Soooo I grinded this line up ages ago out of curiosity and something to help with damage blocked missions. I started playing it again recently and noticed the HE change so I went with the AP gun and it's quite nice.
HOWEVER… tier 9/10 matches are very very very different these days with it.
I'm pretty much blapped off the field instantly with very little opportunity to make any kind of contribution to the game.
Massive hull, easily spotted and towering above and beyond everyone else, horizontally and vertically, flat surfaces everywhere, everyone can pen you. You can't angle it, even if you're off a tiny bit and the cheeks are flat. You've only really a chance in a city map realistically. Otherwise with the long aimtime and reload I'm lucky if I get off one or two shots. Even if you hang back, people still prioritise you, not like they can't miss either. I must look like christmas came early. People still expect them to lead the charge as well, on your own team. Not like you get any spotting damage even, barely able to travel any distance before you're spotted and blapped.
It seems like the meta has shifted drastically and the Jap heavies are just obsolete.