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

More Blog Posts983

  • Sunday
    FoME Thinks Too Much: The Royal Arsenal

    Ideally, all conflicts Equestria faces can be solved through the careful application of diplomacy and rainbow lasers. But even in magical lands of pastel ponies, ideals can fall short of reality. Enter the Royal Arsenal.

    Read More

    47 comments · 522 views
  • Sunday
    Friendship is Card Games: Pony Life, Week 5

    And we’re back to G4.5 and the horrible web of lies that keeps Fluttershy thinking she’s involved in something intended for a much younger age group.

    Let’s not think too hard about potential connections there.

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    7 comments · 199 views
  • 1 week
    Prefaced Insight

    Rules clarification for Most Delightful Ponidox: When I say that multiple instances of a character have to interact, that means that each must at least be aware of the other's presence. No looking at the other from Superman's Silver Age time-space telescope or suchlike. Use this handy,

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    7 comments · 164 views
  • 1 week
    Hussie Patrol

    I don't normally announce Group Precipitation updates, but given the content of this week's batch, I feel everyone deserves some advance warning. See, these are going to be very Homestuck intensive. Specifically the epilogue and Homestuck^2, neither of which I've been following. Expect more reader-response gaps than usual.

    4 comments · 183 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Friendship in Disguise #1 & #2

    Surprised? I’d say the comics never stopped being a thing, but given the entire industry’s virus-engendered hiatus, that’s exactly what happened. But they started being a thing again as of last month, so here we are.

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    12 comments · 233 views

Friendship is Forever Card Games: Harvesting Memories · 11:50am August 2nd

Member berries are comin’ in nice. So are the bitter recollections if y’all prefer somethin’ savory. An’ there’s always, always Apples.

And even before the actual flashbacks, we harken back to “Party of One.” Applejack forced to lie to friend for the sake of preserving a surprise. It’s even the same barn! (Well, in the Ship of Theseus sense, anyway.)

:rainbowlaugh: And so Starlight fully embraces her role as filling the niche Twilight occupied in the early seasons. I don’t know why ponies using others’ manestyles to imitate them amuses me, but it does. You know, when they aren’t embarrassing themselves in the process.

I can’t blame AJ for spilling the beans during practice. This one’s a bit bigger than Pinkie’s birthday party.

Brilliant work, Spike. Twilight won’t suspect a thing with you doing everything in your power to keep Applejack from getting a word in edgewise.

Ah, getting the Trial of Honesty out of the way quickly. Kind of funny how we hear Ashleigh Ball still getting the pitch right. Also the whole “How do you cling to someone for dear life when you both have hooves?” issue, which is only compounded by the “Let go.” And how AJ chose to say that and not “Rainbow and Fluttershy are waiting to catch you.” But those points have been around as long as the premiere itself.

Interesting choice to include “Honest Apple” footage. For one, Twilight didn’t really play a role in that episode. For another, it’s a case of AJ turning that virtue into a vice through excess.

Inky Rose doesn’t smile. She just frowns with slightly less world-weariness.

And Applejack’s rainbow revelation. Just checking off all of the obligatory clips right at the get-go. She’d probably approve of the efficient use of time.

Huh. Hadn’t noticed it at the time, but the Flimflams have different reactions to Applejack’s confession Flim’s tugging at his collar and looking for escape routes. Flam is glaring bloody murder at his turncoat spokesmare.

Huh. Well, Starlight seems cooped up.
… I’ll see myself out after the rest of the review.

I have to wonder when and how Twilight heard about the events of “Where the Apple Lies.” The circumstances surrounding that could be hilarious. As is Granny lecturing an operating theater on apple blight with no further context.

And then Granny Smith nearly amputated her grandson’s leg. You know, for kids!

You know, I have to wonder why the medical staff are all shocked at the impending amputation when the bone saw is literally the only object on that tray. You guys left her no other option.

Huh. Hadn’t realized how Granny pulled a Clark Kent with that surgical mask. Though, in Filthy Rich’s defense, he was convinced she was the one being operated on.

Oof. That mention of who’d run Sweet Apple Acres. By this point in the timeline, the Apple parents were almost certainly dead.

“Gesundhoof” is still in the running for most forced horse pun in all of Friendship is Magic.

Ah yes, “Apple Family Reunion” was the first use of the moon, which is to time what Star Trek’s quad is to data storage: A convenient way to give measurements without having to have them actually make real-world sense. The hundred-moon reunion period emphasizes this, especially since it still isn’t clear if the Summer Sun Celebration get-together was the previous reunion or a special occasion.

“Feathers on a goat” is an amazing idiom and needs to be used more.

