Back in 1999, when FFVIII released, I discovered I really sucked at the card game Triple Triad. Now, 16 years later, when Triple Triad was released as part of the Gold Saucer update in FFXIV, I discover I still suck at Triple Triad. However, that hasn’t stopped me from playing the game, practicing, and trying to collect cards.
Note: I was far better at FFIX’s Tetra Master for some odd reason, and played that hours on end.
Not a Numbers Person
The major reason I’m not very good at this game is that my mind just doesn’t work well with numbers. I’m a verbal and written person. You toss numbers at me, and it becomes a jumbled mess that confuses. I can get the idea of “this number is higher than that number, therefore, you flip the card next to you.” But once you start changing rules, especially the Plus ruleset, which requires basic math, that’s a recipe for frustration.
I am not looking for pointers on how to play the game, because I understand the rules, and have all the resources I need. Despite knowing the rules, the bottom line is, my mind doesn’t think in a way with the tactics and foresight needed to be an excellent TT player. While some people were out there beating King Elmer III with a starter deck for fun, I was slamming my head up against the brick wall of frustration known as Guhtwint of the Three Diamonds.
I’m perfectly fine with this, as I believe everyone has their own thing (Chocobo Racing is mine). But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to give it my best shot to collect cards and have fun.
Those First 30 Cards…
This is an article for people who find themselves in the same boat as me. Try as you might, the “easy” NPCs in the Gold Saucer mostly trounce you when you try to challenge them. I quickly came to grips with the idea that I’m going to need to build a solid deck of cards from the ground up, but I wasn’t sure how. So I did a bit of research.
My first goal is to collect my first 30 cards. When you do this, your deck earns an upgrade that allows you to place an unlimited number of 2* cards in your hand. As you could guess, that will significantly increase the power of your deck… and I think that’s the progression that SE had in mind when they designed this game.
While you can buy some cards for MGP at the Saucer, and I actually did, I don’t really suggest it. Some folks say to just keep buying that initial 500 MGP over and over again using 5,000 Gil. You can only purchase up to 500 MGP, and once you’re over that, can’t purchase again until you fall below 500 MGP. But this does allow you to pick up cards from the bronze packs (costs 520 MGP each).
However, in my case, I’ve earned well over 500 MGP from chocobo racing, and I don’t really want to blow any more of it on buying cards (chocobo breeding, new hair style, and Setzer jacket are all a goal for me). I did attempt a couple purchases, but I regret those now, because I could have easily won what I purchased (even the one Silver card) from NPCs, if I’d known how.
Besides, I’d rather earn my cards through playing the game than buy them!
So that’s what I set out to do.
Building a Deck for Dummies Like Me
First tip: Leave the Gold Saucer to gather cards.
I know the temptation is there to challenge the Gold Saucer NPCs over and over again, but once you earn the cards from the opponents you can beat, it’s time to expand your collection by challenging NPCs outside of the Saucer.
I found a few forum resources that helped me out with learning what NPCs provided which cards. Also, which NPCs I had a chance to beat given my particular skill level and deck composition.
I wanted to make a list of NPCs I was able to overcome with a little effort and successfully earn cards from. Currently, I have 22 cards, including my first 3* card, Thancred! As I build my deck, I’m finding it’s getting a bit easier to make wins, just as I hoped.
Keep in mind that regional rules may be in effect for certain NPCs. These change at random, every day at 7am PST. This can make certain NPCs more difficult on various days. So keep trying! I’m not going to note all the rules for every NPC, but I will provide the order in which I remember beating the NPCs, which is roughly based on me building a stronger deck.
Also, this is still pretty early in discovering who drops what card. So there may be more cards to earn from these NPCs later, or that simply haven’t been discovered yet. Therefore, it may not be 100% accurate, but it’s as accurate as I can get for what resources tell.
Random Tip That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else: The game has a feature you can use to suggest the best deck based on the cards that you have. I use it often, and find that I am usually successful with the deck it builds, with a few tweaks. However, winning against Plus rules may require a specialty deck, rather than the suggested deck.
NPCs to Challenge!
Triple Triad Master – Spriggan* Chocobo*
Gold Saucer (4,7)
Sadly, you have to sit through the tutorial every time you play him. But he does give cards randomly.
Jonas of the Three Spades – Ixal* Moogle*
Gold Saucer (4,7)
Guhtwint of the Three Diamonds – Spriggan* Chocobo* Scarface Bugaal Ja**
Gold Saucer (4,7)
Uses Plus Rule 😦
Maisenta – Sylph* Coblyn*
New Gridania (11,11)
Roger – Pudding* Morbol*
Central Thanalan (19,20)
Memeroon – Amalj’aa* Memeroon**
Upper La Noscea (14,24)
Mother Miounne – Goobue* Mother Miounne**
New Gridania (11,13)
Momodi – Momodi Modi**
Ul’dah – Steps of Nald (11,9)
Fufulupa – Thancred***
Western Thanalan (22,17)
F’hobhas -Mutamix Bubblypots**
Central Thanalan (23,13)
Helmhart – Gerolt** Ultros & Typhon**
Eastern Thanalan (20,21)
Has a schedule, from 10AM – 8PM ET
I’m still missing a few cards from the above list, but will keep trying to build my deck. Hope this was helpful in getting you started! I’m listing resources below that I’m using, and can take you beyond these NPCs above.