• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 57 minutes ago


Forget not that I am a derp.

More Blog Posts1234

  • 6 days
    Friendship is Card Games: The Fall of Sunset Shimmer

    With the second layer of backlog and my most recent contest resolved, we return to the previous threefold rotation of fan animation, webcomics, and official novels. Specifically resuming the interrupted exploration of Minty Root’s work.

    Read More

    4 comments · 170 views
  • 1 week

    I've posted a new short on Dueling Keyboards, my anthology for such. It's a nice, quick bite of story. Hope you all enjoy it.

    2 comments · 100 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Ancestral Tribute

    Between the Tell Your Tale schedule shift and the last issue of Little Fillies not coming out until next month, we’ve abruptly come to the end of the G5 backog. This was originally meant to go in a bridge week for the next Tell Your Tale blog, but sometimes reality doesn’t cooperate with my schedule. In any case, I like to commemorate every contest I run by making cards for each entrant, and

    Read More

    8 comments · 220 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: Tell Your Tale, Pt. 11

    Well, this is aggravating. After these shorts, Tell Your Tale is airing on a biweekly schedule. As such, I’ve had to rewrite a good chunk of my schedule, and now I have YouTube shorts planned from here ’til December. Might as well get this batch taken care of, given that.

    Read More

    5 comments · 222 views
  • 3 weeks
    Wizards of the (Baloney)

    The Open Gaming License is a tentpole propping up the assorted D&D rulesets as welcoming development areas for the community, from individual creatures and item up to entire campaign settings and ways to play.

    Read More

    22 comments · 471 views

Friendship is Card Games: Reflections · 12:58pm Dec 11th, 2016

Canon. Alternate. Universe. On paper, this should be my absolute favorite comic storyline, bar none. Let’s see if that hypothesis holds.

Part 1

I find the idea of Luna not knowing her lunar phases more than slightly insulting. Granted, the waxing crescent would be a waning gibbous if the black and white were exchanged, which might be a clever bit of foreshadowing, what with everypony moving to the opposite side of the morality spectrum, but still. Moon Horse should know the terminology for her horse moon.

I’m pretty sure the Observer is a reference to the TV show Fringe, which I’ve never seen. All I know is that Andy Price has been slipping the fellow into backgrounds since the start of the comics, and he appears to be working for the canon equivalent of the ETSAB.

Huh. You’d think Celestia would keep this portal somewhere less publicly viewable. Of course, if she did that, we wouldn’t have a plot.

Don’t look at me, Luna. This isn’t one of my worldlines. (Though thank you for supporting my hypothesis of Laughter’s association with fourth-wall awareness. And insanity.)

Heh. It’s actually quite amusing to see cutie-marked seats for the Mane Six some time before Sparkalon germinated.
And Spike’s right .He definitely shouldn’t be discounted, especially since there’s an instance of King Sombra on the horizon. Not that anypony in the room knows that at the moment.

Hmm. If Luna has to work this hard with the sun, imagine how hard it must have been for Celestia to handle the moon at first. And she had a lot more emotional turmoil to go through at the time.
On a lighter note, I do love how clown wigs are an integral part of Luna’s Celestia disguise.

Sadly, because of how I’ve scheduled this, I haven’t yet gotten to Kibbitz and Tiberius’s introductions yet. All in good time.

Pinkie, that’s disgusting. Even if it is impressive that you got a bubble out of ABC gum.

While I do like ponies acknowledging the portal to the human world, it doesn't work on the basis of individual lunar cycles. Not unless “thirty moons” means “thirty nights,” which is just ridiculous.

If there are no records and Luna wasn’t there, how does she know that Celestia and Star Swirl were fascinated by the mirror? Putting aside Star Swirl’s apparently ridiculous lifespan. That or he really did travel to whenever he was most needed.

Star Swirl didn’t want no plebs.

I’m really not sure how to feel about a Star Swirl akin to Pinkie Pie. If nothing else, it begs the question of why he failed to understand friendship.

Come on, Dash. We both know you hope there are monsters. Preferably ones you can vanquish in as awesome a manner as possible.

I can only imagine why Star Swirl installed Jeffries (sic) tubes in a mountain fastness. Still, as long as there’s no holodeck, they should be fine.
Also, I do appreciate Pinkie poking fun at Dash's frustration with the labeling system. I like a little Snarkie Pie.

