Monarch represents a T7 premium Royal Navy battleship available for 750k global xp. I purchased the ship for my personal account during Legends’ Second Birthday Event. Monarch is a GOOD ship with a relatively straightforward playstyle. Her skill floor is LOW. Her skill ceiling is MODERATE.
In game, she represents the Royal Navy’s 1938 Lion Class design, with a conventional three triple turret A-B-X configuration of 9-381mm main battery. Historically, the Lion Class was planned, but never completed due to the change of strategy in Naval Warfare involving Aircraft Carriers. The Royal Navy decided against completing these ships as they would be financially implausible in a post war economy. This version of Monarch is equipped with the most modernized version of 15” guns of the Royal Navy at the time. The developement of 16” guns was delayed, and the project was set to be completed with 15”. Her hull and armor scheme was nearly identical but somewhat corrective of some issues to that of the predecessing King George V Class.
In game, her improved gunnery is represented by the upgraded later 15”/45s in a short fuse AP leading to less over penetrations through thin armor and the classic Royal Navy 1/4 pen HE. Monarchs standard HE pen is about 95mm; and the guns feature improved ballistics, and muzzle velocity and alpha damage.
- Extreme Effective Health Pool
- Opportunistic AP/Effective HE
- Decent handling
- Amazing DPM
- 32mm plating
- Submerged Citadel
- Pleasant ballistics
- Slow turret traverse
- Tricky fire angles
- Trollish dispersion
- Trollish armor scheme
- Ineffective Secondaries
- Mediocre AA
- Low Base Health Pool
- Skill Exhaustive
Monarch is a ship that looks phenomenal on paper but is somewhat bland and quirky in practice. Her armor profile handcuffs her incredible heal potential; her trollish dispersion and low damage per salvo leave the captain wanting in many situations. Aside from her rarity, what’s so kingly about Monarch?
I was anticipating a bland, brain dead, ultra forgiving Royal Navy Battleship with a portable “uh-oh eraser” and capability to burn the world to ash. With some practice, I found a ship that is *slightly* less brain dead than anticipated. Simply put, she seems to have swapped places with PC’s iteration of Vanguard, with Monarch’s more forgiving construction.
For starters, this is a ship that gave me a fair bit of grief until I managed to crack open her potential. I needed to break her open and I had to figure her out for my own sanity. On paper, this looks like a Monarch akin to her other versions on PC/Mobile…a second line BB with a penchant for burning the world around it. In practice, she’s far more vulnerable due to the closer ranges of engagement on console and her negligible armor scheme. This is not a Russian Battleship where you will expect a lot of ultra-forgiving shatters and bounces; captains should be prepared to pay a heavy price for mistakes and poor positioning. Though her super portable dry dock heal will allow her to heal back entire ships worth of damage through the course of the match, citadel hits can be common and greatly dent your already low HP and ability to heal. Like Nelson, Monarch is seemingly immune to fire and flooding damage and will zombie heal her way back from large swaths of DoT and compounded minor damage from HE spam or penetrations. Citadels will hamper you greatly in your ability to print the match’s dreadnought medal.
None, Monarch is a premium ship and does not have any optional upgrades attached.
Monarch would be capable of competing with the top 2 heavyweights in her tier (Massachusetts and Lenin) if her gunnery wasn’t just barely better than a disappointment. This is a ship that can do damage, but is handicapped by trollish dispersion. Her gunnery 22s reload, stock, is impressive on paper with her DPM and damage potential; however in practice you will not be able to reach such potential. I’d like to see her land 5-6 shells consistently; but this is just not the case…everyone wants summer beach weather during a blizzard. Practice her gunnery, her improved ballistics lend to her difficulty in landing projectiles with maximum efficiency, due to frequently under shooting your targets. Quirky dispersion values will be frustrating at times. Her AP/HE use can be almost seemingly backwards; in many situations a broadside cruiser should be slapped with HE over AP, or similarly broadside BB with HE over AP. Landing those first few chunky 20k AP salvos was almost a Eureka! moment where I’d finally felt the vindication this ship deserved for her review. Just remember that you have ~95mm of base HE pen, there are several targets that are easily caught off guard. There’s also a time to bury all those AP shells on a T H I C K target just above the belt. Learning when or how to maximize each shell type is fundamentally critical for Monarch.
