Written by VeroxGaming for TAP:
Hello TAP! In this 2 part article series I‘ll be covering once OP tanks in WoT, that have since been nerfed and are no longer regarded as being OP. The tanks will be listed going up from Tiers 1 to 10. Without wasting time, let’s begin!
P.S. This is my first ever article I‘ve wrote, if the quality of the article is bad, I sincerely apologize.
Still widely regarded as the best tier 1 tank, the T1 Cunningham was once completely overpowered as it had access to the 20mm Hispano-Suiza Birkigt autocannon. Also being quite nimble and quick, the tank was a favourite for company battles, as only one tier 1 tank could be picked.
With a clip size of 15, shell intraclip time of 0,1s and full clip reload time of 7,7s,
the gun was capable of mowing down tier 1 and even most tier 2 tanks with single clip.
As average tier 1 tanks health is around 120, with full clip potential being 180, it was possible to
destroy a tier 1 tank and still have shells left in clip to severely (around 50% of health) damage another one.
The gun was removed with update 9.14
It‘s worth noting that 37 mm M1924 has also been nerfed for being too good, the clip size has been reduced from 5 to 3, as the gun also had the capability to utterly demolish other tier 1 peers.
Lets move on to tier 2, we meet the little devil of the tier;
The menace of tier 2 – T18:
T18 was undoubtedly the best tier 2 tank overall: with frontal hull armour of up to 51mm thick, top speed of 48 km/h, paired with awesome specific power of over 27 HP/T, the T18 was great platform for a tier 2 tank. But the real highlight of the tank, outside the outstanding frontal armour, was the 75mm M1A1 howitzer the tank had.
At the time, with most tanks at tier 2 barely having 51mm of penetration or above, the armour was uncontestably strong for a tier 2 tank, only with other tier 2 tank destroyer counterparts standing a chance of penetrating the tank frontally.
The side profile of the tank, unfortunately, was a different kind of story
With 32mm (not taking into account spaced track armour) of armour max, any tier 2 tank had the ability to completely penetrate or at least contest the side profile of T18. With the side of the tank being quite weak, though still able to bounce some tier 2 gun shells, the T18 was best used for head-on engagements, avoiding close quarters fights, as T18 only had tank traverse of 22 deg/s, so flanking it was the best bet for ensuring a penetration.
T18 had access to 2 competitive guns, the QF 2-pdr Mk.IX, which had respectable penetration, blistering RoF of 28.5(!) and 45 average damage, and the 75mm M1A1 howitzer, the latter being best choice for the tank.
With alpha damage of 175 with HEAT shells and blisteringly quick RoF, T18 had the power to absolutely annihilate Tier 1 and 2 tanks, and shave off over half the health of tier 3 tanks. The only real drawback was the poor HEAT shell penetration values and terrible accuracy.
(Note: 91 penetration shell was APCR with cost of 2800, making HEAT the most viable way of playing the tank)
The tank was replaced by the T3 HMC with patch 9.12, while T18 got rebalanced and put as American tier 3 artillery.
Probably the most hated tank by WG, the Marder 2 has been nerfed so many times that it‘s barely a shadow of its former self.
The first nerf that struck the tank was during the patch 7.5, due to the matchmaking spread revamp,
the marder 2 would never see tier 8 (!) tanks again, therefore it had to be rebalanced to ensure balanced gameplay. Another nerf struck the tank with patch 8.0, decreasing RoF, aim time, dispersion and traverse. But let’s take a look at Marder II before the nerfs, during patch 0.7.2:
Datamined tank specs:
Speed: Forwards: 40 km/h;
Backwards: 11 km/h;
Specific power (with full load): 12,5 hp/t
Max load: 12.8t;
Max. armour: 35 mm;
View range: 402.5m (???, could be wrong);
Terrain resistances: Hard: 1.142
Tank traverse: 40 deg/s;
Dispersion values: during movement: 0.23
during tank rotation: 0.23
Guns: 50mm PaK 39 L60;
75mm PaK 40 2
76mm PaK 36r
Top engine: Maybach HL62TRM
Engine power: 160 hp;
Fire chance: 20%;
Top radio: FuG5
Radio distance: 310m;
Top gun 76mm PaK 36r stats:
Max ammo capacity: 36 shells;
Gun traverse: -10/8;
Reload speed: 4.34 (RoF of a bit over 13,8 RpM);
Shell dispersion values: During turret rotation: 0.1;
After shot: 3.0;
After gun damage: 2.0;
Shell accuracy (or dispersion): 0.434;
Aim time: 1.71s;
76mm Pzgr39r (Armor Piercing):
Shell speed: 740 m/s;
Shell cost: 67 credits;
Module damage: 100;
76mm Pzgr.40r (Armor Piercing Composite-Rigid):
Shell speed: 925 m/s;
Shell price: 5 gold (Back at the day premium shells were purchasable for gold only, why don‘t they bring this back?);
Module damage: 100;
76mm Sprg.18r (High Explosive):
Shell speed: 740 m/s;
Shell Price: 39 credits;
Module damage: 100;
The tank was quite strong for tier 3, with high RoF paired with respectable alpha damage. Considering MM improvements that came with patch 7.5, WGs actions to rebalance the tank were justified.
