Azur Lane Ship Guide: A Guide To Light Aircraft Carriers And Repair Ships

Great alternatives to your Vanguard and back line.
Azur Lane Long Island
Here's some recommendations for good Light Aircraft Carriers and Repair Ships for your fleet of shipgirls in Azur Lane. Yostar

With the first anniversary celebration of the side-scrolling shoot ‘em up  Azur Lane now in full blast, there has been some uptick in the playerbase as the game's climb in popularity continues.

While the other guides have been for the regular ship classifications, this guide takes a closer look at special ships like Light Aircraft Carriers (CVL) and Repair Ships (AR). You can check out a basic shipgirl recommendation guide for Destroyers (DD) here, Light Cruisers (CL) here, Heavy Cruisers here, Battleships (BB) and Battlecruisers (BC) here, and Aircraft Carriers (CV) here.

Light Aircraft Carriers (CVL) – are they good replacements for CVs?

Azur Lane Bataan
Light Aircraft Carriers typically have skills to support CVs and other CVLs. Photo: Yostar

It’s no secret that in order to have an excellent fleet, you need a good back line that usually consists of two Battleships or Battlecruisers and an Aircraft Carrier. However, due to the game’s nature of gacha, you can’t always get the ships you want, and so for the most part you have to make do with what you have. That said, Light Aircraft Carriers (CVL) are pretty good overall, and you’ll be introduced to one early on as part of Azure Lane’s tutorial. Light Aircraft Carriers have two slots for planes, and the third is reserved for a gun battery, usually for Anti-Air guns. This makes them a bit more decent in terms of warding off other enemy planes than CVs, but at the cost of Aviation power.

Azur Lane Long Island2
USS Long Island Photo: Yostar
  • Long Island (Rare rarity) – this neat shipgirl is the first ship you’ll get for your backline, and she’ll probably carry you for most of the game’s early stages until you get a proper CV. That said, her retrofit skill is pretty good, Air Support increases the Aviation stat of all CVs or CVLs in your fleet every time you launch an airstrike. The Fast Take-off skill is also pretty useful at higher levels thanks to a chance of immediately reloading the next airstrike for launching after you’ve already launched one.
  • Langley (Normal rarity) – this shipgirl is good for if you want to level other CVs and CVLs thanks to her Aviation Pioneer skill, which increases experience gained by all Carriers by a set percentage. Retrofitting her might be worth it as well because it’s purely to boost reload, as the Reload Command - Light Carrier skill increases the reload stat of all CVLs in your fleet. Consider the retrofits if you’re fond of using CVLs for your back line.
  • Bataan (Elite rarity) – although only acquirable through the Ashen Simulacrum event that just ended, Bataan is a great shipgirl to have as support for other CVs and CVLs in your back line. Her Aviation Assistance skill increases the reload stat of other CVs and CVLs if Bataan is not set as the fleet’s flagship, while also increasing the Anti-Air of the main fleet by a set number. If you managed to get the needed points to unlock her then she’s a pretty good addition to any Carrier-focused back line.
Azur Lane Unicorn
HMS Unicorn Photo: Yostar
  • Unicorn (Elite rarity) – good CVL shipgirl for buffing your Vanguard, especially if you find them to be incredibly susceptible to damage. Unicorn’s Support Carrier skill heals your front line for a percentage of their health after she launches an airstrike, while Reload Command – Vanguard passively increases their reload stat.
Azur Lane Centaur
HMS Centaur Photo: Yostar
  • Centaur (SSR rarity) – one of the best CVL shipgirls hands down, and is an overall decent pick in whatever comp you’re running. Her Airspace Dominance skill allows her to increase your main fleet’s Aviation and Firepower stat by a flat percentage every time she launches an airstrike, which boosts your damage output significantly. To add to this, her Swordfishes, Attack! skill gives an additional special airstrike called Swordfish every time she launches one. This airstrike decreases the speed of all enemies hit by 40 percent, which makes Centaur a really strong pick for exercises in general. The skill also passively increases her damage against Battleships.

While the above ships are exemplary in situations where you’ve got no actual CVs, its still better to have a decent CV as the damage output on those shipgirls cannot be ignored. That said, CVLs can still make for good support shipgirls rather than primary damage dealers thanks to their amazing support skills. Depending on your comp, it’s good to have one of them in tandem with another CV, with the last slot on the back line filled by a BB or BC – perhaps even a second CV or CVL, although variation between artillery fire and aviation damage is better.

Repair Ships (AR) – are they even useful?

There are currently only two Repair Ships available in Azur Lane, and one of them requires a pretty long grinding period to acquire. That said, if you ever get one as a drop from cubes, it may be worth considering. While Repair Ships don’t really have tons of firepower to speak of and instead only rely on their Anti-Air capabilities, their healing and support capabilities make them great for sorties against larger fleets.

  • Vestal (Elite rarity) – the only Repair Ship you can obtain through cubes, Vestal provides your fleet with some clutch healing thanks to the Damage Control skill, which heals a ship for a percentage of its health after falling down below a 20 percent threshold. Regular Maintenance also gives your fleet a number of Emergency Repairs, which can heal your fleet by ten percent of their maximum health.
  • Akashi (SSR rarity) – this shipgirl can only be constructed after finishing her questline, which requires some time to complete. However, she’s absolutely the best Repair Ship in the game thanks to some very good skills; Logistics Maintenance provides your fleet with healing every 35 seconds equal to a percentage of Akashi’s health, while Reload Command – Vanguard increases the reload stat of your Vanguard. She also has a Regular Maintenance skill same as Vestal.

Stay tuned for more guides on Azur Lane. The game is now available to play for free on both iOS and Android devices.

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