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

More Blog Posts1101

  • Monday
    Myriad Constructs

    hawthornbunny, ever-capable archivist of my creations, the Mako-voiced chronicler to my Conan the Barbarian, has informed me that with today's card blog, I have wrought 10,006 pony cards.

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    13 comments · 235 views
  • Sunday
    Friendship is Card Games: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell

    So, to overwhelmingly greater demand than I expected (i.e. any,) I am delving into the official Friendship is Magic novels. There are a staggeringly high number of them, along with journals, mysteries, handbooks (hoofbooks?) and more. I have a newfound respect for G. M. Berrow in terms of her sheer output. In any case, let’s see what the very first one has to offer.

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    16 comments · 225 views
  • 1 week
    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 · 216 views
  • 2 weeks
    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 · 282 views
  • 2 weeks

    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 · 208 views

Friendship is Card Games: Relive the Kraken and A Hooffull of Marbles · 12:09pm July 11th

This week, we turn to the last one-shot issues of the IDW comic. The final three will draw Season 10 to a close. Let’s see if the prelude goes out on a high note.

Relive the Kraken

Ooh, first look at the diarch emerita’s new home. Looks like a lovely place, with a few architectural flourishes similar to Castle Canterlot.

The portrait is adorable, though the sisters’ manes don’t quite mesh with what we’ve seen in Legends of Magic. And, of course, the expression seem more fitting for a photograph than a portrait that would take days if not weeks to complete, but that can be excused with magic. (Heck, if Star Swirl told the artist what to expect…)

I do like the idea of the sisters using dolls as a first step towards taking responsibility for the entire nation.

The sisters still wearing all of their regalia except their crowns feels wrong, but I find myself wondering if it would look even weirder to see them not wearing anything. It was certainly disconcerting in “Between Dark and Dawn”

Some of the faces look rough on this first page, especially Rainbow Dash’s. Maybe the style will grow on me over time.

… Yeah, not sure about that.

I do love seeing both Celestia’s extremely limited patience with her little sister—oh, how she’ll come to regret that—and Star Swirl’s exhaustion with both of them.

Pretty ure that the sisters already having their cutie marks at such a young age clashes with the real-life version of their journal, but expecting flawless continuity across all aspects of FiM is setting one’s self up for disappointment. When in doubt, blame Starlight and/or Discord.

And we have an actual kraken in Gen 4. The color scheme is certainly reminiscent of the G1 character Squirk. That said, as far as kraken encounters go, getting tossed back on shore i getting off light.

:facehoof: For goodness’ sake, Dash, this is one of Celestia’s most traumatic memories. At least try to look a little more sympathetic.
Also, Daring Do apparently went into space one time. Or had some other adventure that could be described as a “dash across the stars.” I have several questions there.

Ah. Fluttershy’s actually met krakens before… though given the source, they may not be quite as sweet as her experience would indicate.

I suspect a cupcake would do more to bolster Celestia’s mood than a Wonderbolts show.

I’m not sure what’s more interesting, that Luna found SCUBA gear in the sisters’ sizes, or that Celestia says that this will get them both killed. I guess they do need to breathe. That’s vaguely disappointing.
(Also, Celestia’s really taking advantage of how she doesn’t have to be Equestria’s unshakable foundation anymore. She’d have never been able to sulk in bed before passing the crown to Twilight.)

So… do they know that the kraken is female, or are they just assuming? Also, how do they even know if the same kraken is still alive? Fluttershy’s met multiple krakens, so it’s not like it’s a single living anomaly.

I do love the symmetry of Celestia and Luna fulfilling their long-deferred duty to their first subjects now that they’ve completed their duty to all the rest. And Celestia being hesitant to do so makes sense; she’s the one with clear memories of the event, and it’s clear that it left lasting trauma.

Brilliant play by Luna. Engage the protective older sister complex and drag Celestia into the sea by her love.
… That sounded much more sinister than I intended.

Huh. I have no idea where the “Crystal Sea” is meant to be. Assuming Seaward Shores is in Bittish Columbia, as subtly indicated by the flag on the good ship Bunyip Bait, it should be somewhere around Vanhoover, and thus open out into Luna Bay. Granted, there’s no reason to think that the sisters retired in the same place where they lost their dolls, but not being able to find this body of water bothers me. You’d think it’d at least be somewhere near Equestria.

