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FanOfMostEverything


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

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Mar
22nd
2015

Friendship is Card Games: Magic Duel · 3:09pm Mar 22nd, 2015

Ah, Trixie. The first of Twilight’s many foils, and the only example where the writers didn’t feel the need to emphasize that point by making her name a variant of Twilight’s own. Trixie wasn’t made to be Twilight’s equal and opposite. This episode underscores that uneven relationship by inverting it.

Uncle Curio may be the owner of a mysterious shop of enchanted item, but he’s still a shopkeeper. Money talks. Also, I wish I could assess how much rock farmhands (er, hooves) get paid, but I’m not sure how much time has passed since “Boast Busters.” As always, I blame Discord for that one; his reign of chaos left time unstable, which explains why nothing seems to happen in winter.
It’s interesting to consider the origins of the Alicorn Amulet. Given the color scheme, it certainly seems related to Sombra. Whoever made it was clearly trying to make something that could match Celestia or Luna in terms of power. I wonder how Twilight would match up against Amulet-empowered Trixie after her ascension…

Heh. “Winter Wrap-Up” callback. Also, “Applejack and me.” Really, Spike, you don’t just live with Twilight, you’re her secretary.

Is… is Fluttershy biting off hoof shavings? I know, I know, visual gag, don’t overthink it, but still, you’d think pony hooves would be pretty hard. It looks like she’s shaving cheese.

The critter lifting does a great job of highlighting one of Twilight’s relative weaknesses: finesse. Compare how much work she has to put into this as compared to Rarity’s choreography in “Suited for Success.” I suppose some accounting has to be made for a possible boost from the musical number, but Rarity does seem to have consistently higher telekinetic dexterity.

I can’t believe Celestia’s trusting Twilight with entertainment either. I suppose this is part of the last-minute princess prep. How to deal with foreign dignitaries: juggle raccoons at them until they forget whatever grievances they had with Equestria.

Snips and Snails do kind of deserve getting hexed. After all, they’re responsible for provoking the Ursa Minor. Still, fusing their brains seems a bit much.

Points to Twilight for refusing the duel at first. Sure, Trixie made it an offer she couldn’t refuse, but at least Twilight had the presence of mind not to play along at first, especially since no terms were ever stated. Is there a unicorn dueling form so ingrained in pony culture that it’s implicitly understood by all?

As I’ve noted before, the point-and-click interface of Trixie’s mouth removal spell has some interesting interactions with my headcanon about party pony magic. It would certainly explain why the Alicorn Amulet drives its wearer mad…

By definition, Ponyville is much more than a one-horse town. Unless there’s a token Saddle Arabian we’ve never seen.

I’m sure it’s been done elsewhere, but I would like to mention that I did the whole “Trixie and Twilight duel, with one making a good showing but the other utterly overpowering her” thing about nine months before this episode aired.

As with the gossamer wings in "Sonic Rainboom," this episode has a discrepancy between pony magic and card magic. The age spell could be seen as one of several effects, none of them particularly expensive. On the other hand, Twilight does her best transmutation is when she isn't trying to make it happen. Compare how much concentration she needs to turn an apple into an orange in "Too Many Pinkie Pies" to the ease with which she transforms a frog and a bird when surprised, or the aforementioned wing spell versus the surge that turned her parents into plants and gave Spike a massive growth spurt.
Also, unicorns apparently have levels. I wonder if there are prestige classes.
Also also, it’s interesting to note that an age spell set to “youth” will remove a cutie mark.

“There’s something strange about her.” Really. Twilight Sparkle, everyone. Only the Princess’s personal student would be able to deduce that from the enormous beams of reddish magic, the glowing eyes, and the impossible boost in spellcasting ability.

You know, Celestia may be in Saddle Arabia, but there’s no information about Luna’s whereabouts. Also, going by “The Best Night Ever,” Twilight can literally walk to Canterlot. (Granted, that’s been contradicted several times by this point, but still.) And that’s saying nothing about the enormous force field containing a magically created tempest, possibly visible from Canterlot and/or Cloudsdale. Not exactly subtle.
On the other hand, this way, we get more Zecora, which is always a good thing, along with more zebra magic. Non-alchemical zebra magic, no less.

Pumpkin Cake is clearly plotting a devastating coup.

Best Yoda, Zecora is. Yes. Mm.

