• Deck Upgrade Tips from MLP: CCG Developer - Critter Cavalry!

    Each set of MLP: CCG launches with new theme decks, which are a great way to get into the game. Many players get started by finding a theme deck, learning to play, and then picking up booster packs to find new cards to improve the deck they already have.

    Some of you may be asking, "But Cups, how do I do that thing you just said?" You want to look at the strengths of your deck and then make them shine! And here's some great tips from Adam, one of the MLP: CCG developers, on how to take the Chaos is Magic theme deck and turn it into a Critter stampeding powerhouse.

    Even if you don't have all the cards he mentions in this article, his guidance on turning an off-the-rack theme deck into an aggressive Problem-solving machine is worth checking out below the break!

    The deck list is available below in text and graphically on Ponyhead.

    Mane Character:
    Fluttershy, Friend to Animals (Canterlot Nights)

    Problem Deck:
    2 x Save the Day (High Magic)
    1 x Under Lock and Tree (HM)
    1 x Winter Start Up (Equestrian Odysseys)
    2 x This Way, Little Ones (Premiere Edition)
    2 x To Griffonstone (EO)
    2 x Mob Mentality (EO)

    Draw Deck:
    3 x Falcon, Fast & Furious (PRE)
    3 x Forest Owl, Novice Assistant (PRE)
    3 x Peewee, Firestarter (EO)
    3 x Elizabeak, Spring Chicken (HM)
    2 x Critter Cavalry (PRE)
    3 x Furball, Pet Roundup (HM)
    2 x Rise and Shine (HM)
    3 x Tank, Burrower (EO)
    3 x Cloudchaser, Wonderbolt Trainee (HM)
    3 x Making a Difference (Absolute Discord)
    3 x A True, True Friend (HM)
    3 x Little Strongheart, Herd Tactics (HM)
    3 x Rainbow Dash, Back in Black (HM)
    2 x Night Glider, Overpowering (EO)
    3 x Conductor's Baton (EO)
    3 x Wild Fire, Speed Racer (PRE)

    Starting Points:
    • One of the High Magic theme decks is a Yellow/Blue deck, which is a color combination that lends itself towards a very wide, very aggressive strategy – both colors excel at producing small threats in large numbers.
    • Since my last article went over the construction of a Token-based deck for Odyssey Block play, I thought it might be fun to turn this High Magic theme deck into a Harmony-format aggro deck focused on stacking global power buffs to turn this deck’s cheap one-power Critters into big, efficient threats.

    The unmodified theme deck is already packed with Critters, and so to maximize their power we’re going to swap out our Discord Mane Character and take advantage of old-school aggro powerhouse Fluttershy, Friend to Animals. Friend to Animals benefits very strongly from early plays that focus on playing several one-cost Critters to Boost herself quickly and easily.

    This deck already comes with cards like Peewee and Elizabeak that are perfect for this plan, but we’ll supplement them with Falcon, Fast and Furious and Forest Owl – classic inclusions in Friend to Animals decks. This gives us a pretty good stable of one-cost, low-color requirement Critters we can use to open up the game. At slightly higher cost and color requirement we’ve also got Furball, Pet Roundup and Rise and Shine already included, which both have the added benefit of giving us two (or more, in Furball’s case) bodies for one card.

    Now that we can flood the table with Critters, we’ll want to focus on the second half of the strategy: making them bigger. Forest Owl is already doing work on that front, and the theme deck includes Fast Food... but we’ll be staying two-color, which means a fair number of Blue non-Critter cards. Since that’s the case, let’s swap Fast Food out for Conductor’s Baton instead. We’ll also bump Little Strongheart, Herd Tactics up to three copies – she’s not strictly a global buff, but she adds the same amount of power, just piled onto herself instead (and on a Swift character, that’s more upside than downside).

    Lastly, we’ll include A True, True Friend, which not only gives us a way to ratchet up the power on our Friends, but comes with other useful options as well, including a mode that lets us get rid of opposing Troublemakers without losing any tempo. This is an invaluable tool for an aggressive deck, especially when it’s on a card that stays relevant even when there are no Troublemakers in sight. That gives us four different cards that let us stack extra power for each of our Friends – we should be able to easily get our one-power Critters pumped up to four power (or even more!) when we need to.

    Some more quick points to consider:
    • Blue gives us access to some great point acceleration tools: we’ve already got Rainbow Dash, Back in Black, and adding Night Glider, Overpowering should make sure we stay ahead. (If you don’t have Night Gliders, you can get pretty good value out of Storm of Justice, too – and your opponent won’t be able to see it coming!) Being Yellow/Blue also gives us access to Save the Day, which should give us at least one extra point every time it shows up.
    • Critter Cavalry is a perfect fit for a deck that wants to win faceoffs by 5 or more!
    • Wild Fire, Speed Racer is a pretty easy inclusion that can set up some pretty fun mobility tricks alongside Falcon. With This Way Little Ones and To Griffonstone in our Problem deck, they can save a lot of cards from being lost to the home limit, too.
    • Even in a deck as focused as this, there’s still room to experiment. Another copy of Night Glider, Overpowering would provide additional point acceleration, Spitfire, Wing Leader is a powerhouse in this deck if you can find room, and of course if you want to pack answers to Resources being Yellow/Blue gives you access to plenty of options from Bewitched Beavers to Trashed to Calvin and Theo, Aw Nuts. Experiment, and find what works for you!

    So there you have it – keeping about half the cards included in the High Magic theme deck and supplementing them with cards from both blocks of MLP: CCG turns a humble theme deck into an aggro deck that can be a powerhouse even in the Harmony format.

    Thanks, Adam! Anyone who has played against the blistering speed of a Fluttershy, Friend to Animals Critter deck can attest to how effective this strategy can be.

    See any ways this deck could be improved? What about ways to stop Fluttershy and her Critter minions in their tracks? Share your thoughts below!