The Japanese mediums are an odd one at that, they are an amalgamation of both British and American medium playstyles combined to one, although they are more closer to the former. While most people are really interested in the legendary STB-1 (of which there are many guides out there) the tanks before it are required to for you to grind in order to reach this beast of a medium. There are interesting tanks in the line, as well as most importantly, a large majority of them had existed out of prototypes or in service and hold strong historical importance in the tank lovers community. Other than a few good tanks, and some nasty bad eggs, an overview of the tanks in this line should first be mentioned.
The early game tiers, function pretty much as the European tier 1-5’s mediums (Progretto 65), they lack armour and partially, speed, but they tend to have an extremely good or odd weapons compared to the rest of the tier. Armour is partially present.
The later tiers will slowly change to a completely different playstyle, each being completely independent from each other. Compared to the low tiers, the higher tiers have more diversity. There are some aspects present in each tier, all have poor armour, all are very slow to typical in speed, most have 10 degrees of gun depression and great DPM with good penetration to boot. High tier tanks, also have some of the worst stock grinds in World of Tanks Blitz.
Prior to starting the tiers, do not play this line if you are a new player, the Japanese medium line is the second worst line in World of Tanks blitz. You must, at the very least, have finished grinding two other lines before even playing it for experience purposes.
In short, early tiers require far too few knowledge as they finish to quick, they tend to have pretty bad (ha-go) to surprisingly bouncy (Chi-ni) armour. Your overall penetration can sometimes be low on average, but is traded for better aim time, dispersion and gun depression.
It is only imperative not to rush to hard in battles with these tanks, they are very fragile.
Tier 4 – Chi-He
Once you have finished the previous three tiers in a few days, you arrive to the meat of the line, the first tank is the rather agile medium, the Chi-he
The cruel irony of this vehicle is that most of its stock variants are similar to their top components, only minor improvements will be seen when top, but it does not mean you should skip them.
Regardless, do not spend any free XP on this tank, and peacefully grind the top gun and the rest of the components.
Top components and characteristics
Remember that the Chi-He has the best gun depression in tier 4 and in the Japanese tech tree at 15 degrees of gun depression.
The top gun Experimental tank gun shin, is arguably, the best gun for a medium tank in tier 4, it has 15 degrees of gun depression, 140 alpha damage good penetration and the best DPM to even rival tier 5’s. Literally this gun is broken.
The armour profile of this tank is poor, you have no real protection against tier 4, and is irrelevant in tier 5, however, it can bounce quiet nicely against some tier 3’s, remember which tanks can bounce your armour. The largest issue is your massive hatch, hatches in the Japanese medium line will be the scorn of their existence, and will always be present in every tier you go up, you must always account for the exposed hatches. Interestingly, your turret has excellent side cheeks, but your main frontal flat plate has only 60mm of armour, this is another weakness you must account for when playing this tank.
In terms of speed, its maximum speed is 44 kilometres, which is underwhelming, but still viable in reaching positions.
Stock Low Tier and Top Tier
The playstyle is similar to the Comet, but less aggressive and slower. Abuse your gun depression on every ridge you can be, the less of your tank is seen, the better chances for a miss, tier 4 mediums have the worst dispersion by tier in all of World of Tanks Blitz, use this to your advantage and bait shots out with your exposed turret. Do not use this strategy against tank destroyers, the B1, M5A1 Stuart and the Matilda as these tanks have much better aim times and dispersion, furthermore, avoid this strategy when low tier.
Your armour is completely useless. In any scenario, do not ever face tier 5 mediums and heavies and even lights in a one on one situation or brawling, you will be completely crushed in that fight, and you will never penetrate most heavy tanks even with premium ammunition. Completely go sniper support or third line support for your teammates, always keep an eye on the map and count how many enemy tanks are found in the map, flank frequently when there are loop holes, front lining is a death sentence.
Tier 5 – Chi-Nu
The Chi-Nu, a tank that was at one point, the worst medium tank in tier 5, is now just another normal medium tank with the buff for its speed (38-45) the tank is almost identical to the playstyle of the previous Chi-He
The stock grind of the tank is much more painful endeavor. While the buff for your tank’s speed is an excellent advantage, you really are the same slow Chi-Nu before. Stock does not help your slower speeds.
