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This article will feature three of the best Tier VIII premium tanks overall and three of the best Tier VIII vehicles that are readily available in the Wargaming store. I have chosen a global win rate as a main factor for my selections; if you want to know why, please check one of the previous articles for an in-depth explanation. For those of you that are not interested in a long divagation, here is a tl/dr version: World of Tanks as a team based game should be played to win, and the win rate of an average player will be higher in a tank that is generally good, easy-to-play, and forgiving, because an average player is, well... "average". So this list will feature tanks that are the best in a hands of a typical, casual World of Tanks community member, and not necessarily the ones that fabled Unicorns do the best in. And of course, the best by win rate does not mean the same as the best money maker, because there is always a question of repair and ammunition costs.
Without further ado, let us go straight to the tanks.
BEST TIER VIII PREMIUM TANKS OVERALL
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - Very good aim time, and decent accuracy with a 7° of gun depression. Accurate even on the move, thanks to great soft stats on the gun. Penetration is somewhat low (AP 190mm, APCR 247mm, HE 50mm), however, so you will find yourself firing a healthy amount of gold ammo quite often. DPM is above average (2000) which in combination with other gun stats makes for an excellent damage dealer if you manage to flank your enemy.
|Armor - Overall quite average (Hull: F90, S75, R45, Turret: F190, S130, R100), but with some nice surprises. Thanks to spaced armor side skirts, T44-100 is actually better armored than its Tech Tree counterpart. Front of the hull can easily pull off some bounces against lower tier enemies, and the turret is strong enough to fend off even some tier VIII tanks. T44-100 is also a decent side scraper, thanks to respectable 75mm side armor with additional side skirts.
|Mobility - In one word: Godlike! After a buff to the engine power, with 52km/h top speed, and incredibly good terrain resistances (0.50Hard, 0.60Medium, 1.50Soft, yes, really...) this thing moves like a UFO. Traverse speeds are also unbelievably good, acceleration is on par with light tanks, and reverse speed is above average as well (23km/h). This might as well be the most agile medium tank in the game.
|Other features - T44-100 for some reason has 50 more hitpoints than regular T-44 (1350), view range is on the low side, however (380), same as Tech Tree counterpart. Camo values are quite good for a medium tank.
|Performance - T44-100 with its astonishing mobility is a great flanking medium, that can lead MT wolfpacks. Unbelievable traverse values enable it to easily run circles around isolated Heavy Tanks. Thanks to credit income bonus T44-100 can compensate for low standard ammo penetration with premium APCR without burning a hole in your pocket, but if you spam gold, your average per game profit will be quite low.
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - LT-432's main armament is an 85mm tank gun with respectable penetration for a Tier VIII light (APCR 176mm, AP 218, HE 44) and middle of the pack Alpha Damage (180). Its dispersion values and aim time (2s) are outstanding which enables accurate snapshots. Standard APCR ammunition with a high 1150m/s shell velocity is also a very nice feature. All of this paired with workable 7° of gun depression make LT432 a flexible damage dealer (for a light tank).
|Armor - Round, bouncy turret (F160, S100, R60) in a combination with sloped hull armor (F70, S40, R40) give this tank survivability that most other Lights can only dream of. Penetrating LT-432's armor while it is performing rapid maneuvers at top speed can be very challenging. Its main weakness is quite easily overmatchable (a 120mm+ caliber gun required) side and rear hull armor.
|Mobility - Excellent 70km/h top speed paired with very good 33.33 km/ton power to weight ratio. Terrain resistances are quite high, however, but nevertheless, this thing can move. It is worth mentioning that LT-432 is quite fat for a light tank (it weights 27 tons unequipped) which combined with its excellent top speed results in high ramming damage potential against other Light Tanks.
|Other features - Subpar view range (380m) will get you out spotted quite often. Excellent radio range (850m - it doesn't matter really, but its best in class so I might as well write it down). Above average health pool of 1100. Great camo values thanks to very low profile.
|Performance - Thanks to its good gun, decent mobility, and quite trollish armor LT432 can be played as a Medium-like flanker and damage dealer. 432s active scouting capabilities are, however, a bit limited due to its large size, subpar view range, and a quite bad terrain resistance values. Despite that LT-432 is a very versatile Light Tank that can fulfill multiple roles on a battlefield. It is worth noting that LT-432's win rate is most likely inflated because its mostly played by experienced players that have already unlocked the LT-100.
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - Defender's gun is quite similar to IS-3s BL-9, with mine difference being higher alpha damage (440 - Tied with the VK 100.01 P for the most of any tier VIII heavy tank AP gun). Quite low DPM (1760), bad accuracy (0.44) and very poor aim time (3.20) are somewhat compensated by great penetration (AP 225mm, APCR 265mm, HE 68mm) (and the fact that 252Us armor is overpowered as hell and it can just put his gun in your face without risk of being damaged, but more on that later...)
|Armor - Turret is unpenetrable from the front (F250, S150, R100) with effective thickness reaching over 530mm in some places), and cupolas are VERY hard to hit. Hull armor, while quite balanced on paper (F130, S100, R90) is almost impregnable from the front, even quite large lower glacis is over 180mm thick. Unlike IS-3, 252U can actually angle its armor a bit to further increase its effectiveness; when angled properly Defender's lower plate is 215mm thick, and the rest of the tank is unpenetrable even by Tier X tanks (with an exception of minuscule cupolas). Overall, hull down 252U is probably the most overpowered thing in the game.
|Mobility - Comparable to IS6, with the same top speed (35km/h), and power to weight ratio (13.59), tuned down by somewhat bad terrain resistance. All in all, Defender can easily get to places, relocate quickly and generally keep up with rapidly changing battlefield situation.
