Category Archives: Pokemon Organized Play events

Links and information on regional Pokemon tournaments and special events

Pokemon Announces 2014-2015 Rotation – Boundaries Crossed-On!

bconThe set rotation and format for the 2014-15 Pokemon TCG season has been announced.  The upcoming season will be Boundaries Crossed-on, meaning the Next Destinies, Dark Explorers and Dragons Exalted will rotate out of the format, in addition to a small group of BW Promo cards.  While not always the case, traditionally Play!Pokemon rotates the oldest 3 sets each year, which is exactly what they did and what we at the Gym were anticipating.

Now, if the rotation was cut and dry, with all cards from those sets gone, then there would not be much else to say.  However, over the last few years, Pokemon has developed a trend of reprinting cards throughout various sets with different artwork or as “secret rares”.  Adding to that, the final Black & White set, Legendary Treasures was a set comprised of many reprintings of various cards that have appeared throughout the Black & White series.  So, what we will try to do for you in the course of this article is to lay out a guide, of sorts, by set, of what goes out and what stays in for the upcoming season.  Keep in mind, however, as you sort your cards out, that Pokemon has announced a special Continue reading

2014 Nationals Wrap Up

2014pokenats2 019The 2014 Pokemon TCG and VG Nationals are now complete.  Yep, as the picture illustrates, today was the end.  As can be seen in more detail on pokemon.com, the finals in the 3 different age groups showcased a nice mix of decks, verifying the health of the game.  By that, we mean that no one deck dominated the tournament.  The decks present at the end really speak more of the strength of the players commanding them than of the decks themselves.  The Fincastle Gym Leaders played against similar decks (if not identical decks) throughout the weekend, losing to some, while dominating others.  In sports this is referred to as “parity”.  Parity is probably the most accurate term to describe what we saw here.  Any deck, in the right hands, is capable of beating another.

2014pokenats2 001Gym Leaders Logan and Georgia both entered the Last Chance Qualifier event on Sunday with some pretty crazy decks of their own.  Their intentions were like Joel’s on Saturday… to collect the promo playmat and just have fun playing.  They picked up a few wins and some bonus booster packs along the way.  Gym Leader Joel shifted into low gear on Sunday, picking up a large latte and kicking back to watch the TCG and VG finals.  As you can hopefully see in the photos, all games were played on center stage while being broadcast on the big screen (and internet) with live play-by-play commentary.  Event organizers did an excellent job of turning a card game and a 3DS video game into a spectator sport.

The hardest working member of the Gym this weekend was Gym Leader Marthe.  Marthe was a runner all 3 days in different divisions in the main event and then in the qualifier events.  It wasn’t all work, though, as Marthe entered the Professor’s Cup.  The Cup is a tournament open only to qualified Pokemon Professors.  Each year, this event presents a different special format.  For this 2014pokenats2 010year, the Cup format was an XY-on tournament where players built 30 card decks and played 3 prize card games.  The other caveat was that decks could only contain “common” and “uncommon” cards… no “rare” cards allowed.  To top off the craziness, a special rule was announced each round that would shake up play a bit (or in some cases, a lot).  For example, one round was a “Simon Says” round, in which, of course, players had to say “Simon says…” for every action they took or their turn ended.  In another round, players swapped decks and played against their own deck.  The highlight of the event was probably the game that was decided by opposing players kicking field goals, paper football style, with pokemon cards.  The Cup finalists took home IPAD Mini’s and promo backpacks.  All competitors picked up booster packs and promo items each round.  Through all the insanity, Marthe went 3-4 and finished in 44th place in a field of over 80 professors.

The Fincastle Gym Leaders are packing up and heading out of here, stopping for a little rafting on the New River on the way back.  We will be back at league next Sunday at our regular time.  Here are a few more photos, including the finals play area, the commentary booth, the convention center and our crazy daughter.  See you next Sunday at the Gym!

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2014 Pokemon TCG and VG Nationals

2014pokenats 021The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is winding down its weekend at the 2014 National Championships.  All of the gym leaders took part in different competitions throughout the event.  Overall, we had mixed successes, falling short of the top spots, but earned some valuable experience as the World Championships approach.  As for the event itself, the overall numbers were down only slightly from last year, which was expected as this was the first year with an entry fee in addition to the Play!Points requirement.  For the TCG, there were 195 competitors in the Junior Division, 295 in the Senior Division and 889 in the Master Division.  Juniors played 8 rounds over 2 days with a top cut of 8.  Continue reading

Chesnaught League Challenge Sunday 6/29/14 – No League 7/6/14

Millis_ChesnaughtThe Fincastle Gym Leaders are preparing for the annual “pilgrimage” to Indy for the Pokemon National Championships, so there will be no League meeting on Sunday, July 6th.  However, to be sure everyone gets their fill of Pokemon before the holiday, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym will host its sixth League Challenge of the year this Sunday at the Fincastle library.

