• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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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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  • Sunday
    Friendship is Card Games: Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party!

    This week, we return to the Berrow catalogue. While the previous entry offers the closest thing we have to Cadence’s canonical backstory, this one has actually been referenced in the show. Ponypalooza’s mentioned in “The Mane Attraction,” among other details. Let’s begin.

    Read More

    7 comments · 97 views
  • Thursday
    Deca Sanctuary

    Ten days remain for Imposing Sovereigns III, and while a few entries have come in, I suspect the bulk has yet to arrive. In order to help that suspicion, now's the point where I ask if people need more time. So, how goes it?

    20 comments · 246 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: The Knights of Harmony

    And so the unsung underbelly of G4 draws to a close… more or less. There’s that intergenerational crossover coming up. But this is certainly the finale to Season 10, and to the FiM line. 102 issues isn’t a bad run, and that’s not counting alll the spinoffs. Let’s see how it wraps up.

    Read More

    10 comments · 281 views
  • 1 week
    Expansion // Explosion

    "The series premiere, but different" is a timeworn genre in most fandoms, and pony is no different. A good chunk of the authors here have put their own spin on Twilight arriving in Ponyville and that first journey into the Everfree, including me. But this one is special.

    Read More

    6 comments · 348 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 2

    This week, we return to d20 Pony, the ongoing adventures and explorations of Trailblazer. (It’s also my birthday, but that has little bearing on the cards. :derpytongue2:)

    Read More

    9 comments · 173 views
Jun
9th
2019

Friendship is Card Games: Student Counsel · 11:17am Jun 9th, 2019

This week, the Mane Six literally get put on a train, the better to focus on some secondary character shenanigans. Let’s see what what they do with column B.

There are many fantastic moments of animation to call out in this episode, but the earliest is the angry, angry sip of tea Trixie takes just before the theme song.

Hmm. Silverstream’s younger cousins wanting to stay seaponies… Are they Skystar’s siblings, or is there another branch of the hippogriff royal family tree to consider?

Heh. I can’t help but feel that Trixie constantly trying to get Starlight to spend time with her is karma for “Uncommon Bond.” Not much fun to be on the receiving end, is it, Star?

Wait, wait, wait, spring solstice? No. That is not how solstices work. It’s especially bad given how they switch to an equinox for part of the episode, then switch back, to say nothing of how the first day of spring (which the vernal equinox is) would logically be the day after Winter Wrap-Up. Argh.

I’m honestly shocked that Twilight Sparkle’s personal student is having such trouble with scheduling. Of course, Starlight does have a tendency to shoulder as much responsibility as equinely possible, whether that’s looking after the whole school’s emotional well-being or undertaking a one-mare crusade to save ponykind from the tyranny of cutie marks.

At first, I was surprised that Mrs. Cake would voluntarily teach the pony she accused of putting her out of a job back in “No Second Prances.” I can only imagine how much bowing and scraping Trixie needed to do to get that lesson. Of course, going by the result, it’s possible that Mrs. Cake lied through her teeth regarding the secret ingredient. After all, most of Trixie’s cake baking experience probably took place on the Pie family rock farm. It’s not like she has an oven in her wagon.

Trixie does keep her promises, for good or for ill. If she swears vengeance upon your house, vengeance she shall have. (Note: Claims made during performances regarding events outside of those performances are not promises.)

I suppose simply asking Mudbriar what he meant by flowering sticks would be too much trouble? I figured he just mean roses. You’d think Roseluck of all ponies would recognize that possibility.

Seaponies confirmed unhoopy froods who don’t know where their towels are.

Ocellus’s identity issues definitely deserve a fic. Having friends in five different species can’t help. And we thought Yona had it bad…
Also, I do love the growing pile of mugs and bowls on Starlight’s desk. I get the feeling there was more than just tea in the former.

Silverstream. It’s called a thesaurus. It’s like a Sweetie Belle, only it gives synonyms instead of definitions.

Oh hey. I think this is the first time we’ve seen the entrance to Maud’s grotto. Nice… though I do have to hope she has a tarp or something for when it rains.

I never expected to hear from Terramar again. See him in a background, maybe—after all, he is part of the audience for Silverstream’s presentation in “Uprooted”—but the speaking role is a delightful surprise.