AP Damage Per Minute of T7 BB Premiums
- Monarch: 321,300
- Tirpitz: 267,393
- Mass: 262,000
- Lenin: 253,548
- Kii: 251,806
- Georgia: 242,307
- Gascogne: 213,637
- Champagne: 171,000
Monarch’s gunnery is neatly and best compared to a temperamental overtired toddler in dire need of a nap…if you find your opponent isn’t playing nice with your friends; switch to HE and start breaking all their toys. When they get mad and pick a fight, load AP and bury them with a 2:1 AP trade on their broadside then disengage to protect your own. I won’t lie this is tricky to learn at first…Monarch can out turn her guns meaning timing your shots; and your opponents, are often the difference between surviving and winning, or sinking and losing. This sounds clunky, but in essence involves timing your turns with dodging incoming fire and returning fire. Swing your guns BEFORE you turn, this will save you a lot of headaches. With Monarch’a 22s base reload, 2:1 trades are easy to do with some good old fashioned timing. Captains should be warned, Monarch’s forward firing angles are quite poor and expose much of the belt for penetration, while her aftward firing angles are somewhat more manageable.
The major setback to unlocking Monarch’s potential lays in having a workable depth of knowledge about the target; this can be a double edged sword. Unfamiliar captains will ultimately stick to HE in the Monarchs safe-zone without ever trying to risk it for the biscuit. Her AP is wonderful in its own right and knowing when to punch through the belt, or dropping the shells over the belt and onto the decking is a delicate act requiring patience and a depth of knowledge. Understanding that a nearly 180* broadside is needed to punch through Iowa’s decking to score citadels, and slapping the belt means watching those shells bounce harmlessly back into the sea; or that Ochakov can nearly be dev struck with HE from that same broadside where AP would not target the same citadel; is a classic example and finer nuance of understanding both the capabilities of your ordinance and your opponents defenses. Such an example is imperative to unlocking the true potential of any ship; but is especially paramount in this instance as Monarch frequently needs the help she can get in most situations regarding damage output. For this, you just need practice.
Monarch’s secondary array is almost laughable in the sense her 134’s do not have 1/4 pen, and are only able to pen just over 16mm of armor. Coupled with a comparatively long reload, short range, poor dispersion and awful sigma, captains should be extremely hesitant to spend any energy upgrading this part of the ship or skill tree. This dual purpose twin 134mm are more ideal for AA defenses than secondary support, however captains should be weary; these mounts are extremely frail and 150mm HE may not pen your decking but will likely incapacitate or disable several of these modules in short order.
