Tabletop Game / My Little Pony Collectible Card Game

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Let the My Little Pony games begin.
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The My Little Pony Colectible Card Game is a Trading Card Game developed by Enterplay in late 2013. As the name implies, it is based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The game requires each player to form a deck with one mane character, 10 problem cards, and a large number of other cards representing friends, resources, and other concepts; all based on elements from the show. The goal is to play cards from one's hand to face off against any problems put forth by either player, scoring points for doing so. The player to score 15 points wins.

The card types include:
  • Main cards: These are two-sided cards, and the centerpiece of the deck. These start out with a normal ability but when a certain condition is met, they are flipped to their "boosted" side which generally have more power and abilities.
  • Friend cards, representing ponies and other sentient creatures that can be used to face Problems. Friend cards are color-themed around the six Elements of Harmony.
  • Resource cards: enhances a given friend card.
  • Problem cards: One is always in play from each player. The players use their main and friend cards to try to resolve the Problem by meeting certain conditions, with rules for facing off when both players have friend cards at a problem. In general, Problems can only be solved by the player that played them with two (or more) colors of friends, thus necessitating that constructed decks are made from 2 or more color sets.
  • Troublemaker cards: played onto Problems that make it more difficult for the other player to complete solving the problem. Typically these feature the major villains and antagonists from the show (like Sombra, Tirek, and the large dragons)
  • Event cards: a single-shot effect on the game.

The same show character can have multiple cards in the game with different effects, so cards with the same character are identified with a second title, usually referring to their role relative to their card's power. For example, "Twilight Sparkle, Ursa Vanquisher" is suited to helping out at problems, while "Twilight Sparkle, All-Team Organizer" helps in gaining action points for the turn.

While many of the cards are heavily inspired by Magic: The Gathering,the game engine itself is quite different. Since, unlike Magic, your unspent action Tokens (the equivalent of Magic's mana) carry over from one turn to the next, it requires more long-term thinking than most card games.

This card game shows examples of:

