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"[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: 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 · 181 views
  • 1 week
    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 · 271 views
  • 1 week

    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 · 192 views
  • 2 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 · 243 views
  • 3 weeks
    Fumarole Call

    This blog is rated S for Self-Indulgent. There is technically nonzero but exceedingly minimal pony content; it’s card games all the way down.

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    13 comments · 259 views

Friendship is Card Games: Ponyville Mysteries #4 and #5 · 1:00pm Jan 19th, 2020

As countless beings execute the ultimate jailbreak in Theros Beyond Death, this week we wrap up the Ponyville Mysteries comics. Nothing quite on par with escaping the underworld, but still plenty to dig into.

(And for those wondering, my Sealed pool had two Thassas, a Thassa’s Intervention, an Erebos, and two Temples of Deceit. Praise Phenax.)

Ponyville Mysteries #4

There is something deeply sweet about Rarity treating the Crusaders to a spa day. Dash being there and voluntarily enjoying the place is unexpected, but it’s nice to see she’s grown beyond the shame she showed in “Applejack’s ‘Day’ Off.”

A spring that flows from the Everfree… You’d think that would be more of a concern than an attraction. As long as no poison joke blooms along the way, I suppose.

Huh. That isn’t something I’ve seen many stories point out: Manufactured weather means an untimely epidemic in Cloudsdale could disrupt climates across the nation.

I love everything about the exchange in this first panel. If there’s one thing Scootaloo learned from Dash, it’s that ninety percent of success is confidence.

Sweetie failing to notice the dam literally a foot to her left is what a natural 1 on a Perception check looks like.

Oh boy. We all know what that circus aesthetic means… though I have to wonder how the Apples could’ve failed to notice a pipe running through the orchard. Given how the spa ponies only just realized the steam room isn’t working, the pump must have just been turned on, but all this plumbing wasn’t laid down in an instant. This might well have sorted itself out given a few more hours.

Poor Apple Bloom indeed. It’s not easy for anyone to go against family. Certainly not an Apple.

Once again, this series has a pony refer to her parents by name. So weird. Though the care and feeding of the ap-pear marriage tree is an intriguing topic.

Ooooh dear. Loose lips sink orchards, Apple Bloom. Worse, you have angered the derp.

:applejackconfused: “If we were that bad off, we’d ask for help—not steal.”
I mean, on the one hand, AJ doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to asking for help. On the other, you’d think the Apples’ reputation would protect them from the rumor mill. On Ahuizotl’s tail, the pipe is right there… which once. again raises the question of how neither Big Mac nor Applejack noticed it.

Be fair, Applejack. Any investigation entails accusing innocent ponies. Granted, doing it to their faces is a bit of a jerk move, but the Crusaders never actually did that to you…
Though they really should’ve just asked applejack about the pipe directly. Mare can’t lie her way out of a paper bag, after all. They’d get an answer one way or another.

Heh. I kind of want Davenport to be the culprit now. Revenge for all those water-damaged sofas!

:facehoof: Oh, for heaven’s sake. Why are the Flimflam brothers even allowed within the Ponyville city limits anymore? Say what you will about their chicanery, at least their later schemes avoided that town. Every time they show up in the comics, they make Ponyville look that much dumber.

Yeah, why didn’t the Crusaders ever undam the spring or shut off the pump, anyway?

So… how did the brothers develop the Plupearpple, anyway? I suspect they cribbed some other pony’s work, much like thier horseless carriage. As I’ve said in the past, if those two had any actual business sense, they’d just sell cars.

“Forget it Flim, it’s Ponyville.” Seriously, you two, this sheep’s been well and truly fleeced and it’s developing scar tissue. Let it go.

Yeah, this one was a flop. An obvious solution, a townwide Idiot Ball, and the perpetrators escaping justice.

Ponyville Myseries #5

Songbird Serenade? Goodness, wasn’t expecting ot hear from her outside of the Knight of Equestria series.

I wonder what the benefit concert is meant to benefit.
Also, oh dear, poor Derpy.

Yeah, Scootaloo jinxed it. Fate listens for setup lines like that.

Makes sense that Songbird would want Rarity to step in for her usual costume designer. Sapphire Shores did a lot for making Rarity a household name.

Oh dear. A (place name) (bird) statue in a mystery series does not bode well.

Scootaloo should really just stop talking in front of the Boutique.

“The delicateness of the gems.” Yes, because when I see a ruby the size of a pony’s eye, the first descriptor that comes to mind “delicate.”

That is a borderline Binding of Isaac face in that second panel.

Honestly, telling Onyx the statue was stolen could’ve gone a lot worse. Instead of focusing on her own career, she might have decided to ruin Rarity’s. And still may if this doesn’t work out. (Yes, I know it will work out, but I’m speaking hypothetically.)

