Red Skies – What I’m Playin’ 10

The vote was pretty close, but this week we are going to dive into a Japanese/Soviet control deck that I have been working on.

Fury Road will have to wait in line!

With the start of Open Beta and the introduction of Reserves and Frontal Assault (Crimson Tide) we are in a brand new world, for sure.

However, if tokens have you down then I have one here that tears through them and, hopefully, delivers victory in the nick of time.

Before we get to it, if you would like to share a deck you have been working on, feel free to comment here, e-mail, 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 Testing and Discord at

Finally, I am just using the cards that I have in my collection. I’m sure, there are other takes on this deck. I am just a guy with a collection and some ideas.

KARDS Version

This deck was constructed on the 0.8.35-37 build of KARDS – Card text/cost/rarity may have changed since publication.

NOTE: Kards is now in version 0.9.2 (as of publication).

Deck List

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

  • Full-on Aggressive
  • Frontline Favoring Aggressive
  • Midrange
  • Frontline Favoring Control
  • Full-on Control (Kind of)

Major Power (Cards)/Ally (Cards) – Japan (27)/Soviet (12)

Orders/Units – 25/14

  • 0 Kredits – 5
  • 1 Kredits – 8
  • 2 Kredits – 10
  • 3 Kredits – 6
  • 4 Kredits – 4
  • 5 Kredits – 3
  • 6 Kredits – 4
  • HQ – Hsinking

Standard/Limited regular text, Special bold, Elite bold and italic


  • 33rd Recon Regiment x2
  • Air Superiority x3
  • Tora! Tora! Tora x4
  • Burst of Fire x1
  • Bombing Raid x1
  • Code of Bushido x1
  • Naval Operations x4
  • M6A1 Seiran x2
  • Type 96 25mm AA Gun x1
  • Ki-44 Tojo x1
  • Type 3 Chi-Nu x3
  • J1N1 Gekko x4


  • Bloody Sickle x4
  • From the People x4
  • I-15 Chaika x1
  • I-16 Ishak x1
  • Patriotic Firestorm x1
  • Winer Warfare x1

Card Gallery


We want to burn up everything that our opponent is doing and then swoop in with planes on our opponent’s HQ.

We also want to bolster our Winter Warfares, Tora, Tora, Toras and Naval Operations with the new Seiran (I originally used the Dinah) and Gekkos to get multiples-for-1s which clears the battlefield and gives us virtual card advantage. The low number of units and especially ground units is a strategic choice to turn off some cards in the opponent’s deck.

While building and tuning this deck, my rating took a bit of a hit in the Officer’s Club. For newer players, this is pretty typical. You are going to take some losses while tuning a list, so, don’t get discouraged and always be looking to improve.

Opening Hand

For this one, and almost all control decks, make sure that you have something that draws cards in the opening hand.

As you saw last week, 33rd Recon Regiment and Bloody Sickle are a powerful pair and they fit in here perfectly.

If you see anything over 3 kredits you can feel free to toss that back. This deck does run the risk of getting run over before we can establish our sweeper engines. The lone exception to this rule is Naval Operations. If you have a Naval Operations then take a look at what your opponent’s HQ is. If it is Hsinking (Japan) or Tripoli (Germany) I tend to keep 1 Naval Operations, if not, I’ll take another draw.

Turns 1-4

In the opening stages feel free to us Bloody Sickles to pick off 1 defense units to get early 2-for-1s.

Get your 33rd Recon Regiment down as early as possible since it is your primary card advantage engine. The I-15 can also make an appearance here.

Most of the time you want to hold any sweeper or From the People until later on. If you have to use a 1 damage sweeper early though, it isn’t the end of the world. If you have to use a From the People to take out an artillery unit or a Greyhound then go for it. (Greyhounds can have cascading effects if not dealt with early on).

If I can get an I-15/I-16 down early that helps turn on early Air Superiorities too, keep that in mind.

All said, do what you have to do to keep the hordes under control early on.

Turn 5-8

You, kind of, have to play dead to be most effective with this deck. You have to get 2- or 3-for-1s by taking out opposing units with sweepers to grind out your opponent’s hand and get them into top-deck mode.

To get you there you are going to be under duress. Drop a Naval Operations to give yourself a second to breathe or get a Type 3 Chi-Nu out there to protect the HQ. There are a lot of decks that can’t easily deal with the Ambush-Guard tank.

Timing when you get a Seiran onto the battlefield is paramount. I do not recommend putting a Seiran out there hoping it will survive until next turn. You want to drop the new bomber and removal or sweeper order(s) along in the same turn.

Another cool trick is to use your I-15 and Code of Bushido. That can be an absolutely brutal turn of events for an opponent.

Here is where you have to start turning the corner. It is a pretty aggressive metagame right now, but if you can get to Turn 8 with 10+ points on your HQ still you should be feeling pretty good.

Turns 8-12

Keep the sweepers going here to clear out the battlefield time and again.

When you get a chance, chip in at the HQ to get you in range of a big Patriotic Firestorm and/or Burst of Fire that will end the game in one swoop.

If you are playing against a fellow control player use your spot removal wisely on important targets and start to get more aggressive with your planes.

Turns 12+

Keep the battlefield clear as much as possible and keep your opponent in top-deck mode.

