Azur Lane Ship Guide: Recommended Common, Rare, Elite and SSR Light Cruisers For Your Fleet

Light Cruisers are great for boosting your Anti-Air stats.
Azur Lane San Diego
Here's some recommendations for good Light Cruisers 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 as the game's climb in popularity continues.

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 CL, denoting Light Cruisers. You can check out a basic shipgirl recommendation guide for Destroyers (DD) here.

What are Light Cruisers (CL)?

Azur Lane Birmingham
Light Cruisers are exceptional at Anti-Air, making them highly effective against Aircraft Carriers. Photo: Yostar

As part of your ship’s Vanguard, Light Cruisers are a bit tankier than Destroyers and serves as kind of a middle point between the former and Heavy Cruisers. Light Cruisers hold some of the best choices for shipgirls in your Vanguard, as their good balance of firepower, armor and everything else in between means that you can’t go wrong with most of them. Some Light Cruisers can be equipped with Destroyer guns and torpedoes, and some of them ditch the torpedoes entirely to focus on another set of Auxiliary weaponry. What they all have in common, however, is high Anti-Air stats, making them formidable against enemy carriers.

Recommended Best Light Cruisers for your fleet

Azur Lane Leander
HMS Leander Photo: Yostar
  • Leander (Normal rarity) – pretty easy to get from my experience, especially as a ship drop in most of the missions that you’ll sortie in. Her Artillery Command – Cruiser skill is incredibly useful if you’re running a full Cruiser Vanguard, as it increases the firepower of all Cruisers in your fleet by a certain percentage. Following retrofits, you also get access to the Smokescreen skill, which deploys a smokescreen that increases evasion for all affected shipgirls in the vicinity.
Azur Lane Atlanta
USS Atlanta Photo: Yostar
  • Atlanta (Rare rarity) – since Cruisers are mostly picked for their superior Anti-Air capabilities, getting Atlanta as part of a Vanguard that focuses on that is a great choice, Her Anti-Air Command – Cruiser skill increases the Anti-Air stats of all Cruisers in your fleet, which essentially nerfs enemy carriers to non-threats to your group. In addition to this, her Anti-Air Mode skill can trigger a chance to increase her Anti-Air stats while firing the AA guns, at the cost of her firepower.
Azur Lane Clevelad
USS Cleveland Photo: Yostar
  • Clevelad (Elite rarity) – not to be confused with Cleveland (elite), also a Light Cruiser. Clevelad is a great pick for a full-on Anti-Air ship thanks to her Heart of a Knight skill, which lets increases her Anti-Air and Accuracy stats when sortied with any other Cleveland class ships, including Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbia, Denver and Montpelier. Her Untrained Knight skill also gives her damage protection when placed in the leftmost position of the Vanguard.
Azur Lane San Diego2
USS San Diego Photo: Yostar
  • San Diego (SSR rarity) – while Sandy gets a lot of hate due to her meme status on a lot of servers, she is pretty useful for Anti-Air sorties thanks to her I Am No. 1 skill, which increases the entire fleet’s Anti-Air by a set percentage for eight seconds. Her retrofit is really good, too, which flat outs increases her Anti-Air stat and gives her the chance to unleash a powerful barrage every 20 seconds.

Special mentions

USS San Juan
USS San Juan Photo: Yostar
  • San Juan (Rare rarity) – decent thanks to her Air Navigation Warning skill, which has a chance to increase the Anti-Air of all Eagle Union (American) ships for five seconds. In addition to this, every 13th direct hit of her main gun increases her firepower, stacking up to three times.
  • Juneau (Rare rarity) – great ship for exercises thanks to her War Martyr skill, which heals your entire fleet once she’s sunk.
  • Lena (Elite rarity) – her Light of Purification skill has a chance to reduce Firepower, Torpedo and Aviation stats of enemy ships for 10 seconds, which can also be pretty useful in exercises.
Azur Lane Yuubari
IJN Yuubari Photo: Yostar
  • Yuubari (Elite rarity) – great ship to take for leveling up Cruisers thanks to her Experimental Cruiser skill, which raises experience gained by all Cruisers. Her retrofit is also incredibly useful as well, even if there’s some randomness to it – Erratic Inventor activates every 12 seconds to grant a special effect, from firing a special ammo barrage to healing and shielding your fleet.
  • Avrora (SSR rarity) – the first ever North Union (Russian) shipgirl Avrora can be obtained through a special daily quest which runs for two weeks, so if you’ve been playing for quite some time, it’s important to note that. Her Cannon Fire That Marked A Change of Era skill increases the damage dealt of all your Escort ships regardless of classification, which makes a her a great addition to your Vanguard.

While those are some of the better Light Cruiser 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. For instance, having Aurora (Elite) on your Vanguard gives you additional damage to the enemy Vanguard through debuffs on Evasion plus overall increased damage on your end. Edinburgh (Rare) is great against fleets with a lot of heavy ships due to her additional AP damage. 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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