Silverstream did mention her project on dangerous Everfree fauna, but to be fair, it was interspersed with all the attempts to translate drywalker culture for Seaquestrians. Plus, Starlight was more focused on the line out of her door.

My goodness, Mudbriar’s actually learning to read the room and walk back his trivial technicalities. Truly the most shocking thing to happen in this episode.

All of the cockatrices in this episode make me wonder just what the one in Tartarus did to get thrown in there. Did Star Swirl just banish whatever he found on his nature walks? I wouldn’t put it past him.
Also, apparently someone’s managed to dissect a cockatrice.

I appreciate how Trixie makes sure to don her cape and wizard hat when it’s time for action.

The complete nonreaction to the “search party” pun was honestly perfect.

The “I have a lot of experience in telling creatures I have experience” line was fantastic. It’s something I’d expect out of Zapp Brannigan.

This episode does so much more for Maudbriar than “The Maud Couple.” Especially given how ponies don’t just tolerate Mudbriar’s obtuseness.

Sunburst’s horn actually bends when he crashes into that tree. :fluttershyouch: On the bright side, he apparently has enough magical capability to fire lasers. I suppose sufficient exposure to Flurry Heart will let just about anyone pick up that particular skill.

“The clucking is coming from everywhere!” Add that to the list of wonderful out-of-context MLP quotes.

Ah, the reverse Pygmalion, wherein a woman falls more in love with her boyfriend when he becomes a statue.

So… why didn’t the cockatrices go around the door of the castle? This is like giving up because you got locked out of a Gruul Guildgate.

How heavy is Mudbriar? I’d think Maud’s lifting capacity could compare to Starlight’s. I suppose he’s just an awkward shape.

I wonder how much of Silverstream’s ability with Edith comes from Fluttershy’s lessons.
:yay: “I can’t teach the Stare, so if you ever do encounter a cockatrice, here’s what to do…”
Also, interesting to note that you don’t need the cockatrice that petrified someone to reverse the process. Any cooperative chicken-snake will do.

“Swoon.” Seriously, Maud is amazing this episode.

A similar lesson in work-life balance as last week, with more of an emphasis on clearly posted office hours than embracing one’s inner child. And there’s that added note that quantity doesn’t guarantee quality. After all, Starlight wasn’t helping the students that much since she was trying to get back to her own activities.

In all, this was delightful stuff. Aside from a few quibbles, it was the kind of unexpected character interaction that can push a story into my “must read” pile. Now, let’s see what I can make from this expedition.

Nesting Response 1W
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can’t attack.
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.
Exploiting a creature’s natural behavior is the first step of domestication.

Hippogriff Search Party 3W
Creature — Hippogriff Scout
Flying
When Hippogriff Search Party enters the battlefield, search your library for a Hippogriff or Merfolk card, reveal it, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.
2/2

Overworked Counselor 1U
Creature — Unicorn Advisor
When you cast a spell, return Overworked Counselor to its owner’s hand.
“I’m sorry, I need to handle this. I’ll be right back.”
2/4

Confident Misguide 2U
Creature — Unicorn Scout
Flash
When Confident Misguide enters the battlefield, target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn.
“Of course I know where we’re going! I’m just figuring out where we’ll end up.”
2/1

Morphic Dysphoria 2U
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield, enchanted creature becomes a copy of that creature.
Changeling identity crises quickly become everyone’s problem.

Sheltered Seapony 2U
Creature — Pony Merfolk
Shroud from nonblue (This creature can’t be the target of nonblue spells or abilities.)
Some born in Seaquestria during the Time of Hiding have never even seen the surface.
2/1

Behind Closed Doors 1B
Sorcery
Surveil 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)
Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)

Checkered Past 2BB
Sorcery
Choose three target cards in your graveyard. For each of those card, return that card to your hand unless any opponent pays 3 life. Then exile the rest and Checkered Past.
“If I can’t learn from my mistakes, who can?”
—Starlight Glimmer

Artist’s Eye 1R
Sorcery
Exile the top two cards of your library. Until end of turn, you may play cards exiled this way.
Metalcraft — If you control three or more artifacts, exile the top three cards of your library instead.
The creative mind finds inspiration wherever it looks.

