It's now v 188.8.131.52. I'm seemingly now just hours away from acquiring Montana (yay!) which will then allow me to start my review process for Legendary Tier Battleships. With the inclusion of the new Azur Lane Yukikaze, the iteration is different enough from the original to warrant a re-review.
Unfortunately, this ship is currently unavailable with no anticipated return. This is a potent ship for her tier, and since I'd perched down in Tier 6 Destroyers this month, there was a number of worthwhile ships to hit for their playstyles and numbers, etc. Yukikaze (it was either Yuki or Asashio) was one such ship, and is the only unavailable ship being reviewed this month. This review was written during 3.6 to mark as a time stamp.
Ok, so now there are two of them. The OG Yukikaze (henceforth, OG Yuki) is inarguably one of the strongest torpedo focused destroyers in the game, rare, and inaccessible. Azur Lane Wave 3 saw the addition of Yukikaze as a new Tier 6 premium, and as a unique gunnery focused commander...
yep, that was my reaction at first too. Turns out, this is a very spicy change.
Yukikaze ranks GREAT, her skill floor is MODERATE and her skill ceiling is EXTREME. Yukikaze has a simple hidden torpedo boat playstyle that is super-easy to learn. Anytime you strap Shimakaze torps into a Tier 6 it’s bound to be a blast for everyone. Literally. Both Yukikaze follow similar ranking, but differing playstyles.
Yukikaze has a deep and thorough history of involvement in the Pacific Theatre of World War 2. I’m just going to briefly skim the surface here because this review in itself could entirely be on Yukikaze’s involvement alone. This section does not do this ship justice and readers should learn more about her exploits. There’s just so much historical stuff to cover on Yukikaze, as well as the ship having quite prominent rankings when compared to her performance in game.
The Kagero Class design featured 6x127mm Type 3 naval guns mounted into 3 twin turrets centerline, with one mounted fore of the superstructure and the other two super-firing aft. The design proved capable of achieving over 37 knots and featured 2x 610mm Quadruple Torpedo Turrets capable of firing the Type 93 Torpedo. The Kagero Class succeeded the Asashio Class and was succeeded by the Yugumo Class and Shimakaze.
Yukikaze was launched in 1939, and her name translates to "Snowy Wind". She quickly became renown for her inclusion and survival of some of the war's major naval battles. Yukikaze participated in and contributed to more than 10 major and decisive naval engagements and more than 100 escort or resupply missions. “The Miracle Ship” as she was known, saw action in major battles such as Leyte Gulf, Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, Midway, and The Philippines. Another alias, The Unsinkable Ship, also survived Operation Ten-Go which saw the sinking of the mighty Yamato. Yukikaze escorted Shinano before her demise to the USS Archerfish. Later, Yukikaze ended the war securing Japanese Harbors from Allied Air Raids and becoming just 1 of very few Japanese Warships to survive the war.
Yukikaze carried the 610mm Type 93 "Oxygen Torpedo” or the "Long Lance" as known in the west; was an Oxygen Fueled torpedo. This was credited to be the most advanced torpedo of the time and carried a (490kg) 1000lb warhead equivalent to the charge found in Imperial Japanese Battleships 410mm Shell. These torpedoes hit and sank over 20 warships and included finishing off the crippled USS Hornet (CV-8). A critical downside to this torpedo was that it was far more prone to detonation from shock than other torpedoes, which greatly risked the survivability of the carrying ship. One such example, Suzuya, was sunk 25 October 1944 after a near miss from a bomb detonated her No 1 Torpedo Tubes.
After the end of World War 2, Yukikaze was transferred to the Republic of China Navy in 1947; where she was renamed Dan Yang, and served until 1966 and was scrapped in 1970, after receiving irreparable damage from a typhoon.
- Devastating Torpedoes
- Excellent Ballistics
- Punchy Broadside
- Abysmal AA
- Subpar HE DPM
- Low HP
- Mediocre Top Speed
Yukikaze is a rare ship that was briefly available during the Space Event during April of this year (2021). This ship abuts the Japanese torpedo focused destroyer line ending with Kagero, which represents the lead ship and class namesake for Yukikaze.
- This is now a tale of two Yukikazes. Alot of this information is still very relevant as it holds weight concerning the OG Yuki. Rather than re-invent and re-write the wheel, let's just re-align it.
