Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed in this post reflect the version of the ship as she appeared during the testing period.
These are subject to change before release.
Quick Summary: A faster Nagato-class Battleship with less armour, less efficient AP shells and almost no AA power whatsoever. She does get deck mounted torpedoes, though.
Patch and Date Written: 0.6.0.1 – January 30th, 2017 through to February 3rd, 2017.
Cost: Undisclosed at the time this article was published.
Largest hit point pool of any of the tier 6 Battleships at 58,400hp.
Her 410mm shells are the highest damage rounds found at tier 6.
Able to easily overmatch the bows armour of any Tier 5 through 7 battleships.
Decent accuracy, including a 1.8 sigma vertical dispersion value.
Excellent range at 20.4km.
Armed with deck mounted torpedoes (!)
Very heavy secondary gun battery.
Good top speed of 26.5 knots.
Her citadel sits high in the water and is vulnerable to long-range, plunging fire.
Poor overall armour values.
Low Krupp (and penetration) values on her 410mm shells.
Secondaries are short ranged at 4.0km stock.
Very limited fire arcs and performance on her torpedoes.
Rather large turning circle of 770m.
Enormous surface detection range of 16.9km and the largest aerial detection range of the tier 6 Battleships at 13.3km
Mutsu sets a new standard for poor anti-aircraft defense. Like, seriously. Her AA power would be shameful at tier 4.
Patch 0.6.0 removed the stock hulls for Amagi and Nagato in the research tree and rendered these hull designs into two new premiums, Ashitaka and Mutsu respectively. Mutsu is the first of these ships to be released — we’ll see Ashitaka later on in the year. For those unfamiliar with the IJN Battleship line, the stock versions of these hulls weren’t exactly good. While not as hamstrung as Fuso while stock, they certainly were not competitive at their tiers.
For this reason, Mutsu appears in World of Warships as a tier 6 vessel instead of at tier 7 like her sister, Nagato. This allows this ship to be re-balanced based on her own merits and flaws rather than trying to shoe horn her into a tier where she doesn’t belong. Mutsu as she appears in game represents the ship after her 1924 refit, where she acquired her serpentine shaped funnel but before 1926 where she lost her torpedoes. Of course all of this date specificity is moot when you you realize that she didn’t get her catapults until the 1930s. Yay, fiction!
I’m joined once again by Lert who will be providing his usual smarmy comparisons of some of this ship’s contemporaries. I’m also trying something new. GrafZeppelinKai, one of the Wiki-Staff volunteers has written a lovely piece on Mutsu’s history which can be found on the ship’s wiki page. The wiki staff perform some wonderful written work and I’m trying to help give them a little more just deserved attention. I hope you all enjoy a bit of history about the ships.
Given the Mutsu’s large surface and aerial detection range, in combination with her vulnerable armour scheme to ranged fire, it’s often best to let some of your allies screen your advance.
Mutsu has standard tier 6 IJN Battleship options. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here.
Damage Control Party
Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-USN Battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy
Main Battery: 410mm/45 3rd Year Type in 4×2 turrets in A-B-X-Y configuration @ 20.4km Range
Mutsu fires a Type88 1000kg AP/APC shell up to a range of 20.4km with a 790m/s muzzle velocity. This is the largest shell found presently at tier 6, eclipsing Warspite’s own 381mm, 879kg shell by a healthy margin. Don’t mistake these shells for the same ones found on the upgraded Nagato. The ammunition Mutsu uses is a pre-WWII shell and was originally found on the stock Nagato and Amagi. They have worse overall performance than those found on the IJN Battleships at tiers 7 and 8, with lower alpha strike, muzzle velocity and Krupp values while being slightly lighter overall by 20kg. This gives Mutsu significantly less penetration power over distance to the lead of her class, with many shells shattering or ricocheting against enemy warships at medium to long range.
Despite my incessant whining, Wargaming wouldn’t provide me the exact penetration values present on Mutsu. For now, we have only two sources to give us with a glimpse into what the raw numbers might be. The first comes from Wargaming’s own Armada Videos. These are few and far between, but thankfully have included a plethora of ships found in Mutsu’s matchmaking spread.
