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Cards You Should Be Playing 3: USA All Rarities

By FunPolice

I fully intended to continue these series on a weekly basis but other things made it difficult to make an article and I'm sorry for missing 2 weeks back to back. So to make up for it I'm combining 2 articles into one and we're going to cover all rarities in the US. Next week I can hopefully get back into the weekly schedule without further delays.

M8 Greyhound - For only 1 kredit this does a surprising amount of work. A 1/3 blitz tank is on it's own a decent card and this is helped by how some USA decks care about controlling the frontline. Cards such as the M4 Sherman (which is just a little farther down in this very list) are strong rewards for having units in the frontline and the Greyhound, being so cheap, makes having the frontline possible very early on. On top of that, the support line buff the greyhound gives also makes it useful in decks that are running a lot of artillery and air units. There is even the possiblity to run in decks that don't care about the frontline simply to have a decent early unit to help against things like aggro.

Awoken Giant/Gunship Mission - There two cards are being combined becuase usually where one is run the other is also. Awoken hitting only the frontline and Gunship hitting the support line means that when both get run to give US decks the ability to have removal against most units. There are some decks that only choose to run one becuase of various reasons. For example frontline decks won't really want awoken giant since they plan to hold the frontline but gunship is very useful since it can be removal and also has the small bonus of being able to hit the enemy HQ which can help in finishing opponents off. For early game removal either card is a good choice but it's often useful to have a mix of both to cover a wider range of threats.

5th Infantry Regiment - It probably isn't surprising that this is mainly going to be used in a frontline deck. A 2 kredit 2/3 isn't an awful statline on its own and when it moves into a frontline a 3/4 for 2 kredits is very strong. 4 health is not easy to remove on it's own and don't even bother trying to be efficent while doing so. All the removal that would deal with it are going to at least be 3 kredits and no other unit at 2 or less kredits can kill it in one attack. This makes the 5th brigade a very strong choice in frontline decks due to it's ability to hold the frontline. It also happens to fit very well into the curve of most frontline decks becuase it can be played on 2, take the frontline on 3 (along with leaving you 2 kredits to do as you wish), and likely survive to trigger the M4 Sherman on turn 4 which is likely the best pay off card in US frontline decks.

Naval Task Force - Flexibility is always a useful thing to have in a card. This is why orders that can hit any unit in any line are often more powerful than ones that are more narrow in their use. Naval Task Force gives a lot of flexibility in what it offers based on how the game is going. If you’re ahead and have the frontline then supply shipment is great at further pulling ahead as you make a unit in the frontline significantly stronger. However, for those times you’re behind the enemy you can use the naval bombardment to bounce an enemy unit to the enemy hand to hopefully even the board out. The naval bombardment can even be useful to bounce a guard to let you kill the enemy HQ. There is a problem in that you first have to pay for naval task force itself which makes quite expensive to play it and the other card in the same turn (either 4 or 6 kredits which can limit what you do with your units). The best way to mitigate this is use naval task force on a earlier turn you have 2 extra kredits; that way the card you choose is cheaper when you decide to use it.

F4F-4 Wildcat - Giving your HQ smokescreen is essentially a super guard since it stops any unit from attacking the HQ. So the question is if a 3/3 fighter with a better guard worth playing in a deck? With a lack of other guards the wildcat fufills a role that is very important for slower USA decks. The USA has some of the most overwhelming late game cards so having anything to help make it there is very useful. A 3/3 fighter for 3 kredits with some upside has proven to be good with various other fighters (although the other examples ended up nerfed a long time ago for being actually to strong). It may not be strong enough to get nerfed but the wildcat is defiently worth playing when you need to some defense.

M4 Sherman - The big payoff in USA frontline decks because it is amazing card draw stapled on an alright tank unit. It is limited to USA as a main nation since it requires a US unit to have the frontline to trigger but that isn’t a hard thing to deal with if the right deck. Cards I talked about previously like the Greyhound and 5th Infantry are great units to enable the Sherman due to their cheap cost and tough stats. It is a fantastic unit that when played on curve ensures you have a nice big hand heading into the mid game. It allows decks running it to keep playing units without running out steam before they can win. If you plan on playing a US deck that wants some amount of units in the frontline it’s often good to run at least a few copies of this powerful tank.