“I’m not a fan of swimming,” says the mare who sky-dived into shark-infested waters with a smile on her face.

I’m sorry, but no one should have to explain to Princess Celestia, thousand-year monarch of Equestria and headmistress of the greatest magic school in the country, why her magic isn’t working right now. I’m going to allow the short-out due to foalhood trauma—again, putting aside the sharks—and because if she were able to focus, she might end up shattering her helmet.

Okay, I do appreciate the careful camera angles on the kraken. Only now do we see that the yellow spots are hearts. (And of course, nothing with hearts on it can possibly be evil.)

Wow. The doll is completely unmarred by centuries of seawater. They really don’t make them like they used to.

It is nice to see Celestia both be in the wrong and apologize for it. That doesn’t happen all that often.

… Hold up, that whirlpool was formed by converging ocean currents. What the heck did Celestia just do? And how many other consuming vortices are going to pop up elsewhere in the oceans now?

I didn’t think about it until now, but there are an awful lot of pony toys in this comic.

“I believe we’ve had enough excitement for one century.”
Luna, you were on the moon for most of the last century. Of course, that gets into other issues.

And they still take off the regalia to go swimming. Maybe they’re just used to wearing it.

This was a sweet little tale, and I’m glad we got to see the diarchs post-retirement, but it doesn’t exactly mesh with previous source material. I know I said expecting perfect continuity is a fool’s errand, but it’s still bothersome.

A Hooffull of Marbles

I do have to appreciate one of the alternate covers for this issue. Lo-fi beats to mhm/study to.

Ah, Cheese channeling his Stallion with No Name persona. Because fun is serious business.

Heh. Romantic rumors are flying between these two, and for good reason.

I will say that I’m deeply disappointed that Pinkie’s home town is, to all appearances, called “Rockville.” A little on the nose there, guys.
More bothersome is how we’ve apparently gone from needing a train to get to the rock farm to just walking there. Though it’s possible that the train was more for the sake of convenience given how it was the holiday season. No sense in trekking through hip-deep snow, even if Granny Smith would wax nostalgic.

I’m not sure if Cheese punched a bunch of holes in a sticky note, or if he just stuck a slice of Swiss to that planning board.

“Cheese? Cheese.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s just hope nopony breaks out the Wabbajack.

Postmaster Buckeye… I’ll grudgingly allow it. In this timeline.
Also, I’m amazed that Ponyville is big enough for any road’s house numbers to go as high as 725. One idea I saw on Derpibooru is that legally, every new building requires a new address, which has combined with Ponyville’s constant rebuilding to disastrous effect.

I do love seeing Pinkie casually use her prehensile forelock. Mare has tentacles and nopony blinks an eye.

Ooh, Ghirardelli. Or “Ar in the Dell.” Not sure if any of the first letters are cut off due to the viewing angle, but still a nice selection.

Huh. Marble’s going all the way to Abyssinia for college? Especially surprising given Maud’s alma mater, but good for her. Maybe it’s like Fluttershy, where she’s more comfortable among nonpony sapients. (This also raises interesting questions about where this lies on the timeline. We’re presumably after the climactic finale. Granted, the same is true of the previous issue, but this really drives the point home. Chronologically speaking, this could be the last pre-timeskip story in Equestria.
Also interesting to contrast the full address for Sugarcube Corner with just “Pie Rock Farm” for the… well, you can guess. Mind you, at least ponies are actually writing out names and locations rather than giving the mailpony a rebus and hoping for the best.

Always nice to see happy times with the Pies. Especially since they tend to be one of the more… fraught Mane Six families in fanfic. I’m not automatically against a troubling home life for Pinkie—you can’t be and enjoy Estee’s stories as much as I do—but I still prefer the nice option.

Wow. Marble’s so excited, she’s saying intelligible words! (And I have to love the metacommentary on comic book editors.)

Oh dear. Pinkie’s having to say goodbye to a loved one for a while. And this time it’s Pinkie’s twin sister. It’s Wonderbolts Academy turned up to eleven, since Marble will be on an inaccessible island on the other end of the world.

What is Marble planning on studying, anyway? The history of celebrations makes me wonder about the rest of the syllabus. And what her current academic qualifications are like.

