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Best tier 8 tanks
By RBS - 03/05/14

Ranking the tier 8 tanks, from worst to best.

My ranking criteria is the following:

  1. Game influencing – can this tank make a difference in the battle?
  2. Uniqueness-  can this tank do something that other tanks can’t?
  3. Carry potential – when it’s all on you to win, can the tank do it?
  4. Artillery isn’t rated as they are too bland to distinguish themselves
  5. “Fun” has nothing to do with this
  6. Tanks are listed starting with “worst” and moving down to “best”

DISCLAIMER

I’m sorry that tank you love is rated lower than you think it should be: I wish everything could be super-awesome.  When ranking something, there needs to be tanks at the bottom and tanks at the top.  If a tank doesn’t do anything that matters better than others, it goes at the bottom.

The rankings will also change based on a particular playstyle or goal, so don’t take this as gospel.  It’s a general ranking only and I try to spell out where I make assumptions.

FULL POTATO DIVISION

T-34-2full review – This is a case where the intangibles and hidden stats doom a tank.  On paper, the T-34-2 looks to carry the gun of a heavy (390 damage) on a mobile platform.  And that’s mostly what it is, but there are some huge problems.  First, both the 122mm and 100mm guns have terrible aim times, reticle bloom, and accuracy.  The 122mm combines those awful traits with terrible gun depression (-3 degrees) while the 100mm merely has acceptable gun depression.  So despite which gun is used, they are both well below average.  The platform is mobile enough and has that strong Chinese/Russian camouflage.  But without the gun, the mobility isn’t worth a whole lot.  The turret looks great with 180mm thick frontal armor, but the turret isn’t nearly as curved as a lot of other CH/RU tanks resulting in merely average protection.  The hull armor is non-existent.  So the tank can’t snipe due to terrible accuracy, can’t play in tradition medium spots due to poor gun depression, and has a hard time brawling with little armor.  To the bottom you go, T-34-2.

Lowe – Low mobility, OK alpha, and armor that’s negated by premium ammo.  And it catches fire with shots to the front.  Good god…

Tiger II - Low mobility, OK alpha, mediocre armor, and a playstyle that requires the King Tiger to sit in the back.  It’s a pile of “nope”.  Moved: see the #2 spot.

Panther II - For a sniping tank to succeed, it has to have one or both of the following as the bare minimum: alpha or damage per minute.  The Panther II has neither.  To succeed as a medium, the tank has to be capable of scouting for some amount of time.  Can’t do that either with poor terrain resistance and traverse.  The soft turret further limits its’ effectiveness in face-to-face engagements.  So, yeah, there’s no role that the Panther II can fill better than another tank.

Indien Panzer - A worse FCM in almost every way.  Worse fire control / aim time, worse mobility, and worse armor.  The base penetration is good, but that’s about it.  The gun depression limits the exposure time of the tank, but other tanks have gun depression as well as a whole lot more.

112full review – I have tried, and tried, and tried to make this tank work.  It doesn’t.  Terrible accuracy and a long aim time would be one thing, but the penetration is low too.  The premium round has 250mm of penetration but it’s a HEAT round which is much less impressive as it gets absorbed by tracks and doesn’t do well against angles.  The mobility of the tank is nice, as is the frontal armor if there are places on the map to hide the lower hull.  The front of the tank will bounce shots very consistently.  But if the tank can’t damage anything, who cares?

T28 – One of the least mobile tanks in the game, the T28 horrifyingly slow and incapable of straying too far lest the battle be over before the T28 even gets there.  The armor, while thick, is flat and vulnerable to premium ammo.  It’s not all a disaster, as the gun is reliable to snipe with and has good damage per minute.  Too bad the enemy has to come to the T28.

Centurion Mk I – Medium tanks with low mobility need to prove themselves in other ways (T54E1 has an autoloader, E-50M has armor), and the Cent doesn’t.  Solid turret with excellent gun depression and good base penetration, but very little else.

