World of Tanks

The New Player’s Guide to Picking Your First Tier 8 Tech Tree Tank

Howdy ladies and gents!

This was a request by /u/InternetLostOne after posting The Guide to Picking Your Tier 6 Token Tank. In this follow up, I am doing this guide for all those new/newish players who are are thinking of unlocking your first Tier 8's and truly testing the waters of the high tiers of this game. There are a couple of things for new players to consider about tier 8 before you continue on your grind.

The first consideration is that Tier 7 is commonly known as the "break even" point. This is the point that an average player on a standard account 'breaks-even' over hundreds of matches and neither makes nor loses credits. Tier 8 is where the average player with a standard account starts to lose credits on every match. If you do not have a premium account or have not payed for a premium tank to help you earn credits, then please remember to keep a couple of Tier 5-6 tanks (that you really enjoy playing) in your garage for credit grinding.

The second consideration is that the 'power-curve' of tiers in this game is not as linear as us players want it to be. There are 2 tiers where the jump in power between tiers is much larger than the others. Those jumps are at Tier 4 and Tier 8. Tier 8 can sometimes feel like slamming your face on a cement wall, especially the first time you purchase and play a Tier 8 tank. However, I (and many others) believe it is worth it to get to tier 9; arguably one of the most fun tiers in the game.

Just like in the prior guide, I will be looking at each tier 8 tank in a few categories. These categories will be:

  1. Ease of upgrades. As a new player, you probably already know that stock grinds can make for terrible experiences. At tier 8, you probably do not want to play a tank that requires around 35k – 45k worth of XP grind to unlock upgrades that barely makes you competitive against Tier 8's, much less 9's and 10's. Also, I am keeping in mind that you – as a new player – probably do not have a lot of free-XP banked up yet to use for things such as tracks or guns to help you keep your Tier 8's from being completely stock.
  2. Power-Gap Resistance. Tier 8 is second only to tier 4 in the massive jump in power for tanks at +2MM that you can meet. However, some tanks can resist this, also known as their ability to 'punch up'. This can be because of high mobility, great guns, general toughness, or even a unique game mechanic that can make them stronger in certain situations.
  3. Future Fun. It is great goal to want to reach the pinnacle of a tree/branch for a nation and have the Tier 10. However, sometimes the Tier 10 may not be all that good, or the Tier 9 may be better tier-for-tier than the Tier 10. Sometimes, going past Tier 8 just isn't worth it in the branch.

I will be giving ratings for each tank overall 0-10 based on the above categories. 0 will mean it is unusable/unplayable. 5 means it is perfectly average and doesn't stand out. 10 means that you would have to be crazy to not play this tank as soon as possible.

Note: I cannot talk about future tech tree branches (a la the upcoming French wheeled vehicles) because they are not in the game yet, thus myself and others have not had a chance to try them out and see how well they fare in this game.

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USA

TANK Rating More about this tank
M40/43 5 Easy grind. Shared researches from radios and engines can make this a relatively quick to upgrade vehicle. Tier 9 of the branch is often seen as pinnacle of this line, though some love the Tier 10 for having the biggest gun in game.
M41 Bulldog 6.5 Only needed upgrade is engine, though tracks/turret to make scouting easier are worth it. Extremely easy to get past. The T49 at Tier 9 of this branch is well worth the grind, while the tier 10 is often seen as not worth it.
T69 4 Grind is pretty rough. When elite, is decent in tier, but still struggles punching up. The Tier 9 of the branch is often not liked, though Tier 10 still has fans if you like/want a brawling autoloader.
T28 Prototype 7 Grind can be tough, but this TD is beastly when fully upgraded. Having a turret makes this tank a little stronger than its brother. Tier 9 of the branch is definitely worth it, and Tier 10 has a great gun.
T28 6.5 Grind can be tough, but packs a punch fully upgraded. Armor a bit unreliable. Both TD's past this are among the toughest tanks in the game, with very deadly guns. Very worth the tier 8 difficulties once you get past this.
Pershing 5.5 Very painful stock grind unless you purchase and mount torsion bars equipment to let you mount the 90mm from the T20 while you unlock the top gun and then tracks. Respectable when fully upgraded, though it struggles heavily against 10's. Branch after this embodies the "Jack of All Trades" mentality that this tank has when fully upgraded, and both are generally liked.
T32 4 Painful stock grind. Even fully upgraded, only strong when hull down. Struggles when not top tier. Branch past this probably not worth the grind for new players because of large, easy to hit weak spots on the turrets of both tanks.

