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World of Warships Final Review: Japanese Supercarrier Sekiryu

13 min read

Mina-san, Ohayou gozaimasu! Sekiryu (alongside Ushakov) is finally here! If you thought Hakuryu was scary, hold my sake, you aren’t ready for this one.

The ship will be available in an auction that will start on the 1st of December at 13:00 UTC and will last until the 5th at 13:00 UTC. Just like with the previous superships auctions, the minimum bid will be 100 000 000 Credits with a total of 500 ships available on all servers combined. However, it still includes the CIS client in that. Don’t ask me why it’s the case, I have no idea. After that, the ship will be available for everyone starting from Update 0.12.2.

Historical Background

Sekiryu is a fictional follow-on design to Hakuryu. In essence, it is an upscaled Hakuryu with thicker armor protection and a much stronger secondary and anti-air armament. Hakuryu herself is a mix of the G14 and G15 designs from the Imperial Japanese Navy. Said designs were meant to be improved versions of the Taiho.

Sekiryu herself is going in a fairly different direction from the United States and Eagle. Unlike the others, she keeps all the standard squadrons of Hakuryu and they don’t get JATO rockets for the early deployment speed increase. For the tactical squadrons, the ship gets Attack Aircraft and Torpedo Bombers.

Credits to Ch0m1n for the size comparison

Ship’s preview

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of Sekiryu comes with the standard permanent tier X economic bonuses:

  • +200% XP
  • +200% Commander XP
  • +100% Free XP

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Fast planes for all squadron types
  • Attack aircraft with tight reticule
  • 30 mm penetration on the rockets
  • Hard-hitting aerial torpedoes
  • Below-average torpedo arming time
  • High torpedo speed
  • Torpedo bombers with an improved Repair consumable
  • Very tight spread on the torpedo drops
  • AP bombs with the highest penetration of the game
  • AP bombs more likely to hit the inner part of the aiming reticule
  • Access to two additional tactical squadrons
  • Very fast Tactical attack aircraft
  • Tactical torpedo bombers able to deal almost 30 000 damage with a single drop
  • High reserves on the torpedo bombers and dive bombers
  • Well-protected citadel
  • Strong secondary battery
  • 95 mm armored deck

The Bad

  • No RATO boost on the standard squadron
  • Planes with lower HP than average
  • Attack aircraft with poor maneuverability in attack mode
  • Attack aircraft with long machine-gun phase
  • Torpedo squadrons split into six groups of two, requiring multiple pre-drops if you want to save reserves
  • AP bombers that require a very stable approach for the reticule to shrink in attack mode
  • AP bombs that heavily rely on citadel hits to deal proper damage.
  • Only three bombs per drop which kinda leads to a feast or famine experience
  • Large turning radius

Modules

Hull
Attack Aircraft
Torpedo Bombers
Dive Bombers
Propulsion
icon_module_Hull_installedSekiryu

A8M Rikufū and Kyushu J7W3

J5N Tenrai and Yokosuka R2Y2

J5N Tenrai

icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 264 480 hp

General Characteristics

TierXI/Supership
Health71 300 HP
Torpedo damage reduction25 %
Displacement61 536 tons
Dimensions
Overall length316.6 m
Beam41.8 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)34.74 m
Freeboard14.5 m
Aircraft on deck
Attack Aircraft14
Torpedo Bombers24
Dive Bombers18
Tactical Attack Aircraft3
Tactical Torpedo Bombers2
Secondary Armament
100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount14 x 2 100 mm
Maximum Firing Range7.300 km
Anti-Air Armament
100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount14 x 2 100 mm
40 mm/60 Type 5 on a twin mount30 x 2 40 mm
Maximum speed35.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius1 360 m
Rudder Shift Time17.5 s
Surface Detectability15.54 km
Air Detectability14.54 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Fighter
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Planes in a squadron: 4

Unlike the United States or the Eagle, Sekiryu doesn’t lose any standard squadron. Because of this, she doesn’t depend on the tactical squadron in her rotation as much as the others. She has far more freedom of movement when it comes to the usage of planes and doesn’t need to be as careful as the others with her reserves.

