• My Little Pony CCG: Troublemakers, or Big Trouble in Little Ponyville

    Happy New Year, everypony! Today’s My Little Pony CCG article is all about Troublemakers, what they do, how to play them, and how to send them packing.  We’ll also take a look at some of the cards that are designed to complement Troublemakers in your deck or crush your opponent’s. But first, a friendly neighborhood break.

    To play a Troublemaker you pay one action token during your Main Phase to play it face-down at a Problem. At the beginning of your next turn, during your Troublemaker Phase, it turns face-up and blocks your opponent’s side of that Problem.

    A player can’t confront a Problem where a Troublemaker is blocking their side of the Problem! Not only that, but many Troublemakers have negative effects for the opponent that happen every turn. The Wild Manticore only blocks the opponent but it's difficult to defeat, while a Yellow Parasprite makes your opponent discard one random card from hand every turn until they shoo it away!

    So how DO you defeat a Troublemaker? You challenge it to a faceoff during your Troublemaker Phase. You add up the power of all your characters at that Problem, then flip one card from the top of your deck and add its power to your total. The opponent also flips one card and adds its power to the Troublemaker’s power (the number in the top right corner). In the case of a Wild Manticore, the opponent would flip TWO cards for the faceoff because of its card text.

    If you win the faceoff against a Troublemaker you earn the Points printed on the left side of the card and send it to the discard pile. If you lose, you have to choose one of your characters at the faceoff to get sent home. So Troublemakers are a risk for both players: if I play a Troublemaker against you at the wrong time you’ll beat it easily, win free points, and keep on rolling, but if you challenge it too early you might find all your ponies running away from the terrifying little yellow ball of hunger!

    If you need more firepower in your deck against Troublemakers you can find plenty of cards in the Premiere Set to help. For example, this Rubber Chicken gives any Friend +2 Pink power when challenging a Troublemaker. Jetstream’s card text gives her +2 power for ALL faceoffs, so once she helps you defeat a Troublemaker she’ll stick around and help you win upcoming Problem faceoffs, too.

    But what if you are interested in using cards to make your Troublemakers more bothersome for your opponent?

    Since Troublemakers are played face-down and uncovered later, you’d normally have to wait a turn before your Troublemaker slows down your opponent. Rising Star lets you get around that by revealing Troublemakers early! And Lady Justice doesn’t just lower your opponent’s power during Problem faceoffs, she’ll also make it harder for them to defeat your Troublemakers.

    And just in case you didn’t want to buff a Troublemaker OR beat one, just get it out of your way for a turn, I have a Surprise for you...

    I’m sure some of you are asking, “What about Villain cards, Cups? Did you forget about Ahuizotl? Where’s Nightmare Moon?!” No worries, we’ll talk about Villains and the frighten effect in a later article.

    For now, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and may the best of your last year be the worst of your next!