Wait, wait, wait. Activating the mirror portal predated Nightmare Moon? Then why did Luna say “I don’t know much about that time”? Unless we go with the magical parasite hypothesis and her memories from that time are clouded by the additional mental presence, that phrasing makes no sense. Not remembering much about that time might work, but she was there.

Pining for the fjords!? What kind of talk is that? And why did it collapse into a pile of bones the moment I got it home?
(Also, this is why you should spring for maintenance kobolds. You didn’t think all of those ancient monsters and cunning traps kept themselves perfectly preserved, did you?)

An athenaeum would imply the existence of Athena. On the other hand, I have heard ponies exclaim “By Jove.” Between that and pegasus culture’s Greco-Roman flavor, it checks out.

Heh. Applejack just wants to feel included.

I’ll be honest, I’m not seeing the difference between the portrait of young Celestia and her current appearance.

I can’t believe Twilight’s never asked Celestia about princessing either. That said, I adore the character moment here, as Twilight is confronted with expectations and reality literally side by side. She admits her anxieties, her friends support her… Sure, it deviates from the main plot, but it’s a fantastic character piece.

I fear for that game of Mouse Trap when it inevitably breaks.

Heh. Young Celestia was indeed rather like Twilight. Perhaps a bit more reckless.

It continued for decades? Did Star Swirl make a Philosopher’s Stone in his spare time or what? Also, really not sure how to feel about Celestia and Star Swirl grabbing so much knowledge so early in Equestria’s history. It just doesn’t line up with the show unless Celestia depended entirely on such intellectual parasitism for her nation’s progress, which implies truly horrifying things about the state of scientific and magical research in Equestria. No sir, I don’t like it.

I just noticed that Star Swirl had special hipposandals of his own. Huh.

Ouch. Harsh, but necessary. Probability space is neither a toy nor a dating service.

I wouldn’t call it a deus ex machina, Pinkie. Convenient, yes—and I dare not guess how a slide in a mountain cavern leads to the palace—but it didn’t solve everything in an instant.

That wounded Celestia is a very striking image. More than deserving of the full-page splash panel. Likewise her collapse with Sombra looming on the other side of the mirror… though I do have to wonder how they can all see him.

Part 2: Back to Where You’ve Never Been Before

Yeah, no one will ever know! It’s not like the window designer could make another window using that design. Surely, that is purest madness.

Some might see Rarity’s description of Celestia as ludicrous. I see it as tactful understatement.
Also, Dash is wise. To understand the ways of the party pony is to embrace madness.

I do love the cosmic case of quantum entanglement that has ensnared these two worldlines. Yes, it’s a pretty textbook case of mirror universes, but it works beautifully in the context of opposite electron spin polarities.
Look, I went into IT. I need to use my physics degree where I can.

I too would like to see Luna get a good smiting in. Sadly unlikely outside of fan fiction, but it’d still be nice.

I have to say, this does do a good job of writing out powerful characters. The threat of catastrophic paradox does a lot to address why the diarchs don’t take care of it personally. (Not like, say, poorly thought-out legislation. But we won’t be dealing with that until February.)

Huh. If the Elements don’t exist in the mirror world, does it contain a Tree of Disharmony? Or does it simply operate on different cosmic principles?
Also, props to Fluttershy for calling out Celestia’s needless obfuscation. Even if Sunbutt then refuses to elaborate.

Where were the Elements? I was under the impression that they were in Ponyville between Seasons 3 and 4. Maybe they all brought them to Canterlot as a just-in-case measure? Still, I do have to love Spike’s preparatory power ballad. And how the background of each Bearer’s panel is the color of her element.

I love the transit page. Especially Pinkie looking directly at us.

The “Six” “Seven!” gag is starting to wear on me. Also, I see Sombra’s color preferences largely haven’t changed.

I do appreciate the story addressing why two devastatingly powerful ponies didn’t break out of jail immediately.

I see Pinkie made her save against the Idiot Ball.

I’m with Twilight. Exploring probability space is great fun. Thank you all for helping to populate it. :twilightsmile:

Hmm. On the one hand, very important Best Pony. On the other hand, her embodying the virtue of wisdom here… Well, I’ve long since accepted that mine is basically an OC in canon clothing.

Luna mentioning her dark time underscores an important question: When in all of this did the Nightmare Moon incident occur? Star Swirl and Celestia were exploring other universes for decades, and Luna was already distant before they started. Just how long did they all let that darkness fester? How long was Celestia gallivanting about all possible Equestrias as a way to escape from her grief?
That being said, I do like how much this exchange characterizes Celestia, showing how even she struggles to live up to her standards. It certainly does more for her than the show ever has.

