Best Tier 9 Brawler is … a Swedish Tank Destroyer?
Okay, that headline might be a slight exaggeration.
But not by much.
There are some fierce heavy tanks at Tier 9 and of course at Tier X, but there’s a real argument to be made that the Swedish Tier 9 and X TDs are contenders as some of the best brawlers in the game.
I found that out the hard way … again … when I was forced to brawl a 103-0 in a narrow corridor on the Ensk map. I was flanking fast to support a push by my team, when suddenly an Strv pops into the corridor in front of me. I snap shotted a round into its weak side armour but missed the drive wheel, and once the Strv faced me I was in big trouble.
The Strv simply face hugged, and due to the extreme angling of its armour my shots simply ricocheted off the front, while his cannon took my T-54 to pieces. I did manage to get around him and get another shot in, but again once he faced me I was done.
Check out the video below by Taugrim, one of the best tactical YouTubers in the game, to see how these Swedish S-tanks can be used to devastate opponents while brawling at close range.
This is why the Strv is among the most flexible tanks in WoT. It’s a phenomenal red line sniper due to its fast firing gun and crazy camo values. You often never see the Swedish meatball who killed you, and even if you do, your counter fire will probably just bounce off that ridiculous upper hull armour.
But facing an Strv in a narrow corridor, or at the top of a ridge, is equally daunting. Unless you have a gun calibre of more than 150 mm your shells are almost certain to bounce. It can be as difficult penning a 103-0 as it is to pen a Mauschen! There is a cupola you can pen, but if the other player is smart enough to keep moving it’s a very difficult shot.
For this reason, top players often use the Swedish TDs at top tiers to bully their opponents on city maps, or use the siege mode to pop up over ridges and rain death down on the hapless heavy tanks below.
Combine all this with a fierce DPM and the incredible speed both forward and backward, and I think you can see these Swedish TDs are really among the most useful and dangerous tanks in WoT right now.
There are downsides though, and it takes some skill and practice to make this tank sing.
Both S-tanks have horrible gun handling when they are not in siege mode, and once you’re in siege mode you can barely move and are easily flanked. Deciding when to go in and out of siege mode will have a huge impact on your success in this tank.
That said, the 105 mm gun is a beast with 308 pen, or 350 with gold ammo; in short, the best pen of any tier 9 tank! It races forward at 50 kph, but more importantly, it can drive backward at 45 kph, and this allows you to retreat while keeping the gun facing your pursuers.
The accuracy and aim time are also good, but the DPM is flat out amazing when combined with the pen values; the gun fires every 7 seconds doing 390 damage per shot, and most of those shots will go through enemy tanks like a hot knife through butter.
You might be shopping for a sniping TD, but if you get grind the Swedish line, you can end up with a sniper that is also among the fiercest brawling tanks in the game.