The IS-7 can be rated from anywhere from a 3 star, to a 5 star. It entirely determined by the skill level of the player. The tank is very forgiving to newer player, with a near impenetrable turret, decent upper hull, incredible mobility, and fantastic sidescraping potential with its spaced side armor. However, the tank does have its drawbacks that need to be noted. Like most heavies, the tank has horrendous gun handling and accuracy, do not expect to snapshot. The penetration is also lackluster for a tier 10 heavy, and struggles to pen lower plates of other heavies, firing gold is almost necessary while skirming against heavier armored tanks, causing the IS-7 to be expensive to play. The crew layout is also odd, requiring a driver, gunner, commander, and 2 loaders, causing you to need 2 russian heavy loaders to have intuition work properly. The tank also has a glaring weakspot that is sometimes difficult to work around, its large and thin lower plate. Your driver will die a lot btw. If you're a new player looking to get a heavy tank that will give you a fun time, while also still learning the game, the IS-7 is for you.
Tips I can give you are the following:
-You can slightly overrangle your sidescrapes, your tracks are thick and the spaced armor will troll shells and will bait shots out for easy trades.
-If caught out in the open, keep moving and always angle your frontal plates towards the enemy, the upper hull is thicker this way. Adding a side to side wiggle to this will cause your lower plate to become thicker and a near auto bounce angle since most tanks have to aim a few degrees down to aim at your lower plate. Making your lower plate harder to pen also makes your upper plate thinner, causing enemies to have to choose between rolling the dice of bouncing your lower plate or upper, and wiggling will more often than not mess up their shot and bounce. This tactic also opens an angle into your track that seems pennable but will result in a crit and a non pen, that will bait a lot of shots.
-Never flatten the left side of your turret cheek, there is a viewport weakpoint, and flattening it out will make it very easily pennable with gold. You can bait good players into shooting your right side cheek if you have a camo that covers the viewport.
-Try not to raise your gun up to cover the micropixels of your turret that are visible, doing so will weaken your mantlet armor and expose you to HEAT.
-Keep in mind you have fuel tank hitboxes that are hittable through the very bottom left and right of your lower plate, along with your driver.
-Remember that you are fast, and that you can cover crossings by wiggling and showing your angled sides, you will bounce many shells and will be healthy in a good position.
I enjoy bringing the tank into med lines on most maps, most meds will cry looking at your upper plate and turret, and your lackluster pen does not come into effect against meds, making them lambs to the slaughter.
I personally enjoy a DPM setup on the IS-7, Bond Rammer, Bond Vents, and Bond Turbo, along with Extra Combat rations.
I hope this review helps you with your journey on to the IS-7 (or even convince you to get this absolute bundle of power.)