Captains who are familiar with the Royal Navy’s Battleship line are going to feel at home with this ship in the sense of her defensive mindset and tactics. Monarch brings more of the same that King George V brings, with near identical hulls. Monarch’s submerged citadel helps negate a lot of the effects of her somewhat spongey armor scheme, and all but ensures captains will feel the effects of full AP penetrations from even lower tiered battleships and cruisers. 380mm of armor at the belt means that just about any other battleship (there are exceptions who can’t!!) in your tier (and below) will have enough penetration to punch through your armor up to about 15km. Angling, positioning are critical to maintaining your effective health pool. As soon as Monarch is punched into the citadel, she becomes greatly hampered in her ability to capitalize on her trades. Cashing in on those roughly 20k HP repair party is critical to maximizing the utility of this ship. There’s something to be said about fighting against something that seemingly always claws it’s way back from deaths door to fit condition repeatedly… Monarchs 32mm plating is a wonder for helping shove off some small caliber HE and secondary caliber spam. 32mm on the nose and aft ends is also proof from 406mm rifles and below; leaving little reason for Monarch captains to expose their broadside unless out of absolute necessity. Her armor scheme and turret rotation make firing aft a breeze, with being able to tuck her cheeks back behind the relative safety of her angled stern and belt. The health pool chart says it all:
Base HP of T7 BB Premiums
- Tirpitz: 69,300
- Kii: 68,200
- Mass: 66,300
- Lenin: 63,200
- Georgia: 63,000
- Gascog: 60,040
- Monarch: 53,900
- Champg: 52,600
Effective HP of T7 BB Premiums:
- Monarch: 131,556
- Tirpitz: 119,162
- Mass: 106,149
- Gascog: 105,760
- Lenin: 101,067
- Georgia: 100,833
- Kii: 97,658
- Champg: 92,360
Much of Monarchs focus is on other areas; and while Monarch has far from great AA, it’s not bad…it’s just not great. Her dual purpose 134s and the famous 40mm octuple “Piano” are wonderful to see, but not entirely functional. Your AA is good to swat down a couple of those pesky airborne buggers, but you’re not going to wipe out entire squads. This is ok though, Monarch loves to play with friends and bully her rivals in the company of her friends. Find a friend and hang out with them, and your AA will help stiffen up the bubble. Similar to her handling, it’s not that there’s not a bazillion things to say about her AA and how everything works and painting a spectacular picture; there’s just more interesting things to cover and this is mediocre…Monarch’s AA suite is neither so bad it’s worth pointing out nor so good it’s worth dissecting; it just simply is.
Monarch is somewhat resting with the bottom of the pack when it comes to her handling; there are ships that handle far better and only a few worse. She’s one of the slower ships with a top speed of roughly 28 knots base, putting her on par with the South Dakota Sisters. She is blisteringly outpaced by the likes of Gascogne, Champagne and Georgia. She will outturn most other ships with her 790m turning radius (most other BBs are stuck mid 800s-m radius) but is hampered by her 21s base rudder shift, and is worse than even that sailing brick called Kii which needs near a full kilometer to turn around. Improving this trait with Steering Gears Mod. 2 in the second module slot will bring this to a more manageable 19s but even this is questionable in the face of the more median 16s. I tried this build but Monarch is certainly no Imperial Japanese Cruiser and there are better things to build with that focus more on improving Monarch’s strengths rather than trying to cover her weaknesses. While I could drone on and on about acceleration rates and turning circles, Monarch is ultimately a support line battleship and is by no means of the imagination the experimental rocket boat we call Kleber. There’s just better things to point out and talk about and we’re moving on. This handling weakness is ultimately another advantage for the ship as it forces the captain to stay in relatively safe ranges.
I’m a bit sad here, if I’m being honest. Battleship concealment is not a prevalent factor in most Legends battleships-and it ought to be. Monarch should have wonderful concealment with the proper module and would benefit greatly from it. Vanguard has it. Monarch doesn’t. 13km concealment Monarch would have more wiggle room to negotiate those tricky situations that don’t allow most battleships to advance in the face of an undetected CA/CL. Monarch is an opportunistic bully if anything at all; being able to control engagement on longer range engagements is an under appreciated strategy most battleships are unfamiliar with and better allows captains in jeopardy to control the situation in their favor…much how Massachusetts and Lenin bully other ships with their tankiness and well rounded capabilities. Instead, Monarch is just slightly better with 14.5km base concealment in a sea of battleships floating around the 14.3-14.9km region. Blue paintings aren’t as special when every painting is a shade of blue; I would love to see some greens, reds, purples and oranges thrown in here and I’ll leave you with that colorful metaphor.
Monarchs consumable load out is predictably simple and straight forward. Slot 1 is the standard unlimited Damage Control Party; it lasts for 15s and has a 90s reload. This is very standard.