The second, and admittedly more awesome source, is the work done by fnord_disc on the European Server, who reverse-engineered an approximate model of the penetration mechanics. The numbers they worked out provide the following estimated values for Mutsu’s AP shells:
548mm at 5km
426mm at 10km
332mm at 15km
Even as an estimation, this puts Mutsu’s shell penetration among the worst for tier 6 Battleships, ahead of only Warspite at extremely short ranges and only ahead of Bayern at anything beyond that. The net result of this will be less damaging hits against heavily armoured (or angled) targets.
Datamining reveals that Mutsu’s gun accuracy is decent — she boasted a 1.8 sigma during testing combined with the typically tight dispersion values found on IJN Battleships. This is superior to anything short of tier 9 and 10 USN Battleships specialized for accuracy. On paper, this should help compensate for some of the penetration issues found on the guns. However, with the small number of barrels Mutsu brings to bear, every shot feels considerably more precious than the ‘shotgun blasts’ fired by 12-rifle ships. Thus, Arizona which has more overall dispersion but the same sigma value, feels more accurate than Mutsu by combination of having more guns and better penetration values. You’re going to simply do more damage more consistently with a ship like the Arizona or Dunkerque despite Mutsu’s advantages in accuracy.
Comparative data between the tier 6 Battleships + Nagato. Mutsu’s strengths are her range, the high alpha damage of her individual AP shells and her ability to overmatch the bows of any tier 5, 6 or 7 battleship. She also has the highest potential DPM values of any of the 8-gun Battleships. Her weaknesses include her low muzzle velocity and poor Krupp and penetration valuesvalues. While Mutsu’s guns look like they have the potential to perform, you may find they let you down at long range engagements.
I’m trying not to sound too bleak about Mutsu’s main battery firepower. There are two versions of Battleship Mutsu’s guns. The first was the version that I play tested. The second is the version that’s being released. Wargaming let me know in advance what the changes would be and I tried to keep them in mind while I tried out this ship. I’m taking it on faith that Mutsu will be released as Wargaming announced.
Mutsu had a 35s reload on her main armament. This is being reduced to 30s.
Mutsu had a turret rotation speed of 3.3º per second. This was buffed to 3.8º per second (from 54.5s to 47.4s for 180º rotation).
In short, Mutsu’s gun handling and rate of fire was buffed rather significantly. This in turn greatly affected the DPM we saw during play testing. This put her optimal DPM down to 170,057 AP damage and 89,143 HE damage. The buffs provided by Wargaming increase her DPM by a full 17% which I think we’ll all agree is enormous.
Her main battery has mix of significant strengths and telling weaknesses.
Shells are individually hard hitting, long ranged and capable of overmatching the bows of any tier 5 to 7 battleship.
However, she is severely restricted by poor penetration values at range, a low Krupp rating and small main-battery.
Probably her best feature is her “new” 30s reload which gives her the best potential DPM of the 8-gun Battleships.
Secondary Battery: 140mm/50 3rd Year Type in 20×1 casemates, 127mm/40 Type 89 in 4×2 turrets @ 4.0km Range
The lion’s share of Mutsu’s secondaries are composed of her 140mm casemates. These fire 7.9 rounds per minute at a disappointing 4.0km range. Like all IJN Battleships, her casemates fire an AP shell instead of HE which reduces their overall performance. While on paper, AP shells do more damage, their output isn’t consistent. They cannot light fires. They are likely to ricochet and shatter against even slightly angled targets. Her 127mm rifles do fire an HE shell, but these are limited to two pairs of turrets on either side of the vessel.
It’s difficult to justify investing heavily in upgrading Mutsu’s secondaries to improve their performance, primarily given their poor range and unreliability.
Torpedo Complement: 4×1 Launchers firing a 533mm Type 6 torpedo at 57 knots for 7.0km.
