The following is a review of Irian, the tier VIII Pan Asian cruiser. During testing, this ship was provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes. This is the release version of the vessel and her stats are current as of February 1st, 2019 in good ol’ patch 0.8.0. I warn you, I’m working on not a lot of sleep and I wanted to publish this quickly so I could go to bed so watch out for typos and the inevitable run on sentences that result from being so tired like the kind of tired you get in college when you’re up so late all of the time but not just doing projects but because your time management skills in school really suck but it’s not always your fault but you persevere anyway in order to get projects done which is probably the most important lesson of all even if your friend Kelly says that we should all go out to the pub. They had really good calamri at that pub.
It’s Mikhail Kutuzov Two – the Pan Asian Boogaloo. Like most sequels, Irian doesn’t live up to the magic of the original as it goes in a completely different direction. Irian is a Sverdlov-class cruiser that trades smoke and Defensive AA Fire for Yueyang’s torpedoes along with a few other minor (and annoying) changes.
- Her high velocity shells lets her take full advantage of her long, 17.5km reach.
- Excellent potential damage per minute and fire setting characteristics.
- Armed with tier X, deep-water torpedoes improved with the Torpedo Reload Booster consumable.
- Good base AA values.
- Slow rudder shift time.
- Large surface detection range of 13.7km.
- Does not have access to the Defensive AA Fire or Surveillance Radar consumables.
- Requires a 14 skill point commander to feel comfortable.
Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme
So, Irian’s a cruiser. She does cruiser things. She pew-pews with rapid fire guns and she blows up suddenly if big things look at her funny. She doesn’t have any survivability perks. She’s not especially manoeuvrable nor does she have excellent concealment. Doing well in a high tier game in this ship is going to be a challenge for most casual players but her range should help them out.
For veterans, the real show stopper here is if you can make good use of her torpedoes and Torpedo Reload Booster or not. This involves a bit of finesse when it comes to managing her surface detection range as well as knowing to ignore the torpedo lead indicator. Map knowledge will help out too to take advantage of what little cover her flat-trajectory guns can launch over.
– Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
– No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
Irian surprised me. She offers nothing in the way of choice with her fixed consumables. What’s most concerning is that Irian does not have access to an anti-aircraft consumable.
- Her Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 90s / 60s reset timer.
- Her Hydroacoustic Search is also standard for a cruiser. It’s active for 100s with a 3.5km torpedo detection range and a 5.0km ship detection range. She has two base charges (three with premium) with a 180s / 120s reset timer.
- In her last slot, Irian has access to the Torpedo Reload Booster. She begins with two charges (three with premium). Each charge reduces the reload time of her torpedoes to 8 seconds and it has a six minute / four minute reset timer.
- For Irian’s upgrades, start by taking Main Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot.
- You have your choice in the second slot. Optimally you should take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 if you have access to it. If you don’t, take any of the other upgrades as you wish. I prefer Steering Gears Modification 1 myself given how much time Irian spends kiting.
- Your third slot is pretty much a gimme with Aiming Systems Modification 1 being the best choice. However, you can opt to try and strengthen your AA with AA Guns Modification 2 to provide two additional flak bursts per aura to strengthen her AA.
- Slot four is a gimme with Steering Gears Modification 2 being the only option worth considering given Irian’s slow rudder shift time.
- There’s a fun choice in your 5th slot. Concealment Modification 1 is optimal however you can get some good use out of Steering Gears Modification 3 to assist with kiting and dodging.
Irian has two camouflage options. The first is Type 10 – Irian and the second is Lunar New Year – Irian which comes from the Lunar New Year 2019 crates. These have identical statistics, providing:
- 50% bonus experience gains.
- 10% reduction in maintenance costs.
- 3% reduction to surface detection.
- 4% reduction of enemy accuracy.
Main Battery: Twelve 152mm/57 rifles in 4×3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery: Twelve 100mm/70 rifles in 6×2 turrets with three guns down each side. Two face forward, four face rearward.
Torpedoes: Ten tubes in 2×5 launchers mounted on either side between the funnels.
