• Marks in Time - Make your mark with a Cutie Mark deck

    The new MLP:CCG set Marks in Time is out in the wild now, and as players crack open booster packs they're going to be finding lots of Cutie Markable foal cards. With that in mind, we have an article written by MLP:CCG dev Adam, highlighting a deck strategy that uses all three of the Cutie Mark Crusader Super Rares to solve Problems, defeat Troublemakers, and earn some point-scoring Cutie Marks!

    As an added benefit, this deck is legal in both Harmony format and Block, so head on down below the break for some deck building tips from a professional!

    There are a lot of great Cutie Mark cards in Marks in Time, but if we’re sitting down to build a whole deck focused on the Cutie Mark mechanic then the Crusaders themselves are definitely the place to start.

    The build-around card for this deck is Sweetie Belle, Forever a Crusader – or, more broadly, the three Forever a Crusader cards, since you need all three to get the full effect. Each one amplifies the effect of Cutie Marking any of our cards on its own, but with all three working together Cutie Marking a Friend becomes one of the most powerful things we can do – increase the Marked Friend’s power, move another Friend, and score a point, on top of the power-up provided by the Cutie Mark itself, all for 2 actions!

    It’s a good place to be, but the challenge is getting there, and that means building the right deck. We’ve got to be able to play three different colors in order to play our trio at all, and we’ve got to have a lot of Friends that we can Cutie Mark, while still including our other defensive (and offensive!) cards – and it’s all got to fit into a 45-card draw deck. That’s a pretty tall order, but it’s one we can probably manage!

    Mane Character:
    Scootaloo, Cutie Mark Crusader (Marks in Time)

    Draw Deck:
    3x Kevin, Fitting In (High Magic)
    3x Rainbow Dash, Growing Up (MIT)
    3x Rarity, Growing Up (MIT)
    3x Applejack, Growing Up (MIT)
    3x The Smooze, Wobbling Blob (MIT)
    3x Apple Bloom, Forever a Crusader (MIT)
    3x Scootaloo, Forever a Crusader (MIT)
    3x Sweetie Belle, Forever a Crusader (MIT)
    3x Babs Seed, Anti-Bully (MIT)
    3x Maud Pie, Just a Pebble (MIT)
    2x Diamond Tiara, Newfound Friend (MIT)
    2x Cracking the Case (MIT)
    3x Mystery Mare, In Costume (MIT)
    3x The Vote (MIT)
    3x We'll Make Our Mark (MIT)
    2x Redeeming Qualities (MIT)

    Problem Deck:
    2x Falling Rock Zone (MIT)
    2x Guilty Until Proven Innocent (MIT)
    1x Trading Traditions (MIT)
    2x Halt Evil Doers! (HM)
    2x Gunked Up Gala (EO)
    1x Blackmail (MIT)

    Kevin, The Smooze, and Trading Traditions are all important for helping us meet our color requirements in all three colors without needing to devote the whole deck to doing it, since they can all help us meet any color we need - luckily, we’re running a lot of 1-requirement cards, so we don’t need to flip our Mane for Trading Traditions to do its job.

    Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity fill out our color fixing, and provide Cutie Mark-able bodies – which also happen to turn them into respectable threats in their own right, even without Crusader backup!

    We also need to be able to find the Crusaders and get them into play (not to mention keep them there!) – so we’re running 3 of each, even though they’re Unique. Given our colors, we’re pretty limited in our draw options, but We’ll Make Our Mark does let us filter through the deck by drawing and discarding, which is all we really need. We’ve also got Falling Rock Zone in the Problem deck, which can help our Crusaders stick around in the face of removal, and if they do get dismissed (or put into the discard pile by Maud Pie!) we’ve got Redeeming Qualities to bring them back!

    We’re getting tight on space, though, and we still need a few more Cutie Mark Friends and some ways to slow down an opponent who’s putting on too much pressure – to that end, we’ll include oft-forgotten Crusader Babs Seed, Anti-Bully who provides both, frightening an opposing threat when she becomes Cutie Marked. We’ll also include Mystery Mare, In Costume and The Vote – both provide additional frighten effects, which help to disrupt our opponent (and power up Babs!), and some defensive utility that will allow us to unfrighten our Crusaders or duck opposing disruption for a critical turn.

    Squeezing into our last few slots is Cracking the Case – we can already break opposing Troublemakers with We’ll Make Our Mark if necessary, but we’d rather use it to find the Crusaders, and Cracking the Case is a little more emphatic about getting a Troublemaker out of the way even if it’s too strong for our Friends to challenge. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it – and if we do have it and not need it we can get rid of it with We’ll Make Our Mark!

    This is an aggressive deck with a lot of reach, so you’ll want to keep the pressure on early and Cutie Mark your way to your last few points – after all, as we learned from Diamond Tiara, it’s not about getting your Cutie Mark first, but getting it when it counts!