Poor narration boxes. Too many spacetime shenanigans for them.

Very interesting to see the various reactions to Good King Sombra. I certainly wasn’t expecting Fluttershy to be so smitten with him. And Spike’s “Meh, I can take him” face is perfect.

So, the whole “getting arrested” thing was largely a waste of time. Good to know. :ajbemused:

Ooh, more entanglement. Affect one, affect the other. I wonder if that’s impacting the mirror world’s Mane Six.
Also, confirmation that earth pony guards exist. Good to know.

Ah yes, the twist. One I knew was coming and likely would’ve even if I weren’t spoiled, but still interesti…
Wait a second. How many apparently immortal unicorns does this story have, anyway? I know the comic’s Sombra is a shadowy aberration bound in equine form, but what’s his opposite’s excuse? Don’t get me wrong, I like a good pair of star-crossed lovers as much as the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous.

Part 3: I’ll Be Your Mirror

Huh. I like the Egyptian look for evil Celestia’s guards. A shame Amonkhet isn’t out yet; this would be a perfect opportunity to use one of its mechanics.

Interesting that the evil sisters' biggest weakness is their impatience. That implicit short-sightedness would also explain how they’ve not made the connection between their tyrannical tendencies and the general gloom of this Equestria. And there’s the question of who’s handling celestial mechanics…

I don’t think expecting some kind of internal consistency is overthinking a comic book, and I don’t appreciate the raised middle finger in my direction. Especially not coming from one of my favorite ponies. Pinkie’s dig at Fluttershy’s age only worsens my disposition.

Note to self: Caffeinating Star Swirl is a bad idea.

Okay, Luna definitely wasn’t banished yet when the explorers met Good King Sombra, given Star Swirl’s use of the present tense. Also, they had yet to confront the local Sombra. This only raises further questions.
Ah. Celestia snuck back and forth after Luna’s banishment. That does clarify matters somewhat.

Darn it, Observer, you’re ruining the moment. Even if you are right to be disgruntled at those two.

I do like the conversation between Twilight and Sombra. Very nice work there.

Hmm. Not much to say about this one. Largely just set up for the climactic finale and establishing the romance.

Part 4

This issue's recap notwithstanding, the order of events suggests that Celestia befriended another Luna before banishing her own. Which only underscores her point of how that world wasn’t good for her.

Also, I’m with Luna. When you’ve got it, flaunt it, especially if “it” is royal privilege.

Seriously, this storyline does so much to flesh out Celestia.

Sorry, Pinkie. The comics are targeted at an older age bracket.

The colliding worlds page is awesome. That’s pretty much all there is to say on the matter.

Why, oh why didn’t the Bearers put on the Elements before confronting the tyrants? After thirty-eight iterations of the plan, you’d think someone would’ve said something.

Oh my. Phoenix Celestia is very imposing. Also, I have to love the Purple Surfer, herald of Sparklactus. That said, why don’t the Celestias seem to be experiencing the whole “Hurt me, hurt you” issue? Especially since it seems like it’d result in an infinite loop of pain.

Okay, I know they’d never actually seal away Celestia, but Sombra’s solution is such a massive asspull, I’m pretty sure there’s a tooth in there. From the Elements taking their sweet time for once to his somehow co-opting all six in one fell swoop to an awfully convenient definition of harmful magic, the whole thing feels like the desperate reversion to status quo that it is. (I don’t mind the land reviving in the wake of the alternate sisters' reformation. That’s standard for the Rainbow Beam of Fix Everything™.)
All that being said, nice design on reformed alternate Celestia. Again, liking the Egyptian motif.

While reconstructing the mirror portal would be a terrible idea, it does seem possible. After all, Star Swirl left notes on the entire process.

I’m amazed more people haven’t made use of Twilight having access to Star Swirl’s library. That’s a golden story opportunity if there ever was one. I suppose that particular bit of the resolution isn’t widely known.

The last panel is quite interesting. Bearing others’ evil seems to mean that the alternate Sombra is more typecast than sincerely cruel. There’s a lot one could work with there.

How Star Swirl Got His Hat

Not much to say about this; it’s enjoyably silly. (And I like how Star Swirl had a beard even as a toddler.) Yeah, it would’ve been nice if the main storyline could’ve included the alternate Mane Six, though that raises the question of how. They weren’t the focus of this story, and it was pretty crowded as it was. Though given that, prominently featuring them on one of the alternate covers might have been a bad idea.