This is where things get interesting…Monarch gets the portable dry dock insta-ship button. Base, her Repair Party heals 1077/s and lasts for 17s. Upgrade one of those fancy Azur Lane commanders like Nelson or Hood, and you can bump that heal up to 1200/s with 4 charges—each charge healing just short of 20k hp. Monarch has the ability to heal herself 2x over if the captain manages to avoid hits to her vulnerable citadel. There is only 1 ship capable of greater heals below Legendary Tier, and that’s the T6 preceding Nelson with her >1300/s heal over 20s. Nelson and Monarch share a lot of similar quirks.
In the third and final slot, Monarch has access to the standard triple choice of Spotter Plane, Patrol Fighters or Enhanced Secondary Targeting. Do yourself a favor, and just stick to the spotter plane. Adding brief periods of improved dispersion silliness allows you to start a easy couple permanent fires on an unsuspecting target. Her Spotter plane gets the normal 10% dispersion buff over 30s with a 10s longer than average 200s reload.
The trick here is just to keep it simple and don’t overthink it.
Like Nelson and Hood, Monarch blends well with a number of dispersion focused commanders and their builds. Personally, I settled on Azur Lane Nelson, but avoided the Big 7 perk. This improves you’re already ridiculous alpha, either way, without the cost of nerfing your own penetration. Having 380s is enough of a gamble in T7, the damage buff isn’t worth the trade where it is a tier lower on Nelson; but this is due to the caliber and nature of the guns. There are several viable builds here, with the key points of the commander’s skills being used towards negating incoming damage, and improving the dispersion of the main battery, and improving your already stellar repair party. Stick towards these basic principles and you will find yourself able to stay in the fight longer. Monarch does blend very well with specific commanders with the right skill tree, but will quickly exhaust captains if paired incorrectly.
Slot 1 is genuinely easy for most. In some ships there’s an argument for something other than Aiming Systems Mod 1, but there is not for Monarch. Leave Main Battery Mod 2 alone! Don’t nerf your DPM and buff your dispersion…this is a no brainer. Anything else is strictly for the meme-builders.
Slot 2 is somewhat more up for debate, but not really. Damage Control Systems is your best bet. YOU WANT TO BE HIT WITH SPAM, you have those mega heals, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty and scratch the paint. The trick is to take shots that you can heal and avoid the ones you can’t. Steering Gears Mod 2 is the other plausible choice to help your worst in class rudder shift, but realistically you’re only going from 22->19s. Propulsion Mod 2 is not exactly going to help you either, Monarch is not known for her speed jockeying and she handles like a brick that can turn weirdly tight…
Slot 3 you only have one choice…so take Target Acquisition Mod 1… this would be where Concealment Mod 1 should go.
Slot 4 I’ll be honest. I did actually try AA Guns Mod 3 to see if I could actually try to shoot down some planes…but this is just false hope. Take Main Battery Mod 3 and push your DPM to stupid levels. There’s not much an argument for anything else. What secondary mod? This thing has secondaries?
Monarch is simply GOOD. She’s not great and she’s certainly not average or weak. She’s got a lot of things going for her and conversely has several things going against her; she’s balanced well and fits ideally in her tier. Monarch is a far cry from the likes of Jean Bart, Massachusetts or Lenin and has nowhere near their carry potential…but as their wingman? I probably couldn’t find a better ship, unless it’s another Massachusetts.
It would take a little bit of work to make Monarch GREAT…
Let’s start with option 1, the less obvious concealment gimmick. Adding the concealment upgrade module would allow her to drop from 14.5k to 13km flat. Having just that extra km of wiggle room in detection would allow Monarch to capitalize on just that extra inch of dispersion by teeing off on her targets a bit closer. This is a double edged sword where captains would have to manage this correctly, or be sent to back to port prematurely. Vanguard has access to this module, it would make sense for Monarch to have it as well. I’m not sure if this would make her as strong as Mass, Lenin or JB, but it’s a fun gimmick that would be powerful in the right hands.
And onto option 2: If her dispersion was slightly narrower and her sigma was improved to where she was consistently landing 7-10k salvos with twin fires…but every 20s might be a tad extreme for those poor Massachusetts and Lenin players….do we really feel bad, like really? Even just a little?