Hello everyone! With the holiday season underway, despite some controversies I'm sure many players are flush with gold from lootboxes and are itching to spend it on a new premium tank to expand their garage. Although rarely seen in Clan Wars, the M48A5 Patton is one of the best tier 10 medium tanks in the game thanks to its well-rounded nature, and with a variety of other great tanks in that tech tree, many players will be tempted to pick up a crew trainer for them.
Today, I will review all of the tier 8 American Premium MTs, ranked from worst to best, to help you make an informed buying decision.
In the high tiers, American mediums are known to be bigger and slower than the average MT, in exchange for better survivability, better gun depression, and fantastic gun handling. Instead of good camo, they get good view range. These tanks are very "comfortable" to play, and have few if any serious weaknesses to work around. This is no better exemplified than in the tech tree tier 8, the M26 Pershing. This tank has seen better days, but is still an American MT at heart. We'll be comparing everything to this vehicle.
T95E2 – 4.5/10
Technically not a premium tank and not for sale, but I've included it for the sake of completeness.
The gun is pretty decent. Being American, it has above average gun handling, which paired with a good aim time feel quite nice at tier 8. It actually covers up many common weaknesses in this comparison, by having average DPM and accuracy. However, it has very poor penetration and shell velocity on its AP round, and compared to tier 8 MTs at large, other than the gun handling the firepower fails to stand out.
The mobility is decent. The top speed of 56 km/h is very good for an American MT and good for any other MT, but the low P/W ratio of only 15 and only decent terrain resistances keep it from hitting that speed often. Tack on poor hull traverse and this doesn't feel nimble at all. It's still a MT, just not a very fast one.
The problems lie in the armor. On paper, the turret is quite reasonable, offering a consistent 200mm+ of protection across the front, but this is entirely negated by the cupola weakspot so large it has its own orbit. Similarly, the above average frontal hull is pretty pointless when the rear side hull armor is thin enough to be overmatched by all 100mm+ caliber guns.
The gun would be good if it wasn't for the awful AP pen. The mobility would be good if it wasn't for the low acceleration and hull traverse. The armor would be good if it didn't have so many weakspots. The vehicle makes too many compromises along the way, and just generally doesn't feel that great. Given that most tier 8 American mediums are, quite frankly, below average MTs with above average turrets, not having a good turret utterly kills this tank. Couple that with the fact that it's not an actual premium tank, so it doesn't make bonus credits, and there's very little reason to play it at all.
M46 Patton KR – 6.5/10
This is more "Pershing" than the actual Pershing. It's even slower, even less accurate, and has even better gun handling. It has a ferocious skin, but a less than ferocious reputation on the battlefield.
The gun has exactly one thing going for it, gun handling, but boy is it great. 0.12/0.12/0.08 would be decent at tier 10, so it feels amazing at tier 8. However, pretty much everything else about the gun reeks. Subpar accuracy and aimtime, mediocre DPM, low AP pen, and horrible AP shell speed hold it back substantially. The sum total of this gun is that it's rather good at snap shotting, but a bit lacking in every other situation.
The mobility is, well, American. The top speed of 48.3 km/h is low for a tier 8 MT, and the theoretically good P/W ratio of 18.4 is almost completely negated by bad terrain resistance. Hull traverse isn't great either – this vehicle is sluggish.
The only thing that could save the tank at this point is armor, and thankfully, it does. The turret is covered by a big meaty 203.2mm gun mantlet which loves to ricochet rounds that don't hit it dead center; however, the rest of the turret is rather thin. The frontal hull isn't great, but the side armor is nice and thick, enabling it to sidescrape in a pinch.
As much as I enjoyed the tank when it first came out, it has aged about as well as that milk in my fridge I keep forgetting to throw out. It has great gun handling, a sturdy gun mantlet, and enough going on elsewhere to make it viable, but in the face of tier 8 powercreep, it's hard for me to recommend it.
T26E4 SuperPershing – 7/10
This one is hard to assign a point value to, because it plays very differently from everything else in this comparison. It's a weird heavy-medium hybrid that thanks to successive buffs is finally in a decent place.
The gun is okay but not great. Subpar DPM and accuracy are par for the course at this point, but this vehicle completely misses out on the great gun handling its peers get, instead being rather awful. However, it gets reasonable AP pen and a genuinely great APCR round, which really helps a lot when facing tough top-tier tanks.
