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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: 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.

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    10 comments · 213 views
  • Saturday
    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.

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    6 comments · 308 views
  • 1 week
    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:)

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    9 comments · 160 views
  • 2 weeks
    Judge Worthy

    As promised, the judges' panel has been locked down for Imposing Sovereigns III. Joining me will be the stellar Kris Overstreet and the very aptly named

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    0 comments · 131 views
  • 2 weeks
    Guildmages' Forum

    Dueling Keyboards, my short story anthology, has updated with a new entry based on my "Ravnica with ponies" setting. (Hence the Implicit Neighs tag.) This one was originally written on a typewriter at the Last Bronycon and subsequently expanded when I finally figured out how to end it.

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    2 comments · 114 views

Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Bubbles · 11:58am September 5th

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.

As you may have guessed from the blog title, that is Rainbow Dash Presents, wherein the big-name fanfics of the early fandom get affectionately lampooned by Mentally Advanced!Rainbow Dash… who, it must be said, is not especially mentally advanced herself. Dash doesn’t tend to come out well in abridged series. Still, she offers a refreshing twist on the fandom classics. Let’s begin going through her catalogue, for there is time yet until G5 begins in earnest.

We begin with Bubbles. Specifically the version with a mentally disabled Derpy, her abusive mother, and a father who’s trying his best but can’t be there when his wife repeatedly tries to kill their daughter through poisoning and neglect.

In case it needs to be said, it is not my favorite interpretation of Best Pony. But let’s see how Dash tackles it.

Heh. I was wondering what the contents of the fireplace were supposed to be.

Given the diction and length of the source story, this is starting off as less a summary and more a dramatic reading. Up until the vomit, anyway.

Yeah, the questions about rodeos and cattle’s role in them never stopped being a thing. This video came out around the start of Season 2, and the show had already established that cattle are both sapient and still prone to her instinct-triggered stampedes. Thank goodness there was never any indication of bullfighting… that I can recall.

And now comes the empathy. This instance of Dash is very used to having a good time despite not understanding anything or being understood by anyone around her.

Oof. Horse taxes. Or in this case, the paperwork for Winter Wrap-Up. Nice touch with the Celestial cutie mark stamp.

Yeah, this Dash repeatedly jumping off of Cloudsdale and crashing into the earth face-first makes a lot of sense. Though Fluttershy learning to fly before her is just insult to injury.

Nice touch with the buildings in Cloudsdale looking like muffins to Derpy. All the more appealing.

I can definitely believe that just about everypony who grows up in Cloudsdale tries to eat rainbows at least once, no matter what their parents say.

I interpreted the mother’s “medicine” as alcohol in the original story, but now I’m not sure if it was meant to be actual drugs or just Dash failing to process the euphemism.
Also, the Mentally Advanced Series was always much more laid back about the local tech level. And I do love the swooping rainbow mustache on this version of Dash’s dad.

:rainbowlaugh: I’m sorry, but the frog trapped in Dash’s bandage’s is amazing. I suspect this kind of thing happens quite often when Fluttershy administer’s first aid.

And now we’re completely off the rails. Though frankly, I’m entirely in favor of epic fistfights against this instance of Derpy’s mother.

Hmm. I don’t think this is the first mention of Stalliongrad, but it’s definitely one of the earlier ones.

… I’m not sure why a mantis in roller skates went by during that digression. Possibly a reference to MAS that I missed.

We’re getting some deep looks at Dash’s life here. I’d like to think that the canon. one is a bit more careful about her diet, excepting Sugarcube Corner.

The slow fade back to a young Dash as she goes on about her childhood regret and resentment is fantastic.

Ah, Mentally Advanced Pinkie Pie. We will deal with her later, yes.

:rainbowlaugh: I have to appreciate Dash’s reaction here. “Wait, they have a hospital? I’m putting myself in this tory for the health care!”

Ah. The frog was Pinkie’s doing. That also makes sense. For this Pinkie. Yes.

This is slowly transitioning to Dash’s wish-fulfillment self-insert story. Literally in the case of the parents. I am all for it.

