by Max Barry

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by The Regional Nation of The Northern Light. . 3,123 reads.

NationStates Cards - Useful Tips and Strategies

How Do I Become More Seasoned in Cards?


Now that you know about the basics of NationStates cards, we'll start taking a look at more-advanced tips for those who wish to take their understanding to the next level! This page will serve as a repository of interesting ways for you to further your experience in trading, with topics from all card-based areas being covered:

Can I obtain a card without the use of bank?

In a way, yes, you can! Certain players will not be so willing to offer one of their prized cards in exchange for money. Should you encounter such players, you can instead offer to gift them a card in exchange for them doing the same for the card you asked for (as a form of trade rather than a purchase). Naturally, it is advised to offer a card of equal/similar value to the owner of the card you want (unless you can offer a card of personal worth, which will likely require you to know the player more).

For example: say that a player wishes to purchase the much-desired Testlandia, but can't seem to get any of the owners to sell it, so that player decides to gift a Queen Yuno in exchange for Testlandia being gifted (in return). Both cards are immensely popular, so this trade is almost guaranteed to work! And with this in mind, now you've got another method in order to earn your desired item.

Whoa. I can gift cards to obtain cards, but how do I let people know?

As you might've heard in the main page, it is possible to let people know of what you're offering by either telegramming them or posting on the cards forum.

The former is more suited to quickly garner a response from the owners of your card. However, you will need to make sure that your telegram is well-worded and not intended to sound condescending. Otherwise, people might ignore your telegram and maybe even block you out of annoyance, so make sure you leave a good impression on them!

Hi there.

Couldn't help but notice that you have this card: [LINK DESIRED CARD HERE], so I've offered: [LINK YOUR CARD HERE] in exchange.

Need your card for my collection, so thanks if you're interested in trading with me :)


(You can probably tweak this telegram format to mention actual bids as well.)

The latter is more suited to allow everyone who uses said forum to notice your offer and check whether they own the card you want. However, you will have to note of the fact that not everyone (who has the card) actually uses the forum either (especially since the cards form is relatively new), so you might be forced to wait a bit in order for an interested player to respond.

I'm trying to search for a specific card. Is there a way to do that?

Absolutely, and here are the methods to do so:

1. For players that are currently active, you may search their names on the dossier. If active, their nation's main page should then be accessible. After opening said page, click the displayed Linkcard logo, and it will take you to the nation's card page. You will then be able to click "View card: [NATION NAME]" at the top right-hand corner!

2. For nations that have ceased-to-exist (CTE), this is also possible!. As per Frisbeeteria's announcement, it is currently possible to search up the card for any inactive nation.

You do this by going to the boneyard and typing in the name of the nation. The resulting nation should have a link(s) to any card that have been made for them. If cards have been made for that nation, then all you need to do is simply click on the image of the card to be directed towards the page for the card you searched for!

[Note: some nations, due to being founded/re-founded after the time a season was introduced, will not have a card, so the dossier and boneyard search methods will only work if nations actually have a card printed for them.]

That specific card happens to be extremely rare, and I want it for my collection! How do I obtain it?

Some cards may prove to be rather difficult to obtain. This may be the case for multiple reasons, whether it be due to 1) a lack of owners, 2) unwillingness of owners to sell the card due to said card's popularity, 3) all the owners are inactive/not interested in trading cards, or 4) the nation behind the card has ceased-to-exist (CTE'd). Whatever it may be, there are two ways as to how you may acquire a hard-to-obtain card:

1. Directly Telegramming One of the Owners - As mentioned above (see "Whoa. I can gift cards to obtain cards, but how do I let people know?"), you will always have a greater chance to obtain cards (even the rarest cards in the game!) by simply telegramming the owners. If you're lucky, one of those owners may log in, read your telegram, and honor your willingness to directly message them by selling you the card!

(And of course, writing a nicely-worded telegram makes the chances for them to sell even higher!)

2. Pinging All of the Owners in a Dispatch - If you are not interested in sending each owner a telegram, then simply list the owners (of a card you want) in a dispatch and state (in the dispatch) that each one of them owns the card you are looking for! [Note: this may be a more annoying method to get the attention of card owners, so do this sparingly in order to not be seen as a spammer.]

How can I increase the amount of bank and cards I wish to obtain (without actually trading with other players)?

Making additional nations (known as "puppets") is currently the suggested method to gather additional cards and cash, since more nations = more issues to answer for packs, with those packs yielding cards to keep, junk, or sell! Creating a minimum of 10 additional nations allows you to quickly purchase most cards within the market, while going to 30 can swiftly aid your rise to the top in the deck value leaderboard!

