It's not an easy life, being a master Triple Triad player. After all, it demands that you perfect not only your abilities on the playing table but also out there in Eorzea. Sure, you may be able to beat Wyra "Greenhands" Lyehga at the occasional game, but do you really have what it takes to, say, defeat a few Garlean Weapons and earn their cards?
You do, do you? Good. You'll need that confidence to collect the 312 Triple Triad cards required before the Gold Saucer forks this magical card over. Now, let's get started.
Welcome! Grinding for the Triple Triad card mount is among my favorite things I've ever done in FFXIV; it follows in the footsteps of past games I've played like Destiny 2 (the Wayfarer title) or Guild Wars 2 (getting my Sunrise legendary) wherein the reward is given for both demonstrated skill and a broader commitment to exploring the many facets of a world. And, indeed, this grind is rewarding precisely because it will ask you to do just about everything in this game outside of Savage or Ultimate raiding.
And there's no better time than now! With the release of Patch 5.5 in April 2021, which introduced us to the Magicked Card Mount, Triple Triad saw two very important changes: first, the inclusion of an extra 4 card in your deck (which before was useless when you were only allowed one 4 or 5 total) and second, hugely increased card drop rates from NPC duels.
So, again, welcome to this guide. In it, I'll go over basic Triple Triad strategy, I'll cover what you need to do to earn all 312 required cards, and I'll link you to some amazing resources that already exist in the community. I hope that it helps you on your journey to becoming a Triple Triad master!
Triple Triad Basics
First things first: if you're just diving into Triple Triad for the first time, check out the official Lodestone article about unlocking and playing Triple Triad.
Originating in Final Fantasy VIII, Triple Triad is a one-on-one card game involving two decks of five cards, each created and used by one player. The game is played on a three by three grid, and the goal of the game is to capture your opponent's cards so that you have more than you started with once all available spaces have been used.
Each card has four numbers, one per side: top, bottom, left, and right. When a card is placed on the grid each side is checked. If a side is touching an opponent's card and the number of the new card is higher, the opponent's card is flipped and captured. If they are the same or if the opponent's number is higher, nothing happens. Once all nine spaces have been used, whoever has more cards in their color wins.
There are, of course, a number of "Regional" and "Match" rules which can be in place. Some of these (like Three Open or All Open) merely make superficial changes: in this case, how many of your opponent's cards you can see while you play. Others, like Reverse, fundamentally change the way you play the game - this time, lower numbers win over higher numbers.
Of particular frustration to Triple Triad players are the Same and Plus rules. For this, I will link to an old reddit post which does a wonderufl job explaining them and giving visual examples. The primary issue is not that the rule exists, but rather your computer opponents will never, ever miss an opportunity to ruin your day if this rule is up.
Read over the Lodestone guide above for general information about where and how Triple Triad happens in the actual game. Once you've got the basics down, it's time to move on.
The Decks You Need
If you haven't already crafted a few favorite decks for casual play, I'm going to advocate that you create three specific decks so that you're prepared for every situation that an NPC will throw at you. Remember that to start you will be limited in terms of which cards you can put in your deck, but if you've been playing for any time at all this limitation (which ends when you've collected 60 or more cards total) will be wiped away quickly.
For your first deck, you'll want to make something that can take on most contenders. Since there are so many ways Triple Triad can be played from one NPC to the next, we're going to prioritize matching corner numbers. For 3 cards, this means corner 8s. For 4 cards, it's corner 9s. And that leaves 5 cards with corner As.
Here's the deck I use:
All of those cards are fairly easy to acquire, and can be a great place to start on your journey. We'll talk about how to use this deck (and why you might want two all-purpose decks) in the next section.
Since we can't always control what rules the NPC we're facing will have, we want to cover our bases with a reverse deck - hopping into one of these with your all-purpose cards can be disastrous. Instead, we'll be focusing on corner 1s and corner 2s as much as possible. Obviously, counts don't matter so much here.
Here's what I use:
All of these cards are, again, easily obtainable - none of these require anything other than playing an NPC. The good news, however, is that it's not super important which exact cards you have in play for this deck. As long as it's built with lower numbers in mind, you'll be a lot better off than going in unprepared.
Finally, we want a deck for when we run Ascension matches. Some cards in Triple Triad have a type (they are: Beastman, Garlean, Primal, Scion) and these types will gain +1 to all stats for each like type card played on the playing field after them (or -1, in Descension matches). As you might guess these can get out of hand quickly, so having a deck with at least four of a matching type will really help you out in the long run.
