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All of your worst nightmares realized4/15/2018 9:03:34 PM
Published By: LittleWhiteMouse
The following is a review of Asashio, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of April 15th, 2018.


Abandon all hope, all ye of heavy displacement.
 
Quick Summary:  A stereotypical high-tier Japanese destroyer with specialized, 20km-range deep water torpedoes that make battleship players wet themselves with terror and unicum rage on the Forums and Reddit.
Cost:  Undisclosed at the time of publishing.
Patch and Date Written:  0.7.3, April 9th to 15th, 2018
 
 PROS:
  • Powerful torpedo armament.
  • Enormous damage potential per torpedo hit at 20,967hp per unmitigated strike.
  • Highest flooding chance in the game at a base value of 436% per torpedo hit.
  • Her fish are fast (67 knot), long ranged (20km) and stealthy (900m detection)
  • Excellent gun fire angles.
  • When rigged for concealment, she can get her surface detection down to 5.37km.
  • Access to a Torpedo Reload Booster consumable without sacrificing her Smoke Generator (!).

  • Easy to learn and she makes scoring big damage totals trival.

CONS

  • Smallish hit point pool of 15,100hp.
  • Slow firing guns with a 7.1s reload time.
  • Sluggish turret traverse at 6.9º/s (26.1s for 180º).
  • Torpedoes can only engage battleships and aircraft carriers (!!)
  • Laughable AA defense.
  • Slow for a high tier destroyer with a top speed of 35.0 knots.

  • Matchmaking significantly affects the ability to influence a match in a positive way.
Overview
Skill Floor: Simple
/ Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:
Low / Moderate / High / Extreme 
 
Asashio is a paradox. She is, simultaneously, one of the easiest and the most difficult destroyers in the game to play. This is a destroyer where a novice can score huge damage totals. It's also a destroyer where veterans are challenged to use every trick in their arsenal to get a win.
 
Unlike other "easy to learn, difficult to master" ships, Asashio doesn't present a high skill curve. She presents a wall. Asashio's over specialized torpedo armament is terrible -- effectively limiting your tool kit so much that you cannot effectively engage two-thirds of the enemy roster. While she easily farms damage and kills on battleships, influencing the overall outcome of a close match is near insurmountable without a hell of a lot of skill and game knowledge. Thus, there are two tiers to Asashio game play and some players simply are not skilled enough to make her work in these situations.
 
 
 - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness.
 - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.
 - 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.
Most of Asashio's ratings aren't up for debate.
  • She is the at stealth at her tier, bar none. Nothing is sneakier though some do have competitive Vision Control.
  • Her anti-aircraft firepower is so as to be laughable.
  • While she rates in both agility and durability, she only just manages to eke out these evaluations. She's on the very low-end for both and the introduction of another agile or another tough ship would knock her down into the rating.
  • Where the debate will reside, if anywhere, is how to categorize her offensive capabilities. No one would argue that among the tier VIII destroyers, she has the firepower against battleships. At the same time, her firepower against cruisers and destroyers is downright . I give her the evaluation as a result -- a middle-ground compromise though her in-game performance may fluctuate wildly based on target availability.
Options

Consumables: Asashio has four consumable slots.

  • Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer.
  • In her second slot, she has a standard Japanese Smoke Generator. This has a 28 second emission time and each cloud lasts for 89 seconds.
  • Asashio's Engine Boost is standard.
  • And finally, she rounds out her consumables with a Torpedo Reload Booster. This reloads her torpedoes in 8 seconds like Kagero, Harekaze and Yugumo. Unlike many other IJN destroyers, you'll note that Asashio does not have to choose between this consumable and her Smoke Generator.

Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades.

  • In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. You're a destroyer. You explode violently often.
  • Next up, take Propulsion Modification 1. Speed is life for a destroyer and this will help keep your engines in the game.
  • or Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal, providing a small improvement to your dispersion and accelerating the rotation rate of your torpedo tubes. Alternatively, you can try to correct her sluggish turret traverse with Main Battery Modification 2 at the cost of her already abhorrent rate of fire.
  • Propulsion Modification 2 is generally preferred in slot number four. This gives improved acceleration from a dead stop. Asashio will spend some time parked within her own smoke and the extra pep in her engines is welcome.
  • This is a no-brainer for most. Concealment Modification 1 will help her reach her maximum level of concealment.
 

