The Top Tanks by Tier in World of Tanks

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World of Tanks, developed by the company Wargaming, is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online PvP game. The player is in control of an armored vehicle from one of several classes: light, medium, or heavy tank, tank destroyer, or self-propelled gun. These vehicles are then sectioned into tiers, ranging from the beginner's first tier to the intimidating strength of tenth tier with each tier of progression being more powerful than the last.

This brings to mind a simple question, "Which tank is the best?" This is objective. When you are playing in a group you might find that different tanks work wonders for different situations and team compositions, depending on what range of tiers you are playing in.

You see, each conflict in World of Tanks can have a variety of vehicles from several tiers represented on both sides of the battle. You might think that having the highest tier available to you is always the best option, but that is not always the case. A well-tuned Tier 2 vehicle that you are familiar and comfortable with might actually prove to be a stronger choice than your brand new Tier 3.

But which of these armored monsters is considered the strongest of their tier? As previously stated, when you play with a team of friends you might find that a variety of tanks work well with your composition. When you are playing alone however, your selection of tank has a far greater impact, as your team and your opponents will be much less coordinated and you'll have to rely on your own strength more.  So what does the community consider the strongest choices when playing alone? Read on to find out.

Tier 1

Liechttraktor

The Liechttraktor is one of the best options for Tier 1, boasting the second highest hit points of the tier, good traversal speed, and a great primary weapon. It is only Tier 1 however, so don't expect to be tearing up the battlefield with this one.

An honorable mention goes to the T1 Cunningham, which had its access to the powerful 20mm machine gun and browning removed recently, weakening it slightly.

Tier 2

Hotchkiss H35

The H35 boasts something that no other light tank at this tier does -- great armor. It is a tough little beast that plays more like a medium or heavy tank at this tier. But it does come with its own flaws. You'll find you are slower than other light tanks of your tier and your primary weapon will require an upgrade from the 37 mm APX SA18 to the much more powerful 37 mm SA38.

Interestingly there is a strictly better choice than the H35 known as the Pz.Kpfw. 38H 735 (f), which was sold in the games cash shop as a premium purchase. However, the Pz.Kpfw. 38H 735 (f) is no longer available, so unless you are one of the lucky ones who own it or had it gifted to you, the H35 is your best choice for Tier 2.

Tier 3

Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C

The Pz I C is known by some as the low tier "seal clubber." It has absurd stats for its tier, outclassing most tanks with its speed, mobility, and powerful burst damage. It is best used aggressively, taking advantage of its extreme speed to stay mobile while firing at your victims.

You'll find that with practice you can destroy any other Tier 3 tank with ease. However, bigger Tier 4 and Tier 5 tanks may pose a problem to you, so it is best to use your mobility and speed to avoid direct confrontation with them.

Honorable mention goes to the T-127, which is an equally powerful choice, but is only available in the cash shop.

Tier 4

Matilda

This lovely girl is our first medium tank on the list. Matilda is considered to be one of the best tanks in World of Tanks. Her statistics are incredible, her turret speed and rate of fire are very quick, and her penetrating power is capable of damaging even Tier 6 tanks.

A common complaint about her is that she's one of the slowest tanks available at this point in your progression, meaning you'll be left behind during assaults to either provide rear support or left to guard choke points or defense points. Taking the time to master this beauty will no doubt result in some very rewarding battles.

Tier 5

KV-1

Straight off the heels of our first medium tank is our first heavy tank. The KV-1 is considered to be one of the most popular tanks in the entire game. This is not without merit. KV-1 offers many styles of play depending what equipment you load it up with. It has thick armor, a large selection of weaponry, and is easy to learn; perfect for any aspiring tank pilot to pick up and play with for as long as they wish.

Your powerful new toy may seem like an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, but you will quickly learn that opponents who have a knowledge of the game will understand and exploit your armor's weak points. This can lead to frustration when you are trying to learn how to properly position yourself in combat, only to be flanked and gunned down by more experienced players using your same tank.

Tier 6

Cromwell

The Cromwell is something of an oddity. It is a medium tank with the mobility and speed of a light tank and a respectable medium tank primary weapon. This gives the tank great flanking capability, making it an interesting choice at this tier. The downside, however, is that it is weakly armored and prone to losing crew due to well-placed shots.

Cromwell also suffers from terrible mobile accuracy despite being a flanking tank, this means you'll need to slow to a crawl or a stop every time you wish to fire, leaving you exposed in your paper thin armor. This however, is overshadowed by the high mobility and damage capabilities.

Tier 7

T29

The T29 heavy tank is a well-rounded superstar for this tier. While it does not boast the highest damage, it makes up for that by repelling most attacks at or below its tier. Combined with decent mobility and speed, this makes it a tough nut to crack on the battlefield. If you can take advantage of its heavy armor in a defensive position, you will find yourself scoring plenty of kills against enemies who stop to contest you.

This doesn't mean it is without flaws -- as one of the largest tanks of the tier, you are easy to spot and a magnet for artillery fire. This means that holding your defensive position is likely to cause just as much frustration as joy, due to death from above.

Tier 8

IS-3

The IS-3 is well known for being an aggressive front line push and king of urban combat. The low profile and heavy armor give it a decent chance at surprising foes, allowing you to return fire with your powerful primary weapon. The mobility and speed is also deceptively high for a heavy tank.

The downside, however, is that this tank has very exploitable weak points that experts in this tier will take full advantage of, leaving you wondering why you feel like you're wearing paper machete rather than the rock hard armor you were promised. Learning to protect your weak spots, located on the nose of your pike armor, with proper positioning will allow you to survive and dominate much longer.

Tier 9

ST-I

The ST-I is a powerhouse which brings both monstrous defensive capabilities and destructive raw power to the war table. Housing one of the best primary weapons in its tier, the ST-I can shred tanks with ease in a close to mid-range encounter, but will suffer at long range due to poor visibility and gun handling.

The armor on this tank also brings a lot to the table in a close range encounters, as it's capable of deflecting almost anything being thrown at it from the front. However, the poorly armored rear and low mobility leave this tank vulnerable to agile tanks and flanking. You will have to take great care of yourself with proper positioning to take full advantage of this behemoth.

Tier 10

Object 140

This is it, the crème de la crème. Object 140 is one of the most well-rounded tanks in the game. At peak performance with proper piloting, Object 140 boasts one of the best top speeds, which allows it to maneuver and flank, secure objectives, and chase down its prey with ease. The firepower is nothing to scoff at, capable of dishing out some of the highest damage per minute of any tank in the game. Finally, it enjoys one of the most balanced armor distributions available to any tank, being moderately armored in all directions, except for one.

Taking fire from above is this tank's major weakness, as the upper portion of your tank's turret is noticeably much thinner than the rest of your tank. Stay mobile, exploit your opponent's weaknesses, and reap the rewards of your hard earned moment in the spotlight with your war machine.

World of Tanks is available now for free on Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Published Aug. 19th 2016

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