“Mix your magic and use the six.” Ah, foreshadowing. More subtle foreshadowing than Luna hefting Star Swirl’s Journal of Future Plot Importance at the end of “The Crystal Empire,” anyway.
(Edit from the future: Or so I thought. Turns out the line was "nix your magic," though given the friendship-magic equivalence, my read isn't too far off.)

Trixie cheated? I guess there is some universally understood magical dueling code.
Also, “beyond the Everfree Forest”? According to the map of Equestria, the Everfree’s smack in the middle of Equestria. Beyond it could mean the amulet came from Manehattan… which it very well may have. Well played.

I do love that the animators thought to include a squeeze bulb on the tuba’s mouthpiece in Pinkie’s one-mare band. She has no mouth, and she must blow. So they gave her a workaround.

First Twilight overpowered the tricky Trixie, then she tricked the overpowered Trixie. Ah, symmetry.

“Nopony can do those spells.” And the Rule 63 and clone spell plots officially became noncanon. Alas.

Sure enough, the Saddle Arabians are Arabians. As in full-sized horses. I wonder what magic they have, and if Celestia appreciates a nation full of people as tall as she is.

I do love how Twilight has to think about whether she can forgive Trixie. Yes, she was non compos mentis, but she still made the choice to seek out and don the Amulet. If anything, Twilight may have needed a bit more time to consider it if the episode allowed it.

Let’s review: Age manipulation? Near impossible. Gender swaps? Explicitly impossible. Magically breaching the fourth wall? Sure, let’s toss that in for an end gag. :facehoof:

Now, time for a different sort of magic duel:

Magic Duel 1W
Instant
Tap target creature, then clash with its controller. If you win, exile that creature. (Each clashing player reveals the top card of his or her library, then puts that card on the top or bottom. A player wins if his or her card had a higher converted mana cost.)

Saddle Arabian Pasha 3W
Creature — Horse Advisor
Vigilance
Whenever Saddle Arabian Pasha attacks, untap another target attacking creature.
”Don’t even think about setting hoof in the desert without a guide. Camels will get you there eventually, but an Arabian will understand if you’re on a time constraint.”
—Daring Do
2/3

Curse of the Sealed Mouth 3WW
Enchantment — Aura Curse
Enchant player
Curse of the Sealed Mouth enters the battlefield with three silence counters on it.
When there are no silence counters on Curse of the Sealed Mouth, sacrifice it.
Enchanted player can’t cast spells.
2: Remove a silence counter from Curse of the Sealed Mouth. Only enchanted player may activate this ability.

Shake the Shelves UU
Sorcery
Target player puts the bottom eight cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
”Oh, it’s not like you were ever going to use them.”
—Trixie Lulamoon, traveling performer

Infantilize 1U
Instant
Target creature has base power and toughness 1/1 until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
”Now you’re as foalish as you are foolish.”
—Trixie Lulamoon, traveling performer

Curio Collector 2U
Creature — Pony Artificer
T: Look at the top card of your library. If it's an artifact card, you may reveal it and put it into your hand. Otherwise, you may put it on the bottom of your library.
”All items of great power seek out those who would use them. I just arrange the meetings.”
1/3

Forceful Flock 2U
Creature — Bird
Flying
U, T: Target creature attacks this turn if able.
Sirens aren’t the only ones who can drive a pony to action.
2/1

Duplisguise 2U
Instant
Replicate 2U (When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
Target creature you control becomes a copy of another target nonlegendary creature until end of turn.

Stuck in the Past 2U
Instant
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in his or her graveyard.
”Do not give in to your regret, or else the future’s course is set.”
—Zecora, zebra shaman

Recapitulate 3U
Sorcery
Return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand. Scry 1.
Just because you've built your life around a grudge doesn't mean anypony else remembers what happened.

Paraspritize 3UU
Instant
Counter target spell. Put X 0/1 blue Pest creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield, where X is that spell's converted mana cost.
Some problems are best solved by eating them.

Intense Meditation 4UU
Sorcery
Look at the top six cards of your library. Put three of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
"If ponies cruel you would unseat, your inner strife you must defeat."
—Zecora, zebra shaman

Sudden Snowfall 4UU
Sorcery
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities.)
Tap all nonsnow permanents.
The Alicorn Amulet boosted all of Trixie’s abilities, including her weather magic.

