Monday, June 30, 2014

Synergy: Wild Manticore

Wild Manticore reads, "During faceoffs against this card, the challenger's opponent flips and additional card".

Played with the Events Duck and Cover and/or Bully and the Beast (both Orange – Apple – events), this troublemaker could prove extremely difficult to defeat.

Typical pre-built decks which include these cards would be Applejack and Twilight Sparkle.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Synergy: Parasprite Swarm

There are two ways this could be played.

The Resource, A Fiery Temper, (giving a troublemaker +2 power) could be played on Parasprite Swarm to quicken it up to +8 power to trigger its ability to frighten all your opponent's Friends at its Problem.

Or, A Fiery Temper could be played to skip past its +8 trigger and continue climbing in power. (Potentially going up and up and up). However, this would only force your opponent to give up on its Problem and move their characters away. (As could the first option).

If played in conjunction with a Problem that essentially traps Friends there, this could be brutal, essentially trapping opponent's Friends there to be all frightened (or facing a troublemaker that's - eventually - impossible to defeat).

Who is Gabby Gums? is a good example of this kind of Problem.

Good decks for this troublemaker would include Rarity and Princess Celestia (who, out of the regular pre-built decks could defeat this Problem).

Another good card to use in conjunction with Paraspirte Swarm might be Rainbow Dash, Goosebump Giver,

adding insult to injury with yet another opponent's Friend frightened.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Boosted Maud Pie, Rockin'

The new summer release of a new Mane Character Maud Pie, Rockin' (Pinkie Pie's sister) has more information!

Originally released info was this:

Now, its boosted abilities are available!
Here they are!

This character would be more powerful in the later game.
There could potentially be 4 card types in one's discard pile (Friends, Events, Resources, and Troublemakers),

giving her up to at +4 power up! (Bringing her power up to a possible seven!)
This is not a triggered ability (like Princess Luna's "Discard an Event to give this card +3 power until the end of the faceoff")
This card's ability is constantly in effect.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Blight of "Too Much Pie"

Too Much Pie is a nasty card.

How can you get around it?

Here's some ideas:

1) Granny Smith
This is the best option, assuming you have this friend in your deck.
When it's played you can move a Resource (in this case Too Much Pie) from your friend onto your opponent's friend.

2) Frighten
Rule (504.1) Frightened, states,
As a card becomes frightened it is turned face down, all counters are removed form it, and all cards attached to it are put into their owner's discard piles.
So, this could be used to your advantage.
If you have a friend with Too Much Pie (-5 points!!) attached to it, you could - in one main phase - Frighten the friend (discard the Too Much Pie resource card), and then pay 2 action tokens to Rally your friend, thus freeing them from the dreaded Too Much Pie!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Applejack Deck

A further note for strengthening up the Applejack deck is to take a closer look at Granny Smith, Apple Elder.
Specifically her ability:
"When you play this card, you may reattach a Resource from one Friend to another."
This is further explained on MLP CCG Wiki as follows:
"A player can use this card's triggered ability on Resources that were originally "played on an opponent's Friend/character" and attach them to their own Friend."

I never gave this card very much thought (or value) at first.

But it allows you to move an opponent's resource to another friend - the other friend could be one of your own!
Not only does it allow you to shuffle your own resources around the friends you control, but your opponent's as well. Basically, allowing you to steal their attached Resources!

The only limitation; the only Resources (friend or foe) that would be immune to Granny Smith's ability would be Resources that are unattached to friends (Resources played at Home or at a Problem). small potatoes!... or might that be apples?
This is a game changer!

MLP CCG - Beta Multiplayer Rules

My Little Pony Collectible Card Game Multiplayer Rules are available, although in a beta (testing) format.

Although this is exciting, there are so few players where I live currently, I'm hoping we can get enough to even try it out.

From what I understand, it doesn't seem overly complicated, its trick will be found within the gameplay itself (which is how I've always believe multiplay ccg games should be).

New terms that come into play and become critical are Rival, Adjacent, "Your Opponent" and "An Opponent".

Basically, your opponent to your left is your Rival. You will always play before your Rival.
Your Rival's Problem deck is considered Adjacent.

You may only play or move cards onto your own problem or that of your Rival's.
(Thus you can still only play Troublemakers on either your own problem or your Rival's. However, the player to your right could play a Troublemaker onto your problem).
You may only move cards controlled by other players to either problems of their own or their Rival's.