For this, we're going to go into our "Card Deck" tab (in the Gold Saucer menu, under Character) and use the filter feature. I made a Garlean deck because that's what I happened to have on me. Try filtering out all four types and seeing what you can make the best deck out of to begin with, then go back and update as you gain more cards.
(Optional) Plus/Same Deck
As suggested by reddit user /u/tfesmo, you might also consider creating a deck to deal with tricky Plus/Same matches.
To do this, take your all-purpose deck and swap out your 4 card for one with three consecutive 8s and abuse the matching rules. You can, of course, also put yourself in danger with the computer so play carefully! Here are the cards which meet this requirement:
You can leave your 5 as is, or replace it with one that has 8s like Onion Knight.
Triple Triad can be a frustrating game at times (especially when Plus or Same are in play) but it is not a difficult one; especially when you're going up against NPCs whose decks are almost always weaker than yours. However, there are a couple of basic things to keep in mind to maximize your shot at winning as many matches as possible.
The difficulty of any given Triple Triad NPC can vary wildly. Using the ARR Triple Triad site, you can find decks or strategies that have worked for other players in the past. However, we can use one strategy to maximize the chance of us winning any given match - irrespective of ruleset - without having to use our brains too much. That is: focusing on safe corner plays.
Using the example all-purpose deck above, we can see that we've prioritized corner pairs of 8s, 9s, and As. Our goal, then, is to get the safe win: only capturing one or two cards and making sure that the opponent can't capture of any of ours. To begin, you should play a corner 8 of your choosing. Most NPCs will only have one card that can beat this to begin with.
As the opponent plays their second card, we look for opportunities: can I play another corner safely AND capture? If not, where can I play a corner safely? When opportunities arise, play your 9s or As to lock in an opponent capture, then play defensively the rest of the game. It's not flashy, but it will certainly get the job done. We want to put an extreme limit on how often our opponent has the chance to capture any of our cards, and strike as soon as they've presented us with an opening.
A Second All-Purpose Deck
Occasionally, an NPC will seem to have a perfect counter to the all-purpose deck that you've created. So, I recommend creating a "flex" deck to avoid any annoying loss streaks.
In the above example, we have Shadowbringers Warrior of Light with right and bottom As, and Alphinaud & Alisaie with top and left 9s. In a flex deck, then, we'll center our ace cards around the opposite structure: for instance, a 5 Varis Yae Galvus card with top and right As, and a 4 Aymeric card with left and bottom 9s. Then, the 3 cards should fill in the corner gaps with one overlapping either your 9s or As.
It's not a foolproof plan, but you'll be surprised by how often the "flex" deck pulls you out of sticky situations.
The Card Grind
What We're Assuming
Before we dive headlong into our Triple Triad grind, let's make sure of a few things:
First, you're up to date on the story through patch 5.5 or are actively working towards it While there are plenty of cards to get as you progress through the MSQ, you won't be able to complete the whole collection of 312 cards until you've unlocked everything in the main story at the very least.
Second, you've got time. This is not a quick grind. Maybe you're low on MGP and have never purchased a Triple Triad card before. Or maybe you've never set foot in Eureka. Either way, almost everyone is likely to have something that takes them time - weeks, certainly, but probably even months. That's OK! There's lots of small goals to achieve along the way.
Third, you know how to play at least one class at a reasonably high level. As we'll see soon, there are a few cards that cannot be earned any other way except as a random drop from Level 80 Extreme Trial completion (at time of writing: Varis yae Galvus from Memoria Misera EX, and the G-Warrior card which requires one totem from a clear of Emerald Weapon EX, Ruby Weapon EX, and Diamond Weapon EX). I'm obviously writing this pre-Endwalker and these will only get easier as time goes on. However, you will need to become comfortable with hopping into Party Finder groups and learning EX mechanics.
What You Don't Need
The good news is: you don't need to be very good at Triple Triad to do this. Most of the NPCs (excepting a handful) can be beaten with a basic deck and luck, so there's no need to be a mastermind Triple Triad player. A couple of them will potentially demand your attention but not to the extent that you need to prepare for or fear them. And the only player-vs-player aspect of the grind, Open Tournaments, is a draft system and you're unlikely to face a full slate of human opponents anyway.