Black becomes green.  Blue becomes black.  White turns to more-different white.  Thanks, Yamamoto collection!

Camouflage
: Asashio comes with  Type 10 Camouflage. This provides a 10% reduction to repair costs, a 50% bonus to your experience gains, a 3% reduction in surface detection and a 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.  Similar to Atago, this camouflage starts off with a blue pattern, but you can change it to green if you've completed the Yamamoto Uniform collection.
 
 
Firepower
Main Battery: Six 127mm rifles in 3x2 turrets in an A-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Torpedo Armament: Eight torpedoes in 2x4 launchers. 
 
Asashio has a singular designed purpose:  to make the two principal warring factions on the World of Warships Reddit, the BBabies and the DD-Mafia, down-vote each other into oblivion.  Wargaming knows that by doing this they can eliminate their two most vocal detractors, or at least keep them distracted long enough to finally get around to balancing Aircraft Carriers without interruption.
 
 
 
TORPEDOES
Asashio will slaughter your battleships without remorse and there's not much you can do to stop her.
 
Asashio's tools of destruction are a pair of quadruple torpedo launchers mounted amidships. These have excellent fields of fire, a horribly long reload and they break often when you look at them funny. All of this is pretty standard fare for Japanese destroyers. What makes Asashio so special is that she effectively mounts the equivalent tier X, Shimakaze warheads two tiers lower. They are blisteringly fast, ridiculously long ranged and have enough striking power to end worlds. Wargaming has "balanced' this (ha!) by modifying them into a Deepwater variant -- because zero reaction time is what makes facing torpedoes fun and fair.
 
This Deepwater thing has two components. First, it limits the number of targets that can be hit. Destroyers and Cruisers need not fear Asashio's torpedoes at all. She's utterly incapable of striking them. She is instead limited to damaging aircraft carriers and battleships. Given the logistical nightmare of encountering an aircraft carrier in the modern meta, Asashio therefor has a rather myopic fixation on nuking dreadnoughts. You can allay any fears you may have had about poor Asashio's success rate with landing hits, though. The second part of Deepwater torpedoes is their tiny surface detection. Asashio's fish are only spotted at a range of 0.9km. With the added nerf to aerial detection, her torpedoes can safely run their full track with little fear of being seen until it's too late.

Short of preëmptive WASD hax, battleships do not have enough time to avoid Asashio's attacks if they wait until they're spotted which all but guarantees hits for well-aimed strikes. Even stacking anti-torpedo skills and modules does little to help. It's only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable that have any hope of belatedly dodging Asashio's fish, and even then, Vigilance is almost a must.




You have no real hope of trying to dodge Asashio's torpedoes in a battleship if you're only reacting the moment you spot them. Only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable can afford complacency. Duke of York (tier 7), Bismarck (tier 8), Friedrich der Große (tier 9) and Großer Kurfürst (tier 10) are only ever safe while their consumable is active, however.

The Two Layers of Stupid

Asashio double-stacks the stupid with two scoops of insanity.
  • Mindfuc ... er, "Vigorous Sexing of the Brain" the First: Asashio has a 20km range with her torpedoes.

    Alright, so Asashio has ridiculously long ranged fish. The implications of this are pretty horrifying when you stop to think a moment. With her 112s reload (which reduces down to 100.8 seconds with Torpedo Armament Expertise), Asashio is making her first cross-map launch before anyone has finished deploying. This means that in the opening minutes of a match, from the moment they are spotted, battleships must anticipate incoming torpedoes.

    Most battleships have scarcely moved beyond their starting location by this time and may only be taking their first speculative, long-range shots at their counterparts. There is unlikely to be any effective torpedo detection screen between them and this first salvo from Asashio, so battleships must begin evasive manoeuvres within the first two minutes of a match or risk taking torpedo hits. The travel time for Asashio's 67 knot torpedoes is less than two minutes to their maximum range. Battleships must make course adjustments with this 100 second reload timer in mind -- every minute and a half, change course and heading.

    The other element Asashio's ludicrous reach allows for is taking advantage of the Torpedo Acceleration skill without losing significant amounts of range. Asashio with Torpedo Acceleration now has 72 knot torpedoes at up to 16km, further reducing reaction times. This greatly increases their threat and this does very little to limit their practicality in long-range engagements.

