Survival Guide: Premium Tanks

By: _Marine and _Juris

Table of Content:

Premium Tanks | What Should I Get? | Tier VI | Pref MM Tier VIII | Regular Tier VIII | What Should I Do?

What About Premium Tanks?

 If you were lucky enough to locate or be given an invite code when you created your World of Tanks account, you may have started the game with an III M22 Locust   or V Churchill III   premium tank.  So what’s the story with premium tanks?  Briefly, premium tanks have three main advantages:

  1. You can use crew members from the same nation and class of tank as though they were already trained to 100% skill in their primary qualification.  This means you don’t need to retrain the crew in order to have them be able to operate the premium tank at their full skill level, nor do you need to maintain a specific crew trained for the premium tank.

  2. Premium tanks grant a 50% bonus to the amount of crew experience gained from each battle, which allows your crews to advance in their skills faster.

  3. Premium tanks get an increased credit-making ability (essentially, the ratio of damage done to credits earned) when compared to non-premium tanks.  This allows you make credits more easily, even at relatively high tiers.

 A further benefit is that since premium tanks do not require any module research, you can turn on “Accelerated Crew Training,” which grants the combat experience that would ordinarily accrue to the premium tank as extra crew experience to the crew-member with the lowest experience total.  Alternatively, you can leave “Accelerated Crew Training” turned off if you wish to accumulate combat experience for conversion into free experience with Gold (more on this later).

 What Premium Tank Should I Get?

 Initially, none - if you got one with an invite code, you can use it to help you make credits and finance your advancement up the tech tree.  However, buying a mid or high-tier premium tank early on is likely to be a frustrating experience, as you are still learning basic game mechanics, but will be matched against experienced players with fully elited [meaning all module upgrades for the tank have been researched and mounted, except the next tank in the tech tree] tech tree tanks and good crews.  Low-tier (tier 4 and below) premium tanks are generally not very interesting, and would not be recommended other than as novelty items.

 Not counting those tanks that are not normally available for sale, premium tanks can be thought of in three distinct groups.

  1. Regular tier 6 premiums, which can be competitive in both random battles and in tier 6 strongholds

  2. Preferential Matchmaking [tanks that will be matched against tanks two tiers lower but only one tier higher, instead of two tiers higher] tier 8 premiums, which are reasonable credit earners in random battles (although they are not as competitive in tier 8 Strongholds because they are balanced around only fighting tanks one tier above them rather than two)

  3. Regular Matchmaking [tanks that will be matched against tanks two tiers lower, and up to two tiers higher, excluding scout tanks] tier 5, 6, 7, and 8 premiums, which are good credit earners in random battles (when played reasonably well) and, for the tier 6 and 8 premium tanks, are competitive and profitable in Strongholds as well

 Generally speaking, the time to start considering buying a premium tank is when you have a fully-elited normal tech tree tank of the same tier and same “worst case” matchmaking.  Thus, for a tier 6 premium, you should have a normal tech tree tier 6 tank fully elited.  Likewise, for a Pref MM tier 8, you should have a normal tech tree tier 7 fully elited (since Pref MM tier 8s see the same worst-case matchmaking as tier 7s), and for a normal MM tier 8, you should have a normal tech tree tier 8 elited.

 When you have gotten a normal vehicle of the appropriate tier and feel like you are ready (or, if you happen to be in a clan that does tier 8 strongholds, and have at least a tier 6 vehicle already elited), these are the vehicles that we would recommend for credit earnings and overall gameplay.  Those listed in blue are (essentially) always available for sale, while those in red have “seasonal” availability, so you may have to wait awhile if you want one. Please note, at the time of writing this several premiums were being buffed, or up for significant changes. This list is NOT comprehensive!

 Tier 6

  • VI Škoda T 40  - Reasonable crew trainer for Czech mediums (although it has an extra crew member compared to the high-tier mediums), does well when high-tier in random matches, alpha [the amount of damage a single shell causes] works well in strongholds.

  • VI T-34-85 Rudy  - Perfect crew trainer for Russian mediums, plays similarly to higher-tier mediums so better for learning good habits.  Fast enough to not be left behind if your clan wants to run Cromwells in tier 6 strongholds.

  • VI Cromwell B   - Staple of tier 6 strongholds “Fast Attack” (aka “fastbois”) lineups.  Speed and gun penetration keep it relevant in pub matches as well, although the gun handling is… somewhere between bad and downright comical.

  • VI Strv m/42-57 Alt A.2   - Nicely profitable, teaches and embodies the autoloader playstyle perfectly, especially for a Medium Tank.  A little bit slow for tier 6 strongholds, but can be made to work.  Gun has enough punch to be reasonably effective in pub matches as well.