You also don't need to collect every last Triple Triad card. Indeed, you only (only, I know) need the first 312 out of 326 cards available as of Patch 5.5. Which is good news because some of those final 14 cards (like Cloud Strife which costs 1,000,000 MGP or Noctis Lucis Caelum which was originally only available as part of a limited time quest) are a real pain in the ass to get. You can tell these cards just by looking at them (they're the ones with silver backings) or by looking at your Card List (they've got their own page).
So don't worry - you won't need to do well in the bi-weekly tournaments or hope for luck out of the hard-to-get Platinum Triad Card drops. It's a small consolation to be sure, but better than nothing.
Finally, you don't need to do these in any specific order. Some will naturally work will together: knock out a few NPCs while waiting for that Kugane Ohashi queue! But the exact path will depend on what you've already done, and what resources are at your disposal. If you don't have a sufficient stock of MGP, for instance, it could take quite some time to build up to it. Eureka alone can take weeks, and the beast tribes are time-gated to roughly a month. Read over the whole guide first then make a plan of attack that's suited to your needs.
ARR Triple Triad Site
I'm going to be linking to a lot of resources over the course of this guide but there is one that you absolutely should bookmark if you're going to be doing this.
ARR Triple Triad (and their Discord) is far and away the best Triple Triad resource out there. You can keep track of which cards you have, search for NPCs you haven't beaten, and see which locations still have cards for you. I cannot recommend this website enough.
In addition, when you click on an individual card you can see comments from folks who have come before you in case you're missing information about quest unlocks, drop rates, or strategies. It's a great way to check off an NPC or dungeon if you've got just a few minutes and are working towards a specific goal.
Triple Triad NPCS
The bread and butter of your mount grind experience, predictably, will be opening up a match against an NPC anywhere across FFXIV's many zones and beating them over and over in the hopes of a random chance card drop. This makes up one of the easiest parts of your journey - there are a lot of cards and fights to be had, but they'll go by relatively quickly.
There are two types of NPCs that we'll cover: those which are freely available or unlocked by normal MSQ progression, and those which will take some extra step to unlock. You'll need to beat a minimum of 92 NPCs out of the 110 available (as of 5.5) to earn an achievement card.
Let's start by heading over to heading over to ARR Triple Triad's "NPCs" page on their website.
Listed here are all the NPCs available to you in the game, along with their location and available dropped cards. You'll get the chance to fill this in as you go, but I recommend that if you're caught up on all the requisite MSQ stuff that you sort by "Location" and just get cracking.
In general, the best way to do these is to knock them out during Roulette queues (especially for those juicy DPS waits) but there's nothing wrong with setting aside dedicated time to grind these out. As a rule of thumb, if a card has two methods to be obtained and one of them is via an unlocked NPC, you should definitely default to playing the NPC. With the buffed drop rates, it will likely take just minutes to get any given cards (although be prepared for bad luck to make some cards take half an hour of playing or more).
Nearly three quarters of these NPCs will be available to you just by completing the MSQ. Others, however, will have conditions to be challenged. You can check their profile on ARR Triple Triad to see what, if any, conditions exist to play them. If it says "none," you're good to go.
For the NPCs that aren't so easily accessible, let's move on.
There are 25 NPCs which need to be unlocked by specific sidequests or blue unlock quests, and they'll be detailed below. Some other NPCs are unlocked via Beast Tribe quests, Eureka & Bozja, and Blue Mage Quests, and they each have their own sections.
First up are the 17 NPCs which are unlocked by completing miscellaneous sidequests. Click their name to be taken to the ARR Triple Triad page for more information about which quest unlocks them. "Exclusive," in this sense, refers to how many cards the NPC has that cannot be attained anywhere else but through playing and beating them in Triple Triad. Some will take one short quest to unlock - others, like Dominiac (who is great for reversal cards), take quite a few.
NPCs Unlocked by Sidequests:
- Redard (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Mogmill (NPC) - 3 exclusive cards
- Midnight Dew (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Dominiac (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Elaisse (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Voracious Vath (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Gyoei (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Tsuzura (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Garima (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Kaizan (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Nigen (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Ogodei (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Masatsuchi (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Isobe (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Hab (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
- Hokushin (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Drery (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Hargra (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
- Saushs Koal (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
In a later section we'll cover specific duties which grant exclusive cards, but there are some duties/blue unlock quests which upon completion allow players to challenge specific NPCs for their cards. Included below are the NPCs who have cards which cannot be obtained anywhere else, and the duties that unlock them.