Telekinetic Choreography XU
Instant
Up to X target creatures gain flying until end of turn.
"Keeping all of those different masses moving in a specific pattern is much harder than it looks. Still, it's worth it to see the looks of wonder on ponies' faces."
—Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic

Outlandish Sum XUU
Sorcery
Gain control of target nonland permanent with converted mana cost X. (This effect lasts indefinitely.)
"Would you like that gift-wrapped?"

Garish Contrast 1B
Sorcery
Destroy target multicolored creature.
Draw a card.
”There is a fate worse than death. It’s called paisley.”
—Rarity, Bearer of Generosity

Oppressive Regime 1BB
Enchantment
At the beginning of each opponent’s upkeep, that player loses 1 life.
The Alicorn Amulet reshapes its wearer’s mind in its creator’s image, making a mad tyrant out of anypony in time.

Protective Threat 1RR
Enchantment
Whenever a creature you control becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, Protective Threat deals 2 damage to that player.
Even the gentlest pegasus will defend those she loves with a storm’s ferocity.

Pastry Launch 3R
Instant
Pastry Launch deals X damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players, where X is the total life gained by all players this turn.
Whether for war or for whimsy, pie is the projectile of choice in Equestria.

Tickle Torture 3R
Sorcery
Tap all creatures target player controls unless that player has Tickle Torture deal 5 damage to him or her.
Trixie can leave any audience in stitches.

Dramatic Lightning 4R
Enchantment
Whenever a player casts a spell with converted mana cost 6 or greater, Dramatic Lightning deals 3 damage to target creature or player of that player’s choice.
Discord and Luna have both trained the sky to respond to moments of great import.

Bashing Beavers 2G
Creature — Beast
Trample
Whenever Bashing Beavers becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn for each creature with defender blocking it.
Those who know how to build something know best how to tear it down.
2/2

Woodland Aerialists 2G
Creature — Beast
Woodland Aerialists has trample as long as it has flying.
”I don’t think my friends would envy pegasi so much if they knew what most of them are like.”
—Fluttershy, Bearer of Kindess
3/2

Dangerous Mission Outfit 2
Artifact — Equipment
Whenever equipped creature attacks, choose one —
• Equipped creature can’t be blocked by creatures with power 3 or greater this turn.
• Equipped creature can’t be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less this turn.
Equip 2

Madmare’s Chariot 2
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and can’t attack unless its controller pay 2.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 3. If you do, transform Madmare’s Chariot.
Equip 2
Tyrant’s Palanquin
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +5/+5, can’t block, can’t attack unless its controller pays 5, and has “Other creatures you control can’t attack.”
Equip 4

Trixie’s Banner 3
Artifact
T: Add U, B, or R to your mana pool.
UBR, T, Sacrifice Trixie’s Banner: Target player discards a card.
Magic to conquer, madness to corrupt.

The Alicorn Amulet 4
Legendary Artifact — Equipment
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on equipped creature, then you lose 1 life for each +1/+1 counter on equipped creature.
Spells you cast cost 1 less to cast for each +1/+1 counter on equipped creature.
The Alicorn Amulet has equip 3 as long as it's unattached.

Town in a Jar 5
Artifact
As Town in a Jar enters the battlefield, choose a Magic set.
Whenever a nontoken, nonland permanent with the chosen set’s expansion symbol other than Town in a Jar is on the battlefield, its controller sacrifices it.
Players can’t cast cards with the chosen set’s expansion symbol.

Alar Asymmetry GU
Instant
Target creature gets -4/-0 and loses flying until end of turn.
"Stagecraft is all about exploiting the assumptions ponies don't realize they make. Assumptions like 'my wings are the same size.'"
—Trixie Lulamoon, traveling performer

Hornfused Colts 3(ur)
Creature — Unicorn Mutant
Hornfused Colts can’t attack unless defending player has three or fewer cards in hand.
Their shared cornic lobes have given them telepathy, but not the ability to handle the flood of information.
4/3

Comments ( 14 )

Shake the shelves is certainly interesting. And Town in a Jar is straight out of Unglued.

It's interesting to note that while they called this a duel, Equestrian dueling forms appear to be about casting a spell that either trumps or cancels out the opponent's spell rather than actually, you know, attacking each other. The duel story from Kwakerjak's Petriculture Cycle springs to mind as one that did this style of duel perfectly.

