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Legitimately every villain in this show proclaims that, "I'm gonna take over Equestria, evil laugh". Yet, they don't destroy the mane 6 right away, they start rambling on and on and literally spill out their plan to everyone with revealing dialogue, pretty "clever" right?. None of the villains think about being reclusive or sneaky. (Then again, not every villains goal is to ambush the mane 6 and kill them, it's specifically to overthrone 

The Dazzlings: "It's Equestrian Magic!" *mind controls everyone under their spell", when they should've realized The Rainbooms would defeat them anyway, (despite being trapped underground; someone eventually could've opened the door for them, but Adagio totally ignored that possibility), because they're the only ones not under their spell. 

Nightmare Moon is basically the corrupted form of Luna, but again, she laughs maniacally in the first episode, taunting the ponies, and scaring them without actually harming them, and she vanishes, only to see she makes a move on the mane 6 in s1 e2. Maybe she wanted to give them a warning and "play with their emotions first" cliché. 

Discord, a former villain, also turns the mane 6 gray and apart from each other, clashing amongst their friendship, if he wanted to succeed wouldn't he destroy them all, but then what would be the fun if there were no good guys to turmoil with, maybe? Plus they wouldn't kill off the mane 6 and other characters right away, that'd just be another cliché.

Tirek wanted to steal all the magic in Equestria and rule as its lord. He doesn't kill his enemies, rather preferring to leave them alive. But doesn't he know if he doesn't assault the mane 6/everypony else to their death, he'll fail eventually?

There are many more villains, but I'm too lazy to put the rest in. The point is the villains are so arrogant and stupid that they want to conquer everypony to watch them suffer, but haven't they realized that to defeat the ponies, they could get rid of them while they're asleep? The villain's tactics and poisons are super weak, since the outcome is that they always lose. Yet they keep coming back using the same abortive attempt to overthrow Equestria.

And of course it is a kids show, why would they kill off anypony? Especially the main characters, that to. In essence to that, they do attempt to "kill" the mane 6, but they never die since their magic is so strong, and there are more protagonists than antagonists. 
Moral: Clichés will always be there in different forms, but some are vastly greater than others, and villains aren't very sharp and quick on their actions, because they're so absorbed in their own thoughts and fantasies of how great they are. 

 

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I've said it some times and I'll say it again. This cartoon needed some villain that was a threat because they had resources, not because they were powerful. A big Emperor Palpatine that even if you managed to stop him, his legion would STILL give you more of a headache than a Rainbow Cannon could deal with. Not only that, but one that knew HOW to use their resources.

Eh... At the same time I imagine that this would actually require that the cartoon wasn't targeted at children, with a higher age rating.

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Other than a few villains, I like them all, but they are not exactly lethal... Some don't want to actually hurt anyone, just take over(NMM pretty much only wanted to kill celestia), but they were overconfident or simply not clever enough to end it. For that the show probably had to have a higher age rating unfortunately, the closest we got was in the series finale against the "legion of doom" but they only captured the heroes instead of killing them when they actually had them and the same applies to chrysalis in season 6. 

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Honestly I find the villains in the show to be annoying sometimes and the recurring plot line of them always getting reformed got boring. 

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Sombra used to be an exception: actions before words, precaution after precaution, defeat by curveball instead of recklessness, etc.

...Until the writers decided to give him "more personality":

:yeahno:

Edited by Antagonist
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I think for Nightmare Moon's case, she was really being "merciful".
Like wanting to try to scare the Mane 6 off first instead of killing them at first( EDIT: just realized that although then again one of her attempts to "scare" them off nearly got them killed but eh..).
Since she was taking over Equestria and bringing eternal night not for the sake of "for evulz" or power alone but since she wanted her work, her night and herself to be loved and appreciated more than Celestia and her day. 
Killing the Mane 6 right away would mean less ponies to admire her night.  And in her mind, she probably wants to get much appreciation for her night as much as she could get to make up for so long she was in Celestia's shadow. And most likely that desire worsened due to she lost a1000 years(and Equestria practically forgotten about her) and then theres the Summer Sun Celebration which practically added a whole lot of salt to the wound.

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Yeah, that's pretty much how it is in this show. The villains think they're better than everyone else and so it's inevitable that they'll fall to the power of friendship. I kinda wish the show hadn't aimed for suspense in those two-part episodes, to be honest; I always find them too predictable to be exciting. Like, the more incompetent Chrysalis became, the more I liked her, because at some point the show wasn't even trying to portray her as a threat and just let her be silly. That said, I do think there are some exceptions:

On 4/17/2020 at 12:36 PM, princessxrainbowdash said:

Discord, a former villain, also turns the mane 6 gray and apart from each other, clashing amongst their friendship, if he wanted to succeed wouldn't he destroy them all, but then what would be the fun if there were no good guys to turmoil with, maybe? Plus they wouldn't kill off the mane 6 and other characters right away, that'd just be another cliché.

Not sure what you mean by "destroy" in this case. If you mean "kill," you should just say that, because Discord kinda did stop them - he turned them all against each other, inverted their personalities, and basically got them all to quit trying to stop him. He was stopped because Celestia started sending back all of Twilight's friendship reports, and he probably didn't deal with her right away because she wasn't the one with the Elements of Harmony. 

On 4/17/2020 at 12:36 PM, princessxrainbowdash said:

 Tirek wanted to steal all the magic in Equestria and rule as its lord. He doesn't kill his enemies, rather preferring to leave them alive. But doesn't he know if he doesn't assault the mane 6/everypony else to their death, he'll fail eventually?

Tirek faced basically no serious opposition until Twilight, who he fought to a standstill and then absorbed all the alicorn magic from. How was he supposed to know about that one box with the rainbow power inside it? We never even learned what that was supposed to be. 

 

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