AMX AC MLE. 48 – Even though this tank is a strict upgrade over the AC 46, it still doesn’t have enough to get out of the basement.  The gun handling is just awful with painfully large bloom.  The alpha at 390 is good enough, as is the mobility of the platform.  The frontal armor of the tank is surprisingly good, giving it some survive-ability and options to play more of an aggressive role compared to its’ peers.  But the issue is that without a turret, being aggressive with a TD is difficult to accomplish.  Turreted tanks will hide most of their hull and be able to fire faster than the AC 48.  And as a sniper, other tank destroyers do it better.

Caernarvon – Let’s start with the good: the Caern has a tough turret, decently strong upper front plate, good gun depression, and good base penetration.  So when playing hull down, the tank is able to pull some tricks.  But when the tank isn’t hull down, the Caern can struggle against other heavies.  It’s very easy to go wrong in brawls and peek-a-boom situations when the enemy has twice the alpha, especially since the Caern doesn’t have a damage per minute advantage over anything it faces.

VK 45.02 – The idea of a mobile heavy tank is a pretty good one, but the idea is that it brings all of the advantages of heavies (alpha, penetration, armor) and adds mobility.  Well, the VK sacrifices alpha and armor in exchange for that mobility.  So the VK gets to a location and is unable to affect the battle when it gets there.  It can’t scout like a medium, nor brawl like a heavy.  But the mobility coupled with a workable gun is enough to put it above several tanks.

Super Pershingfull review – Labeled a “medium” tank, the Super Pershing is a heavy in disguise.  It gets heavy HP and spaced armor which is pretty effective with wiggling.  The mobility on the tank is very low, preventing it from reaching the battle or reacting to fluid situations.  The side armor is non existent, which is exacerbated by poor traverse: more mobile tanks will easily circle the Super Pershing in close encounters.  The gun is unspectacular, with low penetration for a “heavy” and with low alpha.  Rocking back and forth to make weak spots difficult to hit is recommended.  Against drunken, auto-aiming opposition, the Super Pershing can seem invincible.  But against good competition, the armor is useless and so is the rest of the tank.

PLAY FOR FUN DIVISION

Ferdinand - full review – At one time, the Ferdi was a pretty good tank.  With a strong casemate and powerful gun, the tank was able to make a strong contribution in the game.  The lower camouflage values were OK because the strong front stopped a lot of shells.  Fast forward to the introduction of premium ammo for credits, and that’s when the downfall of the Ferdi began: premium ammo goes right through the front casemate since it’s un-angled.  Neither the JP2 nor the JT88 have this problem as their casemates are angled and/or thicker, so their surviveability is unhindered.  But the Ferdi relied on that armor, and it was taken away.

AT-15 – I reluctantly put the tank this high even though the mobility is trash.  Statistically, the tank performs well enough despite all indications that it shouldn’t.  The armor is annoyingly terrible, with the mantlet able to be penetrated by auto-aiming.  Shots are able to bounce off of the front tongue below the gun and skip shots into the mantlet and deal damage.  The tank performs well as a sniper because the armor is more effective if the weakspots aren’t able to be hit.

T28 Prototypefull review –  The low mobility is certainly a downside, but the tank is more able to make a difference than some of the other tank destroyers once it gets to the fight.  This is due to the relatively strong frontal armor and turret.  The tank is vulnerable to premium ammo, but that turret allows the tank to hide behind cover and reduce the chance of getting hit.  The gun throws out solid damage per minute with good penetration and gun depression.  The camouflage is slightly above average but nothing super special.

T34 - full review – The T34 has a pretty good gun with excellent penetration, even though the aim time is stupidly long.  The platform has that tough frontal turret that makes it nearly invincible when hull-down, but the mobility is sorely lacking.  The nail in the coffin for the tank is the low damage per minute and terrible view range.  The T34 is blind as a bat even in tier 8 games, which is pretty awful as it sees tier 10 tanks.

T-44 – This tank has a poorer reputation than it deserves.  With excellent mobility (it’s a seriously good hill climber) and workable firepower (use the LB-1), that should translate into something decent… but in performance, statistically it’s near the bottom in every category.  The armor is almost non-existent but the tank has a very low profile.