In the end, this was a fascinating romp and validates my probability space model to a gratifying degree. However, the story doesn't really appreciate the time scale involved. One of the first things the series established was that Nightmare Moon was banished for a millennium. Those thousand years create issues that this story doesn't even acknowledge, hoping that if it doesn't mention it, the audience won't think about it. Furthermore, the conclusion leaves me unsatisfied, though I’m not sure how to approach it differently. Still, what was there was fun, and it gave us a deeply intriguing setting to play with, even if few people have taken that opportunity.

Now, let’s see what I can make of the most destructive booty call in the history of any Equestria:

Shared Seal W
When Shared Seal enters the battlefield, exile target creature you control and target creature you don’t control for as long as Shared Seal is on the battlefield. If you don’t exile at least two permanents this way, sacrifice Shared Seal. This ability can’t be countered except by spells and abilities.

Flimflam Adjudicators 2W
Creature — Unicorn Advisor
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, if that player has less life than each other player, that player gains 3 life.
Though much of Sombra’s Equestria has grown grim, the Flimflam brothers work to ensure that the courts remain as fair as ever.

Captain Goodguy 2WW
Planeswalker — Discord
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature you control blocks, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
-2: Until your next turn, target creature you control gains defender and indestructible and can block any number of creatures.
-6: You get an emblem with “Creatures can’t attack you or a planeswalker you control unless their controller pays 5 for each of those creatures.”

Celestia, Guiding Light 2WW
Legendary Creature — Avatar
Alicorn (This card is a Pony Pegasus Unicorn.)
Creatures you control have vigilance.
At the beginning of your end step, if you both own and control Celestia, Guiding Light and a creature named Celestia, Blinding Glare, exile them, then meld them into Polycosmic Catastrophe.

Trixie, Humble Ascendant 2WW
Legendary Creature — Avatar
When Trixie, Humble Ascendant enters the battlefield, until end of turn, all other creatures lose all abilities and have base power and toughness 1/1.

Solar Struggle 3W
Each player skips his or her untap step.
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player chooses land or nonland, then untaps all permanents of the chosen kind he or she controls.
”It’s even heavier than it looks.”
—Princess Luna

Sombra’s Stalwarts 3W
Creature — Pony Soldier
When Sombra’s Stalwarts enters the battlefield, detain each creature your opponents control that entered the battlefield since your last turn ended. (Until your next turn, those creatures can’t attack or block and their activated abilities can’t be activated.)

Celestia, Blinding Glare 3WW
Legendary Creature — Avatar
Flying, first strike
Creatures your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.
(Melds with Celestia, Guiding Light.)
“Another Equestria to oppress? It must be mine.”
Polycosmic Catastrophe
(WB) Legendary Enchantment
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact, a creature, an enchantment, a land, and a planeswalker.
At the beginning of each upkeep, return target permanent card from your graveyard to the battlefield.
The two worldlines came together as destructively as colliding stars.

Good King Sombra 3WW
Legendary Creature — Unicorn Wizard
If a source would deal damage to you or to another permanent you control, prevent 1 of that damage.
When Good King Sombra dies, return it to the battlefield transformed under target opponent’s control.
”One life for two kingdoms is a small price to pay.”
Sombra the Sin Bearer
(B) Legendary Creature — Unicorn Wizard
When Sombra the Sin Bearer enters the battlefield or at the beginning of your upkeep, Sombra deals 1 damage to you and to each creature and planeswalker you control.
”Forgive me, my love, for I can never forgive myself.”

Chrysalis, the Nurturer 4WW
Legendary Creature — Insect Pony
1W: Target creature gains lifelink until end of turn.
Whenever another player gains life, you may gain that much life.
”Love is infinite. Give it away and you have that much more.”

See Between 1U
Draw two cards, then exile a card from your hand.
”Probability space is a lot like the Blind Eternities, but less deadly and with prettier colors.”
—Pinkie Pie, Bearer of Laughter

Cosmic Observer 2U
Creature — Advisor
Whenever a player casts a spell, each player may draw a card. Each player who does discards a card.
They exist outside normal perception, cataloguing everything for their own inscrutable purposes.