For the raids, expect to complete the full storyline for each set before unlocking the relevant NPC.
NPCs Unlocked by Normal Raids:
NPCs Unlocked by Dungeons or Trials:
One NPC is locked until you've run 30 floors of Heaven-on-High, but since their three cards also can drop from Heaven-on-High sacks, I've separated them out here as one to look out for:
- Ushiogi (NPC) - unlocked by completing Heaven-on-High Level 30
There is one final card which we must pay attention to, which is the G-Warrior card. To earn this card, you must get one clear of Ruby Weapon, Emerald Weapon, and Diamond Weapon Extreme and give one totem from each to C'intana in Mor Dhona. It doesn't quite fit here or in the Duties section, but since it's not a random drop at any step I've placed it here.
NPC for the G-Warrior Card:
- Ruby, Emerald, and Diamond Weapon (Extreme): C'intana (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
The Gold Saucer
What would Triple Triad be without Godbert Maderville and the Gold Saucer? Indeed, once you've finished this whole shebang up you'll head back to those hallowed halls for a lovely cutscene to collect your prize.
You won't actually be playing that much Triple Triad here in the Gold Saucer, but you will be spending plenty of MGP for direct purchases and random-drop packs of cards. If you've never done this before, here's a great guide on reddit about farming MGP. Now, let's break down everything you need to do here at the Saucer:
Buying Cards with MGP
All told, you'll need a bare minimum of 941,780 MGP just to purchase the 16 cards which are only available via direct purchase at the Gold Saucer's Triple Triad Trader. But of course that's not the full story.
In addition to those cards, there are another seven which can either be purchased or obtained elsewhere, for a total cost of 507,840 MGP, leading to a total of 1,449,620 MGP if you buy everything outright. Five cards can be obtained easily, by running the Snowcloak dungeon or by battling NPCs:
Two others can either be bought or won randomly through Platinum Packs, which are only available as a reward to the bi-weekly Triple Triad Tournaments. That can be a slow process, so feel free to save these to the end if you're low on MGP and try doing the tournament whenever it comes around.
As a reminder, you do not need to buy the Cloud (1,000,000 MGP) or Noctis Lucis Caelum (200,000 MGP) cards as they are not included in the first 312.
Gambling on Card Packs
One of the less fun parts of this grind (and one which I will recommend you save til later unless you've got quite a bit of MGP to burn) is gambling on card packs from the Triple Triad Trader.
Fortunately, of the 68 cards which you will need to get from these packs only 18 are exclusive. So you can safely spend time doing other things for a bit then coming back to these as needed. As mentioned above, only one card pack is unavailable for purchase (the Platinum Pack) but it does not contain any cards that you cannot get elsewhere. Similarly, Mythril Card Packs (a whopping 8,000 MGP each) do not contain any exclusive cards and so you do not need to waste your MGP on them. Here's the breakdown of cards you can't get anywhere else.
Bronze Card Packs (520 MGP)
Silver Card Packs (1,150 MGP)
Gold Card Packs (2,160 MGP)
Imperial Card Packs (2,160 MGP)
Dream Card Packs (3,240 MGP)
Finally, you'll need to play and place first in one Open Tournament (check the Lodestone page for unlocking/general info) to earn the Open and Shut I achievement (detailed below as well) and the Phoenix card which comes with it.
Here's a great video guide to help:
Open Tournaments take place in a half hour window every other hour and alternate rulesets, but only last about 15-20 minutes - meaning you can usually get in 2-3 games without issue each time they're up. You'll use the Draft rule to build a deck based on random cards presented to you (not totally random, mind you - you'll still get a similar strength deck to one you'd build normally) and then play three rounds against seven other NPC or human opponents. Whoever has the best record (tiebreaks are based on capture differential) at the end of those rounds wins the tournament.
The trick is to hop on when your sever is quieter (perhaps in the morning hours) to squeeze in a game against computer opponents when Same or Plus are not in the rulesets. This will make winning significantly easier and limit how much time you actually spend doing this.
Fortunately, that's it. You just need one first-place finish to get the card. If you really like this format you can always go for the Tournament Leader title by scoring 50 first-place finishes, plus some other items along the way.
Spoiler alert: I really liked the Open Tournament format.