When playing in stock, it will be rare for you to be pitted against tier 6’s, sadly, however, your condition is not as dire as some other tanks. The Experimental Shin gun has excellent DPM and best of all, 336 dispersion without vertical stabilizer. With this in mind, play this tank as a backline sniper, be a shoddy tier 4 tank destroyer, your armour is paper, but your gun can still hit its targets. Premium ammunition should be loaded much more often. Do not ever face any tank frontally early on in a match.
Top components and Characteristics
Essentially, your Type 5 is one of the best in tier 5, it has the great dispersion (355), good gun depression, but excellent penetration, being one of the best guns in tier 5, the only real downside to it is its painfully low DPM (1113).
Armour and speed wise, it is still dire, your armour has some relative troll spots such as the small and forgettable uppper-glacis and the side cheeks, but all of the issues have been carried to this tank, and is even worse than before. With the recent buff with the maximum speed, the Chi Nu is very mobile, being able to achieve great speeds in short periods.
Playstyle For low and top tier
Ultimately, your playstyle will boil down to backline to mid-range sniping. In all tiers, frontally fighting any tank will result in a rapid death or a rapid loss of your small HP pool, yes you have great penetration, but your weak armour and low DPM, mixed with the buffs for tier 4 mediums, means front lining is not a good strategy on this vehicle. The speed of your tank is very good, the 45 kilometre buff mixed with your excellent power to weight ratio, helps your tank reach and sometimes escape positions. Because of this, keep an eye on the map.
With that, stay behind bushes and take out opponents from longer ranges, and be selective of your targets, your 124mm of AP penetration will help your team massively against more armoured tanks. For example, snipe on tanks like the Kv-1, AT-2 and consider them as high important targets. Obviously, if there is none of these type of tanks present, snapshotting on this tank is very easy.
Play as a shoddy mid to long range TD when you are low tier.
Tier 6 – Chi-To
The Chi-To received the largest buff, mainly its dispersion and speed, and even with this, it is still the worst tank in tier 6, simply because it is an VK 30.01 D but with worse armour and speed. The VK 30.01 is the second worst medium tank in tier 6 to put into perspective.
Because you have now reached tier 6, your crewrates are now expected at 75%, on the worst tank in tier 6, with its stock components. But that does not end there, you don’t have your needy 10 degrees of gun depression, and your speed is worse than most heavies. You will be playing the worst stock grind in World of Tanks Blitz
As a sound form of advice, please, just spend all of your free XP on the gun, the turret and the engine, it is not worth your sanity and it only will cost you 17k free XP at most.
Top components and characteristics
First, we must talk about the very few good aspects of this excrement dressed up as a tank, you have a very good gun, but not the best. The aspects of the top gun has good DPM (1727), excellent penetration (155mm) and 10 degrees of gun depression, other than that, the rest is average or terrible.
With the only advantage of this tank being its gun, this tank has what is possibly the worst armour in a tier 6 medium, all of your issues you had on the Chi-Nu are present once again, but your cheeks, your irrelevant upper-glacis cannot protect you from lucky shots any more, worst is, your armour has not had an upgrade, meaning even the worst penetrating tier 5 tank, can penetrate you. To put the icing on this horrible cake, your tank is almost as large as the Tier 6 Porsch VK 36.
Your speed is somehow even worse than your previous tier 5 Chi-Nu. While the Chi-Nu had only 45 kilometres compared to your maximum of kilometres, your painfully average 29 kilometres (with below average ground resistance) makes this tank painfully slow in escaping battles. Your power to weight ratio has been reduced significantly, in short, you are not agile so consider where you will go.
Playstyle For Low, Top tier and Stock
Your playstyle has essentially remained unchanged, but it’s somehow slightly less effective, although you are able to get in more shots.
Because of this, play your tank more cautiously in fights, remember that your tank is basically a heavium with no actual armour. Do not even for a minute have any tank face their guns at you, tier 6 has the highest ratio of high alpha guns for such a low tier, and the Kv-2 can cut your tank like melted butter. Do not spearhead attacks and stay behind cover. It is sad to say, but always let your teammates go in first, even when top tier.