Unity is Strength - The maximum buff unity can give a single unit is +9/+9, but even getting something like +3/+3 is quite strong. There's a couple decks that are able to play a lot of infantry and likely the obivious deck to get the most out of unity is soviet tokens. With them playing so many 1K infantry it's quite easy to make unity give +5/+5 or more and can lead to massive damage out of nowhere if they attack the HQ with that unit. Unity is a card that at least in terms of well defined decks is quite limited to soviet tokens as it's main home but some other aggressive could use it also. Japan for example has a lot of cheap infantry and many have low operation costs and fury making them amazing targets for unity. Outside of those types of decks though unity doesn't find much use so if you decide to craft this make sure you have a clear defined place for it.

1st Marines - This is one of the few units that works well in slower US decks and also being useful in frontline decks. Blitz is the key piece that makes the marines so useful becuase it allows the marines to be proactive no matter what the board looks like. If you're behind the blitz allows you to hopefully kill an enemy unit in the frontline and if you're ahead you get another unit to push into the frontline. On top of that the 1 turn smokescreeen can be useful to protect your HQ against stuff like bombers or artillery which can on occasion let you comeback in the game.

M16 Half-Track - Retreat is always a very powerful mechanic becuase of how much tempo it provides. Being such a cheap card means that this tempo swing can happen very early in the game which makes this tempo swing even stronger. The limitation of infantry and air units does stop this from being broken but all of those unit types also usually spend at least some time in the support line so they get returned to hand when retreated. The 2/2 tank as a body is nice little bonus but unlike germany there isn't a massive need for tanks so it's a little less useful than say the panzer 38t. This still remains a solid tool to help slow the game down for slower US decks due to how most aggro lists end up having a good amount of infantry currently.

Death From Above - A powerful removal option that is seemingly held back by its randomness. This rng however is controllable and can mean that playing well makes DFA better and better. The primary way to make DFA stronger is removing small enemy units off of the board so it’s more likely to hit the larger enemy units. There are times you aren’t able to narrow the enemy board down to only 1 unit but thats alright if you can at least removal very small units. Obviously if the enemy has only 1 unit than DFA is 4K destroy a unit and that is very powerful. This card is fantastic against midrange and control decks due to them playing mostly large singular threats which DFA is amazing against.

War Machine/ 332nd/ War Bonds -As the honorable mention we’re actually going to talk about 3 cards today as they all do essentially the same thing of ramp. Ramping refers to cards that increase you max number of kredits to begin playing your big units faster. The US has some massive units that are going to be covered in the next article and are the go to cards that are ramped into. War Machine is probably the weakest of the 3 currently as it doesn’t offer anything for the card slot it occupies outside of the ramp but it is the cheapest of the options. 332nd is a bit more expensive war machine but comes with a 2/2 infantry which makes it the most impactful ramp card in terms of affecting the board. Finally, War Bonds is the biggest ramp effect due to it gaining 2 kredit slots which drastically speeds up you getting to play your big units and drawing an extra card for you.

109th Combat Engineers - For a 1/1 that costs 1 kredit this unit surprisingly scary. It’s low cost mean you can hold it until you move a few units into the frontline where the 109th will buff them. This can essentially make the 109th into a 2/2, 3/3 or much more for only 1 kredit. It even has smokescreen so the enemy can’t even attack and kill it and likely needs an order. This is often going to be a “kill on sight card” becuase every turn it lives it will snowball harder and harder. This card works great in decks with cheap blitz or specifically in Soviet tokens where that have a lot of small infantry they will be moving into the frontline.

99th Infantry Battalion - Another amazing pay off for having the frontline in the US alongside the M4 Sherman. This being cheaper and impacting the board (with the bounce) makes it an amazing tempo tool when you already have the frontline. It can bounce a big unit the enemy just played or possibly bounce a guard so you can attack the enemy HQ. Without the deployment this clearly much worse but a 2/3 for 2 kredit is a decent enough stat line although this is mostly a desperate play (such as playing against aggro and it’s the only thing you can play on turn 2).

