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With the new update they made US carriers the top of the food chain again, starting at ranger I believe, you gain access to a 1/1/2 rather than a 1/1/1 that was standard for everything. But you can’t swap in for a 2/0/1 anymore, as the drawback of this new update. But it will get better. At Lexington(Tier 8) you may upgrade your DIVE bombers to equip AP bombs that can deal massive damage. These bombs were on the enterprise(Tier 8 premium carrier). At tier 9 (Essex), you have a 2/1/2, which is powerfull. Drawback, and it’s a big one, the fighters for the Essex only are stock tier 8’s and you cannot get tier 9 fighters. One thing is that the torpedo bombers past Lexington STAY at tier 8, with no upgrades to 9 or 10. But of course at Essex you can still get those AP bombs with tier 9 DB. Midway is probably the most beneficial from this update as it has a 2/2/2. With stock T9 fighters that can be upgraded to T10. Course you only have tier 8 torpedo bombers, but torpedo damage does not increase with tier. And you still get those awesome tier 10 AP dive bombers. In my opinion. Go USN as the AP bombs wreck havoc against most battleships and some cruisers, and the bombs have a INSANLY SMALL targeting reticule, that can be smaller than the superstructures on most battle ships. But you only get them at tier 8 and up. Moving on. IJN, where to start. Easy way to say how the play is swarm the skies. These carriers have a really good amount of squadrons. But that comes at a cost. When IJN fighters take a squadron of USN fighters, the USN’s are going to win, as the squadron capacity for all USN carriers is 6, beating the IJN’s 4. Plus the USN planes ( all types ) do more damage and more health. But since IJN has a 2 fighter load out that puts it a 6v8. I can’t say much more because I only really made it up to Lexington and never played a IJN carrier before. But the grind to the tier 8 Lexington is worth it because when you go into the first battle with your AP bombers bought ( point, you get stock HE so then you can upgrade them to the tier above with HE OR AP ) you can deal a CRAZY amount of damage on a battleship draining almost 7/8 of its health for certain types and if you get a good hit.