Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Triple Triad Tips for Dummies (Like Me)


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

nomathThe 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.

Triple Triad tutorial
Triple Triad tutorial

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. 

Playing my first TT game
Playing my first TT game

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.

Resources Used:


I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects!

12 thoughts on “FFXIV: Triple Triad Tips for Dummies (Like Me)

  1. I’ve been dabbling at TT, but find I’m preferring Chocobo Racing as well. I’m up to 12 cards, I think. The Plus stuff — I read the rules and they seem to make perfect sense, but then in the game itself, it doesn’t seem to work right to me, so obviously I’m missing some mental connection. I’m sure it will click sooner or later.


  2. Hmm…. this is beginning to remind me of Vanguard’s Diplomacy, which I always thought was unique within MMOs. Seeing that there’s a prolonged “come back for free” offer coming up I might have to pop in and compare the two.


    1. Vanguard’s Diplomacy had a lot more depth (I was actually pretty decent at it). Triple Triad, while a solid card game, is just meant to be a mini-game. I don’t know that you can really compare the two of them.

      That being said, I won’t discourage you from coming back to check it out on the free time being offered! I’m still having a lot of fun with this game. 🙂


  3. “Uses Plus rule” should never have a frowny face next to it. These can easily be beaten with the starter deck. Even for newbs. Elmer is the same way. Quick google it if you don’t understand why. 🙂


    1. Oh, I have the strats for beating the plus rules, but I think it’s a bit gimmicky to use. And I still don’t like math. 🙂


    2. Newbs is derogatory. My mind works very well with words and analysis, less so with math much the same as Aywren. Telling us to google carries the assumption that we don’t quite “get it”. I understand the rules, however, my mind doesn’t work that way.

      I read a book in a couple of hours and can write with (almost 🙂 equal facility. People are different with different strengths.


  4. Aww, you beat me to it Wren ;P I was planning to write about Triple Triad tips today XD Shows how often I check to see what the recent posts are about 😉

    I think the tips you gave are really good. I think you nailed most if not all of the important points people should know. Just wanted to throw in two things.

    One is that as some probably know or noticed, the NPCs may have a time frame in which they are active and can be challenged. This in turn makes the marker for a TT NPC not visible on the minimap outside of the allotted time.

    Two, the recommend feature is great if you don’t have a good variety of cards, but the way it chooses them is based on the sum of sides. For example a 6 6 6 2 card will be chosen over a 7 7 1 1. Which can in many situations can lead to a loss.

    For me if I build a deck I try having at least one or two sides with a high number and the rest not to be too far off. Though it all depends on the opponent, hence the beating a hard NPC with the plus rule by using the starter deck.

    Just a little thing for the plus rule and most of the NPCs in general. I noticed they tend to do the same moves or use the same patterns if you also do the same. Elmer for example is easy to do as mentioned as if you find the correct placement he will repeat it most of the time, letting you win.

    Another thing about card locations, there are some exclusive cards that are only dropped in certain raids or dungeons. However there are many that can be acquired bu fighting NPCs as well. I can confirm cards like Titan and Ultros amongst others that can be gotten that way. Only problem is getting lucky and getting them after a win.


    1. Yeah, this was just what I wrote up after playing for a day and gathering information that was available at that time. I’ve learned a whole lot more over this weekend than back when I wrote up this guide.

      I didn’t want to throw too much information into this article – it was meant to be a starting point, not an overall guide to everything. So if you want to follow up with a second post with more detailed information, feel free to expand on what I wrote here!

      This post has had a LOT of hits, so it seems folks are looking for this information. An Advanced Guide seems like it would be a helpful topic, and I’d link to it if you want to write it!


      1. Hi there!

        Thank you for this guide and the affirmation that not everyone is (or need be) good at TT. My mind doesn’t do numbers and math very well either.

        With respect to cards and credits, I got the Onion Knight from World of Darkness and other cards from various dungeons and trials. Garuda from light farming and dungeon cards from relic runs.

        The entered the last tournament and “won” just over 1k even though I didn’t play all the matches and won almost none of them. I had just started the game and had 11 cards.

        The current tournament ends in two days on the fifth of the month. If you can, enter it -the suggestion is to anyone who might be interested in Gold Saucer points.

        Thank you for this guide. I laughed out loud when I saw the “Math, I still don’t like you.” gif and in general the post reflects my experience also.


        1. Glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for sharing your tips!

          I’ve made a lot of progress with my deck, despite not being a numbers person, and I’ve gotten a little better the more I practice. I’m still not super good at it, but I have fun, and that’s what matters!


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