A good wingman is your personal mercenary when you're on a mission to score. Which buddy will serve you best? Here are four golden qualities to look for when choosing a partner for the trenches.

A good wingman can scout out the most viable girls with bionic precision. He can also spot an engagement or wedding ring from across the room and has spidey senses that tell him who is rebounding, horny, or just boil-the-bunny crazy. He can also discern in a second whether the girl you're interested in is a waste of time or worth the $5 drink you're buying. "He'll assess the crowd so you don't have to," says Pete, 24. "That way you can just focus on looking cool and collected."

It is a wingman's primary duty to collect and retain useful information. He must remember details about the target, as well as the names of her friends. It's essential that he is both funny and outgoing, yet subtle. He should be charismatic, a smooth conversationalist, and immune to rejection. "A good wingman doesn't hesitate to make himself look stupid, corny, or clueless to smooth out a situation for you," says Vinny, 32. "As long as you look like Superman, he's done his job."

A quality wingman will take one for the team. He will dote on the fat friend, jealous sister, or drunk co-worker. If necessary, he will take home the "not as pretty" girl. "A true wingman doesn't need to prove he can get girls," says Steve Santagati, New York Times best-selling author of The Manual. "You are his top priority, and under no circumstance will he ever try and cock-block you." If anything, he will seek out any roadblocks and remove them so you can sashay in, steal the scene, and get the girl.

Like a personal stylist/assistant, your wingman is there to make sure you don't have something in your teeth or that your breath doesn't stink. Toilet paper trailing from your foot? He intercepts. Tag sticking out of your shirt collar? He's there to make sure you are red-carpet material. By the way, by no means should he be better-looking than you.