Pref MM Tier 8

  • VIII FCM 50 t   - Makes lots of credits, especially because the relatively high AP [armor piercing shell, the “normal” shell for most guns] penetration values combined with preferential MM mean you won’t need APCR [armor piercing composite rigid, the premium high-penetration round for most guns, behaves similarly to AP but with higher shell velocity and penetration] very much, still competitive in tier 8 strongholds because of high HP pool and AP pen.  Unfortunately, it gets extra MM weight [somewhat complex concept, but the simple version is that each tank has a “weight” attached to it, and MM balances teams by balancing the “weight” on each team, regardless of tank tier], is as big as a barn, and the gun handling will make you throw all your baguettes out the window sometimes.  A good tank, but should not be the first (or possibly even second) premium tank you buy.

  • VIII WZ-111   or VIII 112   - Either Chinese pref MM heavy is a straight upgrade on the previous king of tier 8 pref MM heavies, the IS-6.  Same 175 pen AP rounds, but in the current meta [refers to the most common way a battle plays out given the current set of tanks and maps], the 250 HEAT [high explosive anti-tank, the alternative to APCR as the premium high-penetration round on some tanks; can be absorbed by spaced armor (two plates of armor separated by an air gap) so somewhat unreliable when shooting at the sides of tanks, and with less shell velocity (typically) than APCR, but does not lose penetration value over distance like AP and APCR] on the WZ-111 and 112 is superior to the 217 APCR on the IS-6.  Both have a weaker LFP [lower front plate, typically a weak point on all tanks; may also be called lower glacis] than the IS-6, but a stronger UFP [upper front plate, usually one of the most strongly-armored parts of any tank], which is generally a good trade.  Both are a bit slow and inflexible, and have trademark bad Chinese gun handling, but these characteristics are common on all pref MM tier 8 heavies.  Not as competitive in tier 8 Strongholds due to being outclassed by regular MM heavies.

  • VIII T-34-3   - Your only option if you want an actual tier 8 medium tank with pref MM.  175 AP/250 HEAT works a bit better on the medium platform than on the heavy platform.  Turret is reasonably bouncy, and the gun depression is now adequate (if not exactly comfortable).  Like its heavy tank brother, not as competitive in tier 8 Strongholds.

  • VIII T26E4 SuperPershing   - Since the AP penetration was upgraded to 192, this tank is now quite viable as a credit-earner since you will need far less APCR than previously.  Accepts US medium crews, although it is a medium tank in name only.  Sits in a somewhat awkward “heavium” [a tank that behaves as a hybrid between a medium and heavy tank, in that it either (1) sacrifices some but not all armor, in order to gain a significant speed boost, or (2) adds additional armor protection at the expense of speed] niche due to reasonable frontal armor, but poor speed.

Regular Tier 8

  • VIII Löwe   - Recent buffs made what used to be purely a meme tank into a very viable pub tank and credit earner and the bane of IS-3 spammers in tier 8 strongholds.  UFP and turret/mantlet are now strong enough to reliably resist tier 8 heavy tank standard rounds, and can even be made to work against standard tier 10 rounds.  Speed is low, but acceleration is now improved, and armor is reasonably predictable and reliable.

  • VIII T26E5   - Probably the best all-around premium tank available right now when on sale.  Workable turret armor, decent speed, excellent shell speed and penetration on the standard and premium APCR rounds.  Sort of the mirror-image of the T26E4 as a ‘heavium’ - this is nominally classed as a heavy, but plays much more like a medium.  About the only thing you will have trouble with are German and Japanese superheavies, where even your premium APCR rounds will be     generally inadequate.

  • VIII AMX M4 mle. 49 Liberté   - Sort of a mix of the Lowe and T26E5.  Very strong frontal armor makes this tank very predictable and easy to play, reasonable mobility, solid gun with decent alpha and handling.  More forgiving that the Lowe due to better power-to-weight ratio and top speed.

  • VIII IS-6   - The new undisputed king of Russian heavy tank premiums.  Best-in-class alpha, good penetration values, and nearly immune UFP makes this tank the best trading [meaning exchanging shots 1 for 1 with another tank] premium heavy tank.  Mobility is somewhat lacking, but is enough to get where you need to go.

  • VIII Rheinmetall Skorpion G   - High skill ceiling [roughly, the potential to do large amounts of damage and win games] due to no armor, but more experienced players can leverage 490 alpha and the high speed into a devastating camo sniper that (unlike its tech-tree cousin, the Rhm. Borsig) has enough speed to relocate with mediums.  An excellent second-line support tank.

  • VIII Panzer 58 Mutz   - Probably the best all-around premium medium tank.  At least some turret armor, AP penetration (212) that is adequate to deal with most of the enemies you’re likely to encounter head-on, so credit-making potential is not constantly reduced by the need to fire APCR.  Reasonably quick, enough hull armor to resist high-caliber HE penetrations.

 Okay, So What Should I Do?

 Once you’ve gotten a couple lines up to tiers 5-6 and are either pretty sure you’re going to stick around in the game for a few months or are going to join a clan, look at picking up a tier 6 tank for your own credit-earning and crew training and to assist your clan in Tier 6 Strongholds.  Wait until you have a regular tech tree tier 8 tank elited (and maybe two or three) before you even consider buying any of the tier 8 premiums unless you are in a clan that does Tier 8 Strongholds.

 Oh, and never ever sell your premiums. Do as we say, not as we have done!