Azur Lane Ship Classes Guide



Azur Lane Ship Classes Guide by clyvey_c

This document is purely based on PVE, and may not apply for PVP. The contents of this analysis is subject to change as the game progresses, and I will try to keep it up to date (no promises though).

Escort Fleet

The comparisons for the escort fleet will mainly be on their stats since the three ship types are all fairly similar.

Destroyers

Pros:

  1. High burst damage through torpedoes (especially Japanese ships).
  2. High speed, boosts ship movement speed and helps manual dodging.
  3. High evasion, making enemy attacks miss.
  4. Lowest fuel consumption among all ship classes.
  5. Destroyer guns have the highest rate of fire among guns and are decent against speed boats.

Cons:

  1. Low survivability due to small health pool, with the exception of a few ships that mitigates that either via skills (eg. Eldridge, Cygnet) or high evasion stat (eg. Javelin Kai).
  2. Destroyers have low firepower stat and their guns are ineffective against most ships, giving them low gun damage output.

Playstyle analysis:

  1. Manual

DDs arguably have the highest skill-cap in the game, and with a good torpedo setup and boss pattern knowledge it’s possible to take on bosses that are otherwise more difficult to fight by dodging their shots or by ending engagements in a quick strike.

  1. Auto-mode

DDs are probably the worst class to Auto with (esp in a 1-1 setup, where you only have one ships on both the escort and the main fleet for fuel efficiency). This is because they rely on torpedoes for damage, which the AI often ends up wasting because they fire as soon as the torpedoes are ready.

Light Cruisers

There are currently two types of light cruisers: the American light cruisers which cannot torpedoes, and the rest which uses both torpedoes and main guns. Here I will refer to them as Torp and Gun respectively.

Pros:

  1. Rather high speed albeit not as fast as destroyers.(Torp and Gun)
  2. Moderately high evasion, making enemy attacks miss.(Torp and Gun)
  3. Light cruisers can utilise both torpedoes and guns, giving them consistent damage output and the ability to do burst damage.(Torp)
  4. High AA stat, effective against swarms of planes.(Torp and Gun)
  5. Light cruiser guns (especially this gun:the TbtsK C/36) are effective against many types of armour and have the appropriate rate of fire for shooting at both low HP ships and high HP ships.(Torp and Gun)

Cons:

  1. Light cruisers generally lack high torpedo stat.(Torp)
  2. Less burst damage due to the lack of torpedoes.(Gun)

Playstyle analysis:

  1. Manual

CLs are great at killing generic enemies thanks to their decent firepower, good rate of fire. Their good evasion means they’ll can do so while  remaining relatively healthy. However, their jack of trades nature means they’re not as good for burst DPS (they tend to have worse torp stat for those who do have torps) or sheer survivability(though Cleveland and Edinburgh might have a word with you about that) as other classes. Lastly, some players claim that they fall off in world 9+ because things start to become too tanky for CLs to kill them fast enough, and CLs for the most part lack specialized dps (Ajax says hello though).

  1. Auto-mode

CL Gunboats are probably the best ships to run in a 1-1 auto setup for the majority of the game. They deal enough damage and have enough survivability to survive most maps uptil world 6 or 7.

Heavy Cruisers

Pros:

  1. Highest firepower out amongst the escort fleet classes, dealing very high damage.
  2. Highest HP pool, on average, out of the three escort classes

Cons:

  1. Heavy cruiser guns have low rates of fire, making heavy cruisers less useful for clearing low HP enemies.
  2. The small firing angle on CA guns requires them to be positioned almost directly in front of a target before they can begin firing
  3. Lowest torpedo stat among all three classes
  4. Very low evasion, rendering them vulnerable to being chipped down

Playstyle analysis:

  1. Manual

CAs are great for dealing sustained DPS to bosses/heavy targets, while being less efficient at clearing generic enemies. Their slow speed also means that they are very sluggish in terms of handling. Another thing is that at lower limit breaks they’re much more squishy than people think they are because of their lack of evasion.

  1. Auto-mode

They have some value for auto-mode, since they don’t rely on torpedoes for damage and is fairly tanky. Their ineffectiveness at clearing the generic mobs slows the clear speed down by quite a bit.

Main Fleet

The comparison of ships in the main fleet will be mainly based on their effects, since their stats are vastly different due to the difference of their roles. The only exception is the comparison between BBs, BCs and BMs, as their roles are similar.

