The Tier 4 Imperial Japanese Navy Experimental Light Cruiser
Quick Summary: A Light Cruiser with a destroyer's level of agility but managing to be even more fragile (yes, really). Compensates for this for having some very interesting module choices, the Defensive Fire consumable, fun guns and hard hitting torpedoes.
Cost: $12.99 USD.
Patch & Date Review was Written: 0.5.7, June 25th, 2016.
| Closest in-Game Contemporary: Tenryu|
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique
The Yubari feels like a destroyer lead, similar to the Tenryu. She mounts a similar number of guns, is fast and agile but that's really where the similarities end. The Yubari is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster with a bunch of cobbled together features that individually look great but are hard to make excel due to her horrible fragility.
Path 0.5.7 wasn't the ray of sunshine I was hoping for with the Yubari, with the "buffs" isolated within the inclusion of a single module.
The Yubari, one of three pre-order vessels, makes its return to the online store. She was an interesting vessel in Closed Beta, but as players became more comfortable with the systems and mechanics of World of Warships, she did not fare very well. To compensate, Wargaming provided a buff in the form of offering her Defensive Fire back around September of 2015. This was insufficient to truly make her a competitive vessel. Still, those who loved her, loved her a lot. She is very much a destroyer-lead in terms of game play style -- exceedingly fragile but highly maneuverable and quick. The sting of her torpedoes -- the hardest hitting off of any cruiser at her tier, were something to be feared. Though, attempting to make use of them often got the Yubari in question murdered with contemptuous ease.
Patch 0.5.3 hit the Yubari hard, changing her AA armament performance and in addition, denying her the range, rate of fire and turret traverse boosts now limited to 139mm caliber weapons and below. This made the life of this fragile little cruiser all the more difficult. 0.5.7 has provided a glimpse of hope with the inclusion of Aiming Systems Modification 0 (ASM0). Now, be very aware -- the Yubari did not get buffed with this module. Should the module itself change or get removed, the Yubari will be back to how she was. For the purpose of this review, I will still be going over the Yubari section by section, but I will have an ASM0 box to show how the respective module changes the feature in question.
First and foremost, the Yubari has access to Aiming Systems Modification 0 (ASM0). As we've seen previously with Captain Skills and now Module Upgrades, Wargaming does not consider a buff or nerf to a skill or module to be a buff or nerf to the ship itself. As nice as ASM0 is, it isn't the fix we've been hoping for.
ASM0 is hands down the best choice for slot 1 with modules and it was designed to provide the Yubari with a significant performance / quality of life improvement. If you're not using it, shame on you for hating your Yubari. Seriously, though, it's a bit disappointing that this was the way that Wargaming elected to "fix" the Yubari. It's more of a bandaid really and a complete step backwards with the 0.5.7 update. With all of the effort they put into making choices for modules more interesting, they go and introduce a module that is hands down the best option for this ship, stripping any pretense of choice from you. Seriously, take ASM0.
Consumables: Two slots
Module Upgrades: Two slots. Has access to ASM0 for slot #1.
Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
Primary Battery: 140mm guns in 2x2 turrets in a A-X arrangement.
The Yubari has two turrets, one forward and one aft with excellent fields of fire, each mounting a pair of 140mm rifles. These guns are excellent. These are the same guns found on the Kuma and Tenryu. These shells have excellent HE characteristics with a good chance of starting a fire at 10% per shell. Their AP round is rather lacking, unfortunately. The difference between the Yubari, Kuma and Tenryu is that the Yubari has access to Aiming Systems Modification 0 (ASM0). This mod reduces the dispersion of the Yubari's main guns by 40% as well as providing a whole series of buffs to her secondaries and torpedoes too. This makes her main guns feel laser accurate, with the shell grouping often appearing to stack the shells on top of each other. You should have no problem dropping shots on any section of an enemy ship you choose to shoot at, provided you've timed the lead properly. It also improves her rather sluggish turret traverse down to 9' per second which is acceptable but still rather slow for anything except long ranged work.
