5/10 - edited to update info on Celebration
2/21 - edited a bit for content and currency
Core Hand Edit
I've had a lot of people tell me that they can't win at diplomacy (when starting out in particular)... so I thought I'd share this little guide.
Please note that it is not as useful for diplomats who are starting on the Isle of Dawn, since most of the cards will not be available there. That being said, it can be used at very low levels off of the island.
There are multiple tactics that can be implemented when creating a diplomatic strategy. You can tailor your deck to the type of parley that you're doing (Interview, Convince, Entertain, Incite, Gossip), or to the cards your opponent tends to play. Just as there are lots of cards available, there are also LOTS of viable strategies... so it's very difficult for me to say that any one strategy is the 'best'. That being said, I've found that adding the following five (easily obtainable) cards to your deck will almost guarantee victory if you play them correctly:
Notice that all of these cards are free to use. This means that you can use them in every single parley, regardless of the type. It also means that the fact that some of the take expression away from you won't hurt you nearly as much as it hurts your opponent. Another thing to notice is that these cards don't give much expression to your opponent... a grand total of 1 flattery across the board - and 3 of the cards steal their expression. If your opponent doesn't have any expression, it's a lot harder for them to play their best cards.
None of these cards are particularly hard to get! Let's review each of them, then I'll post an example parley showing them in action.
- Fungid Shambler (L15 4*) in Three Rivers Village
- Fungid Nurturer (L15 4*) in Three Rivers Village
- Fungid Warrior(L15 4*) in Three Rivers Village
- Atoll Screecher (L21 3*) in Skawlra Rock
- Ravenous Erthanid Sporebeast (L38 5*) in River Palace
- Mnalus Deathcap (L50 5*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Juggernaut Guardian (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Reaver (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Glomus (L50 5*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Elite Mnalus Champion (L49 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Brawler (L47 3*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Elite Mnalus Diviner (L49 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Spore Priest (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Adept (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Priest (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Warrior (L50 4*) in Swamps of Rumug
- Mnalus Mender (L47 3*) in Swamps of Rumug
Gremlin Greed is very similar to Fungal Footnote... it gives slightly less influence (2 instead of 3) but gives absolutely nothing to your opponent - making it absolutely invaluable! It's another excellent card to use for opening a parley, and is frequently available on the broker for under 5g. It drops as loot from the following mobs:
- Rekk Imp Lord (L21-22 3*) in Renton Keep at Tharridons Scar
- Ulvari Devourer (L15 2*) in Blighted Lands
- Ulvari Thrall (L16 2*) in Blighted Lands
- Corrupted Jin Fiend (L15 2*) in Blighted Lands
- Devourer of Ra'Jin (L18-19 3*) in Blighted Lands
- Jin Hunter (L7-8 2*) in Tanvu SW of the town
- Jin Quencher (L7-8 2*) in Tanvu SW of the town
- Kojuko Disrupter (L12 2*) in Tomb of Lord Tsang chunk on North Shore
- Kojuko Despoiler (L11 2*) in Tomb of Lord Tsang chunk on North Shore
- Minor Rift Imp (L3 2*) in Tursh Village at the Academy
- Lesser Rift Imp (L3 2*) in Tursh Village at the Academy
Celebration was given as part of the 2010 Anniversary Gift (Diplomat's Card Pack). Although it is no longer available that way, you *can* get it as a reward from Statement Knowledge books. This card can be a substitute for either Gremlin Greed or Fungal Footnote.
Charming Distraction is fantastic for stripping expression from your opponent. Frequently npcs will play a repeal card (a card that gives them expression) right before playing a 'power' card - one that moves the parley indicator a large amount in their favor. You can prevent them from playing that power card if you steal their expression right after they play their repeal. This card is available as a relatively common drop from civic parleys/statement books, and can frequently be found on the broker for under 1g. It is also a possible reward from the quest Convincing the Scholar on the Isle of Dawn.
All four of the above cards can be in your deck as a level 1 diplomat if you don't start on the island (no mail on the island).
Karma Burn is a signature statement; I very strongly recommend selecting it as your first signature statement at level 10. Like Charming Distraction, it strips expression from your opponent... but it also has a chance to move the parley indicator up to 3 in your favor! It also has a much shorter refresh time, making it absolutely invaluable in any deck.
Expert Manipulation is available as part of the Diplomat's Saga questline; you need level 14 diplomacy to obtain it. It's a reward from the 9th quest in the series... I know that seems like a lot of quests to do, but the card is well worth it! Plus you'll get some fantastic xp doing these quests, and pick up some decent gear along the way. Diplomat's Saga: Signing Up Click here for information about how to start the Diplomat's Saga].
Message edited by Ellindre on 05/10/2010 10:05:40.
Additional cards Edit
While the 5 Card Hand is good enough to win you nearly any parley in the game, you have many other slots to fill for a full deck. There are many options one may consider to tend to the perfect Hand. Here are some cards that are useful to complete the 5 Card Hand. The idea is still the same: give the opponent no to few resource, make sure he can use only free cards, while you put cards that freely gives you parley indicator.
We'll consider you have the 6 cards mentionned above (i.e. including celebration, which is a great card).
- Masked Intent (need image): this statement is learnt while wearing certain writ masks. The Kith Paradisiac Diamond, for example, gives you the statement. Please note that you have to wear the mask in order to use the card. The card is like a "mini-Karma Burn": it costs nothing, strips 1 point of each expression to both player, gives you 0-5 indicator, and the cooldown is 1-5 turns. Definitely a card to consider.
- Bitter Truths: priceless in no-flattery parleys, it also shines everytime you badly need to turn the indicator back to your advantage while Fungal Footnote and Gremlin Greed are on cooldown. During a no-flattery parley, just brainlessly spam it. During all other parleys, it'll be your lifesaver.
- Worst Case: costs nothing, 1-1 indicator, no expression given. Spam it when you don't know what else to do.
- Finally, if parley is really going out of hand and you need an extra neat-o-boost to make a lot of indicator points very fast, then you need the combo Deadly Covenant, The Sultan's Voice and the 4 x-ion statements (Elocution, Disillusion, Absolution and Resolution). Deadly Covenant is a signature statement, The Sultan's Voice is the final reward of Diplomat's Saga and the 4 x-ion statements are really common cards you can find as a reward for civic parleys or buy at the broker for less than 1g. Except for Deadly Covenant, those cards can be used anytime you don't know what to do with your extra expression points. They give you a lot of indicator points, while giving no to very very few expression to the opponent. Consider them anytime you can put one.