World of Warships Best Ships In Every Tier (2019 Edition)

World of Warships Best Ships
While the Kuma is named after a river, the kanji actually translates as "ball" and "to polish". Take your own meaning from that, I sure can't explain it.

What are the best ships in World of Warships?

Happy new year! With a large scale aircraft carrier update planned, they were left out of this article, but I tried ranking everything else(except premium ships.) Also, please note that there's a slight rock paper scissors element involved in WoWs so the best ship for one match may not be the best for every match.

Tier I

Best Cruiser: Hermelin (Germany)

Check out Hermelin stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Tier I is basically it’s own game. There’s only cruisers, they only have HE shells, and have no other abilities besides repair party. Also, playing in a tier I ship, you will never come across anything but other tier Is. That being said, tier I ships don’t have enough differences for it to really matter. I put the Hermelin on top though, because it’s fast, and it shoots fast. Being a little faster makes it a lot more fun to play compared to the others, which feel like they broke down and now you have to paddle them.

Tier II

Best Destroyer: Sampson (U.S.A.)

Check out Sampson stats here.

Why this ship is the best: You’re going to see a lot of American destroyers on this list, because simply, they’re just the safest destroyers to play. Focusing on guns while having plenty of torpedoes to back them up, American destroyers will bully others off of capture points if not outright kill them. They also have some of the best smoke in the game which is great for supporting your team.

Best Cruiser: Dresden (Germany)

Check out Dresden stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Dresden takes this spot because it has so many guns. In early tiers the most important thing for a cruiser is to have plenty of DPS. The Dresden has 10 guns that can shoot 12 times per minute meaning you can shoot up to 120 shells per minute. Realistically, you won’t be able to get that many because you don’t want to be turned 100% to the side which means you can’t use all 10 at the same time. But it’s possible.

Tier III

Best Destroyer: Wickes (U.S.A.)

Check out Wickes stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Wickes is just a Sampson with a couple more torpedoes and a little more speed. Following the same characteristics otherwise keeps this gun boat on top in tier III with more Americans to come.

Best Cruiser: St. Louis (U.S.A.)

Check out St. Louis stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The St. Louis wins tier III for the same reason the Dresden won tier II. It has 10 guns, with less rate of fire, but with more damage per shell. The St. Louis moves very slow but is actually able to fight battleships pretty easily with how much firepower she has. In higher tiers, the low maneuverability would be a huge downside to just about any cruiser but in tier III it honestly doesn’t matter.

Best Battleship: Nassau (Germany)

Check out Nassau stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Nassau is a simple ship to play. It has a bunch of armor and good secondary guns which shoot by themselves. While in the low tiers, battleships with the most armor are generally going to to well because no one has enough range to be safe while they shoot. The Nassau also has faster firing guns than other battleships at tier III which can help make up for the bad accuracy of low tier guns.

Tier IV

Best Destroyer: Isokaze (Japan)

Check out Isokaze stats here.

Why this ship is the best: At tier IV the matchup between the American and Japanese destroyers came pretty close. If you want to fight other destroyers, pick the Clemson. But I took this chance to give a little diversity to the list and explain the Japanese destroyers a little. At earlier tiers, no torpedoes had enough range to be used while undetected meaning you will be shot at if you want to get close enough to use them. The Clemson, at this tier, has the same problem. But with the Isokaze, it’s possible. Technically, the tier III Wakatake could too, but the Isokaze has more torpedoes that also have higher damage, which makes it much more reliable to do from this tier.

Best Cruiser: Kuma (Japan)

Check out Kuma stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Kuma is a well rounded cruiser with fast firing guns as well as torpedoes that have great range for the tier. She’s a little fragile though. And angling wrong can cause her to take a lot of big hits. But as long as you’re careful with your movement,  the Kuma can do a lot of damage.

Best Battleship: Orion (U.K.)