Asking Twilight if she met a specific pony while she lived in Canterlot is like asking a clinically deaf person what their favorite song was before the hearing aids.

Yes, don’t tell your incredibly well-connected friend what’s going on. You three literal children can figure this out on your own. :facehoof:
I know, most junior sleuth series are guilty of this one, but both of today’s issues seem like they could’ve been made significantly easier with even slightly better communication.

I do appreciate how Photo Finish saw DA MAJYKKS in the Crusaders after her interrogation and had to capture them.

Hulking has a point. He wouldn’t have hung around town a moment longer than he needed to after acquiring the Albatross… which raises the question of whether the actual culprit is still in Ponyville.

Dang. Dragons, griffons, yaks—one in a Songbird wig, no less! Goes to show that the Festival of Friendship did its job after all. Even if the actually invited foreign dignitaries couldn’t make it.

Well, this was certainly a better mystery than the previous issue. Still pretty straightforward, but not as glaringly obvious.
Also, I appreciate how Rarity’s the only one who gets caught up on the crazy stallion who tied up three fillies. Anyone going to do anything about that guy?

She’s only a temp, Songbird. It’s not like she’s your loyal assistant of X years.

Oh, good, they are doing something about that guy. And yeesh, “Jagged Clamp.” That’s almost as bad as Distemper.

Heh. Of course it’s a fake. It’s a Maltese Falcon homage. Uh, spoilers for a ninety-year-old novel and seventy-nine-year-old movie.

Kind of ironic that the Crusaders get honored as sleuths at the very end of the series.

This definitely went better than the previous issue. Justice is served and Ponyville isn’t a gaggle of blithering ninnies. Overall, this was a fun little side series. Also, note that this cover exists and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Especially the disturbingly human Nathan Fillyon and other cast members of Horsefly. On the other hand, Neil Gaiman Sandman reference. Death would probably love Equestria. Some parts more than others.

Now, let’s see what this last investigation uncovered:

Impassable Crowd 1W
Creature — Citizen
Impassable Crowd’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of creatures you control.
Concertgoers flooded into Ponyville until the streets were packed solid.

Accidental Doomsayer 2W
Creature — Pegasus Citizen
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose a card name, then reveal the top card of your library. If it’s the named card, destroy all creatures.
“I was being facetious!”

Benefit Concert XXW
Return up to X target Song cards from your graveyard to the battlefield. Put X verse counters on each of those Songs.
Songbird Serenade is renown for her ability to blend classic hits and new tracks into a phenomenal performance.

Mass Interrogation 1U
Investigate for each attacking creature. (To investigate, create a colorless Clue artifact token with “2, T, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”)
“Where were you on the night of the Summer Sun Celebration?”

Obsessive Rummager 1U
Creature — Unicorn Rogue
Whenever Obsessive Rummager deals combat damage to a player, look at the top card of each player’s library. You may put any number of those cards into their owners’ graveyards.
“Whatever it is, it’s here somewhere.”

Skip Town 1U
This spell cost 1U less to cast if it targets a creature you control.
Return target creature to its owner’s hand.
The first and most essential part of any Flimflam get-rich-quick scheme is the escape plan.

Flimflam Greengrocers 2U
Creature — Unicorn Artificer
Mana abilities of nonland permanents you control cost U more to activate.
Whenever you tap a nonland permanent for mana, add CC.
They’ll desertify your hometown, but the taste is worth it.

Covetous Hoarder 2UU
Creature — Pony Rogue
When Covetous Hoarder enters the battlefield, gain control of target artifact or creature with converted mana cost X or less for as long as you control Covetous Hoarder, where X is your devotion to blue. (Each U in mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to blue.)

Conniving Assistant 2B
Creature — Unicorn Advisor
At the beginning of your upkeep, Conniving Assistant deals 2 damage to each opponent who controls a commander.
“They all think they’re so high and mighty. It’s time somepony cut them down to size.”

Curse of the Albatross 2B
Enchantment — Aura Curse
Enchant player
Whenever a creature enchanted player controls deals combat damage to a player, destroy that creature unless enchanted player pays 2 life.
Ponies lack a rich maritime tradition, but even they know the ocean’s taboos.

Persistent Rumor 2B
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn
Escape — 3BB, Exile four other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Gossip never dies. It just changes topics.

Ramshackle Dam 2R
Creature — Wall
When Ramshackle Dam enters the battlefield or dies, tap target land an opponent controls. That land doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step.
The wreckage actually did a better job of blocking the river than the original structure.

Ditzy’s Displeasure 3RR
Target player sacrifices a land and a nonland permanent.
“I like to think I’m a patient pony. But I have my limits. You have reached them.”

