List of useless cards and potential ways to improve them

I’m only writing about what I’m familiar with. Please expand the list if you have any new idea.
I’d still use my favorite, Spanish Gold, as a good standard for changing a totally useless card into a really viable strategy.

Grenade Launcher

I still see no point of investing one precious age 2 card slot just to improve one unit a little bit.
Not to mention as grenadiers are already a little more viable now, that card has even less value.
Suggestion: It should be an arsenal upgrade.
Grenade Launcher Card Should Be Part Of Veteran Upgrade

Tercio Tactics

(Turns pikemen into rodelero)
This one is not only less useful, but also rather inaccurate (pikes remain the bulk of the tercio while rodelero actually diminished).
Even with royal guard and fast training, Spanish pikes are still not very useful and people seem to go for musketeers/dragoons/skirms with unction. So they need some improvements.
Suggestion: Maybe give pikemen a +1 range with this card?
Crazier suggestion: Pikemen buff each others’ hp like state militia (the archaic infantry hp card needs to be tuned down a little bit accordingly)

Master Surgeon

Again, age 2 card slot is very crowded and healing is not very useful in the first place, unless more accessible.
Suggestion: Also deliver a Field Hospital wagon.

Florence Nightingale

(Manors can heal)
An even worse version of Master Surgeon. Manors sometimes are placed in contested resource regions so it might be of some use, but the healing rate is rather unimpressive.
Suggestion: Also deliver a Field Hospital wagon. Allow surgeons to be trained at Manors.
Crazier suggestion: Manors give a small buff to nearby units’ hp (like tepee)

Almost all hero upgrade cards

The effects are not so useful in the early game compared to the cost. There are not many card slots for age 1. Most heroes are not useful in late game battles. Explorer dog is even less useful.
Suggestion #1: For the European ones, move the “additional effect” (like swashbuckler attack, healing, etc.) to church technologies like those in Asian monasteries. Maybe keep the cards for Asian and Native American civs as they already have a few hero upgrades in the monastery and community plaza.
Suggestion #2: Offer something more useful.
BTW why don’t explorers get their unique profile icon that actually represents their “real” appearance?

Early Dragoon/Skirmisher

Never seen them in game. Are they ever useful? If I really wish to go dragoons/skirmishers I’d FF.
Train time reduction is nice, but still not worth the cost.
The Lee’s Legion and Wamani (the Inca kallanka card) should be a good model for the early unit cards. They send some units/buildings besides simply unlocking the unit training, which pays off faster.
Suggestion: Not idea. These are team cards so you cannot send units. Maybe also give a military wagon, then add some cost to it.


(Camels and elephants provide resource trickles)
I remember this being improved once (maybe wrong) but still not very useful.
Suggestion: Give an even larger trickle>
Dumber suggestion: Allow elephants to work at rice paddies (this may sound stupid but now African cows can do that)

Sumptuary Laws

(Resource and xp trickles)
Looks nice, but there are far more better age 1 economic options.
Suggestion: No idea. Maybe give a small export crate as well? (I used to think this is impossible, but now we already have xp “crates” and influence “crates”)

Zen Diet

(Villagers now cost 60 wood)
Another card that looks nice but there are much better options. Not to mention Japan already consumes lots of wood in age 2.
Suggestion: Japan already has a very coherent economic system. Just swap the effect for something more interesting like you did with the Spanish gold.

Almost all resource exchange cards

Very situational. Unless I want to spam mercenaries or consulate units, I don’t see any reason to do this. They also require large amounts of one resource type to be effective, which would ruin the entire economy.
Suggestion #1: Arrive fast.
Suggestion #2: Maybe also deliver a crate and/or improve market buy/sell rates as well?

Polish Winged Hussars (off-topic)

This is actually a pretty good card, I simply hope it could deliver true polish winged hussars (consulate unit like the US magyar hussar)

Update: Church card (treaty/decree) special (yes, again)
Good example include Russian (techs are very useful) and Ottoman (the Nizam tech can become a viable strats, and has larger impacts).