KV-4 – In 7/42 battles or tank companies, the KV-4 isn’t going to be considered due to lack of mobility.  But in pub games, this thing is one of the toughest tanks out there.  Even the front lower plate, usually the weakest spot frontally, can bounce 175 penetration shots with regularity.  The side armor is surprisingly strong, especially when angled.  This is one of the premier steel-wall generating tanks in the game.  The gun is merely OK, with mediocre alpha / DPM/ aim time.  The mobility is certainly below average, which is why it’s not higher on the list.

WZ-132 – Since the removal of battle tier 12 (which were games only available to tier 10 tanks and scouts), I’ve decide to include the tier 8 light tanks in the rankings as they get the same matchmaking.  The WZ has camouflage which is basically cheating: one of the highest camo values in the game.   The mobility is excellent, even for a light tank.  However, the tank has what I call a “noob trap”: my preferred gun is the 85mm and not the 100mm guns because the shorter aim time is vital for less exposure in a big alpha tier 10 environment.  Most people won’t understand that and will automatically put the top tier on the tank, and it’ll hurt them.  While the preferred idea is to use that strong camouflage and take all the time you need to aim while hidden, that’s not always a possibility.  With the 85mm, it’s possible to snap shot with impunity.  I absolutely love the platform, but think the gun could be better.

STAT PADDER DIVISION

Object 416 - full review – Normally a rear mounted turret dooms a tank, but the Object 416 gets a tier 9 gun on a super-mobile platform.  The tank doesn’t have any armor or angles, but it’s as flat as a pancake and has that great Russian camouflage.  The damage per minute is excellent for a tier 8 tank at 2400, giving it the ability to snipe effectively.  The tank is slightly quirky in that it doesn’t have a lot of gun depression and the turret doesn’t rotate 360 degrees.

T32 - The T32 is another tank that benefits with gold spam as the base penetration is only 198, which doesn’t quite cut it when facing higher tier tanks.  The alpha is OK at 320 and the mobility is good enough for a heavy tank.  But the real strength of the tank is with that strong frontal turret and excellent gun depression, capable of holding its’ own against almost any opposition when hull-down.  The upper front plate is surprisingly resilient as well.  So if there’s nothing inherently wrong with the tank, why is it this low?  Because it doesn’t really push the envelope or have a big advantage over other tanks.

KV-5 - full review – A tricky tank to evaluate as it changes depending on regular or premium ammo.  The gun is decent, with solid damage per minute and OK fire control for a heavy tank.  But the penetration is pretty low at 167 with normal ammo, only getting up to 217 penetration with premium ammo.  The platform has a ridiculous amount of HP and is one of the tougher tanks to take down, even with the frontal weak-spot.  Even with gold spam, having tier 9 HP is still a lot for the enemy to chew through.  Hiding the R2D2 machine gun port in the front leads to silly things like reversing into combat (the rear of the tank is actually quite strong!).  The mobility is sub-par but roughly acceptable.  I put the KV-5 here assuming it’s shooting APCR almost full time.

Jagdpanther IIfull review – This is the tank that the AC 48 wanted to be: mobile, reliable gun with 490 alpha, and a strong upper casemate based on angles to bounce shots.  Some people are going to complain about the lack of hull armor, but that’s fixable: hull-down play is very effective in this tank.  The camouflage is just OK for a tank destroyer, just like the Ferdi.  There’s no real knock against the JP2, it’s just that despite how good it is, it’s still the 3rd best TD in tier.

FCM 50tfull review – One of the best “mediums” in tier, and a strong credit earner with preferential matchmaking to boot!  This is a tank that excels with proper play, and sinks with poor play.  The armor looks to be quite thin, but with proper angling and hull-down play it becomes acceptable.  The gun has excellent soft stats and is able to throw shots continuously with minimal exposure time.  Less exposure is a great thing, because every time the tank gets hit in the side hull or turret it’ll lose a crew member or module.  So it’s very important to keep the front of the tank pointed at incoming fire.  Making things a bit more complicated: the tank is huge.  It’s seriously big, and this limits some of the areas where its’ able to go on the map.  The funny part of the large size is that it’s heavy: it’s a great tank to ram enemies to death with.  This ranking is made on the assumption of above-average play, and drops substantially with lesser skilled play.

