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"[FoME] manages the impossible combination of being an actual legitimate nerd while staying unabashedly pleasant." —Aragón

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  • Today
    Friendship is Card Games: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell

    So, to overwhelmingly greater demand than I expected (i.e. any,) I am delving into the official Friendship is Magic novels. There are a staggeringly high number of them, along with journals, mysteries, handbooks (hoofbooks?) and more. I have a newfound respect for G. M. Berrow in terms of her sheer output. In any case, let’s see what the very first one has to offer.

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    11 comments · 127 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 1

    This one’s a bit unusual. It comes as a request from SirNotAppearingInThisFic (and yes, I do plan on doing the official chapter books, including one next week.) I didn’t really know what I was getting into when he suggested, but having taken a look, this does work.

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    5 comments · 209 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Bubbles

    The Mentally Advanced Series can be thought of as the Pepsi to Friendship is Witchcraft’s Coke; same concept, different execution, each with their supporters. I personally prefer FiW; MAS gets unpalatably cruel over time, especially once it’s no longer shackled to FiM’s visuals. But there is one offshoot, the Schweppes ginger ale of this analogy, where my tastes shift.

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    12 comments · 278 views
  • 2 weeks

    Ida came and went through my neck of the woods, and on a semi-related note, we have some people who could use some help: shallow15 just needs a little aid at the start of the month, but Sprocket Doggingsworth is dealing with some severe flooding. Give what you can,

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    9 comments · 206 views
  • 3 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: Five Temples and a Wedding

    The centennial issue marks the penultimate entry for the IDW main line. Issue #102, coming out next month, will close out Season 10 and the line as a whole. For now, let’s see how the end begins.

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    7 comments · 246 views

Friendship is Card Games: Too Many Pinkie Pies · 1:33pm Mar 15th, 2015

Yesterday was an especially relevant Pi Day, being 3/14/15. That people voted this episode to be done now is a beautiful bit of synchronicity. When better for too many Pies than π + 1?

Apparently, changing one kind of fruit into another is much harder than turning a rock into a hat or improvising a spell that warps the appetites of an entire swarm of magical creatures. That, or trying to change apples into anything else becomes much harder so close to Sweet Apple Acres. Guess which hypothesis I like better.
Also, this is why you should always bend reality in a safe, controlled, and above all else, contained environment.

Given Pinkie’s usual omnipresence, I have to think that because the episode is focusing on her, she can’t just spread her wavefunction over all of Ponyville, collapsing it wherever there might be fun. We’re observing her, so she has to actually run everywhere rather than just shuffle her probability.
Of course, that doesn’t explain why somepony who can keep with Rainbow Dash is getting exhausted this quickly. It’s not like she’s also delivering singing telegrams along the way. Though the explicit mention of “Pinkie Strength” may refer to her magic reserve. It may be bizarre, but it isn’t boundless, and we're only seeing her efforts in montage form. An attempt to monitor all of Ponyville at once would likely be exhausting for anyone.

“It’s driving me even more coco-loco than usual!” Pinkie’s awareness of her own madness confirmed... which means she's not as insane as she could be. Also confirmed is that she’d be the sort of person who’d update her social network feeds every five seconds or so. I’m amazed that her human analogue isn’t glued to MyStable.

“Everyone will bring their fun to me.” Ah, yes. There’s that selfish streak also seen in “A Friend in Deed.” Pinkie wants to see you smile. If a friend smiles in Ponyville and she isn't there to see it, is he having fun?

Seriously, Twilight. Contained environment. Learn. You’re supposed to be good at that. (Unless, of course, her inner mad scientist revels in making horrific perversions of nature. Discord approves!)

Presumably Nanna Pinkie is Pinkie’s other grandmother, as opposed to Granny Pie. Of course, that begs the question of which parent’s mother is which, and how they begat a pair of stern rock farmers.

I know it’s to distinguish Pinkie from her clone, but there’s something bizarre about her walking rather than bouncing. I’m sure she’s done it before, but next to herself, the contrast really stands out.
Speaking of contrast, this seems like a good point to appreciate a metafictional bit of this episode. The mirror clones are a common interpretation of Pinkie: the manic, careless, one-dimensional joke character. But she’s more than that, though sometimes even the show’s writers forget she is. This episode really highlights Pinkie’s greater depths.

How do ponies tan? I know Rarity gives a few ponies sunburns in “Magical Mystery Cure.” My pet theory is that pony coats have some fiber optic properties, which is why we can see them blush. But how would tanning work, and how could you tell it had worked? Maybe enough exposure would bleach coats, making them closer in appearance to Celestia’s and, by some metrics, more attractive.