Just remember that Bombing Raid, Tora, Tora, Tora and Winter Warfare also hit HQs. If you can get multiple Seirans and Gekkos on to the battlefield these can be potent ways to win as well.

Speaking of Winter Warfare, I had three of them in this build for a little while and found that I only really needed one per game to get the job done. Getting burned out is a real threat to this deck because we are pounding down our own HQ enough already with Bloody Sickles. Use Winter Warfare at your own risk.

Video Replays

Overall, we went 2-3 in our matches, but we were 1 turn away from turning that the whole way around…twice. Plus, we played a game against the Officer’s Club leader. However, I think we showed what we are aiming for with this one pretty effectively.

Standard/Limited Only

There are some important Special and Elite cards in this deck, for sure, but there are ways to build this one that can still be pretty effective at the lower rarities.

Take Out — Put In

33rd Recon Regiment x2 — T-34-85 x2

This is one of the toughest substitutions to make for this one. The T-34-85 is the bigger version of the regiment so you can give it a try. The higher deployment cost is a tough hurdle to clear/

Burst of Fire x1 — Burning Sun/Patriotic Firestorm

There isn’t too much lost by taking Burst out and putting either of the others in here. The Burst is in to help ending the game quickly and either Burning Sun or Patriotic Firestorm can do that job as well.

Bombing Raid — Winter Warfare

Bombing Raid is a very good card and Winter Warfare can not 100 percent replace it, but with the boost from the Gekkos it can do a pretty good impression.

Code of Bushido — Deadly Duty

While the Code can be another sweeper in our deck as we have it built we aren’t opposed to having another card draw order either. We only have a few units to destroy so we want to keep the numbers low on Deadly Duty.

M6A1 Seiran x2 — Ki-43 Hayabusa/A5M4 Claude x2

Our deck is really focused on using the ability of the Seiran to maximum effect, but both of the fighters have abilities that we can use. If the Hayabusa gets in for an attack it is doing at least 5 damage to an opposing HQ, while the Claude has 3 defense in the air early on.

Type 96 25mm AA Gun x1 — Many Options

As with many Elite units, the AA Gun is in here because it is unique. However, it is gravy in this deck and can be replaced in many different ways.

I-15 Chaika — Ki-43 Hayabusa

The Hayabusa’s destruction trigger can replace the Chaika’s destruction trigger if you need it to.


There are many different ways that this deck can be tweaked – trust me – so feel free to move some cards in and out as you see fit. Some suggestions:

Take Out — Put In

From the People — The Hammer/Burning Sky

If you are looking for a more specialized damage-based order, the Soviets have many different options for you to choose from.

I-16 Ishak — I-15 Chaika

This one is an obvious upgrade since the I-15 leaves an extra I-16 behind when it goes down. Plus it still fits the role of an early fighter that helps turn on Air Superiority early.

Type 96 25mm AA Gun — Worker’s Unite/Long Range Recon/Admiral Yamamoto/F1M2 Pete/Last Rites

Hey, wait. Why would you take an elite unit out that drops opposing air units to 1 defense when they come on to the battlefield?

Well, other then the 33rd Recon Regiment we don’t have a raw card advantage source. Worker’s Unite might be an answer.

We also tend to face down a lot of units when we are playing this deck. The AA gun can only do so much. Plus, we also tend to pound on our own HQ quite a bit. If you feel like you are getting burned out a lot then Long Range Recon can help mitigate that issue. However, it is kind of a do-nothing card most of the time. Be mindful when adding this one in since it is a reactive, not a proactive, card.

The Admiral, Pete, and Last Rites have interesting abilities that fit into what we are trying to do with this deck too.

Bonus Deck List!

As I was working on this one, I reached Field Marshal on the Japanese side. However, I hadn’t reached it on the Soviet side. I took the core that we had here and made a Soviet-Japanese version, which might be even better.

Here is that list and some bonus game videos!

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

  • Full-on Aggressive
  • Frontline Favoring Aggressive
  • Midrange
  • Frontline Favoring Control
  • Full-on Control (Kind of)

Major Power (Cards)/Ally (Cards) – Soviet (27)/Japan (12)

Orders/Units – 17/22

  • 0 Kredits – 5
  • 1 Kredits – 6
  • 2 Kredits – 13
  • 3 Kredits – 6
  • 4 Kredits – 6
  • 5 Kredits – 0
  • 6 Kredits – 4
  • HQ – Stalingrad

Standard/Limited regular text, Special bold, Elite bold and italic


  • Bloody Sickle x4
  • Winter Warfare x3
  • Patriotic Firestorm x1
  • I-16 Ishak x4
  • From the People x4
  • Blood Red Sky x1
  • I-15 Chaika x1
  • The Hammer x2
  • Yak 3 x3
  • LA-5 x3
  • Arctic Convoy x1


  • 33rd Recon Regiment x2
  • A5M4 Claude x3
  • Bombing Raid x1
  • M6A1 Seiran x2
  • J1N1 Gekko x4

We turned in a 3-2 with the inverse of the first decklist. There is certainly some more tuning that could go into this build though.

Thank You

That is going to do it this week, if you have questions or feedback feel free to send them to, reach out on Twitter @KARDSPodcast, or hit me up on the Discord channel.

If you like our content please consider supporting us on Patreon.

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