Other exceptions/interpretations: When a card refers to "your opponent" or "an opponent" you must choose any one opponent. Only when a card specifically refers to "each player" does it refer to all players.

Ultimately, you end up (with three players) with a playing area looking like this:

It becomes more complex and interesting past 3 players. (Remember, you will only be directly dealing with your problem deck and your Rival's problem deck).

However, the one beta rule I'm not too convinced of - specifically when coming to playing Resources or Events - is whether these should be restricted to playing only on your own problem or that of your Rival's. I think the ability to play Events, and especially Resources, beyond this limitation could make for some interesting strategies. (Helping establish alliances, at least temporarily!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Caretaker, non-stackable?

According to MLP CCG Wiki the keyword ability Caretaker is not stackable.
    Caretaker is not a stackable keyword; this card will only gain 1 power regardless of how many Critter Friends are at the same Problem as this card.
    This card’s triggered ability does not count as a Main Phase move action (which is when a player pays 2 action tokens to move one of their characters during their Main Phase).
However, that being said, I wonder exactly what they mean by 'stackable'.
Normally I would take stackable as meaning cumulative, but in this case (when compared to Studious) I'm not so sure.

If I have Fluttershy, Beastmaster and Winona, on the Scent at a problem

Fluttershy's only gains +1 power for her caretaker ability. (Total power being +3, Fluttershy, +1, Winona, +1 Caretaker bonus = 4)

If I add Hummingway, Fine Feathered Friend,

Fluttershy's still only gains +1 power for her caretaker ability. No matter how many Critter Friends she's accompanied by her Caretaker ability will only ever give her a +1 bonus. (Total power being +3, Fluttershy, +1, Winona, +1, Hummingway +1, Caretaker bonus = 6)

However, if we add other characters with the caretaker ability

like Mane Cureall, Veteran Vet and Lemon Hearts, Sweetheart, (both of which have Caretaker), each character with Caretaker gains the +1 bonus. (+3, Fluttershy, +1, Winona, +1 Mane Cureall, +1 Lemon Hearts, +3 Caretaker bonuses = 9).

Is or isn't this defined as "stackable"?
Although I have no problem with this (it makes multiple Caretakers powerful and dangerous though!), it - again - poses some questions and concerns for the Studious keyword ability.

The Crystal Games

My Little Pony CCG will be releasing its 2nd expansion set, entitled The Crystal Games with four new Mane Characters!

Maul Pie

and D.J. Pon!

These two can be found in the new deck Rock 'n Rave Two Player Theme Deck!

Other new Mane Characters will include Spike and The Cutie Mark Crusaders!

Scheduled to be release Summer of 2014, we can only sit and wait with anticipated breath!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Synergy: Strengthening up Applejack's deck

I've always thought Applejack's deck was somewhat weak, or at least 'wanting'.
The Stubborn ability is only useful if you can exhaust a card to attain some sort of ability from doing so.

However, there are other options!

If you can load the deck with 3 copies of Sunny Smiles, Iconic Friend, there can be some interesting synergy going on here!

All you need to do is force your opponent to discard cards!

Here's how!
Load up with Yellow Parasprite Troublemakers.

Throw in a Drill Bit, Destruction Worker,

And maybe one of two Applejack, Plant Leader

Every one of these cards feeds Sunshine Smiles, Iconic Friend, either singly or collectively.

And after all this, if you want to add insult to injury, throw in Apple Cider at the right time to stop your opponent from scoring bonus points either on being the first to resolve a problem or winning a faceoff.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Synergy: A Vision of the Future & Twilight Sparkle, Faithful Student

These two cards working together can be a game-ender!
Once A Vision of the Future is in your hand you're good to go!

1) Wait until you are in a problem faceoff.

2) Play A Vision of the Future (so your draw card scores 5 points - hopefully winning the faceoff).

3) Instead of A Vision of the Future going to the bottom of your draw pile, due to Twilight Sparkle's ability, it returns to your hand. Score an additional Action Token for Twilight Sparkle's Studious ability.

4) Repeat.

5) Win game.


...but here's the rub.
You need a purple/pink deck or some way of meeting the 2 pink balloon requirement for A Vision of the Future.