Move over, Kriegsmarine; the IJN now has deck mounted torpedo launchers too. While the Tirpitz introduced Battleship-launched torpedoes to fanfare and fireworks, Mutsu’s torpedoes feel like they should be announced by a kazoo. The Type 6 is the same torpedo found on the Isokaze and Minekaze. This strikes for 10,833 damage which, when facing the anti-torpedo bulges of contemporary Battleships, feel lackluster.
The devil is in the details with Mutsu’s torpedo armament. While its true that she has limited fire arcs, these have a forward facing from 55º to 105º. In addition, these have a ridiculously short reload rate at a mere 21s.
These torpedoes do not give her the strength to effectively brawl with enemy Dreadnoughts. While theoretically being able to interweave broadside main battery fire backed by torpedoes, alternating each in rapid succession, practical experience makes it too risky. Mutsu has to expose her vulnerable citadel to launch torpedoes. While this is easily done in the first moments while the engagement ranges are still closing, it becomes impossible to get a second salvo off as ranges close and the fight devolves into a “death circle” at point blank range.
Still, if you get locked in a battleship brawl, her torpedoes can be a welcome trump card to end the engagement favourably. Keep in mind that Mutsu does not have the armour profile or secondary ammunition to brawl effectively.
Main Battery firepower is optimized for a mid-to-short range engagement, between 7km and 12km.
Her secondaries are plentiful but are painfully short ranged and focused around a heavy broadside of AP shells which limits their utility.
Her torpedo armament reloads very quickly but a broadside does not hit very hard. It is only suitable for finishing off already crippled targets and should not be relied upon as a trump-card.
Playtesting Mutsu with a 35s reload wasn’t fun. She’ll be in much better shape now.
Mutsu’s guns are accurate enough to let you snipe, but they just don’t have the penetration value to reliably deal the damage you want at those ranges. Pick your targets carefully. You can still score some pretty impressive early damage if you know who to aim for.
Top Speed: 26.5 knots
Turning Radius: 770m
Rudder Shift Time: 14.7s
Mutsu is rather fast for a tier 6 Battleship. Her top speed of 26.5 knots makes her faster than most tier 5 through 7 Battleships with the exceptions of Kongo, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Dunkerque which is rather respectable. While this doesn’t give her tremendous flexibility, it does allow her to keep up with the pace of combat. She can attempt to dictate engagement ranges instead of having them set for her.
Like most IJN Battleships, her turning circle isn’t small nor does she answer her rudder especially fast. In truth, her Rudder Shift Time isn’t terrible, it’s just that when combined with her large turning circle, she doesn’t feel especially maneuverable. During play testing, even with this slow handling, she was still quite capable of turning the ship faster than her turrets could compensate for. She initially had a 3.3º per second rotation speed on her main battery guns. I’m assured this will be buffed to 3.8º per second before release which will help.
Mutsu has a 1.5 knot advantage over her sister, Nagato. This advantage comes grace of less armour protection.
Hit Points: 58,400
Citadel Protection: 305mm belt armour + 76mm turtleback
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22%
Mutsu shares a lot in common with Nagato, as one might expect. This provides a bit of good news right off the start: Mutsu has the highest hit point total of any of the tier 6 Super-Dreadnoughts. Their armour profiles are almost identical but for the following changes:
Nagato has 25mm of extra armour across her sides in the form of anti-torpedo bulges. These afford the lead ship a 5% further reduction in torpedo damage along with their armour benefits.
Nagato has reinforced main battery turret and barbette armour, with 457mm turret faces and 405mm barbettes. These values never exceed 305mm on Mutsu.
Nagato’s forward magazine is protected by a 289mm turtleback. Mutsu has only 76mm on this section of plate.
The citadel deck of Nagato ranges from 44mm to 197mm. On Mutsu, these values range from 25mm (!) to 51mm.
The Nagato-class has never been considered a heavily armoured ship and the deficiencies on Mutsu only exaggerate this weakness. While she can angle against 356mm rifles, if she doesn’t angle properly she can (and will) get citadelled with alarming regularity. Her citadel sits over the waterline and while her belt armour and the turtleback protecting these machine spaces looks formidable, these are often bypassed by shots striking her from range, which need only contend with the 25mm + 70mm deck armour found amidships and the pathetic 25mm roof her citadel. She has objectively worse protection than the Warspite at all ranges.