- OG Yuki is still very much untouched from this review. Just to be sure, I still updated all the stats anyway. Yukikaze is quite strong in terms of torpedo focus and is more gunnery adept than her counterparts.
- AL Yuki is the new ship, and she brings a shorter reload and new commander skills to the mix. AL Yuki also sports slightly different, extremely devastating 610mm torpedoes.
Compared to her other counterparts in the tier, Akatsuki, Shiratsuyu, and Asashio, Yukikaze hits harder, hits quicker, hides better, handles better, and is more infuriating to deal with. Yukikaze sports the same 610mm 22.5k alpha 8km torpedo, found on Shimakaze, two tiers higher. At tier 6, just a single launcher of Yukikaze’s 8 torpedo broadside will send even the mightiest ships of the next tier to the bottom.
Shira has since received a spicy little gun reload buff and is now one of the spicier hidden T6 hybrids.
"Furthermore, Yukikaze has the best gun DPM of any of the IJN T6 Destroyers, which is only really like saying you’re the fastest bumper car. Yukikaze holds a single, albeit very effective card to play in her hand. Luckily for her and unfortunately for you, this card will outright end the game for those on its receiving end."
This is still largely true; however, the addition of AL Yuki presents herself as some form of hybrid rather than a true torpedo focused destroyer. While AL Yuki may have better DPM values, she certainly undresses her opponents in terms of salvo weight and time to kill values.
Let’s start with the guns, then work towards the inevitable. I believe covering Yukikaze this way helps paint the ship in the best light for the argument. Ultimately, there is only really one way to focus Yukikaze and that’s buffing her strengths. Only by covering her weaknesses first, do we then see why buffing those god tier subsurface rocket nukes makes more sense than trying to compensate for her weaknesses. But first, the handy dandy HE DPM chart. There’s going to be a fair few charts here, I love it when the numbers tell the story the best…don’t you?
...remember back when the entire metric consisted of like 5 charts and a few paragraphs?
Let's start from the top. Rather than re-paint the whole house, were just going to dab on some few basic paint splotches to get the picture. As such I'm just going to stick to the premiums here, it'll help shorten the lists considerably, while still conveying the information. Whatever way you decide to paint the house, is up to you.
Following the similar curvature of the preceding review, I'm going to add a few more basic points to spice up the place.
- Sims: 3.3
- Hughes: 3.5
- Kidd: 3.5
- Z-35: 3.8
- Smasha: 4
- Benham: 4
- Cossack: 4.5
- Orkan: 5
- Le Terrible: 5
- Leningrad: 5
- Ognevoi: 5
- AL Yuki: 6
- Blyskawica: 6.5
- OG Yuki: 7.5
- Z-39: 7.5
- Asashio: 8
6s stock is not so daunting, right?
It's almost on the bottom of the list, how bad could this really be?
- AL Yuki: 2365 (AL Yuki w/ Mortar)
- Z-39: 2200
- AL Yuki: 2150
- OG Yuki: 2150
- Le Terrible: 2000
- Leningrad: 1900
- Ognevoi: 1900
- Sims: 1800
- Benham: 1800
- Asashio: 1800
- Hughes: 1800
- Kidd: 1800
- Orkan: 1750
- Cossack: 1700
- Smasha: 1700
- Blyskawica: 1700
- Z-35: 1500
That secret part about how both Yukikaze have among the best HE Alpha of any destroyer?
HE DPM of Tier 6 Premium Destroyers
- AL Yuki: 154,671 (AL Yuki w/ Mortar)
- Kidd: 154,286
- Smasha: 153,000
- Cossack: 136,000
- Sims: 130,909
- AL Yuki: 129,000 (STOCK)
- Orkan: 126,000
- Hughes: 123,429
- Le Terrible: 120,000
- Z-35: 118,421
- Leningrad: 114,000
- Blyskawica: 109,846
- Benham: 108,000
- OG Yuki: 103,200
- Ognevoi: 91,200
- Asashio: 81,000
- Z-39: 70,400
I’m going to say it. Yukikaze has average guns. They are not so average that investing anything into them is going to make them special. If you gunfight with Yukikaze, you will lose. Apart from the occasional very few salvos behind smoke to spark some fires or poke the final HP out of a crippled ship, Yukikaze is almost best with her guns forgotten. While Yuki may be able to land some juicy little HE salvos, your overall HE DPM is on the sub-par side of average and your Base HP is low to the point most that even most hybrid destroyers will look forward to picking gun fights with you. Do yourself a favor, and don’t start any fights you can’t finish. Plus, most Battleships and Cruisers will absolutely be looking to punish your very existence.
