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Friday, October 23, 2015

Fleet Friday: The Mutsuki Class Destroyer

The Mutsuki class destroyer was the first built by Japan after abandoning the Washington Treaty of 1923. It relied heavily upon the designs of the Minekaze and Kamikaze class destroyers which proceeded it. Of the twelve ships built-in this class, all saw combat in World War II, and all were sunk. I have to admit, the concept of the citadel penetration in World of Warships did not really sink in until I read about what happened to the Mutsuki herself. Here it is from the Mutsuki's Wikipedia page,

During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 25 August 1942, Mutsuki was sunk in an attack by USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers while assisting the damaged transport Kinryu Maru, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Santa Isabel island. Mutsuki took a direct bomb hit in her engineering section, killing 41 crewmen and injuring 11 more.

In World of Warships terms, that was a single citadel penetration. It not only confirms to me the citadel mechanic in the game is justified, but I will never look at bombers in World of Warships the same way again.

After 47 battles in the Minekaze class destroyer with a victory standing of 55%, I finally earned enough experience to purchase and fully upgrade a Mutsuki class destroyer. She is not quite as fast as the Minekaze (3.7 knots slower,) and has a slower torpedo reload time (see below,) but her guns in their final configuration are better and she has slightly more hit points. With the Faster Rudder Shift upgrade she also has a blinding fast 1.7 second rudder shift time. She also has considerably better anti-aircraft guns in the final fitting as well. This is the first destroyer I've played where the AA range exceeds the aircraft detection range. This makes it a requirement to turn off AA if you don't want to give away 1.9 kilometers of stealth.

Mutsuki Class Destroyer Stats
These stats are with camouflage and a properly trained captain. "Fully upgraded" is a key requirement to enjoy the Mutsuki. After the Minekaze class destroyer, if you sail a stock Mutsuki you are going to feel like it is a downgrade, and you'd probably be right. You won't be happy with it. Not even a little. The stock Mutsuki is slower, has terri-bad torpedoes (short range and long reload!) as well as the awful guns of the Minekaze class destroyer. The worst downgrade is the torpedo system. Have a look at the stats for the Mod 1 and Mod 2 torpedoes on the Mutsuki.

Mutsuki Mod 1 Torpedoes

Mutsuki Mod 2 Torpedoes
Though it has two triple launchers (a better fitting as I'll expound on in a bit,) the range on the stock Torpedoes is a paltry 6.0 Kilometers. That's as low as you can get the detection range on the beast, making it no better than a U.S. destroyer's torpedo capabilities, but saddling you with worse guns and less armor. Just don't do it. Research the Mutsuki to make your Minekaze an Elite ship and continue sailing it until you have enough experience so you can convert it to Free XP to use on your Mutsuki. WARNING: this will cost you real money as it takes doubloons to convert Elite experience into Free XP. But it's worth the small cost and it will support the game you love. Right? If you don't you're going to hate the Mutsuki until you can get better torpedoes.

Now about those upgrades. You don't need to upgrade everything to make the Mutsuki a ship sinking machine. Just purchase the B hull and the Mod 2 torpedoes and you're in business. You'll get a nice hit point upgrade, but more importantly your torpedoes gain four kilometers range at the sacrifice of a little speed. That is four kilometers where you are completely undetectable by ships, and even cruiser based aircraft so long as you stay beyond 6.6 kilometers (3.5 kilometer patrol distance of the aircraft and 3.1 kilometer spotting distance for your Mutsuki.) Rest assured, I have already but the undetected launch to good use. ;)

Now, about those dual triple launchers and why I find them superior to the triple dual launchers of the Minekaze class destroyers. It is primarily for two reasons. They are speed of use (not reload, that is much worse) and dispersion.

The speed of use is the minor reason. With the Minekaze, it takes a second or two longer to fire all torpedoes at a single ship as you have to aim each launcher independently and one at a time. With two launchers it takes two-thirds the time. That's one-third less time in tunnel vision mode. Situational awareness is a life and death skill for a destroyer captain and that is aided by only having two launchers. Because after all, you still have to aim torpedoes.

The second and primary reason I prefer the new configuration is because the dispersion is easier to plan. Perhaps it is a personal preference, but I find it easier to overlap two triple launchers than three dual launchers. And in higher tier games, that's a big benefit. Like many other players, I've found in higher tier games only the narrow spread really works. The wide spread is too easy for more maneuverable higher tier ships to avoid. So it comes down to good aim and surprise. The four kilometer launch buffers aids surprise. Good aim is aided by triple torpedoes slightly overlapped. You can either go for four center line torpedoes with two outside in case of a speed change, or two center line torpedoes and four to account for speed change-ups. If I'm not being very clear, have a look at this How to Hit with Your Torpedoes guide put on the forums by MinorMorris, complete with diagrams on how to position your spreads. His example uses three dual torpedo spreads like the Minekaze has, but the principles are identical.

There is one more thing some people will not like about the Mutsuki class destroyer. The torpedo reload time is about 60 seconds, even with relevant upgrades and captain skills. It forces me to plan my attacks more carefully. I can't just spam torpedoes any longer. That's not a bad requirement, it's just a different one. I find myself strategizing more. It's making me a more thoughtful destroyer captain. Do you find it's done the same thing for you, are do you miss the torpedo reload time of the Minekaze? Let everyone know in the comments. And until we meet on the sea, safe sailing.


  1. My Mutsuki killed more planes. Every other stat the Minekaze performed better.

    Minekaze K:D ratio 1.85, capture rate 4.67, average damage almost 37k
    Mutsuki K:D ratio 0.91, capture rate 1.64, average damage just over 21k

    Slightly skewed since my Minekaze numbers are from before the nerf when it was OP.

    It took me a while to get used to the slower ROF of the Mutsuki but now that I am used to it it's not that bad. Just upgraded to the Hatsuharu and noticed that detection range got worse again. 6.5 km with camo active.

    Have you tried the Derzki yet?

  2. I have not tried the Derzki, though I watched an incredible video of one in action on iChase. Very exciting, but that 3 km torpedo range is a mail biter!


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