This emphasizes the gunnery strength of Mutsu which seems designed around a mid to short ranged engagement. However, with her citadel sitting over the waterline, short of bow-on angles of attack, she is far too vulnerable to risk at point blank ranges against other battleships. This illustrates some of the dangers of trying to make use of her torpedo armament. Angling out to take the lead on a closing enemy Battleship at the very least exposes her forward magazine to citadel hits. So to maximize her armour values, Mutsu seems best at medium ranges — approximately 7km to 12km away from her targets.
Of course, this all goes to pot if she’s facing anything with 380mm rifles or larger which overmatch the 25mm sections of her armour. When facing tier 8 opponents, her armour feels very deficient indeed.
Like all IJN Battleships, Mutsu is shackled with the worst Damage Control Party consumable in the game. This makes the Battleship exceedingly vulnerable to fire and flooding damage.
This will happen a lot.
Concealment & Camouflage
Surface Detection Range: 16.9km
Air Detection Range: 13.3 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 14.1km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.3km (vs 20.4km gun range)
Mutsu has arguably the worst detection range of any of the tier 6 Battleships. Actually, Mouse, Fuso has worse surface detection range, and while that’s technically correct, Mutsu will be spotted from the air a full kilometer sooner while still having an astronomically huge surface detection range. If there’s an enemy carrier present, you can expect to be the first ship spotted in Mutsu. This in turn means that you’ll have every gun pointing at you first until squishier (and closer) targets get lit. Priority Target is well worth the investment.
Given Mutsu’s vulnerability to long range fire, it’s important to engage in evasive maneuvers when she finds herself lit in these early moments of the engagement. Alternatively, she can elect to begin her own advance a little later than the rest of her team.
Her large surface detection range makes disengaging from enemies exceedingly difficult. She does have the speed to help dictate engagement ranges against most Battleship opponents in her Matchmaking spread, along with the range to hammer them beyond their own reach. However, she is always going to be reliant on Allies to keep her opponents lit while attempting to keep enemies at arm’s length in this manner.
Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 12.7mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 2.0km / 1.0km AA DPS per Aura:40 / 16 / 5
To say that this Battleship has poor anti-aircraft firepower is a gross understatement. Mutsu has worse anti-aircraft defense than any of the research-based Battleships at tier 4. She’s setting a whole new standard for what “bad” anti-aircraft firepower is at tier 6. She has half the DPS of Fuso, a Battleship that has some of the worst AA firepower at tier 6. Combined with her horrible aerial detection range, the sight of Mutsu on the enemy team should ring a dinner bell for all CV players.
A lot of CV pilots “experimented” with the AA defense on Mutsu while I was play testing her, but most weren’t too interested beyond a cursory strike or two. As word gets out about Mutsu’s vulnerability to air power, you can expect more concerted attacks.
Mutsu, as a tier 6 Battleship, already has a couple of strikes against her when it comes to evaluating her suitability to a novice player. She punishes players for exposing her broadside while simultaneously having a gimmicky weapon system that encourages exactly that. With poor armour, a (relatively) small number of main battery guns and secondaries that won’t be of much help, a novice player could be forgiven for struggling to get any kind of reliable performance out of this ship.
For the expert, Mutsu will reward good gunnery with excellent DPM values for an 8-gun Battleship. Her torpedoes will be a fun (if seldom used) gimmick that will clinch select engagements. Still, her horrible surface detection range, poor AA defense and poor armour values will limit her carry potential.
I have a love-hate relationship with Mutsu’s guns. It was awful play testing with that 35s reload, but I could still make some great plays with them. I am very excited about their 30s reload. While I wasn’t landing citadels as often against Battleships, they’re perfectly adequate for regular penetrations.
Her armour is super squishy for a Battleship. Also — fires. Oh god, the fires.
Her torpedoes were nice to have, but its rare when I got any good use out of them.
Mutsu’s secondaries were disappointing.