SIGH... Alright, I'm not going to cross that out, because as you can clearly see the difference in the DPM chart. Yeah, that 1.5s buff added 25k, a very meaningful 25k I might add, to total off in a sector that is fairly important. Stock, AL Yuki outguns Le Terrible, where OG Yuki gets clobbered.
Now, this is the spice in the meatball. The precious new metric added to the equation; this measures the stock, actual DPM value to generate 15,000 HP damage in seconds. There won't be very many surprises here; but will rather breathe life into the feeling of gun-focus, hybridization, and torpedo-focus that quintessentially highlights why many captains feel the way they do.
STOCK Time to Kill (s) (15k)
- AL Yuki: 17.4 (AL Yuki w/ Mortar)
- Kidd: 17.5
- Cossack: 19.6
- Smasha: 17.6
- Sims: 20.6
- AL Yuki: 20.9
- Orkan: 21.4
- Hughes: 21.9
- Le Terrible: 22.5
- Z-35: 22.8
- Leningrad: 23.7
- Blyskawica: 24.6
- Benham: 25
- OG Yuki: 26.2
- Ognevoi: 29.6
- Asashio: 33.3
- Z-39: 38.4
Even with a modest reload, those juicy HE shells give a workable DPM, and thus translates to a solid time to kill value. OG Yuki is barely at all workable in a gunnery sense, and the very lower limits of hybridization. AL Yuki falls on the very upper limits of hybridization and will readily body most ships by a full salvo.
Now, let's bring up that new commander.
Most destroyers generally don't run mortar, it's just too small of a buff to be worth it. However, on Yuki's juicy HE, this translates to quite a buff, resulting in 2365 per shell. Then, let's double back on the fact that Yukikaze does have comfortable ballistics.
The end result, AL Yuki maxes out with a 17.4s TtK. Where most of the values on that chart are fairly static (some values will fluctuate a little with skills). AL Yuki is one of the single most adept destroyer killers in the game, due to her high broadside weight and reload. She will literally just hammer most other destroyers into the sea.
Now let’s dissect these 610mm monsters...
Yeah, and then we all suddenly realize that one of the best gunnery suites on a destroyer, now, is also has potent torpedoes too.
Single Torpedo Alpha
- Yudachi: 22,328
- OG Yuki: 21,367
- AL Yuki: 21,367
- Le Terrible: 18,400
- Asashio: 17,233
- Cossack: 16,767
- Kidd: 16,633
- Ognevoi: 15,100
- Leningrad: 15,100
- Kiev: 15,100
- Z-39: 14,400
- Blyskawica: 14,400
- Z-35: 13,700
- Hughes: 11,733
- Sims: 11,600
- Orkan: 10,700
- Benham: 9,233
Torpedo Broadside Weight
- Yudachi: 178,624
- OG Yuki: 170,936
- AL Yuki: 170,936
- Ognevoi: 151,000
- Kiev: 151,000
- Asashio: 137,864
- Leningrad: 120,800
- Hughes: 117,330
- Z-39: 115,200
- Le Terrible: 110,400
- Z-35: 109,600
- Sims: 92,800
- Blyskawica: 86,400
- Kidd: 83,165
- Benham: 73,864
- Cossack: 67,068
- Orkan: 42,800
-There’s some unconventional placements here so lets not get lost. Benham has 16 torps but can only fire 8 a side. For most, (not all) destroyers of the tier, broadside means all of your torpedoes. Broadside is defined by the amount of armament than can be expended off one side; some destroyers have torpedoes mounted on one side, rather than centerline.
When all is said and done, OG Yuki's (AL Yuki) torpedoes have a 90s (104s) Reload, 1.8km (2.3km) Concealment, 9km (10km) Range and an 80 (65) knot Pace.
OG Yukikaze has torpedoes which travel shorter ranges, are faster, and reload quicker, and offer less reaction time.
AL Yukikaze is instead allowed to use her gunnery and has torpedoes that are more than capable of sinking large targets.
