Which American Tank Line is Right for You?

One of the most important decisions in World of Tanks that will partly determine whether or not you enjoy the game is which tank line you progress down.  Each line has it’s own ups and down in terms of the grinding difficulty and specific traits for each tank.  It is important to figure out how you enjoy playing World of Tanks before attempting to go to tier 10 due to the time or cash commitment required from tier 5-10.  This guide will help you figure out which tanks fit your personal tastes and save you the trouble of going down a tank line not suited for you.

Some might enjoy playing mobile medium tanks capable of re-positioning and being where needed while others might want a slow heavily armored heavy tank capable of taking a beating.  Laid out below are the general characteristics of each nationality currently in World of Tanks as well as specifics on each tank line for each nationality. It is still suggested to watch game play and look into the tanks you are interested in before making a choice as this is only one person’s opinion.

This guide will be updated and added to when new American tanks or changes are made in World of Tanks.  For a complete guide on which tank line is right for you see the link below.

http://wotguru.com/which-tank-line-is-right-for-you/

American (U.S.A) Tanks

American_FullTree_5

American tanks are a very good starting point for any type of player due to the flexibility of many of the tanks and tank trees.  American tanks are well known for their “comfort” since unlisted stats such as gun depression, terrain pass-ability, and other small stats are very good making them easy to use.  Although they are generally the most accessible tank line in World of Tanks they also provide more seasoned players great tanks that can fill many roles or excel in specific situations. One of the most recognizable features of American tanks is to abuse the gun depression and use the terrain to your advantage by only showing your strong turret armor shooting from behind a hill.

Medium/Heavy Low Tiers

American Low Tiers

If you are heading to the medium or heavy line of the American branch you will need to pass through these tanks first. The T2 Medium and M2 Medium are very lightly protected medium tanks as far as armor and overall mobility goes.  What they do have is above average guns and very good gun depression.  The M3 Lee is not like most standard tanks and is more like a TD with no armor.  The top gun on the M3 Lee shreds tier 4 and under tanks and stands up against tier 5 tanks fairly well. The main downsides are lack of a turret, not being able to hull down, and needing knowledge of enemy movements/map locations.

M3 Lee Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m3-lee/

American Crossovers

Medium Line (T2 Medium Tank -> M48A1)

American_Medium

The medium tank line of the American tree largely stays the same throughout aside from a couple tanks.  American mediums are neither the most mobile medium tanks in terms of top speed nor the strongest in terms of armor. However, they tend to have the best gun depression and all around good stats which provides a very flexible tank as a result. Starting at tier 2/3 these tanks will be very lightly armored but mount excellent guns and have good gun depression to use terrain to their advantage like most American mediums.  

At tier 4 a wrench is thrown into the line in the form of the M3 Lee.  This “medium” tank functions more like a tank destroyer since it does not have a traditional turret.  The Lee does have a great top gun and decent armor for the tier, play it to avoid being flanked and it is a very enjoyable tank to play. However, if you play it like other medium tanks and not like a tank destroyer then you will struggle and hate this tank.

M3 Lee Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m3-lee/

At tier 5 in the medium line you enter the Sherman section of the tree.  These tanks are widely regarded as some of the best or most enjoyable to play of the mid tiers.  The M4 Sherman allows players to either use the 105mm “derp” gun for lobbing HE shells or a 76mm that fits into a more traditional medium role.  It is lightly armored with good mobility and an excellent gun and is a blast to play.  Next in line at tier 6 comes either the M4A3E8 or the M4A3E2 depending on your play style.  The E8 is the more mobile of the two with a rapid firing 76mm to zip around the battlefield flanking tanks. The downside is that while it is very mobile it is not “fast” which can end up with you dying very quickly. The M4A3E2 on the other hand is slightly slower but in return gains a massive amount of armor on the front of the tank which allows it to bounce most thrown at it.  The E2 also is viable with both the stock turret + 105mm set up or the upgraded turret + M1A2 76mm allowing players to see which play style they prefer.