“Hay juice”? Hay juice. It’s one thing to fry hay, but how exactly do you juice it?
That being said, I do love how the bear sticks out his pinkie. (No, not that Pinkie.)

“How’d you do that?” Trust me, Dash, you don’t want to know.

That hidden chamber in the library raises so many questions. Who put it there? Why? Why that book? Is the legend of the Mirror Pool kept in the Neighcronomicon or something? Given the potential horror of dismissing the real Pinkie Pie, it wouldn’t surprise me. Of course, there’s the question of what would happen afterwards. The spell does sound rather familiar… though the only way to know would be to test, and what if it went wrong?

That tree has a wood-burning stove. Just how smart are these animals, anyway?

I see Twilight was working on the voice of unquestionable command even before she got her wings. Probably comes in handy during Ponyville's panicked riots.

I have never had a problem with Twilight blasting the Pinkie clones back to the Mirror Pool. They aren’t really people; they’re shoddily made arcane intelligences, especially the copies of copies of copies. They aren’t even philosophical zombies; they’re incapable of entering a non-fun mindset, which explains why none of them panic or flee after the first one gets unsummoned. They have no capacity for fear or ability to conceive of their own demise, because neither is fun.

Wait, Pinkie’s room is in Sugarcube Corner’s basement now? Then why are there windows? Clearly, the room itself wanders through space and time, the Queen in Pink’s dread Carcosa.

Well, that was fun. You know what else is fun? Making up cards. So, how fun are these?

Restful Basking W
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can’t attack or block unless its controller pays X, where X is your devotion to white. (Each W in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to white.)

Butterfly Therapy 1W
Whenever a creature blocks this turn, you gain 3 life.
Fluttershy’s cutie mark symbolizes healing and gentleness on countless levels.

Gentle Entry 2W
Permanents entering the battlefield don’t cause abilities to trigger.
”Sometimes, making a splash is a bad thing.”
—Pinkie Pie, Bearer of Laughter

Lithic Seal 2W
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant noncreature, nonland permanent
Enchanted permanent loses all abilities.
Some magical hazards require intricate, elaborate seals that take dozens of unicorns hours to cast. Others can be dealt with more simply.

Echoing Dictum U
Detain target creature you don’t control and all other creatures you don’t control with the same name as that creature. (Until your next turn, those creatures can’t attack or block and their activated abilities can’t be activated.)
A single order unleashes a wave of obedience.

Citrusize UU
Target creature becomes a green Plant with base power and toughness 0/1 until end of turn.
Flashback 3UU (You may cast this spell from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
“Well, third time’s the charm.”
—Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic

Painted Wall 1U
Creature — Wall
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to Painted Wall by creatures that share a color with it.
1U: Painted Wall becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
”Do you think it would look better in eggshell or ivory?”
—Rarity, Bearer of Generosity

Clockwork Contemplation 2U
Scry 3, then draw a card. (To scry X, look at the top X cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
Forecast — U, Reveal Clockwork Contemplation from your hand: Scry 1. (Activate this ability only during your upkeep and only once each turn.)

Existential Crisis 3U
All nonbasic permanents become legendary until end of turn.
The only thing more horrifying than realizing that you are a reflection is watching yourself turn away from the mirror.

Mirror Pool 5UU
Legendary Enchantment
Imprint — When Mirror Pool enters the battlefield, exile a nontoken creature you control.
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a token that's a copy of the exiled card onto the battlefield for each creature with the same name as that card. If no creatures with that name are on the battlefield, put one of those tokens onto the battlefield.
The “legend rule” doesn’t apply to creatures you control with the same name as the exiled card.

Tough Decision 2B
Target opponent chooses exactly two creatures you control. If that player does, sacrifice one of those creatures and put a divinity counter on the other. That creature has indestructible as long as it has a divinity counter on it.
For Pinkie Pie, fun isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s much more important.

Hideous Legacy 3B
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard.
History is filled with horror as much as glory, if not more so.

Frenzied Funseekers 4RR
Creature — Pony Berserker
Whenever Frenzied Funseekers deals combat damage to a player, that player sacrifices a permanent.
They live only to entertain themselves, uncaring or unaware of the havoc they wreak.

Recall Folklore 1G
Reveal the top five cards of your library. You may put up to one legendary card and up to one land card from among them into your hand. Put the rest into your graveyard.
There are legends about everything. The catch is remembering the right one.