Check out Orion stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Like American destroyers, you’ll see a lot of U.K. battleships on this list. The main thing making them so strong is high fire chance, but they have pretty good guns in general and pretty thick armor too. Oh yeah, and they have the strongest heal in the game which can refill up to about 50% of your missing health at higher tiers. The fire chance is a big deal because battleships especially are hard to deal damage to so lighting a couple fires is the safest way do kill them. And the maybe the most annoying way for them to die.

Tier V

Best Destroyer: Nicholas (U.S.A.)

Check out Nicholas stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Nicholas has the same torpedoes as the earlier American destroyers but has significantly better guns. Those better guns as well as some higher speed brings the Americans back to the top for tier V. There isn’t much else to say about it...

Best Cruiser: Furutaka (Japan)

Check out Furutaka stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Furutaka is the first heavy cruiser in the game and brings along a new play style for cruisers. Earlier, the goal was mainly to have as many shells come out as fast as possible. Now, things get a little more complicated. As the only tier V heavy cruiser, the Furutaka has the biggest guns of any cruiser line at this tier. Guns big enough to do good damage to anything, and with only one volley instead of 10. She also has great 10 kilometer torpedoes and good maneuverability. Different than all cruisers before but played right, can have the best results of any tier V cruiser.

Best Battleship: Kongo (Japan)

Check out Kongo stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Kongo is a great example of Japanese battleships. She’s very fun with long range and great maneuverability for a battleship. Although her armor is lacking, she’s got a big health pool and enough range that you shouldn’t be getting hit too often. Kongo is a fan favorite and for good reason, if your goal with a battleship is to deal a lot of damage instead of take a lot, you’ll enjoy the Japanese line and definitely the Kongo.

Tier VI

Best Destroyer: Ernst Gaede (Germany)

Check out Ernst Gaede stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Gaede can equip guns as big as some cruisers. Since the Americans have been winning out most destroyer spots because of their guns, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise why the Gaede is here. The light cruiser sized guns and a bigger health pool causes this to be more like a “very light cruiser” that also has some nice torpedoes with good range. She still has the option to use destroyer sized guns and the versatility makes for a fun ship.

Best Cruiser: Budyonny (U.S.S.R.)

Check out Budyonny stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Budyonny doesn’t have very big guns. But they are long ranged and shoot very very straight. That means, from a fairly safe distance, she can easily aim(and hit) enemies fragile parts, and do a lot of damage. The smaller guns are somewhat nice in this case because she can shoot more often since they have a lower reload time.

Best Battleship: Bayern (Germany)

Check out Bayern stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Bayern’s stats are all around better than pretty much every other battleship at tier VI. The only exception is her range is slightly lower than the Fuso. But when literally everything else is better, that doesn’t make too much of a difference. The Bayern’s got thick turtleback armor and big guns with nearly cruiser-like handling. That might be an exaggeration but not much. Using high speed she’ll get in close, blow you up, and laugh as none of your shells make it even half way through her armor.

Tier VII

Best Destroyer: Mahan (U.S.A.)

Check out Mahan stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Keeping roughly the same gun stats as the other American destroyers, the Mahan finally gets torpedoes that can fire from stealth as well as better AA and more health. Improving in about every aspect, the Mahan keeps America on top in tier VII.

Best Cruiser: Helena (U.S.A.)

Check out Helena stats here.

Why this ship is the best: While pretty much everyone is upgraded to heavy cruisers, it might seem strange that a light cruiser takes tier VII. She has 15 guns which gives her high damage potential as long as you keep her from getting hit. Along those lines, she has good concealment and maneuverability so if you play right, you shouldn’t be getting hit too much.

Best Battleship: King George V (U.K.)

Check out King George V stats here.

Why this ship is the best: You know how to deal with heavily armored ships that your shells can’t penetrate? Fire. You remember what I said about the U.K. battleships? Fire. Yeah, so, if you enjoy playing German battleships and watching enemy AP shells break when they hit you, you’ll probably feel pretty bad when this ship lights your wooden deck on fire 10 times in a minute. The KGV has great fire chance(if that wasn’t clear already,) fast reload speed, and fast movement speed.


