Upgrading the USA Starter – What I’m Playin’ 3

USACardback

Maybe this should be called, “What I was Playin’,” as we start an odyssey specifically designed to help newer players rise through the Kards ranks.

Starting with the USA, over the next few weeks we will take a look at each starter deck and upgrade it with cards that all new players have access to.

A few things to keep in mind, these are just recommendations, these are simple upgrades, and these are geared toward ranks between Private through/to Lieutenant.

As you grow as a player, your collection expands and you start crafting new cards feel free to move beyond these decklists.

If you pull some sweet special and elite cards then you should definitely tailor your decklists to playing them! They are fun and will help you win!

For more insights on improving your game early on, listen to the first episode of the Kards Podcast. I break down some of the most important things to keep in mind when you are starting out.

Before we get to the upgrades, if you would like to share a deck you have been working on, feel free to comment here, e-mail kardspodcast@gmail.com, reach out on Twitter @KARDSPodcast, or hit me up on the Discord channel.

And don’t forget to tell your friends to sign up for the KARDS Beta Test and Discord at KARDS.com.

KARDS Version

This deck was constructed on the 0.8.18 build of KARDS – Card text/cost/rarity may have changed since publication.

Ground rules

I am lucky enough to be in the game for a while now so I have been able to build a nice collection and reach the Field Marshall ranks.

With that said, I am going to set up some ground rules for these upgrades:

  • Use cards that new players have easy access to – standard and limited only
  • Make four different upgrades – 1 for each combination of Main Power + Ally
  • Try to make at least 1 aggressive build and 1 control build
  • Use 7-10 cards from the ally power

Let’s get going with the upgrades to Deck USA.

Ally – Germany

Decklist

GermanyCardbackUSACardbackUSA

  • USACE x4
  • M8 Greyhound x4
  • 506th Airborne x4
  • 75 mm Pack Howitzer x2
  • 17th Infantry Regiment x2
  • 30th Regiment x2
  • M5 Stuart x4
  • 3rd Marine Regiment x2
  • 7th Regiment x2
  • M4 Sherman x4
  • Death From Above

Germany

  • 4. Pioneer Battalion x3
  • Blackout x2
  • Panzer 35t
  • Sudden Strike
  • Panzer III-J

Card Gallery

KARDSPodcast Deck Speed-o-meter (*Patent Pending)

  • Full on Aggressive
  • Front Line Favoring Aggressive – This Deck
  • Midrange
  • Front Line Favoring Control
  • Full on Control

Plan

4 Pioneer BattalionIn this one, the main idea is to get the front line and use USACEs and 4. Pioneer to buff the front line making it really, really tough for your opponent to break out.

Greyhounds are great for blitzing to the front early and holding it with their 3 HP (plus buffs), while the 3rd Marine Regiment and the 7th Regiment outclass most other infantry and can even absorb a hit or two from some tanks.

Once you have a strong front you can use the Shermans to draw some extra cards and then drop a Howitzer or an M5 Stuart to help finish things off quickly. This isn’t a deck that likes to go deep into the late game.

tacticalstrikeYou could also go with an all-in aggro strategy with these two by putting Supply Shipments back in and going all in on one unit, but that tends to make your opponents removal and bounce devastating. This version lets you have a lot of B to B+ units instead of just one A+ one.

Finally, for this one, think about crafting some Tactical Strikes as soon as you can. It is one of the most versatile cards in the entire format and goes into almost any kind of German deck.

Ally – Japan

Decklist

JapanCardbackUSACardbackUSA

  • USACE x4
  • M8 Greyhound x4
  • 506th Airborne x4
  • 75 mm Pack Howitzer x2
  • 17th Infantry Regiment x2
  • 30th Regiment x2
  • M5 Stuart x4
  • 3rd Marine Regiment x2
  • 7th Regiment x2
  • M4 Sherman x4
  • Death From Above

Japan

  • Type 93
  • Naval Operations x4
  • Akita Regiment x2
  • 15th Cavalry Regiment

Card Gallery

KARDSPodcast Deck Speed-o-meter (*Patent Pending)

  • Full on Aggressive – This Deck (kind of)
  • Front Line Favoring Aggressive
  • Midrange
  • Front Line Favoring Control
  • Full on Control

Plan

This version is kind of an aggro/tempo deck.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of, “tempo,” it is a nuanced way of looking at the pace of play focusing on when and how threats/units are played on to the battlefield.

For this version, you want to get to the front line with Greyhounds, Akita Regiments, or the 15th Cavalry Regiment. Buff those with the 17th Infantry Regiment, Supply Shipments, or USACEs and then keep your opponent’s units pinned with Naval Operations.

You keep adding threats to the battlefield and attacking their HQ, while neutralizing your opponent’s threats at the same time without having to sacrifice your units to do so.

This is another version that doesn’t like to go very late into the game.