Yep, the ol' double chart. Yukikaze impressively tops both of these lists in her tier and so much so that she's even knocking on Yudachi's door. You would think since Yukikaze tops the single torpedo alpha damage she would top the second with her broadside, and she does, despite some others carrying more. It’s important to note, Yukikaze carries two less torpedoes than either Ognevoi or Kiev, and still hits them harder by a full torpedoes' worth of alpha strike. At 80 knots and 8km range even with 2km detection, this torpedo will cripple most things that meet it. These torpedoes draw very distinct similarities to Legendary Shimakaze, two tiers higher. They are that impressive; they take just 22s to travel 5km. Assuming the best, brightest, and most diligent of captains spring off the start, they would still have difficulty getting out of the way. Yukikaze still has another 200m to work with from 5km on her concealment and many captains will be unaware of this threat so close to them. 22s is literally just 5 seconds off most Battleships' average Rudder Shift.
Torpedo Reload Booster gimmick? You don’t need it. Yukikaze would arguably perform as well or better than Yudachi a tier higher. While putting 8 more torpedoes in the water 8s later is fun, Yukikaze forces the captain to aim and make their spreads count. It doesn’t take that much. Really. You even get another crack at it just 90s later.
Point blank, there’s not much that can take a full hit from one launcher, never mind a second. This weapon is devastatingly effective.
The more often you get to use this weapon, the better your odds and more probable your success. With a silly concealment maxing out at 4.8km, Yukikaze is well hidden pretty much unless the team has Radar. This is why keeping her guns silent is often a very smart tactic. Think strategically, a wolf doesn’t bark until after the prey knows the chase is on; otherwise all barking will do is tip off the whole woods the big bad wolf is in the neighborhood. Try hunting in stealth when everything is watching your every move…it’s quite difficult. Like most wolves, your target is often far larger than you and taking one swing in your general direction will generally either end you or will end the chase. Nelson or Duke of York have a hilarious answer to any such Yukikaze that gets too close and spotted.
May whatever deity you believe in help your poor suffering souls if no-one has hydro-acoustic search. As far as torpedoes, this weapon is inarguably the strongest in its tier and will outright remove any opposition.
The only inherent difficulty in using this ship is getting in the right position to A) not be spotted B) use your torpedoes C) having an escape route and D) not shooting your guns and E) having the commander skills. Yukikaze’s insane torpedo armament is a strong argument for her GREAT rating and inarguably has the capability of controlling a match, and as one of the strongest destroyers in her tier. Yukikaze rewards smart decisions and good fundamental play.
For OG Yuki, the above is still very prevalent and rather unchanged. However, I think we all can readily surmise the tale of two Yukikaze's has more complexity than that one summary can provide. Without typing more than needed, AL Yukikaze has the benefit of those killer torpedoes in addition to extremely competent gunnery.
Until Radar or Carriers become more prevalent, Japanese Torpedo Destroyers will continue to rank well.
Defensively speaking, Yukikaze is quite weak in the sense that she doesn’t have much going for her in the sense of mitigating damage. Yukikaze isn’t particularly well armored being covered in 16mm plating, nor does she have a large health pool. As such, concealment is her best defense, and she’s excellently concealed.
This simple facet details entirely why Yukikaze is best left relegated to torpedo attacks and leaving her gunnery out of the fight. Shy of the 1-2 finishing salvos on an already crippled target, your gunnery suffices enough to get you spotted; which is generally enough to get you killed. Once spotted, you only have just above average speed and a weak at best smoke generator to bail you out of trouble. It should be said, Radar ships like Belfast exist solely to hunt ships like Yukikaze and send her back to port. Radar is not to be trifled with, and careful timing should be used to attack Radar ships while Radar/Sonar is on cool-down. Granted, it will only take 1 or 2 torpedoes tops to end that same Belfast. Observe Below this is what I'm talking about.
A single torpedo is generally enough to kill most destroyers, if they manage to survive, 2 gun salvos tops will end them. Make sure to deploy smoke after firing guns in contested areas, out of the reach of Radar. Destroyers that happen to be able to both out-run and out-gun you, are very susceptible to torpedoes as their gun traverse often prevents turning sharply enough to dodge torpedoes and keep their guns on target. That means 2 things; they keep shooting you and try to out run the torpedoes, or they break off the gun fight which generally allows Yukikaze enough breathing room to get away.