At last we come to one of the most actively time-consuming stages of the mount grind: knocking out duty after duty after duty.
Listed below are all the cards which are available exclusively as a random drop from a duty, grouped by type. I'm not aware that hard numbers on the drop rates for these cards exist, but I kept track of about a dozen during my own grind and can give a general idea of what to expect.
For dungeons, I found a roughly 25-33% chance for a card to drop. For trials and raids, I found a roughly 7-10% chance for a card to drop. Obviously this means that some will drop on your first attempt, and others will drop on your 17th (if I never see Kugane Ohashi or Memoria Misera again, it will be too soon).
Don't forget, too, that others will be trying to grind these cards! I had good success joining mount- or card-specific farm parties in the Party Finder menu.
We can break these cards down into two groups. First, the much larger group, which involves being able to run a Normal version of a trial to earn the card, with Extreme being an option if it exists. Second will be the few trials which require you running the Extreme version to earn the card.
For brevity's sake, I'm just going to list the name of the Normal trial in the first group.
Cards from Normal OR Extreme Trials
- Nidhogg - Final Steps of Faith*
- Sophia - Containment Bay P1T6
- Sephirot - Contianment Bay S1T7
- Sophia - Containment Bay P1T6
- Zurvan - Containment Bay Z1T9
- Susano - The Pool of Tribute
- Lakshmi - Emanation
- Byakko - The Jade Stoa
- Tsukoyomi - Castrum Fluminis
- Suzaku - Hell's Kier
- Seiryu - Wreath of Snakes
- Stormblood Gilgamesh - Kugane Ohashi
- Hades - The Dying Grasp
- The Ruby Weapon - Cinder Drift
- Shadowbringers Warrior of Light - The Seat of Sacrifice
- The Emerald Weapon - Castrum Marinum
- The Diamond Weapon - The Cloud Deck
*Nidhogg can also be obtained from The Aery dungeon
Cards from ONLY Extreme Trials
Similarly, let's look at which dungeons have exclusive cards which are given out through random loot drops at the end of a run:
- Genbu - Hells' Lid
- Charibert - The Vault
- Tioman - Sohm Al
- Progenitrix - Pharos Sirius (Hard)
- The Griffin - Baelsar's Wall
- Lava Scorpion - Sohm Al (Hard)
- Hrodric Poisontongue - The Drowned City of Skalla
- Guidance Node - The Fractal Continuum (Hard)
- Qitian Dasheng - The Swallow's Compass
- Tokkapchi - Saint Mocianne's Arboretum (Hard)
- Mist Dragon - The Burn
- Prometheus - The Ghimylt Dark
- Seeker of Solitude - The Grand Cosmos
- Unknown - Anamnesis Anyder
Raid & Alliance Raid Cards
Last but not least, we have a handful of cards which come exclusively from running Raids and Alliance Raids. An important note: at no point are you required to run Savage Raids to earn any cards.
I mentioned in the "What We're Assuming" section that you should be prepared for this grind to take time. In most of the above cases time is just related to how many times you have to run a given duty or play a given NPC. Now, however, we come to actual time-gated content in the form of a few beast tribes.
There are a few exclusive cards locked behind getting two tribes to Rank 8, and starting another. There's also an optional tribe that has no exclusive cards but can potentially save you running a few duties which I'll cover at the end.
If you've not started any of these, they'll each take about a month to complete from start to finish. The Pixies, however, are just a few quests away - you only need to get them to Rank 1!
Kupo-po! Your friends at the Landlord Colony have got a card waiting for you once you've played servant for them long enough. You'll need a Disciple of the Hand class at level 60 to complete these quests.
Rank 8 Nedeed to Unlock:
- Master Mogzin (NPC) - 1 exclusive card
Good news, you've just got to get the Pixie quests opened up to unlock their NPC and two exclusive cards. You'll need any standard class at level 70 to complete these quests.
Rank 1 Needed to Unlock:
- Eo Sigun (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
The Dwarves are not so kind. You'll need to go the whole way with this tribe to unlock their NPC (who is not a Dwarf). You'll need a Disciple of the Hand class at level 70 to complete these quests.
Rank 8 Nedeed to Unlock:
- Cobleva (NPC) - 2 exclusive cards
(Optional) Vanu Vanu
The Vanu Vanu tribe is not necessarily needed to complete this mount grind. However, Linu Vali has three potentially bothersome cards which are obtained either by duties or by card packs, so if you've got them unlocked or are near to it you're definitely better off challenging him to a few matches. You'll need any standard class at level 60 to complete these quests.