The card itself

Again, age 2 card slots are precious. So if a “unlock techs” card does not offer anything more useful (like those from Advanced Arsenal), there is no room for it.
Suggestion #1: Arrive fast
Suggestion #2: Improve the techs accordingly.

As for the techs, I have a simpler proposal and a crazier one.

1. The simpler suggestion:

Free techs

The penalty would be balanced among the 8 vanilla civs. But now new civs can get similar buffs more easily and with no penalty. Not to mention some penalties are quite big.
Suggestion: Simple remove the penalty and add a cost.

Merc shipments

Suggestion: Also enable training of the merc at taverns and/or forts.

2. The crazier suggestion:
This mainly is to let the free tech offer greater uniqueness to the European civs like the Nizam tech does, especially considering all the gimmicks the new civs have.
Also, the unit shipment techs could also offer a small bonus, just like the Swedish one and some African/US/Mexican cards.


Thin Red Line: Give musketeers a global “platoon fire” ability, which boosts reloading speed in a short amount of time (add a cost).
Black Watch: Give highlanders a global “highland charge” ability, similar to the carolean charge; enable training of highlanders at taverns and/or forts.


Coffee Trade: Also allow the training of bank wagons at churches. Bank limits still apply (remove the penalty and add a cost).
Waardgelders: Mercenaries also get -15% training time; enable training of stradiots at taverns and/or forts.


Code Napoleon: Also upgrade courer-de-bois to sans-culotte, with higher damage (remove the penalty and add a cost).
Young/Middle/Old Guard: Maybe also give grenadiers a slightly higher melee damage.


Tilly’s Discipline: Fine. Maybe simply remove the penalty and add a cost.
Wallenstein’s Contracts: Deliver a tavern wagon. Enable training of landsknechts and black riders at taverns and/or forts.


Pretty good. No need to change.


Encomienda: Change it to something entirely different. This tech is not even Portuguese. E.g. also allow militiamen to work at Mills and Estates (remove the penalty and add a cost).
Besterios: Now that royal guard crossbowmen is already available to the Portuguese, this tech can be changed to something entirely different as well. Maybe ship a group of cannoneers.
Tower and Sword: Also give black riders a “pistol volley” charged attack, which fires a powerful AOE shot at close range; enable training of black riders at taverns and/or forts.


Pretty good. No need to change.
Maybe the Kalmucks tech could also improve cavalry archers a little.


The Spanish church card is already quite useful with Coreslet + Alabarderos tech, so I’m not sure if we really need to change these two.
Corselet: Fine as it is. Maybe simply remove the penalty and add a cost.
Wild Geese: Also give lancers a “lance charge” charged attack (like the Mexican one); enable training of harquebusiers at taverns and/or forts.


Push of Pike: Pikemen get a global “pike charge” ability similar to the carolean charge (add a cost).
Savolax Jaegers: This is just the good model for merc techs.

Update: some generic card types that I think need to arrive fast (according to today’s standards)

  • Resource exchange
  • Cards that simply “unlock something” (except advanced arsenal because the techs are really good)

I’ll continue to update my list. Please add anything you guys come up with.


Move to the fourth age and increase its effects accordingly, and it will also affect the sacred cows.

Another solution would be to reduce the cost of wood for elephants by 5-10, and of food for camels by 5-10%. Also the sacred cows generate wood.

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My suggestion maybe would be to buff the xp/export trickle rate to 0.3 up from 0.15. I think the devs said they don’t want to buff the card too much for treaty purposes but I think this change would not change the economic ceiling much. It could maybe be an alternative vill shipment for more consulate based strats. Though I don’t know if it would be enough to make people want to take it.

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They said this for consulate trickles, not Sumptuary Laws, nobody even uses SL in treaty because it’s simply not worth it in any format (unless you really really try to force it into your deck like with market start, but the card is not good by any means).

