Mover and Shaker: or Blood Bending with Ponies

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I don’t know why I gravitate towards bad cards. I think part of it is that I sincerely hope that there is a reason that card exists, like a Zelda treasure chest you can see but never actually get to. So my latest brush with Stockholm syndrome involves not just a card but a mane. Prior to the release of Cadence, this might have been the very worst mane in the game. However, when Crystal Games came out my Cheesy sense began to tingle. Bad Rarity (as we shall call her) drove up in a van, put a hood over my head, and kidnapped me. And now, just like Noted Speaker (we are never, ever, ever getting back together Twilight), I have Stockholm syndrome.

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Now here is a quick word about the serious reason I play bad decks. I play bad decks because they force me to play well. I do not especially enjoy getting blown out in a pony game, but I also do not enjoy playing auto pilot decks. I enjoy decks that force you to think and manipulate situations. That is where the fun of this game comes from for me. So when I play “bad” (or mid tier decks as I call them), more than not they really force me to make good plays (as well as unpredictable plays) in order to win. In the end my win record may not be stellar but I become a better player. One who knows a few tricks others don’t, and who might be able to find synergies that go unnoticed (also, sometimes for good reasons).

Here is the deck

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OMG PONYTONES!

So why did Crystal Games make me think of “Bad Rarity”?  The big trigger for me was the rare problem “The Show Must Go On”. This is clearly a good card that makes good cards better. The obvious choices are cards like Nurse Redheart and Fancy Pants. However, this problem allows a unique opportunity for “Bad Rarity” to flip. Her condition of requiring two Generosity friends while confronting a problem was the big hurdle to get over for her. With this problem she no longer needs to waste AP on friends that won’t help her flip. The five cost is a little high but she has been a reliable flip for me ( in my admittedly limited experience) on turn three. So I figured, hey, now you are less bad “Bad Rarity”.

The other thing that made me want to give ol Rare Bear a chance was the abundance of devastating events that are found in Crystal Games. I mean, Cutie Pox Scare is just…well, scary. Telekinesis, A Hasty Retreat, and a few others make the list of dangerous events. This is of course, in addtion to the old dangerous events like Critter Cavalry and Fears Must be Faced (we also cant forget about the new Ten Seconds Flat Card). She even makes Stand Still almost not good. Opponents are going to want to maximize on these new events to trick out their decks. Critter Cavalry is much harder to use when it costs two, especially in the early game. Things like Cutie Pox Scare are also going to be harder to justify and prep for with an upped AP cost.

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Now obviously, this is not always the case. A good player can definitely play around this card. But “Bad Rarity” is going to be something that not all people will have thought to play against (probably for good reason…). If your opponent’s deck relies on events to win, they are going to have a bad time. So far though, I have not had too many situations where that has made a huge difference. That is okay though, here is why: all the generosity manes are bad. Sorry Rare bear, you are just super situational.

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She knows what she did…

So what does my deck do? It scores points, duh. It scores in the good old fashioned cheaty Rarity way. RTO is obviously a component, but since it makes me hate myself when I play that card, I would like to see it function without her (it happened a couple times). In the end though, she is just too good not to include (hence the major problem with her). Fancy Pants is in there to take advantage of The Show Must Go On and Fashion Week. Obviously, TSUV is in there to buy you the time you need to get ahead. And LJ is in there to help fancy pants out as well as help you win face offs.

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Donkeys are ponies too.

But the new stuff is what was really needed to make this card viable. Matilda is the first of the new additions as she is a wonderful friend. This card is just elegant, Niko already said it in his review, but she is a masterpiece of game design. If your opponent scores first you play her to help rarity flip and to help you take that important lead early in the game. She also takes the sting out of losing a Fashion Week. Oh I lost, well Fancy Pants is pumped and I might be able to play another one of her.

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Blood bending is illegal you know.

Pony Charm seems like a good card and in this deck it is. That is only because you are pretty much required to get up to 5 generosity fixing to make “Bad Rarity” flip. The rewards of this card are great though. While “Bad Rarity” takes care of events and punishes opponents for playing them, Pony Charm punishes your opponent for playing good friends. Few things are as satisfying as pony charming a Big Mac: Immense Apple, or an Eagle ( FREEGUL!) This card has been more instrumental in my deck winning games than RTO. That surprised me. I am not sure I need three in my deck, but I love the blood bending Rarity.

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I just finished a year of 31 classes. This was me all year.

Now on to my secondary color for this deck. Purple is here to help Rarity control things. Obviously Ursa Vanquisher and Lady Justice are in there because, well, they are good. Nothing like villain and problem defending. The new card included is Study Session. This card is another one of the many tricks this deck sports. With this your opponent is going to have problems using friends effectively the turn they come out. Shuts out Snips and Snails and generally keep them from doing things the turn they come out. The other thing this card does is allow you to “Fashion Weak” their exhausted friends – taking the risk out of playing that card.

This deck does things that many of the other decks I have built and seen do not. It has a focus on defensive play which is a harking back to my days of miniature gaming: do not think what your resources can do to your opponent, instead think of how your resources will stop your opponent from effectively utilizing theirs.

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Oh Dashie, that doesn’t fit at all.

There are a few other cards I have been toying with. Dressed Up makes an appearance because using it you can shut down powerful friends by taking away their abilities. It helps and it is cheap. I have also given Fashion Upgrade a try. It is pretty cool just taking AP away at random times. I have thought about utilizing Inspiration Manifestation to compliment the Stand Stills in the deck as well. Overall there are a lot of good defensive cards that this deck can use. If you give this deck a test drive, modify it, or have thoughts about it let me know in the comments. It is very much a work in progress.

Peace!

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