“And I guess I’m there too, ‘cause I’m kinda trapped in the story now…”
Yeah, got to be careful there. Always have an escape route.

Wow. A Game Boy Advance SP. An unexpected blast from the past in my scheduled blast from the past.

Yeah, few if any instances of Rainbow Dash should be trusted around children.

Lovely touch with Discord looking on in approval at the Crusaders’ antics. To say nothing of just who is trying to free him. We’ll get to that totally normal filly as well.

Yeah, I definitely prefer the version of the story with a mare from the future invading and making the family her own. In multiple senses. Now, let’s see what we can make of this. Bear in mind that I’ll be using mechanics from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt going forward.

Determined Yearling W
Creature — Pegasus
Battalion — Whenever Determined Yearling and at least two other creatures attack, transform Determined Yearling.
Every day, she fights gravity for glory and loses.
Dutiful Air Support
(W) Creature — Pegasus Soldier
Flying, first strike
Every day, she fights wickedness for her friends and wins.

Bakery Mishap 1W
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. If that permanent was a token, return Bakery Mishap to its owner’s hand.
Accidents happen. In a place where hundreds of products get made daily, they can happen a lot.

Attractive Bounty 2W
Create a number of 1/1 white Pegasus creature tokens with flying equal to the number of noncreature tokens you control.
Pegasi resemble birds in many ways. When enough food is involved, their closest resemblance is to seagulls.

Causal Disconnect 1UU
Counter target spell. Its controller puts all cards in their hand on the bottom of their library, then draws that many cards.
“I wish I knew what happened in more of my crashes.”
—Ditzy Doo

Curse of Queasiness 2B
Enchantment — Aura Curse
Enchant player
At the beginning of each combat, target creature enchanted player controls gains decayed until end of turn. (It can’t block. When it attacks, its controller sacrifices it at end of combat.)
Sometimes, you just need a sick day.

Stalliongrad Hardship XBB
Each player loses X life and sacrifices X creatures.
“Of course they’re suffering. What else do mortals do?”
—Princess Celestia

Unsupervised Crusade 1R
For each player, Unsupervised Crusade deals 4 damage to that player unless they sacrifice an artifact.
“We are normal children having normal fun with implements such as matches and grimoires.”
—Thrackerzod, entirely normal filly

Prism Sampler 2R
Creature — Pegasus Shaman
T, Sacrifice Prism Sampler: Add WUBRG. Prism Sampler deals 2 damage to you.
Many Cloudsdale foals taste rainbows at least once. Some are forever changed by the experience.

Magmaplace 2RR
Sacrifice an artifact: Add RR.
Earth ponies take a unique approach to geothermal heating.

Belligerent Fan 3R
Creature — Pegasus Citizen
Attacking creatures you control get +2/+0.
At end of combat, Belligerent Fan deals 2 damage to each other attacking creature that didn’t deal combat damage to a player or planeswalker this combat.
“Lousy bums! Just wait until I get up!”

Vague Pronoun Reference 3R
This spell costs 3 less to cast if it targets a wordy spell. (A spell is wordy if it has four or more lines of rules text.)
You may choose new targets for target spell.
“I lost track three incantations ago.”

Rodeo All-Star 2G
Creature — Pony Warrior
If Rodeo All-Star would fight, it instead gets +2/+2 until end of turn, then fights.
Coven — When Rodeo All-Star enters the battlefield, if you control three or more creatures with different powers, you may have it fight target creature.

Pouncing Mantis 3G
Creature — Insect
Riot (This creature enters the battlefield with your choice of a +1/+1 counter or haste.)
Provoke (Whenever this creature attacks, you may have target creature defending player controls untap and block it if able.)
Blink and it’s swallowed your head.

Radiant Sunhorn 3G
Creature — Ox Warrior
2G: Radiant Sunhorn gets +2/+2 and gains trample until end of turn. Activate only once each turn.
Daybound (If a player casts no spells during their own turn, it becomes night next turn.)
Cattle born at the equinox draw power from the sun…
Warped Mooncalf
(G) Creature — Ox Horror
XG: Lowing Mooncalf gets +X/+X until end of turn. Activate only once each turn.
Nightbound (If a player casts at least two spells during their own turn, it becomes day next turn.)
… and twist into monsters under the full moon.

