier IX and Tier X? You are an XP Piñata. More frustrating than fun to play. However, those rare good games may just keep you coming back for more.|
|WZ-132||In a game where 'traditional' light tanks are falling by the wayside, this one still holds its own. A better medium tank than the equal tier medium of the same tree. When the light tanks got an overall general nerf, this one was barely touched. It is a good light tank. While you may never go past it in the branch, you will probably appreciate it for what it is capable of. One of the more powerful combat lights in the game.|
|WZ-111 1-4||People tend to ignore the Chinese tree because of 'copycat syndrome'. I believe that is a mistake. This is one of my personal favorite heavies in the game, and a favorite to many who play it. Mobile, hard hitting, and a decent turret. A heavy that you can play like a medium, and out-slug those same mediums you raced to face. It is a bit of a grind to get there, but the 130mm gun on this heavy turns you into a deadly anti-medium.|
|T-34-2||In a tree of forgettable tanks, this one gives the AMX 65T of the French tree a run for its money as worst tank in the game. On paper, it is attractive. It is mobile. It has decent armor and a great turret. It has good guns with a lot of alpha damage. In reality once you play it, it all falls apart. This is one of the worst grinds in the game. With upcoming buffs to this branch, things might change.|
|25TP||Fully upgraded, this should be a good tank. It is mobile and has a good gun for the Tier. This problem is, to get there, you have to put up with one of the worst stock grinds in the game. If you are a new player, you won't have a bank of free xp built up to help unlock modules. One of the most frustrating grinds in the game, with a payoff being an OK, but not great, tank.|
|B.U.G.I.||This is a tank that shouldn't work. It is awkward and on paper, just doesn't look good. In practice, this is one of the more fun tanks you can play in this game. With a choice of a normal gun (with high alpha for a medium of the tier) or a howitzer for derp action – you will find a way to play it that works for you. While the rest of the mediums are considered 'blah' aside from the Tier X, this one might just find a new home in your garage.|
|50TP||Another one that on paper, just doesn't look exciting. However, fully researched, this is a hidden gem. Heck, Tier VIII and up on this branch are all hidden gems that people overlook because of the horrible grind to get here. The armor won't save often. However, when it does work, it works amazingly well. The top gun allows you to Hulk Smash enemies. Definitely worth the grind. The 60TP that follows has quickly become my personal favorite Tier X heavy tank.|
|UDES 03||Want to be a Norse Ninja? Want to be able to drive backwards faster than most tanks in the game can drive forwards? Want a gun so good, you almost never have to fire premium ammo, even at tanks 2 tiers higher? Want a unique mechanic that only a handful of other tanks in the game have? This TD is for you. While a MBT in real life, in game, this tank acts more like a tank destroyer (thus the designation as such). Both tanks following it are improvements on this vehicle. However, first loves stick with you as more memorable than your 2nd and 3rd loves.|
|Emil II||Want to be a heavy tank that is smaller than some light tanks in the game? Oh, want to add in invincible frontal turret armor, 10+ degrees of gun depression, and an autoloader to it? Look no further. While not a great heavy tank in its own right, when you get the chance to play hull down, you go from average to becoming Thor himself.|
|IKV 103||At the same time both the best and worst tier 5 TD in the game. When it works, it works. However, when it doesn't, oh boy does it not. It is also unique in that the best gun on it only fires HEAT. No AP. No HE. Only HEAT. If you can make it work and learn to aim for solid armor and not spaced armor, then the top gun lets you do silly things.|
|P.43||This is a medium tank that acts like a heavy. It brawls like a heavy. It hits hard like a heavy. It is as slow as a heavy. While not a great tank, as Shrek told Donkey "That'll do."|
|P.43 ter||Tier VII is usually pretty awkward. This tank is no different. However, the moment you unlock the top engine and mount it, you go from a middle-of-the-road medium to a hard hitting and very mobile medium. It may not be the best medium in the game, but it surely is up there for how much a simple tech upgrade can change the way you play/view a tank.|
|P.44 Pantera||Auto-reloader mechanic. That is all. Wait, you want me to say more? Seriously, the auto-reloading mechanic puts regular auto loaders to shame. You can play as a single shot medium and maintain DPM. You can dump your clip for a quick burst of damage. Fully upgraded, this medium is mobile, extremely versatile, and secretly, a good rammer. Even if you go no further in this tree, you will probably love this tank – especially if you like regular autoloaders.|