Let’s start with the smallest and work our way up. Irian has a broadside of six 100mm guns. These spit out 15rpm per gun at 1,400 damage per shell with a 6% fire chance. The range of the weapons isn’t bad for a cruiser with a 5km reach. However, being such a small caliber, they only have 17mm of penetration. This isn’t enough to punch through anything but some superstructures at her tier or higher.
Irian’s secondaries are utterly forgettable, really. If you’re in a tight spot, they might start a fire for you, but that’s about it.
Irian is armed with the same 152mm/57 Mk-5 guns found on the Soviet cruisers Budyonny, Shchors, Chapayev and Mikhail Kutuzov. They boast great range, good fire angles, solid shell damage, good fire setting chances, excellent muzzle velocity, good energy retention and reasonable penetration. Irian has only two gunnery flaws. The first is a skill dependency, requiring the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells commander skill to really unlock the best performance from her guns. The second is linked to her excellent ballistics — her guns don’t fire particularly well over intervening terrain the way American and British 152mm guns can. She’s limited in the island cover she can exploit.
This often forces her to fight in open water, but thanks to her shell flight time and long reach, this isn’t as much of a risk as it is for other light cruisers. The distance at which she can engage targets gives her more time to wiggle and dodge incoming fire (or simply silence her guns and disappear). This largely relegates her to the role of a fire-support cruiser, bombarding otherwise distracted targets from the second line rather than leading a charge.
Let’s take a look at some of the particulars of her main battery guns:
One of the (few) elements which differentiates Irian from Mikhail Kutuzov is her torpedoes. Irian is armed with the same deep-water torpedoes as Yueyang, the tier X Pan Asian destroyer. These have similar target limitations, being only able to successfully engage cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers. They boast excellent reach, high damage, great speed and low detection range. With a full concealment build, Irian is capable of launching her torpedoes from stealth with over 2.5km worth of grace.
It’s worth keeping in mind that these are not weapons you’re going to be using throughout the match. Good as their range are, Irian is too vulnerable to risk being spotted inside their reach. Thus, they only truly come into their own in the latter stages of a match, particularly as the teams thin out. While it’s possible to make earlier use of them, such moments are uncommon. The presence of a destroyer or enemy aircraft is all it can take to thwart an attempt to launch them this way. If they spot you, whatever you’re lining up to launch at can easily blow you out of the water at those distances. The difficulties in making effective use of Irian’s fish compound with only a single launcher per side. Access to her Torpedo Reload Booster helps mitigate this somewhat, providing a better area of coverage with a double spread off a single side. More power to you if you can twirl her about and dump all four spreads in a double-loop or zigzag.
During play-testing I found few opportunities to drop her fish effectively. I lamented not being able to launch them at destroyers too. Most of my success came when my flank was folding and the enemy was pushing up — it was much easier then to put fish in the water on the retreat. I kept the mindset that if I could land torpedo hits, it was a bonus and that kept my expectations at a reasonable level. I did have a few spectacular successes though, and those games will keep you smiling.
Oh, and if you can land a torpedo hit on a Kutuzov hiding in their smoke, be sure to share that replay. Cause that’s all kinds of hilarious.
Indonesian Spiced Stalinium
Irian is arguably one of the better gun platforms at tier VIII. She’s better armed than Chapayev thanks to her torpedoes while preserving all of the Soviet-flavoured balans found in her main battery. As a light cruiser, she’s an excellent fire starter. She has comparable reach to the the long-ranged French and German heavy cruisers but with the fire setting potential and damage output of a light. Thanks to the Pan Asian special commander, there’s the potential to make her better than anything short of a Cleveland at tier VIII. As competitive as her armaments are, Irian doesn’t slip into overpowered territory here.
Irian is a gunship first and foremost. Most of her game play will be focused around putting shells down range and avoiding the return fire. Stack fires, punish over extending enemies and laugh until Wargaming finally gets around to doing something about the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill. Her torpedoes are a backup weapon, but a good one. When your opponents get tired of your antics and finally start pushing, her fish will remind them why that was a stupid idea.
Irian is easily in contention for one of (if not the) best armed cruisers at tier VIII. Enjoy using her weapons. They’re a lot of fun.