Yeah, this one’s a real heartbreaker for Pinkie. She can’t find it in herself to celebrate this.

:yay: “At least Gummy’s here.”
:raritystarry: “Maybe he knows where she went.”
:yay: “I can always ask.”
“Where are any of us? What is location? Does the position of a single pony in a single town on a single planet matter in the cosmic perspective? Can any of us truly claim to exist beyond how others perceive us?”

No, that last line isn’t part of the comic, but I bet I had you going for a second. :raritywink:

Yup, as I said. Pinkie doesn’t deal with separation well. Certainly not well enough to throw a party for two years of barely any interaction with her twin.

:ajsleepy: “I know what it’s like when somepony you love leaves and doesn’t come back.”
Okay, I was not expecting that. Way to bash me over the head with emotions, comic.

:pinkiesad2: “Throwing a party is making the happiness in your heart take form.”
That is legitimately beautiful.

I do love how Vinyl has cemented her reputation among party ponies as the best DJ around.

Pinkie’s expressions as Cheese tries to sway her on serving cheese instead of dessert are things of beauty. He’s still trying to impress her.

“It’s time for me to start living out loud, just like my big sister taught me.”
Seriously, I was not expecting this issue to be this touching.

Heh. And it seems like the Pies like Cheese, though he’s not quite sure how to handle Pinkie’s cousins.
Also, Pinkie has cousins, who live on a tree farm. Earth ponies, man. Big families. From left to right in the linked image, we have Acacia, Birch (or Oak,) Spruce, and Oak (or Birch.)

I do love how much Cheesepie we’ve gotten in Season 10. Got to lay the groundwork for Li’l Cheese, after all.

A decent issue and an unexpectedly great one. Nice work all around. Now to see how the grand finale follows through on the ninety-nine issues before it…
Well, “now” is a strong word there. We’ll get to it in time. For now, let’s see what I can make of these issues:

Postal Union 2W
If a player would draw one or more cards except the first one they draw in each of their draw steps, instead each player draws a card.
“Don’t worry, you’ll still get your mail, just like everypony else.”
—Ditzy Doo

Celestia Doll 4W
Artifact Creature — Construct
Alicorn (This card is also a Pony Pegasus Unicorn.)
Whenever Celestia Doll is dealt damage, exile up to one target nonland permanent with mana value equal to or less than the damage.
XXW, T: Celestia Doll deals X damage to itself.

Joy 5W
Creature — Elemental Incarnation
When Joy dies, double your life total and Joy’s owner shuffles it into their library.
Evoke WWW (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it’s sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)

Tentacular Rescue U
Return target creature to its owner’s hand. If a creature is put into your hand this way, you may cast a Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent spell.
Few airbreathers expect or appreciate a helping tendril.

Archaeotech Salvager 2U
Creature — Pegasus Scout
Whenever an artifact enters the battlefield under your control, you get E (an energy counter).
T, Pay EEE: Return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.

Abandon Ship 2UU
Put target creature on top of its owner’s library. If a Vehicle is put on top of a library this way, return each creature that crewed that Vehicle this turn to its owner’s hand.
The safest point on a sinking ship is off of it.

Crystal Reef 3U
Creature — Wall
Converge — When Crystal Reef enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 blue Squid creature token with islandwalk for each color of mana spent to cast it. (They can’t be blocked as long as defending player controls an Island.)

Full Scholarship 3U
Learn. (You may reveal a Lesson card you own from outside the game and put it into your hand, or discard a card to draw a card.)
Create a Treasure token for each card in your hand. (They’re artifacts with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”)

Delayed Shipment 4U
Draw two cards.
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.)
Postponies are good, but only equine.

Autophobia 1B
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
When enchanted creature’s controller controls no other creatures, that player sacrifices that creature.
Cycling 2 (2, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
One is the deadliest number.

Snickering Sneak 1B
Creature — Pony Rogue
Snickering Sneak can’t be blocked by creatures with power X or greater, where X is 5 minus the number of creatures in your party. (Your party consists of up to one each of Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard.)

Descend Upon the Innocent 1BB
Choose one —
• Creatures your opponents control get -1/-1 until end of turn.
• Each opponent sacrifices a creature with the highest power among creatures they control.
Equestria’s history is not without its atrocities.