The Chesnaught League Challenge:

  • Sunday 6/29/14 @ Fincastle Library meeting room.
  • Registration is from 12:30pm-1:00pm.  Play begins shortly after.
  • Players must bring a 60 card Modified format deck sorted by Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy.
  • Entry fee is $5 (entry fee is waived if you have played at League during this season - 5/13-6/23).

Prizes:

  • 1st Place – Challenge promo card, 4 booster packs & 15 Championship Points.
  • 2nd Place – Challenge promo card, 2 booster packs & 12 Championship Points (if attendance is 4 or more in age group).
  • 3rd/4th Place – promo card, 1 booster pack & 10 Championship Points (if attendance is 8 or more in age group).

We will also have door prizes in each age group.

A few side notes (for newer players):

If you sleeve your deck, the entire deck must be sleeved and all of the sleeves must be the same.  If for some reason your deck does not comply with the Modified format rules, you may still play in the event with a starter deck supplied by the Gym.  Gym Leader Marthe will do a deck-check of everyone’s deck to verify that all of the cards are in the correct format.  So, please be sure your deck is sorted to make her job easier.  Decks should be sorted by Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy, with all cards with the same name together.  (For example: 2 Squirtle, 2 Wartortle, 2 Blastoise, 2 Skyla, 2 N, 2 Switch, 8 Water Energy, 2 Rainbow Energy.)  Bring your own damage/poison/burn markers and either a coin or clear, 6-sided die (for flips).

If you have any questions, email us at our league email.   We are excited about the event and hope you all are too!  See you Sunday at the Gym!

If you can’t make it for the tournament, we’ll still have our regular League when the tournament is finished.  All games during League this week will get double marks as we get ready to start a new season next week!

Yveltal League Challenge Results

Yveltal2The Fincastle Gym is nearing the end of an exhausting Spring that has unfortunately left Gym Leader Joel will little time to post on this site.  1 baseball tournament, 2 dance recitals and a few more softball games and the Gym Leaders/baseball coaches can again turn their focus back to the TCG.  We’d love to post on the new Flashfire set, but we have hardly had time to look at the set, much less play-test any of it.  We have lots of ideas to try, but we will get to those when they are more than just theory.  At any rate, the Gym hosted the Yveltal League Challenge last Sunday and again saw another nice mix of competitive decks.  Here’s a quick recap of the event. Continue reading

Yveltal League Challenge – this Sunday 5/18/14

Yveltal1The Fincastle Pokemon Gym will host its fifth League Challenge of the year this Sunday at the Fincastle library.

The Yveltal League Challenge:

  • Sunday 5/18/14 @ Fincastle Library meeting room.
  • Registration is from 12:30pm-1:00pm.  Play begins shortly after.
  • Players must bring a 60 card Modified format deck sorted by Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy.
  • Entry fee is $5 (entry fee is waived if you have played at League during this season – 4/7-5/12).

Prizes:

  • 1st Place – Challenge promo card, 4 booster packs & 15 Championship Points.
  • 2nd Place – Challenge promo card, 2 booster packs & 12 Championship Points (if attendance is 4 or more in age group).
  • 3rd/4th Place – promo card, 1 booster pack & 10 Championship Points (if attendance is 8 or more in age group).

We will also have door prizes in each age group.

A few side notes (for newer players):

If you sleeve your deck, the entire deck must be sleeved and all of the sleeves must be the same.  If for some reason your deck does not comply with the Modified format rules, you may still play in the event with a starter deck supplied by the Gym.  Gym Leader Marthe will do a deck-check of everyone’s deck to verify that all of the cards are in the correct format.  So, please be sure your deck is sorted to make her job easier.  Bring your own damage/poison/burn markers and either a coin or clear, 6-sided die (for flips).

If you have any questions, email us at our league email.   We are excited about the event and hope you all are too!  See you Sunday at the Gym!

Yveltal2
If you can’t make it for the tournament, we’ll still have our regular League when the tournament is finished.  All games during League this week will get double marks as we get ready to start a new season next week!

Pre-release Wrap Up.

Deathstar_Pokeball_SpaceA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…  OK, it was last week and just down the road in Carolina…  the Gym Leaders finished up two long weekends full of Flashfire fun and have great results to report.  For two of the events, Fincastle and Cornelius, NC, Gym Leader Marthe set person attendance records with 37 and 54 players respectively.