- Irian is a support gunship. Pew-pew from range just like you would with other Soviet light cruisers.
- Her torpedoes will get you killed. But oh man is it worth it.
- Use and abuse her concealment and range as best you can.
What it would have needed to be : I debated this one long and hard. She very nearly ended up with a rating instead. The competition between the tier VIII cruisers is a close one and I take that as a good sign that the balance between these ships is very healthy.
Hit Points: 41,200hp
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 25mm bow + 120mm transverse bulkhead
Torpedo Damage Reduction: None
Irian is a squeaky toy.
Irian isn’t the worst-protected cruiser at tier VIII, but I’m really splitting hairs saying that. Her citadel is exposed over the waterline. It only has 100mm worth of armoured belt with her machine spaces abutting against the exterior of the hull. Irian can (and will) be citadelled by Royal Navy battleship HE from Nelson, Lion and Conqueror. On top of this she has no anti-torpedo protection and only 25mm of bow, deck and extremity armour. This pretty much clones Chapayev’s own defensive layout. The only reason Irian is considered better is that she has another 4,100 hit points to her name.
One the whole, her defensive scheme is pretty terrible. Amusingly, it’s worse than Kutuzov’s which has 26mm of extremity armour instead of 25mm. Functionally, this makes Kutuzov immune to a limited number of small-caliber destroyer HE rounds (even with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells) while Irian can only look on enviously. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind what her protection can do, which includes face tanking 356mm and smaller AP shells. This can allow you to pull off some pretty brazen moves against some battleships and maybe let you get in close enough to give them the torpeedus. Of course, this involves you being top tier and with the current Matchmaking, that’s just not going to happen. Sucks to be you.
In the end, Irian is squishy and it’s worth remembering. Give her a squeeze and an indignant high pitched squeak comes out — probably from whoever was captaining her that’s upset about being dev-struck yet again while trying to dump fish.
What it would have needed to be : Yeah, I’m not giving Irian a let here even if she does have a few more hit points than some of the other cruisers. Her citadel is too exposed for that. Pick something to improve: Citadel protection, extremity armour or torpedo protection and maybe she could pull herself up out of the bottom two spots here.
Top Speed: 32.7 knots
Port Turning Radius: 760m
Rudder Shift: 10.3s
Maximum Turn Rate: 5.3º/s
Irian’s agility is pretty unremarkable. She’s not fast. Her rudder shift time is pretty terrible, actually. Her turning radius is as average as they come and her rate of turn is acceptable. The most noteworthy thing about her agility is that she loses 0.3 knots worth of top speed compared to her sister-ship, Kutuzov.
The best that could be said about Irian is that here speed and manoeuvrability is “sufficient”. This is a ship where you’ll be spending a lot of your time kiting and dodging at long-range. Her agility doesn’t have to be excellent for this to work (though it would certainly help). So while not optimally designed for her role, it’s enough to be passable. Irian doesn’t boast a set of training wheels to make avoiding fire easier with sudden jukes. You’ve got enough to do the job and nothing more.
I really wish she was a touch more agile. I think it’s this trait, more than anything else, where she lets me down. Moreover, for such a fragile gunship, I want just a little more sway and saunter to help keep her safe.
What it would have needed to be : The “good” ships all either have excellent top speeds, tweaked engine power and/or wicked rates of turn.Pick one of those three and glue it onto Irian and we’ll talk.
100mm/70 Burst & Damage: Six 2,100 damage explosions and 98dps
100mm/70 Range & Accuracy: 3.5km to 5.8km at 85%
37mm Burst & Damage: Seven 1,260 damage explosions and 188dps
37mm Range & Accuracy: 0.1km to 3.5km at 85%
AA Reinforcement Bonus & Delay: 25% and 10 seconds.
Cheap shots aside, let’s get talk briefly about Irian’s anti-aircraft firepower. I’m keeping this section deliberately brief despite having sunk far too many hours trying to figure it all out. The reason is simple: I’m expecting things to change. Spending more time on a mechanic that may get signifciantly buffed or nerfed just isn’t wise.
But here’s what you need to know: anti-aircraft damage from ships is divided into two sources.