    The only salve to all of this is that the gaps between torpedoes at very long ranges are huge. It is unlikely that more than a single torpedo will hit per launcher at ranges of 15km or more, even if they're perfectly aimed with a narrow spread. Asashio players that insist on trying for these Hail Mary shots will not prove very effective in the long run. But, of course, Wargaming thought of this, which leads us to...
  • Vigorous Sexing of the Brain the Second: Asashio has access to the Torpedo Reload Booster consumable.

    If you thought there was any pretense of making this fair, Asashio can double-up on her torpedo drops every four to six minutes, allowing her to go Super-Saiyan and turn into a blonde-haired Shimakaze for a moment. Within 9 seconds, she can dump a full sixteen (!) torpedoes, dispensing a veritable "wall of skill" for battleships to face. At long-range, this increases the likelihood of landing multiple hits -- though usually no more than four on a single target.

    But that's not the real danger presented by this consumable. It's far more deadly when used to space out torpedo hits so that they land in between uses of the battleship's Damage Control Party. It's all but guaranteed that if one of Asashio's torpedo hits causes flooding that battleships will immediately patch this up. By waiting a mere 10 or so seconds to launch their second wave of torpedoes after the first, any follow-up hits are likely to stack the dreaded damage over time effect.

    And if you thought your anti-torpedo defenses on your Yamato-class battleship would keep you safe, I have news for you...

Asashio Doesn't Care
Whatever pretty little torpedo defense you think your battleship has, Asashio doesn't care. She's blessed with the highest flooding chance in the game. Even when facing targets with the best torpedo damage reduction and striking them directly on their anti-torpedo bulge, she is still likely to open them up to sea water and cause critical flooding. You know you're dealing with a monster when some of the best-protected ships in the game can't prevent flooding two-thirds of the time.

This makes follow-up strikes much less of a gamble. Even a lone torpedo can doom a battleship to slowly hemorrhage up to 60% of their hit points. The inclusion of Torpeedo Reload Booster to Asashio's arsenal is that much more dangerous because of this fact.

It's a damn good thing that her torpedoes don't override the damage mitigation provided by TDS as well or we'd have words.
 

Asashio has the best flooding chance in the game currently.  Even with maximized TDS, most battleships are very likely to take flooding critical hits.  Even Kagero's torpedoes don't compare.


Großer Kurfürst, Friedrich der Große, Lion, Iowa, Missouri, Kii, Nagato, Ashitaka, Dunkerque, Tirpitz, Bismarck, Monarch, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, King George V, Duke of York, Mutsu, Warspite, Queen Elizabeth, North Carolina, Nelson, Bayern, Lyon, Hood, and Normandie have zero chance of preventing Asashio from flooding them.  The absolute minimum torpedo defense system a battleship requires (before upgrades) to prevent flooding is a 28% reduction.  Less than that and your TDS is trash.

 
Torpedo Summary:
Asashio has some great torpedoes. They're so good in fact they outright negate most defenses battleships can take to mitigate them. Unless your battleship has a minimum of 28% base torpedo protection, Damage Control Modification 1 does nothing to increase your chances to mitigate flooding. Target Acquisition Modification 1 and Vigilance will not give enough warning to help avoid Asashio's torpedoes. Only Hydroacoustic Search does.
Asashio's torpedoes are, by design, a hard counter to battleship play. It's too bad that's all they're good for.
 
 
 
GUNS!
To the detriment of many a team reliant upon Asashio doing more than farming damage off battleships, Asashio's guns will be a mere afterthought. Short of Akizuki, no other Japanese destroyer is as dependent upon her main battery armament for her success as Asashio. With her torpedoes so heavily specialized, proper management of her guns is absolutely critical for helping your team win. Ignoring or dismissing them will cost you many games. You cannot (and must not) ignore destroyers and cruisers in favour of making battleships poop themselves with rage. Like it or not, you're going to have to use your guns in Asashio if you want to succeed.
For such a critical weapon system, they suck moose balls.
 