The mobility completely blows. The top speed of 40.2 km/h is awful, the P/W of only 12.07 makes this barely deserving to call itself a medium tank, and poor hull traverse and terrain resistances only add to the fun. This tank is a slug, and is more of a "fast heavy" than a "slow medium".
The armor is of course the strong point of this vehicle, and thanks to ridiculous amounts of spaced armor on the frontal hull, it is competitive with many heavy tanks. The gun mantlet is very tough, and the low profile cupola honestly isn't the worst weakspot to have to deal with. The issue is, despite all the buffs it's received, this tank received a substantial nerf last year with update 9.19.1, when the dynamic penetration indicator was updated to account for angling and spaced armor. Before, people never bothered shooting at your hull because they had no idea how to pen it and it loved to eat gold rounds, but now anyone can see what parts of your armor are vulnerable. This tank gets penned a lot more now than it did 18 months ago.
I've said a lot of bad things about this tank, but it also gets preferential MM, so a lot of sins can be forgiven. It averages out to a pretty decent if unexceptional brawler. If you're a fan of the brawler-lite playstyle, go for it, but if you want a more mobile playstyle, pick literally any other MT.
T25 Pilot Number 1 – 7.5/10
A marathon reward once upon a time, this vehicle has been making the rounds in sales ever since. Being the most agile of its peers, it stands out as a particularly fast American MT, even if it gives up some armor.
The gun is the best of them all so far, with great gun handling (a hair worse than the M46 Patton KR), great aimtime, good accuracy, and decent DPM. It still has low AP penetration and shell speed, but the overall accuracy makes up for that a bit.
Mobility is finally looking up! The top speed of 55 km/h is nice, and the underwhelming P/W ratio of 14.2 is helped substantially by excellent terrain resistances. Add in the solid hull traverse and this vehicle feels rather nimble. The good resistances but bad P/W ratio means it doesn't climb hills very quickly, but it's fine on flat ground.
The armor takes a hit, but honestly not by all that much. The hull armor is definitely thinner, but at 38.1mm on the thinnest rear portion it can still sidescrape against other mediums in a pinch. The turret armor is thinner, but the gun mantlet is just as tough as it is on the Patton KR, so in practice it's just as bouncy.
This vehicle is quite competitive, and better than the Patton KR in every way that matters. If it had better penetration, I could wholeheartedly recommend it. Either way, it's a good tank.
T26E5 Patriot – 9/10
No, I am not being tongue-in-cheek. Let's just, for a moment, pretend that this isn't labeled as a heavy tank. After all, you can play any tank however your heart desires – you can brawl in lights and scout in SPGs. Whether your vehicle is good at that is what matters.
The firepower is excellent, with the best DPM in this scenario and, finally, finally, a great silver round. This has just about as much silver pen as the Pilot and Patton KR have gold pen, and even the shell speed is pretty good. The aimtime is still good and the accuracy subpar, but this time, gun handling takes a hit. It's not quite as bad as the SuperPershing, but it's not great.
The mobility is low, but again, not as bad as the SuperPershing. The top speed of 40.2 km/h is scraping the bottom of what can be called a "medium tank", and the mediocre P/W ratio of 15.17 is held back by slightly below average terrain resistances. Hull traverse is also not good; however, I'd argue that this tank isn't that much slower than the other tanks listed here (besides the Pilot of course).
The armor is utterly fantastic. The hull armor is great for a MT, with a 200mm upper plate and a surprisingly tough 170mm lower plate. The side armor, 50.8mm at the thinnest, is still strong for sidescraping, and thanks to that frontal armor you can reliably sidescrape against many same-tier threats. The turret is where it's at, though, with an amazing gun mantlet upgrade and major improvements to the rest of the armoring as well. At 279.3mm at its flattest, this turret will bounce tier 10 gold rounds on occasion, and silver rounds very consistently. It is a very tough nut to crack.
The rest of the stats are also good for a MT. 10 degrees of gun depression, a whopping 70 shell ammo capacity, 1500 hitpoints, and a solid 390m view range means this spots for itself just as well as the competition can. Add in that this has enough armor to play as a heavy tank, and you really can't go wrong with this vehicle. Yes it is slow and not super accurate, but that's true of all the American MTs, and this vehicle gets enough firepower and armor to more than make up for it.
The Patriot is by far the best pick of the bunch, with the only major drawback being that you would have to retrain your crews in order to use it as a MT crew trainer. If you can accept that, go with the Patriot; if you can't, then you can opt for the Pilot instead. Only get the SuperPershing if you really know what you're getting into.
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