Tactics involve staying behind cover, bushes, your teammates, dead or alive and at 200 metres away, this is because your ultimate advantage to your team is being the damage giver. Support your teammates in fights but not frontally, be an opportunist. These tactics are early in the match. Be a lot more aggressive (assuming you have enough health) and kill weak or vulnerable tanks with adrenaline when there are fewer opponents, but do not brawl or facehug, most high alpha tanks will not survive a fight against your great penetration and excellent DPM, Do not be very aggressive even when fighting top tier tanks.
Tier 7 – Chi-Ri
The conflicting Chi-Ri is hated by many, but loved by some, unlike the awful Chi-To, the Chi-Ri is a monster when used correctly, however, it is one of the worst medium tanks in tier 7 as it is basically the T71 but slower, and much larger with slightly worse penetration.
Just as the previous stock grind was, the stock grind on the Chi-Ri is truly a hellish experience, while short in length, your tank is essentially a Stock Chi-To, but bigger, slower, and with rubbish aim time.
Rush grind the top turret and spend free XP on the top gun, price for the components are very cheap and being a very slow, giant Chi-To is not pleasant is on the runner up in being the worst stock tank in WOT blitz.
Top components and characteristics
In terms of armour, nothing has changed about this tank, which is completely made of paper at this point. This is much worse than expected, not just your armour can be penetrated even with high explosive by almost every tier 8, some can even penetrate your frontal armour with it. Worse yet, your tank is as big as a Maus with low concealment.
Your speed is masterpiece of bad, to compare, your speed is now comparable to tier 8 heavy speeds, but only with a higher maximum speed. This is simply due to your heavy tank weight (42 tons), and you are medium with no armour. In short, escaping battles or even the idea of maneuverability on this tank is none-existent. Even with the recent buff on the speed, this does not change the tank’s horrific mobility at all.
While the previous aspects of this tank are bad, the few Unicums that love this tank have a reason, the Autoloading experimental Type 5 gun is truly a beast to behold. Obviously, its penetration is only 155mm, but your DPM, combined with acceptable dispersion, with an autoloader to add, makes this gun truly a terror in tier 7. It is immensely satisfying to see all three of your 3 clip shots hit your opponents, and do 450 alpha in only 4.5 seconds with a 14 second reload time. The on the move dispersion buff has massively made the hit and run tactics of this machine much more effective.
Playstyle for Stock, Low and Top tier
Although in appearance, your tank seems to be literally a hitpoint piñada, your gun will make even tier 8 heavy tanks feel your painful stab of your autoloading gun. With your insane DPM gun, make sure to always move in medium flanks with your teammates near you all the time, you play as a mid-range machinegun nest with no protection.
In Early game, you are an opportunist hunting for weak and vulnerable tanks, preferably medium tanks and low alpha/DPM heavies or TD’s do not fight frontally alone or brawl in any situation, your advantage lays on your insane DPM and fast clip times. Be away from most fights and avoid getting hit as much as possible. Do not expose yourself frequently as most tanks can easily HE your weak side armour, only show yourself to distracted or weak targets. Be behind cover at all times. Be sure to remember that you have the worst camo rating as a medium, all tanks will spot you first.
In the late game, you can be much more aggressive than even the previous Chi-To (if you have conserved most of your hitpoints) you are terror to even heavies in your tier. Ambush vulnerable or lone tanks fighting against your remaining or dying teammates and finish the fight with your 3 420 alpha. Do not fight frontally alone against other enemy tanks and fight very close, but not at brawling or facehugging range. Remember that your tank is huge and can be circle strafed to death, therefore, always have cover near you to reload.
Tier 8 – STA-1
A lemon to behold. The STA-1 is one of the first post war tanks in the later line of the Japanese mediums, and it is the worst out of three of them. While some like the tank, it is in competition with the Panther 8.8 and the M26 Pershing as being the worst medium tank in tier 8
Unlike the previous tiers of the Japanese medium line, none of your previous components have been carried on, and because of this, you start with an absolutely terrible stock 90mm M3A1 gun, as well as a bad crewrate. Help comes with the 90mm rifled gun that improves your gun’s penetration and dispersion, however, despite it being a very wanting thing, do not spend your initial XP on the rifled gun, and rather, spend all of your free XP on the turret and the top gun.
Other components are important as they are mostly a minor improvement to your tank. Your main objective is to improve your awful crewrate and to get that top gun.