Cobble Bucker 2R
Creature — Pony Warrior
Reach
R, T: Cobble Bucker deals 1 damage to target creature with flying.
Ancient earth pony settlements were far better defended than pegasus raiders believed.
2/2

Tome Scorcher 3RR
Creature — Dragon
Flying
Tribute 2 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may put two +1/+1 counters on it.)
When Tome Scorcher enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn’t paid, it deals damage to target player equal to the number of cards in that player’s hand.
3/3

Drive Splicer 4R
Creature — Pony Artificer
When Drive Splicer enters the battlefield, create a 3/3 colorless Golem artifact creature token.
Golems you control have haste.
Anyone can add extra components. It takes an artist to add passion.
1/1

Ambush Cockatrice 2G
Creature — Cockatrice
Flash
Reach, deathtouch
Even years after getting caught unawares, Twilight Sparkle still felt nervous around chickens.
2/1

Hazardous Fauna 3GG
Creature — Beast
Myriad (Whenever this creature attacks, for each opponent other than defending player, you may create a token that's a copy of this creature that's tapped and attacking that player or a planeswalker they control. Exile the tokens at end of combat.)
Hazardous Fauna can’t be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less.
4/3

Preserving Florist 4G
Creature — Pony Druid
When Preserving Florist enters the battlefield, put three +1/+1 counters on target land you control. It becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It’s still a land.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from a land creature you control: That permanent gains indestructible until end of turn.
2/2

Flowering Sticks 2
Artifact
1, T, Sacrifice Flowering Sticks: Search your library for up to two basic land cards with the same name, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
Every blossom points the way to a different destination.

Hitchhiker’s Towel 2
Artifact — Equipment
2: Hitchhiker’s Towel becomes a copy of target Equipment until end of turn.
Equip 1
Terrycloth is one of the most useful and versatile substances in the known Multiverse.

Menacing Meringue RW
Enchantment — Cake
Whenever a creature or planeswalker deals damage to you, Menacing Meringue deals 1 damage to that permanent.
2RW, Sacrifice Menacing Meringue: Menacing Meringue deals 3 damage to each creature and planeswalker that dealt damage to you this turn.

Migratory Cockatrice 1BG
Creature — Cockatrice
Flying, deathtouch
When Migratory Cockatrice enters the battlefield, it explores. (Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it’s a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back or put it into your graveyard.)
1/1

Composed Hitchiker 2(wu)
Creature — Pony Nomad
When Composed Hitchiker enters the battlefield, search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, then shuffle your library and put it on top of your library. If WU was spent to cast Composed Hitchiker, put that card into your hand instead of on top of your library.
2/3

Blind Charge 2UR
Instant
Creatures target player controls get -2/-0 until end of turn and attack this turn if able.
Cockatrices feed on stone. Many other species feed on panicking creatures who keep their eyes closed.

Everfree Naturalist 2GU
Creature — Hippogriff Scout
Flying
As Everfree Naturalist enters the battlefield, choose deathtouch, hexproof, flying, or trample.
Whenever another creature with the chosen ability enters the battlefield under your control, draw a card.
2/2

Comments ( 18 )

Nice, as usual (though now that I come to think of it I'm not sure I comment on these very often).

"Drive Splicer 4R
Creature — Pony Artificer
When Passion Splicer"
Were those both meant to be Drive or Passion?

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Sunburst’s horn actually bends when he crashes into that tree.

I thought I saw that! D: Yeesh.

How heavy is Mudbriar? I’d think Maud’s lifting capacity could compare to Starlight’s. I suppose he’s just an awkward shape.

I had this thought too, for about a second. The problem is she's trying to drag him; if she were just lifting him, she'd likely have no trouble but also, I'm sure, somehow be more apt to break him.

After this episode, you know, you just know that despite their placid public demeanors, Maud's cavern is filled with the sounds of lusty horse loving 24/7 while no one else is around. And after this episode, I'm okay with that.

Oh geez, Maud was just fantastic this episode! My favorite line was in response to Starlight...

"... and Maud's boyfriend is a hunk of rock!"
"You got the hunk part right!"

And it's kind of amazing that the best two episodes (at least for me - this one and Frenemies) this season have had zero involvement from the Mane 6.

5071733
Hardly amazing. They were never good characters.

This was a great episode for all kinds of reasons, but especially Maud. Funny how that works.

