Being a tier 10 ship, everybody naturally expected the Grozovoi to be an upgrade to the Udaloi in every way. People expected the stealthiest Russian DD with amazing torpedoes, ridiculous AA and decent agility. However as you've probably noticed from community content creator reactions, this doesn't seem to be the case.
Now being a fan of the Russian DD line, I just couldn't say "Ok it's supposedly garbage, let's stay away.". I had to check it out. Perhaps there was a niche it could fill, a trait that people may have overlooked?
I love making things work, so I got to work on it last week after reaching rank 1. First, I had to get through the Udaloi, whose progress was reset as it was replaced by the Tashkent. And today, with 40 Grozovoi games under my belt, I think I've seen pretty much everything it can do.
If we dive into the spreadsheets for a little bit; Grozovoi is basically an Udaloi on steroids. It comes with 20900HP in its stock configuration, it's stealthier (7.7km vs 8.0km with Udaloi hull B), has better torps (10km@65kt instead of 8km@66kt) and has a better stock rudder shift time (4.6 vs 5.2 seconds). However the following two upgrades really stand out.
Interestingly, the guns get an upgrade as well. It comes with 3x2 130mm SM-2-1 guns instead of the good old Udaloi/Khabarovsk B-2-U guns. The fire rate stays the same, but the Grozovoi's guns have a longer barrel length, which gives its shells extra velocity (950 m/s vs 900 m/s). However, it uses a different shell which does 100 less damage than the rest of the Russian DD line (1800 vs 1900).
Lastly, it comes with a significant AA suite. Its main batteries put out 51DPS at 7.5km range (with AFT) instead of the Udaloi's rather puny 36DPS output. However the biggest DPS upgrade happens to mid-range AA which are boosted from 66DPS to about 100DPS at ~5km. The long range AA is still eclipsed by the Akizuki's 100mm guns (84DPS at 7.2km with AFT), but considering you have the Defensive AA consumable which triples your AA DPS, they're still decent.
Unfortunately the good stuff ends here. I guess, at this point the developers were getting concerned about creating a "super-DD" so they grabbed a nerf hammer lying around and dropped it on the poor Grozovoi.
No fun is allowed
The absolutely worst thing about the Grozovoi is its main battery gun range. It comes with a pitiful 10.3km stock range, which can be extended to 12.4km with AFT. You have the best DD guns (more like railguns) in this game, bar-none but you also have the worst gun range of any T10 DD except Shimakaze.
Let's not forget; despite the decent concealment and better torpedoes, this is still a gunboat. You will need to make those guns work to rack up damage. However with the abysmal range, keeping those guns firing is quite tricky. You have to throw yourself in harm's way to do so, which puts you in the realm of sneaky radar cruisers, IJN DDs that spot you for their team, Gearings sneaking up on you and the frequent torp walls that come from the enemy's direction. It is not a pleasant experience.
The second worst thing about the Grozovoi is the combination of its size and speed. I liked the contrast between the Udaloi and the Khabarovsk. The Khabarovsk had less range, but it was significantly larger, had a ridiculous amount of HP with survivability expert (26k) and had the best speed in this game (48.7 with speed boost and the speed flag). So it was hard to hit and even then, could take those hits like a champ and go on. The Udaloi on the other hand was slower, but it was balanced by its longer range and smaller size.
|Khabarovsk is slightly longer, but the Grozovoi is much thicker|
|Grozovoi dwarfs the Udaloi|
The Grozovoi is both as large as the Khabarovsk while being slower than the Udaloi. The turning circle is a whopping 110m larger than the Udaloi. All the while having a pitiful range. Let me tell you; it doesn't work. It's a miserable experience.
It's weird, because the new Udaloi feels just right. You have the option to play like the main RU DD line; stay at range and work those guns while dodging with your nimble and small ship or dive into a cap, take half-HP from a USN/IJN DD with your guns, smoke up before they can react, play the dodge torpedoes in smoke game and contest the cap like a boss. Both playstyles are viable and they do work on the Udaloi.