Much of this carries true to the AL Yuki as well. However, coupled with both perceptive and observant rage, AL Yuki loves to antagonize caps even more so than her OG counterpart. OG Yuki relies on torpedoes and concealment, where AL Yuki is profoundly able to bully her way through it.
Base HP of Tier 6 Destroyers (and Yudachi)
- Z-39: 19,600
- Z-35: 19,100
- Le Terrible: 18,600
- AL Yuki: 17,600 (AL Yuki + Sims)
- Kidd: 16,400
- Ognevoi: 16,100
- Orkan: 15,700
- Leningrad: 15,200
- Yukikaze: 15,100 (Stock)
- Asashio: 15,100
- Blyskawica: 15,000
- Cossack: 14,800
- Benham: 14,500
- Hughes: 14,300
- Sims: 13,800
- OG Yuki: 13,590 (Fragile Threat)
- Yudachi: 13,200
The classic base HP chart has to play into existence here. Understanding the frailty of Yukikaze is paramount to understanding her playstyle. Most captains will want to run builds that include Fragile Threat, which will nerf Yuki’s base HP to a paltry 13,5k. What’s worse, Yukikaze has outright non-existent Anti-Air which will not deter airborne pests from both keeping her spotted nor striking her. Strategically speaking, Yukikaze is more or less a one trick pony with a long(ish) reload and little else to stop her from being mauled. Often, sinking Yukikaze just means finding her and spotting her.
Now, the major difference here is going to be in the terms of Effective Health Pool. OG Yuki will tend to run Tanaka or Fishy, both of whom will run Fragile Threat which knocks down OG Yuki a bit in the rankings. AL Yuki with Sims, however, jumps up near the top, losing out on concealment only to 5.6km.
While AL Yuki is more capable at punching her opponents into submission, she lacks any other real defensive deterrent apart from being able to build into more HP. This makes AL Yuki much better, but still overall fairly weak in terms of defense.
Yukikaze’s anti-air suite is almost so bad it’s almost better to pretend it does not actually exist. You will not shoot down very many planes and airborne threats typically mute Yukikaze quite effectively if the Carrier Player has even half a brain. Landing strikes on this tiny ship is tricky, but surface ships landing salvos on her while she's spotted is not. Avoid airplanes like the plague, literally. Carriers don't have to actually hit you to kill you.
Still very pertinent and incredibly true. AL Yuki may have an AA skill for her inspiration, though it is thoroughly useless for Yudachi, AL or OG Yuki, it is quite welcome on Akizuki. Carriers and Aircraft are most certainly an allergy for either Yukikaze.
Stock Average AA DPS From 1km
- Kidd: 157
- Z-39: 81
- Z-35: 67
- Sims: 65
- Kiev: 59
- Orkan: 53
- Benham: 52
- Ognevoi: 51
- Leningrad: 44
- AL Yuki: 42
- Cossack: 37
- OG Yuki: 36
- Blyskawica: 36
- Le Terrible: 19
- Yudachi: 11
- Asashio: 10
Yukikaze’s essence revolves around her concealment so much that she even sacrifices her AA to stay hidden. The nice part is that you are very well concealed from the air and your Anti Air wont give you away either. This could arguably be a strength, but in terms of defense is about as survivable as a House of Cards.
AL Yuki is slightly better, but not better enough to count for anything meaningful.
Yukikaze has excellent rudder shift. However, without speed boost active she tops out at 38.2 knots (the same as Yudachi). This means while Yuki turns quicker than most, she can be caught by a few ships which can both outrun and outgun her. She is also hampered by a wider than average turn radius.
Rudder Shift/Turning Radius
- Blyskawica: 5.8/610
- Ognevoi: 4.8/610
- Z-35: 4.4/670
- Le Terrible: 4.3/690
- Z-39: 4.1/670
- Kidd: 3.9/620
- Leningrad: 3.7/690
- Asashio: 3.6/640
- Cossack: 3.6/610
- Benham: 3.4/560
- Orkan: 3.1/590
- Sims: 3/500
- Hughes: 2.7/570
- Yukikaze: 2.7/640
- Yudachi: 2.6/570
Yukikaze has enough ability to get out of her own way and dodge incoming fire. She’s not the best handling ship like Sims, but she’s solidly just above average and more than capable.