Apple Bloom rattles off a lot of places we don’t hear about ever again: Yonder Hill, Galloping Gorge (not to be confused with Ghastly Gorge,) Foal Mountain, and Tall Tale Town. Also Fillydelphia, Manehattan, and, you know, Hollow Shades. They tried to brush that under the rug in the Season 7 finale, but the most eldritch branch of the Apple family tree clearly never stopped being a thing. Not if they’re sending in RSVPs for the reunion.

“Cider trough.” Oh, right. That’s where Estee got that.

That chicken is riding one of those most dangerous creatures in all of Equestria. Truly, its courage knows no bounds.

“You can talk about anything! We just need more memories”
Dimir agent assuring Ivy Lane fruit seller that everything they’re doing is perfectly safe and harmless.

Yeah, you know they’re all related when they all willingly perform manual labor to a jaunty tune. That kind of madness is definitely genetic.

The dancing pig and chicken raise familiar concerns about just which species are sapient in this world.

Heh. They kept in the booty-shaking transition.

Never mind that that clearly isn’t the same building as the one Twilight and Applejack are talking about. How barn-raisings were there during that reunion?

“I’ve never heard that story?”
“What are you talking about? You were there!”
Thank you, Twilight. I was going to say something if you weren’t.

“You just can’t keep stickin’ to the same way of doin’ things and expect ‘em to get better.”
I wonder if anypony brought this up during the next cider season.

Oh goodness, I’d actually forgotten Applejack reading Bloomberg a bedtime story.

Applejewel is hardly a fair example of AJ being a silly pony. That was a deliberate act to shock Rarity back to her senses.

Appleteenie isn’t fair either; that was just poison joke.

… Okay, AJ going ridiculously overprotective does qualify. Also, rare instance of using “someone” rather than “somepony.”

Apple Chord was, again, mostly Rarity’s fault. It was her plan, after all.

Oh no. Starlight’s panicking. We’ll see who gets out of this with their minds intact. And their skulls.

Ah, Applejack. It’s technically true. She does want a chance to spend time with Twilight and look back on the good times. She’s just not fully divulging why. And as we’ve known since “The Last Roundup,” AJ is actually quite good at lies of omission.

Yeah, looking back at the helter-skelter snowplowing, it’s no wonder Winter Wrap-Up would always get finished late. Even without Twilight’s interference, there’s one case where a bunch of plowers were headed for a seven-way collision.
Mind you, given the largely pegasus weather team, I still think Ponyville’s Winter Wrap-Up traditions are mostly a subtle way to screw over unicorns.

I may not like Chrysalis, but I do miss her reverb. Without it, she’s just tall, grumpy bug-Trixie.

Very interesting addition to include AJ apologizing during the wedding. Still, good to remember that Twilight’s friends did apologize, and she didn’t even feel it was necessary. “Twilight walks out on her friends due to the wedding” is right up there with “Sunset abandons her friends due to Anon-a-Miss” in terms of my least favorite plotlines.

Good to see how much Applejack appreciates her time with Twilight has broadened her horizons.

:rainbowlaugh: I do appreciate how the callback to “Rarity Takes Manehattan” works on another level here, given how Rarity’s clipshow included the song.

Funny how Manehattan’s the only town we see with actual uniformed police rather than royal guards.

I do think Applejack should’ve been better able to navigate Manehattan traffic. Even putting aside her childhoood time spent in the city, she was just there a season ago relative to this episode.

Ah yes, Peaks of Peril Terminal. One of the… stranger parts of the Equestrian rail system.

It’s always nice to see a pony who loves their job. Even when that job is being a creepy-as-all-heck ticket seller.

Oh good. This clip show has felt awfully heavy on Applejack embarrassing herself, intentionally or not. It’s nice to see something as unquestionably awesome as her defeating the chimera head by head. Though I’m sad they cut the bit with the ricotta.

Ooh, yeah, the guest list for an accession ceremony is going to be a political minefield. I can only imagine how many times it got revised.

Well, this may have highlighted some of Applejack’s less dignified moments, but it ended with a chicken laughing at Starlight, so I suppose it came out somewhat even in the end. :derpytongue2: Of course, this is what happens when you try to assemble a highlight reel for the most sensible member of the group. Still, would’ve been nice to see something like AJ rerouting the stampede in “Applebuck Season,” or showing up the Flimflams a bit more. Still, at least they left out “Non-Compete Clause.”

Now, let’s see just what’s in this harvest:

Runway Diva 2W
Creature — Pony Citizen
Whenever an opponent casts an Aura spell, you may change that spell’s target to Runway Diva.
Whenever an Equipment enters the battlefield under an opponent’s control, attach it to Runway Diva.
“Somepony’s got to model it.”

Disciple of Twilight 3U
Creature — Unicorn Wizard
When Disciple of Twilight enters the battlefield, scry 1, then draw a card.
Twilight carried on Celestia’s legacy of helping promising young ponies fulfill their full potential and use it to make the world a better place.