M4 Sherman Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m4-sherman/

M4 Sherman Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-m4-sherman/

M4A3E2 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m4a3e2-jumbo-sherman/

M4A3E2 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spots-guide-m4a3e2/

At tier 7 the T20 is another shift in terms of tank style as it’s main feature is using it’s high mobility and top speed to dart in, fire a few shots, and get out.  The T20 is a fun tank to play at it’s elite load out but is one of the tougher tanks in World of Tanks to play stock and grind out.  The M26 Pershing, M46 Patton, and M48A1 Patton which follow the T20 return to the “slower” medium game play in which they equip very good top guns, turret armor, and have good gun depression. On the downside all three of these tanks have brutal stock grinds which makes moving up them very difficult until the top guns are unlocked(the M46 especially).  Overall these mediums are very flexible, can fill many roles in the battlefield, and are very good tanks for public/random matches.

M26 Pershing Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m26-pershing/

M46 Patton Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m46-patton/

M48A1 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m48a1/

Heavy Line (T1 Heavy -> T110E5)

American_Heavy

The heavy tank line for the American tree starts at tier 5/6 with the T1 Heavy and M6 to kick things off.  Both tanks are similar and come with great frontal armor, good top guns, and great mobility for a heavy tank at these tiers.  The key to playing these tanks is the be aggressive and help push the lines forward but to prevent yourself from being flanked due to the large side profile and low armor of these tanks. Both are excellent tanks in their fully equipped set up and the stock set up is not all that bad either.

T1 Heavy Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t1-heavy-tank/

Moving onto tier 7 comes the legendary T29 which reigns king of the tier 7 tanks.  This tank might be a bit difficult to play before unlocking the 105mm and upgraded turret but it is well worth it as it easily outclasses other tier 7 heavy tanks.  The T29 has the awesome 105mm at tier 7 while keeping the great gun depression and turret armor which allows it to be immune to even tier 9 tanks if hull down behind a hill.  The hull armor is enough in the front to protect itself from tier 7 and under tanks and the side armor is better than listed since the tracks cover most of the sides.  Following the T29 comes the T32 which to many is the “same” tank but it plays slightly different.  The T32 shares the same 105mm as the T29 but with it’s top turret it becomes much more armored on both the hull and turret. This is crucial since the 105mm at tier 8 can be difficult to use against tier 8-10 heavy/TD tanks due to the bad accuracy/penetration.  The T32 is best played as a heavy tank when it is the top tank, but if thrown into tier 9/10 games it is best to bully medium tanks or support other heavy tanks.

T29 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-t29/

T29 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t29/

T32 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t32/

The next tanks to come in the heavy tank line are the M103 and T110E5.  The M103 is a terrible grind until the 120mm is unlocked and I suggest even unlocking the 120mm that will be used on he T110E5 since the difference between the two 120mm’s is that much.  The M103 is overall decently armored on the front of the tank(with some holes in it’s armor) and is very mobile for a heavy tank. It also packs top notch firepower with the top 120mm which makes it a great tier 9 tank. The main downside is the very flimsy rear and side armor which allows the M103 to be easily taken out by lower tier tanks/SPGs if hit from anywhere other than the front.  Moving onto tier 10 comes the T110E5 which is very similar to the M103.  

The T110E5 is much smaller than the M103, has much more frontal armor, is more mobile, more accurate, and it’s gun has a faster rate of fire.  This makes the T110E5 one of the best tier 10 heavy tanks currently as not only can it function in the heavy tank role but it also has enough mobility to re-position like a medium tank.

T110E5 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-t110e5/

T110E5 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spots-guide-t110e5/

Non-Turreted Tank Destroyer Line (T3 HMC -> T110E3)

American_TD_TechTree

American tank destroyers are a very well rounded branch that spans a lot of different play styles. Starting off at the tier 2 T3 HMC you have a lightly armored, highly mobile tank destroyer with two viable top guns.  You can choose between the 75mm howitzer that causes a massive amount of damage per shot or the QF 2-pdr that is more accurate but with lower damage per round.  At tier 3 the T56 GMC sees an increase in hull armor but the tank overall still has poor protection from incoming rounds.  The T56 GMC is very mobile like the T3 HMC and has two killer guns with the 57mm and 3-inch AT gun. Moving onto tier 4 T40 you retain the same howitzer play style while gaining some decent high rate of fire AP guns..  The T40 is a well rounded tank with great firepower, decent mobility, and ok armor.