Ditzy, Far-Sighted 3U
Legendary Creature — Pegasus Advisor
When Ditzy, Far-Sighted enters the battlefield, choose an opponent. If that player has more cards in hand than you, draw cards equal to the difference.
2U, Discard a card: Return Ditzy to its owner’s hand.
For every ignited planeswalker spark, countless others lie forever dormant.

Seek Reason 3U
Discard any number of cards, then draw twice that many cards.
”When you have eliminated everything illogical, you’re left with depressingly little.”
—Princess Twilight Sparkle

Splinter Reality 3UUU
For each nonland, nontoken permanent, that permanent’s controller creates a token that’s a copy of that permanent. The “legend rule” and “planeswalker rule” don’t apply for the rest of the game.
”Encore! Encore!”

Star Swirl’s Sanctum 4U
At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may cast the top card of your library if it’s an instant or sorcery card.

Sombra’s Sacrifice 5U
Exchange control of target creature you control and two target creatures a single opponent controls.
”I still never got to say goodbye.”
—Princess Celestia

Relic Swallower 5UU
Creature — Whale
When Relic Swallower enters the battlefield, gain control of all artifacts for as long as you control Relic Swallower.
Some thieves use subtlety and misdirection. Some just open their mouths and inhale.

Luna’s Vampossum 1B
Creature — Vampire Beast
Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, you may return Luna’s Vampossum from your graveyard to your hand.
Becoming a corpse has only heightened its ability to feign death.

Through the Mirror 2BB
Cast Through the Mirror only during your upkeep.
Exchange life totals with target opponent.
”Remember, if you sprout fingers, you went through the wrong one.”
—Princess Twilight Sparkle

Tyrants’ Attendant 3B
Creature — Vampire Pony Advisor
When Tyrants’ Attendant enters the battlefield, choose one —
• Target opponent sacrifices a legendary creature.
• Return target legendary creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

Otherworldly Secrets 3BB
Search target opponent’s sideboard for a card and exile it face down. As long as that card remains exiled, you may look at it, play it, and spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it. (Your opponent still owns that card.)

Phoenix Fury RR
Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains double strike until end of turn.
For one terrible moment, Twilight feared that her teacher had become a new Nightmare.

Vicious Taunting XR
Vicious Taunting deals 1 damage to each of X target creatures. Those creatures attack this turn if able.
The ferocity of the alicorns’ taunting took the Bearers completely by surprise.

Thumbless Archers 2G
Creature — Pony Archer
”To their credit, at least as many arrows are going into the air as into their hooves.”
—Princess Luna

Fluttersaur 3GGG
Creature — Lizard
Deathtouch, trample, haste
It offers the kindness of a swift death.

Enormous Penny 2
T, Sacrifice Enormous Penny: The next time a player would flip a coin this turn, you choose the outcome of that flip instead.
One of Star Swirl’s many trophies, originally owned by a crazed party pony.

Helm of Neighbu 2
Artifact — Equipment
Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Equip 2
The god Neighbu is long dead, but his creations still bestow unfathomable magical power.

Id Extract 3
2, T, Sacrifice Id Extract: Transform target creature. If you don’t, that creature gets +X/-X and gains trample until end of turn, where X is its toughness minus 1. (Only double-faced cards can be transformed.)
Fortunately for Star Swirl, that shipment also contained a fire extinguisher.

Bygone Hydra 1BG
Creature — Hydra Skeleton
Bygone Hydra can’t attack unless its power is 4 or greater.
BG: Put a +1/+1 counter on Bygone Hydra. It gains indestructible until end of turn.
Given enough mana, a hydra can regenerate from anything.

Dragon Monopolist 1RW
Creature — Dragon
Dragon spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.
Your opponents can’t cast Dragon spells.
”You do not summon us. You send out signals that we may respond to at our leisure.”

Luna, Blood Moon Queen 3BR
Legendary Creature — Avatar
Flying, first strike, deathtouch
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Luna, Blood Moon Queen this turn dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Luna.

Entangled Betrayal X(br)
Entangled Betrayal deals X plus 2 damage to target creature you control and X plus 2 damage to target creature you don’t control.
”You’ve become such a useful tool, Luna. I would be a fool not to use you.”
—Celestia, sun tyrant

Comments ( 18 )

I’m amazed more people haven’t made use of Twilight having access to Star Swirl’s library. That’s a golden story opportunity if there ever was one. I suppose that particular bit of the resolution isn’t widely known.


If I have one thing that annoys me about this arc, it's this line righ here.

