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FULL WILD CARD RECAP: Most Attractive Pony Tournament 2016



Vote in this year's MAPT here! :


Jinxed Trix Hits Brix


Despite becoming an instant favorite on MLP Forums since her debut in Season 1 and a universally recognized beauty, there was one thing the "Great and Powerful" Trixie had never been: a winner in the playoffs of the Most Attractive Pony Tournament.


On Monday, that didn't change. A game that seemed well within the showpony's reach suddenly spiraled out of control following a sudden flurry by her esteemed opponent--and a bizarre officiating error that evoked memories of the NFL's "replacement refs" disaster in 2012.


Was this Trixie's last stand in the MAPT?


The ruler of all Equestria began the game with a solid advantage, but as the week wore on, Trixie slowly gained enough momentum to draw even. With Trixie ahead by one vote, a malfunctioning game clock led to the game (all the games) being declared over--a full 24 hours before it should have. The head official eventually fixed the clock and restarted the round, but the vain magician never regained her momentum. Celestia went on to win the game handily.


The monarch took it easy on the sweets this time around.


With her third one-and-done finish in the books, Trixie fled Canterlot Castle without a word to anypony.
The Princess' postgame remarks were brief but gracious.


"My heart goes out to Trixie after the events of this week," she said. "I congratulate her on a good game and another impressive season."


Celestia improves on her first Wild Card appearance in 2015, where she lost to Sunset Shimmer. She goes on to face the defending Magic Bowl champion, Rarity, in the very next round.






A New Mane Attraction?


There's a new pony in town, and she's just put the entire PFC on notice.


Famous pop singer Countess Coloratura is the latest in a long line of lovable musical ponies, but last week's dismantling of Starlight Glimmer may be her biggest smash hit of all. In a tournament that saw many surprises before the playoffs even began--including many contenders switching divisions and Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Sunset Shimmer, and Spitfire all failing to qualify--the Countess' successful debut seemed to fit right in.


Coloratura scored the most lopsided win of the Wild Card round.


As the singer gained enough momentum to make the game a downhill run by the second half, 6th-seeded Starlight Glimmer seemed at a loss to fight back. Some of her old ferocity might have been just what was needed to turn the tide, but it never came out, and things came to a predictable conclusion.


"At another time, I would have said that attractiveness contests were soon to be meaningless when I spread my message of equality across Equestria. But now, I..." Starlight paused. "...What was wrong with that plan, again?"


Princess Twilight Sparkle, who was standing nearby, quickly took her aside for a one-on-one chat.


The former extremist appeared to take her loss in stride.


The Countess was swarmed with so many adoring fans seeking autographs that reporters were unable to get a word with her, but the smile on her face spoke volumes. Next week will see the kind of matchup that can only happen in the MAPT, when she takes on her old friend: the #2 seed in the PFC, Applejack.






Pommel Gets Pummeled


It's official: Lyra Heartstrings' picture belongs next to the word "comeback" in the brony dictionary.


Coco Pommel seemed so certain. Having edged out Sunset Shimmer and Fluttershy for an unlikely playoff spot, she would validate her success with a first-round win and move on to many more victories. The plan appeared as flawless as any of her clothing designs. For three quarters, the upstart fashion pony from Manehattan held the eccentric unicorn in check. At this rate she would not only beat the first Magic Bowl champion, but do it with relative ease.


Then the other horseshoe dropped.


Coco's first playoff appearance taught her a valuable lesson.


With only one day to go in the round, Lyra stormed back in the votes, and suddenly the two beauties were neck and neck. Unfazed by the error with the game clock, she maintained her momentum and closed out a successful comeback win.


"Coco is a really pretty pony, but I wasn't too worried," Lyra exclaimed to reporters after the game. "I've always been a slow starter. You should see Bon Bon trying to get me out of bed in the morning! But it all worked out in the end. I really want to thank all the humans out there who helped me win. I owe everything to them."


The Minty One has earned her beauty rest.


Lyra will progress to the Divisional round where she faces Twilight Sparkle, the only pony to have ever defeated her in the playoffs. It will be another chapter in their storied history; Lyra beat Twilight in the 2013 EFC Championship, 118-105, while the Princess beat Lyra in the 2015 Wild Card, 91-75.


"She got me," a surprised and exhausted Coco said after the contest. "There just isn't much else I can say...I let my guard down. I guess I still have a lot to learn."


LYRA, 72-57




A Little Night Music


Thus far, Octavia's career in the MAPT has been one of diminishing returns. In 2013 she went all the way to a conference championship before losing to Fluttershy. In 2015 the Element of Kindess foiled her again, this time in the Divisional round. And this year, even without her nemesis in the tournament, the cellist never made it out of the Wild Card.


As usual, Octy started strong, hanging tough with last year's EFC Champion. However, she faltered in the end, and Princess Luna skillfully exploited every mistake. The Princess of the Night won it going away in the fourth, despite her opponent's best efforts to salvage things.


Luna lives to fight another day--or night, as it were.


"The quality of my opponents has truly been impressive," Octavia remarked politely when it was all over. "But I entered the contest with an expectation to win, and if not for a sour note here and there, I believe that would have been the result. I wish my fellow musicians, Lyra Heartstrings and Countess Coloratura, all the best in the future."


Reporters are still awaiting postgame remarks from Princess Luna other than "huzzah!" and some very high celebratory leaps into the air.


Octavia--and her fans--are still waiting for her day to come. In the meantime, the show must go on...


Luna continues on to another big game against the first seed in the EFC: the mighty, but perennially unlucky, Rainbow Dash.


LUNA, 75-54

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