Best Destroyer: Akizuki (Japan)

Check out Akizuki stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Switching things up, from tier VIII the second Japanese destroyer line is gun boats. They can shoot very very quickly. The Akizuki is one of the fastest shooting ships in the game and has 8 barrels to shoot from for up to 160 shells per minute. A 5% fire starting chance doesn’t seem like much but with that many shells you can expect at least 7 fires started per minute, every minute(assuming you’re hitting somebody the whole time).

Best Cruiser: Cleveland (U.S.A.)

Check out Cleveland stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Cleveland used to be at tier VI but moved up after the American cruiser line split in two. At tier VI she was a monster and was clearly the best around, and with a couple buffs to make her safe in tier VIII she remains a great ship here too. Although she has light armor, her guns are fun to use with great turret placement and nice shell ballistics.

Best Battleship: Richelieu (France)

Check out Richelieu stats here.

Why this ship is the best: If you take a look at the image above, you might notice that all the big guns are on the front of this ship. That means she doesn’t need to turn at all to shoot them. And that means, She will rarely give an angle that you can effectively do any damage against. She also has long range, and high speed. If played correctly the Richelieu is a hard ship to kill, and the longer she’s alive, the more damage she can potentially put out.

Tier IX

Best Destroyer: Fletcher (U.S.A.)

Check out Fletcher stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Fletcher gets torpedos that are over 10 kilometers in range, and that puts her about on par with the Japanese torpedo boats while keeping the great American guns.  Along with some good speed and great maneuverability, the fletcher is very annoying to play against for destroyers and battleships alike.

Best Cruiser: Buffalo (U.S.A.)

Check out Buffalo stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Buffalo is on the heavy cruiser side of the American cruiser line. It’s one of the tankiest cruisers in the game while keeping some nice guns and range. While the German tier IX is tankier, the guns on the Buffalo are significantly easier to aim and therefore are more capable of doing more damage.

Best Battleship: Lion (U.K.)

Check out Lion stats here.

Why this ship is the best: In the first U.K. battleship on the list, I said they have a strong heal. This is where it starts getting really big. Assuming you don’t die within 5 seconds, which doesn’t happen often, you’re going to be able to out heal just about any damage that comes at you. To round that off, the Lion has great fire chance just like the others in this line, and pretty good range to launch those HE shells from.

Tier X

Best Destroyer: Harugumo (Japan)

Check out Harugumo stats here.

Why this ship is the best: Much like the Akizuki, the Harugumo has some very high reload speed and has 2 more barrels to shoot from. The Harugumo has the biggest health pool and the highest damage potential of any destroyer in the game. She also has 6 great Japanese torpedoes albeit in one launcher. Either way this is a great ship to play as and a terrible ship to play against.

Best Cruiser: Zao (Japan)

Check out Zao stats here.

Why this ship is the best: The Zao is a very well rounded cruiser with honestly no real weakness. Great guns with great fire chance, Great torpedoes with decent firing arcs, and good survivability with a big health pool. Big guns with great concealment for it’s size,  the Zao can sneak into range and deal some big damage before you even notice she’s there. There’s going to be no situation where you can’t do well. Except maybe if your entire team goes AFK.

Best Battleship: Conqueror (U.K.)

Check out Conqueror stats here.

Why this ship is the best: You already know what to expect from this one. The Conqueror has very very high fire chance and a great heal. She’s got thick armor, and decent speed for her size. Out-ranged by the Yamato, but shooting anything at that long range is extremely difficult, anyway. Yamato also has slightly thicker armor and slightly bigger guns, but not quite enough to make the difference. If you think you have great aim and want to see big numbers pop up when you shoot people, play the Yamato. If you want a ship that is consistent and will do well every single game almost regardless of your aim(although, obviously you still need to hit them,) play the Conqueror.

You may also be interested in:


More on this topic:

Throughout my adventures, from my mom's basement to Japan, nowhere has made me feel more comfortable than the internet... except maybe that one place...
Gamer Since: 1999
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:League of Legends, World of Warships, Undertale

More Top Stories