Top components and characteristics
Your top gun boasts the second best penetration for a medium at around 219mm, other aspects of it are a standard, good dispersion, 10 degrees of gun depression. Other than the good aspects, most of the aspects of your top gun is very much average.
Your previously irrelevant armour, is reduced to even worse territories, surprisingly, the armour profile is a much welcoming change compared to the boxy profiles of the previous tanks. The great aspect of this tank is its rather weak, but rather trollish gun mantlet, that will give your enemies a bounce. Other good aspects of it are larger tracks to deflect enemy shots and harder to HE side armour. Other than these good improvements, your top turret has the worst hatch in all of the medium tanks, and your armour is completely HE fuel (even your front armour).
The top speed has pretty much not changed, but you are much more agile than your previous Chi-Ri, unlike the Chi-Ri, getting to positions can be done in a acceptable pace of an average medium at this tier, however, you are not a light tank, or even a speedy T-54. You will be on the slower side to most of your teammates, and practically be behind most of them.
Playstyle for Stock, Low and Top tier
Strategies have been changed significantly, being aggressive in any position at any time is too dangerous due to your paper armour. Ultimately, your playstyle will grind down to being a slightly more effective Chi-To. Your objective for your team is to exploit weak positions and take sniping shots at heavy tanks or armoured opponents at long ranges. You are not a front-lining or a brawling tank to even light tanks, you are a sniper that takes long range shots on heavily armoured vehicles and paper-cuts heavy tanks to nothing.
The STA-1 is the pure definition of support sniper, having any tank spot you and then aim at you, is complete suicide. Remember that your top hatch will always be the most heavily targeted part of you tank, thus, do not try to do hull down tactics in combat. Stay very behind from your team, but be at range and availability to support or penetrate enemy tanks. When targeting tanks, shoot more heavily armoured tanks like the T-54 Mod 1, Superpershing and heavy tanks, but also kill weak or low HP tanks if you can. Your penetration is the ultimate support for your team in any tier.
When tanks are fewer on both sides, change your playstyle to a less aggressive and slow leapord PTA, your job is now hunting tanks and spotting them for your team and eliminating them, circle strafe larger tanks like the T34 or the King Tiger. Also keep in mind that your stationary camo is at 27%, therefore, do not move often behind bushes to have maximum camouflage.
Tier 9 – Type 61
A beauty by aesthetics, the Type 61 has a love/hate relationship with the community, simply due to its light tank characteristics with none of the advantages of a light tank, which turns this tank into the second worst tank in tier 9, although it’s not as bad as the title implies because tier 9 is very well balanced. With the right hands, the Type 61 can become the buzz-saw sniper and a threat to even tier 10’s
Out of the pot, into the fire, the stock grind Type 61 is a much less painful affair than its previous STA-1 cousin, but it’s the top components that give a very long and drawn process of suffering. Your top 90mm type 61 gun from the previous tier, is carried on to the type 61. While your top gun can penetrate most mediums, its low dispersion and low DPM will give you nightmares. it is highly imperative that you have collected enough free XP to get the top gun and turret early on, the stock STA-4 turret has a horrific tumour of a hatch on top of it compared to the less awful, but still horrible top Type 61 turret.
Besides these problems, the main issue will be the slow improvement of your crewrate, the Type 61 relies heavily on its good aim time and accuracy, therefore, it is extremely advisable to spend lots of crew XP boosters on improving your crewrate, in order to receive your actual DPM and dispersion. Spend a lot of equipment on getting Refined gun as it further improves your dispersion.
Top components and characteristics
The beautiful 105mm rifled gun is not the best medium gun in tier 9, but with 245mm of penetration, 10 degrees of gun depression and a very good aim time (3.5), it is extremely effective weapon at all tiers it faces.
The armour of the Type 61 is left a lot to be desired, the armour can pretty much, be penetrated by HE for almost all tanks in tier 9 and 10, the only real protection you receive is the less effective gun mantlet and the occasional lucky track shot. The hatch (even with the top turret) is even more apparent than on the STA-1, be very careful or never do hull down positions as every tank can penetrate the big bump on your hatch. To be very frank, your armour is pants as it has always been.
Your speed is nothing impressive as well, the only advantage to it, is the stock engine is only slightly worse than your top engine, you will be frequently outrun by most of teammates. On the good part, your power to weight ratio has slightly improved, so it is not all that bad.