I'm trying to clean my deck, but some cards I wish to still keep. How do I ensure they're kept safe?

Once you're at the point where you have too many cards, you might start junking them to free up deck space. To prevent accidental junking, lodge an ask of 10000 for the card you wish to keep. Lodging this huge ask will both A) prevent you from junking the card unless you remove said ask and B) prevent players from buying your card, since paying 10000 bank for one is simply ludicrous!

How do I keep track of the cards I want to buy?

Lodge a bid of 0.01 bank. These cards, should they be put on auction, will always appear in your auction list, even if you're not the highest bidder! Do this if you're interested in buying a particular card but don't want to commit all your bank due to the uncertainty of the card actually being worth the payment.

(They will also appear in your auction list if you ask a card for 10000 as well.)

If I have bids in place, how can I find the total bank I have left?

Once you have a bid lodged, the total amount of bank you may utilize in future auctions will decrease (unless you remove those bids). To find out how much you have left, go to your nation's trade page, click on "bids", and scroll to the very bottom of the page. The amount you have placed in bids should appear, and you can then subtract that value from your total bank to determine how much you have left.

Clicking on these words will go to the trade page for The Salaxalans:

After the trade page is pulled up, click on the word "bids" to view all of the bids this user has placed:

Scroll down the bid page, and you will notice that they've currently placed 26.84 bank in bids:

Subtracting 26.84 from their total amount of bank (in this case, it's 110.10 as seen above) will leave them with 83.26 usable bank.

What measures can I take to purchase a card without consuming too much bank?

1. If another player is currently bidding on a card you want (or has overbid a card that you were bidding on), pretend that you have not noticed anything for the majority of the auction. Then at the last few seconds of the auction, bid over them. This allows you to win over your card without having the other bidder detect you (and only really fails if the other player likes to watch their auctions all the time). Bidding for a card at the last second (and winning it) is what referred to as sniping, since you'll be hidden from counter bids most of the time!

2. When countering another bidder, be careful to not bid too much. If you bid too much, the other player (should they already have a copy of the card you own) might lodge an ask that matches the overwhelmingly high amount of bank you bid and bid that same amount of bank for the less-priced copy you two were competing over (earning an overall net profit while still keeping their copy of the card). This is what constitutes dropping, and if you fall victim to an unexpectedly lodged (and expensive) ask by the other player then you are considered to have been "dropped".

How can I ensure the safety of my bank transfers?

A rule of thumb in bank transfers is that if someone tries asking for an incredibly low price (such as 0.01), simply lodge a bid at that price, forcing the person who attempted to heist your bank to make only that much profit and ensuring the completion of your transfer.

Also, be sure to only use either: A) low-owner cards to conduct your transfers (since more owners means more players who will try to heist your transfer) or B) a ton of copies of a particular card (since you can commit a small portion of bank to each copy, mitigating the damage if a heist is attempted).

Next, note that (as mentioned in the Auction Page), even if you choose to conduct a transfer with a low-owner card, that other players always have a chance (though it is very low) to pull it from a pack, so if someone actually pulls your low-owner card then they now have the ability to heist your transfer.

Finally, should someone attempt to heist you, underask their offer to once again match to your puppet's bid, and it is highly advised to do so at the very last moments of the auction to avoid detection.

With these 4 things in mind, here are some ways as to how you may conduct a safe transfer:

1. For newer players with few cards, it is best if you transfer a relatively sizeable amount of bank (perhaps 1-3 bank) on a low-owner card (preferably with less than 15 owners).

[Note: If you are unable to find a low-owner card, then check each owner as to see whether they are an active nation (i.e. if they have logged in during the last 5 days). If they are not, then you are ensured of them not heisting you, and you can subtract them from the owner count (since they won't be online at the time of your transfer).]

2. To take the basic transfer a step further, you can use a low-owner card to sneak in a massive transfer at the very last second! [Note: you will need 2 copies of said low-owner card to actually work.] During the majority time of the auction, ask for junk price on the 1st copy of the card you're using to transfer. Let the auction run, then at the last few seconds of the auction, transfer the large amount of bank (it can be any amount, even hundreds!) with the other copy of the transfer card you had. This gives people only a minute (at most) to notice the large offer and attempt to steal your bank, so this is almost guaranteed to work!

3. Finally, you may consider a completely different method of transferring bank. As mentioned earlier, continuously buy an unthinkable number of copies (of one card) and sell each copy at a fixed price (maximum of 3 bank) to your puppet nation(s). That way, if someone underasks you then you will lose only a small portion of the bank you were transferring to your main! (Plus, if someone underasks then you can simply buy their copy and add yet another copy to your transfer card stash.)

Special thanks to Destructive Government Economic System for writing the entire guide!