I got a huge kick out of this episode. This round of cards is neat too, but the templating on Sheltered Seapony is awkward. Now that we have that whole 'hexproof from' thing, just writing its ability out as 'shroud from nonblue' is more elegant, IMO.

There are many fantastic moments of animation to call out in this episode, but the earliest is the angry, angry sip of tea Trixie takes just before the theme song.

I know right?? I've always thought it couldn't get better than S8, but S9 I think we've gotten more unique expressions per episode than the entirety of season 1. It makes me wistful that this is the last season that we don't get more at this currently awesome level of quality.

Trixie does keep her promises, for good or for ill. If she swears vengeance upon your house, vengeance she shall have.

"A Lannister Lulamoon always pays her debts... eventually!"

I never expected to hear from Terramar again. See him in a background, maybe—after all, he is part of the audience for Silverstream’s presentation in “Uprooted”—but the speaking role is a delightful surprise.

I still hope for a Terramar + Skystar + Silverstream moment. Even if it's just them in the same frame.

“The clucking is coming from everywhere!” Add that to the list of wonderful out-of-context MLP quotes

Who would have thought the Everfree could have so many noisey cockrels?

How heavy is Mudbriar? I’d think Maud’s lifting capacity could compare to Starlight’s. I suppose he’s just an awkward shape.

"Technically, he's the perfect shape." —Maud.
Maybe she just wanted to indulge in hugging him just a liiiiitle bit longer

When you cast a spell, return Overworked Counselor to its owner’s hand.
“I’m sorry, I need to handle this. I’ll be right back.”

This made me giggle with the idea of a Planewalker on the battlefield repeatedly summoning Starlight. She doesn't have summoning sickness, she has Teleport Exhaustion.

Hitchhiker’s Towel 2
Artifact — Equipment
2: Hitchhiker’s Towel becomes a copy of target Equipment until end of turn.

Can it copy this

5071727
Corrected to Drive Splicer in both places. Whether it's purpose or propulsion, Maud splices on a motivator.

5071732
Good point on lift vs. drag. Pretty sure bonding cement isn't going to help if a leg snaps off.

After this episode, you know, you just know that despite their placid public demeanors, Maud's cavern is filled with the sounds of lusty horse loving 24/7 while no one else is around. And after this episode, I'm okay with that.

I'm not okay with that first sentence, but I'm pretty sure you still owe me a few disturbing thoughts, so I can't really complain. Though I will note that the sounds probably wouldn't be that lusty. The actions, yes, but consider the participants.

5071733
The problem is it seems like an episode can either have a good lesson or a good use of the Mane Six. Trying to achieve both without character regression has been increasingly difficult since around Season 5 or 6. (Though I will say that "Going to Seed" did do a good job of bringing together a character arc that's been largely unacknowledged in the show, giving Applejack back the childhood she lost along with her parents.)

5071772
... Huh. I was just going off of Gaea's Revenge, but there's no reason why shroud from (quality) can't work. Adjustment made. Good call!

5071774

"A Lannister Lulamoon always pays her debts... eventually!"

:trixieshiftleft: "Rock farms may or may not be involved."

This made me giggle with the idea of a Planewalker on the battlefield repeatedly summoning Starlight. She doesn't have summoning sickness, she has Teleport Exhaustion.

"Look, if you don't want me to leave, stop reminding me about everything else I need to do today!"

And sadly, the Carpet isn't an Equipment, so you can't stand on your towel and say the magic word.

5071732
I was going to mention the carrying, but the point out the censors likely would not allow it due to the implications of a mare having a stallion on her back, straddling her, even if he was a statue.

As for Mudbriar himself: I'm still not really a fan of him, but I do find him tolerable now, at least.

There are many fantastic moments of animation to call out in this episode, but the earliest is the angry, angry sip of tea Trixie takes just before the theme song.

I'm partial to the moment at the end of act one where Starlight reacts in horror to Silverstream's disappearance... and Trixie nonchalantly takes another bite of her food. Trixie was given just the right amount of redemption in this series.

So… why didn’t the cockatrices go around the door of the castle? This is like giving up because you got locked out of a Gruul Guildgate.

I assume that the writers wrote "the characters enter the Castle of the Two Sisters" without remembering its dilapidated walls. I'll also assume that once the animatic came in, somebody noticed that exact same problem, but by then, there was no way to easily (inexpensively) solve it.