At tier 5 and tier 6 comes the next “section” of the branch that differs from tier 2-4. The M10 and M36 have fully rotating turrets and sport limited armor.  They make up for the lack of armor with good mobility and great DPM guns.  Both suffer from stock tank syndrome and can be a bit hard to grind through until you get the top engine+gun but the elite version more than makes up for it. At tier 7 you progress to the T25 AT which like the previous two tanks is very difficult to play until you get the top gun and engine.  You lose the turret but gain a decently armored turret-less medium tank with a gigantic gun strapped onto it…..or at least that is how describe it.  The T25 AT is a tank you will be very happy of once you elite it and will tempt you to keep it even after you move onto tier 8.

At tier 8 the line shifts from mobile tank destroyers to heavily armored slugs. At tier 8 is the T28 which has a decent armor set up on the frontal armor but it suffers against tier 9+ tanks which can be very annoying.  This tank is the most painful of the entire line to grind through until you equip the top 120mm gun which you will absolutely want to get before researching the T95. If you move onto the T95 before getting the 120mm you will regret it and won’t be able to play the T95 effectively at all.  Anyway… Once you get the 120mm on the T28 it becomes a deadly tank in terms of both alpha+DPM at tier 8.  The trick is to always stick around at least 2 other teammates to prevent yourself from being flanked as you evaporate other tanks with your 120mm.

T28 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t28/

The former final tank of this line is the iconic T95. This is essentially the slowest tank in the game but sports an insane amount of armor all around as well as a killer 155mm top gun.  Unlike the T28 the T95’s frontal armor allows it to play a bit more “aggressively” albeit slowly.  Take routes and stick with teammates that will prevent you from being flanked.  The main downsides of this tank is being caught in the open and being hit by artillery and being flanked with no back up. Minimize both of them and this tank truly shines.  Following the T95 is the T110E3 which has a worse overall frontal armor scheme with more weak spots but still provides the best armor for a tank destroyer at tier 10.  Since it sacrifices some armor it gains some much needed speed that limits the T95’s usefulness and also has an amazing gun.  The T110E3 like the T28/T95 is only limited by being flanked with no back up and being caught out in the open by arty.

T95 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-t95/

T95 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spots-guide-t95/

T110E3 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-t110e3/

T110E3 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t110e3/

Turreted Tank Destroyer Line (M8A1 -> T110E4)

American_TD_TechTree

The American turreted TD line starts out with rather mobile and lightly armored tanks which then transition into less mobile tanks.  The M8A1 is a nimble, tiny, and fragile zippy tank with an impressive gun on it for a tier 4.  At tier 4 it can be difficult to stay at range and use your mobility + gun to your advantage since low tier matches are fast paced but even so it is an enjoyable tank to play. The T49 at tier 5 keeps the same mobile + frailness of the M8A1 but improves upon it and can be deadly in the right hands.  The T49 has great view range combined with good camouflage with the right crew skills which can make it become a very annoying tank to face. Moving onto tier 6 once again the Hellcat improves upon the mobile/frail TD design of the previous two TDs but now with more firepower.  The main downside of the Hellcat is being obliterated by artillery and also that the traverse for the hull/turret is a tad low.  All three of these TDs however are very fun to play but can be slightly tough to grind through without the top engines/guns.

The T25/2 is the oddball of this tank line being that it has nothing “special” or worthwhile.  It doesn’t have great armor/mobility/firepower/etc. which can make it frustrating to play at times especially without the top gun on it.  Every line has it’s speed bump and this tank is it for this line.  Moving onto the T28 Prototype the mobility is thrown out the window and you now sport a harder hitting gun and thicker armor.  The T28’s turret is open topped making it the main weak point on the tank and also isn’t able to traverse 360 degrees.  It is also a slug compared to the previous tanks you have played. On the other hand it has very good armor for dealing with any tier 8 tank and some tier 9’s(barring premium ammo) and a very good top gun.