Foalhood Companion 1
Artifact Creature — Construct
When Foalhood Companion enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life.
Disturb 5 (You may cast this spell from your graveyard transformed for its disturb cost.)
Enough love can give anything a soul.
Ageless Warden
Artifact Creature — Pony Spirit
Spells and abilities your opponents control can’t cause cards to leave your graveyard.
If Ageless Warden would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

Bubble Wand 2
Bubble Wand enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it.
WW, T: Put a charge counter on Bubble Wand.
T, Remove a charge counter from Bubble Wand: Prevent all damage that would be dealt to or dealt by target creature this turn.

Diamond Hen 2
Artifact Creature — Bird
As Diamond Hen enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Whenever you cast a spell of the chosen color, create a Treasure token. (It’s an artifact with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”)
Far better behaved than the golden geese that inspired it.

Hapless Toad (bg)
Creature — Frog
(bg), Sacrifice Hapless Toad: Target creature gains indestructible until end of turn.
Having medicinal properties can be very bad for your health.

Overstimulate UR
Goad target creature. It gets +3/+0 until end of turn and doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step. (A goaded creature attacks each combat if able and attacks a player other than you if able.)
Exciting Rainbow Dash rarely ends well.

Rainbow Dash’s Summary UR
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets a single creature, planeswalker, or player. Change that spell’s text to “This spell deals 2 damage to any target.”
“Yeah, I skimmed it.”

The Birth of Land and Sea 1UR
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Put a flood counter on up to one target nonbasic land. It becomes an Island.
II — Put an ore counter on up to one target nonbasic land. It becomes a Mountain.
III — Creatures you control gain islandwalk and mountainwalk until end of turn.

Supplanted Will 3UB
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
You control enchanted creature.
XUB, Sacrifice enchanted creature: Return target creature card with mana value X from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Comments ( 12 )

The next block goes back to Innistrad? Now I'm nostalgic. It's been many years since I played Magic but I did love the first Innistrad set. I'm a sucker for that gothic horror aesthetic, I know what I'm about.

Local card games blog maker so desperate for horse content but so stubbornly unwilling to read the mlp chapter books he starts to cover series he'd specifically said he was unlikely to due to its nature

That aside, it is still enjoyable to see you cover these. And a nice way for me to go back and rewatch them, it's been a while.

But you will have to get to the books at some point. Unless season 3 of Pony Life is actually a thing (or whatever else it is that might be happening for it, I'm low-key hoping for a movie or special of some kind). And one day I might actually comment on your blog about the ending of season 2, it happened while I was on a pleasant but largely internetless camping near the sea. The short of it is, though: Season 2 was originally planned to be a full season, but it got axed to 14 episodes in development. The very rushed nature of that last portion I suspect is a consequence of that.

Also, now that we're close to it I wonder. The movie comes out on a Friday. Will that week's FiCG be dedicated to it?

I personally prefer FiW; MAS gets unpalatably cruel over time

Looks at how Spike and Pinkie were treated in FiW

Potato, po-tah-to, IMHO.

I eagerly await your Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla post, and hope you liked it as much as I did.

And yeah, I wasn't a huge MAS fan, but I adore RDP. Dash being fundamentally good-natured, if dumb and naive, is a refreshing take on a character and I wish I saw it more often, regardless of how close it is to actual canon.

Inside Baseball Alert: Bakery Mishap seems primarily intended to deal with Eldraine-style Food and previous FiCG blogs' Cake, which are respectively artifact and enchantment tokens. (The latter were released first, which is probably the only reason they ever existed that way)

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Blood Moon says that The Birth of Land and Sea will take away any other subtypes and abilities those lands had, in case the third chapter didn't make it clear enough that you're supposed to be targeting your opponent's lands with it.

Blocks don't actually exist anymore, but we're getting two sets on the same plane for reasons that can be presumed to exist.

