Clan Wars Cave Bear: WZ-111 5A Review
One of the toughest decisions you’ll make in World of Tanks comes when you consider which tank line you want to grind all the way to Tier X.
It takes months and millions of credits to grind any line, so it’s a choice that will literally affect your gaming life for potentially the next year.
It’s not like buying a house, but still.
Your own playstyle comes into consideration here, as does the question of whether you will play primarily in pubs or clan wars.
Either way, I’m making the argument that the Chinese heavy line ending in the WZ-111 5A is among the top choices, especially if you want to be in clan wars.
I’ll be practicing what I preach here, as I will be grinding up this line to get my third Tier X.
So, why is the 5A so great?
Basically, it’s a fantastic tank in random pub matches, and even more so is the number one choice for commanders in Clan Wars.
I’ve only just started fighting in Clan Wars with the help of the great MrHolsy of the DHO-X clan, but it’s already clear which tanks will succeed, and why.
The WZ-111 5A is fast, well armoured, turns quickly for a heavy, has snappy gun handling, and its 130mm cannon deals out an impressive 490 alpha.
Now, it’s not a wall of steel like the Maus, which remains the best Super Heavy even after its recent nerf, but the 5A is simply put the best all-rounder in the game right now among Tier X heavies.
You can check out both videos on this page to see why, but in terms of stats it comes down to the ability to flex, take damage, and deal damage like a boss.
The 5A’s flexibility and strength is reflected in its battle stats. As of this writing, the 5A had the best win rate of any non-premium heavy at 55.23 per cent (trailing only the Object 260 and VK72.01K, both of which have small data sets).
It has the highest damage per game of any non-premium tank, and the highest Wn8 rating.
In this case the stats don’t lie.
Let’s start with the armour.
The 5A has a pike nose setup like the IS-7, but it is admittedly not as heavily armoured as that Russian beast. Nevertheless, it’s armour is still very tough to penetrate head on, as is the turret armour.
The IS-7’s armour is 10 mm thicker at at the front and much thicker at the side and rear, but the 5A actually has thicker turret armour at 300 mm compared to just 240 mm.
So, in reality, the armour comparison actually sees the 5A as slightly superior, particularly on hills where the 5A can use its better gun depression.
Where the 5A really surpasses the IS-7 is in its gun handling and its ability to out-manoeuvre enemy tanks.
The IS-7 is actually faster in a straight line, at a stunning 59.6 kmh vs only 50 for the 5A, but only on paper.
The 5A has much better ground resistance and turns much, much faster, so in reality it is far more nimble than its Russian counterpart on virtually any terrain. The terrain resistance on hard ground is only 1.05 whereas the IS-7 is bogged down with 1.25 ground resistance.
More importantly, the 5A turns almost 50 per cent faster than the IS-7.
And then there’s the gun. This is where the 5A really shines. It has better aim time, better dispersion, better gun depression, and the turret turns faster.
The 5A also has much higher damage per minute, at 2,737.5 compared to 2,238 for the IS-7, and 2,305 for the Maus. It’s 490 alpha damage per shot combines with a reload time of less than 11 seconds to really rip apart opponents.
When you see a massed attack group of WZ-111 5As descending on enemy tanks, it becomes very obvious why this is so important. The 5As just tear the enemy to pieces, like a cave bear of old devouring its prey.
What you’re left with is an IS-7 on steroids. It’s so fast, so nimble, and has such high DPM that it’s more like having a medium tank with the armour of a heavy tank.
If it seems unfair … well life ain’t fair after all. Suck it up and get a 5A of your own.
Now, the 5A isn’t for everyone. If you like corridor brawling in pubs, and using impenetrable armour to help you act as the assault tank of your team, then you’re better off with the Maus.
Or, if you want a true ridge warrior that’s still nimble and fast, then the Kranvagn is a fantastic choice.
But, as an all-rounder that’s great for both random pubs and for clan wars, there’s little doubt the current King at Tier X hails from China.