In terms of gameplay, she remains extremely similar to Hakuryu. You will be using and abusing the torpedo bombers while rotating with dive bombers to target battleships and cruisers and from time to time, go slap cruisers with the rockets. However, compared to Hakuryu, Sekiryu is adding tactical squadrons in that rotation. Essentially, the moment these squadrons are ready, just go with them. Obviously, wait to be done with your current squadron but once it’s done, don’t lose time. The fact that once in a while, you have a squadron free of charge to attack is significant as it gives a minute or so for the standard squadrons to all recharge. This is a game-changer, especially at tier X and with superships where the anti-air gets some pretty big power-up in general.

As a side note, just like the rest of the Supercarriers, her fighters are actually useful. I won’t go telling you to hunt down the enemy squadrons but if your paths are crossing, you can drop the fighters in their face and they are likely to have enough time to aggro.
I genuinely don’t get why all carrier-based fighters aren’t like this. These fighters can’t be properly used as spotting wards because of their short duration but instead can actually be used to fight enemy planes because of the reduced aggro time.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a commented replay of one of my games:

Also for those who might be curious, here are the post-battle results.

Attack Aircraft

Attack Aircrafts – ‎A8M Rikufū

TierX
Hitpoints per plane1 510
Damage taken in attack mode100%
Cruise speed165 knots
Maximum speed205 knots
Engine boost time5 s
Engine boost reload time10 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron9
Rocket typeType 5 No. 6 Mk. 9
Rocket per plane6
Machine gun sequence3.96 s
Maximum rocket damage3 150
HE penetration capacity30 mm
Explosion size10.95 m
Fire chance14 %
Detectability range10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time82 s
Aircraft on deck14
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 5 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 4.0 km

The Attack aircraft of Sekiryu, just like those of Hakuryu is her “”””weakest”””” squadron type.

Compared to the others squadrons, the planes are far more fragile with smaller squadrons and lower HP per plane. The reserves are also much smaller, forcing you to pick carefully the targets you engage. Thankfully, their general characteristics don’t exactly offer many options. Because of their high precision, long machine-gun phase, and 30 mm penetration, these rockets are perfect against cruisers outside of stuff like Petropavlovsk, Napoli, and… well other cruisers with well-armored middle sections. For the cruisers with a 30 mm middle section or less, these rockets can do some serious numbers on them. Obviously, they can also be used on battleship superstructures but it’s kinda wasting them unless you have no viable target to be found.
As for destroyers, unless they are already spotted, you are unlikely to be able to get a strike on them. From the start, the planes are quite fast which reduces the window you might get to be both close enough to spot the target, correct the trajectory of the planes and enter attack mode. Besides that, as I said above, the spread is particularly tight and, combined with the long machine-gun time and reduced maneuverability of the planes, it will be hard to land strikes on actively maneuvering destroyers. If you have a good idea of where a destroyer is, you can drop a fighter squadron (although, be sure to be heading either North or South so that the fighters will spawn far in front of your squadron) which will spot the target for you.

Fully aimed Attack aircraft reticule next to a Bismarck

Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bomber – J5N Tenrai

TierX
Hitpoints per plane1 820
Damage taken in attack mode50%
Cruise speed145 knots
Maximum speed185 knots
Engine boost time20 s
Engine boost reload time40 s
Size of attacking flight2
Aircraft per squadron12
Torpedo typeType 91 mod. 7
Torpedoes per plane1
Maximum torpedo damage9 333
Maximum torpedo range6.0 km
Torpedo speed50 knots
Torpedo arming time5.0 s
Flooding chance40%
Detectability range7.5 km
Aircraft restoration time78 s
Aircraft on deck24
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 5 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 4.0 km
Repair
Number of Charges: 4
Work time: 10 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Repair speed: 10% HP/s

The torpedo bombers are the bread and butter of Sekiryu, just like the rest of the Japanese carriers as a whole.