You could've taken me back from the moon

No Luna, she couldn't. Remember, sealed for a thousand years? She made a mistake in trying to use the elements as one entity (Why do people do that?! Sombra tries and he turns evil. Sunset tries, and turns evil. Celestia tries and loeses her best friend. IT's like trying to use the Guinzhisho alone without anyone to power it up, yousa gonna die hard!!!) and sealed you away for a thousand years?

I feel like Cook just wantd to glance over that fact, trying to fogt the plot of the first two episodes just to make this work

This was a disappointing comic. Not because it's especially bad, but because it could -- and should! -- have been even better!

That said, I really like Good King Sombra, and the faux-Egyptian alternate alicorn sisters have a really rad look.

This comic was entertaining, but it had a lot of things that don't add up – not just with the show, but also within its own plot. Also, the writers tend to overuse Star Swirl any time they need a pony to have done something in the past. With all the unique and powerful magic that he's accomplished, it's perplexing that he never became an alicorn.

Also, confirmation that earth pony guards exist. Good to know.

It would be awesome to see some in the actual series (and not just in an alternate timeline, either). Still, the show has hinted that earth pony soldiers existed at some point in history: the EUP (coalition of earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi) was mentioned in “Testing, Testing” and Granny Smith owns a WWII style helmet that was likely designed for earth ponies.

This was one of your most interesting series of cards yet.

Personally, I've used Aneighbus in my own stories as a parallel to Egyptian mythology.

Love the nod to Narset while seeing Ditzy as a legendary creature here. Well, at least Ditzy faired better here than Narset.

Trixie's card has an interesting polymorph, but not polymorph, effect. Heh, sort of reminds me of that engagement between her and the scary ass magical avatar Twilight you wrote. Mostly because of the gerbilifying after the battle.

Still, the conclusion is either rathet silly or truly sad if we consider the possibility of paradoxical counterparts for us in the multiverse.

Pining for a fjords is a monty python reference. It's from the 'Dead Parrot' sketch.

I feel like I'm forgetting something...

The Ginzuishou and the Elements do seem to have a lot in common, don't they? Makes you wonder if there's a crystal tree somewhere on the Moon waiting for Usagi to give it back.

And yeah, this storyline was definitely struggling against established canon. And the concept of aging.

Luna has a more Greco-Roman look going for her, but yeah, the character designs were great. As for the disappointment, mine is tempered by the fact that I'm really not sure how I could improve it. I don't like to say something could've been better if I don't have a clear idea of how. (Mind you, I'll be able to give precise details for some future storylines...)

According to this comic, Star Swirl chose not to pursue ascendance. I suppose this instance of him had a Dumbledorish attitude towards death. Or, again, had a Philosopher's Stone on hoof. Personally, I like to think that while Star Swirl did do a lot, his deeds are conflated with numerous other notable but forgotten unicorns, kind of like how King Arthur might be a pastiche of several rulers, soldiers, and mythological figures.

My personal headcanon for earth pony guards is that just as pegasi are uniformly white and unicorns grey, the earth pony guards are black when on duty. They acted as uncomfortable reminders of Luna for long enough that it became customary for them to work covertly and out of the princess's sight. Besides, who suspects an earth pony?

As her name implies, Trixie imposes a turn of Humility on the board.

Oh, I'm well aware. I actually directed on a performance of the Dead Parrot sketch in high school (along with the Hungarian Phrasebook sketch and the Lumberjack Song.) Hence the phrasing of my response. See also the flavor text of Vicious Taunting for more Pythonic goodness.

Well, I loved this storyline. Although, admittedly, I loved it more for the hilarious Luna bits and the prominence of Best Unicorn Wizard than for the actual story. Even if this Star Swirl the Bearded is about as far away from my version, planned before this story came out, as is literarily possible. Katie Cook's writing is sparkly with wit, and Andy Price's art is always amazing. Still, the first two issues were generally better than the final two.

(I'm sure you're just shocked that I liked the comic where I got my user pic :derpytongue2:)

I've heard good things about this arc, and seeing some of its flaws laid out still makes me want to check it out at some point. Also, neat cards. I fondly remember the days when I played magic; glad to see it's still going strong.

Ah, Reflections. People complain a lot about it, but I actually really liked it until the final issue and the easy solve. In principle, I don't mind the idea of Good King Sombra deciding to bear his world's ills to redeem the alternate Celestia and Luna and spare the prime ones. I just didn't like how rushed it was, and I especially didn't like him using the Elements so easily (though, it is at least consistent with the established rules of the Elements working in alternate universes - Sunset Shimmer basically did the same thing in Rainbow Rocks).