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GERMANY

TANK Rating More about this tank
G.W Tiger (P) 5 Extremely easy grind. No researches needed unless you want to unlock the 21cm for the Tier 9 here at tier 8. No need to go further in the branch unless you absolutely want to.
Rhm-B. WT 7.5 Extremely easy grind. Both guns are good, allowing for 2 different play style preferences. Can be competitive against 9's, and against weaker 10's. Tier 9 of the branch is seen as a big upgrade in power while the Tier 10 is often seen as not worth it.
JPanther II 6 Grind isn't too painful. Pretty mobile. Relies on armor angling to bounce shots. When fully upgraded, it punches up very well.
Ferdinand 5 Annoying grind. Poor mobility. Relies on armor thickness to bounce shots. When fully upgraded, it punches up very well.
VK 45.02A 5 Grind isn't too bad. Even fully upgraded, isn't a great heavy. Is OK against 9's, weak against 10's. Tier 9 and 10 of this branch are rear-turreted tanks with very tough armor. Probably not worth the grind unless you like rear-turreted tanks.
VK 100.01P 6.5 Grind incredibly easy. Thick armor can even protect you from Tier 10's IF they do nothing but auto-aim. Can struggle against higher tiers because of low mobility and obvious weak spot on turret. Maus at Tier 10 well worth it if you want to be a bunker that is proof against all but the highest pen TD rounds, if you angle properly.
Indien-Pz 3.5 Grind is painful. Even when fully upgraded, can struggle against other Tier 8's. Tier 9 and 10 not worth the grind, as the Leopard 1 is easily the worst Tier 10 in the game.
HWK 12 5.5 Relatively easy grind. Competitive against other scouts of the tier. Tier 9 of this branch is worth checking out, while the Tier 10 is very underwhelming.
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USSR

TANK Rating More about this tank
ISU-152 6 Grind pain depends on if you spent the time at Tier 7 to unlock both 122mm guns to save time here. When fully upgraded, is quite powerful. Tier 9 of this branch is a step up in power, and the Tier 10 is a disappointment to many.
SU-100M1 6.5 Grind not too difficult. Very tough TD that can cause problems for the enemy. Decent against 9's, struggles against 10's. Tier 9 and 10 of this branch are both very worth the grind.
LTTB 8 Grind not too difficult. Fully upgraded, this is the closest you'll have in modern WoT to what the T-50-2 used to be before it was removed in patch 0.8.6. Leads to 2 equally powerful lights.
T-44 7 Stock grind can be very painful. Does pay off as one of the most powerful mediums of the tier when full upgraded. Is competitive against many tier 9's. Worth spending time on to elite, as all of the Tier 10's after this are worth your time and effort.
IS-M 5 Very painful stock grind. Once you get the turret upgrade, is several magnitudes tougher. Fully upgraded, can cause issues against all but the most heavily armored 9's and 10's. Tier 9 and 10 of this branch are very tough beasts, but really only worth the grind if you like rear-turreted tanks.
IS-3 8.5 Average stock grind, especially with shared research. Fully upgraded, is powerful, even against some tier 10's. Worth spending time to unlock both tier 9's further in the branch, as both branches are worth investigating and playing.
KV-4 3.5 One of the worst grinds of the tier. Top gun saves this one a bit. Is only worth the pain to get to the ST-I at Tier 9, as that is a Tier 10 in disguise. IS-4 at Tier 10 is probably the weakest heavy of Tier 10.

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UK

TANK Rating More about this tank
Centurion I 6.5 Harsh stock grind that you can mitigate with torsion bars equipment mounted. Very tough hull-down warrior when fully upgraded. Turret gives all but Tier 10's issues. Tier 9 and 10 of this branch are worth grinding to if you like the play style of this tank when fully upgraded.
AT-15 6 Stock grind harsh unless you mount torsion bars to mount upgrades from prior tier. Fully upgraded, is very tough and can cause even some tier 10's a handful of issues when kept at a distance. Tier 9 and 10 of this branch take the toughness up several notches, and they have the 2 highest DPM's in the game. Well worth grinding for if you have enjoyed the grind to this point.
Caernarvon 8 Grind is moderately tough. When upgraded, is arguably one of the best 2 heavies of the tier. Is strong, even against 10's, when hull down. Both Conquerors in the branch after this tank increase this strength and both are very highly regarded.
Charioteer 7.5 Stock grind isn't that bad. Turret and mobility make this pretty versatile. Fully upgraded, is dangerous to 9's and still a threat to 10's. The following Tier 9 is decent thanks to its last buff, and the Tier 10 FV 4005 is completely worth the grind just for the MEME shots.
FV207 4.5 Harsh stock grind for an SPG. Even fully upgraded, struggles a bit. Leads to arguably the best Tier 10 SPG in the game, so if you like SPG's, this one is worth the struggle.

