Azur Lane Ship Guide - Recommended Common, Rare, Elite and SSR Destroyers For Your Fleet

Reminder that Laffey is the best starting shipgirl.
Azur Lane Laffey
Here's some recommendations for good Destroyers for your fleet of shipgirls in Azur Lane. Yostar

With the first anniversary celebration of the side-scrolling shoot ‘em up video game Azur Lane now in full blast, there has been some uptick in the playerbase recently as the game's climb in popularity continues. I don’t really like mobile games, and I absolutely loathe gacha games, but for the most part Azur Lane has managed to be the exception thanks to its surprisingly good gameplay and satisfyingly intuitive mechanics. That’s not even mentioning the extremely well-drawn shipgirl waifus themselves, but that’s another matter entirely.

This guide is meant to focus on some of the best choices for ships in your fleet, as Azur Lane features a ton of different shipgirls with different rarities. As a free-to-play mobile title made by Chinese developers Shanghai Manjuu and Xiamen Yongshi, Azur Lane also has a gacha system in place, which can possibly turn off players. However, I found that the gacha rates here to be much more lenient than what others offer, and that despite the rarities of ships, you can still get ahead in the later stages of the game even with only Normals or Rares, both of which are relatively easy to obtain.

All of that said, let’s take a look at some of the best shipgirls in Azur Lane with classification code DD, denoting Destroyers.

What are Destroyers (DD)?

Azur Lane Fubuki
Destroyers are fast, and will be your main source of torpedo damage. Photo: Yostar

Destroyers are part of your fleet’s Vanguard, which is what you’ll mostly control with the joystick during battles. They are characterized by their high speed, and they will be the main source of your torpedo damage. Their speed comes at a cost, and you’ll find that they are the most susceptible to damage as they sport the lowest health pool out of all the shipgirls. To compensate for that, they have higher evasion than any other ship class in your Vanguard. Destroyers are denoted by a blue symbol with torpedoes on it.

Recommended Best Destroyers for your fleet

  • Any of the three Elite (purple) starter ships: Z23, Laffey and Javelin – at the start of the game, you’ll be introduced to three Destroyers, all of which are of Elite rarity. You can choose either any of the three, and they’re all worth investing in, even up to higher level sorties. Laffey is the most well-rounded of the three, with evenly-specced firepower, anti-air, torpedoes and health. Z23 has the most health and firepower, but is weaker in terms of anti-air and evasion. Javelin has the best torpedoes and evasion, but she also sports the lowest health pool and firepower. Ultimately, it’s up to you who to pick, but with a bit of gear tinkering all of them are pretty viable choices.
Azur Lane Cygnet
HMS Cygnet Photo: Yostar
  • Cygnet (Normal rarity) – you’ll find that this shipgirl – who interestingly has more skins than most of the other SSR shipgirls – is a very decent choice to lump in with your other Destroyer in the Vanguard if you’re running a torpedo-heavy front. Cygnet’s main draw is her incredibly high evasion, which, when paired with some decent guns, makes her a great addition to your frontline. Her Emergency Maneuvers skill give her a chance to evade all enemy attacks within six seconds, and this effect triggers every 20 seconds. If you managed to retrofit her, you can also get a Smokescreen skill, which increases the evasion rate of all ships in it.
Azur Lane Fletcher
USS Fletcher Photo: Yostar
  • Fletcher (Rare rarity) – a great complement if you’re running a Vanguard filled with Fletcher class shipgirls. These ships include Aulick, Bush, Charles Auburne, Foote, Hazelwood, Jenkins, Kimberly, Mullany, Nicholas, Radford, Spence, and Thatcher. Her skill Sister’s Temperament raises all of the latter ships’ firepower and evasion by 10 percent, which only grows more useful as you raise those stats. At the same time, Fletcher also has the Tactical Command: Destroyers skill, which increases the firepower, torpedoes and reload stats of all Destroyer class ships in your fleet. Definitely one of the better ships to have if you’re running a Destroyer-only Vanguard.
Azur Lane Charles Ausburne
USS Charles Ausburne Photo: Yostar
  • Charles Ausburne (Super Rare rarity) – this ship’s benefits come in two packages. The first comes from her 31-Knot Burke skill, which gives a chance to increase the speed of your entire fleet and the evasion of your Vanguard by 20 percent for eight seconds, and this triggers every time Charles Auburne fires its main gun. The second comes from completing and Limit Breaking the Beaver collection to 17 stars, including Charles Auburne, Thatcher, Aulick, Foot, and Spence. Once you do so, you’ll be rewarded with the Little Beaver Squadron Tag, a collection reward that increases the movement speed of all ships by 20 percent.
  • Yuudachi (SSR rarity) – unlike other shipgirls that require a gacha component in order to be earned, Yuudachi can be obtained as a drop in Chapter 6, which means that at some point you’re bound to have her. That said, her Full Barrage skill in tandem with Nightmare of Solomon, which increases her firepower, torpedo, reload and evasion stat by 20 percent for eight seconds makes her great to have in the Vanguard, if for anything else you don’t have any other good Destroyers to put in her place.

Special mentions

  • Fubuki (Elite rarity) – buffs other Japanese Destroyers, including Ayanami, Akatsuki, Ikazuchi, Inazuma, and herself to have increased firepower and evasion by 15 percent, plus four percent more power for torpedoes.
Azur Lane Gridley
USS Gridley Photo: Yostar
  • Gridley (Rare rarity) – Double Torpedo skill, which provides a decent chance to fire torpedoes twice. Also buffs other Destroyers’ torpedoes by a base amount of five percent.
Azur Lane Kamikaze
IJN Kamikaze Photo: Yostar
  • Kamikaze (Rare rarity) – has a skill that gives a chance to increase her evasion following her firing of the main guns
Azur Lane Amazon
HMS Amazon Photo: Yostar
  • Amazon (Rare rarity) – good for leveling up Destroyers, as she increases EXP received for all of them within the Vanguard. Pretty useful at later stages of the game.

While those are some of the better Destroyer shipgirls to have in your Vanguard, it’s important to note that you can technically take other shipgirls with the same skill and use them in their stead. There are some skills that are up to you if you want to take them; Michisio (rare) and Jupiter (rare) carry Battleship Escort, which increases the damage of all Battle cruisers and Battleships in your fleet, and as such can be pretty integral if your backline has two of those ships. Aylwin (rare) has Carrier Escort, which has the same effect but for Aircraft Carriers. Try and find a combination of skills that allow you to make the most of your fleet’s damage, while at the same time giving your Vanguard a good balance between damage resilience and output.

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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