|Other features - One of the most overpowered tanks in the game that will probably never get nerfed (because people have paid real money for it, you know...). Lackluster 350 meters view range. Average 1500 hit point health pool.
|Performance - One of the best brawlers in the game. Defender strikes fear (and rage) in hearts of its enemies. The best thing about the 252U is that it is very hard to get these days (but there are enough these things in the matchmaker to further ruin Tier VIII gameplay experience)
BEST TIER VIII PREMIUM TANKS ALWAYS AVAILABLE IN THE WARGAMING STORE
|T-54 first prototype
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - Mod. 1's main armament is pretty similar to the gun found on the T-44 and T44-100. Main differences lay in a bit lower DPM (1875) and worse accuracy on the move. Somewhat low penetration (AP 190mm, APCR 247mm, HE 50mm) is compensated by acceptable 0.36m dispersion and recently buffed mobility. 7° of gun depression give this tank just enough flexibility to remain competitive on ridge lines.
|Armor - Very good for a Tier VIII medium. Its hull is (as the name suggests) almost identical to the T-54's (F120, S90 (10 better than T-54 for some reason), R45) and the turret is a bit better than T-44's (F200, S120, R75). For all intents and purposes, T-54 first prototype has a Tier XI tank hull a whole tier lower, which gives it a capability to bully lower tier tanks as well as some Tier VIII's. In a bad matchup, its armor will not hold up anywhere near as well, but will still bounce a shell here and there.
|Mobility - Once this tank was a "well armored and quite slow moving medium" and then it got its engine buffed (760HP, 21.41HP/ton)... so now it moves almost like a T44 with a top speed of 44km/h being the only thing holding it back. Traverse speeds are on a low side, but still good enough to perform rapid maneuvers. Please be aware that Mod. 1 has only 18km/h reverse speed which makes ducking back into cover a bit troublesome.
|Other features - Average 380 meters view range. Respectable 1300 hit points which paired with good overall armor results in great survivability for a medium tank. It also has good camouflage values thanks to a low profile.
|Performance - Generally, T-54 first prototype is, just like the T-44, a flanking medium, but thanks to its armor it can actually brawl while in a good matchup. A bit bad soft gun stats make snap shooting difficult, however. Thanks to descent view range and good camo values it is also a surprisingly good scout.
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - For a long time IS-6 was regarded as one of the most under-gunned tanks in the game (as a preferential matchmaking tank it was constantly matched up against Tier IX's and other Tier VIII's). After a buff, however, its situation got a bit better. Penetration of a standard shell was buffed by 11mm (current values are: AP 186mm, APCR 225mm, HE 61mm), aim time got decreased by a whole 0.6s, the dispersion is now better by 0.02, and it can carry 7 more shells. Thanks to these changes IS-6 can at least try to pull its weight in a bad matchup.
|Armor - Buffed as well, but not as much as the gun. The turret is strong enough to hold up against some Tier IX's (F150, S150, R100) with an effective thickness of about 250mm in the front. Hull armor, is actually stronger than IS-3's (F110, S100, R60) with an effective front plate thickness of over 260mm. The lower plate is quite small, and when angled properly it reaches the thickness of 220mm. Cupolas are very small and hard to hit even at close range.
|Mobility - Comparable to the Object 252U Defender. IS-6 is not a speed demon by any means, but it can relocate quite easily. Top speed of 35km/h paired with descent 13.59HP/ton power to weight ratio is enough to get around.
|Other features - Subpar 350 meters view range. Average 1550 hit point pool. Frontal armor without obvious weak spots.
|Performance - Gameplaywise IS-6 is similar to IS and IS-3, and as such it excels as a brawler. In a bad matchup (which will be about 90% of games these days) you should play a support role, and avoid head-on encounters with Higher Tier Heavy tanks.
|Global win percentage
|Firepower and Gun Handling - With a very good DPM (2694), adequate penetration (AP 248mm, HEAT 310mm, HE 61mm) and acceptable aim time (2.9s) WZ-120-1G FT is a consistent damage dealer at Tier VIII. Thanks to wide gun arc it's also quite flexible, and can switch targets without moving its hull, which further adds to its gun performance.
|Armor - Thick and sloped enough (F120, S80, R45) to withstand most of the lower Tier guns that it faces as well as most of the Tier VIII medium tank weaponry. Effective upper front hull thickness reaches 240mm. The lower plate is quite small and hard to hit. Sides and rear are very thin however and will be penetrated easily, even by Tier VI tanks.
|Mobility - Thanks to respectable 50km/h top speed, WZ relocates with ease. Good power to weight ratio (16.11HP/ton) paired with decent terrain resistances result in great agility and exceptional hull traverse values, which makes this TD very good at avoiding Medium Tanks that try to flank it.
|Other features - Good 380 meters view range for a Tier VIII Tank Destroyer. Average hit point pool (1100). Good camouflage values paired with view range and good mobility enable passive scouting.
|Performance - WZ-120-1G FT is a fearsome damage dealer at Tier VIII. Thanks to its high agility it can fend off Medium Tank assaults with relative ease, which is rare for non-turreted Tank Destroyer. It is also surprisingly good at brawling, for the same reason. Thanks to great view range and very good camo values it can engage targets at long ranges and remain unspotted while dealing consistent damage to the enemy. Overall WZ is a great, flexible and stealthy vehicle which can provide astonishing results in hands of an experienced player.
Please remember that every player is different, and your performance in above mention tanks may vary greatly from the average numbers (here's magic of statistics for you). But all in all, tanks featured in this review should be a safe bet when it comes to investing your time and money into World of Tanks, and with them, you will boost your win rate and increase your credit income greatly.
Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Wargaming Group Limited.