In this guide I review the underrated Panther, the tier 7 German medium tank in the E50M line in World of Tanks (WoT).
I decided to grind the E50M line, as I want to play a tier 10 medium tank with good gun handling and functional armor, and these are two of the E-50M’s strengths. In addition, I was swayed by Oneeechan’s advocacy of the E50M line on the WoTLabs forums.
To get to the E50M, you have to play the Panther, which by reputation is a craptastic tank. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Panther is a solid tank, if you respect its capabilities and limitations.
Strengths and Weaknesses
+ high silver penetration (198)
+ accurate gun
+ good HP pool (1300)
– very low alpha damage (135)
– risk of fire when penetrated through the soft lower front glacis (LFG)
The thing that really sticks out is the alpha damage; it’s so low that you can’t brawl effectively. Therefore, you want to snipe with this tank, but as a general Unicum philosophy, you don’t want to hang back so far that your gun is inactive in early-game and mid-game.
The Panther is a bit unusual in that you can equal the top gun (7.5 cm L/100) with the stock turret. Your priority is getting that gun because you’ll need it when facing tier 8 and 9 tanks.
Here’s my recommended path for researching modules and slotting equipment:
Purchase the following equipment: Enhanced Torsion Bars 5+ t Class (so you can research high-priority modules first), Coated Optics (for vision control), and Gun Rammer (faster reload)
Research the 7.5cm L/100 gun (16,100 XP). If you can afford to do so, use Free XP. The gun makes the tank and you will struggle without it. You should already have the top radio and 2nd engine unlocked from the VK 30.02 M tank
Research the 2nd turret
Research the suspension, and replace the Enhanced Torsion Bars equipment with Enhanced Gun Laying Drive (faster aim)
Given that this is a medium tank and that you’ll often be sniping, follow the medium philosophy of maxing vision control and fire control:
Commander: Sixth Sense > Recon > Camo
Gunner: Snap Shot > Camo > Repairs
Driver: Smooth Ride > Camo > Repairs
Radio Operator: Situational Awareness > Camo > Repairs
Loader: Safe Stowage > Preventative Maintenance > Camo
I do not recommend Brothers in Arms (BIA) unless you have a 450% crew (i.e. 3.5 skills). Preventative Maintenance is optional, but if you take PM and slot a premium fire extinguisher, the risk of fire is significantly reduced by the two stacking passive bonuses, and you’ll rarely have to pay for a new fire extinguisher.
The easiest way to explain how to play the tank is show illustrative footage. Here is a tier 7 battle in which I earned the “Ace Tanker” mastery and Top Gun badges:
Let me know your questions and feedback.
For more info on angling and weak spots, check out my guides:
Weak Spots Guide
For more advanced videos, check out my “Road to Unicum” tank reviews in which I share what I’ve learned as I progress towards account Unicum rating (top 1%). I talk through how I’m reading each battle as it unfolds and discuss key decisions and mistakes. My hope is that these videos meaningfully help other players improve their gameplay.