Formative Trauma 2B
Enchantment — Aura
This spell costs 2 less to cast if it targets a creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets -2/-1 and can’t block.

Mysterious Drifter 2R
Creature — Pony Warrior
Heroic — Whenever you cast a spell that targets Mysterious Drifter, it deals X damage to any target, where X is the number of spells you’ve cast this turn.
He arrives with the tumbleweeds, and monsters leave with the Reaper Mare.

Scholar of Celebration 2R
Creature — Pony Shaman
Whenever one or more cards leave your graveyard, exile the top card of your library. You may play that card until the end of your next turn.
“We’re going to party like it’s 19 Anno Celestia!”

Glad Tidings 3R
Exile the top four cards of your library. You may play those cards during your next turn.
The latest news never stays relevant for very long.

Grief Counseling 1G
You gain 3 life.
Gravestorm (When you cast this spell, copy it for each permanent put into a graveyard this turn.)
A sympathetic ear can help push through even the worst tragedy.

Spontaneous Scales 1G
Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Put a hexproof counter on it.
Most of Ponyville was horrified. Fluttershy offered skincare tips. Spike thought Rarity had never looked better.

Group Project 2G
Sorcery — Lesson
Until end of turn, target creature you control gets +1/+1 for each creature you control and gains trample. That creature can only attack alone this turn.
As with all such assignments, one person ends up doing most of the work.

Tree Farmers 2G
Creature — Pony Druid
T: Untap target Forest.
Whenever a Forest enters the battlefield under your control, untap Tree Farmers.
The Pie family can work with organic crops, but they still prefer the slow and solid ones.

Hoarded Wreckage UB
When Hoarded Wreckage enters the battlefield, target opponent mills three cards.
Whenever an opponent mills one or more nonland cards, you may exile one of them from that player’s graveyard. As long as that card remains exiled, you may play it and and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it.

Luna’s Ploy 1(bg)
If B was spent to cast this spell, up to one target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn. If G was spent to cast this spell, up to one target creature blocks this turn if able. (Do both if BG was spent.
Luna is well-versed in the fine art of sibling manipulation.

Dictate of Sheogorath 2RW
At the beginning of your upkeep, exile target nonland, nontoken permanent you don’t control chosen at random. That permanent’s controller creates a Food token. (It’s an artifact with “2, T, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.”)
”Cheese for everyone!”

Godslayer Kraken 4UB
Creature — Kraken
Spells each opponent casts that target Godslayer Kraken cost X more to cast, where X is 1 plus the number of enchantments that player controls.
Godslayer Kraken can’t be blocked by enchantment creatures.
Whenever Godslayer Kraken deals combat damage to a player, that player sacrifices an enchantment.

Flotsam Shoal
Artifact Land — Treasure Island
(T: Add U.)
Flotsam Shoal enters the battlefield tapped.
T, Sacrifice Flotsam Shoal: Add one mana of any color.
Even the sea can share its bounty.

Maritime Manor
T: Add C.
WUB, T: Target Pony, Pegasus, or Unicorn you control gains deathtouch, hexproof, and lifelink until end of turn.
Celestia and Luna are happy to offer refuge to their former subjects, but not all guests are as welcome.

Rockadia Campus
Rockadia Campus enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add W or U.
4, T: Scry 1.
Students who seek excellence without distractions travel to the remote islands of Abyssinia.

Comments ( 10 )

Ah. Fluttershy’s actually met krakens before… though given the source, they may not be quite as sweet as her experience would indicate.

I mean, for someone with the ability to talk to 'animals' and 'tame' dragons with just a glare, that doesn't sound too far fetched.

Wow. The doll is completely unmarred by centuries of seawater. They really don’t make them like they used to.

:ajbemused: It's like the writers have no concept of how time and natural processes work or something. I'm just going to chalk it up to magic and move on.

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Remember how I mentioned that replacement effects get used because they don't get applied to themselves? The Postal Union remembers.

Inside Baseball Alert: Ah, dolls. Given the implications, use this one sparingly.

Inside Baseball Alert: Those of you who remember Incarnations may be confused by Joy. If that's the case, they dropped another cycle of them while you weren't looking.

Inside Baseball Alert: Sheogorath was likening you to a lab rat in a maze and justifying the lack of reward for that part of the quest. No, I don't know whether anyone on Nirn does that, but Sheogorath doesn't really have to care.