Set the Stage G
Choose one —
• Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put into your hand, then shuffle your library.
• You may play an additional land this turn.
Entwine 1G (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Thriving Plupearpple 2G
Creature — Plant
When Thriving Plupearpple enters the battlefield, create a Food token. (It’s a colorless artifact with “2, T, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.”)
G, T, Sacrifice a Food: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Full of nutrients you didn’t know you needed.

Airborne Epidemic 3G
Put a -1/-1 counter on each creature with flying. Proliferate. (Choose any number of permanents and/or players, then give each another counter of each kind already there.)
Most of the pegasus immune response relies on being higher than the germs.

The Pinkie Special 4
Legendary Artifact — Food
The Pinkie Special can be your commander.
Whenever The Pinkie Special or another Food you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay G. If you do, draw a card.
B: Target Food becomes a 1/1 artifact creature with deathtouch until end of turn. (It’s still a Food.)
2, T, Sacrifice The Pinkie Special: You gain 3 life.

Artifact — Contraption
Whenever you crank Irrilongation, tap or untap target permanent.

Diva’s Security 1WB
Creature — Unicorn Soldier
Whenever a Song you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, if it wasn’t sacrificed to pay a cost, each opponent sacrifices a nonland permanent.
“I’m going to have to ask you to step away from Miss Songbird. Now.”

Power Siphon 2(ub)
Move all counters from target permanent to another target permanent that shares a permanent type with it.
“A little pipe can go a long way. So imagine what a lot of pipe can do.”
—Flim Flimflam

Cider Swiller 2GW
Creature — Pegasus Warrior
Whenever Cider Swiller attacks, each player gains 2 life.
“Hey, you look thirsty. How about a round or six?”

Mutagenic Spring
T: Add C.
1, T: Put a storage counter on Mutagenic Spring
1, Remove X storage counters from Mutagenic Spring: Add X mana in any combination of G and/or U.

Comments ( 6 )

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Mass Interrogation can be cast regardless of who's turn it is, so if you can then find a way to turn those Clues into creatures (without immediately killing them due to their CMC of 0)) then you have blockers for a turn. Also, because it doesn't target I don't think you're restricted to casting it only when attacking creatures actually exist. You know, if you just want to build your storm count or get out from under one of those "counter their first spell each turn" cards.

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Skip Town is probably going to go into U/R Storm because free spell that lets you re-use ETB effects.

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: The Pinkie Special is a Golgari commander even though it's colorless for cards that care... and a bit of an Inside Baseball in that the actual Golgari are Ravnica's farmers and food suppliers. (No, Soylent Green isn't people. Using the bodies as fertilizer and/or laborers is more efficient.)

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Power Siphon is yet another way to cheat Cthulhu into play. (For bonus points, Marit Lage technically isn't a planeswalker, as a parallel to Cthulhu not actually being any kind of god)

No word on the damn dam?

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Why are the Flimflam brothers even allowed within the Ponyville city limits anymore? Say what you will about their chicanery, at least their later schemes avoided that town. Every time they show up in the comics, they make Ponyville look that much dumber.

I mean, the holiday issue did show that yeah Ponyville does know the FlimFlams are charlatans. They just roll with it because they still like their products.

I’m still so far out of M:tG it’s ridiculous but these are still fun. The Food commander is great, and Diva’s Security seems prone to all kinds of abuse.

The Flim Flams, as in the human world, advertise themselves as shady so people think they’ve got a chance to get the better of them. And when it all goes wrong people are more likely to laugh at the person they beat for falling for it than the obviously shady types who practically shouted what would happen. Classic Carneymancy.

I admit, given how I made a card for literal Cthulhu last week, I sent a few moments trying to figure out how the Siphon got around the titan clause. :derpytongue2:

It's a damn poor dam. Another ripe target for sabotage if the Crusaders had a mind to do so. What would the brothers do, take them to court for vandalizing the illegal devices used on land they don't own?

As for simply enjoying their products... I want to dispute that, but that's how a lot of Earth corporations work. I always did think those two were ahead of their time. They just need to grow too big to fail.

Remember that Diva's Security is the opposite of a Band. It only triggers when you don't use the Song's ability, or anything else that lets you sacrifice an enchantment to do a thing.

As for the Flimflams, they're absolutely Carnymancers. There must be some rule about gullibility or pattern recognition they're overriding,

Carneymancy is also a kind of Stagemancy, which is where their gift of the gab comes in. How that actually relates to breaking rules would undoubtedly have been very clever, like how Turnamancy wasn’t actually “anything with turn in the name” so much as motivation and progression. It’s really a shame Erfworld’s gone, let alone why.

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