Rank 8 Nedeed to Unlock:
- Linu Vali (NPC) - no exclusive cards
Eureka & Bozja
Another potential time sink will come in the form of The Forbidden Land, Eureka from Stormblood and The Bozjan Southern Front & Zadnor from Shadowbringers. While Eureka will only require you to complete about 75% of the available content, Bozja will ask you to do essentially everything from its main story.
Fortunately, at time of writing, it's still quite easy to get groups for both during busy times. Yes, even Eureka! You can, of course, double up on progress in these zones if you happen to be working on a relic weapon at the same time.
Let's talk a little about what you've got to do in each zone to earn the necessary cards.
As mentioned above, you actually don't have to complete all of Eureka to unlock the cards needed for the mount. Instead, here's what to expect:
- Complete Anemos (Level 21)
- Complete Pagos (Level 35)
- Complete Pyros (Level 50)
Hydatos, meanwhile, is completely optional. You have to unlock it to open up the requisite NPC but you never have to set for in it.
If you've never been in Eureka before, here are two recent guides to help get you started:
I did not complete this when it was current content, so I had to grind. I found taking it slow and working with friends when possible to be the best route, using 3-4 hours per session. Essentially, I took about two weeks per zone (and one session per week, roughly) and had a friend tank for me (outside of the party while the level difference was too high) while I knocked out my weekly Challenge Log for Eureka. If you're really dedicated you can grind past that as well, but utilizing the massive XP gains from the Log were the most efficient way for me. Once I was done for the week, I'd just go do other activities.
Thre are two NPCs to unlock while completing Anemos, each with four cards. Only one of those cards is exclusive, as the others can technically be earned as a random drop while completing specific Eureka FATEs. However, I found that I only had one or two in my collection by the time I unlocked the NPCs.
I was fortunate enough to play Bozja as current content, so it felt less like a grind for me. Unlike Eureka, Bozja has a couple cards built directly into the story and purchasable with map currency alongside two unlockable NPCs with two cards each (all of which are exclusive).
Here's a handy guide if you're looking to get into Bozja for the first time:
- The Bozjan Southern Front by AkhMorning
To earn the requisite cards from Bozja, you'll need to complete the first zone, The Bozjan Southern Front, and its final dungeon, Castrum Lacus Litore and the 24-player raid, Delubrum Reginae. After that, you'll need to complete the second zone, Zadnor, and defeat its final dungeon as well, The Dalriada.
After Completing the Bozjan Southern Front:
After Completing Zadnor:
Blue Mage Quests
Perhaps you, like me, thought that you might never complete the Blue Mage Quests. You don't need it for the Amaro mount, naturally, so it's OK that that particular number never turned orange.
Surprise! You have to do it all for the Triple Triad mount. Well, almost all of it - let's break down what's required from this underutilized job during your card grind.
BLU Quests & Masked Carnivale
There are a few important things to know now: first, you will have to get your Blue Mage to level 70. Have a friend help get you there. Second, you do not have to beat every Masked Carnivale entry, but you will have to beat three particularly tough ones.
You should consider the preparation required for the three required Masked Carnivale fights as similar to learning an Extreme Trial. You'll need to learn placements and perhaps a basic rotation. As a reminder, these do not drop cards, they simply allow you to complete the BLU quests which will in turn unlock other cards.
To begin, here are two guides that will be helpful to you:
The good news is that you actually don't need to learn too many spells to beat the Masked Carnivale fights. Here are the ones you need to do, as well as the spells I recommend you collect:
- Masked Carnivale 25: Azulmagia
- Guide by GamersTips
- Spells to get: Loom, Water Cannon, Drill Cannon, White Wind, Off-Guard
- Masked Carnivale 30: Catch of the Siegfried
- Spells to get: Exuviation
- Masked Carnivale 31: Gogo, Master of Mimicry
- Guide by u/Noraneko-chan
- Spells to get: Aetherial Mimicry, Flying Sardine, Diamondback, Eerie Soundwave
Gogo, for me, was easily the hardest fight and will potentially take a number of tries depending on how proficient you are at the Blue Mage class. But it's still eminently doable with a bit of work, just don't underestimate it.
As you beat these quests, you'll unlock the cards below.