IS-6 - full review – When premium ammo was cheaper, the IS-6 was quite the tank as it could profitably shoot APCR constantly and still make credits.  With judicious APCR use, the IS-6 can still turn a small profit each game… but so can the IS-3 or 110.  The armor is very angular and offers good protection on the side, but still susceptible to gold spam.  The gun has solid alpha at 390, but the aim time and low accuracy bring down the tank slightly.  The mobility isn’t terrible, but it’s not the sprightliest tank out there.  So with all of the gold ammo spam, mediocre mobility, and difficult-to-work-with gun, the IS-6 isn’t quite the beast it once was.  This ranking was made with the assumption of heavy APCR usage, and drops significantly with normal AP usage.

Type 59 – The 59 is probably overrated, but it’s still a good tank.  Solid camo, mobility, and armor gives it flexibility that not a lot of mediums have.  The turret armor with good gun depression allow it to play against higher tiers with relative ease.  The gun isn’t nearly as good as the FCM’s, but the all-around capability of the tank allows it to succeed in a variety of situations.  Preferential matchmaking and a reliable APCR round finish this solid tank.

AMX 50 100 – A tank that carries 1800 damage in the clip, capable of destroying any tank it meets in a 1v1 situation is always something to respect.  A favorite of tank companies and 7/42 battles for that ability to crush the enemy in a single engagement, the tank struggles somewhat in pub games.  With zero armor to speak of and 3 seconds between each intra-clip shot coupled with a long aim time and lengthy reload, the AMX takes a lot of damage from lower tier tanks with even the smallest exposure time.  Emptying the clip of 6 shots takes a whopping 15 seconds, during which the enemy tank will get off at least 2 shots making it unfeasible to consistently empty more than 1-2 shots at a time.  The mobility of the tank is great, especially one with this kind of firepower.  The size of the AMX is a bit large, with a swinging tail and tall stature.  This size can make some areas problematic.  If your thing is 7/42 battles and tank companies, this is a great tank to have in the garage.  If playing mostly pub games, be sure to bring some platoon-mates to take the lead while you support.

STA-1full review – An underrated tank, this is most of what you’d want out of a medium.  Solid mobility and gun depression allow it to fight wherever and whenever it’s needed.  The gun has fairly good soft stats, a low aim time, and great penetration on the base AP shell (218 penetration).  The downsides are the thin armor, especially on the turret.  Even the FCM, having a reputation as a paper tank, can sidescrape but the STA-1 can’t as the turret is too weak.  The other two knocks against the STA-1 are the tall stature of the tank and the HEAT round rather than APCR.  I hate to concentrate on the negatives since it’s so good, but because it’s so close to being great it’s hard not to.

M26 Pershing – The Pershing succeeds in subtle areas; on paper it looks very ordinary.  With excellent -10 degrees of gun depression, any hill is going to be useful to spiderman off of.  The gun has good soft stats and snap shots reliably with very little exposure time.  The armor on the tank is better than it looks with a tough mantlet that covers almost the entire front turret, and an upper hull that’s useful for bullying lower tier tanks.  The Pershing also has an APCR round that has much more penetration than its’ peers, giving it strong potential in higher tier games.  It also makes an appearance in 7/42 battles and tank companies.

IS-3 – Once the de-facto best tier 8 tank, the IS-3 has seen better competition released as well as gotten hit by the nerf bat.  It’s currently coasting on reputation as the tier 8 heavy of choice because few people have driven the 110.  The IS-3 was even “readjusted to new historical information” by having the frontal armor slope reduced, greatly negating its’ armor.  Before the change, the IS-3 could consistently bounce 175 penetration guns frontally.  After the change: nope.  The IS-3 still remains a good tank with plenty of mobility, a crazy strong turret, and a reliable gun.