On to another forgotten tier 3 jewel:
Most of you will be probably be surprised by the pick. Only the longest players will remember, that the SU-26 used to get a 122mm howitzer
What made this gun so great, was the fast aiming time, relatively good accuracy, 270 alpha damage shell (we‘ll come to that in a moment), fast reload time and high arc of fire.
What made the gun interesting was weird ammo choices. First two HE shells (as seen in the photo) are both standard shells, they cost 75 and 150 credits, respectively. As the second HE shell costed twice as more (only 150 credits) but did nearly half more alpha damage, it was the best shell to use, and coupled with great RoF and high shell arc (in a moment), this is what made the tank great.
The high arc of fire allowed the shell to hit the engine decks and roof of some turrets, one of the weakest parts of the tank (currently one of the most (if not the most) armoured tank in the game, the mighty Maus, has 50mm of hull roof armour, and 60mm of turret roof armour), 61mm of penetration proved sufficient to penetrate and deal maximum damage (including module damage) to enemy tanks, therefore crippling them.
The weapon and the tank (health, view range mobility nerf) itself was nerfed during patch 8.3, having lost 4 of it‘s shells (28 to 24), RoF nerf (reload speed became 9.3 secs, from 8.9 secs) and the tank got it‘s dispersion during moving, turning and gun rotation nerfed, contributing to longer aim times. The gun was removed with the total artillery rebalance that came with patch 8.6. After the gun removal the tank was commonly regarded as one of the worst in tier.
Ahead to tier 4!
The tier 4 soviet light, the T-50, just like it‘s older brother at tier 5, the T-50-2 were regarded the best light tanks at their tier. The T-50 was regarded great for its speed and impressive armour.
T-50 boasted top speed of 60 km/h, which is not great, but was amplified by its fantasic engine power of 500hp, giving the tank specific power to weight ratio of over 35hp/t, making it very fast to accelerate and to maintain a respectable top speed while climbing hills (could easily maintain a 40-45 km/h speed while climbing the castle hill in Himmelsdorf )
The stats of T-50 in 2012:
(Note: the engine power is 500hp, but it has been increased with removed speed governor)
Ammunition loadout for the 57mm ZiS-8 gun
Another quite impressive feature was its armour, while the armour itself wasn‘t that good
(Around 40 effective armour on the UFP and 60 on LFP),
The angling on shoulder plates made that even 100mm guns would ricochet off, therefore making the armour trollish and unpredictable.
Another prominent feature of the tank was its small size, making the tank hard to hit at ranges, where it mostly was encountered (T-50 was regarded as a great active scout).
But the tank had few considerable drawbacks, first of all, the gun it got, 57mm ZiS-8, was incapable of dealing with higher tier medium tanks (Back then tier 4 light tanks could see tier 8 tanks), with average AP penetration of 75mm, the tank had little no chances contesting armour of higher tier mediums.
Another poor aspect of the tank was its view range, having 332 base. Without a skilled crew and equipment, 332 base viewrange proved lackluster in high tier games, as the tank simply got outspotted, but that‘s where the tanks high mobility proved quite helpful.
The T-50 got considerably nerfed in update 8.7, having its 57mm gun removed, max top speed nerfed by 8 km/h and losing its top 2 engines (this has massively impacted the tank, as the loss of 500 and 450 hp engines changed the playstyle of the tank).
Now let’s head to the sweet spot, tier 5:
The speed demon, T-50-2:
Once the king of tier 5 light tanks, this jewel has since been replaced by the MT-25 in patch 8.7, the same patch when T-50 got a considerable nerf. The reason of replacement was that „it didn‘t behave the same way in-game as it did in real life“. Historically, the tank was built for infantry support, therefore it was very slow, with maximum top speed of 20 km/h (yes, really), had maximum armour of 45mm and wielded the 45mm 20K gun.
As a tier 5 light tank, it had a matchmaking spread of +2/+5, ergo it was common to be matched into tier X games.
Tank statistics from 2011
The tank had option to use 57mm ZiS-4 or 76mm F-34 as top gun options:
The 57mm Zis-4 had RoF of 20.69 RpM, with 112 mm of penetration and 85 alpha damage, was commonly regarded as the best gun for the tank, alternatively, the player had the ability to choose the 76mm F-34 with 86mm of penetration, RoF of 16.22 RpM and 110 alpha damage, but the low standard shell penetration and dissapointing premium shell with only 102mm of penetration rendered many tier IX-X tanks immune to the gun.
With specific power of over 31hp/t, the tank could easily reach its top speed of 72km/h and maintain it. The extremely fast top speed of the tank had consequences however, the tank was prone to drifting while turning, and the tank earned a nickname of „game engine breaker“ as the tank was simply too fast. It was very easy to harass heavy tanks and even some mobile medium tanks, as it was very easy for the tank to outrun their turret and hull traverse.