- A sustained damage “bleed” that picks apart one aircraft at time.
- AOE flak bursts which cause massive amounts of damage to any aircraft that flies through it. This can damage multiple aircraft at once. These fire much less frequently in visible salvos which scatter based on a ship’s accuracy value and RNG dispersion.
Irian doesn’t have the raw DPS to make herself a threat to incoming aircraft. This is a common lament of many ships, with only the truly dedicated AA monsters out there having enough raw DPS output to rip apart attack planes and bombers. To put this in perspective, individual aircraft have as little as around 1000 hit points per plane at tier VI to in excess of 2500hp among some planes at tier X. The slow bleed from Irian’s sustained DPS just isn’t going to cut it unless you can chunk their hit points with one of her flak blasts.
To Irian’s credit, she does put out a tremendous number of explosions which is a good thing given that it’s going to take three or four to shoot down a same-tier aircraft without a whole lot of buffs. And this really should hammer the new anti-aircraft firepower experience home. You might shoot down a few aircraft, but you’re not going to stop the initial attack run from dropping its ordnance. At best, Irian can hope that her flak will prevent an immediate second pass and force the CV to recall the damaged squadron. It’s only with help, with overlapping fields of fire or with Defensive AA Fire that a ship can hope to outright stop an initial attack run. Defensive AA Fire takes all of the stacked bonuses between signals, upgrades and skills and doubles the effective damage done. A plane squadron tripping over even a single flak burst just melts. Irian has to make do without.
So, overall Irian is a perfectly good anti-aircraft support ship. Just don’t get caught out by yourself.
Base Surface Detection: 13.7km
Air Detection Range: 9.3km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.76km
Detection Range when Firing in Smoke: km
Main Battery Firing Range: 17.5km
There’s not a whole lot to say here other than what’s obviously missing: Irian doesn’t have access to Surveillance Radar or a Smoke Generator. The latter doesn’t surprise me given all of the issues that has prompted with regards to balance for HE-spamming ships like Belfast and Kutuzov. What surprises me more is to see the lack of a Soviet Surveillance Radar option on Irian. I would have expected to have the choice between swapping between her Torpedo Reload Booster and Surveillance Radar but here we are.
Her surface detection isn’t terrible — it’s certainly not as good as some of the other tier VIII cruisers. I think most crucially, you can’t get her surface detection down below 10km which is really where I’d ideally want it for any close-in actions. As it is, I’m glad she’s at least able to fire her torpedoes from stealth though you won’t catch me risking my neck to dump those fish when there are possible spotters about. Without a 14pt commander to stack both Inertial Fuse for HE Shells and Concealment Expert, Irian is a heck of a lot less comfortable to sail.
What it would have needed to be : No real surprises here. She’s not a thunderchunker like everyone’s favourite Chubby Little Sister nor does she have access to anything fun like Surveillance Radar or a Smoke Generator to make her stand out in a positive light.
Training Your Frogmen
Irian doesn’t make an ideal trainer for the Pan Asian destroyer line. She’s reliant upon Inertial Fuse for HE Shells — a skill that doesn’t necessarily synergize well with all destroyer builds. Thus you may be forced to build a specific commander for Irian. This will have a lot of overlap with your Huanghe commander if you own both ships.
There are three builds to look for, but your core should be the following:
- Start with Priority Target. .
- Next up, take Adrenaline Rush. Irian’s focus is her main battery guns and emphasizing their rate of fire is our highest priority.
- There’s a lot of solid choices at tier 3, but Demolition Expert is a solid choice.
- Finally, pick either Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or Concealment Expert for your 10th skill point, then double back and get the other for the 14th. I’d argue getting the former is more important than the latter, but it’s your choice.
The remaining skills highlighted in green can be selected to fill out your remaining 5pts as you please. If you’re feeling particularly daring, drop Concealment Expert and Demolition Expert in order to free up points to experiment with an anti-aircraft build.