The torpedoes themselves deal high damage per hit, have high flooding chances, reduced arming time, and high speed. As if that wasn’t already good, the spread you get on these is particularly tight, making it very easy to land them on your target. May it be cruisers or battleships, both are perfect preys to go for. Another important thing to keep in mind on why these torpedoes are so good is that the damage dealt by torpedoes on the middle section of ships is counted as citadel damage. This means that it cannot be repaired nearly as much as standard penetration damage from bombs or rockets.
Against destroyers, these torpedoes are definitely strong with the tight spread, high damage per hit, and short arming time. The problem is that you will still need the destroyer to either be busy dodging shots from teammates or force the guy on a certain path by dropping torpedoes on them a first time to then reapproach from the side.
When you combine the high damage per hit, the tight spread, the shorter arming time, and the more impactful damage due to the limited percentage that can be repaired, you end up with one particularly deadly cocktail. But wait, there is more! The squadrons are split into six attacks of two planes, making it particularly effective to chain drops and quickly capitalize on damage controls from broken engines, flooding, etc. They are also granted an improved Repair consumable with a reduced cooldown and an additional charge.

Fully aimed Torpedo bomber reticule on a Bismarck

Dive Bombers

Dive bomber – ‎J5N Tenrai

TierX
Hitpoints per plane1 790
Damage taken in attack mode70%
Cruise speed152 knots
Maximum speed192 knots
Engine boost time20 s
Engine boost reload time40 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron12
Bomb typeType 99 No. 80 Mk. 5
Bomb per plane1
Maximum bomb damage6 800
AP penetration capacity351 mm
Projectile Detonator0.025 s
Detonator threshold30 mm
Detectability range10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time76 s
Aircraft on deck18
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 5 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 4.0 km

The dive bombers of Sekiryu are dropping AP bombs, making them specifically aimed at slapping battleships and cruisers. However, when it comes to cruisers, due to the way these bombers behave, it will be mostly against large cruisers or generally speaking, those that aren’t maneuvering too much. The problem with Sekiryu’s (and Hakuryu’s) dive bombers is that they are the bombers getting penalized the most when maneuvering in attack runs. They need an approach as stable as possible for the reticule to shrink, offering very little opportunity to correct their approach. On top of that, the lead also needs to be perfect when attacking because once the planes start diving, they go almost perpendicularly to the water. It’s only when they start rising up that the reticule will really be moving forward. As such, battleships and large cruisers are the best targets due to their lack of agility.
As for when you should drop the bombs, overall, the most consistent results you will get in terms of citadel hits is at the end of the dive, when the planes are starting to rise their nose. I personally don’t quite understand why because that’s when the effective armor you face should start increasing but there might be something weird happening with the trajectory of the bombs. These AP bombs are able to hit the citadel of pretty much anything outside of most carriers, Patrie, and Admiral Ushakov. There is also the case of Smolensk which is literally too thinly armored and small for the bombs to arm and have the time to detonate inside her citadel. You will get citadel hits from time to time but it’s very random.

Fully aimed Dive bomber reticule next to a Bismarck

Tactical Attack Aircraft

Tactical Attack Aircraft – ‎Kyushu J7W3

TierXI
Hitpoints per plane1 450
Damage taken in attack mode50 %
Cruise speed173 knots
Maximum speed346 knots
Engine boost time30 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron3
Rocket typeType 5 No. 6 Mk. 9
Rocket per plane8
Launch delay1.5 s
Maximum rocket damage3 150
HE penetration capacity30 mm
Explosion size10.95 m
Fire chance14 %
Detectability range15.0 km
Restoration time175 s
Consumable
Slot 1
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 5 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 4.0 km

The Tactical attack aircraft of Sekiryu pretty much entirely remove the one true downside of her standard Attack aircraft, the long machine-gun phase. With the tactical aircraft, the rockets drop instantly, making it incredibly easy to nail anything that passes in front of you. Besides that, it really is the same rockets and the same type of reticule as you will find on the standard squadron. You do get an additional 6 rockets though.

Since the squadron even has a fighter consumable, you can happily go for destroyers with the tactic I mentioned earlier while staying at cruising speed. For cruisers, you can just slap them really hard at the speed of light. Just be careful to not over-shoot your target because of the small reticule combined with the ultra-high speed.