This is another section that is largely unchanged. Both versions of Yukikaze have excellent handling in their stock forms. It should be noted that the ship tops out at 36 knots, which is not exactly breakneck pace.
OG Yuki manages by blowing things up with torpedoes.
AL Yuki manages by blowing things up with her guns...and her torpedoes.
This is another example of the numbers just doing the talking.
Still quite true, and technically, AL Yuki can be built down as a torpedo boat with the same 4.8 concealment, however, this cannot be done with AL Yuki as the commander, and I think, entirely misses the wonderful niche this ship presents.
Maxed Concealment of T6 Premium Destroyers
- Leningrad: 5.6
- AL Yuki: 5.6 (AL Yuki + Sims)
- Sims: 5.3
- Le Terrible: 5.2
- Kidd: 5.2
- Blyskawica: 5.2
- Benham: 5.2
- Ognevoi: 5.1
- Orkan: 5.1
- Hughes: 5.0
- Z-39: 5.0
- Cossack: 4.9
- Z-35: 4.9
- OG Yuki: 4.8
- Asashio: 4.8
- Yudachi: 4.8
At a mere 4.8km detectibility, Yukikaze is practically invisible. This number looks exceptionally formidable until you realize that this is literally Yukikaze’s best, and only defense; and out-spots gun hybrid heavyweights Orkan, Hughes, Cossack, Z-35 at most by mere 200m which is not great degree of wiggle room. While this 4.8 pales in comparison to the likes of Battleship concealment, Yuki just barely edges out her competition in what is a very tight race.
The major difference here is that OG Yuki hides to survive. AL Yuki doesn't need to hide but is still quite capable.
Yukikaze has access to the standard composition of destroyer consumables. While she lacks access to the Torpedo Reload Booster found on most high tier Japanese Destroyers, she does have excellent torpedo DPM, tops her own tier and many others a tier higher; and in fact falls just short of Yudachi. She does not technically suffer without, but definitely loses some statistical rating because of it.
Now, both AL and OG Yuki share the exact same consumables.
- Damage Control Party:
- With a 5s duration and a 38s reload time, this is very standard. Unlimited uses.
- Smoke Generator:
- Has a 20s duration, setting a smoke screen that lasts 89s. Japanese Smoke Generators are pretty average as far as most go, they are neither great nor weak. Comes stock with 2 reloads and a reload of 228s.
- Speed Boost:
- Provides an 8% boost over 120s. Comes stock with 2 charges and a 180s reload time. This is very standard, and the vast majority of destroyer have access to this same boost.
There are a number of premium commanders and free commanders that work well with the Japanese Torpedo mentality. It seems like there's quite a few torpedo focused destroyers among the ranks. From Fishy, Hellsinger to Gunzo, some are better than others and some are worth getting, some are not. Takeo Kurita represents the other destroyer focused IJN base commander, and Togo Heihachiro the universal commander. Captains, this is a long round about way to say that you have options. I'm just going to save time here and approach this in the same manner as USS Kidd. Ill explain my build, and the choices why I opted against the other options.
Largely, all of these builds should focus on specific traits, typically concealment, torpedoes, or maneuverability are the best bets. This is where the commanders themselves tend to separate largely due to their skill choices. Most inspiration slots will comprise of both Swirski and Bey, to maximize concealment. Best in class, best in game concealment is nothing if an extremely potent strategic advantage.
Most of this holds very true for the OG Yuki, however, I'm going to just leave this and add in AL Yukikaze as a commander under the modern metric. I won't rebuild the old commander section, just realize, that it's old architecture. AL Yuki for AL Yuki, and if you're feeling adventurous, she works quite well for Yudachi or Akizuki.
Azur Lane Yukikaze: At first, I admittedly and openly questioned this, but then realized how powerful this build can be. Normally I tend to stay away from the concealment nerf and modest buffs that mortar brings which tends to be counterintuitive to most concealment focused builds...however, on this instance, it works quite well and unlocks arguably one of the most formidable, hybridized builds currently available in game, period.
