How to Out-Duel on the Decks
Dueling Decks is one of the newest strategy games in Neopia. In it, you play against a Mynci by the name of Zenco the Magnificent in a contest to see who can win all of the 20 playing cards. Each of the cards represent a famous (or not so famous) Neopian, all with values for Courage, Charisma and Intelligence.
At the start of each turn, one card is selected for both you and Zenco. Depending on which mode you are playing on (Easy, Normal or Hard are the options), either you or Zenco will choose either Courage, Charisma or Intelligence. The card with highest value in this category wins, with that player capturing both of these cards. The game finishes when one player has all 20 of the cards and other player has none.
The Three Categories
It is essential that you know the maximum values for each category; the maximum courage is 16, the maximum charisma is 15 and the maximum intelligence is 162. From these values you could work out how good a certain card is and the probability that it will beat another.
The Wild Card
When you think you’re in a tight spot, you can hit the “Play Wildcard” button on the left of the screen which will replace your current card with the “Nightsteed” card. Nightsteed has Courage and Charisma with values of 14 and Intelligence of 140, making this a very nifty card. It is one-use only though, and your old card will reappear later on. It should be noted that Nightsteed is not infallible; there are many cards that could still defeat it. Nightsteed is best used when you are down to very few cards and need a win, but you have a not-so-good card in play.
The Different Modes
Easy: No matter who has won the previous round, you get to choose the category. This means that if you follow the tips listed later in this guide, it is possible to control every single round. While this does sound like quite an advantage, you can only get a maximum of 400 points at a time. Unless you’re willing to reduce yourself to a bleary-eyed zombie with carpal tunnel, this isn’t the best way to make it on the high-score table.
Normal: If you lose a round against Zenco, he gets to choose the category for the next round. However, you are allowed a certain amount of control. A pointer will quickly (And I mean quickly) move from each of the categories. You must select “Choose” when you think it will stop on the desired category. The problem is, unless you have lightning-fast reflexes you may very well likely choose the least helpful category. Because the category chosen is basically down to luck (With those speedy lightning-fast-reflexes people not included in this statement) you don’t have as much control over the game as you would first believe. I would recommend you avoid this setting.
Hard: You and Zenco are playing on even ground on this setting; if he loses a round, you choose, and when you lose a round, he chooses without any influence from you. This may seem quite difficult to control- and indeed, it may sometimes mean your plan goes awry- but it is very probable that you can keep the game going for hours on end if you have the ability to think ahead. Hard is quite good for making it onto the high-score table (and retaining your sanity) as if you get the oh-so-useful 5-in-a-row “Max Combo” you receive 1600 points, which certainly embarrasses the 400 points maximum of Easy.
How to Get a High-Score
As anybody who plays Dueling Decks would have noticed, beating Zenco without dropping a single round will only get you a score of a few thousand points. You don’t lose any points for losing a round to Zenco, while you always get points for winning a round. The longer the game goes, the more points you will get. And the only way to keep the game going is to alternatively win and lose against Zenco.
If playing on Easy, it is simple enough to let yourself get down to 5 cards or so and then win many games in a row, so as to allow for maximum combos as possible. On hard, however, more skill is required. And some arts and crafts. Yes, arts and crafts. For you see, the best way to control the game on hard is to know for absolute certain which card Zenco will play next- and it is easy enough to know, so long as you remember the order of his deck. But as that would require the kind of brain power only our dear Dr Frank Sloth possesses, we will use tiny squares of paper to know the order of Zenco‘s deck.
How to make Tiny Squares of Paper
-Scissors (Watch out for those pointy edges)
-Hands (Preferably your own)
Step 1: Cut up the paper in tiny, tiny rectangles. Only 1cmX3cm is my recommendation.
Step 2: Begin a Hard game of Dueling Decks, but stop at the screen which tells you which cards you start off with.
Step 3: Write down the name of each card, and their three values. For example:
The three values should be in the order of Courage, Charisma and Intelligence.
Step 4: Move the squares into the order given to you on the screen; the top row, right to left, followed by the bottom row, right to left. This shows the order of your deck. I find it more helpful if the squares are placed in a vertical row.
And you’re ready to get started!
How to Control the Game
One of the most important points about Dueling Decks is that whether you or Zenco lose, the two cards will always be placed at the bottom of either person’s deck with your card above his. Even when a draw occurs, your card will stay above his and then these two cards will stay above the cards from the next round. The order of the cards is consistent and the card at the top of the deck will always be played in that round.
The first few rounds will involve guesswork and luck. Try not to lose a round for as long as possible, so as to allow yourself time between the rounds to write down the name of Zenco’s card you just captured. If you get to 16 or 17 cards, deliberately choose a category you should lose in so as to keep the game going. Eventually you will be able to have squares of paper representing every card in play. Try to get them ordered as quickly as possible using the rules listed in the above paragraph. So for every time you win a round, quickly move your card to the bottom of your list of paper squares, and then his card under it. And every time Zenco wins a round, you move the two pieces of paper under his list with your card before his.
Now you are able to know the order of both of your decks. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by knowing which category will definitely resulting in you beating Zenco, or which category to choose so you deliberately lose a round against him to keep him going. By using this strategy you can easily get a score greater than 100,000 in about two hours.
As a closing note, I should also point out that some cards, such as Gorix, will inevitably lose in every category to most cards. There will also be cards like Ylana Skyfire who will beat most cards in every category. You must keep an eye out for such cards as even if you choose the category, you will not be able to choose whether you win or lose that round.
Best of luck in your Duelling, and hopefully you manage to improve your score or learned a few tips or tricks from this guide.