Welcome back to our page after the groups long hiatus. We have been doing top secret pony related things that we cannot tell you about! However, we are back now and so is a new set. That means, you, like us, can spend unreasonable amounts of money on adorable pieces of cardboard that let you play an abstract game about friendship narrated by colorful talking horses. Yay!
Today I will be talking about the currently released Manes in this set. There is good news on this front too: there are some new top tier mane characters and some others that you might just want to try out. (Louder) Yay! (also there is no Spike mane, so we can all be thankful for that). So lets get right to some real game info, since this is not a Friendship is Tragic Article. Don’t worry though, there will be plenty of those to come.
Alicorn Princess Dude Guitar Wolf!
First up we have Pink Discord:
None of us are really sure about this guy. He works ok in that he starts out with 3 pink fixing which is super nice. However, in a world where the DJ mane exists, he just isn’t that great. Your opponent has a lot of control over whether he stays at 3 power given that he flips over if they play two cards. This puts a serious crimp in your chaos stylings if you come up against an agro deck, or basically anything that likes playing cards early. If we were to look at a world without the DJ manes this card would be worlds better, since all the other pink manes are tragically difficult to flip and not all that useful. Unfortunately, DJ exists. As much as I love my name sake, she has become a plague on the wonderful world of pony CCG in most of her forms. All in all, poor pink discord might just be the weakest mane in this set. The good news is, that the power level of manes from this set is much greater than previous sets (save Rock and Rave).
Thankfully this guy shines in limited, where we don’t have DJ. Reach for the good old master of chaos if you find yourself in need of some deep pink fixing for a questionable draft or sealed deck. This is the environment where you will get a lot of mileage out of him.
Next up is the sister card in that starter: Princess Luna: Dream Guide
So here is one I am probably going to get some flack for; I think she is good. Definitely not top tier but I think she is far more interesting than she might appear. First of all, it is important to understand what happens when she flips: Her controlling player gets to see the opponent’s hand. The opposing player then separates her hand into two, face up piles, that the controlling player may look at. The two piles created do not need to be equal.
So here is a mane that provides everyone with lots of choices to make. These choices can greatly alter the course of a game since: she can flip off turn, her controlling player decides when she flips, and the piles to be banished do not have to be equal. Additionally, it may not be advantageous to flip her as soon as possible. It might be something you want save for critical turns. Flipping her is relatively easy since you can choose to simply overdraw to discard in order to flip her. It is a little expensive but reliable. There is also very little an opponent can do to stop you.
Speaking from a limited standpoint, she is a great orange mane. Consider her in a limited environment where you are worried about an early TM lockout by your opponent. AJ1 is her alternative in limited, but sometimes it is not very reliable to get her boosted.
Mostly I think her novelty and variability of choice make her a mane worth playing once in a while. As previously said, not top tier (especially since Maud is orange) but interesting none the less. Sadly in the post Rock and Rave era (lord that set brought us troubles) this starter deck just doesn’t pack as much punch as it could given the other options. Take her for a spin though. I think you will find it to be worth while.
Next up is my best friend forever: NIGHTMARE MOON!!
All you loyalty fanatics will be over the moon with this one.
Here is a possible top tier mane in both limited and constructed. You flip her by confronting a problem. Yes, finally you blue players can get out there and not have to rely on other gimmicky cards like Pegasus ( they all look the same to me) or TMs, most of which are not all that useful or desirable in a deck.
She has a little bit less utility on her boost side than either Rainbow Dash given her lack of swift or movement shenanagins. She makes up for it though with an ability that can give you a little bit of a defensive or offensive edge. Frightening may not be what you always do, but it might let you shake off those pony charms, hazmat suits or just getting rid of that stupid Applejack Discorded friend. Or you know, any of those colorless friends that keep you from doing things you probably want to be doing.
She also opens up the viability of a deck type that previously did not have a lot of support: The frightening deck. Woo Hoo. Scared ponies. Live your own little Nightmare Night by scaring foals, pinky or CARBO LOADER AND EVERYONE OF HER STUPID EARTH PONY FRIENDS. The night shall reign forever. Yay!