The optimal playstyle for the tank was a mobile support vehicle, flanking enemies and shooting at their rear armour, where the 57mm gun had the most chances of penetrating.
Up next, another tier 5 tank:
Once the best tank destroyers at tier 5, the SU-85 had acceptable armour, was quite mobile and had access to the 107mm ZiS-6s cannon, which had the capability of destroying a tier 5 heavy tank in 2 shots.
With a base reload time of 7.7 seconds, the tank had the ability to utterly demolish other tier 5 tanks
and remain unspotted, thanks to a good camo coefficient.
The gun was removed with patch 7.5, as it was no longer needed for the tank, since 7.5 brought the game matchmaking spread rework, therefore SU-85 would never see tier 8 tanks. To compensate for the loss of top gun, a new 85mm gun, the 85mm D5S-85BM was added, which had much worse penetration (144 compared to 167 of the 107mm gun), much less alpha damage (180 compared to 300), but had marginal advantage in rate of fire (base RoF of 10 RpM), accuracy (0.34 base) and aiming time (2.3s base).
Let’s move on to another iconic Soviet monster:
2 KV tanks in battle
Place in the tech tree
No, not KV-1 or KV-2, the KV was a tier 5 heavy tank that, for all intents and purposes, was basically a KV-2 at tier 5, having access to 107 ZiS-6 and the monstrous 152mm M10 howitzer.
KV had the chassis of KV-1 and turret of an KV-2;
Tank stats (datamined from old WoT clients)
Speed: Top:+34 km/h;
Reverse: -10 km/h;
Available guns: 76mm ZiS-5, 76mm S-54, 122mm cannon U-11, 107mm ZiS-6, 152mm M-10;
152mm M10 howitzer stats:
Reload time: 15.5s (RoF of 3.87 RpM);
Ammo capacity: 20 shells;
Aim time: 3s;
Dispersion at 100m: 0.44;
Dispersion during turret rotation: 0.08;
after shot: 3.0;
after gun damage: 2.0;
152mm 53-G-530 (Armor piercing):
Shell speed: 600 m/s;
Shell price: 725 credits;
Module damage: 135;
152mm 53BP540 (High Explosive Anti Tank):
Shell speed: 750 m/s;
Penetration: 228 (Russian bias);
Shell price: 12 gold
Module damage: 203;
152mm_53-OF-530 (High Explosive):
Shell speed: 600m/s;
Shell price: 810 credits;
Explosion radius: 3.67m;
Module damage: 203;
107mm ZiS-6 stats
Reload time: 8.5s (RoF of 7.06 RpM);
Max ammo: 30 shells;
Aim time: 3 secs (same as the 152mm M-10?)
Dispersion at 100m: 0.39;
Dispersion during turret rotation: 0.16;
after shot: 4.0;
after gun damage: 2.0;
(Other than accuracy. gun dispersion stats are worse than those on 152mm, russian bias strikes again)
107mm UBR-420 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (Armor piercing):
Shell speed: 830 m/s;
Shell price: 270 credits;
Module damage: 150;
107mm_UBR-420P (Insert lenny here) (Armor Piercing Composite-Rigid)
Speed: 1038 m/s;
Shell price: 10 gold;
Module damage: 140;
107mm_UOF-420 (High Explosive)
Shell speed: 830 m/s;
Shell price: 280 credits;
Explosion radius: 2.07m;
Module damage: 150;
All around regarded as the best tier 5 heavy tank of its time, the KV was removed from the game in patch 0.7.3, with the Russian heavy line rework, its spot at tier 5 has been taken over by the KV-1 as we know it today, KV-3 has been pushed back from tier 6 into tier 7 and its spot has been taken over by the glorious KV-2;
On to yet another, but the last of tier 5 tanks:
The old Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzIV):
Once the king of tier 5 tanks, the PzIV terrorized tier 5 up until patch 8.0, when WG decided to remove its top 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 gun, remove the Schmalturm turret and completely rebalance the tank.
The tank was rebalanced due to the matchmaking changes that came with update 7.5, the PzIV would never see tier 8 tanks again, but the tank wasn‘t changed, therefore the tank was still optimized for fighting tier 8 tanks it would never see, and that was the reason of the huge nerf that struck the tank.
Top 75mm gun, that was removed with patch 8.0
The gun for its tier was simply too good, the PzIV was capable of sniping from long ranges with its great accuracy and respectable RoF. The armour was pretty ok too, it was not uncommon to pull out a bounce or two from lower or equal tier tanks.
After the 8.0 patch, the tank underwent drastic playstyle changes. With the 75mm gun removed, and top 10.5cm howitzer being the best option for the tank, PzIV changed from a second line sniper to a brawler.
This concludes part 1. In part 2 we‘ll end with overpowered tier X beasts, of which some were nerfed a long time ago, and some quite recently. Big thanks to TAP Discord for the help they provided, without them this wouldn‘t have been possible. And please, constructive criticism about what I could improve while writing part 2 would be appreciated;