“Why 30 cards?”, you ask. When you collect 30 different Triple Triad cards, your deck capacity recieves an upgrade.You’ll be able to add 2* cards to your hand in any number, meaning only 3*+ cards are restricted. While a similar extension exists at 60 cards (3* becomes unlimited), hitting 30 massively increases the strength of your hand, and will enable you to reasonably face basically every NPC opponent in the game.
Before getting this upgrade, you’ll be struggling to defeat a number of your opponents, and some may be near impossible. Afterwards, however, it’s all within your grasp! Hitting 30 is the first major milestone of your Triple Triad career, but it can be daunting to escape the launch pad, so to speak. So here’s some things to consider!
All cards in this are listed as Name (#). The # refers to the number of stars. I am moderately certain right now that cards with higher stars are less likely to drop. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get these cards right away – but five star cards are probably not where I’d look for drops when heading to 30.
INITIAL CARDS AND STRATEGY
Get your first five cards from the tutorial at the Golden Saucer.
Your major objective is, first off, to diversify your options. While your initial deck will serve you very well in dealing with opponents that have Plus, that won’t count for too many opponents. You will want to secure yourself one 3*+ card (most obtain Godbert Manderville from King Elmer, then move on from there), to serve as your real powerhouse. You’ll also want alternative cards for situations where 3s and 4s just aren’t going to cut it. 1* cards that have 6s or 7s – Tonberry, Chocobo, Amal’jaa, Ixal, Kobold, Tataru Taru, and Moogle. Take a look at these and try to secure them to give you some ‘offensive power’ against better equipped foes, even if by a bit.
There’s a good explanation of various rules, including Plus, here.
PURCHASING WITH MGP
There are a total of 22 different cards that can drop from the Card Packs. The packs are relatively cheap and effective. The Bronze pack in particular is easily refreshed. Pay at the MGP counter to get up to 500 MGP; collect 20 more MGP from, well, anything – then buy a pack. Refresh your MGP back up to 500. Etc etc – this effectively makes a bronze card pack cost 5000 gil and a couple minute’s effort. I would not spend forever trying to get every single Bronze pack card however, as every card there is obtainable in other ways, and generally fairly easy too.
Silver pack cards are very useful, although, again, most of them are obtainable elsewhere through one means or another; you may also score one of three 3*+ cards here which are great for starting your deck off. Finally, as you might expect, the Gold packs are where you’re more likely to get cards you won’t easily get your hands on pre-30 – but cost a significant chunk of MGP, and every card in them is 2*+, meaning they’ll see less actual use.
While this is technically enough to get you very, very close to 30 cards from this alone, it’s not realistic to expect to win some of the rarer cards from these packs. Eventually you’ll put in the work for them, but for now, use these to suppliment.
Cards listed with * appear to ONLY be obtainable from the packs based on current knowledge. Everything else can be won from someone else, although not all of them are going to be easy.
Bronze: Spriggan (1), Pudding (1), Coblyn (1), Goobue (1), Scarface Bugaal Ja (2), Behemoth (3)
Silver: Amalj’aa (1), Sylph (1), Kobold (1), Tataru Taru (1), Ixal (1), Urianger (3), Minfillia (4), Lahabrea (4*)
Gold: Mother Miounne (2), Momodi Modi (2), Baderon Tenfingers (2), Gerolt (2), Ultima (4), Cid Garlond (4), Warrior of Light (5*), Zidane Tribal (5*)
There are a number of additional cards you can purchase with MGP. I do not suggest buying cards directly with MGP. Barring Nanamo Ul Namo (5) and Cloud Strife (5) – which are well outside your likely price range – all of these cards can be obtained relatively easily by winning them from opponents, and I highly suggest you do so and buy packs instead.
If (or rather when) you recieve duplicates of cards you already have, either from packs or from NPCs, you can sell them an NPC in the Card Square for MGP.
CARDS YOU CAN GET AS DROPS
Cards can drop from a variety of dungeons and trials. They are not guaranteed, however, your skill at Triple Triad (or lack thereof) and your current lack of cards in no way influence your ability to recieve these drops. Remember, lower star drops seem to be more common.
Cards with a * indicate that the only confirmed way to get these cards right now is from these dungeons/trials, so you’ll want to win them eventually. Cards with a ! indicate that this card is on an opponent who is very likely to be very difficult for you right now. This doesn’t mean impossible – lucky Regional Rules or simply lucky draws may make it possible. But they are from opponents you will likely only want to face once you have full 2* access.