She’s a perfectly adequate ship … until she has to face tiers 7 & 8.
Wargaming didn’t want a repeat of the German Destroyer incident. They let us Community Contributors know in advance that the Mutsu we were playing wasn’t the final version. There were all of three changes that they gave us, but let me be be clear — there may be others. As values like vertical dispersion, Krupp and shell-drag coefficient are not intended to be public knowledge, there are lots of parameters that could still change before release. So while I appreciate Wargaming striving to keep us in the know about what the release version of the ship may be, it pays to keep that disclaimer at the top of this article in mind.
There was a third change, beyond rate of fire and gun traverse that Wargaming informed us of. It was this:
“Increase rudder deflection speed from 19.2 to 17.9.”
Now, you would think that would coincide with Rudder Shift Time, but her rudder shift time is 14.7s. Whatever this value is, it represents a 7.3% change. From the way it’s worded, it could represent either a buff or a nerf. If anyone has any grasp on what this is, feel free to let me know. My contacts at Wargaming who were relaying the information didn’t know what it was either and couldn’t get it clarified, so obviously someone at St.Petersburg has the info and simply assumed that we’d also know what it was.
And so, I played Mutsu with a 35s reload and a 54.5s for 180º turret rotation speed and was asked to evaluate her performance. I won a heck of a lot of games. One day’s worth of playtesting saw me win 12 out of 13 matches. However, let me add a qualifier to this win streak: I still have not broken a 2,000 base experience game in Mutsu. It wasn’t a case of not being able to get the damage totals — getting in excess of 100,000 damage wasn’t impossible. But I never had any truly spectacular games. My personal best is 1,716 base experience which is disappointing with the typical “good” game sitting around 1,300 to 1,500 base experience. I took the occasional break from Mutsu by playing with my Warspite and Nagato and easily crushed that 2,000 base experience ceiling.
I should warn everyone: I love Nagato, so it’s probably no surprise that I took well to Mutsu, The improvements this ship will receive in terms of reload and gun handling (and the changes to whatever the heck rudder deflection speed is) will be welcome. Still, the ship isn’t without its disappointments for me. The increased vertical dispersion of her guns over Nagato and the poor range on her secondaries really made me have a sad.
Overall, Mutsu is a decent IJN Battleship but she’s not phenomenal. I don’t think anyone was expecting her to be outstanding, though — not as an early version of a Nagato-class Battleship. So in that regard, she doesn’t disappoint. Now if only the Matchmaker would let her be top tier more often…
Would I Recommend?
Mutsu makes a great Co-Op warrior. She’s got powerful guns and she faces enemies that are, quite frankly, dumb as posts. The bots are unlikely to shoot at you when there are still cruisers and destroyers alive. This gives you lots of time to exercise your 410mm rifles often at very close range where their penetration issues aren’t present. You’ll also be able to use your torpedoes a lot and score hits too.
Outside of Co-Op, Mutsu begins to suffer. It would be one thing if she was top tier as regularly as a tier 7 or 8 ship, but she exists in that special Hell that is tier 5 and 6 Matchmaking. She doesn’t up-tier very well — holding her own against tier 7 ships (if at a bit of a struggle) but really hurting once she faces tier 8s. Of course, this could be said about most of the tier 6 premiums, so that’s nothing new.
ForRandom Battle Grinding
Mouse: It’s sad to say, but Japan is rather lacking when it comes to premium Battleship trainers. The Ishizuchi is okay but, let’s be honest, she’s no Scharnhorst / Tirpitz / Arizona / Missouri. While Mutsu is a better fit, I wouldn’t say she’s a great fit. She can do what she needs to, however, and if you’re hard pressed for a training ship, then Mutsu can step up to the plate. But I think you might be looking over your shoulder for the next IJN Premium Battleship.
Lert: No. Arizona is IMO a far better ship, as is Warspite. And both of those are available in the tech tree for doubloons at the writing of this article. Consider Mutsu if you really need a Japanese battleship crew trainer, but buy American or British if you want a good ship to carry in.
