Choose wisely...


Getting started

So you have just purchased your favorite theme deck and picked up a few boosters and you are itching to play some of our beloved pony friends in an attempt to solve everypony’s problems. Simple enough, especially since there are limited cards in the Premiere set and the Theme Decks are very good at teaching you the game mechanics.

However, after a few games, your inner gamer is going to cry for customization. This is where the hard part comes in. Even though your first instinct is going to be to pick your favorite Mane and just start building from there, the choice may not be that simple. What if you have no favorite Mane since you love them all equally? What if your favorite pony has a play style that isn’t fun for you? What if the game is too new to support playing the colors you like?

Well, fear not! There are plenty of ways to go about this and they have been detailed below.

Picking your Mane

This is the arguably the biggest choice to be made when constructing a deck. You love Twilight Sparkle; she is smart, strong, never gives up and OMG did we mention her coat is a beautiful shade of purple?

Well, making your choice based on this is not bad, but it may not be as fun as you thought.

Twilight’s color is centered around the Studious keyword.

Studious (When winning a faceoff involving at least one of your characters with this keyword, gain 1 action token.)

Note: This effect does not stack.

When using this keyword, keep in mind is does not stack (i.e. happen multiple times from the result of one action) which means that it is better as a supporting effect for action token generation, rather than as a main play style.

Even though you like Twilight, this effect may be something that does not interest you or that feels useless when combined with your secondary color.

Next let’s take a look at her Mane card.


246px-BaseSet_004b (1)











Take note that the flip trigger requires a successful faceoff victory. This means that you will need to either ensure that by moving to the problem you have enough power on your side or that you are gripping a few power altering Events for the faceoff.

Next notice that the ability of the boosted side, which rewards you for faceoffs by adding revealed events to the hand. This can be very strong, but only if you are using a more Event-centric build.

So what does this mean to you?

Well, for starters, the play style is determined by your Mane (to an extent) due to it being one of the few easily obtained higher powers during gameplay. It also shapes the choices during gameplay such as when to move your Mane to a problem and if you should hold off one more turn before forcing a faceoff.

If you still want to play with Twilight as your Mane but don’t like her effects, you can always player her Friend care and use a different Mane that you better fits your playstyle.

Picking your colors

Choosing your colors is almost as hard as choosing your Mane. Luckily, there are lots of choices to be made depending on the Keywords you like playing with. Below is a list of the Keywords introduced in the Premiere set.

Keywords (Click to open/close)

    Studious (When winning a faceoff involving at least one of your characters with this keyword, gain 1 action token.)    
    Inspired (At the start of your Main Phase, look at the top card of an opponent’s deck and put it on either the top or bottom of that deck.)  
    Caretaker (+1 power while at a Problem with at least one of your Critter Friends.)    
    Stubborn (This card can still apply its power during faceoffs and the Score Phase even if exhausted.)    
    Random (During a faceoff involving this card, if you flip a card with 1 power, you may ignore it and flip a new card.)    
    Swift (You may move this card for 1 fewer action tokens.)

As you can see they are very different in terms of playstyle, so it is important for you to choose ones that you not only like, but that also have synergy with other colors. Take note that some of the Event/Resource cards for each color have effects that my provide further synergy and keep those cards in mind when choosing your color combination.

Determining what colors pair well with others is really up to the current cycle of cards, but, more importantly how you incorporate them into your deck. Keep in mind glaring weaknesses when choosing colors and the support cards for your Friends.

Pulling it all together

Once you have a firm decision on which colors to play, PRACTICE! Don’t give up on a deck build after just one game. This mistake is made by many and leads to nixing decks left and right before their potential is seen or met. You will find that, in most cases, experienced deck builders will play test for weeks before scraping a deck idea. This is to allow ample time for its controller to test every possible hand and situation possible. Most decks have a rock-paper-scissors format, in that, every deck has a direct weakness and will most likely lose to a deck that can exploit its weaknesses.

Now it is your turn. Take a look at all the cards out there, pick up the starter deck of your choice and play around with deck ideas! Comment below with your deck choices or jump over to our reddit and post a deck list with PonyHead.

About the Author

Avatar of TsengFayt
Tseng (Rainy) is a long time gamer of all types. Starting at an early age with Pokemon and YuGiOh!, he has expanded to cover most well known tabletop games and even worked at a card shop for a time. When not going to cons or playing Phantasy Star Online 2, he is can be found ponified and watching anime~