It could be worse. I could be in a Doors cover band – Maud
Heads up Party Rockers – Rock and Rave was released to the Aussie MLP CCG scene on October 10. So let’s crank the bass, dust off the rock collection, invite your weird relatives and get down to discussing the new cards in the Rock and Rave duel decks!
Rock and Rave introduces the first two Fan Favourite Manes, DJ Pon3 and Maud Pie. Vinyl Scratch (otherwise known by her DJ name DJ PON3) has always been a much loved background pony. Maud Pie, geologist, has been a rock solid fan favourite since her introduction in season 4. Rock and Rave also introduces two new Manes: Princess Luna (the Party is over) and Rarity (Mover and Shaker). Let’s get on to introducing the new Manes in the Rock and Rave Dual Deck!
DJ Pon3: Party Starter
DJ PON3 is a pink Mane with a foil boosted side. Her flip condition is ‘draw the third card of the turn to flip this card’. You could flip DJ Pon3 on turn one by drawing two extra cards if you elect to go last or lose (win) the dice roll. DJ Pon3’s flipped effect gives her 3 Pink power and a home limit of 4 friends. You can exhaust her to draw a card and she readies in the score phase if she is at home or at a problem with three friends.
Crack that bass!
Maud Pie: Rockin’
Maud Pie: Rockin’ is the second deck Mane in the Rock and Rave set. Maude Pie’s flip condition is to have a friend and a resource on the field or at home. Playing two low cost friends and a resource allows Maud Pie to be flipped on turn two. Maud Pie gets more powerful as the game progresses, gaining +1 power for every type of card (friend, troublemaker, event, resource) in your discard pile. As the game progresses Maud Pie can gain a +4 bonus to become a 7 power mane.
Maud Pie, rock solid.
YOUR PRINCESS COMMANDS YOU TO PARTY!
Princess Luna: The Party’s Over
Princess Luna (besides having no idea how to use her ‘inside’ voice) is the purple Mane for the pink/purple dual deck. Luna flips over when you win a faceoff (problem, trouble maker or showdown) with her. Her flipped effect is 3 power and 4 home limit. Any opposing friends at problems with her now have -1 power during the problem face-offs. This makes her a deadly card against ‘spam’ and ‘spawn’ decks, especially when combined with a Lady Justice (or three) on the field.
Rarity: Mover and Shaker
This mare’s parties are LEGENDARY
Rarity: Mover and Shaker is the white Mane for the orange/white dual deck. Rarity flips over when you play 2 white friends, and can be flipped turn one if you get two 1 cost white friends in your opening hand. Rarity goes back to classic white with a taxation effect on her flipped side. Events now cost the opponent an extra action token to play. I can see Rarity decks crippling event heavy decks (Princess Luna) and showdown decks (Blink and One Pace). I hope you didn’t want to play Yay! Eep! or Critter Calvary against Rarity: Mover and Shaker because free events now cost 1 action token to play.
Dual Decks: Basic Cards and Game play
Rock and Rave is a complete introductory set for MLP CCG and includes everything new players need to get started with MLP CCG. The packs include a play matt with print instructions, action token counters, two complete deck sets with interchangeable Manes and a comprehensive instruction manual. The Rock and Rave packs are clearly designed as introduction packs to recruit new players to the herd. Two incredibly popular, fan favourite Manes and a complete kit will entice any Maud or DJ Pon3 fan to give the dual deck a try. The dual decks are also cleverly marketed as a two pack, designed to introduce two new players into the MLP CCG herd.
YOU ARE NOW BEING ASSIMILATED!
Both decks are constructed to allow people to ‘play immediately’ with no changes required to the card list. To test this out, MLP CCG Brisbane player Cuteless and I played a casual format and then swapped decks. We were allowed to swap Manes between games, however the decks had to be played as they came, with no additions or changes.
First game was Maud Pie vs. DJ Pon3. DJ Pon3 could flip easily and bring her pink friends to the party. The trouble with the DJ Pon3 deck was getting playable entry purple at a low cost. DJ Pon3 was used to draw playable cards (excellent when you get colour stuffed) and the cheap fixers allowed me to get out the required three friends to un-exhaust DJ Pon3. The problem was going against the Maud Pie Deck.
Cuteless quickly discovered that Maud can be combined with high power cards and Vittles Stand. The combination of a beaten trouble maker, a dismissed ‘too much pie’, a home limit discarded Noteworthy, playing a Rock Solid Fashion, two Vittles stands, a Roseluck and a Steam Roller saw Maud Pie become a 15 power Mane. There was no beating this combination and I lost my first game 6-15. At this point we swapped decks and I proceeded to beat Cuteless 10: 15 using the same game strategy.
Third game I went back to the purple/pink deck and used the new Princess Luna Mane. Cuteless followed suit and played with the new Rarity Mane. Using a purple Mane allowed me to pull my more powerful purples onto the field and a Two Step wearing Funny Glasses meant I could bring out my pink cards. Cuteless didn’t get any white in his opening hand so Rarity didn’t flip at all. The purple/pink deck runs much better with Princess Luna as the Mane. Cuteless lost 11:15 thanks to two Lady Justice’s and a flipped Princess Luna.
Playing with the Rock and Rave set has certainly made it clear why the top tier players in the US and Europe are using Maud Pie as their Mane. Maud Pie packs a serious punch. When she is combined with Vittle Stand and other high powered orange she’s practically unstoppable. To boost her power early she’s often played in a villain stomp Nightmare Moon deck to increase the amount of early discard. She’s downright dangerous in the starter deck. We should expect to see a lot of Maud Pie in the future.
DJ Pon3 is a great card; however her starter deck doesn’t do her justice. She’s the perfect Mane for a one-drop pink, Blink or One Pace. DJ Pon3 was another often seen Mane at the US National Championships. Rarity worked in the starter pack; however more could be added to make use of her taxation effect. I suspect with the release of Rock and Rave taxation white decks will come back into vogue again.
Finally, the Princess Luna Mane worked well with her starter deck. Despite being best Princess1, Princess Luna is not played very often. I could see Princess Luna being used in a white/purple field control deck with an entourage of Lady J’s and Spring Forwards.
One thing that we did notice is that all the new Manes did not have their colour flip effects. Rarity did not have Inspired, DJ Pon3 did not have Random, Princess Luna did not have Studious and Maud Pie did not have Stubborn. This was not as obvious for Maud Pie, however the lack of the colour flip effects really impacted on play with the other Manes. Enterplay LLC could be trying to introduce new game mechanics, as the decks did not come with other friends with their colour effects. More simply, the colour effects could have been excluded to reduce complication for new players.
Now that Banter has officially released Rock and Rave, Rock and Rave expansion cards are now legal in MLP CCG organised play. I suspect we will be seeing many Maud Pie and DJ Pon3 decks at tournaments in the very near future.
1Princess Luna did not pay me any money or threaten me with moon banishment if I didn’t say she was best princess (I swear).