Her gun armament is almost identical to that of a fully upgraded Kagero or an A-Hull Harekaze. The only difference is range where Asashio enjoys an extra 1.6km reach. While this does give her a larger surface detection bloom when she opens fire, the extra distance is quite welcome given the different targets you will have to attack with these guns. While they have excellent ballistic arcs and shell performance, they are utterly lacking in rate of fire and damage output. Their traverse rate is horribly sluggish. You cannot and will not enjoy firepower superiority over anything short of select lower-tier IJN destroyers, and then only if your guns are already facing in the right direction.

Yet, you will be repeatedly asked (and expected) to take on the likes of Bensons, Fletchers and Khabarovsks in Asashio if you want to win.
The nightmare scenario for Asashio is to find herself in end-game of a close match facing a hale and healthy cruiser or destroyer. To this end, aggressive plays with her guns are often a necessity early on in engagements where friendly ships can help secure a kill or drive off enemies. However, these attacks are not without their risks and attempting them at the wrong time against the wrong target will simply make you look foolish. Make use of smoke and every cheap tactic you can imagine. Join fights late to preserve your own hit points and take pride in whatever licks of damage you can get in. You don't want to have to do this on your own late in a game.
 
Asashio's guns are utterly ill-suited for the heavy lifting that's asked of them, but they're all you've got so make the most of it.
 

Asashio isn't outgunning any of her contemporaries without help.
 
So this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you that disparity of the two weapon systems creates some semblance of fairness. I'm not gonna.

The asymmetry of the power level between Asashio's guns and torpedoes does make an interesting case study on the subject. My own opinion is that Asashio is decidedly lopsided -- downright comically so. This is a ship whose success can largely be attributed to team Matchmaking. If there's a lot of battleships on the enemy team and not many destroyers, you'll have a great game and likely come out as MVP if you time and aim your fish correctly. When it's not, most players will fail their teams utterly and it's really not their fault.
 
In this regard, Asashio is best compared to HMS Conqueror, the tier X Royal Navy battleship. Armed with twelve 419mm guns spamming nothing but HE shells, Conqueror often tops the team lists and gives the illusion of being an absolute rock-star. No enemy battleship can stand against Mega-Zao (thank you, Flamu, for that wonderful name). Similarly, no battleship stands any kind of chance against Asashio. Facing either of these monsters is not fun. However, they won't win as many games as their ridiculous damage totals indicate they should. Short of an early Devastating Strike or gutting several battleships at once, Asashio's influence is surprisingly limited.
 
I cannot stress this enough, and it will be difficult for some players to reconcile -- Asashio's armaments are as controversial and heavy-handed as Royal Navy battleship HE. They will seem to contribute far more to team success than they actually do. For some players that are just looking to get some big damage numbers, Asashio will be a dream boat. For those where winning is more important, Asashio is a liability if Matchmaker is unkind.
 
The more I played Asashio, the more I began to appreciate and value gun-kills over torpedo kills. I loved the challenge of contesting and battling over cap circles. My torpedoes farmed some easy damage, credits, experience and complete missions (often with trivial levels of difficulty), but the real battle was taking on and besting enemy destroyers and cruisers with her artillery. For high-end play in this ship, it's all about how and when to use her guns rather than maximizing her torpedoes which I find delightfully ironic. This isn't easy and this isn't for everyone.

If you prefer, you can just mindlessly dump fish into battleships at the cost of objectives and winning. It's what everyone is expecting you to do.
 
Summary:
  • Asashio's torpedoes are brainless easy-mode.
  • Asashio's torpedoes will not win you games.
  • You're going to have to use your guns if you want to win.  Often a lot.  And it's not always going to work out for you.

Evaluation:
What it would have needed to be :  I was really on the fence with this one.  I almost bumped her up from a  rating, so it's not going to take much to upgrade.  Faster firing guns alone would probably do it.  If her torpedoes became even more versatile she'd be so broken it's not even funny.

 
Defense
Hit Points: 15,100hp
Maximum Protection:  20mm gun turrets.
Minimum Extremities & Deck Armour:19mm

Red bars are not to numerical scale (just to feels scale).  For those without feels: You're an inhuman monster.

Evaluating destroyer durability is pretty straight-forward. At tier VIII, there's only one destroyer with a gimmick and that's USS Kidd with her Repair Party. All of the other destroyers conform to the norms found at tier VIII, with 19mm worth of armour covering the hull and deck and 13mm superstructures. Thus comparing them is simply a matter of looking at hit point totals and lining them up from best to worst. Kidd wins out with the third highest overall hit point pool and her mutant healing powers.

Asashio doesn't come out well in this line up, truth be told. She's not as as Harekaze and she even beats out Loyang, but it would be a mistake to think that she's in a good place. She's just not strong enough to trade with enemy destroyers at her tier. All of those problems with her guns compound because she's just not tough. In order to have any chance of staying alive, it's imperative that you invest in Survivability Expert to give Asashio an additional 2,800hp. While you're likely to meet opponents who have the same skill, in those encounters where you bump into someone without, this can make all the difference.
 
Evaluation:
What it would have needed to be : Kidd's Repair Party or 5,000 more hit points. Asashio is nowhere close to being in this category.
 
Agility
Top Speed: 35.0 knots
Turning Radius: 640m
Rudder Shift Time: 3.6s
Maximum Rate of Turn:  7.0º/s
 
How to have not-terrible agility at tier VIII:
 

Stand next to ducky.  Bonus points if it's a static bot. This works well for tier VII battleships too, though they must stand next to Colorado.

 
All jokes about Akizuki aside, Asashio's agility is not in a good place.  Her 35 knot top speed is slow for a destroyer.  Once outliers are removed, 35 knots is among the slowest top speed you'll find within her Matchmaking spread.  She's not alone at this value, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Fubuki and Shinonome at tier VI, Mahan at tier VII, Kagero at tier VIII and Black at tier IX.  Combined with her large(ish) turning radius of 640m and Asashio doesn't come about particularly quickly.  She's no slug, but she's definitely no American DD.
 
This package of traits is nothing new.  Most IJN destroyers share the same combination of lackluster traits which makes them vulnerable to being run down by enemy gunships and it complicates avoiding aircraft.  This is definitely one of Asashio's weaknesses, but it's not an exaggerated or crippling weakness to be sure.
 
Evaluation:
What it would have needed to be :  Asashio is only  because Akizuki is also a tier VIII destroyer.  She's right on the cusp of being .  To get her out of the doldrums, she would really need something special here, like an extra five knots of speed at the very least and more perks besides.
 
Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 25mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.1km
AA DPS per Aura: 10
 

Please note the sarcasm.
 
Evaluation:
What it would have needed to be : Not allowed.  This is the fulcrum upon which all Asashio balance is based.  Honest and for true.  I mean it for realsies, guys.
 
Refrigerator
Surface Detection Range:  6.84 km
Air Detection Range: 3.78 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.37km
Concealment when Firing in Smoke: 2.55km
 
Asashio is not only the stealthiest destroyer at her tier, she's the stealthiest destroyer within her Matchmaking spread. While she is matched by Kagero and Harekaze for surface detection, Asashio squeaks out a smaller aerial detection on top of this. Now this is really splitting hairs, given that it's a paltry 60m, but still.
 
For a destroyer that boasts upwards of a 14.63km stealth-launching window for her torpedoes, her surface detection range looks like complete overkill, but it's not. It's one of the few tools that gives Asashio any pretense of supporting her team, should her player be so inclined. Like IJN destroyers, Asashio has the stealth advantage and can usually spot enemy destroyers before being spotted in return. The safety window for doing this is tiny in some cases and always full of risk. Short of tripping over some of the biggest thunder-chunkers masquerading as fellow lolibotes (Khabarovsk, I am looking at you), there's often not time enough to turn away before being seen in return.
 
Given Asashio's weakness to winning one versus one engagements, it's imperative to capitalize on these early encounters when there are still friendly guns around to provide backup. Don't be shy of sacrificing a few hit points to help ensure that an enemy lolibote gets wrecked. Don't be so quick to reach for your Smoke Generator either -- try to force the enemy to smoke up first and keep providing eyes for your team.
 
As wonderful as Asashio's dominance of stealth is, she doesn't have everything her own way. She cannot scrape off enemy aircraft to save her life which can easily keep her perma-spotted. In addition lots (and lots) of radar / sonar equipped ships would love to trip over a vulnerable Asashio. Once they get on your butt, you're in for a rough time.
 
 Evaluation:
What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to :  This is much closer than it looks, with Loyang being an easy contender for the best at her tier and Harekaze & Kagero sharing functionally the same concealment.  While Asashio dominates in stealth, Loyang combines reasonable concealment with her totally-not-overtuned-in-the-slightest Hydroacoustic Search with its extended range. 
 
How to Help Control the Battleship Overpopulation
Asashio makes a great trainer for higher tiered IJN destroyer commanders, though she may not be ideal for lower tiered ones.  The following is the ideal build for Asashio.  Feel free to follow along using ShipComrade's Captain Skill Calculator to try out various test builds.
 
 
  • Start with Priority Target.  This skill has lesser value in IJN destroyers (if you're seen, it's pretty safe to assume everyone is shooting at you), so I would value Preventative Maintenance with equal weight here.
  • You're still a destroyer, so Last Stand has the highest value at tier 2.
  • Next up, take Torpedo Armament Expertise.  This will drop your reload time from 112 seconds to 100.8 seconds. 
  • For your 10th skill point, Concealment Expert shouldn't surprise anyone.
  • And finally, double back to tier 3 and take Survivability Expert to boost up your hit points from 15,100 to 17,900.

After this, it becomes a question of choosing between some high value skills between your six remaining skill points.

  • At tier 2, Torpedo Acceleration is of the highest value, with Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman following in order.
  • At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is of higher value than Superintendent
  • At tier 4, Radio Location is invaluable for influencing vision control.

Between these six skills, distribute your six remaining points as you choose.  During play testing, I used a 15 point commander that took Torpedo Acceleration.

Development

Version 1.0 She began life in late December of 2017. Her first iteration was little more than a Kagero-clone in terms of game play. The reactions to her announcement were... well, they were to be expected.


 
 
Version 2.0
Fast forward to early February and we received a new version of Asashio. She acquired her now infamous Deepwater Torpedoes and her Torpedo Reload Booster no longer competed with her Smoke Generator.


 
I had a lot of fun playing this version of Asashio. I admit, I gave her a big ol' thumbs-up during my first few times out in her and she kept right on delighting me.

 
The honeymoon I was having with her was short-lived, however. A week later and I began having concerns that she was a little overtuned as it was far too easy to damage battleships, though I admit this view was narrowly focused. Not all the other testers were enjoying the same level of success.
 
Version 3.0

Two weeks after version 2.0, we received the third and what would prove to be the final version of Asashio. She received a slight increase in the surface detection of her torpedoes. This change would not significantly affect her performance. This brought her gun handling and rate of fire to the same level as Kagero. This opened up the possibility of engaging lower tiered IJN destroyers in uneven gun fights. It was clear that Wargaming wanted a battleship hunting monster and that was the ship Asashio was to become.

 
My views would mellow out over time, however...
 
Final Evaluation
Mouse's Summary:
  • Asashio won't break the game.
  • When you look at her analytically, she's not a very competitive destroyer all told.
  • The current battleship-heavy meta empowers her. She's only as good as the persistence of that environment.
Asashio, by her very design, will polarize opinions. She is very good at being simultaneously a battleship assassin and a punching bag for cruisers and gunship destroyers.
 
This is a ship built upon the principle of no counter-play, exaggerating the old paper-rock-scissors design of 2015. Dreadnoughts that are alone and/or exposed or those that are sailing predictably at long-range are going to get punished and punished hard. One on one, they also stand no chance. Similarly, there is very little Asashio can do to an enemy gunship destroyer or cruiser that wants her booty when she's caught without support. She is, in all aspects, a comical exaggeration of the IJN destroyer stereotype, for good and for ill.
 
I do not see her being much different from a less versatile version of an old-timey Shiratsuyu or a similarly myopic Kamikaze-sisters that's all about the battleship damages. Really, boiled down to the sum of her parts, Asashio is a trashbote that is poorly equipped to play objectives, but at least she'll wreck something. This makes evaluating her fun. Let's use the Angry Youtuber scale for this. I know, I know, I'm getting this review format slightly out-of-order, but indulge me:
    GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.
    Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.
    Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.
    OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely
 On the one hand, you've got the obvious Battleship perspective:
To Battleship Players:  Asashio is the end of all things. Game balance and fun as we know it is doomed. Uninstall now. 
 
The good times are over.  Despite Asashio's predation techniques already being present in the Pan Asian destroyer line, this time it's super-cereal because it's now in the hands of an IJN destroyer that couldn't fight their way out of a wet shoe-box.
 
 At the other extreme, we have the perspective of someone who abhors the current BB-heavy meta:

The Return to Eden.  This is the destroyer those BBabies deserve.
 
Now you can punish those BBabies for having the nerve, nay the audacity to dare enjoying that ship type and game play.  They're about to Get Balanced™ in the most extreme way possible.  It's doubly delicious that it's coming from an IJN destroyer, whose tech-tree line has suffered the ignominy of being nerfed over and over and over again while battleships have only ever received buffs!  Don't fact check that last part!
 
For anyone else, she's just another IJN destroyer but with gimped torpedoes.
Asashio is about as terrifying as a cute little bunny. Most ships in the game can counter her easily with a simple count of three (counting to five is right out). Still, you've got to give her mad props for flying about and decapitating BBabies.
 
Asashio is not well designed. In the hands of the masses, I predict she will hoover up some ridiculous damage totals but her win rate is going to suck. She should mirror Shimakaze in many respects. Most players will enjoy her -- she'll do some nice damage but short of being in the hands of a unicum, her influence on the overall outcome will be dictated by what Matchmaker hands to her.
 
It's a fallacy to think that she will greatly influence the meta. Battleships are already loathe to push if they even smell a destroyer ahead of them. Few take the time to differentiate the threat between ship classes, treating all destroyers as if they had the ability to catastrophically end them suddenly. Similarly, assuming that Asashio will unnecessarily punish any battleship that does have the audacity to push is also fallacy. ALL destroyers (and all cruisers and other battleships) will always focus on the closest battleship. It's already chronic on how many players will focus on the ease of stacking damage against battleships over more critical (and perhaps closer) targets. Asashio does not change this.
 
What Asashio does do is exaggerate these bad habits. I grant you: she's not well designed. But at least she does this because she has to rather than by the fault of the player.

Would I Recommend?
Asashio absolutely trivializes a lot of requirements for missions and campaigns. She's also going to be a great ship for people that are trying to unlock achievement badges for destroyers and Japanese ships.

  • PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?

No, I wouldn't. The mirrored team building in Co-Op means it's possible for you to end up in matches with only a single target for your torpedoes. This makes it hard for her to earn XP and Credits. Similarly, if there was ever a Scenario which didn't have a plethora of enemy battleships to target, Asashio would suck hard and not in the sexy way.

  • Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.

Very yes on toast. This is where she belongs and she'll reward you well. Devastating Strike, Witherer, High Caliber and LIquidator medals will come easy. You may struggle to achieve Confederate medals however, unless Matchmaker REALLY likes you.

  • For Competitive Gaming:
    Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.

Please don't bring this on my team in Ranked. I'll forgive you if somehow the meta is something other than destroyers this season.

  • For Collectors:
    If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.

Yes, Asashio is a storied vessel with not only an extensive service record, but a sad and honourable end.

  • For Fun Factor:
    Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?

I enjoy this ship a lot, though I do so with some mild pangs of guilt. They're only mild, though, so I wouldn't call the affliction serious enough to stem any recommendation.

 
 
 
In Closing
I had a lot of fun putting this one together. I've hoped you enjoyed reading it. This is one ship where I would love to look over Wargaming's shoulder an analyze the meta-data as it comes in after it gets a general release. There have been all sorts of predictions on how she will perform and what influence she will have on the game. Being able to see which side of the debate is vindicated by official stats would be interesting.
 
My thanks go out to my Patrons on Patreon. Dozens of hours of work were put into the review you just read including time spent play testing, writing and doing graphics. Working around my schedule to get these out on time is difficult and the financial support provided by my patrons facilitates this. Every dollar helps. So thank you all -- not just those who donate, but those who read and enjoy these reviews.   It means a lot to me.
 
Appendix
A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews.

Research:

Artwork:

For Graphics:

Programs Used:

  • World of Warships (duh)
  • Notepad (seriously)
  • MS Paint (also, seriously)
  • iPhone Stopwatch App (yep)

Hardware:

Mouse toils away on an old i7-2600K 3.40GHz computer with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia 560Ti GPU running a 64bit OS.
 
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