There’s nothing bad or broken with Irian. Wargaming dipped their paint brush in a whole bucketful of Meh and slathered it all over Kutuzov’s hull in a nice, even coat. It obviously took a few layers but you can hardly see any overpowered stuff after so many layers. She’s not horribly gimped with bad design elements either. Irian is a workhorse, not a thoroughbred. There’s nothing in the way of pizazz with this ship. The most sparkly thing about this would-be sparklepony are her torpedoes and the consumable that’s meant to make them more reliable. However, these play second fiddle to her strong, reliable gunnery which makes up the bulk of her game play. For veterans of the Soviet line with fond memories of Budyonny, Shchors and Chapayev, Irian is a wonderful take on their play style with just enough difference to spice things up.
Said spice is, of course, her torpedoes. It would be nice to be able to use them more frequently, but that’s not likely to happen until the CV mess quiets down a little. It’s hilarious shoving them up the nose of a New Mexico or Colorado that doesn’t know any better. They can be real game changers in those late-game scenarios where it’s coming down to a real nail biter. I’m happy to have those torps on Irian.
Now, I like Irian. I am not going to tell you she’s a powerful ship. Irian is perfectly acceptable and well balanced mediocrity. She’s Chapayev that traded AA firepower and radar for long range torpedoes. She’s a-okay.
Would I Recommend?
And for being okay, Wargaming has set the initial price for Irian at 26,664 doubloons to guarantee acquiring her. While it’s possible to gamble the loot-box system and earn her for less (and let’s be clear, it is gambling), she effectively has a $108.88 USD price tag at launch — more than the equivalent of buying a tier VIII premium in an Ultimate Bundle. I pulled the trigger for the sake of getting this review out this week, but you guys have the choice.
If I’m terribly honest — I wouldn’t buy her at all. I can’t see myself putting much time into Irian once this review is done. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with her and I did like the time I spent with her. She’s a solid ship. However, she’s not going to get much mileage on my account because I have other things I’d rather play instead.
- PVE Battles
How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?
Yes. She’s good enough to clobber bots, especially if the matchmaker stacks cruisers and battleships on the enemy teams. Just mind how squishy she is.
- Random Battle Grinding:
This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Maybe. It depends upon the build of your Pan Asian destroyer commander if you intend to use her as a trainer. If you don’t intend to use IFHE, then Irian isn’t a good choice here.
- For Competitive Gaming:
Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
No. She’s too squishy, she lacks vision control and she doesn’t have good enough anti-aircraft firepower to warrant taking up a valued cruiser slot.
- For Collectors:
If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.
No. She didn’t do it for me here. It might help if I was from Indonesia or Russia, but the ship didn’t have a very storied history from what I can see.
- For Fun Factor:
Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?
Yes. I do enjoy my Soviet gunships.
- What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
GARBAGE– I hate it!
Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable.
Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it.
OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it!
Ugh, I get the feeling this review isn’t future proofed. With all of the fuss and hullabaloo going on with the CV Rework, it’s hard to feel like the AA mechanics have coalesced into something solid and permanent. Still, it’s nice to finally publish something.
I’ve been stuck on finishing my Alaska and Wichita reviews — both of which were understandably held up by the CV rework. Both ships have since gone into “T-61 mode”; meaning they’re on hiatus until Wargaming says otherwise. I don’t know when I’ll be able to share my reviews. Hopefully I won’t be sitting on them as long as I did T-61’s. They’re both pretty much done, though now with Azuma downtiering, I’ll have to redo some of my comparison graphs for Alaska which isn’t too bad.
In the meantime, I have no less than FIFTEEN (15!) ships to evaluate and test. Four of these include the old aircraft carrier premiums, Saipan, Enterprise, Kaga and Graf Zeppelin. Then there’s five British carriers: Hermes, Furious, Implacable, Indomitable and Audacious. On top of that, some of the older test ships that have been revised including Azuma, Leone, Viribus Unitis and Neutrashimy. Finally, there’s a new premium, Exeter.
But all of that has to wait. I’ve got a backlog of work I want to get through over the next week. If I sound particularly grouchy over the next while, that’s why. Thank you all for reading. Also, please send some kind thoughts to my patrons on Patreon who allow me the time to spend on these reviews. Without help and support, I simply could not afford to put as much time into evaluating these ships. Every little bit helps more than you can possibly know and I am very grateful.