The former tier 10 heavy tank T30 is the next tank destroyer in this line and it is merely a rotting corpse of it’s former self.  The tier 9 TD T30 still sports the 750 alpha top gun along with the very strong frontal turret armor which is exploitable by using the good gun depression. What it does not have is good mobility, traverse rates, accuracy, aim time, armor, and a livable reload rate.  Since the T30 was a tier 10 initially it had to be massively changed to fit in at tier 9 and it paid the price.  It still strikes fear into tanks once you equip the top gun since it has a boatload of damage and can still be a very deadly tank.  At the same time however you pay a massive price for that ability and often you will find it simply is not worth it.

At tier 10 the T110E4 sits and in it’s current state is the worse of the T110 series tanks in my opinion.  The T110E4 has a limited traverse turret like the T28 Protoype and like the T28 has rather low mobility.  The armor on the T110E4 is worse than the T110E3 on both the hull and the turret and is full of weak spots.  The turret can be penetrated easily by tier 9-10 guns and the hull armor is nothing special.  The T110E4 is essentially a slower T110E5 that equips a 850 alpha gun with similar damage per minute.  The T110E4 can be difficult to play since due to the decreased mobility and protection(plus the limited turret) you can be picked apart by enemies rather easily at times before making an impact. The T110E3 at least has a better gun, frontal protection, and gun depression to make up for the lack of the flexibility compared to the T110E5.

T110E4 Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-t110e4/

T110E4 Weak Spots: http://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-t110e4/

Light Tank Line (M2 Light Tank -> T49)

USA_LightTankTechTree2_10

The American light tank line starts off with the M2 Light, M3 Stuart, and M5 Stuart which are moderately mobile tanks for light tanks and equip decent guns on them.  These light tanks are not masters at scouting, speed, visibility, etc. however are very well rounded and allow players to adapt to many circumstances.  Use your head and pick your moments and these can be enjoyable to play. On the downside all are pretty terrible without the upgraded engines and guns.  Once you get to tier 5 the true American light tank experience begins and you will be rewarded with light tanks capable of doing more than just scouting.  The tier 5 M24 Chaffee is considered one of the best(and most fun) of the mid-tier light tanks to play since it has above average stats in almost every important category.  It’s mobility is top notch once you have the top engine equipped and when combined with the great 390m view range it makes a very good scout tank.  Since the rework the Chaffee it’s profile has been shrunk due to the “bobble head” turret being removed and helps the Chaffee since it has a very small profile now on top of it’s good camouflage.  The gun selection is limited to two 75mm and both aren’t mind-blowing but they are accurate, fire fast, have decent penetration, and chew through opponents overtime.  The main downside of the M24 Chaffee is it’s only good in it’s top set up, it faces many high tier tanks due to it’s matchmaking value, and it’s fragile in the HP/armor department.  The complete package for players who enjoy light tanks is something to be reckoned with since the M24 Chaffee is an awesome tank to play since you can both scout and dish out damage.

M24 Chaffee Tank Guide: http://wotguru.com/tank-guide-m24-chaffee/

Following the Chaffee at tier 6 is the T37 which has two(or even three) viable top configurations depending on what way you want to play.  You can go the stock turret/76mm T94 route which allows the T37 to remain very agile and a good mobile scout at the cost of having lower firepower/view range.  Or on the other hand you can equip the heavier elite turret and 76mm T102 auto-loading gun to have a much slower T37 but very good burst damage for a light tank.  This option makes you very sluggish for a light tank and the auto-loader does have lower accuracy/penetration than the top 76mm T91 gun.  The final option(and the best all around) is the top turret along with the top 76mm T91 gun.  You do lose some mobility since the upgraded turret is heavy compared to the stock turret but you do gain 20m of view range along with a lot of firepower.  The top 76mm T91 has the best penetration, accuracy, and overall damage potential of all of the guns aside from the initial burst damage compared to the auto-loaded gun.  Which set up you use depends on your play style and it makes the T37 a very versatile tank and it works in any configuration unlike other tanks.  The grind is short, the set ups are numerous, and you can pick and choose your positive/negative attributes. A win win in my book.