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FRANCE

TANK Rating More about this tank
AMX AC 48 5 Stock grind is tough. Fully upgraded, can be dangerous to 9's, and some 10's. Worth grinding past if you like the play style of autoloading TD's.
AMX 65T 2 Possibly worst grind in game outside of low-mid tier Polish tree. Worst tier 8 in the game, and candidate for worst tank in the game. Only thing saving this from a 0 rating is the Tier 9 that follows is one of the best tier-for-tier heavies in the game. Tier 10 in the branch is not as strong tier-for-tier as the Tier 9.
AMX 50-100 7 Grind isn't too harsh, and some even prefer the 90mm over the 100mm because of reload speed of clip. Quite mobile and a very effective late-game assassin. Tier 9 and 10 in this branch are more of the same goodness, and worth the grind if you like the 50-100.
B-C 12t 6.5 Stock grind quite easy, but one of the longest grinds in the game to elite. Length of grind to elite the tank can lead (and often does lead) people into hating this tank. Is very competitive as a scout and late game assassin. Leads into 3 very good Tier 9's, with only the AMX 30 B at Tier 10 being a disappointment.
Lorraine 155 51 5 Stock grind average. Quite mobile. Average SPG for the tier outside of mobility. Leads into the only Autoloading SPG in game at Tier 10, which can be quite powerful in the right situation, but still lags behind other Tier 10 SPG's in most matches.
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CZECHOSLOVAKIA

TANK Rating More about this tank
TVP-VTU 3.5 Rough stock grind. Can be a very awkward tank to play. Struggles heavily against higher tiers. Tier 9 of this branch is often considered one of the best tier-for-tier mediums in the game, so the grind will probably be worth your time.

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JAPAN

TANK Rating More about this tank
STA-1 4 Stock grind is painful. Even fully upgraded, this becomes at best below average for the tier. Struggles against higher tiers. Grind past it is not advised unless you just want to complete the Japanese tree.
O-Ho 6.5 Extremely easy stock grind. Gun handling is very awkward because of secondary turret placement. Does OK damage against higher tiers because of DERP, while the thick armor is useless against higher tiers. The Tier 10 in this branch is one of the most powerful Super Heavies in the game, and many people have an extremely strong love/hate relationship with it.

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CHINA

TANK Rating More about this tank
WZ-111-1-FT 5 Poor stock grind. When fully upgraded, becomes an average, if underwhelming TD of the tier. Top gun is dangerous to higher tiers. Tier's 9 and 10 in this branch are more of the same, and only worth it if you truly want to complete the Chinese tree.
WZ-132 8 Average stock grind. Arguably the best combat scout of the tier. Quite competitive as a scout. The tier 9 and 10 lights in the branch are also great combat scouts, with the Tier 10 falling just short of the Russian T-100LT for best light tank at Tier 10.
T-34-2 3 Very bad stock grind. Even with buffs to this tank in the past year, it struggles to be relevant even when fully upgraded. Very weak against higher tiers unless hull down. Tier 9 in the branch may be worth the grind, as it easily one of the better mediums of the tier, while the Tier 10 isn't seen as very desirable.
110 5 Very harsh stock grind to get to a gun with more than 175mm pen. Fully upgraded, it can deal with 9's, but struggles with 10's. All 3 of the heavies in the branch past this (the 9 and both 10's) are all considered quite strong and desirable.

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POLAND

TANK Rating More about this tank
53TP 7 First time the stock grind in the Poland tree becomes relatively easy. Fully upgraded, this is one of the better heavies of the tier and can give 9's fits, but still struggles against 10's. The tier 10 of this branch is worth the grind, especially if you were somehow able to put up with the absolute worst grind in the game – of any tree – from tier 1-7.

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SWEDEN

TANK Rating More about this tank
UDES 03 8 Easy stock grind for a TD. Fully upgraded, this is one of the most dangerous TD's in the game by being a monster of stealth and mobility along with the extremely high penetration upgraded gun. The upgraded gun's silver ammo pen is enough to deal with all but the very thickest armor on a handful of Tier 10's. The Tier 10 of this branch is 3rd in the game for DPM, and is often seen as just as deadly, if not deadlier, tier-for-tier.
Emil 1 5 Stock grind is average. Even fully upgraded, it struggles to be more than an average heavy. Is strong hull down. Rest of branch past this point is more of the same.

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ITALY

TANK Rating More about this tank
P44 Pantera 7.5 Average stock grind. When fully upgraded, this becomes a very dangerous medium tank once you learn to use the auto-reloader mechanic to its fullest. Competitive against 9's, but struggles a bit against 10's. Both tanks in the branch past this improve upon this mechanic, and the Tier 10 has sneakily become a a well loved tank of many players, with its great versatility.

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