- Lucky Shot (+20% AA DPS)
- Observant Rage: -8% Gun Reload, +15% Torpedo Detection, +10% Rudder Shift
- Mortar: +10% AP/HE Alpha, +4% Concealment
- Perceptive: -5% Incoming Damage, +5% Torpedo Detection, Direction of Closest Enemy
- Evasive Hunter: -10% Detection Firing from Smoke, +4% Incoming Fire Dispersion
- Unstoppable: -15% Engine Repair, Gain Mobility with disabled Engine/Rudder
- First, Tanaka has the base trait of Hull Crusher which adds up to an additional 5% to your torpedo alpha. You have the hardest hitting torpedo in the tier and amongst the best in the game: this is a very straightforward argument. Adding more punch here helps work around any armor schemes that have torpedo protection systems. Tanaka was my first choice for a number of reasons; he works well for every IJN Destroyer for the most part, and he's also a base commander which means he can be acquired for free in game.
- Subsurface Venture is the obvious choice here. You get to buff your torpedo reload without impacting their survivability; adding 4 knots is the icing on the cake. +10% to gun reload? You should only be firing 1-2 salvos as the clean-up, at most. Concealment is your lifeline and your armor.
- Fragile Threat. Even after the nerf, this skill is still quite viable and allows Yukikaze to shed some base HP in turn for worse effective HP and better concealment. <5km concealment is the torpedo boat meta, and your life-line due to limited range. Getting as close as you can to your targets gives captains better odds for slamming those nasty torpedoes home.
- Perceptive or Torpedo Safari. Perceptive is important as it will keep you aware of destroyers that may be trying to hunt you. Torpedo Safari will add an additional km to your torpedo range. Generally I run Perceptive on this specific commander. You do outspot everything except something running a really funky speed boost consumable skill, so you can often afford to take the other skill.
- Destroy or be Destroyed. I like to be able to get away. At 38 knots, Captains, you are not the fastest ship in the sea and this helps take the edge off that. Remember, your guns are more like a side arm than a primary weapon. Yukikaze has mediocre HP, without skills factored in. Keeping Yukikaze alive means keeping her well hidden, which means keeping those guns quiet. Sacrificing a bit to their dispersion isn't a hellish sacrifice.
- Unstoppable. This is the obvious choice in the sense that when you do slip up and get shot at, you can keep going and trying to get away and get concealed.
- This skill set to me works more for a well rounded style of play than most IJN destroyers are frankly capable of giving. Key words, most, and there are exceptions. Yukikaze is not one of them. Yes, Yukikaze has slightly better HE DPM than her same nation counterparts, though this pales in comparison to the other hybridized destroyers which often come with both far more health and HE DPM. Let's just go ahead and save the Evil Sparks/Akizuki --can of worms-- debate for her review. This isnt to say that Kurita cant work, it's just that a hybridized style is not quite the ship's forte. Yukikaze is as much a torpedo focused destroyer as they come; embrace it.
- Fishy is essentially a premium version of Tanaka with a base inspiration that improves torpedo speed by up to 4 knots. Fishy comes with a special 4th row skill called Breakneck speed which halves the duration of the speed boost, while buffing its reload and offering additional charges. Once maxed, this skill synergizes well with Yukikaze's reload allowing captains to get in, torpedo a target, and get away quickly; while recharging both the speed boost and reloading the torpedoes for the next strike. In short, Fishy adds a full kilometer of range, and 4 knots creating a blistering 84 knot pace at the cost of about 1.5k alpha per torpedo. 21.3k is still quite punchy. I wont lie and will restate this, I do switch back and forth between Tanaka and Fishy. Fishy is a premium commander tied to the Space Event, despite being slightly stronger is very much on par with the non-premium counterpart and much of the same argument applies for Fishy's skill tree.
- In what chalks up to be another version of Tanaka's skill set, Chihaya offers a different inspiration (Hold My Gear) which buffs torpedo launcher survivability, repair time and reload time. His third slot features his unique skill (Spare Bundle) which reduces torpedo alpha damage by -10% and buffs torpedo reload by up to 16%. Captains, this skill trait can bring your torpedo reload down to the mid 70's seconds which will greatly increase your torpedo DPM. Fishy 1st, Tanaka 2nd, Gunzo 3rd.
