Kii represents a Tier 7 Premium Imperial Japanese Navy Battleship. This ship is only available by crate drop. I was lucky enough to be graced with Kii’s presence, dropped from a single free crate during the Legends’ Second Anniversary Bureau Project. The current patch is v 126.96.36.199
Kii is a GOOD ship with several plausible playstyles. Her skill floor is MODERATE, and her skill ceiling HIGH.
In game, Kii is characterized by being strewn between differing concepts of the early 1920s and mid 1920s. Kii compares well with Amagi. Kii features upgraded dual purpose secondary armament, improved armor at a cost of reduced torpedo protection, top speed, turn radius, main battery reload time, pen, range, and sigma.
Battleship Kii was designed in 1921 leaning heavily on previous designs. The design by the Imperial Japanese Navy was an up-armored, more modernized version of Fast Battleship Amagi while upgraded from the Tosa-Class during the Eight-Eight Fleet program as a response to rival the United States fleet modernization of the same period.
Kii was cancelled during construction in April 1924 after agreeing parties had signed the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 which restricted construction of battleships beyond 35,000 long tons.
Kii takes on Amagi’s 10x410m in 5-double turrets in an A-B-X-Y-Z configuration. Kii sports 16 dual purpose 100mm in 8-twin turrets with 4 on each side; and is equipped with the generic pre-war 140mm casemate mounted secondaries which are similarly 4 a side. Her AA is quite lovely while her secondaries are not; her main battery hits like a truck when it manages to hit. Kii’s torpedoes are hilariously awkward.
- Amazing & deceptive AA
- Trollish Armor Scheme
- Rare Ship
- Good Salvo Alpha
- Great Base HP
- Terrible Turn Radius
- Terrible Torpedoes
- Crate Locked
- Poor Sigma
- Skill Exhaustive
Kii was actually somewhat fun to review. This was not the same-ish rinse and repeat with different dish soap that Monarch was. Simply put, Kii is a quirky ship with a lot of gimmicks riddled in contradictions. She is fun to play and quirky to understand, with the insight and skill of the captain directly tying into her effectiveness. Kii is fun in the sense that she translated well from PC, while being different enough from her PC iteration to warrant a full depth review.
I was not disappointed, there are enough differences here to discuss and there is plenty of goodies around each corner worth talking about. I am almost (key word!!) tempted to say there are a few worthwhile builds, but there are also certainly wrong ways to build and kit Kii.
Kii is a premium battleship and has no attached upgrades.
Ok let’s all be honest here…Kii’s offense is lackluster, but it is still quite effective. I am just *barely* giving her the GOOD rating because she is capable of landing some terrifically meaty salvos, she has great AP pen and excellent ballistics…
BUT. (There is always a but!) Kii has nerfed sigma compared to Amagi and although the two share a similar dispersion pattern; captains should be forewarned Kii has a habit of trolling herself. Captains should not mistake Kii for brawling compatriots Massachusetts or Tirpitz as Kii plugs into a more defensive mindset than an offensive one. Coupled with a long reload and mediocre DPM, Kii is surrounded by ships who can do what she does, both better and worse in some regards. Due to slightly worse krupp, Amagi does have better penetration than Kii.
She carries one more rifle than most other battleships of her tier and this gives her an edge of about 8k alpha over the pack on her AP Salvo Weight. The kicker is that Kii has an awful base 31s reload; meaning that missed opportunities are really felt. There are only a ridiculously small handful of ships which have longer reloads.
I had tested down several builds each pushing more DPM than the last, but on the end of the day I settled with concealment & dispersion. Sacrificing Kii’s long reach among other things for knocking her reload to 23s is extremely skill exhaustive and is not worth it. There are more ways than one to build this ship and captains should think about the facets of each build and the reasoning behind it to find the one that works for them. I will show the best fit for the ship as I see it, but I can agree there are some other valid arguments here.
Damage per Minute (DPM)
- DPM Kii is hilarious and is prone to catching her rivals completely off guard, but you will quickly stop laughing when you are stuck to 14.8km range and just about everyone else can outrun you.