Tonberry (1*) – Wanderer’s Palace (Normal and Hard)
Morbol (1) – Aurum Vale
Ahriman (1*) – Dzemael Darkhold
Sahagin (1*) – Sastasha (Normal and Hard)
Siren (2*) – Pharos Sirius
Ultros & Typhon (2) – Dragon’s Neck (Can also drop Terra’s card)
Demon Wall (2*) – Amdapor Keep (Normal and Hard)
Succubus (2) – Haukke Manor (Normal and Hard)
Chimera (2*) – Cutter’s Cry
Blue Dragon (2) – Stone Vigil (Normal and Hard)
Livia Sas Junius (2!) – Castrum Meridanium
Rhitahtyn sas Arvina (2!) – Cape Westwind
Gilgamesh & Enkidu (3*) – Battle on the Big Bridge
Ifrit, Titan, Garuda, Good King Moggle Mog XIII (3!) – their various Hard/Extreme trials
Odin, Ramuh, Leviathan, Shiva (4!) – their various Hard/Extreme trials
Gaius van Baelsar (5!) – Praetorium
Onion Knight (5*) – World of Darkness
Terra Branford (5*) – Dragon’s Neck (Can also drop Ultros & Typhon)
Bartz Klauser (5*) – Battle in the Big Keep
BEATING PEOPLE UP FOR THEIR STUFF
There are presently 32 NPCs throughout Eorzea you can face to obtain cards. To be frank with you, some are straight up out of your league right now. But only some.
Regional Rules are a huge assist to this. The Regional Rules of each area change every day (in real time). While I would not normally recommend facing, say, the Indolent Imperial in Mor Dhona with a 1* deck, if the Regional Rule happens to be Plus or Reverse? Go for it and win you a bunch of really nifty cards!
Note that the majority of low level drops overlap with a card pack, dungeon drop, or direct purchase, but this isn’t a bad thing. It’s also entirely possible that these opponents may drop more cards than have been confirmed so far. I’ll try to keep this up to date.
(These opponents have decks largely consisting of 1* cards, and so you can face them reasonably with your starter deck and maybe one or two additional cards)
Gold Saucer, Triple Triad Master: Spriggan (1) (You’ll be going through the tutorial again each time however)
Gold Saucer, Jonas of the Three Spades: Ixal (1), Moogle (1)
Gold Saucer, Guhtwint of the Three Diamonds: Chocobo (1), Scarface Bugaal Ja (2) (Plus)
New Gridania, Maisenta: Sylph (1), Coblyn (1)
Central Thanalan, Roger: Pudding (1), Morbol (1)
Upper La Noscea, Memeroon: Amalj’aa (1), Memeroon (2*)
Mid level recommended opponents
(These opponents have hands largely consisting of 2* cards, and don’t regularly have Plus. You can likely still beat them soundly if you’ve obtained some cards with 5/6s or have other favourable Regional Rules in effect)
New Gridania, Mother Miounne: Goobue (1), Mother Miounne (2)
Ul’dah, Wymond: Coblyn (1)
Ul’dah, Momodi: Momodi Modi (2)
Western Thanalan, Fufulupa: Thancred (3)
Central Thanalan, F’hobhas: Mutamix Bubblypots (2*)
Eastern La Noscea, Gegeruju: Y’shtola (3), Minfilia (4) (Guaranteed swap, which exchanges one of your cards with his at random and is 90% in your favour; once you have a good card of your own his weak AI is easy to beat)
Tricky recommended opponents
(These opponents have very powerful cards, but always have rules you can use to your advantage! Use your starter deck or similar cards when facing Plus and reap the benefits)
Gold Saucer, King Elmer: Godbert Manderville (3), Bahamut (5*) (Cards are strong, but Plus is active. Your initial deck can occasionally win once you understand Plus’ functionality)
Limsa Lominsa, R’ashaht Rhiki: Y’shtola (3), Leviathan (4), Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn (5*) (2PM-7PM Eorzea Time only. Powerful cards, but again, Plus)
North Shroud, Sezul Totoloc: Biggs & Wedge (2), Behemoth (3), Cid Garlond (4) (May be time and Ixal reputation sensitive, nobody’s 100% sure of the specifics yet. Always has Plus. Reliable victory strategy)
Remember that there are always more possible opponents depending on Regional Rules; and even without Regional Rules I was able to squeak out wins against several other NPCs before hitting 30. That doesn’t mean I would farm them for cards, but it was possible, and you never know!
For a full covering of where to get every card, or what ever NPC drops, please see some of the reference materials, as they’re likely more up to date than this (even though I’ll try to keep this fresh!):
* Trevoni Mikh’to’s spreadsheet
* A Realm Reblog’s card/NPC list
Got advice? Suggestions to players? Feel free to help out!