- Features more or less the same skills as the rest of the above commanders with a funky first row skill that wont quite work on this ship. +5% damage, sure, but not at the expense of torpedo range. Furthermore, this commander lacks any such skill preventing "Sitting Duck Syndrome" which can be found on those unfortunate captains stuck at a standstill, while spotted, with engines knocked out. There are a couple skills that work towards keeping engine function intact, however this commander has none and that is a critical skill, resulting in a hard pass from me.
Yukikaze holds a GREAT commander rating for a few reasons; she is built very similarly to her accompanying tech tree line, has solid pairing options for both free and premium commanders, and does not require any crazy or additional inspirations beyond the norm to complete the build.
AL Yuki added a great twist on an already terrifying ship.
- Neither version of this premium ship have any researchable upgrades.
- Slot 1: Aiming Systems-This is kind of the obvious choice here. You get nice little buffs on all the goodies. Yukikaze doesn't really do Anti-Air, and is far from a hybrid which means Main Battery Mod is not a high priority either. Aiming Systems Mod is the happy medium.
- Slot 2: Acceleration-This slot is largely a feature of choice for most captains. I've made this argument before, your 0-20 speed is often more important than your how quick you turn into your turn radius, but worth to note that Yukikaze handles relatively well.
- Slot 3: Concealment-Another straight-forward argument. A concealed Yukikaze is a happy Yukikaze. A happy and healthy Yukikaze loves to reward her captain with Devastating Strike medals.
This section is largely unchanged.
- Yukikaze is not used in any research bureau projects
This ship is pretty obnoxious. (Which is why I had to get her!!) Yukikaze is about as derpy as they come and ties well into the line, amongst the other super derpy invisible torpedo premium ships. Kamikaze clearly runs away from the pack with her 4.3km conceal and 76knot 7km torps at a tier when hydro-acoustic search is a rarity relegated to a very small handful of ships. Yukikaze brings a similar level of pop in a tier that is only somewhat better prepared to counter it. Somewhat.
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it not drown itself in the lake. Most players will generally fall victim to a well captained Yukikaze. Though Yukikaze has a few natural predators, she is able to fend them off quite well. Maybe picture a zebra, on the plains. This zebra is no ordinary zebra, it has the power to one-punch its targets clean through inter-dimensional portals. Many lions generally think twice about chasing things that can almost instantly teleport them into the Underdark. 22s to travel just 5km; that leaves even most cruisers with just 10s to react and that's assuming that cruiser saw those from the get go...not very many ships have access to that precious 5km Hydro-Acoustic Search. Many ships, even with Hydro will spot these missiles 3(-ish)km out which gives roughly 12-15s of reaction time.
Holding both the best concealment in tier and punchiest weaponry as well will lead to some very uneven trades. Barring and avoiding your allergies such as Aircraft and Radar, Yukikaze captains will find that studies in the effective ranges and durations of defensive reconnaissance consumables, clever positioning, mastering the art of concealed torpedo ambushes, area control and area denial are the captain's primary tactics in a consistently reliable and overwhelming ship such as Yukikaze will control the flow of battle. Fortunately for you, Radar on the whole in the current meta is quite misunderstood, leaving captains free to capitalize on subversive tactics, Yukikaze will send most radar threats in her tier to the bottom with just 2 or rarely, 3 torpedoes, tops.
Statistically speaking, Yukikaze is quite sound in the right areas as she is quite punchy and her numbers meet or exceed those found on Yudachi, which until recently monopolized her tier in a very similar fashion. A well played Yukikaze is hard to effectively counter and can often swing a match. Much like Kidd, Yukikaze is extremely dominant despite trading versatility and adaptability for all out offensive alpha strike.
Simply put, Yukikaze is a surprisingly strong ship with surprisingly easy accessibility for those that are already fortunate enough to have her. She's stronger than contemporary Asashio, with Yukikaze graced with a more gifted flair for the dramatic and frontline frolicking than Asashio. Majorly due to torpedo range and speed, Asashio tends to dominate flanks and distracted targets, where Yukikaze is so potent she can focus most things, whether they are distracted or not.
When it comes down to the finer merits of review and assessment, particularly with Yukikaze and the other Tier 6 Destroyers, captains can generally expect Yukikaze, Kidd and Orkan amongst the highest potential rankings, with the likes of Asashio and Z-35 trailing just behind the podium.
HA HA HA!
I don't think AL Yuki can say it any better herself.
AL Yukikaze is a destroyer that takes a machete to a back-alley knife fight.