- Secondary Build Kii is just utterly useless. No seriously, they are just useless, even for memes. <16mm of pen in those dual purpose 100mm means you will helplessly shatter on DDs. Apart from the odd fire or infrequent 140mm hit you will expect no damage here. And you are stuck to 7.5km range. Trust me, I take no pleasure in saying this, but I did in fact try this terrible idea of a build to prove just how bad it is. If you want useable secondary battery that bad, play Massachusetts*.*
- AA kit Kii is almost predatory to CVs. I will not go as far as to say that this could be a competitive build but it sure is fun. I will save the rest for the AA portion where we can dive in a bit more.
Sometimes, and particularly with Kii, it’s all about compromise. Keep your near 17km reach, knock that reload down to 27s and keep your guns on target. Kii sports fantastic ballistics and excellent penetration over distance; do not be afraid of some range. I thus opted for Concealment Kii which offers a 12.1km detection which still includes Cunningham or Scharnhorst for the second slot inspiration improving shell grouping, or dispersion, respectively.
Dispersion is accuracy to the size of the target, shell grouping or sigma, is how consistently the shell groupings are accurate. Kii has good dispersion, but amongst the worst sigma in her tier. Teeing off at 12km really helps dent the shotgun effect. When you do have a good salvo, they’ll feel it.
The torpedo gimmick is simply a gimmick and is not even really reliable for self-defense. If you are that close to any other torpedo armed battleship, Kii will certainly lose and wind up prematurely back in port. Her torpedo armament consists of 6-610mm torpedoes arranged in 2-triple turrets towards the aft of the ship; Kii has excellent torpedo arcs for rear mounted tubes. If you are playing Kii correctly, which involves flashing her stern all towards the enemy, Kii’s torpedo tubes are frequently disabled or outright destroyed. The torpedoes have only 6km range and are as well slow, thus unable to be used for anything other than for extreme close quarters engagements.
To echo the sentiments of one reviewer: Kii’s torpedoes signify one thing; someone messed up. It could be you; it could be your opponent. This logic carries very heavily into Legends as well.
This was another close call, but this breakdown is spared in length by the redundancy of previous arguments that have already been made... Kii is far from great defensively, as she has too many weaknesses to ignore. However, she also has some great qualities too; she is not quite as strong as some others floating around. Let’s start with the positives and work our way through the weaknesses. First, observe the classic Base HP Chart.
Compared Base HP of T7 BB Premiums
- Tirpitz: 69,300
- Kii: 68,200
- Massachusetts: 66,300
- Lenin: 63,200
- Georgia: 63,000
- Gascogne: 60,040
- Monarch: 53,900
- Champagne: 52,600
Kii sits quite comfortably near the top here. She is surrounded by her high HP brawling counterparts; however, she falls painfully short of them on her effective health pool. This means two things; Kii is only able to maintain an edge with her health pool for a very limited capacity.
Next, Kii is covered with 32mm plating and 35mm on the decking, which proves proof to <406mm and will generally shatter most 150mm HE spam. Kii’s auxiliary and secondary armament are somewhat well protected considering her nation which adds to Kii’s resilience. However, as said before this protection is short lived because Kii sports amongst the absolute worst Effective Health Pool sitting just below 100k, just narrowly edging out that honor to Champagne which cannot break 95k.
The best advice I can give here is that smart defensive positioning and angling are critical. Kii’s Aftward firing angles are probably the best in the business, but her Forward angles are just atrocious and liable to get you sunk. With that half mile turn around is most commanders will relish in the opportunity to get your citadel penetrated and sunk in short order. Her armor is barely reliable and is liable to take severe damage even when angled properly. Kii sports a raised citadel point below A-B turret which are extremely vulnerable unless well angled and protected.
Finally, Kii has a below average Torpedo Protection System weighing in on the lower-middle of the group at 25%. Shes surrounded by ships in the 22-28% margin but is quite different from the likeness of Massachusetts at 46% or Gascogne at 35%.
Kii sits in at GOOD here, because her ability to punish opposing overextensions is the keystone of her playstyle and is almost quite literally the definition of defensive play; combined, she is good, and neither greater nor lesser. The damage will come, protecting your limited HP is the challenge.
It is not very often I get to hand out a BEST. Kii’s Anti-Air suite is actually quite marvelous and worth some explanation. It’s surprisingly raising the bar with the likes of her United States' Navy or Royal Navy counterparts being left behind and Kii is more than capable of defending herself.