Orchard Avalanche 3U
Snow Sorcery
Each player returns two nonsnow lands they control to their owner’s hands.
Some of Ponyville’s overdue Winter Wrap-Ups came from misfortune or poor organization. Some were deliberate.

Spoiled Surprise B
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities.)
Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose an instant card or card with flash from it. That player discards that card.

Bottleneck Hex 1B
Enchantment — Aura Curse
Enchant player
If enchanted player would gain life, put that many backup counters on Bottleneck Hex instead.
When Bottleneck Hex is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, enchanted player gains 1 life for each backup counter on it.

Surgical Saw 1B
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature has wither. (It deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.)
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.
Equip 2
Limb or skull, something’s coming off.

Zoonotic Blight 1BB
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.
When enchanted creature dies, you may return Zoonotic Blight to the battlefield attached to target creature that shares no creature types with that creature.

Haunting Cackle 2B
Each player loses 2 life.
Rebound (If you cast this spell from your hand, exile it as it resolves. At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may cast this card from exile without paying its mana cost.)

Blight Surgeon 3B
Creature — Pony Advisor
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices a creature with a counter on it.
“The first duty of every physician is to end suffering.”

Enthusiastic Hoofshake 2R
Target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature or planeswalker.
Ferocious — If you control a creature with power 4 or greater, this spell can’t be countered and the damage can’t be prevented.

Acrophobia 1G
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt by creatures with flying this turn.
“Sometimes you realize the only thing standing between you and a long drop is a bunch of feathers.”
—Fluttershy, Bearer of Kindness

Broadened Horizons 2G
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
When Broadened Horizons enters the battlefield, mill four cards. (Put the top four cards of your library into your graveyard.)
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each card type among cards in your graveyard.

Curse of Fowl Fortune 2G
Enchantment — Aura Curse
Enchant player
Whenever enchanted player casts a noncreature spell, create a 1/1 green Bird creature token.
Starlight never looked at chickens the same way.

Supply Ox 2G
Creature — Ox Citizen
When Supply Ox enters the battlefield, proliferate. (Choose any number of permanents and/or players, then give each another counter of each kind already there.)
The Apples appreciate anyone willing to lend a hoof for major projects.

Ambiguous Inspection 3G
As Ambiguous Inspection enters the battlefield, choose power, toughness, or converted mana cost.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control the creature with the greatest chosen value or tied for greatest, draw a card.

Mythos of Applejack 3GG
Creatures you control get +2/+2 and gain trample until end of turn. If RW was spent to cast this spell, those creatures gain double strike until end of turn.
”Generations come and go, but Applejack is eternal.”
Tales of the Harmonolith

Barn Raising XG
Mill X cards, then put up to X land cards from your graveyard onto the battlefield tapped.
“Every disaster’s a chance to rebuild.”
—Applejack, Bearer of Honesty

Slop the Hogs XXG
Delve (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for 1.)
Create three X/X green Boar creature tokens.
The Apples refuse to say why they raise pigs or how they do business with Griffonstone.

Perpetual Motion RW
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature or Vehicle
As long as enchanted permanent is a Vehicle, it’s a creature in addition to its other types.
Enchanted creature attacks each combat if able.
Whenever enchanted creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

Final Harvest Cultist 1BG
Creature — Pony Warlock Druid
Whenever another creature dies, put a growth counter on Final Harvest Cultist.
T: Add X mana in any combination of B and/or G, where X is the number of growth counters on Final Harvest Cultist.

Triple-Toll Chimera 3BR
Creature — Chimera
Tribute 3 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may put three +1/+1 counters on it.)
When Triple-Toll Chimera enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn’t paid, target player sacrifices an artifact, a creature, and an enchantment.

Disrupting Dragon 4UR
Creature — Dragon
When Disrupting Dragon enters the battlefield, counter target spell. When you do, Disrupting Dragon deals damage equal to that spell’s converted mana cost to any target.

Everfree Capridor 4GW
Creature — Bird Goat
If damage would be dealt to Everfree Capridor, prevent that damage. Put a +1/+1 counter on Everfree Capridor for each 1 damage prevented this way.
“Don’t tell Fluttershy. I’m saving it for her birthday.”

Kirin-Peak Crossroads
Land — Mountain Forest Plains
(T: Add R, G, or W.)
Kirin-Peak Crossroads enters the battlefield tapped
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
The Peaks of Peril are home to both the kirin and a wide variety of fire-resistant plants.

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Comments ( 8 )

Foal Mountain is where ponhenge is.

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Each player chooses which of their own lands are returned to their hand with Orchard Avalanche... but nothing bad happens if all their lands are snow lands. Same goes with the sacrificing cards here.