  • All Your Colors Combined: The "Prismatic" keyword gives that character all of the colors of your other Crystal friends.
  • April Fools' Day: This edition of Cloudchaser and Flitter explain.
  • Ascended Extra: The two most played Mane Characters are Maud Pie and DJpon-3, a minor and background character, respectively, in the original show.
  • Ascended Meme: This official playmat features Sweetie Bot.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • "Prismatic" cards get stronger and stronger effects the more colors they have. However, getting all colors on them requires a lot of effort and cannot consistently get the maximum possible strength. Inverted with "Pinkie Pie, Crystalized" who is quite good without any additional colors as that gives you an extra flip. Additional colors give you more flips, but since you have to ignore all but one that doesn't help much.
    • The Elements of Harmony Mane Six Cards. Each of them has a potent effect and 5 power, making them good to flip during faceoffs and allowing them to confront most problems solo. However, they also cost 6 Action Tokens and require 6 power of a particular color (Blue for Rainbow Dash, White for Rarity, Pink for Pinkie Pie, etc), making them quite difficult to bring out. "Applejack, Element of Honesty" and "Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic" are exceptions; the former comes into play should the opponent force you to discard her, and the latter allowed for such combos that she got banned from tournament play.
    • "Princess Cadence, Crystal Princess" prevents Troublemakers from flipping over at her problem, and she has 4 power. Sweet! Then you look at the 4 cost and 4 white requirement.
    • Most of the "4+ cost" Ultra Rare cards from Premiere are this. Despite (sometimes) having high power and (sometimes) powerful effects, they are a pain the get out. Some even have high color requirements that make them even harder to summon.
    • "Fluttershy, Monster Tamer" is an Ultra Rare with 2 power, 4 cost, and 4 Yellow requirement. When it's played to a problem, she banishes a Troublemaker at the problem. Then, when she leaves the problem, the Troublemaker is played back there under your control. It sounds good, but the high cost and requirement make her difficult to bring out. That, and there is the distinct possibility that she will just be dead weight while there are no Troublemakers out.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: This can be invoked by playing two Villain Troublemakers, one on each Problem. They interfere with their own Problems only and do not interact otherwise.
  • Boring, but Practical: Any Common, Uncommon, or Fixed card that has a powerful effect.
    • "Truffle, Newsworthy" from Absolute Discord is a Common and gives you an Action Token when your opponent moves their character(s). He has to exhaust himself first, though, so it's likely you will only get 1 Action token out of him per turn.
    • "Yellow Parasprite" is a Common and is easily one of the more dangerous Troublemakers to deal with. At the start of each of their Troublemaker Phases, "Yellow Parasprite" forces the opponent to discard a card at random before they have a chance to confront it. Getting two out on the first turn back in the days of Premiere was often considered an auto-loss when the opponent's options kept getting eaten.
    • "Forest Owl, Novice Assistant" may have no power, but his 1 cost and lack of requirement make him splashable. Plus, his effect grants +1 power to all of your other characters at his Problem.
    • "Lady Justice, Judge & Jury'' imposes a -1 penalty to all opposing characters at her Problem during faceoffs. And this is any faceoff, so she can actually help protect your Troublemakers. This effect also makes her effective against Zerg Rushes.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Several cards in the game can take control over opposing friends.
    • "Pony Charm" is a resource that, when equipped a friend, gives control of that friend to you.
    • Queen Chrysalis, Commanding Queen's only way to flip is to take control over an opposing friend with her effect.
    • "A Simple Mix-Up" takes one of your opponent's friends and puts it under your control until the end of your turn. "Claude, Pulling the Strings" has a similar effect so long as you retire him (or another Unicorn thanks to his Teamwork ability); he can only take control of opposing friends with power less than or equal to him, though.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The backs of the 2013 demo cards have Derpy Hooves saying "This is a demo, right?"
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • "Un-Unicorned" takes away all the abilities of every character there.
    • "Iron Will, Attack the Day" takes away the abilities of every opposing friend at his problem.
    • "Utterly Drained" is a resource that takes away the abilities of any Mane character it's equipped to.
    • "Fluttershy, Reformer", while boosted, takes away the abilities of troublemakers at her problem. Yes, that includes Villains. Although, due to a change in the rules this doesn't stop your opponent from being able to challenge it, just from it frightening all friends at its problem.
    • "Clipped Wings" and "Dressed Up" are resources that, when equipped to a Friend, remove their abilities and outright keep them from gaining more abilities.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Elements of Harmony are all given different colors: white for Generosity, orange for Honesty, yellow for Kindness, pink for Laughter, blue for Loyalty, and purple for Magic. There is a seventh color called "colorless", which contributes nothing to color requirements even though some of them require color.
  • Continuity Porn: All but a handful of card images are a scene cut from the show. Many flavor texts are quoted from the show, too.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Many cards; these typically have to have a deck built around them in order to work.