Ok, cards:

Magic Duel: Yes, my little ponies, this is why you always agree on the terms of a duel before you engage in it. Otherwise you might find yourself betting your life against absolutely nothing from your opponent.

Saddle Arabian Pasha: Not a bad card, though you'll probably need to do something extra to keep him alive long enough to justify 4 mana.

Curse of the Sealed Mouth: Holy wow that's overpowered. If you are getting more land drops than your opponent, or are using any form of mana acceleration while they aren't, the game will probably be over before they can pay that cost. Even if you're getting the same number of land drops, playing that on turn 5 earns you either 1 or 2 turns of them casting no spells (depending on who went first). Oh and worst of all, not being able to play any cards for several turns in a row because your opponent played one spell has to be the least fun way of losing a game that I can imagine.

On the other hand, imagine that as the finisher card in a land destruction deck. Your friends will hate you forever!

Shake the Shelves: The bottom eight cards? I've never seen that before. I'm honestly not sure what that'd be useful for (save oddball shenanigans with "put target card on the bottom of its owner's library"), and it's actually worse if they're using Scry (since the bottom will have junk cards), but it's worth it just for uniqueness. Plus technically it's a bigger mill than Mind Sculpt.

Infantilize: Ok, so ponies lose their cutie mark if you turn them into a foal... but the difference between Infantilize and Turn to Frog is that they keep their abilities?

Duplisguise: Quick, make two copies of your favorite lord as a combat trick! Or maybe turn your spare goblins into spare dragons. My favorite though would be turning a junk to token or two into creatures with a nasty sacrifice effect. Oh, and the flavor here is good too.

Stuck in the Past: Very cool flavor. It's sufficiently conditional that I'd put it at 1U though; it's certainly not MORE powerful than Mana Leak.

Recapitulate: Not 100% sure I understand why that effect matches that flavor.

Paraspritize: Wait, I don't remember that happening in this episode. There were parasprites?

Intense Meditation: Worth every drop of mana.

Telekinetic Choreography: Now I'm picturing Twilight just flinging a bunch of her friends at the opponent and letting projectile motion do the rest.

Outlandish Sum: Ah blue, the go-to color for stealing absolutely everything.

Garish Contrast: Brilliant flavor. Also would work for Shadowmoor elves.

Protective Threat: Nice. Either it shuts down a lot of annoying cards, or they blunder into it anyways and take a lot of damage, or both.

Pastry Launch: This has soooooo much combo potential.

Tickle Torture: It sounds scary, until you notice that it's really just a lava axe for 1 less that only works if you control scary creatures. That said, if you trick them into tapping their creatures and have a combat trick or hasted creature in your hand...

Dramatic Lightning: The name alone had me giggling, and the ability did not dissappoint. I want to *at least* see this in a real un-set. It's kinda sad that playing a second copy won't trigger itself though.

Woodland Aerialists: That is a weird ability. Very cool and flavorful though.

Madmare’s Chariot: Funny, but probably not very useful, especially when transformed. This seems like one of those cards that'd be useful to combo with a card that attaches it to "target" creature (specifically one you don't control). Especially if target creature has defender...

The Alicorn Amulet: Very cool. Best choose what creature you attach this to very carefully... just kidding, you can toss this on anything with lifelink or unblockable with pretty much no fear of consequences. Or something that already has some counters for a killer next turn.

Town in a Jar: Oh dear god why. That is the one mechanic that should never be reprinted, ever. (Also this is literally half the price of World-Bottling Kit and affects future cards too; that more than makes up for the difference between sacrifice and exile).

Alar Asymmetry: I like the flavor, though it'd be even cooler if you had to cast it on something with flying (or if it at least was stronger against fliers).

2899547
Vivec?

2899639
Curse of the Sealed Mouth: In the interests of keeping the Magic-related homicide rate low, I've given the card vanishing.

Shake the Shelves: Well, there's always Cellar Door and Grenzo. This originally milled the bottom ten, but I thought that seemed like a bit much.

Infantilize: As "Baby Cakes" demonstrated, pony foals are surprisingly capable. Instead, you get to use the lingering time magic to glimpse and maybe modify the future.

Stuck in the Past: First turn Tome Scour, second turn Stuck? Mill decks are bad enough; let's not give them a super-Leak.

Recapitulate: This is based on that magic flashback screen Trixie used to summarize what's she'd been up to after the Ursa Minor incident. The scry rider, as with Infantilize, comes from the lingering time magic.