Tier 7 hosts the M41 Walker Bulldog which not only has a cool name but also backs it up with it’s performance.  The M41 Walker Bulldog like the T37 has two viable top guns in a conventional 76mm gun or a 10 round! auto-loading 76mm gun which allows you to dish out 1,500 damage before waiting for 30+ seconds to reload.  It’s a personal choice(like the T37) and depends solely on your preference since both guns have their ups and downs.  The view range, camouflage values, and mobility are all great as you would expect from a light tank and unlike the T37 your mobility won’t be terrible with the auto-loaded gun.  One major downside comes with the size of the M41 Walker Bulldog which is rather large for a light tank and along with that your ammo rack sits in the front of the tank and is easily damaged by frontal hull shots.  Once again the M41 is a versatile tank that allows the user to choose how the tank will perform and the downsides are not large enough to run the reputation of American light tanks being excellent tanks.

Ending the American light tank line(before it turns into the T54E1) is the T49 light tank.  Sticking with the multiple configuration approach like the tanks before it the T49 has a choice between a 90mm gun and a massive 152mm gun-launcher!  The 90mm has very good damage(320), decent pentration, and somewhat poor accuracy with .38 overall accuracy.  The 152mm gun-launcher has terrible accuracy(.60!!!), weighs less than the 90mm, and has huge damage potential.  The T49 is essentially the light tank version of the KV-2 and as you would expect can be very difficult to play with the 152mm or the complete opposite.  The mobility with either gun is below average for a high tier light and it’s size is also larger than most non-American light tanks above tier 6 which makes it very fragile.  The T49’s attraction comes with having a light tank capable of damaging any tank it faces(albeit with an HE shell) and the capability of dealing a massive amount of damage before running away.  The downside however is that the 152mm is unreliable and when compared against other nation’s tier 8 tanks n

Auto-Loader Line (M7 -> T57 Heavy Tank)

American_Autoloader

The newest addition to the American tree are the auto-loading tanks(and T21) that bring a new aspect to American tanks.  Starting at the M7 and T21 you are tanks that are very mobile but very fragile.  The M7 does not sport a very intimidating but is very good at a semi-scout/flanker and should be player very opportunistically.  The T21 on the other hand is somewhat like a tier 6 M24 Chaffee.  Both sport the same top gun and have identical damage per minute numbers which allows the T21 to dish out a respectable amount of damage.  The T21 is also very mobile and has good gun depression.  Play the T21 like a Chaffee(scout/flanker) and it can be very fun to play.

The T71 at tier 7 shifts you into more of a damage dealer and less of a spotter.  The T71 sports an auto-loader which allows you to output a lot of your damage upfront and then run away to cover your long reload.  The downside of this tank however is that due to the penetration/accuracy of the 76mm’s it sports you often are not capable of reaching that damage potential.  You are also very lightly protected and are not able to always sit out to unload the entire clip without sustaining a lot of damage.  At tier 8 the T69 sacrifices some mobility and is much larger than the T71 but gains a much better gun.  The T69 does lack some penetration with it’s AP rounds(top gun especially) and relies on HEAT to deal with most tier 8+ tanks frontally but if you can fork out the credits it is a fierce tank.  Both the T71 and T69 suffer from guns that seem practical but suffer from penetration/accuracy and needing to expose themselves to use their clip.

The T54E1 at tier 9 greatly increases the size of the tank you will be playing while adding a touch of armor onto it(mobility is good for it’s size though).  The armor isn’t great but is capable of semi-protecting it against lower tier tanks at tier 7 and some tier 8’s.  The selling point of the T54E1 is it’s 390 damage auto-loader which can cripple a tank very quickly. The downside? Like previous tanks the standard AP round lacks penetration which can make it difficult to achieve that potential damage unless you fork out the credits for premium rounds.  After trudging through this line you end with the tier 10 T57 heavy tank which is a gem in it’s current state.  The T57 heavy does not have a great deal of armor but does have decent mobility for a heavy tanks along with a spectacular gun.  The T57 has a 400 damage auto-loading gun which allows it to unload a lot of damage before some tanks can even get their second shot off.  It also does not have a terribly long reload time which helps negate that negative aspect that most auto-loaders face.  The main downside is being somewhat “frail” for a heavy tank and also needing to grind through the previous tanks which can be annoying if you do not splurge on premium ammo.

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