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Return Bottleneck Hex to your hand in response to cards that would remove it so they don't get their life back. Or just counter the triggered ability. Or use something that removes the counters. Or something that prevents the counters from being put there in the first place; their lifegain will still be replaced. Still, this is quite a lot of effort for something most decks aren't going to bother with.

Inside Baseball Alert: Every incarnation of the series that received a proper show received a proper Applejack. I am reasonably sure that Mythos of Applejack's flavor text is a deliberate reference to this fact.

Yeah, when later seasons explicitly spelled out that Earth Pony magic includes super strength Ponyville Winter Wrap-Up became a lot more dickish and hypocritical in retrospect. Especially because for things like the Iron Pony Competition* in Fall Weather Friends to make any sense the implication is that Earth Ponies can throttle their magical strength at will.

*My headcanon is that one of the reasons AJ was so peeved at RD is that she was exerting considerable conscious effort to use only her biological muscles in the contest which the pegasus was clearly not appreciating at all.

Disciple of Twilight 3U
Creature — Unicorn Wizard
When Disciple of Twilight enters the battlefield, scry 1, then draw a card.
Twilight carried on Celestia’s legacy of helping promising young ponies fulfill their full potential and use it to make the world a better place.

Orchard Avalanche 3U
Snow Sorcery
Each player returns two nonsnow lands they control to their owner’s hands.
Some of Ponyville’s overdue Winter Wrap-Ups came from misfortune or poor organization. Some were deliberate.

Spoiled Surprise B
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities.)
Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose an instant card or card with flash from it. That player discards that card.

A weird mix today. Disciple is overcosted by 1, I'd say, and Avalanche is too strong, being essentially a double Time Walk in the right deck, but Spoiled Surprise is really novel.

Seeing the clip from "Apple Family Reunion"... I'm surprised the show maintained the "when Granny Smith walks, it makes a squeaky metal noise" joke all the way into season three. I thought the gratuitous mockery of the elderly was limited to early season one.

"The way Spike's getting Twilight's memories might seem dishonest, but it's working really well." Kinda surprised Applejack didn't take a moment to address the implications of that statement.

The dancing pig and chicken raise familiar concerns about just which species are sapient in this world.

I just noticed that the pig is hamboning.

It occurs to me that Twilight's getting a lot of Applejack memories that she wasn't present for. At least this one comes with a peppy musical number.

Apple Chord was, again, mostly Rarity’s fault. It was her plan, after all.

I dunno... Applejack was pretty quick to suggest the performance.

Still, at least they left out “Non-Compete Clause.”

Yeah, but they included "Applejack's 'Day' Off," which -- although it doesn't regress character development -- I've felt was the most filler-y of filler episodes in the entire series. The quotation marks in the title aren't even in the right place.

From the TVTropes recap page:

Foreshadowing: "Feathers on a goat!" "Gathering goat-feathers" is a term coined by Ellis Parker Butler for activities that distract someone from their own work or the bigger picture. In this case, Applejack's attempts to make the reunion as exciting as possible distract her and everypony else from the family bonding that's supposed to take place at reunions.

I like the Tarmogoyf on-an-aura you've got.

Haunting Cackle is the card that looked most overcosted to me. Also, no Saga this week? I thought each Mane 6 member was getting a Saga as well as a Mythos. The Mythos itself is a very nice tweak on Overrun... I do find myself wishing it granted either lifelink or vigilance so you can survive the backswing if you don't instant win. Either of those would be available as the white kicker, but that'd make double strike feel dubious as the red contribution since white can do it too. I guess it is just meant as a "I win now" button. Ahem, I mean "stall breaker".

I do love the flavour text on Slop the Hogs. "The Apples refuse to say why they raise pigs or how they do business with Griffonstone.": it both raises an excellent question and suggests a disturbing answer all in one go.

Costing rebound cards can be tricky. How much is too much for two of a given effect and a pair of cast (and, in this case, life loss) triggers?

I'll be honest, I didn't even realize I was doing exactly one Saga in each previous Friendship is Forever blog. :twilightblush: It doesn't help that the Sagas are meant to convey a sense of changing narrative, while Applejack is the most reliably consistent member of the Mane Six. Still, looking back, I could've done a Birth of Meletis-style Saga for Ponyville. This must be how Magic R&D felt when people first called out for Fblthp to get a card.

Double strike alone is enough of a RW kicker when everything's also getting trample. It'd be like Embercleave giving lifelink; your life total doesn't matter when your opponent's is already zero or less.

And yes, those pigs raise so many worrisome questions. But I bet Gallus never ate so well as his first lunch at the School of Friendship cafeteria. :pinkiecrazy:

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