..the solution?
Play Funny Glasses

Studious, part 2

The current rules for Studious seem somewhat weak and limiting.

Studious (When you win a faceoff involving at least one of your characters with this keyword, gain 1 action token.)

When I read this single card's ability, I would interpret it as being read for each card with Studious.
However, this is further clarified as follows:
Studious is not a stackable keyword; a player winning the faceoff with multiple Studious characters will only gain 1 action token regardless of how many Studious characters were involved in the faceoff.

Practical Game Dynamics

There are only 3 Mane Characters with Studious. Twilight Sparkle, Faithful Student, Twilight Sparkle, Gala Greeter, and Princess Luna.

Of all the friends – although there are 6 – only 2 are common (Mint Jewelup & Sealed Scroll), the others are either Ultra Rare (Twilight Sparkle, Ursa Vanquisher & Princess Celestia, Ray of Sunshine), Rare (Spring Forward), or Promotional (Twilight Sparkle, Research Student).

If we deal with only one Common card (let's say Mint Jewelup) and with the limit of 3 individual card copy rule, we find ourselves with a scenario where you could have a maximum of 4 cards at one problem with Studious.
In this case it would be pretty bad and likely to break the game. (That's potentially an extra 4 action tokens per turn).

In an absolute worst-case scenario* you could (potentially) have 19 characters (remember, 3 copies of each 6 Studious characters plus the Mane Character) for a whopping total of an extra 19 action tokens per turn. Definitely broken.

But with an average purple deck, within an average game, based upon to availability of these cards, realistically, we might be looking at 2 characters at a problem with Studious at any one time. Winning this faceoff and gaining 2 action tokens would not unbalance the game. In fact, it would very much balance out this power (Studious).

Maybe the wording should change to read an action token per character title or type (some sort of variance of the unique card rule).(ie having 3 Mint Jewelups at a single problem will only yield 1 action token. With an additional Mane Character brings this up to 2).

Option 2:

The wording could read:

Studious (When you win a faceoff involving a character with this keyword, gain 1 action token per Card Title.)

(Essentially eliminating multiple card copies).

Let's look at this variation in an absolute worst-case scenario*.
The main character with all 6 friends with Studious (3 copies of each), totalling 19 characters with Studious. However, there would only be 7 with different Card Titles, totalling an extra 7 action tokens. Although this would be devastating and a game-ender, I don't think this would be unbalanced considering the difficulty (if not impossibility), cost, and effort to get this far with this many characters out, at the same problem, and into play.

However, we should keep in mind these cards' other abilities. (Twilight Sparkle, Research Student can generate still another action token, Spring Forward with here +2 power per opponent's characters at problem basically wins most faceoffs, Twilight Sparkle, Ursa Vanquisher can move 2 opponent's characters home, ending their ability to even have a faceoff).

Option 3:

Another wording variation could be:

Studious (When you win a faceoff involving a character with this keyword, gain 1 action token per Card Type.)

(Essentially limiting Studious to 1 Mane Character and 1 Friend, as all other 6 cards with Studious are all of the card type “Friend”).

Personally, I think this variation would be the most balanced and fair.
It gives the purple deck and power of Studious a bit more of an edge while not unbalancing the game.

This absolute worst-case scenario is highly unrealistic. It would necessitate a Purple/Yellow deck, 6 ultra-rare cards, 3 promotional cards, 3 rare cards, and 6 common cards (18 friends), and having all 20 cards out in play and on the same problem. When we consider an average 45-card deck with an average of 25 friends, these 18 (extremely difficult to find) friends would constitute over 70%.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Studious, part 1

Good website for MLP CCG rules and stipulations: MLP CCG Wiki

Of the main 6 'powers' (Random, Studious, Stubborn, Inspired, Caretaker, Swift), not all - in fact, precious few - are stackable. :(

Swift, is (sort of) stackable (more like domino-effect)

I can understand Caretaker not being stackable. Fluttershy's powerful enough as she is....
but Studious? It just doesn't seem right or fair.

~ ~ ~ 

The FIM Fiction blog (Apr. 18/14) speaks of this very same issue. (Read paragraphs 3 & 4).

~ ~ ~

As much as I don't like sour grapes and normally don't endorse the idea of changing game rules, I seriously believe Studious should be stackable.