Personally, I think the actual biggest problem with the story in that regard is the concept of alternate beings being linked. Even leaving aside the questions of free will that made a lot of people dislike the story, it's just a silly idea that punching Celestia in one universe will make her counterpart feel it. It's not like they share a nervous system. Plus, why would they feel the same pain but share any other sensations? If Evil Celestia drank some coffee, would Celestia Prime be able to taste it? And it's worse with Luna, who never once visited the Other Side until she was pulled into it. If she's connected to her alternate counterpart, then surely everyone in Equestria must be as well? This just raises too many questions.

Remove that element from the story, and just make the paradox about the universes themselves becoming unstable (much like in Fringe, the very show that a lot of this is inspired by), and it solves a whole swathe of problems. Not the least of which being, of course, that it frees up plenty of possibilities for an alternate ending without the contrivances that the current one has.

Also, speaking of Fringe, if you've really never seen it before, I do recommend it. It's not without its flaws, but it's worth it. It really is a great take on the concept of mirror universes. And Leonard Nimoy is in it. Also, Walter Bishop is the best.

I mostly just like the fact that Starswirl is not the boring sage wizard guy. Making him a nutjob is more interesting to me.

Love the group-hugginess of Chrysalis, the Nurturer. That's the sort of card that gives me deck ideas. :derpytongue2:

"But I don't want a cutie mark in accounting, I want to be the moon..."

I dislike Reflections because instead of exploring the alternate universe hardcore the entire concept was used to support a weak shipping story. You could have done the same thing with a pony Brigadoon, really; the alternate universe as a result didn't get the intriguing spin it really deserved. Which is sad because so much of it was cool, but...oof.

Anyhoo I object to the idea the Celestias are only 2/4 and 4/2 yet somehow Sombra is a stronger 4/4, so is Good Bugqueen, and Flimflam as well.

Also, confirmation that earth pony guards exist. Good to know.

*Checks the comments*


Am I really the only one that remembers the earth pony guards from the opener of The Crystal Empire two parter?

Wait, wait, wait. Activating the mirror portal predated Nightmare Moon? Then why did Luna say “I don’t know much about that time”? Unless we go with the magical parasite hypothesis and her memories from that time are clouded by the additional mental presence, that phrasing makes no sense. Not remembering much about that time might work, but she was there.

Again, take anything the comics say with a grain of salt. Maybe a whole truck full of salt.

And if you go by the comics then, yes, Luna was under the control of a magical parasite. Just like Rarity was.
You already covered the Nightmare rarity comics right? I'm rather sure you did.

Heh. Applejack just wants to feel included.

<insert "best background pony" joke here>

I too would like to see Luna get a good smiting in. Sadly unlikely outside of fan fiction, but it’d still be nice.

I'm always up for a good ol smiting. As along as I'm not the one being smote that is. I do not mind being smitten.

Also, props to Fluttershy for calling out Celestia’s needless obfuscation. Even if Sunbutt then refuses to elaborate.

My headcanon is that she literally can't help herself. She's got a mental disorder that makes it so she can't just straight up answer any question that deals with anything she considers "important". At least not until other people have worked out at least three-fourths of the information on their own.

Luna mentioning her dark time underscores an important question: When in all of this did the Nightmare Moon incident occur? Star Swirl and Celestia were exploring other universes for decades, and Luna was already distant before they started. Just how long did they all let that darkness fester? How long was Celestia gallivanting about all possible Equestrias as a way to escape from her grief?

Is it ever stated that all of the world they went to had a one-to-one ratio on the passage of time? Those "decades" might have been from Celestia and Star Swirl's point of view and only a couple of months passed on the "core" Equrestia.

That being said, I do like how much this exchange characterizes Celestia, showing how even she struggles to live up to her standards. It certainly does more for her than the show ever has.

Which is a shame. Sun horse needs better characterization in the main show. She just keeps getting the short end of the stick.

All that being said, nice design on reformed alternate Celestia. Again, liking the Egyptian motif.

Well, she is a Sun Goddess. Ra Ra Ra, go Celestia?

Now, let’s see what I can make of the most destructive booty call in the history of any Equestria:

I'm pretty sure someone has wrote a fanfic of a more destructive plot dial. Can't point one out but it would not surprise me that there is one out there.