As you can see, I think that crafting the 17th Infantry Regiment early on is a good investment. You get most of a USACE attached to a 2/3 unit, so when you have scarce resources the 17th becomes a pretty flexible unit to have.

The M16 Half-Track anti-air unit is also a good early addition to this version or its German counterpart. Since the Half-Track forces opposing infantry or air unit to retreat it can really set your opponent back if you can force anything back to their hand.

They have to waste more kredits re-deploying a unit while you are hammering away at them.

Ally – Soviet

RussiaCardbackUSACardbackUSA

  • USACE x4
  • M8 Greyhound x4
  • 506th Airborne x4
  • 75 mm Pack Howitzer x2
  • 17th Infantry Regiment x2
  • M5 Stuart x2
  • P-40 Warhawk x3
  • 3rd Marine Regiment x2
  • 7th Regiment x3
  • M4 Sherman x4
  • Death From Above

Soviet

  • Bloody Sickle x2
  • I-16 Ishak x2
  • From the People x2
  • T-34 1942 x2

Card Gallery

KARDSPodcast Deck Speed-o-meter (*Patent Pending)

  • Full on Aggressive
  • Front Line Favoring Aggressive
  • Midrange – This Deck
  • Front Line Favoring Control
  • Full on Control

Plan

This version is probably the most midrange of any of the four here. You can tussle for a while, but once things hit about turn 12 then you want to be either winning handily or ready to go on to the next one.

In the first few turns use your Bloody Sickles and From the Peoples to take out a few early units. Next, you want to get an I-16 or a P-40 out to start softening up the opposing HQ.

Then grab the front line with a strong unit like the 3rd Marine Regiment and the 7th Regiment. Finally, bring up your T-34s and Shermans in support.

The planes are a little bit of an experiment in this one. But these are two of the cheapest flyers that you can get so having them in makes you individual unit quality on turns 3-7 better than a lot of what a lot of opponents will be doing on those turns. Your advantage lies in your unit for unit strength on those turns, so, it is important to strike during that window.

There are going to be decks that beat you a little bit on the front end and certainly ones that go over the top of you, but you have a great chance of hitting them hard right in the middle of the game – I’m talking like 10+ damage per turn.

A good card to craft the full 4-of right away is Bloody Sickle. As with Tactical Strike from the Germans, the Sickle is just a very versatile card that will find its way into almost all decks that have the Soviets in it.

Ally – British

BritishCardbackUSACardbackUSA

  • USACE x3
  • M8 Greyhound x3
  • Awoken Giant x2
  • 506th Airborne x4
  • 17th Infantry Regiment x2
  • The War Machine x2
  • 30th Regiment x2
  • M5 Stuart x3
  • 3rd Marine Regiment x1
  • 7th Regiment x3
  • M4 Sherman x2
  • Death From Above
  • P-51 Mustang

British

  • Desert Rats
  • For the King x2
  • 5th Brigade x2
  • Convoy HX 175 x2
  • Hurricane Mk I x2
  • Spitfire Mk Ia

Card Gallery

KARDSPodcast Deck Speed-o-meter (*Patent Pending)

  • Full on Aggressive
  • Front Line Favoring Aggressive
  • Midrange
  • Front Line Favoring Control
  • This Deck…apologies, it is tough to make a definitive call on this one.
  • Full on Control

Plan

This is the only controlling version of a deck among these four. This is also the deck that uses the maximum of the ally spot because, well, it needs to be.

Right now it is difficult to build control decks for two reasons: more cards are being added while beta testing continues and it takes a long time to tune a control deck even in an established landscape.

However, let’s try.

5th BrigadeThere is a bunch of spot removal for the early turns of the game in Desert Rats, For the King, and Awoken Giant along with units like the M8 Greyhound, M5 Stuart, and Hurrican Mk I. Don’t be afraid to use units to keep the battlefield as clear as possible in the early turns.

The 5th Brigade is a good card for defensive speed and it also loves to get a USACE attached to it to protect the HQ or an important unit on the battlefield. Don’t be afraid of moving it into the frontline either to further gum up the ground.

Try to use The War Machine, Convoy HX 175, M4 Sherman, and 7th Regiment in the mid-game to pull ahead on both kredits and cards after taking care of early threats.

Once you build an advantage it is time to slam the door and slam it quickly. The Spitfire and the P-51 fill this role by bringing 5 or 6 power through the air.

There is a lot of wiggle room in this build and it is open for a lot of improvements. You might not win a lot of games to start off with control decks right now, but the more you play them and the more comfortable you are with them then they will pay dividends later on when things settle down.

Thank You

As with all of the content here at KARDSPodcast, we are open to feedback and questions.

Feel free to send anything to kardspodcast@gmail.com, reach out on Twitter @KARDSPodcast, or hit me up on the Discord channel.

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4 thoughts on “Upgrading the USA Starter – What I’m Playin’ 3

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