However the Grozovoi just can't do it. It's big, clumsy and terrible at dodging torps or avoiding hits at range. The terrible gun range and the lack of stealth firing means your damage output is tied to your time spent in smoke. Smoking also means attracting torpedoes and did I say this thing is terrible at dodging them? Most of my deaths were actually due to getting torped in smoke or getting radared in smoke. Both of which you'll have to deal with a lot if you ever get this ship. You can't also do the "shoot from behind cover" trick that some late tier DDs and CAs utilize since the gun trajectory is so flat.
Lastly, the torpedo launch angles are bad. The launchers are stuck between smoke stacks and you can only torp when you're pretty much broadside to your target. Most of the time you won't be able to torp a target of opportunity because it'll require an awkward maneuver.
No fun at all?
|Grozovoi has the sexiest gun turrets in the game|
I loved the Grozovoi for its guns. This is basically the Moskva of the DD realm. They save otherwise an unremarkable ship, provided you get the chance to use them. The extra velocity and flatter trajectory is actually easily felt. It's very easy to land hits on any DD (even on a speed boosting Khabarovsk) up to 11kms and with the added velocity the AP does consistent damage to cruisers and BBs. I noticed that as soon as I got those guns working, my damage jumped by huge amounts. I also didn't notice the less HE damage compared to my Udaloi. It sucks that it's a bit low, but it's in no way hampers your damage output.
The AA needs a mention as well. Despite being nerfed from its pre-release values, it's still pretty damn good. Your mere presence means a no-fly-zone for spotters and fighters. If there's a CV in the match and you position yourself well, it's not trivial to come out with at least 30 plane kills per match. A lot more if you're fully AA specced (manual AA+AA gun mod 3). However, these plane kills accumulate over time so don't expect to fully devastate a CV strike. If a T10-9 CV wants you dead, you're dead. It's as simple as that.
Suggested skills and upgrades
First slot: Main armaments mod 1. Pretty self explanatory.
Second slot: AA guns mod 2. This is the compromise I made with my build. I wanted to have better AA capability, but I didn't want to orient my whole ship towards that. If you're going for a Grozovoi, you want some sort of an AA upgrade to make the most of it. So I opted for this over the aiming systems mod 1.
Third slot: Main battery mod 3. As I said, the guns are the main source of damage output on the Grozovoi, This upgrade shaves off half a second from your reload for a very negligible turret traverse nerf.
Fourth slot: Propulsion mod 1 or Damage control system modification 1. This slot doesn't really matter if you get Last Stand.
Fifth slot: Propulsion mod 2.The Grozovoi has a very underpowered engine, so it's really bad at accelerating. This is obviously bad if you're caught with your pants down (especially in smoke). It also has a pretty good stock rudder shift time (4.6 seconds) so it makes sense to get this upgrade instead.
Sixth slot: Concealment system mod 1. Again self explanatory.
- Preventive maintenance OR Priority target. I opted for PM to keep those guns working.
- Last Stand + Adrenaline Rush. LS is mandatory. AR to increase your DPS in the later stages of the match.
- Basic Fire Training+Superintended. BFT to bring the gun reload to 4 seconds and SI to get more smokes and defensive AAs.
- Advanced Fire Training+Concealment Expert. We need to get CE in this branch since we'll be fighting around enemy DDs most of the time. They'll still spot your first, but by the time they react you'll spot them yourself.
SubOctavian already signaled that they are aware of the Grozovoi's less than stellar performance. Honestly the best and the most effective buff they can give right now is increasing the main battery range. Since it only has 3x2 guns, I think it makes sense for it to at least match the Udaloi's range (14.5 km). Pperhaps they can also buff its long-range AA dps a bit, but I'm not sure if it's necessary.
If you have the Udaloi, there are very few reasons to make the switch to the Grozovoi. While its guns and AA get a hefty upgrade from the Udaloi, its conflicting characteristics and lack of a certain flavor leave it as a mediocre all-rounder DD that does nothing exceptionally (just like the German DD line).