I agree with your proposal, but I still think that the other trickles should be buffed (while keeping the main buff for consulate) since the fact that they are not focused on one resource already makes it less desirable

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-elephants and camels trickle export


Native Lore is one you missed. Removing coin from a handful of native upgrades is practically useless. This would be a good perk for it:

Grenade Launcher - should be an arsenal tech. Maybe keep it as a card for the new Mexican musketeers

Tercio Tactics - Extra pike range for sure. The same could be done for Push of Pike. The only caveat is that it shouldn’t be so much that Skirmishers aren’t forced into melee otherwise it’s potentially a nerf.

Master Surgeon - It should decrease the cost of field hospitals rather than shipping a wagon and maybe actually ship a Surgeon. The trend of shipping a wagon for everything is getting way too out of control.

Hero Upgrades - Get rid of the dog and enable training another explorer. Having to pay the 100 coin before you get it should stop it from being too overpowered early game.

Early Dragoon/Skirmisher - Give a +5% damage buff like the Ethiopian version

Grazing - Also make camels and elephants heal passively

Church Cards - All the big unit shipments need to enable training those units at the fort just like the Legion cards USA gets. British Skirmishers, Dutch Musketeers, etc.


Early dragoon is useful in team games when you face sweden.

Except the units cards/crates cards/some military and economic improvement cards, most of them seem useless and could be combined or redesigned, especially the cards for defense.

Ideally there should be a paper-scissor-stone mechanism for the cards system. e.g. Army cards counter Economy card, Economy cards counter Defense cards, and Defense cards counter Army cards. And so on. But this seems never happen to this game. I think the main reason is that the most cards for defense are ust not viable.

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Advanced Mill/Advanced plantation - In addition, Mill/Plantation upgrades are also cheaper and available in any age
This would make it easier to commit to the early game agriculture if you want to go that hardcore boom/turtle route.

Agents/Assassins - Also gives Spies a ranged attack
Naturally this would all be dependent on numbers but it might make for some fun builds and new strats using a unit that’s been useless for the past 15 years.

Native lore - All native lore improvements cost no coin (added effect) And research instantly
Another change to help early game native builds reach the limelight, maybe with certain upgrades this could be broken? very map and native dependent so would need testing.

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Grenade Launcher is good with the french with church tech and I like to use them with civ that normly has no grenadier.

For French it also enables grenadiers which is very inconsistent. It should just be an arsenal tech and the church shipments could be what enables grenadiers.


what about it is inconsistent? it enables grenadiers for all the crossbow civs, it behaves exactly consistently

The same card does different things for different civs. That’s very inconsistent.

Thank goodness I’m not the only one who feels that way.
These Definitive Edition civilizations are like an unboxing simulator.

Native Lore: if the legacy natives get new techs this card will be improved significantly, but even so it will need another perk.
Another viable update would be turning it into the much needed “Aztec mining” for Natives ( wood cost-> coin cost)


With this new Mexican unit, I already like the idea that the grenadier is a musketeer unit more.

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While there are some ‘useless’ cards others are good in theory but really impractical.

I disagree healing is very useful, why have half-dead units taking up pop space between engagements when you can heal them up to full, I know priests don’t need a card but they’re not as good as surgeons for many reasons.

Florernce Nightingale is a little weak though I think the healing affect should be boosted. Maybe they can heal by default and florence nightingate can double it?

As for advanced church cards I agree they’re not equal I should mention that the ottoman advanced mosque card only has 2 researches not 3 like the others including USA (Pennsylvania meeting house) so it’s not fine.

There’s also cards I think should be reworked entirely for example; Ranching that card has absolutely no immediate benefit making livestock not as good in supremacy games as it ought to be. Cows should be available by default in the fortress age.

The main problem is training priests is already quite a large investment. Let alone sending one master surgeon card + training surgeons (and building hospitals). As long as they are not made more accessible, healing is not usually considered.
And the unit replenishment is pretty fast, and makes investments into healing less worth it.

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Cambiemos la tarjeta capitalismo a impuestos, las casas producen oro

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I’d rather not have more resource generating houses.


Mejor que capitalismo pero sin ser OP

Cada casa podría producir 0.25 o menos de oro por segundo, además las casas normales no son muy resistentes.