Paraspritize: Yup. Twilight summoned one to counter the half dozen pies Trixie threw at her. Then it belched out another one, and she unsummoned both before that got out of hand.

Madmare's Chariot: Well, as the name implies, you'd have to crazy to use the thing. In most circumstances. Say you put one on a Spikeshot Goblin...

Town in a Jar: Note that it costs two and a half times as much as City in a Bottle.

I like my mill. Shake the Shelves is a good variation, since it's the equivalent of normal mill but works form the other end.

You know, in some sets Garish Contrast wouldn't be a cantrip, such as the latest ones. Though in most sets a two mana sorcery speed limited creature removal spell would indeed need a cantrip rider to see play.
I just find it interesting how that plays out at times. Without draw it's weak in most formats, and with draw moderate at best. In other formats it's great without draw and super strong with draw.
It all depends on the cards around it.

Now here's a question. If you transform Madmare’s Chariot while it's still equipped to something (because the creature could leave play after the ability triggers), does it stay equipped? I want to say "yes" because I'm rather sure a transformed card is not a "new instance" of the card and thus keeps all of the states of it's untransformed version.
I mean, we have one transforming equipment card and it becomes a creature so it obviously can't attach to anything anymore.

I like how you can't remove The Alicorn Amulet once you put it on. Very flavorful for a cursed item.
Though, Trixie did indeed remove it herself of her own free will. She was tricked into doing so, but willingly gave up The Alicorn Amulet for another amulet without any trouble.

For Town in a Jar I would recommend changing "nonland" to "nonbasic" instead, that way it also hits the nonbasic lands that might be from that set while not hitting the basic lands of said same set, which I think is more along the lines of what you were wanting to do with the card.
I mean, why should I be able to get to Ponyville Town-Hall if the town of Ponyville is in a jar?

2899807

Curse of the Sealed Mouth: And now you swung it too far in the opposite direction; it'd take an act of god for that to slow anyone down more than one turn, and it won't always even do that. If you set the cost to remove a counter at 3, it would tie up a player with anywhere from 3 to 5 lands for two turns (or one if they can limit themselves to instants on the second turn) and tie up a player with 6 or more lands for one turn (leaving them whatever mana they had above 6 to play instants on your turn), which seems fair at 4 or 5 mana.

Stuck in the Past: Oh yeah, I forgot there were 1-mana mill cards if you're not worried about card advantage.

Town in a Jar: Yeah, but you can't target City in a Bottle at whatever expansion your opponent is using, and/or one of the sets you're using if you're playing one of those single-block formats. The unhinged version is a much closer comparison.

2899860 What do you mean I can't have a creature equipped with a 13/13 demon? That's lame. (Just kidding, I know it loses the Equipment type when it transforms).

2900231
You seem to be assuming that Town in a Jar would be even remotely legal in any kind of Constructed format. It may be based on an Arabian Nights card, but the effect is silver-bordered through and through.

Also, I guess the curse is going through something resembling a development cycle at this point.

2900235

Yeah, but a silver-bordered card that removes all the other silver-bordered cards from the table is only funny for the first turn. Then it's anti-funny.

Hey, FOME, I don't think I've ever asked you this, so I'll ask you now: what kinds of decks do you usually run in Magic? Are there any types you particularly like? And etc.

Wait hold on, that's not what I said about Curse! 3 mana to remove a counter was fair when they were time counters for a vanishing card (and thus would vanish on your turn as well); that meant paying 6 to remove two counters got rid of it by the victim's second turn (since the third counter vanishes during the caster's upkeep). If they're not time counters, you'd need to pay 2 each to get rid of them in order for 6 mana to destroy it before the victim's second turn.

And yeah, this is totally a development cycle here. Wheee.

It's probably a good thing white doesn't have much proliferate, otherwise Curse of the Sealed Mouth would be very breakable. That said, Contagion Engine.

Hm... False Cure, Beacon of Immortality targeting the opponent with the highest life total, Reverberate with the copy targeting the next-highest life total, then Pastry Launch on whoever's left. Or, in a one-on-one game, Boon Reflection, Beacon of Immortality targeting you, then Pastry Launch.

Mix you magic

Is that supposed to be "your" or is that the direct quote?

3879061
Not only was it a typo, I've apparently been mishearing the line for years. According to the Wikia page, it's "nix your magic."

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