The Fincastle Flashfire Prerelease, bolstered by members of our neighbor-league at Star City Games, was also the first Fincastle pre-release where Masters outnumbered the other age divisions.  Everyone had a great time, and got fun new cards to add to their collections.

May the Fourth saw the whole family traveling south to Cornelius, NC, to enjoy the “unofficial” Star Wars Day with a huge group of Pokemon fans.  The 54 players who came made this event even larger than the Cornelius City Championship.  Several players really got into the spirit of the day and joined Gym Leaders Marthe and Georgia in dressing up as their favorite Star Wars characters.  Thanks to all those who turned out (and helped out).  Enjoy a few of our photos and we’ll see you this Sunday at the Gym!

 

Princess Leia and a Jedi Master before we set off for the day.

Princess Leia and a Jedi Master before we set off for the day.

Storm Trooper by night, Pokemon Judge by day!

Storm Trooper by night, Pokemon Judge by day!

Straight off an early morning raid on the Death Star, Red Leader One stopped by to play.

Straight off an early morning raid on the Death Star, Red Leader One stopped by to play.

"Aren't you a little short for a Pokemon Master?"  Obi-Wan was ready to teach us all about the Force.

“Aren’t you a little short for a Pokemon Master?” Obi-Wan was ready to teach us all about the Force.

Princess Leia and Princess Leia hang out with our very own Ewok-achu.

Princess Leia and Princess Leia hang out with our very own Ewok-achu.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope".  The Rebel Alliance won the day!

“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”. The Rebel Alliance won the day!

XY-Flashfire Pre-Releases Start This Weekend!

flashXY-Flashfire, the 2nd set in the XY series, is finally on its way.  If your favorite Pokemon are Fire-types, then you are going to love this set!  Flashfire brings the original Fire-type starter, Charizard,  back.  For the 1st time, Charizard comes in EX and Mega-EX forms and in Fire and Dragon types.  To accompany his return, Flashfire includes an interesting set of Trainer Item and Supporter cards that provide support to all Fire-types.  For those who aren’t fans of fire, the set contains a strong mix of of both EX and non-EX pokemon, including several Kalos characters making their 1st appearance in the TCG.  There are over 100 cards in the set, with 5 new EX’s and 3 Mega evolutions.  A few cards that are perhaps a little “under the radar” will likely have a huge impact on the format. Continue reading

Fincastle League Challenge Tournament this Sunday 2/23/14

Ashs_FroakieThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym will host its third League Challenge of the year this Sunday at the Fincastle library.

The Froakie League Challenge:

  • Sunday 2/23/14 @ Fincastle Library meeting room.
  • Registration is from 12:00pm-1:00pm.  Play begins shortly after.
  • Players must bring a 60 card Modified format deck sorted by Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy.
  • Entry fee is $5 (entry fee is waived if you have played at League during this season – 1/19-2/16).

Prizes:

  • 1st Place – Challenge promo card, 4 booster packs & 15 Championship Points.
  • 2nd Place – Challenge promo card, 2 booster packs & 12 Championship Points (if attendance is 4 or more in age group).
  • 3rd/4th Place – promo card, 1 booster pack & 10 Championship Points (if attendance is 8 or more in age group).

We will also have door prizes in each age group.

A few side notes (for newer players):

If you sleeve your deck, the entire deck must be sleeved and all of the sleeves must be the same.  If for some reason your deck does not comply with the Modified format rules, you may still play in the event with a starter deck supplied by the Gym.  Gym Leader Marthe will do a deck-check of everyone’s deck to verify that all of the cards are in the correct format.  So, please be sure your deck is sorted to make her job easier.  Bring your own damage/poison/burn markers and either a coin or clear, 6-sided die (for flips).

If you have any questions, email us at our league email.   We are excited about the event and hope you all are too!  See you Sunday at the Gym!

250px-Ash_FroakieIf you can’t make it for the tournament, we’ll still have our regular League when the tournament is finished.  All games during League this week will get double marks as we get ready to start a new season next week!

X/Y Prereleases Start This Saturday & Sunday!

pokeXYThe Fincastle Gym hopes that all are enjoying the Online Spotlight that we have featured with some unique deck ideas to play around with.  We’ll take a break to bring you more exciting news and then return to our final 2 decks in the featurette next week.  On to the news…. this weekend kicks off the much-anticipated X/Y Prerelease circuit, giving players and collectors all over the country a chance to get their hands on the brand new set before it goes on sale in stores.  Depending on where you live, there will be several chances to make one of these events over the next 2 weekends. Continue reading