I stand by my observation that the writers have an unusual fondness for writing for Maud, but this episode cast a spotlight on her lack of socialization. She decided to throw a party, but after her boyfriend and her friend Starlight, the only ponies she could think to invite were Starlight's friends. Why would Sunburst make the long trip to Ponyville for a party with a pony he only knows through a friend? From a plotting standpoint, the only reason I can think of to have him there would be so he can exposit on the behavior of cockatrices.

With the entire cast made of up of the imperfect-and-that's-what-makes-them-fun secondary characters, there were a lot of opportunities for humor in this episode. From Trixie's self-centeredness to Maud's libidinousness to everybody having no patience for Mudbriar, I got some good laughs out of this one.

Hmm. Silverstream’s younger cousins wanting to stay seaponies… Are they Skystar’s siblings, or is there another branch of the hippogriff royal family tree to consider?

Early scripts for the movie had 2 of those background seaponies being Skystar's siblings, but didn't make it to the final cut. But I think nothing in the final product said they weren't here siblings though so...

The solstice/equinox thing:

Made me think of the old "Battle of Planets" cartoon and the way the writers there didn't seem to know the difference between universe and galaxy. :ajbemused:

Mike

I suppose simply asking Mudbriar what he meant by flowering sticks would be too much trouble? I figured he just mean roses. You’d think Roseluck of all ponies would recognize that possibility.

I've also heard lilacs suggested. Honestly, any kind of cutting from a flowering tree or bush would have met the requirements.
5071938

I assume that the writers wrote "the characters enter the Castle of the Two Sisters" without remembering its dilapidated walls. I'll also assume that once the animatic came in, somebody noticed that exact same problem, but by then, there was no way to easily (inexpensively) solve it.

On that note, it's worth noting that the actual state of disrepair of the castle has varied considerably over the show's run.

In Season 1, it was a wrecked shell -- broken walls, most roofs gone, no intact doors or decorations remaining, plants growing everywhere, about what you'd expect a castle to look like following a millennium exposed to nature and the elements in the middle of a hellwood.

Season 4 rolls around, and now the castle looks much better -- it's very run-down, but now it's somehow regained its upper floors; roofs, doors and decorations are present if a bit out of shape; a library's worth of books and a castle's worth of tapestries are present and in wholly salvageable conditions rather than being so much damp mulch; decorative suits of armor are still present everywhere, articulated and rust-free; all the secret passages and traps work without a hitch; and so on.

Season 7 has the castle in somewhat worse shape, but largely follows the Season 4 mold -- the students find the castle with roofs, doors and intact walls still being things that exist, suits of armor still hanging around unrusted, etc.

Now we get to Season 8, and the castle is back in its Season 1 shape -- a shell of shattered walls surrounding an area thoroughly overgrown with plant life. One door remains, but that's about it.

Personally, I suspect that when this episode was being drafted the script writers were working under the impression that the show was going to depict the castle in the still mostly intact state it was in from Season 4 to Season 7 -- in that case, "the characters enter the Castle of the Two Sisters" would have entailed them running into a still mostly standing fortress and shutting the only entrance behind them. Then "Uprooted" reset the castle to its original state, and, well...

“The clucking is coming from everywhere!” Add that to the list of wonderful out-of-context MLP quotes.

I wonder if that was a nod to The Bird Box.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5071794
...Oh god, it would be the most boring sex in the universe, to all but those directly involved.

And Boulder and Twiggy, they like to watch

5071794
Ah, thanks.

I think it's pretty clear that the showmakers are doing their darnedest to make Season 9 a continuity highlights reel, revisiting as many fan-favourite characters, locations and species as they can. So in Frenemies we saw Chryssie shift into a cragadile, Ursa Minor and something like a roc; in Going to Seed we saw Goldie Delicious and brief nonspeaking memories of Bright Mac and Buttercup; and this episode was a Season 9 Bingo-worthy grab bag of miscellaneous elements like the cockatrice, Mudbriar, Sunburst, and Terramar (who I certainly wasn't expecting).

And yet it ended up being a fantastic delight, just like many of the Season 9 Bingo Contest fics :) It had an inauspicious start - I was really worried the annoying "don't look at your phone while with your friends" message would drag on through the whole episode - but thankfully the plot moved on pretty quickly and produced many wonderful moments. Especially Maud.

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