Why was Tirek one of the best MLP villains? The majority of the fans were impressed by how through his plan was. He did everything right, from befriending Discord to biding his time before he struck. Unlike Queen Chrysalis, Nightmare Moon, and Discord, he did not make the mistake of underestimating his foes. He made sure to gain as much power as possible before he faced the princesses with the intent of stealing their magic. If the Tree of Harmony hadn’t provided the Mane Six with Rainbow Power, Tirek certainly would have won in the end. They didn’t have anything to go up against him: Twilight had just given him her alicorn magic, Discord’s magic had also been taken away, nopony in Equestria could aid them, the Elements of Harmony were gone, and Tirek was now the most powerful being in all of Equestria. But why did Tirek neglect making the same mistakes that led to the defeat of the other villains? What made him special, besides the fact that he appeared in G1? It’s simply that, unlike him, the other villains were too objective-guided. Their plans weren’t thought out too much because they mainly concerned themselves with the end result. To break it down a little:
Queen Chrysalis wanted food for her subjects. She kidnapped Princess Cadence and masqueraded as her to feed herself and, as an extension, take control of Shining Armor for her own ends. The simplicity of the plan and her naïve assumption that nothing could stop her shows that she didn’t take the time to consider alternate possibilities. She thought that it was enough to keep the Mane Six away from the Elements and make sure that her Changelings got into Canterlot. Unlike Tirek, she didn’t allow space for variables because the objective was the only thing important to her.
Discord only wanted to turn Equestria into a place of pure chaos. He had a lot of time to formulate a better plan while encased in stone, but he instead spent those centuries brooding over his fate. By the time he escaped, he only wanted revenge. If he actually used a bit more of his brain power, he probably could have made himself undefeatable. On the other hoof/hand, Discord enjoys jerking others around. It’s possible that he simply didn’t care and it was all a game to him.
Nightmare Moon was a creature of pure bitterness. Her goal was to shroud the land in eternal night and nothing more. Perhaps, somewhere deep down in the less corrupted part of Luna’s mind, she was hoping to be defeated and turned back to her original self.
Before anyone asks, I’m not going to touch on Sunset Shimmer or the Dazzlings. The latter I’ll be dealing with in another post.