PURPLE DIVISION

AMX 13 90 - The AMX is basically the perfect scout: good camo, mobility, and an autoloader to put down the hurt when it gets the chance.  Scouting isn’t always the most valuable activity based on the map, and it’s at these times where the autoloader can change the direction of the game.  With 6 shots in the clip, the 13 90 can throw out 1400 damage (almost as much as an AMX 50B and T57 heavy)!  The downside to the tank is the the horrendous aim time of the gun and long reload time of the clip.  The armor is typical light tank armor, which means “don’t get shot”.  A frequent guest in 7/42 battles and tank companies.

ISU-152 – The old dog has held up well and is still one of the best tanks in tier, even after several years of tank destroyers released to compete.  Sure the platform is terrible with no armor, long aim time, .  But the gun is fantastic, rocking 750 damage and able to 2-shot everything in tier and many tanks a tier higher.  The damage per minute is respectable for sure, as is the penetration.  For a pure sniping tank, the only other desirables would be a bit more accuracy (the BL-10 can derp at times) and a turret.  Even though the Roomba got both of these things, the ISU isn’t to be taken lightly.

T69full review – The T69 is the perfect autoloader for pub games and fixes all of the issues with the AMX 50 100.  The gun itself has a more reasonable aim time, and intra-clip reload time is much shorter at 2 seconds instead of 3 on the AMX.  With 240 damage per shot, the T69 can throw down 1K damage in 6 seconds!  While the AMX can do the same damage in 6 seconds, the aim time is longer and the armor isn’t as strong.  The T69 might not have crazy armor thickness, but it’s very angular.  The turret has many autobounce angles and with the compact size, the T69 is a surprisingly sturdy tank.  The mobility is acceptable for a medium tank.  The T69 is used in tank companies and 7/42 battles, but less than the AMX 50 100 or AMX 13 90 as 1K damage isn’t enough to fully kill a tank in one clip.

110 – This seldom used tank is a nearly a strict upgrade over the IS-3.  Same pike shaped armor layout that is incredibly tough to penetrate, coupled with solid mobility for a heavy.  The gun has less alpha than expected at 320, but the aim time is also shorter so it balances out.  The tank is taller than the IS-3 and the commanders’ hatch is a lot easier to hit than on the IS-3, but these are small prices to pay for the level of protection that the armor gives.  What can I say?  It’s almost perfect.  The only thing I’d want is 390 alpha, but that’d just be greedy.

Tiger IIfull review – This tank has no mobility, mediocre alpha, and can be penetrated everywhere with ease by 240mm+penetration guns.  That means anyone that wants to load premium rounds and all higher tiers treat the armor as paper.  It’s not even considered for competitive play.  Statistical performance is terrible on everything that we can measure.  Literally everything.  According to Noobmeter.com, the KT is 14th place out of 15 heavies in tier for winrate for tier 8 heavies.  According to vbaddict.net, it’s 11th out of 15th for both winrate and damage per game for tier 8 heavies.  The graphs showing individual tank performance compared to your account performance also puts the Tiger II near the bottom: most other heavies in tier boost your winrate just by driving them, while the KT will not.  Noobmeter also shows that the KT is a favorite of the worst players and not the best players: the player winrate of every other heavy in tier is higher, which means good players spend their time NOT playing the Tiger II.  So why is this ranked #2 even though it’s bad in every way possible and measurable?  Because people have such a hard-on for the history of the King Tiger that they let their emotions cloud all rational judgement and won’t shut up about it.

Rhm.-Borsig Waffenträger (Roomba)full review – After releasing several balanced lines and tanks, Wargaming “slipped up” and created the new German TD line to be too strong.  As far as snipers go, there’s no downsides to this tank.  Take the ISU-152, put a turret on it, increase the camouflage, and that’s the Roomba.  Here’s how ridiculous this tank is: the preferred gun is actually the stock 128mm as that extra 260 damage is usually wasted because the opponents don’t have enough hitpoints.  The very low profile, strong camo, and turret allow the driver to mitigate all the weaknesses of the tank.  Statistically the tank averages 220 damage (17%) more than the second highest damaging tank in tier.  It’s broken, and will be nerfed at some point.  Or Wargaming will release an even more broken tank than this, who knows.  Until then, get one and be an invisible death dealing machine if that’s your thing.

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