M4A1 - In the Germany Special and Elite article I talked about how well stated units that are immune to orders are quite strong. The M4A1 checks those same boxes and it even has an upside against decks that force you to discard. It’s a small bonus but is nice to have as a tech against discard while the unit remains strong against everything else. The only problem with the M4A1 comes from it not having much synergy with the current US strategies. In frontline it is essentially a well stated 4 drop and in ramp it’s often better to just run bigger units. It’s still strong enough on its own to be playable but there is room for it to get even better when a more fitting home comes around for it.
Corsair F4U-1D - The destruction effect is a Death From Above which is a 4K card. That means for the 4/4 fighter you only actually pay 2 kredits for it. That’s incredible value and makes the Corsair one of the big 3 units you play in a ramp or control deck. Unless the enemy has no unit on the board the Corsair is always getting some amount of value unless the enemy has no units on the board. Being a fighter also means it’s amazing protection against enemies with bombers since even if they kill it without losing a bomber the destruction effect will get something.

TBF-1 Avenger - Due to how this only hits enemy units with 5+ defense means that you can reliably hit bigger units and not worry about killing that 2/2 tank. The way you can set up the board to make sure avenger kills what you want is a big reason it's so powerful. The 4/4 bomber also is a solid unit that needs to be dealt with after it has already killed something. The powerful deployment effect also gives it a small benefit of making it undesirable to bounce becuase the enemy doesn't want to deal with it over and over again. When put all together it makes a very powerful card that people have to worry about once a US deck reaches the late game.

B-17 Flying Fortress - The end all be all of US late game and likely the best card overall in the US. Such a massive bomber that comes with a Death From Above attached to it is quite obviously going to be powerful. You essentially get a 5/5 Heavy Armor 1 for 5 kredits which is amazing stats for cost when looking at bombers. The tempo of putting a massive bomber on the board while killing something of the enemy is massive and few cards are able to really compare to it'. The B17 is one of the few cards that can flip games in your favor all on its own and anyone unable to actually kill the B17 likely will lose the game after only a few turns.  If you’re looking to make any card on this list then you don’t get anything better the B17.

593rd Jasco - For 1 kredit this unit is often going to be a lifesaver. Jasco can often be seen saving you a ton of health due to his damage reduction and cheap cost. Aggro decks have a big problem when jasco comes down because he severely limits the damage they can deal before the game drags on and often needs to be dealt in some way. Even against a deck like midrange the health he saves could mean surviving that extra turn you need to come back and win the game. It also helps that it isn’t very easy to remove jasco due to his smokescreen and decent amount of health. Removal that deals at least 4 damage are more expensive than jasco and outside of units deployment effects from Germany and Japan there isn’t a clean way to deal with it.

Air Defense - Paying only 2 kredits to deal 3 damage is an extremely powerful effect on its own. Tack on the ability to instantly kill any air unit on top of that and it’s a strong removal card. Aggro in particular will have no good attacks when you play air defenese becuase most of their units will die to it. Most of the time aggro just has to lose a unit and keep going. The only potential issue is that it is a countermeasure meaning the enemy can play around it but that can actually be used to your advantage. If the enemy only has a single big air unit such as their own B-17 or other big air unit that you can essentially pin it every turn until they find something else to attack with. No matter what air defense hits paying 2K to deal 3 is always going to be very powerful in essentially any matchup.

P-40 N-5 - The increased operation cost does remain even after the P40 is removed making this a must kill otherweise the enemy will find all of their units extremely expensive to use. It is also important to note that the kredit cost increased happens before deployment effects so anything the enemy plays is going to get the increase no matter what ends up happening with the P40. A 4/4 body also isn’t something that can really be ignored or it will kill them. Overall the P40 is something that essentially demands an immdiate answer or it will often overtake the game on it's own. That's something quite rare and most units that do this are going be way more expensive than 4 kredits.