Battleships, Battlecruisers

Pros:

  1. Deals a large amount of damage to the aimed target on the first salvo, and other enemies on following salvos.
  2. Shorter reload time, making it possible for battleships to shoot more than twice in a single engagement.
  3. Have secondary guns that can help to kill ships that come close.
  4. THEY HAVE AIMBOTS  Battleship shots are usually very accurate, and the first shot can be aimed impossible to miss even for a monkey.
  5. During boss engagements, auto-aimed shots always target the boss.
  6. Very durable due to their large health pool and heavy armour.
  7. Higher damage than the CVs

Cons:

  1. Not so powerful at earlier limit breaks, and only scales into a monster
  2. Small area of effect, meaning you will have to wait for the best opportunity to shoot your high explosive/armour piercing load.
  3. Cannot store more than one round, hence giving them less burst potential.
  4. Less effective at anti-air than carriers.
  5. High fuel consumption.
  6. They have very low “Vision” stat, which makes a BB only fleet much more susceptible to random encounters.

Playstyle analysis:

Auto-mode

Due to the automatic nature of aiming, BB tend to be easier and better to use when in auto.

Fleet and Light Carriers

Fleet carriers and light carriers are functionally the same with a few differences: CVLs are faster at charging up air raids due to their higher reload stat, in exchange for lower airpower and only 2 plane slots instead of the 3 fleet carriers have.

Pros:

  1. Air raids are capable of clearing a screenful of generic/non-boss enemies, and can deal quite a bit of damage to an isolated enemy.
  2. Screen clearing capability. Whenever an air raid is launched, all enemy projectiles that are currently on the screen are cleared. For example, if you were to launch an air raid while the screen is filled with torpedoes, all the torpedoes will simply disappear. This can be used to clear the torpedo daily if needed though if you need it you probably should gitgud, scrub. (only for PVE)
  3. Carriers launch fighters regularly to shoot down enemy aircraft, reducing the damage taken by your fleet.

Cons:

  1. Takes a long time to charge up. (Fleet carriers)
  2. Generally smaller health pool than the battleships, with the exceptions of Lexington and Saratoga.
  3. Cannot be aimed, hence it is possible for the plane bombs and torpedoes to miss your intended target. It can be very frustrating to have planes unloading onto speed boats instead of the boss.

Playstyle analysis:

Manual

CVs target everything left to right, which means you should ensure there’s no speedboats/trash on the screen before you call in your strike. If there is only one ship on screen, all payloads will be aimed at that one ship. With good planes and maxed reload mod, CVs tend to reload in an acceptable time.Most CVs are pretty effective at 2 Limit Breaks, and the first isn’t anything to scoff at either. CV also provide a high “Vision” stat which decreases the amount of random encounters.

Monitors

This subclass get its own very special mention due to how different they are. Currently there are only two monitors in game, namely HMS Terror and HMS Erebus.

Pros:

  1. Monitors have a special barrage skill and cuteness which only clears the area before them. Moreover, the special barrage is time based and has a chance to not trigger at all.
  2. Lower fuel consumption than their BB and CC counterparts.

Cons:

  1. Low firepower, meaning main gun doesn’t do as much damage as the BBs and BCs.
  2. Very small health pool, making them extremely squishy. Requires a strong escort fleet to defend them from planes and speed boats.

Aviation Battleships

This subclass get its own very special mention due to how different they are. Currently there is only one aviation battleship in game, namely Retrofit IJN Yamashiro.

Pros:

  1. They have a special skill which deals a noticable amount of damage when the first air raid in the engagement is launched.

 Cons:

  1. Lower stats than BBs other than anti-air and air power, which makes them basically worse than normal BBs most of the time.
  2. Requires at least one CVs for skill to trigger.
  3. Skill only triggers once per fight.

Repair ships

Pros:

  1. Provides consistent healing for escort fleet.
  2. At second limit break, repair ships gives your fleet additional ammo charges and increases max ammo capacity. In other words, a fleet with one repair ship will start with 6/6 ammo.
  3. You start with up to 3 emergency repairs at the start of each map. The first and third limit break gives one each, while repair ships come with one by default.

Cons:

  1. Does not deal damage.
  2. Small health pool, making them squishy.
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