GrafZeppelinKai: Mutsu is a dependable battlewagon. Her above average gun handling characteristics, combined with a little practice, will come into it’s own. Similarly, if you’re looking for a dedicated IJN BB Captain trainer, Mutsu is your best option for now.
For Competitive Gaming
Mouse: No. She’s too squishy and too huge.
Lert: No. If you need range, bring a Fuso. If you need overmatching ability, bring a Warspite. If you need staying power, bring an Arizona.
GrafZeppelinKai: It will take a bit more work to make her shine here, and her deficiencies will feel more glaring. Similar to Warspite, having good planning ahead of time will mean you’re able to dish the damage while not being the focus of the enemy.
Mouse: Yes. She’s a beautiful ship with an interesting history and a tragic story.
Lert: Yes. Mutsu has a place in history, and her configuration might appeal to people who like WWI era dreadnoughts.
GrafZeppelinKai: I’m gonna be honest here: I like 1920s Mutsu. She’s very pretty to look at, and there are many subtle details that make her very period accurate. For that reason alone, she has a spot in my port.
For Fun Factor
Mouse: Well I liked her. However, I don’t think I would play her very often, not compared to the other premiums 6s.
Lert: She handles comfortable enough, if a bit sluggish on the rudder. I would consider her a fun ship if her shells didn’t tend to shatter at long range, or her hull held up a bit better under fire. Plus, her torpedoes are just funny, if you get a chance to use them. Those are big if’s though.
GrafZeppelinKai: I enjoyed my time testing Mutsu. To me, the gunnery felt familiar and comfortable, and you can never resist a giggle when you surprise an adversary by pooping out a torpedo.
In a brawl with Bayern and Nurnberg. Mutsu uses her main battery to finish off the German cruiser while dumping fish into the bows of Bayern. Brawling is exceedingly risky with Mutsu. Don’t expect your torpedoes to clinch a fight for you.
Mutsu doesn’t require anything beyond the norm for IJN Battleships, which is a welcome relief.
For your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This should be no surprise. The armour around Mutsu’s main turrets along with her barbettes is pretty substandard for her tier, so this will help keep them in the game. It should also help mitigate damage to your torpedo tubes, but they tend to go belly up if anyone looks at them funny.
For your second slot, you may be tempted to try a secondary build, but in my experience this is a mistake — you can’t get her range out high enough to make it a credible threat.. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is arguably the most effective choice here.
For your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will help mitigate fire and flooding damage while increasing your torpedo damage reduction to 24%.
And finally, take Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce the burn-time of fires. You can take Steering Gear Modification 2 if you prefer, especially if you’ve taken Captain Skills to mitigate fire damage.
Don’t skimp out on the premium consumables for this ship. Taking a premium Damage Control Party is an absolute must. I also strongly recommend taking a premium Repair Party as well to reduce the reset timer of your healing potion and to give you an extra charge. I don’t see much need in breaking the bank with a Spotter Aircraft, so it’s up to you to invest in the 22,500 extra credits to make this premium or not.
For the core build, we’re going to want to emphasize her damage control abilities.
For your first skill, you have a choice between Priority Target and Preventative Maintenance. I prefer the former on my first pass — it’s helpful to know when potential damage is incoming. The latter has currency with Mutsu due to the relative fragility of her weapon systems compared to other tier 6 Battleships.
Next, at tier two, grab Expert Marksman. This was absolutely essential with her 3.3º per second rotation speed and it will still be worth while when this gets buffed to 3.8º per second.
At tier three, Basics of Survivability should be the skill to grab to help mitigate fire damage.
And finally, when you hit tier 4, take Fire Prevention.
After this first pass, there are other skills to consider. The best of the bunch are Adrenaline Rush and High Alert at tier 2 and Superintendent at tier 3. This is one of those rare ships where I will not recommend Basic and Advanced Fire Training as the top picks. While these will help prop up her horrible AA firepower, it’s really not going to move the needle enough to make it anywhere near acceptable. Similarly, her secondaries are just a little too short ranged to be worth specializing into. You can certainly try it out for yourself, but I don’t think you’ll find it pays off as well as it would for her tier 7 sister.