Kitting Kii for her AA prowess is a solid bet if your opponent or division brings an Aircraft Carrier. Kii is from a nation notorious for weak anti-air defenses and is very much abnormal in that sense when it comes to having a complete AA suite. Unwitting Carriers can frequently mistake Kii for a juicy target and will often jeopardize a full squad.
Look, I will be honest with you; I only had to equip the first row AA skill on Kondo to start separating from the pack with Kii’s AA prowess. Kitting all the bells and whistles will leave the commander with a somewhat clunkier gunnery experience, but it would sure be scary...and looks something like 641 average damage per second starting 4km out.
Kii is the top of Tier 7 battleships when it comes to her Anti-Air suite and is more than capable of fending for herself and her teammates; especially if the captain has devoted even slight energy into this defense. Of course, take a look at this pretty little chart I made below which points it all out.
Compared average Anti-Air damage per second at 5km
- Kii: 183
- Mass: 151
- Georgia: 151
- Champagne: 107
- Lenin: 89
- Gascogne: 54
- Monarch: 0
- Tirpitz: 0
This was surprising even to me. Some ships Anti-Air Suites are noticeably short ranged and the main DPS does not activate until the planes are essentially overhead.
Compared average Anti-Air damage per second at 3km
- Kii: 491
- Georgia: 405
- Mass: 389
- Lenin: 279
- Gascogne: 219
- Champagne: 185
- Tirpitz: 155
- Monarch: 65
I think this chart above catches this point the best, when most AA is just starting to warm up, Kii is in full swing. Kii easily deserves her BEST rating here.
Kii handles like an absolute brick. I’m pretty sure I made a joke about it in a previous review. Her top speed is a nice 31 knots, but she takes a while to get there. She has a just slightly below average 17s rudder shift and the infamous 880m turning radius. Kii narrowly missed a WORST here mostly in part because she can move when she needs to. Try being Colorado surrounded by destroyers; now that is an example of THE WORST.
Kii’s handling is slow and arduous compared to her competition and turning unsafely is frequently a massive risk to your citadel. Kii does have a turtleback, however it is best not to test it. Kii can move, but she will be briskly outpaced by the likes of Georgia and Gascogne, both of which are somewhat worrisome opponents.
Two bests on the same ship? I am sure this is just a fluke, but it is also very unlikely to ever happen again. (Hence the asterisk). Kii’s concealment build is capable of a 12km detection ring. This is by far best in her class of the other premium ships and allows her to capitalize on positioning mistakes of other battleships. Most battleships do not yet have access to the concealment module.
For now**,** she earns this title by default because access to the concealment module is a rarity; ordinarily Kii is normally among the worse concealed battleships and typically, no skills or equipment should go towards improving it. This current meta fortunately opens an entire playbook of options concerning exploiting overextensions and movement and is a wonderful improvement over the current module set up for most battleships. That being said I am a fan of this.
If I ever come back to this review a year or two down the road, I expect this rating will change.
Kii sports the typical Tier 7 Battleship load out of a slightly worse but standard unlimited damage control party, an above average repair party and the normal trifecta for Tier 7 Battleships, Spotter Plane, Patrol Fighters and Enhanced Secondary Targeting. Kii is just average here, but I will say this, it is extraordinarily strong for an average rating.
- Kii’s Damage control party consists of the standard unlimited charges; however, this is where the similarities end. This damage control party is both short duration and slightly longer reload. Kit with Kondo and the Concealment kit, this consumable lasts a mere 6s and reloads roughly every 65s. Compare this to the same consumable on the USN side with a 12s duration and 60s reload.
- Now this is the interesting part... On paper, Kii has a decent repair party that heals upwards of 600/s with a maxed-out commander and gets up to 5 charges and reloads in a median 71s. This build puts her heal potential north of the 100k mark, however Kiis heal is paltry in comparison to the likes of Monarch and still falls in behind the likes of the South Dakota Sisters or even Tirpitz. Kiis armor scheme will never allow the captain to reap the rewards of this maximized heal, however getting what you can allows you to stay afloat longer. Kii may have the potential, but in practice the heal does not have the great healing percentages of damage taken seen elsewhere.