The wording on Shared Seal is a bit odd, I was kinda of confused which ability couldn't be counted. But we only seem to have one card that has this rules text and it works the same way.
I can guess why they haven't used that wording in a while.

On Trixie, Humble Ascendant: the actual Humble card made them 0/1s, why didn't you carry the reference all the way?

I feel that Sombra the Sin Bearer should be a Demon Unicorn Wizard. Don't know why, and I know that's too big but it kinda fits.

On Chrysalis, the Nurturer: Haven't your other Chrysalises been Alicorns?

See Between is good. Like really good. Especially if you combo it with stuff that cares about things that have been exiled or care about being exiled.

Hum, Seek Reason makes me want to build around it. But other than Dredge and slash or Madness I've got nothing.
Oh, wait, you discard first then draw. Why is this not Red? Blue draws first then discards, while Red discards then draws. It is a very important part of their differences in draw flavor since it was introduced. I know Blue used to have this sort of thing but it's been moved into Red now and while I normally don't have much of a problem with you using old mechanics 'discard then draw' never really did feel very Blue to me so this card feels totally out of place in Blue now.

On Star Swirl’s Sanctum: If you are playing with the top card of your library revealed you don't need to scry, maybe have it be the following:

Play with the top card of your library revealed.
At the beginning of your upkeep you may put the top card of your library on the bottom of your deck.
You may cast the top card of your library if it’s an instant or sorcery card.

It is more wordy but I'm not sure if they'd do the unneeded step of the first part of scrying (which is looking at the top X cards of the deck since they are normally hidden information) so you can get to the second part of scrying (which is deciding on if you want to place the card(s) back on top or on the bottom of your library).
While not 100% sure of it I'm confidant they'd just go with the second option since it cuts out a step in the flow of the game.

On Sombra’s Sacrifice: The wording on this one feels a bit off. I ran various combinations of words though Gatherer and didn't find anything that did something like this already. I recommend changing it to the following:

Exchange control of target creature you control and two target creatures controlled by a single opponent.

On Luna’s Vampossum: I will never forgive you for using the word "Vampossum".

I feel that Vicious Taunting should be "up to X target creatures" so it can't be made to "fizzle" (oh how judges hate that word) by a sacrifice outlet or other means of making it not have a valid number of targets. Other than blanket Protection from Red slash Instants that is.

On Fluttersaur: I do love me some Deathample.
... Ok, no, doesn't quite work like "Flample" does. Tramtouch? Darn it, it just doesn't work for this.
What I'm trying to say here is we need more things with both Deathtouch and Trample.

On Enormous Penny: Going by the wording on Krark's Thumb this one should probably be worded as follows:

T, Sacrifice Enormous Penny: The next time a player would flip a coin this turn, instead you choose the outcome of that flip.

But that doesn't sound quite right either. Maybe:

T, Sacrifice Enormous Penny: The next time a player would flip a coin this turn, instead ignore that flip and you choose the outcome.

Herum. Not really sure on this one.

I kinda of wish that Helm of Neighbu just gave the equipped creature two instances of Prowess. I know why it doesn't but I can still wish that it did.

I really like Id Extract, both in flavor and mechanics.

I'd rather Bygone Hydra Regenerated instead of gained indestructible. It fits better with both the "Reassembling Skeleton" trope (which is a thing I like seeing my Skeletons in Magic do) and with the Hydra regrowing itself.

I like the flavor text on Dragon Monopolist. The card itself is one of those things that probably won't but just might mess up another player.
Or you can be a bit of a jerk and bring it to Commander game when you know someone is going to be running a Dragon Commander and slash or a Dragon based deck.

On Luna, Blood Moon Queen: First Death? Death Strike? I kinda like Death Strike.
Deathtouch needs to be used with other evergreen keywords more often. I know why it isn't, because it's one of the most powerful evergreen keywords around but that just means everyone wants more of it!
Why isn't she an Avatar Vampire?

I'm a little disappointed that the flavor text for Entangled Betrayal wasn't "As sudden as it was inevitable." but what we did get is suitably bad-ass I can forgive you for passing up that opportunity.
But still not for using the word "Vampossum".

The "planeswalker rule" should be "planeswalker uniqueness rule".

The Observer is a reference to the G-Man from Half Life.

4335751 It was actually implied to be for eternity, but then "the stars shall aid in her escape". The spell was broken by outside influences.

Login or register to comment