Beating Droyn (NPC) and Purchasing Cards
By completing the Level 60 Blue Cheese quest, the following NPC becomes available to you, and has two exclusive cards to get:
Finally, after completing the level 70 quests you'll need 400 Allied Seals to purchase the two remaining cards from Maudlin Latool Ja in Ul'dah. You get 200 Allied Seals from beating Masked Carnivale 25, and you'll get a pre-determined amount from each of the other first 24 fights. If you don't feel like doing more Masked Carnivale, though, you can always do your Weekly Elite Hunt for 100 Allied Seals, at your local Grand Company HQ.
As we near the end, we have two small bits of housekeeping to attend to in the form of non-standard currencies. These should not take too terrible long, perhaps one or two sessions of a couple hours each to complete them, and make a great intermediary step if you're burning out on Eureka, Bozja, or Duty grinds.
First and foremost, we'll need 1,000 Skybuilders Scrips in order to be able to purchase two cards from Enie in the Firmament. It's entirely possible that you've got those stored away if you participated at all in the Restoration events, but if not then here's a good starter guide:
- Ishgard Restoration Guide (with Macros) by /u/ryan20340
This is a great time to power-level a crafter or gatherer! However, that's not all, as you'll actually need to level up Ehll Tou (Custom Deliveries) to Satisfaction Rank 5 (Max) before being able to purchase her card, which will take several weeks if you havent' completed it already. Once you've got your scrips in hand, head to the Firmament and purchase the following two cards:
Finally, we'll need to buy 7 exclusive cards by completing FATEs in Shadowbringers zones, which are unlocked by reaching specific ranks within those zones depending on the number of FATEs you've completed. Here's what that looks like:
- Rank 1 = 1 FATE
- Rank 2 = 6 FATEs
- Rank 3 = 60 FATEs
Not exactly a linear scale, is it? In addition to this, you'll need a total of 810 bi-color gemstones to buy the 7 exclusive cards from Shadowbringers zones. Fortunately, given that each FATE you earn Gold in gives you 12 gemtones, you'll earn almost enough just by virtue of getting to Rank 3 with Kholusia, the only zone which requires it. Here's the full breakdown of zones, requirements, and their exclusive cards:
- Lakeland - Rank 1 (1 FATE)
- Gnoll - 60 gemstones
- Kholusia - Rank 3 (60 FATEs)
- Il Mheg - Rank 2 (6 FATEs)
- Rak'tika Greatwood - Rank 1 (1 FATE)
- Huaca - 100 gemstones
- The Tempest - Rank 1 (1 FATE)
- Therion - 250 gemstones
My suggestion: get out your Chocobo (and a Thavnairian Onion if you need it), and get cozy grinding out the fates in the Northern half of Kholusia, up near Tomra. It's a great place to quickly chain them together and not have to use your brain too much.
As you progress through your Triple Triad journey, you'll naturally unlock a number of achievements which in turn grant you more cards for your collection. Hence, why they are here at the bottom of the guide. However, the Open and Shut I achievement does require you to rank 1st in a single Open Tournament at the Gold Saucer (mentioned above), meaning you've got to go a bit out of your way.
Here are all Triple Triad card-granting achievements:
Triple-decker (Unique Cards Obtained)
- Triple-decker IV (90 cards) - Midgardsormr
- Triple-decker V (120 cards) - Vidofnir
- Triple-decker VI (150 cards) - Heavensward Thancred
- Triple-decker VII (190 cards) - Krile
- Triple-decker VIII (220 cards) - Gosetsu
- Triple-decker IX (270 cards) - Shadowbringers Urianger
- Triple-decker X (300 cards) - Shadowbringers Thancred
Triple Team (Unique NPCs Defeated)
Note that the Squall Leonhart card for Triple Team II is not needed for the mount.
Open and Shut (Rank 1st in Open Tournament)
We covered more about Open Tournaments up in the Gold Saucer section above.
- Open and Shut I - Phoenix
And with that, we've reached the end of our journey. Best of luck to you as you grind out this awesome, envy-inspiring mount. I hope that this guide was helpful to you.
If you have questions, comments, or corrections, you can find my contact information in the footer. You can also visit my main website to find out more about what I do outside of Final Fantasy XIV. If you'd like a pared down, text- and link-only version of this guide, you can view my notes document here.
Thank you to my friend Ellarie Delsant for the first two photos on the website.
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