    • "Bubbly Mare, Helping Hoof" requires you to get five postage counters on her in order to flip her, and the only way to do that is to confront problems, which can take a while. When you do, however, she greatly limits your opponent's ability to play cards.
    • "Twilight Sparkle, Faithful Student" and "Princess Luna, the Party's Over" both require you to win a faceoff involving them, which can be difficult in most decks. When the former flips, Twilight will add every event you flip for faceoffs to your hand. The latter imposes a -1 penalty to opposing characters during problem faceoffs.
    • "Spike, Crystal Hero" requires there to be five Hero Counters on him, which are gained when a Troublemaker flips. When he flips, he can be exhausted to turn opposing Troublemakers facedown.
    • "Rarity, Mover and Shaker" requires you to confront her problem with two other White friends. Difficult? Yes, but when she does flip, your opponent has to pay an extra Action Token just to play events.
    • Rainbow Dash, Flier Extraordinaire" requires you to confront a problem with a Troublemaker. Difficult, yes, especially when opposing Troublemakers and all Epic Troublemakers block your side from confronting. Awesome? Once flipped, yes since she can move multiple characters at once and has Swift to drop movement costs.
  • Discard and Draw: There are some cards with effects that have the player do this.
    • "Dr. Hooves, Too Splashy" let's the player draw two cards and then discard two cards when said player confronts this card's problem.
    • "A.K. Yearling, Adventure Writer" can exhaust herself to let her player draw two cards and then discard two cards.
    • "Nightmare Moon" forces both players to discard their hands and draw three cards when she flips.
    • "Tank, Burrower" allows you to draw and card and then discard one when he enters play.
    • "Starlight Glimmer, Chrono Trigger" eventually does this to the entire field. Her effect banishes cards from the tops of both players' decks. Then, if there's 20 cards banished by her effect, she clears the board, banishes herself, and puts all friends and troublemakers banished by her effect into play.
  • Enemy Mine: In "Absolute Discord", several characters who appeared as Troublemakers in previous sets now appear as friends. Ahuizotl, Oppressive, Nightmare Moon, Deep Darkness, Flim & Flam, Shrewd Schemers, King Sombra, Slave Driver, and Queen Chrysalis, Identity Theft are all colorless friends.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In "Absolute Discord", the Mane Six each get Troublemaker versions of themselves in addition to their discorded selves.
  • Interface Screw:
    • "Back Where You Began" has it's text printed in a slant and it's flavor text twisting and upside-down.
    • "Chaos Capitol of the World" has it's game text printed upside down.
  • No-Sell:
    • Normally, when a Villain Troublemaker flips, every friend at it's problem is Frightened (that is, turned facedown and loses its abilities, power, and color; its controller can pay 2 Action Tokens to unfrighten/rally it). "Steam Roller, Juggernaut", when it has a card banished underneath it, as well as anything equipped with "Stone Cold", is immune to frightening.
    • Several cards in the game allow players to move opposing Characters. "Cookie Crumbles, Fancy Cooker" makes herself AND your Mane immune to opposing attempts to move them.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: "Applebloom, Showstopper", "Scootaloo, Showstopper", and "Sweetie Belle, Showstopper", have effects that make the player either tell a joke, sing, or dance, respectively. These were later made to be optional, as they were written "in the spirit of fun".
  • People Puppets: Implied through "Claude, Pulling the Strings". He retires either himself or a Unicorn friend of yours to take control over an opposing friend until the end of the turn.
  • Power Equals Rarity: It's zigzagged, but some of the best cards really are the rarest. Most of the CCG's game breakers are Ultra Rares. Both these and Normal Rares can also have more practical versions of effects from common, uncommon, and fixed cards. Even the Ultra Rares can end up being better versions of certain Normal Rares.
  • The Power of Friendship: As with the show, this is the general theme of the game. The friend cards are the most important cards in the game. Without them, it is all but impossible to confront your problems and deal with troublemakers (most of the time).
  • Press X to Die: If you flip this card during a faceoff, you instantly lose.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Fire When Ready" is a rare problem from Absolute Discord that requires 5 power from each color on both sides. It has a 5 bonus, so confronting it will set up a huge lead, but here's the catch: When a Character so much as moves or enters play there, the Problem replaces both itself AND the opponent's problem, sending everyone on said problems home. Ironically, the Problem is useful simply because of its effect.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: "Full Steam, Smoke Stacked", "Twilight Sparkle, Cutie Mark Consultant", and "Rainbow Dash, Cutie Mark Consultant" all have 4 power, 4 cost, no requirement, and no cost; the only differences are color and trait. A lesser version is "Apple Brown Betty, Pastry Chef", who is 3 power for three cost and no effect.
  • There Can Only Be One: Invoked by the Unique trait. Any card with that trait can only have one copy of itself on the board at any given time. One such card, "Trenderhoof, Trailblazer," adds this trait to all cards in play.
  • Villain Protagonist: Invoked with Nightmare Moon, Mistress of the Night, Queen Chrysalis, Commanding Queen, and Queen Chrysalis, Changeling Pretender. All of them are Mane Characters, which means you lead off with them and they lead your deck.
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