Most "natural" processes are handled by the ponies in canon. Anypony who found a depiction of Celestia wouldn't dare do what you're suggesting.

I was under the impression that Marble was going to an art college, based on the comic book editors line.

The sisters still wearing all of their regalia except their crowns feels wrong, but I find myself wondering if it would look even weirder to see them not wearing anything. It was certainly disconcerting in “Between Dark and Dawn”

The worst part this was perhaps our last chance to see some nekkid princesses. And it's gone.

Does Tentacular Rescue effectively give a creature spell Flash?


Does Tentacular Rescue effectively give a creature spell Flash?

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Yes, provided it has one of the listed types and you have a creature to return for the first part of the effect. "You may cast" without a time marker means you "cast it right now, or wait for the game rules to give you permission again". There's also nothing stopping you from casting the creature you returned, and there are even situations where that would make sense to do. Worth mentioning that you do have to pay the normal costs after having already paid a mana for Tentacular Rescue itself.

Thanks for the explanation.

I will say that I’m deeply disappointed that Pinkie’s home town is, to all appearances, called “Rockville.” A little on the nose there, guys.

Hard to complain about that once the precedent was set by "Ponyville."

More bothersome is how we’ve apparently gone from needing a train to get to the rock farm to just walking there.

For Pinkie, at least. Only Discord is more skilled at flouting the laws of physics.

I’m not sure if Cheese punched a bunch of holes in a sticky note, or if he just stuck a slice of Swiss to that planning board.

The latter. No doubt about it.

Why is Toola Roola, of all characters, on the guest list?

"I could give them to Parcel Post to deliver tomorrow, but might as well lighten his load and keep him gruntled, right?"
Kind of an uncomfortable joke there.

Pinkie has been alive for how many years and she's never had the chance to try the pony equivalent of Ghirardelli squares? I know Equestria isn't as modern as our world, but is there no mass market whatsoever?

Also interesting to contrast the full address for Sugarcube Corner with just “Pie Rock Farm” for the… well, you can guess.

I imagine Equestria's postal system is looser with that type of thing. For example, if I addressed a letter to just "Pinkie Pie, Ponyville," my local mail carrier would get the letter to Ponyville, whose postmaster knows everybody well enough to route it specifically to 725 Millers Road. I should try that right now and see if it works...

Alternately, maybe "Pie Rock Farm" isn't sufficient to guarantee that the letter gets to the right town, which would explain how Marble's acceptance letter got in Pinkie's mane.

Marble would respond well to a curriculum centered on enforced solitude, yes.

"--and Pinkie doesn't want to throw a party? Tarnation! I can't imagine such a thing."
"That's what I said."
Rarity said "Tarnation!"?

"I know what it's like when somepony you love leaves and doesn't come back."
I'm not saying it wasn't appropriate, but wow was that a hard turn. The self-contained comic book format does not lend itself well to abrupt emotional shifts.

"Maybe you could get Cheese to stay a little longer this time. It's nice having him around."
I appreciate the effort, Marble, but you don't have to try to push those two together at this point.

When does this take place? At the beginning of the party, Apple Bloom can barely peer over the table; when Applejack has that touching moment with her, she's the size of a teenager.

A strange choice to introduce an entire family of Pie cousins to the canon, whom we'll never see again, for a moment that doesn't seem to have any purpose.

I know, I know... "emotionally powerful closing visual." But still, Pinkie and Cheese are discussing getting cake as they walk into the sunset... going the opposite direction of the dessert table.

Got to lay the groundwork for Li’l Cheese, after all.

Is that the euphemism the kids are using these days?

Seaward Shoals was on one of the official maps that came out after the movie, on the West coast, just about level with Klugetown. Weird place for it if it’s the same town (see Dodge Junction / Dodge City), but the depiction does have it surrounded by the same sort of country and evergreen trees we saw in the bunyip (his name is Rashomon, I believe) episode, so it’s possible.

But the comics are so often directly contradictory of official canon, that I wouldn't take anything they contain as accurate.

(BTW, I hate the art in this issue. “Bad” is not a style. :ajbemused:)

Got to lay the groundwork for Li’l Cheese, after all.

What?! You mean when you're introducing a romance, you actually have to set it up first and do something with it?

Huh, imagine that!

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