And here's where the problems begin. The Yubari doesn't have anywhere close to "long range". At 12.8km, she's forever danger-close to her quarry if she tries to engage them with guns (and torpedoes, but more on that later). This precludes her from ever being able to fire from concealment in open water, which can lead to her having to trade fire. The Yubari's damage potential is considerably lower when compared to other tier 4 cruisers and destroyers. The invariable slug matches which result will usually see her coming out the worst for it due to her lower hit point total. Even duels against enemy destroyers can leave her feeling gutted. She just doesn't have the hit points or armour to exchange fire in this manner. For her fragility, I would expect her to have a lot more teeth. Instead, her primary battery has to be used opportunistically to shore up these shortcomings.
The Yubari is one of the few low tier cruisers with a working secondary gun battery. This is represented by a single 120mm gun mounted on her prow -- a dual purpose weapon which will also engage aircraft. This has only a 2.0km range stock (2.88km with modules and captain skills) and is very unlikely to ever come into play to any significant degree. More power to you if you can manage a Close Quarters Expert medal out of it. Even with buffed accuracy from ASM0, it doesn't have the rate of fire to seriously challenge anything that comes near that isn't on very very low health.
Yubari in a close-range knife fight with two enemy destroyers. She's close enough now that her single secondary battery, a deck mounted 120mm turret can engage (and eventually score the killing blow) on this Isokaze.
Launchers: Two dorsal launchers with two tubes each. One faces forward, one aft.
Range & Speed: 6.0km @ 63 knots.
The Yubari has two forms of the secondary armament. The first is scarcely worth noticing -- a single 120mm dual-purpose mount on her prow which also forms the core of her AA battery. In an offensive role, this gun is very short ranged at 2km and unlikely to come into service.
More important, the Yubari has a powerful if limited torpedo armament. Her 2x2 launchers are mounted amidships with a very restricted launch arc of 20' directly off either side. In order to successfully launch, the Yubari must sail broadside onto her target at a mere 6km in order to effectively strike. The challenges of maneuvering and setting up the shot aside, once the fish are in the water, things start looking up. The 610mm torpedoes move at 63kts and have an alpha strike of 14,600 damage. This is the highest of any ship at tier 4 and comparable to (yet still harder hitting than) those found on Destroyers at tier 5. This gives her a potential strike power of 58,400 damage. Unmitigated, this is sufficient to sink any capital ship she may encounter in a single volley.
With a reload rate of 49s, this gives the Yubari a rather alarming potential DPM boost with her torpedoes. Realistically, though, it's very difficult to make aggressive use of her launchers in game short of against distracted or over-extended enemies. They work best in the ambush role, fired from behind headlands.
One shotting an enemy destroyer is quite possible with the Yubari's fish, but they have to strike her beneath her funnels. Blows that clip the very tip of the bow or stern will only deplete the hp of those sections, saving the destroyer from doom.
Top Speed: 34.5 knots.
Turning Radius: 560m
Rudder Shift: 3.8s
Hit Points: 18,300
Citadel Protection: Up to 57mm.
The Yubari is a Destroyer with a Citadel. I cannot stress that enough.
On paper it looks like she actually has better protection than a destroyer, but the 57mm of citadel armour is a bit of a red herring. This is utterly insufficient to keep your ship safe. Bow on, even 152mm rifles can overmatch your pathetic armour and score penetrations. High Explosive rounds from just about any size of gun (except maybe a 76mm off a Smith or Tachibana) can potentially score citadels on the Yubari, this is how thin her armour is in practice. Anything that can shoot you will do horrendous amounts of damage and you don't have the hit point total to soak it up. When facing Battleships with 356mm rifles such as the Myogi, Kongo-class or New York-class, be aware that it can take as little as two hits to vaporize a full-health Yubari. And this size of shell won't care how much you angle.
Torpedoes are just as dangerous, with many destroyers able to launch fish that can also two-shot an unwary Yubari.
Your only real advantage is the tiers at which the Yubari plays: Many players will be firing high explosive at you, even from their Battleships. This can provide you with some much needed longevity. Be aware that this isn't because of any particular strength of the Yubari, but from the inexperience of the players you face in question.
Concealment & Camouflage
9.9km Surface Detection, 4.7km Air Detection
Despite the Yubari having a destroyer's level of agility and fragility, she is still very much a cruiser when it comes to her surface and aerial detection range. It's a shame to see the Yubari treated as a cruiser in select areas and a destroyer in others. Short of her main armament, these cruiser elements always feel to the vessel's disadvantage, such as having a citadel and, in the case of this section, being visible from quite a distance. I suppose the only bit of really good news is that she has longer ranged guns than she has surface detection range, but this is a very poor consolation. Even with Captain Skills, it is impossible to make any form offensive strike from open water with the Yubari without being detected. Her guns are too short ranged, never mind the very short reach of what would otherwise be an awesome torpedo armament.
