Upgrading the Soviet Starter – What I’m Playin’ 5

RussiaCardbackAfter getting through the USA and Japanese starting decks, we are turning the corner this week and heading over to the Soviets.

Da komrad. Soviets stronk.

The Americans are pretty versatile out of the box with some emphasis on the air force, while the Japanese are all about the early bodies and speed. Mother Russia is beefy in the midgame.

The Soviets were hit hard by the latest patch update as the operating costs of their T-34s and KVs went up, but that doesn’t mean that we are stuck in the mud.

Before going too much deeper, go and craft your playset of Bloody Sickles. Trust me, just get that full set.

Three things to keep in mind:

  • These are just recommendations
  • These are simple upgrades
  • These are geared toward ranks between Private through/to Lieutenant. At the higher levels, your collection will be big enough to do many other things.

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!

KARDS Version

This deck was constructed on the 0.8.24-0.8.28 builds 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 at least 7 cards from the ally power

Let’s make Soviet dek stronk, da?

Ally – Germany

GermanyCardbackRussiaCardbackDecklist

Soviet

  • Bloody Sickle x4
  • From the People x2
  • 554th Rifle Regiment x4
  • BT-7 x4
  • T-70 x4
  • Red October
  • 2nd Motor Rifles
  • 95th Rifle Regiment
  • I-16 Ishak x3
  • T-34 1942 x3
  • T-34 85 x1

Germany

  • Blackout x3
  • 4. Pioneer Battalion x3
  • Combined Arms x2
  • Panzer 38t x2
  • 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

How many tanks? All of the tanks.

Over a third of this deck is tanks and don’t think of them as just units. Get them dirty and turn them into removal orders by attacking with them.

The BT-7, T-70, and Panzer 38t all escaped the operation costs changes that will hurt their bigger brothers so they will be able to move around easier. Plus, you will be killing opposing units with the Sickles, Sudden Strikes or From the People’s. Draw a few cards with you Blackout, Bloody Sickle, and the 38ts and komrade, you will find yourself some wins.

Hopefully, the T-26 finds its way back into the game. It fits nicely into this deck.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to fool around. Secure the win before too long because there aren’t any huge haymakers in this build.

A good early combination is to grab the front with a 554th and/or BT-7 and pump them with the 4. Pioneer Battalion. I know that is something that we have used in the past, but using the 4. Pioneer Battalion properly is a fundamental skill in Kards. This is a good way to practice that skill as you are growing into the game.

Combined Arms is one that you will have to craft unless there is an update to the starter decks (which I really hope there is once all of the cards are in the game). However, it is really made for decks like this one. Even if is just a +1/+1 then you are getting your money’s worth and you should be getting a +3/+3 out of it more often then not since the I-16 is a nice cheap fighter that is still worth playing with its 3 power.

Depending on how the metagame shakes out there might be a need to use Burning Skies in Soviet decks. Blackout has a dual role of pinning strikes from above, while also drawing a card, but it is only a temporary fix.

From the People is a better version of Burning Skies, so I would fill out by crafting a full playset of From the Peoples first (or maybe even some copies of The Hammer), but if you are running into a lot of air power decks then don’t forget about the order that scorches planes.

Ally – Japan

JapanCardbackRussiaCardbackDecklist

Soviet

  • Bloody Sickle x4
  • 554th Rifle Regiment x4
  • 6th Naval Brigade
  • 321st Rifle Regiment x3
  • From the People x3
  • T-70 x4
  • BT-7 x4
  • I-16 Ishak x3
  • Red October

Japan

  • Type 93
  • 15th Cavalry Regiment
  • Rising Sun x2
  • Akita Regiment x4
  • Mito Regiment x4

Card Gallery

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

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

Plan

Charge komrade, no turning back, no tomorrow.

This is an all-out drive on the HQ with this build. Play your units, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack.

This is all about overwhelming your opponent.

You really have to fill out on the playset of Bloody Sickle in this one and grab an extra From the People. You can use the Sickle’s 1 damage, but you really need the card draw. You are going to run out of cards a lot in this deck and keeping your hand stocked is critical. I would highly recommend making the full set of Type 93s too, the power boost stacks and is real.

If you get to turn 8 and don’t have this one well in hand then you are in trouble. If the opponent can turn the corner then you have very little in the way of a late-game punch.

Ally – USA

USACardbackRussiaCardbackDecklist

Soviet

  • Blood Sickle x4
  • 89th Infantry Regiment x4
  • From the People x3
  • Red October
  • 84th Infantry Regiment x3
  • 2nd Motor Rifles
  • 95th Rifle Regiment x4
  • T-34 1942 x4
  • T-34 85 x4

USA

  • The War Machine x4
  • 7th Regiment x3
  • Corsair F4U-1C x3
  • Death From Above

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 is an early version of a ramp deck that tries to race up to 8-12 Kredits quickly and then dropping beefy unit after unit.

You want to mulligan your opening hand hard to find The War Machines early. After turn 4 those turn into pretty much dead cards. If you don’t find the ramp then hold down the fort with the Soviet guard units. You will be pleasantly surprised how difficult it can be to get through the 84th Infantry Regiment.

Get up to 7+ Kredits and then just start dropping stronk units T-34s, 95th Rifles, and 7th Regiments, and Corsairs ad nauseum.

The shortfall of this build is card draw. The only thing you have to get through the top of your deck is Bloody Sickle (see how important that card is?). I tried to build this one so that most every top deck you pull after going through your opening hand is going to be a good one and thus the need to mulligan the opening hand aggressively.

As your collection expands you will start to see a very solid Soviet-USA midrange deck start to develop with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, F4F Wildcats, Bloody Sickles, 95th Rifle Regiments, SU-76s, A-20Bs, and the Great Patriotic War. I have a feeling that some flavor of that is going to be the premiere midrange deck at the higher levels.

Ally – British

BritishCardbackRussiaCardbackDecklist

Soviet

  • Bloody Sickle x4
  • From the People x2
  • 84th Infantry Regiment x3
  • T-70 x4
  • BT-7 x4
  • 95th Rifle Regiment x3
  • T-34 1942 x3
  • I-16 Ishak x4

British

  • Desert Rats
  • For The King x2
  • Convoy HX 175 x2
  • Hurricane Mk I x3
  • 25 Pounder x4

Card Gallery

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

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

Plan

As usual, the British offer the best option for a controlling build.

The early game plan is usually going to play out the same. Use your cheap spot removal to snipe aggressive units and try to pull ahead on cards with the Bloody Sickles or the Convoy.

In the midgame, use a plane or two to clear a path and have your Soviet tanks and 95th Rifle Regiments take control of the frontline. This will give you a little space to breathe and threats that are more pressing for your opponent to deal with rather than the rest of our gameplan.

Here we will put a little bit of a spin on the game. In one turn, drop an 84th Infantry Regiment to guard a 25 pounder or your remaining planes. The guards will soak up some damage from opposing fighters or attackers while your artillery softens up targets.

Other then the HQ, if there are opposing artillery or bombers, make those priority targets. The 25 pounders can probably take a hit the turn it comes down, but they can’t withstand the bigger guns or payloads. After you have good control of the field chip away at the HQ to finish off the game. If you can get a pair of cannons blasting away things should be over in just a few turns.

Thank You

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

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5 thoughts on “Upgrading the Soviet Starter – What I’m Playin’ 5

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