As said above, just use these planes the moment they are off-cooldown. If possible, find a cruiser with 30 mm armor or less so that you really get the most damage out of the attack.

Fully aimed reticule of Tactical attack aircraft on a Bismarck

Tactical Torpedo Bombers

Tactical Torpedo Bomber – Yokosuka R2Y2

TierXI
Hitpoints per plane2 260
Damage taken in attack mode50%
Cruise speed148 knots
Maximum speed296 knots
Engine boost time30 s
Size of attacking flight2
Aircraft per squadron2
Torpedo typeType 91 mod. 7
Torpedoes per plane2
Maximum torpedo damage9 333
Maximum torpedo range6.0 km
Torpedo speed35 knots
Torpedo arming time5.0 s
Flooding chance40%
Detectability range15.0 km
Restoration time275 s

Finally, we are at the diamond at the bottom of the treasure chest. Do you want to nuke enemy ships for almost 30 000 damage? Well look no further, here are Sekiryu’s Tactical torpedo bombers. Just like the Tactical attack aircraft are very similar to the standard ones, these tactical torpedo bombers are essentially two drops from the standard squadrons put into a single one. The joke is that the reticule itself doesn’t double in size. It is essentially the same width but with four torpedoes instead of two.

With the proper build, you can unleash these monsters every 4 minutes (and 8 seconds) and bring destruction and despair upon your target. Bonus point if you do that after forcing the guy’s Damage Control Party with the previous squadron.

Fully aimed Tactical torpedo bomber reticule on a Bismarck

Secondary Armament

14 x 2 100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount
Maximum Firing Range7.300 km
Reloading Time5.0 s
Sigma1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of ProjectileHE – 100 mm HE Type98
Alpha Damage1 700 HP
HE penetration30 mm
Explosion Size0.28
Chance to Cause Fire6 %
Projectile Speed1 000 m/s
Air Drag0.331
Projectile Mass13.0 kg

As much as it is a standard dispersion, Sekiryu’s secondary armament isn’t pure decoration like with most carriers. Here, we are talking about a broadside of fourteen guns. While the rate of fire on these 100 mm guns isn’t as high as on the Harugumo and co, it is still a substantial volume of fire against any destroyer or submarine that would get too close. Technically, it will also be useful against cruisers because of the 30 mm penetration but such a situation really won’t happen often.

Anti-air Armament

14 x 2 100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance100 %
Sector’s damage92
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second322
Flak clouds number12
Flak cloud damage1 540
30 x 2 40 mm/60 Type 5 on a twin mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance100 %
Sector’s damage149
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second522

The anti-air of Sekiryu is particularly strong. Not only is the DPS of both medium and long-range very high, but she also generates an incredibly strong flak barrage, pretty much only bested by Admiral Ushakov as far as I know.

The Armor

As if getting tactical squadrons wasn’t enough, Sekiryu’s armor protection is overall far better than that of Hakuryu. While the extremities of her flight deck are now “only” 40 mm thick, the main belt got thicker but it also sits lower in the water. The thing is that this main belt isn’t the citadel unlike on Hakuryu. Sekiryu is getting a spaced armor configuration to protect her citadel, making her far less punishable.

External armor protection

Hidden protection in the stern

Front and rear protection of the middle section

Citadel armor protection

Final Opinion

I mean…

What am I supposed to tell you? An Hakuryu with extra tactical squadrons, better armor, usable fighters, etc. Of course, that thing is busted as Hell!

Genuinely, if you know how to play Japanese carriers and have millions of credits to spend, get that ship ASAP. She is absurdly strong.

Instead of a lengthy explanation, here is how it feels like to play Sekiryu:

Recommended Build

For the Sekiryu, I recommend using the following captain build and upgrades:

I also recommend using one of the Suzuki brothers for the improved Survivability exper.

This concludes my review of Sekiryu. Thank you for reading this article!

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Have a good one and see you soon!

Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more: https://warships.net/yuzorah

Have a good one and see you soon!