In limited, she is an obvious choice for a blue mane. Her ability to quickly and reliably flip is something that blue has been sorely lacking in limited. Now you can draft into blue with impunity. Or not, because you know Charlotte took all your blue cards in draft…
Whatever you do, here’s to my best friend forever, Nightmare Moon.
Next up we have a card that is very close to my heart: Fluttershy: Reformer
So, she is not the best yellow mane ever. However, she does three things that other yellow manes have not: 1: Not suck (Celestia, I’m looking at you), 2: Not rely on critters, 3: have the most interesting boosted ability in the game.
I am going to focus on number 3. This card takes away troublemaker abilities.
That means that they lose all printed abilities while she is at their problem while boosted. This includes villain. So if you are worried about a villain scaring your giant pile of pony friends, move her over there. Are you playing limited and worried about that Pinkie Pie TM getting too big to get rid of? Move her over there. Green dragon got you down? Not anymore thanks to the Stare!. She can even kick Biff in the face! Then, when she moves away, the TM gains their abilities back. This makes for all kinds of weird interactions, such as not having to pay for Timber Wolves when they flip up, or not having your Parasprite Swarm explode ineffectually.
So here is what she doesn’t do with that ability: she does not take away Epic. This means that cards with Epic still cover both sides of the problem. So while she can get rid of some seriously annoying abilities, she still has to get rid of those epics before her opponent does.
Also she flips stupid fast. No critter nonsense, no AP nonsense, just confront and look adorbs. Given this and her lack of critter needs she is a great yellow mane for limited. I think she will definitely get some mileage and make for some super interesting games.
Now we move on to the UR rares. And wow, you actually want to pull these. These are legit good manes, non of this Spike, Fastball Special or UR Celestia mane…
Hey He is back, and he is doing exactly what you would expect Discord to do. Annoying things. I honestly Don’t really know where to place this guy in terms of purple manes. The purple manes in general are not all that desirable. In constructed you probably previously wanted to go with Gala Greeter, while in limited you wanted Event Luna. I think that Discord is probably just under these two manes unless the deck is well designed to let him shine. He can certainly defend problems in a unique way and synergizes with all the 2 power purple friends.
On the other hand, this card is a lot of fun to play. Way more fun than the other two purple manes mentioned. This guy offers up a lot of choices for a player that is going to make the game interesting. He is a complex mane to use that will make for enjoyable game states for seasoned players. I do not recommend this mane for a new player though.
I pulled two of these in sealed and he definitely works well in that environment. He has the potential to get a head start on your opponent if you get a little bit lucky.
I am going to reserve the final verdict on this mane for later as we see what shakes out in terms of the decks he is found in. He definitely has potential, it’s just a matter of how versatile and viable that potential will end up being.
And now we save the best for last: Queen Chrysalis
This is without a doubt the best mane from Absolute Discord. White has been sorely lacking in viable mane options. With the advent of QC we have a mane that is going to make running white primary amn option again.
The ability to steal an opponent’s friend permanently, and at will can be devastating. She is also the only white mane that is not beholden to the opponent. Sure the opponent can choose to not play friends, but unless you have Charlotte’s Scootaloo fanfic deck, or Niko’s Twilight Sparkle Vs The World deck. Your opponent will probably need to play at least one.
Also, with the advent of Chaos Capitol of the world, you might get to use her twice. Imagine if you are able to steal a Carbo Loader or an RTO. That would make your opponent pretty salty. Either way, she is a pain in the flank for an opponent. She also is another mane that lets you make lots of interesting choices. Save her for a key moment, or flip her over for a turbo charged white onslaught. The options for her decks are great, much more so than some of the other manes in this set, or others.
If you are fortunate enough to pull her in limited, she may not treat you as well as some of the others. The white cards in this set are not all that stellar. There are some great events but the friends, per usual for white, leave something to be desired. I think she is still probably something you should consider playing given your pool, but in the end she will be most effective in constructed.
That’s all we got folks. Thanks for tuning in and always remember: Applejack cries on the inside.