- The final slot sees the addition of the typical trifecta of Spotter Plane, Patrol Fighters, or Enhanced Secondary Targeting. Your AA is so strong fighters are more or less irrelevant, however they are useful for peaking around corners and islands as Kii lacks any defensive reconnaissance consumables. Personally, I opted for the Spotter Plane as cutting down your dispersion helps Kii significantly. The narrower the captain can make the dispersion radius, the more accurate Kii will be despite her trollish Sigma.
This was like an elementary kid’s school game; I had shuffled commanders and builds around trying to see what worked, and what did not, and why it could not. It was a brief period of anarchy and took a few cups of coffee and several changes of direction. Some were fun, some were memes, and some were just frustrating.
Azur Lane Fuso works but does not work (Kii really does not fire that much HE in practice, you have terrific AP pen) which is almost entirely a waste of an inspiration slot. I settled with Kondo, base inspiration of concealment adding Swirski for additional concealment and Cunningham for shell grouping. AA skills and anything else you choose along the way is an excellent choice for Kii.
Personally, I opted to take Firefighter and Master Mechanic finishing with Will to Rebuild. Good old survivability skills are always a strong choice, especially with effective HP challenged ships. Getting Kii to a point where she is influential requires an investment of prerequisite skill sets of upgraded commanders. This should not dissuade captains, only inform them to strive for the best builds. Kii benefits only from specific skill sets for her builds. The less Kii is on or under fire the better, as Kii will often struggle to heal most of it back.
Mod Slot 1: Aiming Systems Mod. 1
- Captains have a somewhat comfortable choice of modules here: Aiming Systems Mod 1 is preferred to help with her dispersion. AA Guns Mod 2 is a strong choice giving an additional 20% to AA Range. Main Battery Mod 2 is almost useless as Kii cannot out-traverse her main battery. Secondary Battery Mod 2 is relegated to the Meme-Builders.
Mod Slot 2: Damage Control System Mod. 2
- Kii is a tank. She handles like a tank and sails like a tank. Putting lipstick on a tank isn't going to make it steer any better. I tried Steering Gears Mod, but ultimately this will only speed up how wide you are limited to turn. Shaving off a few seconds off your rudder shift does not impact your very wide turning circle, just that you start turning into it faster. Propulsion Mod 2. follows a similar logic; you might speed jockey a little quicker and be a bit more deceptive with your movements, but you are still limited to a 31 knot top speed on a very clunky ship. Damage Control Mod 2 will help cut down the inevitable fires you are going to get.
Mod Slot 3: Concealment System Module 1
- Concealment mod! Concealment build! Until this becomes more popular among battleships, this will be a solid choice for helping captains control engagements and healing. When concealment becomes the norm, switch back to Target Acquisition Module. Enjoy the 12km concealment when you do finally level up all those skills. This choice alone bumps her up into the good section for her modules.
Mod Slot 4: Main Battery Module 3
- Main Battery Mod for surface threats, Anti-Air Mod 3 to eradicate airborne pests. Equipping Torpedo Launchers Mod 3 or Secondary Battery Module 3 are sure to set you up for disappointment. The former all but ensures your torpedoes will be destroyed in the opening salvos and the latter if you want to bring an expensive fireworks display that will shatter off destroyer plating.
First things first*;* I am going to step outside the disappointment I feel for those players that would love to have this ship. This ship is crate locked. **deep breath**
I like Kii where she is. I don’t love her, and I don’t know that I ever will. I enjoyed my time with her, but I think it is time to let her go and move on to better and more challenging things that will help me grow. I haven’t told Kii yet, though, so please don’t tell her, because I want to let her down gently...
All jokes, and tact aside, Kii is in a wonderful spot. She is not broken, certainly not great but she is just strong enough. She is entertaining and she can be built around and customized the captains needs to some degree.
Picking one specific build is extremely skill costly but captains can also work around a common generalist build as well. She is not quite as strong or forgiving as those three heavyweights Massachusetts, Lenin, and Jean Bart... But (see I told you!) Kii can certainly try to hang in the fight.
I do not think Kii needs to be improved or that she needs to be great, and she sits simply fine running in the middle of the herd. She is wonderfully balanced by both the skill, anticipation, and patience of the captain.