Pleasant Picnic 1GG
You gain life equal to the number of attacking creatures plus the number of blocking creatures. Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.
”I’m so glad you could all make it. I’m sure you’ll be on your best behavior.”
—Fluttershy, Bearer of Kindness

Barn Raising 2G
Search your library for a land card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
”There’s nothing like looking at something and being able to think to yourself, ‘I helped build that.’”
—Applejack, Bearer of Honesty

Flawless Imitation (ur)
As an additional cost to cast Flawless Imitation, tap an untapped creature you control.
Copy target instant or sorcery spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.
”If you didn’t want to be mocked, then why did you make it so easy?”

Run Ragged UR
Target creature attacks this turn if able and doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step.
Even earth pony endurance has its limits.

Bramble Thicket RGW
Creature — Plant Wall
Bramble Thicket can block any number of creatures.
Whenever Bramble Thicket blocks a creature, it deals 1 damage to that creature.

Skidding Subduction 1RW
Remove target attacking creature from combat. That creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.
Sometimes a pony returns to the earth a bit earlier than scheduled.

Inflation Mutation XGU
Choose target creature, then choose up to X abilities from among other creatures on the battlefield. That creature gets +X/+X and gains those abilities until end of turn. (If any of the abilities use a creature’s name, use the targeted creature’s name instead.)
"Add biology to the list of things about Pinkie I may never understand."
—Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic

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Comments ( 8 )

My pet theory is that pony coats have some fiber optic properties

Oh my gosh, I never thought of that. Headcanon accepted!

Cool, I knew the points would add up!

Citrusize UU
Target creature becomes a green Plant with base power and toughness 0/1 until end of turn.
Flashback 3UU (You may cast this spell from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
“Well, third time’s the charm.”
—Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic

Well that doesn't make any sense, it's clearly an Orange plant :)

Quest for the mirror pool U
(Can't think a a trigger that would make sense)
Whenever a creature comes into play put a quest counter on Quest for the mirror pool.
Remove 3 quest counters from Quest for the mirror pool and sacrifice it, put 3 tokens onto the battlefield that's a copy of target creature.

Technically, it's π + .01 (3.15 =/= 4.14)

Cast Tough Decision when your only creatures are, for example, a Butcher of Malakir and a Flayer of the Hatebound, and it suddenly isn't.

This was a fun episode, and an obvious one for making cards. Also, here's a theory to try on for size: what if Twilight knew full well that the spell she was casting wouldn't work on Pinkie and she was just giving her the Mare-Do-Well treatment to teach her a lesson?

Gentle Entry: Quick, now's your chance to cheat Phage into play! Or play dozens of obvious black or red creatures.

Lithic Seal: Pretty decent card. Is that supposed to represent sticking a boulder in front of the cave entrance?

Existential Crisis: Yikes, that flavor text is scary! So is the card's effect, though usually I'd expect such a "fair" board-wipe to be white.

Mirror Pool: Timmy is squealing in delight at the prospect of an exponentially increasing number of copies of his favorite legendary. It's hideously expensive and impractical of course, but wow. (Also, Biovisionary makes that "During your upkeep, if you control 2 creatures named Biovisionary you win the game at the end of this turn; otherwise you gain one"; but for that to be a one-turn win you had to be close enough that a simple Clone would work)

Tough Decision: That looks extremely useful, especially in a deck that already benefits from letting its creatures die. Play it on a pair of super topheavy tramplers for best effect.

Hideous Legacy: Very black. Not very useful, but very black.

Recall Folklore: Interesting. Very cool in a deck with lots of legendary fatties, and it's not like cards in the graveyard are always wasted.

Flawless Imitation: Scary! Only needing one mana open for a copy makes this scary whether its your own spell or the opponent's.

Run Ragged: Very flavorful way of getting a blocker or utility creature out of the way for two turns. Red is always going to be tempted to just burn things instead and blue to unsummon them, but this can have advantages over both.

Inflation Mutation: I'm sure there's at least one good way to turn this into a win without any spells costing more than 4 mana. Biovisionary on tokens seems like an obvious choice. What others are there?

Another good interpretation of it. I think Mirror Pool Expedition—i.e. a landfall trigger—might work well. Pinkie knew directions to the pool; she just needed to get there. However, I wanted to capture the exponential growth aspect.

Lithic Seal: Yup. Sometimes complex problems have simple solutions. And remember, it works on planeswalkers!

Existential Crisis: It's a one-turn Leyline of Singularity, so I kept it blue.

2892001 when writing the card I was more thinking of when the mirror pool was first discovered, that's why it's quest for the mirror pool instead of where did I put that darn mirror pool. That's why it's three, one would imagine that after the first few times they would learn not to swim there.

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