AA Battery Calibers: 120mm, 25mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km, 3.1km.
The anti-aircraft suite of the Yubari is best described as "interesting". First and foremost, she has access to the Defensive Fire consumable, though only a single charge right out of the box. She is the only tier 4 cruiser to have access to this quite powerful ability. Properly used, it can really foul up the small carrier-load outs of lower tiered vessels like the Langley and Hosho. The raw anti-aircraft firepower of the Yubari isn't anything to write home about, with a total of 55dps at 3.1km and a mere 3dps up to 4.5km. This 4.5km range is important -- it gives the Yubari distance enough to broadcast the disruption effect of her flak batteries in support of friendly vessels she wishes to escort. It may not be enough to shoot anything down, but you can prompt dive bomber and torpedo bomber squadrons to flub their shots.
It's when the Yubari herself is targeted that her AA really begins to shine, especially against tier 4 aircraft. The slow speed of these attack squadrons combined with the weight of fire from her 25mm guns will begin to chew through planes steadily (though I daresay not "quickly"). With proper use of Captain Skills and a premium consumable, the Yubari can extend her AA umbrella out to 5.4km and increase her overall DPS to 61. It's not terribly exciting, but it is a niche role she can fill quite nicely.
When used for her own defense, the Yubari's AA can be quite formidable for tier 4 carriers to overcome. It's no USS Texas, but it will do.
The Yubari still isn't a good ship. For all of her accuracy and weapon handling buffs, her fragility is such a liability. The Yubari's monster-damage output potential is caged behind the 6km range of her torpedoes. With the claustrophobic maps upon which she can find herself at low tiers, she can pull off some interesting surprises -- particularly against players that don't know better. But duel against a wary opponent aware of the Yubari's strengths and you stand little to no chance.
I've always had a hard time figuring out the role of the Yubari. Her Defensive Fire makes me want to say she should be back protecting the Battleships from marauding destroyers and aircraft, but that speaks of a loser-move to me. Given the choice of pew pewing a Battleship with the broadside of my own Dreadnoughts or a squishy cruiser, you know I'm going to take a shot at the Yubari instead. While this can provide some good AA cover, figuring out how to position yourself safely so that you don't get picked off by the big gun cruisers and Battleships would be a real challenge. Instead I feel she's better suited following destroyers to isolated nooks (like torpedo alley on Big Race) and helping lend her firepower to decide the outcomes of tin-can duels. From there she can flex and harass, but never present herself as a front line target.
It's not that it's impossible to do well in the Yubari. I'm writing this section coming off a game where I did 105,539 damage and received a Kraken Unleashed in the Yubari in a tier 5 match. But this was predicated by everything (even the Battleships) throwing HE at me or not paying enough attention to my cruiser when i was exposed. Such will likely be the fortunes in your own Yubari. You can't hide. You can only hope to be a less appealing target than everything else out there to allow you to do the damage you want to do.
Would I Recommend?
Heck no. Like, really. No, no, no. I would not recommend her. But for completions sake, let me go through the boxes...
Outfitting your Yubari
Recommended ModulesI swear I went over this already in the first section. First and foremost, equip Aiming Systems Modification 0. This gives you all of the benefits the Yubari should have seen as comparable straight up buffs to make her worth collecting which could have been stacked with other modules. Instead it merely provides a band-aid to make her not-frustrating. For your second slot, I would recommend Propulsion Modification 1 if you don't have Last Stand as a Captain Skill. If you do, any of the second choices are viable with none of them being particularly great.
For as often as the Yubari takes damage, taking Damage Control Party II as a premium consumable may seem very worthwhile. Be aware that she's low tier, though, and this can significantly eat into the earning potential of a premium vessel. If you plan to play an AA escort then Defensive Fire II is a worthwhile choice, not only to add an additional charge but to reduce the reset timer in order to be ready when the next wave arrives around your fleet.
Recommended Captain Skills
There are a couple of different ways to kit out your Yubari. Here are the most useful skills: