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Russian Light Cruiser "Nevsky" Line - Your_SAT_Score


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Note: These guides are courtesy of Your_SAT_Score from the old forum and saved by request.


Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • (30s summary)
  • Skill level
  • Who should play this line
  • Captain build and ship upgrades
  • Line Characteristics
    • Armor and Durability
    • Main Armament
    • Secondary Armament
    • Torpedoes 
    • Anti-Air Defense
    • Ship Launched Depth Charges
    • Maneuverability
    • Concealment
  • Consumables
  • General Playstyle
    • Early game
    • Mid Game
    • Late Game
    • Ranked
    • Clan Battles
  • Individual Ship Rating
  • Gameplay Tips
  • Final Thoughts
  • Sources used

If you just want quick gameplay help, I recommend reading the "Captain build and ship upgrades", "General Playstyle", and "Gameplay Tips" sections. 


The following is my review of the Russian "Light Cruiser" Tech Tree line, aka. the Nevsky Line. 
My assessment is current as of 4/18/2023 in patch 12.3
Barring major changes, this guide will remain relevant throughout the future. 

Tier 5-8 are glass cannons. Fragile hull but excellent firepower. 
They kite enemies while burning them down. 
Tier 9+ trades firepower for powerful AP and 12km radar to become versatile utility ships. 
Specialize in fighting DDs and other cruisers, but BBs are fair game when kiting. 
Mid-tier cruisers are average at best, but the T8 and above are powerful. 
Nevsky is very strong in Clan Battles if supported with a smoke DD.
In fact so good she is completely banned in King of the Seas 15. 

This guide can also apply to the following premium ships: 

  • Mikoyan
  • Kirov
  • Molotov
  • Lazo
  • Ochakov
  • Skill Level

Skill Level: Mid

  • Fast shells help newer players lead targets
  • Kiting playstyle is easy to understand
  • Squishy mid-tier cruisers can get punished even when angled properly
  • Poor maneuverability makes it difficult to dodge.

Skill Ceiling: High

  • Powerful team utility allows them to effectively fight all ship classes
  • Low DPM for a CL, targeting specific sections of a ship is necessary to maximize damage
  • Open Water kiting is harder to pull off than other cruisers

Who should play this line

Recommended for:

  • Team Support/Anti-DD Capabilities - 12km radar and railgun ballistics makes them deadly against DDs
  • Damage farming- While less durable than other dedicated kiting cruisers, their high effective DPM more than compensates
  • Competitive Players - Nevsky is a common pick in Clan Battles and KotS when she isn't banned

Not recommended for:

  • Aggressive Brawling - Russian CLs instantly explode as soon as it gets within 5km of other ships, the Petropavlovsk line is better suited for close combat
  • Players who hate squishy ships - Vulnerable citadels make them easy targets if the player isn't careful 
  • Dancing - RU ships are clumsy and will struggle to dodge. 

Captain Build and Ship Upgrades 

Recommended build: https://share.wowssb.com/wVja

Take the skills in the numbered order.
This is the generic cruiser build that almost every ship runs. 
Provides a good balance of survivability and increased firepower. 


  1. Incoming Fire Alert - I recommend this first for beginners mostly because of the squishiness that is mid-tier cruisers. 
    • This isn't a substitute for situational awareness but provides an additional warning if an unseen threat is trying to dev strike you
    • If you are confident in your abilities, then take Gun Feeder for the quick AP shells
  2. Consumable Expert - Useful buff for hydro and radar, 
  3. Adrenaline Rush - Standard skill pick for extra firepower.
  4. Concealment Expert- Standard cruiser pick for better positioning and not getting instantly focused at the start of the match
    • You must have this skill by the time you research the Tier 6 Budyonny. 
    • Don't advance past Tier 5 until you have this mandatory skill or otherwise you will suffer horribly.
  5. Superintendent- +1 radar and heal dramatically improves your late-game potential.
    • You should have this by Tier 9 Dimitri Donskoi.
  6. Top Grade Gunner - Extra DPM is very useful when shooting at the DD you just radared. 
    • The -8% bonus otherwise is difficult to sustain, so has a lower priority than other skills
  7. Survivability Expert - +3500 HP provides a minor buff, so a lower-priority skill.
  8. Grease the Gears - Either this or the 1pt skill you didn't take before.

Alternative Skills:

  • Radio Location - Viable for dedicated anti-DD builds so you aren't guessing where the DD is before radaring. Sacrifice Survivability Expert and a 1pt skill for this skill.
  • Focus Fire Training - Nevsky's base AA is surprisingly capable due to her 6.9km range and 8 base flak. Run with DFAA if you are constantly fighting CVs. 
    • Don't take this for any other RU CLs though, their AA is irredeemable at best. 


  • Main Battery Mod 1 - Standard mod to reduce the risk of guns getting knocked out
  • Surveillance Radar Mod 1- The extra 6s is very helpful for getting off 1-2 more salvoes
  • Aiming System Mod 1 - Standard mod for better dispersion
  • Propulsion Mod 1- I run this because I do a lot of stop-go juking. Steering Gears is also fine if you do a lot of turning
  • Concealment System Mod 1 - Standard mod for staying undetected
  • Main Battery Mod 3 - Helps offset Nevsky's relatively slow reload.
    • Range mod is a viable alternative on Asia server due to their meta
    • But if you are on any other server, learn how to get close without blowing up 😄

Co-op/Operations only build: https://share.wowssb.com/31A2

Lighthouse build maximizing firepower over everything else. 
I don't recommend this outside PvE as players will quickly farm you down. 

Unique Captains:

The Znamensky brothers are essentially generic 10pt captains for the CL line, but that's enough to immediately get Concealment Expert so you can actually play on Tier 6+ ships. 

Ovechkin is a similar story, but the improved Survivability Expert makes him slightly more useful (if you take it of course). 
Kutneszov is a decent legendary captain if you get first blood to activate his free Superintendent skill. 
However, Will to Victory is rarely useful due to how fast the CLs die. 
Sometimes you don't even get the chance to activate if a BB finds your citadel. 
He isn't worth the coal investment though. Save him for the Russian BB or CA line. 

Basically, the special captains are better served on other ship lines. 
But if they aren't needed elsewhere, don't hesitate to use them if only to start with a 10pt captain. 

Note: Znamensky brothers are available in the armory for 35k coal or 1500 doubloons
Ovechkin is a 1-time special event captain who is unlikely to return. 
Kutneszov is also available in the armory for 175k coal. 

Armor and durability 

  • Mediocre - Average HP pool
  • Lightly armored all-around
  • Awful citadel placement and protection, frequently takes citadel hits when broadside
  • No torp protection Tier 8 and below except T5 Kotovosky
  • Poor torpedo protection for Tier 9-10

Tier 5-8 armor layout (Budyonny used as an example):




Tier 9-10 armor layout (Alexander Nevsky as an example):




Citadel comparison: 




The RU BB and Petro line used up all of the stalinium and left none for the light cruisers. 
Tier 8 and below are some of the most explosive ships in the game due to their massive citadels. 
It literally takes up half the ship and extends above the waterline. 
Worse, the armor belt actually works against them as they are too thin to resist BB HE shells, yet thick enough to arm their AP rounds. 
Even CL AP shells will citadel your broadside. 
It isn't a one-off ship like Omaha or Konigsberg. 
It is an entire tier bracket of ships that will randomly disappear if so much as a strong gust of wind hits your broadside.
Ignoring the BB problem, their thin armor and large size render them vulnerable to other cruisers and DDs. 
Basically these ships have practically no way to resist damage other than hoping the enemy does not shoot them. 

Thankfully Tier 9 Donskoi and Tier 10 Nevsky are much sturdier than their predecessors. 
They won't immediately die to any BB broadsides due to their smaller citadel size. 
The belt armor is still thin, but the narrower citadel creates a dead space where shells can detonate instead of the citadel.
Adding an icebreaker bow helps to prevent bow/stern citadels. 
Both ships also gets a torpedo belt, though it's mostly useful against planes. 
Donskoi and Nevsky are still fragile overall so don't take direct fights against other ships when possible. 


Main Armament

  • Normal cruiser dispersion (pretty good)
  • Tier 5-8 have high HE DPM, T9-10 is mediocre
  • Tier 5-8 have poor AP penetration, Tier 9-10 AP are on par with heavy cruisers
  • Very Fast shells and flat ballistics
  • Average Turret traverse speed
  • Average Turret firing angles
  • Among the longest base range of comparable cruisers
  • Significant smoke firing penalty.

Tier 6-8 Cruiser Ballistics shown:



Alexander Nevsky's dispersion, ballistics, and AP pen is shown: 





Their armor may be complete crap, but at least their shells are amazing. 
Stalin's order forces them to ignore air drag, resulting in extremely fast shell travel times. 
Under ~12km, they are actually faster than BBs shells.
Combined with their cruiser accuracy and flat arcs, gg to any DDs trying to dodge them. 
Keep in mind the same flat arcs makes it difficult to fire over islands. 
You can still lob over to an extent, but not the same as other cruisers. 
If you need to get close, ask your DDs for smoke instead. 
Just don't get too close or enemy DDs will spot you firing in smoke. 
Soviet CLs also a very high base gun range, though this is more out of necessity given their armor scheme. 

Like other light cruisers, HE is your main source of damage.
Not the best in terms of sheer DPM, but still quite good due to their ballistics.  
Mid-tier cruisers can pen 25mm of armor, which is good enough for cruisers and DDs. 
BBs will shatter your HE, so aim at their superstructure or set fires instead. 
IFHE is not recommended as you still can't pen Tier 8-9 BB armor while still costing 4pts to use. 
They will output the damage if you can survive long enough. 

The HE shells behave differently for the high-tier ships starting with Tier 8 Chapayev
30mm pen will pen any cruiser and Tier 7 and below BBs, though T8+ BBs still need IFHE to pen 
Now she can pen everything that's not a Tier 8 BB bow/stern or a Tier 10 CV flight deck. 
Same ballistics as the mid tier cruisers, but you will find it harder to hit fast-moving targets like French DDs or Henri IV. 
Donskoi and Nevsky actually lose some DPM, but partially compensate for even faster shells. 
Even 55kt Klebers will struggle to dodge your shot. 

While the increased velocity is useful for aiming, it also makes their AP surprisingly deadly. 
Citadels are possible broadside cruisers at ~8km and below, but remember this includes yourself. 
In fact you will explode faster than whatever you are shooting at, so avoid getting close unless there is no other option. 
At T9-10, the shell are so fast the AP shells effectively have heavy cruiser penetration. 
Nevsky can reliably citadel most cruisers at 12km, even out to max range on some light cruisers.

In fact, just treat Donskoi and Nevsky's guns as you would a heavy cruiser gun. 
Fire HE at angled ships, BBs without DCP, and DDs. 
AP is effective against anything broadside even out to 12-15km. 

For the Tier 8 and below cruisers its simple, spam HE.
Superstructure first, then go for fires once his DCP is down. 
Forget AP exists unless you paypal an enemy cruiser to show broadside. 

Rapid fire railguns. HE is good at all tiers. 
AP shells are mediocre until Tier 9-10, then become just as good as heavy cruisers

Secondary Armament

  • Normal secondary dispersion (aka very inaccurate)
  • HE shells: Poor Armor Penetration
  • Low practical DPM
  • Low maximum range

Close range is the last place you want to be in a fragile cruiser.
If they are firing at anything bigger than a DD, you are unlikely to live for long. 
Not that the secondaries matter anyways, they are warning rounds. Nothing more. 

Funny when you are awarded "Close Quarters Expert" achievement. Not so much when they shatter on the BB about to send you to the shadow realm. 


  • Low damage per torp
  • Extremely limited range
  • Long reload
  • Low visibility, difficult to spot without hydro

Imagine it is 1942 and you are fighting in Stalingrad.  
You have no ammo left, so the commissar ordered you to charge across no man's land to throw a grenade into the enemy MG nest. 
Replace no man's land with open water and grenades with torps and you have the Soviet cruiser torpedo experience. 
95% of the time you will die before getting in range of torps. 
4.9% you will die after you get your torps off. 
0.1% the afk BB will destroy your torpedo tubes before you shoot them. 

8km torps doesn't change their usage much.
You can sorta kite with them, but then again anything under 8km has higher DPM than you. 

Last ditch defense for point-blank combat. If you are thinking about using them, something has gone terribly wrong

Anti-Air Defense

  • Flak - Weak T7 and below, above average T8-10
  • Long - Poor DPS, average range
  • Mid - Mediocre - average DPS
  • Short - Non-existent, both literally and practically
  • Overall - Insufficient to fight off same-tier CVs


There exist 2 kinds of RU cruiser AA: Kinda useless and utterly useless. 
Only Nevsky falls under the former category due to her 6.9km AA range and above-average flak. 
You can squad-wipe entire attack waves with a lucky DFAA-boosted flak burst. 
Most of the time though the enemy will just dodge and drop on your forehead as normal. 

And that's the only cruiser with actual AA. 
Everyone else has literally no chance even with DFAA.   

As for surviving CV attacks, that part is easier: You adopt the fetal position and cry. 
Anything AP will citadel you, HE bombs and rockets still deal heavy damage, and torp bombers are impossible to dodge with BB turning radius. 
On the bright side, you sit so far back that most CVs will target your allies first. 

Only Nevsky has acceptable AA. Everyone else is suffering 🙂

Depth Charges (Ship launched)

  • Rear mounted DC launchers
    • Exception: Nevsky, she has forward firing
  • Low damage, low numbers dropped


To be honest, I don't know why the devs bothered giving line depth charges. 
Subs can force you to run away for fear of torps and permaspot. 
If you try to get close, his team will just nuke you, assuming the sub doesn't just shotgun you out of mercy. 
And the biggest insult of all, you probably won't kill the sub in 1 pass. 
They are so bad that they may as well not exist. 
That being said, you can still shoot surfaced subs with your guns. 
At the very least force them to waste battery time while you run away. 

You effectively have no ASW.  Shoot the pings with your guns instead. 


  • High top speed
  • Widest turning radius, worse than most BBs
  • Average rudder shift time

Soviet cruisers by far have the large turning radius of any cruiser lines. 
Sometimes they are even worse than the BBs at the same tier. 
Rudder shift is normal, but that hardly matters if they can't turn in the first speed. 
On the bright side they are quite fast so they can sorta reposition quickly. 
Not as fast as the French, but still quite good. 

Because of this, they perform best in open water. 
They should still shoot over islands when possible, but they will easily perform a Notser if you aren't careful. 

Good for straight lining, not so good when enemies are shooting you


  • Poor surface detection
  • Average aerial detection

RU light cruiser surface detection is poor at the mid-tiers and only gets worse. 
Don't expect to get close, though thankfully there is rarely a need due to their excellent shell ballistics. 

Air detection is acceptable as it matches their long-range AA when fully concealment spec. 
This won't stop the CV from permaspotting or finishing you off himself. 

Bad to worse, but you generally have to play far back anyways


  • Standard Cruiser Damage Control Party
  • Standard Hydro OR DFAA
  • Standard Spotting Aircraft (Tier 5-7)
  • 12km radar (starting at Tier 8 Chapayev)
  • Standard Cruiser Repair Party (Starting at Tier 9 Donskoi)


DCP, Hydro/DFAA, and repair party are the exact same as most other cruisers. 
Nothing remarkable.

Tier 5-7 cruisers have access to spotter planes that extend their gun range by 20%. 
Usually the range is overkill and more often its used to shoot ships in smoke. 

On the other hand 12km radar is a complete game changer. 
DDs cower in fear as they can't dodge your railgun ballistics. 
Ambush them in smoke and you are guaranteed to halve their HP before radar wears off. 
While the radar doesn't last as long as their US or British counterparts, the extra 2km range more than compensates. 
Use it wisely and you can decide the fate of the match. 

Standard cruiser consumables. 12km radar is an extremely potent anti-DD tool

General Playstyle

The Russian CL line can be split into 2 phases: Long range glass cannons and true jack-of-all-trades utility cruisers. 

Long-Range Glass Cannons:

The former applies to any ship Tier 7 and below. 
Their playstyle is straightforward: kite at range, farm damage, and hope you don't spontaneously combust. 
Clever positioning and use of islands becomes important to mask your fragile hull. 
If you can find a good island, then you can burn down entire teams for little risk. 

Of course, enemies aren't very cooperative and you will inevitably need to play open water to maximize your game impact. 
The optimal engagement range is ~10km - max gun range. 
Their concealment isn't the best, but it's good enough to get into position. 
Closer is fine against DDs and cruisers, but you want to give BBs a wide berth if he is looking in your direction. 
You can burn him down in time, but you don't want a few lucky AP citadels to ruin your plan. 
Staying at range will help you dodge and get lucky with favorable dispersion. 
This plays into your strength of fast shells anyways.
You can easily land shells at longer distances that other cruisers will struggle with. 

If the BB is distracted or shooting someone else, then by all means get closer. 
Getting closer lets you kill targets quicker so you can start snowballing earlier. 
Other cruisers can out-DPM you up close and BBs overmatch your bow. 
So still exercise caution when closing in. 

Tier 8 Chapayev falls somewhere in the middle of the 2 phases. 
She has the same firepower as Shchors, but now carries the fearsome 12km radar to counter DDs. 
As a result she can support DDs in the early game, but usually cannot sustain into the late game without smoke support.
Focus is still on kiting to farm damage, but you can now make plays if a DD msiplays like smoking in your radar range.  

Jack of all Trades Utility Cruiser:

The true jack-of-all-trades utility playstyle applies to Tier 9 and 10.
What they trade in raw firepower they more than compensate with railgun ballistics and durability.
Leading targets is now a point-and-click adventure.
In fact, new players usually overlead until they get used to the guns. 
Hitting DDs becomes trivial under 10km, and a mild exercise under 15km. 
Bigger ships are even easier to the point you can target specific sections of BBs to light multiple fires. 
You can sit comfortably at max range and have no problems hitting targets. 
Just remember you need to get close if you want to actually impact the game. 

Unfortunately, your shell arcs are so flat that you can no longer fire over islands efficiently.
This isn't a big deal though as your durability is just good enough to survive in open water. 
As long as you angle and dodge properly, you will out trade anything that isn't a supership. 
Remember you aren't a tank, you will die easily to misplays so don't get overconfident in your heal. 

Like with Chappy, stay close to the caps early game to pick off oblivious DDs. 
Ask your friendly DDs for smoke. They can take the cap while you pick off any DDs trying to contest. 
After the early game, transition to a kiting cruiser role or continue to play for objectives depending on how the game is progressing. 
It is up to the player to decide the best course of action. 

Early Game (20:00 - ~15:00 in-game time)

Tier 5-7 cruiser playstyle is straightforward: Farm damage. 
Use your high speed to position on the flanks or behind islands.
Shoot at DDs when you can, but your survivability comes first. 
You may get a few shots when getting into position, but otherwise cruisers and BBs will be your focus.

Tier 8-10 can take a more aggressive approach and support DDs with their 12km radar. 
Use islands or allied smoke to safely approach the cap. 
Islands are usually to tall to fire over, but you can still use them to conceal movement or block potential crossfire. 
When your radar covers the cap, turn away into a kiting position. 
This way you can ambush the DD if he tries playing the objective. 
Don't forget hydro incase the DD tries torping you. 

In standard battles (i.e. no caps except the home cap), adopt the T5-7 kiting cruiser playstyle I've discussed above. 
You can still support your DDs, but winning HP trades and farming damage will better set you up for late game. 
Radar is still helpful for zoning DDs or ambushing them in smoke. 

Mid Game (~15:00 - ~5:00 in-game time, or until ~4 ships remain on each team, whichever comes first)

After the first ~3-5 minutes, look at the minimap and team health and take stock of the situation. 
For the radar cruisers, also pay close attention to the DD lineup

For the most part, even the radar ships will play like other kiting cruisers. 
Your job is to whittle down the enemy so you can move in later. 
No HP = No threat, so the faster you kill the enemy the better. 
Always shoot the DD if he shows up. 
Killing him will deny enemy vision and eventually force his supporting ships to back off. 
Then your team can push in and take the position for free. 

Radar cruisers also have the option of staying near caps if the enemy DD wants to contest. 
See Gameplay tips on how to use radar. 
Otherwise they play the same as other kiting cruisers. 

If you win your side early, its generally better to go back through spawn. 
RU CLs are very bad at pushing and will die to anything bigger than a cruiser. 
Not that you should be leading the charge anyways, that's the BB's job to push enemies.
You are there for anti-DD support. 
If there is notable enemy opposition and you can't push quickly, consider rotating through spawn instead. 

Depending on how your other flank is performing, you may have to go back anyways to prevent a complete breakdown. 
The last thing you want is enemies to run amok in spawn and catch your broadside in a pincer attack. 
The faster you react, the sooner you can kite the enemy breakout and farm more damage. 
Do your job well and you can even stop the push altogether. 
Don't be afraid to pop 1 radar to check where the enemy DDs are lurking. 

Late Game (5:00 to end of game, or when there only a few ships on the map)

Hopefully the game is already won because your Russian bias won't save you from capitalist HE spam, or even a healthy BB from shoving into your face. 
You are at a DPM disadvantage in the close combat meta that favors tanky and high DPM ships. 
DDs still fear you, but other cruisers and BBs will find you easy prey. 
That being said, the initial endgame setup matters a lot more than individual ship capabilities. 
Your disadvantages may not matter if you are just fighting nearly dead BBs and DDs. 

The overall strategy remains the same for every team: Obtain/maintain the point lead. 
Healthy ships should run down the enemy while damaged ships provide support or take unguarded caps. 
Usually it's best to group up as you can pick off lone enemy ships. 
Against enemy cruisers or BBs, hang back and let your allied BBs soak up damage while you blast away. 
If DDs are the only ship left, then take the lead and use your hydro to screen for torps. 
Radar cruisers can also radar the unfortunate DDs and punish them for existing. 

Quick Individual Ship Assessment

The last time I've played the Tier 2-4 ships was 6 years ago. 
I will refrain from giving my outdated opinions about them. 
Not that it matters as Tier 5 and below is just co-op with more rewards. 
Remember these assessments are my own opinion
Other players may rank the ships differently, but that doesn't necessarily mean their assessment is wrong. 

Kotovosky: 4/10

Welcome to mid-tiers where every cruiser has no armor and literally everything is trying to kill you. 
Our first stop is Kotovosky, a typical Russian light cruiser that sets the tone for the rest of the line. 
Fast shells, fast in a straight line, and fast to port if a BB sneezes in her general direction. 
Though to be fair, the latter is normal for any mid-tier cruiser.
Her decent firepower and fast shells lets her stay at range. 
Very important as she needs as much time to dodge as possible with her poor maneuverability. 

To avoid beating your DDs back to port, use your high top speed and go for the flanks. 
Be in a position where BBs can't easily shoot back, whether it be behind islands or on his side. 
Don't be the first in, let your teammates draw fire before opening up. 
With luck the enemy BB will tunnel vision on your allies and let you farm in safety. 
Keep an eye on their turret movements. 
If the turrets are turning to you, a retaliatory salvo is likely to follow. 
Start dodging now if you don't want to hand out free dev strike medals. 
These tactics will serve you well throughout the grind, so practice them in the mid-tiers where enemies are less competent. 

Budyonny: 4/10

Our next stop is Budyonny, an up-gunned Kotovosky that also has no armor. 
Oh and everything is still literally trying to kill you.
More guns and more range is good, but that's about it. 
BBs still see you as a soon-to-be dev strike medal and 2 CV games/2+ sub games are the norm. 
If you haven't learned how to dodge or at least angle, then you better start learning now

The same tactics I've mentioned with Kotovosky will also work for Budyonny and the rest of the line. 
Ideally avoid getting shot at by hiding behind islands, in smoke, or be off to the side. 
If you get shot at, then make it hard for the BB to hit you. 
Use your high speed and rudder to throw off his aim. The further away, the less likely he will hit. 
Go dark and he will likely lose interest in you, that's when you come back into range and farm him again. 

The key to success for mid-tier cruisers is really just surviving battles. 
Their damage output is quite obscene if you can live long enough to use it. 
Don't hide in A1 of course, but learning to survive in high DPM ships will greatly improve your overall skill. 

Shchors: 3.5/10

Basically a Budyonny with an extra turret. And still no armor
Shchors gains +33% more firepower, but at the cost of the dreaded Tier 7 matchmaking. 
BBs and even heavy cruisers can almost ignore your HE while nuking you in return. 
IFHE lets you pen the cruisers, but you will never pen T8+ BBs bow and stern under any condition. 
It's not even worth taking IFHE because of the loss in fire chance. 
Oh, and you still explode if a BB looks at you funny. 
At least you can walk all over T7 and below cruisers and DDs who foolishly reveal themselves.
Surviving the constant CVs and 4-5 BB matches is the hard part. 

Shchors fares poorly in Tier 6-7 ranked meta mostly due to her lack of utility. 
She has the firepower to kill ships, but what can you do when your DDs suicide and the meta cruisers are in permasmoke. 
The BBs also take a while to kill and can easily 1 shot you didn't pay your RNG tax. 

Oh, and have fun grinding her twice for the Petropavlovsk line. 

Chapayev: 8/10

Funny how one consumable turns a mediocre ship into an amazing one. 
Though to be honest, that's half the story. 
Upgrading the HE pen to 30mm also does wonders for her effective HE DPM. 
Fighting higher-tier cruisers still sucks, but at least you actually damage them. 
She still retains Shchor's amazing base DPM, so you will quickly farm down enemies if you live long enough. 

Back to her consumable. 
Her radar is arguably the strongest of all ships when accounting for tier. 
Not only does it reach out to 12km, but she can also stealth radar poor DDs and smash them with her excellent ballistics. 
Just imagine being a new player in your stock Tier 6 DD and having to fight a ship that punishes you for just existing. 
Yeah lol this isn't fair. 

Only her poor durability and ineffectiveness vs. CVs holds her back. 
i.e nothing new.
But if you can play around those threats, Chappy will literally burn down entire teams with little effort.
Not even DDs are safe from her wrath. 

In ranked, Chappy is hard to play due to the BB-heavy meta. 
It sucks when everyone tryhards in OP BBs like Massachusetts and Lenin and 1 mistake will cost you a star. 
Still, none of them can replace you in your anti-DD role. 
Support your DDs and win the game in the first few minutes. 
Kite the BBs when they inevitably push in. 
Teach them that no amount of capitalism will beat true Russian bias. 

In Tier 8-9 ranked meta, take Donskoi instead. Don't gimp yourself with an inferior option. 

Dimitri Donskoi: 6/10 

Donskoi is fairly underrated for a Tier 9 cruiser. 
While she doesn't have the raw damage output of her predecessor, her upgraded railguns give her AP enough pen to threaten broadside targets. 
BBs and cruisers must think twice before showing broadside, lest they get hit by a 8-10k salvo or even a few citadel hits. 
Even faster shells allow her to keep up with faster ships. 
Klebers and Henri IV can't simply outrun her shells like they could with lesser cruisers. 

More importantly, Donskoi is the first CL that at least tries not to explode when stared at. 
Her durability is somewhat better than Chappy, but by no means is she a tanky ship. 
Range is still the best defense, and there is no need to get closer unless you need to radar a DD. 
With a 12.4km surface detection and 12.0km radar, you will absolutely wreck DDs before they can escape. 
Expect to remove at least 1/3 of the enemy DD's HP with each radar charge if used correctly. 
As long as you aren't fighting superships or subs, Donskoi should prove a very capable ship. 

It is a similar story in ranked where Donskoi's anti-DD capabilities can prove game-changing. 
A well timed radar can net you an early kill and snowball into a win. 
She is less effective in BB heavy matches, but you can jump out of queue if it doesn't look good. 

Alexander Nevsky: 7.5/10

Though uncommon, Nevsky is a solid cruiser in randoms. 
Her long-range firepower is well suited for the high tier meta while radar lets her engage careless DDs who wander into range. 
In fact, her shells are so fast she can reliably hit DDs out to her max range. 
Try that in any other ship. 
She is effective against every surface ship and especially DDs. 
Note that I specifically said surface ship. 
Nevsky may have the best AA in her line, but it's still not enough against competent CVs. 
You can't even do anything against subs unless he is a paid actor. 

Otherwise Nevsky is just a souped-up Donskoi. 
Stay at range and farm down enemy ships. 
Ask for friendly smoke when possible. 
They take the cap, and you kill their DDs in return. 
And don't forget to use AP against broadside targets. 

In ranked, Nevsky has above-average performance due to her anti-DD capabilities. 
She also performs well against most other cruisers but can be tricky due to her poor survivability. 
Nevsky cannot make aggressive plays unlike her cousin Petro. 
An unlucky citadel or torps can ruin your game, and your chance to save your star. 

Nevsky is a powerful Clan Battles and King of the Seas ship due to her insane utility and effective long-range DPM. 
She is often paired with a Somers/Gearing to lock down caps. 
When positioned correctly, it is very difficult to out-trade or takes caps under their protection. 
Experienced teams know this and will focus fire Nevsky whenever possible. 
That being said, Nevsky smoke combo was too OP and she is banned for KotS XV. 
(Brisbane apparently is still fine)
Keep in mind Nevsky fares worse in small-scale formats as she is heavily dependent on smoke support. 

Gameplay Tips:

Most of these tips apply to other cruiser lines

HE vs. AP

For Tier 8 and below, HE is practically your only good shell option. 
AP pen is bad and requires significant enemy cooperation to use effectively. 
Avoid using it unless the target is under ~10-12km and broadside.
You can citadel some cruisers starting at ~8km, but aim slightly above waterline for consistent pen damage. 
Don't bother trying against BBs. Aim for the upper belt.

HE is very effective against other cruisers and DDs. 
You can hit them almost anywhere and expect to deal damage. 
T6-7 cruisers may struggle against T8-9 heavy cruisers, so treat them as if aiming at a battlecruiser. 
Speaking of which, battlecruisers have a vulnerable 25mm bow/stern.
Aim there if the superstructure is on fire or severely saturated. 
T8 Chayapev has 30mm HE pen, so follow the Donskoi and Nevsky section below. 

Tier 9 Donskoi and Tier 10 Nevsky also carry excellent AP shells in addition to their HE. 
Use their AP like you would for a heavy cruiser.
Expect to citadel most broadside CAs under ~12km and CLs under ~15km
Against BBs, focus on the upper belt and stern section. 
Their fast shells are more likely to over-pen the narrower bow section. 
Don't bother going for citadels unless you are under ~5km, and only try if the BB lacks a turtleback. 

HE remains simple to use and can now pen 30mm of armor. 
Still not enough to pen T8+ BB bow/stern, but cruisers and T7 below BBs are generally fair game. 
As always, if the DCP is down then aim for different sections to light multiple fires. 
Switch to AP if he is presenting broadside though. AP pens deal consistently more damage than gambling for fires.

Getting close in the early game

Mostly applies to the Tier 8-10 ships. 
Tier 7 and below should focus on flanking, though getting close is ok if there isn't an enemy BB on your side. 

Aggressive early-game positioning is important for supporting your DDs and keeping enemies off the cap. 
If you haven't already, turn on ship detection radius and radar range on the minimap.
We will use this to check our position to ensure radar covers the entire cap

The most common way to get close is with islands. 
Use them to block line of sight as you approach. 
As you approach the rock, then turn out so you are in a kiting position by the time the enemy spots you. 
No need to chose a rock near the cap. 
12km radar lets you stay relatively far back while still being able to cover the entire cap. 

If you have a friendly smoke DD, you can ask him nicely to lay down a smoke. 
You can cover even open-water caps with a well-placed smokescreen.
Make sure not to get too close as your smoke-firing penalty is high.

For open water positioning, use your DD as an early warning detection
Stay approximately 7-8km behind him and ask him to smoke 4-5km before he enters the cap.
This way you get radar coverage of the cap should the enemy DD try contesting. 
Remember to use hydro as an angry smokescreen attracts a lot of fish. 

Friendly Smokescreen

Donskoi and Nevsky synergize well with DD smokescreens, letting them get close without the need for islands. 
Works best with coordinated divs, but sometimes you can also coordinate with random DDs in chat. 
For coordinated divs, ask your DD to stay 2-4 km in front. 
Tell him to lay smoke the instant you are spotted. 
The DD should curve the smoke at the end to give you room to maneuver in case random torps happen to spawn nearby. 

For random DDs, I recommend you ping where the DD should lay the smoke ahead of time. 
You don't want to be typing into chat while a BB snipes you across the map. 
Remember to compliment him once the smoke is laid. 
Example smoke from a random DD I communicated with: 



Remember to complement your DD.
Even if you get dev struck and die with 0 damage, thank your allies for supporting you. 

Support the Objectives

(Applies to radar cruisers)

As long as you have radar coverage, enemy DDs cannot take the cap safely.
It doesn't even need to be a capture point. 
You can also camp the buffs in Arms Race and kill DDs trying to steal the juicy banana.
Make sure the radar covers the entire cap and have hydro running if its a torpedo DD. 

Once your guns are in position, press your I win button and punish the DD. 
Alternatively, you can hold on to radar for a bit to farm some defended ribbons. 
Captures takes 60s for 1 ship, and 40s for 2+ ships.
So use radar by the ~20s mark for maximum farming. 
Don't hold on too long in case the DD is awake and dodging your shots. 
Example of Donskoi moving up to radar: https://streamable.com/f1wa7v

General kiting rules:

(Useful for all ships)

The goal of kiting is to out outtrade the enemy and slow his push. 
It's like holding the high ground, making it harder for enemies to hit you while you have an easier time hitting in return. 
However, this comes at the cost of giving up space. 
Oftentimes it's a cap, but it can be a valuable chokepoint or even allow the enemy to flank your team. 
A good kiting position is one that best balances survivability and damage output while forcing enemies away from their next objective. 

Typically you will be kiting near max gun range due to your fragility
Focus on out-trading the enemy, deal more damage than they do to you. 
Bow in ships are easy to hit and your HE ignores their angling. 
Cruisers take priority, but BBs are great for farming witherers. 
Radar cruisers can also drive off DDs if they get too close. 

On bigger maps, can also draw enemies away from your team. 
Instead of running towards your team, run at a ~90° to the enemy push to setup a crossfire. 
Either the enemy gives you free broadsides or they send a few ships after you. 
You may even convince them to turn back to spawn, buying valuable time for your team. 
When the enemy is sufficiently weakened, you can counter-push and punish them for letting you live.  
Their death an acceptable price for failure.

Beginner Dodging Tips

(Applies to all cruisers)

Russian cruisers don't have the best maneuverability, but every salvo dodged gives you more time to farm damage.  
Speed and range are your biggest assets. 
Above ~12-14km gives you enough time to mitigate damage. 
Below that, prediction is necessary as you can't turn fast enough. 

Aside from basic turns, the easiest method to dodging is to simply hit the brakes and turn out. 
Once the shots pass over, immediately re-apply full engine power so you can evade the follow up salvoes. 
Congrats, you have successfully dodged 99% of enemy salvoes. 
This is good for 1 salvo, but smart enemies will catch on and adjust next time. 
Other than this, maintain your speed and keep turning to make yourself a harder target. 

Advanced Dodging Tips

(Applies to all ships)

Once you learn the basics, efficient dodging comes from understanding the psychology behind how players aim.
For example, worse players tend to underlead shots while better players tend to overlead.
Against weaker players, you can easily dodge by running full speed in a straight line, at least until they adjust their aim. 
Good players will still nail you, so you turn out and hit the brakes to dodge their first salvo. 
Funny enough this can sometimes backfire as you can dodge into a poorly aimed salvo if you overestimate the enemy's skill level. 
Doesn't help that sometimes you get citadeled while angled anyways. 



I use Z-46 as an example of dodging on player psychology
In this scenario, I'm contesting a cap while being radared
Since I am radared, enemies expect me to run away and aim at the bow
Instead, I go backwards and completely dodge everyone's salvo, taking no damage in the process. 
Tallinn's radar only lasts 15s, so I only need to dodge 1 salvo, maybe 2 from cruisers. 

I can go on, but the general idea remains the same: do the opposite of what the enemy expects. 
If you can master his skill, then you can save your HP for important situations where you can't avoid damage. 

Dodging Torpedoes

For a visual demonstration, click here for a video by OverlordBou that goes over the basics of dodging

Dodging torps itself is mostly predicting where torps are likely coming from, then not being in that area or angling. 
Before the match starts, take note of how many torp DDs, IJN CLs, and subs you are facing. 
During the early game, your DDs and CV should be able to spot which of those ships you will be fighting. 
Ideally keep a DD in front so he can keep the torp threats in check, or at least spot them. 
Have hydro running to detect the torps earlier, but remember it's not a substitute for basic awareness. 
Stay angled to their general direction and keep varying your speed. 
Most DDs torp at the white line, so you will unlikely get hit if you constantly adjust your course. 
Even in the unlucky event the torps are on point, at least you are prepared to dodge. 

When you spot the torps, quickly turn parallel to them. 
Turning into them is the best way to dodge, but be careful of your end position. 
It does you no good if you get stuck bow in with no way out but broadside death. 
Turning out is not as effective, but will leave you in a better defensive position against surface ships. 
In practice though, your starting angle will determine if you turn in or out. 

Also, don't be that guy that uses hydro after the torps are spotted. 
Spotting torps that have already passed does you no good. 

Farming Fire Damage

The idea is to juggle fire damage between multiple ships, earning you witherer and/or arsonists in the process. 
BBs and large cruisers are good targets as they take the full 60s fire duration. 
As soon as you light 1 fire, immediately switch targets. 
Skilled players will usually let 1 fire burn, but others may immediately DCP 1 fire. 

If the enemy does use DCP, time your next HE salvo so that it hits just after the immunity period ends. 
Most BBs DCP lasts 15s, with Japanese BBs taking 10s and US BBs 20s. 
If done correctly, you can light a permanent fire that drains up to 20% of their HP. 
DCP cooldown is 80 seconds, so keep spamming them until they catch fire. 

RU CLs are excellent fire starters so you will have little trouble relighting fires. 
You can even target individual sections to light multiple fires.

While farming damage feels great, do not tunnel vision so hard that you lose track of the match. 
Farming does you no good if you ignore the DD taking your home cap for the win. 

This Daring clip is a good example of rotating fires on multiple enemies:


Adrenaline Rush Abuse

(Works with all ships)

Everyone benefits from Adrenaline Rush, but you will notice it more at higher tiers. 
Mid-tier cruisers tend to exist in 2 states: full HP and dead so AR may not give as much benefits. 
High-tier cruisers can control their HP better so AR can offset their lower DPM.
When you are down to your last heal, save it for when you drop below ~20% HP. 
Maximize your benefits until the enemy starts shooting back. 



After letting 3 Yoshino fires burn, I return the favor in kind with an additional -16% reload time
Since there are no nearby threats, I don't mind sitting at 15k HP as I have time to heal it all back. 
In the meantime, the numerous boosts has lowered the reload time to 23s. Not bad considering the base reload time is 31s. 
I wouldn't recommend dipping this low, but it showcases how much additional DPM boost you can get if used correctly. 

Yay CV matches 😞

(Applies to every ship)

Isn't it great when your AA with DFAA does literally nothing to stop incoming strikes?
Fortunately CVs tend to go for other targets, but always be careful if the CV has marked you for destruction. 
Literally any CV squad can deal heavy damage. 
Pre-angle the ship in case the enemy CV flies his planes near you. 
Use allied AA support if possible. 
Try to stay in open water to give yourself room to maneuver. 

Torps and AP rockets are your biggest threat. 
Bow/stern into them ASAP. The rocket squads are especially fast and can deal 10-20k to your broadside if you aren't vigilant. 
AP bombs are also a grave threat but requires you turn broadside to mitigate their damage. 
Keep turning and most CV players will struggle to lead properly. 

The other armaments are also dangerous, but they are a lower priority if say 2 BBs are looking for your broadside. 

Not all games are winnable 

(Applies to everyone)

The most important tip. 

You will get unwinnable games from time to time.
Even the best players with the most try-hard divisions cannot win 100% of their games. 
At the end of the day, World of Warships is a game designed for entertainment (and trolling with Russian bias for clickbait)
If WoWs is making you miserable, it's time to take a break.
Get up, walk around, do something productive. Anything to get your mind off of WoWs. 
You can always come back later. 

Final Thoughts

While the line starts out as generic long-range HE spammers, it matures into an all-around platform that can fight effectively in every situation. 
The sheer amount of tools and firepower they bring to the table is only held back by their lack of durability. 
Hardly a concern for veterans, but newer players may have trouble balancing survival and aggression. 
Still, Nevsky is a must-have for any player looking to play in competitive formats.
If not for actually playing the ship, it's important to understand a ship you will commonly fight. 
Of course I still recommend them in randoms due to their sheer firepower. 
You may explode in the process, but not before burning down half the team in the process. 

Despite their potential, it's funny that the line generally gets overshadowed by the Petropavlovsk line. 
Everyone complains about the bow in Petro, but apparently Nevsky in smoke is ok (until KotS 15 at least)
For some reason I had a lot more success regrinding this line on my alt. 
I don't know if it's because it matches my anti-DD playstyle or if I'm lucky, but if it works it works I guess. 

This is currently my 5th Tech Tree line guide, and my 8th overall. 
Currently I am focusing on tech tree guides as they are rare to come by, but I occasionally review premium ships if I get time or take a particular interest in them. 
Unfortunately King of the Seas and irl commitments means my next guides may take longer to finish. 

Also the embedded clips from external sites either do not work or have horrible quality. 
I would be using gfycat or imgur, but the former died and the latter gifs go at 3 fps. (gifv won't work for some reason)
Instead you have to click the link to go to their site. 
Kinda sucks when you have to click to watch the clip. I think ~5 people clicked on the video links in my previous guides. 😞
Uploading the files directly here partially solves the issue, but I'm limited by a 50mb total limit. So ~2 videoes at most gg. 

My next guide will be the dockyard ship Daisen followed by the French DD line.
If you want to learn how a particular line works, let me know and I might be inclined to (eventually) make a guide for it. 

And since you made it to the end, have this clip of an unfortunate Shimakaze: 

Sources Used

Wows-ShipBuilder: https://app.wowssb.com/

  • Used for all relevant ship parameters. The dispersion and ballistic charts are also very helpful in visualizing how good/bad your dispersion is. 

WoWs Shiptool: https://shiptool.st/

  • Excellent for comparing entire tiers or class of ships

In-Game Armor Viewer

  • Poor mid-tier cruisers

WoWs wiki: https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Warships

  • Their articles on exact gameplay mechanics are quite handy. 
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