I'm definitely more of a MAS guy, personally. Hell, if anything, I think the minus series was where the writing and humour really hit its stride, and I'm with 5577964 in that I don't really see it as being any more cynical or cruel than FIW is. It probably just feels that way because it's less absurdist. Not to mention that late-series MAS (and its short-lived sequel series, NAS) was the product of a creator falling out of love with the show, so the parody at that point wasn't just humour, but also critique. But as someone who also fell out of love with the show and became extremely critical of it afterwards (albeit much later on than Greg did), I can relate to where he was coming from. Plus, he kinda makes a lot of good points.

Rest assured, I do plan to review the chapter books. I just kept forgetting they exist when scheduling the blog. As a result, the first one may not be until the week after the G5 movie, depending on the release date of the last IDW comic. The movie itself is indeed slated for the 9/26 FiCG.

5577964 5577982
Fair points! As I said, this is a matter of personal taste. The lack of absurdism to balance the cruelty is my personal sticking point with MAS. At least with FiW, the world is enough of a madhouse that the horrible acts therein are just part of the overall insanity. With MAS, it feels more like the characters are actually conscious of their punching down, but continue to do so regardless.

Oh, I'm definitely looking forward to future RDPs. Especially since Monkey is a supported creature type in Magic. The Jokermort will be fun. As will the Shrine of the Silver Monkey.

Fun fact: I first planned on using a blood counter for the Mountain, but decided that the rhyming in-joke was a bit too cute.


The lack of absurdism to balance the cruelty is my personal sticking point with MAS. At least with FiW, the world is enough of a madhouse that the horrible acts therein are just part of the overall insanity.

FanOfMostEverything, obliquely commenting on Dragonfall.


I just kept forgetting they exist when scheduling the blog

If you consistently forget about the existence of something in the moment it would be relevant, is it any different from that thing not existing or you not being aware of it?

Anyway, to actually comment on the fanfic the video is based on and your interpretation of it, my own impression is that it's actual medicine Derpy's mother is taking. She's clearly not stable, hence the swinging between genuine loving her daughter and trying to kill her. She's probably suffering from unspecified fictional mental health disease and her crying is part of it.

Pass for Spike who's a literal punching bag for the other characters (even if he was treated nicely at the end), but Pinkie got out of FiW pretty well (partly because she's pretty close to main character status in that series). The universe itself was unfair to her, but much of the overarching plot of FiW is about her trying to get to a better place and she effectively gets there by the series' end.

And more or less everyone is miserable in FiW. Fluttershy's backstory is the stuff of overly edgy fanfics, Rarity is a mentally scarred war veteran, and Rainbow is FiW Rainbow. It's just that being miserable in the FiW universe doesn't really come off as that bad, just due to how absurd the setting inherently is.

Won't Rodeo All-Star trigger off of itself indefinitely? You'd probably want to word it "Whenever Rodeo All-Star would fight, it gets +2/+2", as the trigger happens before the fight resolves. Maybe add reminder text (This happens before the fight)?
DIamond Hen seems nuts in Storm. Especially in multiples. Just the thought of Jhoira storming off into their entire deck gives me shivers.
Rainbow Dash's Summary is an interesting take, and the only frame of reference to an effect like this is Yugioh's Dark Deal (not to be confused with Magic's Dark Deal). It's an interesting mechanical space that I wouldn't mind seeing covered more.

Replacement effects only apply to any event once. Same reason Teferi's Ageless Insight doesn't instantly deck you.

Diamond Hen could be a bit overtuned. Maybe I should've stuck with my original idea of making them 0/1 Treasure Egg artifact creature tokens, though those come with their own issues... :unsuresweetie:


Pass for Spike who's a literal punching bag for the other characters (even if he was treated nicely at the end),

And that description also pretty much fits him in the real show, so Jake's claim just straight-up falls apart. (It was a pincushion, and only the once, but he still has little to contribute beyond being able take hits that would logically kill the other characters yet won't be allowed into dangerous situations because "he's just a kid")

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