Remember that this tank has the worst camo rating for a tier 9 medium at best, only 16% when stationary.
Playstyle for Stock, Low and Top tier
Your playstyle has remained, again, unchanged from the STA-1, but only you have a much better gun tier-for-tier than your previous tank.
The main objective of your tank, is to oppress or snipe armoured or poorly armoured tanks in long range sniping, as you have learnt from your previous tanks, frontally fighting, brawling, facehugging and spearheading attacks is not advised on this tank against any tank in any tier, especially early on in the match.
Your ultimate objective is to opportunistically take shots at enemies from long ranges and supporting your teammates in a one on one fights due to your very high DPM for a medium tank.
Early on in the match, you are essentially a T25/2 on tier 9, you play slowly, stay behind cover and do peak-a-boo shots on enemy mediums and lights, avoid having TD’s facing you at all costs. Be a janky low alpha tank destroyer that does a lot of support.
Later on in the match when players are fewer and tank positions are known, you become a flanking medium, you exploit corridors, flank enemy positions, and out reload your opponents. Remember to never fight alone when playing as the Type 61, your objective is to assure your teammate’s victory in a brawling situation. Be selective on which tanks you aim at, target weaker tanks and avoid a frontal brawl against tanks like the Centurion 7/1, T92E2, Jagtiger and most tier 10 mediums.
Tier 10 – STB-1
To be very honest with you, I have not played the STB-1. Although it is the reason most people want to play the Japanese tech tree, many people forget that tier 10 is not the only tier that exists. This guide is more for people who will spend a large amount of their time painfully grinding the Japanese medium line, and loose battles without knowing how play these tanks. It is honestly sad that so many people are praising the STB-1 without them talking about the rather painful tanks that precede it. It will take an average of 70-80 hours for a player to reach the STB-1 (with free XP on some components).
Another thing players fail to mention is how expensive it is to buy this tank, it will cost a player over 310k XP, and that is not counting the top components of the Type 61
On to some information of the tank.
There is no stock grind, but be willing to spend over 1000 gold to get the 100% crewrate, tier 10 is very competitive and having an extremely long process of maxing your crew will only give issues to your tank. (to put it into perspective, tier 9 will take you around 16 hours for you to reach 100% crew, and tier 10 will be much longer.)
The tank itself is completely different to what previous tanks were. Imagine the Type 61, with a better armour profile, better speeds, better armour, better DPM and dispersion. The tank does have a few weakspots, primarily, its horrible hatch and the viewfinder on the hull.
Overall, the playstyle of the tank is the definition of medium tank or more precisely, the Comet on tier 7. Abuse your gun depression in hull down situations and be selective of your targets. Flank and brawl weak opponents to minimise your loss of HP.
I do not feel qualified to explain how to fully utilize the STB-1, there are much bigger and better guides to help you in other sources.
The Japanese Medium line has never been great. While some tanks are extremely effective, the Japanese mediums are often forgotten by the community simply because their armaments are either inferior or not satisfiable enough. I personally like some of the tanks, but there are truly some stinkers. But hopefully this small guide can help you on your grind for the beast that is the STB-1.
Another reason for their great difficulty is there much larger reliance on their teams. In World of Tanks PC, the Japanese mediums have excellent view rage, mixed with a lot more teammates to be supported, however, in World of Tanks Blitz, fewer tanks are present, the view ranges are all the same on every tank and each tank is more important than the player controlling it. For this reason, the Japanese mediums sadly are not competitive in any tier (besides tier 10) simply due to the fact that players, no matter what position they are in, are always either frontally fighting, or staying at the back and getting no damage, thus, becoming useless to their very small team. This makes the playstyle of the Japanese mediums completely unfeasible the same way scouting light tanks really don’t exist in World of Tanks blitz.
This does not mean these tanks are terrible, if you enjoy these tanks it’s have fun with them.
- I am a tomato (like, I am *really* bad) who has been playing on and off since ~2013. I do not like any of the lines I am currently grinding and seek lines that are easier to play and comfort more to my playstyle. Any suggestions? (WARNING: Long post!)
- A guide to the Chimera
- AMX 30B needs some love
More about World of Tanks (WoT)Post: "A (2020) guide to the Japanse Medium Line" specifically for the game World of Tanks (WoT). Other useful information about this game:
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