Category Archives: Pokemon Organized Play events

Links and information on regional Pokemon tournaments and special events

Logan’s 2014 Nats/World’s Deck – Dark Rush

When discussing the rotation in earlier posts, Gym Leader Joel likened the loss of Rayquaza EX from the Standard Format as the loss of a long-time friend.  If “Ray” was Joel’s friend, then the deck Logan played at this summer’s Nationals and Worlds LCQ was more akin to a brother.  Since its release in Dark Explorers, Darkrai EX has been at the center of Logan’s competitive deck arsenal.  Darkrai EX hit the scene in the Spring of 2012.  To chronicle the history of how Logan (and Joel, from time to time) have played this deck since 2012 would take dark sidea week-long series of posts.  Both gym leaders have come up with some unique and interesting twists on Darkrai based decks.  As the 2014 National Championships approached, Logan went back to the basics, going with his most consistent build.  Logan narrowly missed trips to the top cut at Nats and final rounds of the LCQ with the deck.  Come join us on the dark side as we first look at the evolution of the deck and then at his final list.  One thing we’ve learned about Darkrai is that you never want to underestimate the power of the dark side (add your own menacing voice here). Continue reading

Georgia’s 2014 Worlds Deck – Fall Out Girl

fall out girlWhat to play… Genesect… Pyroar… Yveltal… Plasma…..  What do you do?  What do you choose?  When you are just playing Pokemon with friends, or at league, or at a local tournament, it’s not that big of a deal.  You play whatever version of one of these decks you have.  You win some games, you lose some games.  You have fun with the wins, you write off the losses by exclaiming what was prized, or how you did not draw anything.  If you want to see those questions above gain a little weight, imagine thinking about them in the context of preparing for the World Championships.  You look at what is popular and what has won at major tournaments.  You look at counters to all of the same decks.  You look at everything that you have played in the last season (and beyond).  You have one chance to get it right.  This is a process that we at the Gym have gone through 3 times now and, well, it ain’t easy.  Tempers flare, arguments break out and tears are shed.  That’s all part of preparing for an event like the World Championships.  We wouldn’t trade it for anything. Continue reading

2014 Pokemon World Championships – Wrap Up

After an exhausting few days, the Fincastle Gym Leaders had their fill of competitions, long lines and Pokemon in general for one weekend.  We left the convention center on Sunday at did a little more exploring around our nation’s capital.  We won’t take up space here re-posting winning lists and teams, as provided excellent coverage for the event.  Be sure to check their page out if you have not already.  Here, as promised, is the remainder of our photos from the weekend long event.  Check back later today for a look at Gym Leader Georgia’s Worlds deck.  Enjoy the pics. Continue reading

2014 Pokemon World Championships Day 2 – The Main Event

Washington DC 052Saturday, the main event at the 2014 Pokemon TCG World Championships, was finally here.  Gym Leader Georgia was excited (and a little bit nervous) to take her first crack at an international field that like her, had their eyes on the biggest prizes offered by Play!Pokemon.  To the winner, a $10,000 scholarship, an automatic invite to next year’s event, cards out the ears and lots of extra promo items.  After testing and eventually scrapping the deck we thought would be the best play, Georgia entered the event with one of the Gym’s most unusual creations, based on the idea of flat-out overwhelming her opponents.  We’ll look at her deck in-depth later this week.  With 125 competitors in the Junior Division and the expected 7 rounds of best 2-0f-3 match play, we knew Georgia was in for a long day, but we liked her chances. Continue reading

2014 Pokemon World Championships Day 1 – LCQ

Pokemon World 2014 074The Fincastle Pokemon Gym, in its 3rd trip to the Pokemon World Championships, made the short trip (for once) to our nation’s capital on Thursday.  We went early, to give us time to check in and relax and even do a little sight-seeing before diving into a weekend of intense pokemon competition.  Once settled in, it was early to bed, as the Gym’s original Gym Leader had to get up early on Friday to check in for the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), which was to begin at 9:00am on Friday.  Thanks to the convenient location of this year’s Worlds, 2 of the Gym’s trainers were also able to try their hand at their 1st ever World Championship competition.  There is a lot to cover from this weekend, so lets get right to it. Continue reading

No League Sunday 8/17 – Look For The Gym At Worlds!

As mentioned in a previous post, the Fincastle Gym Leaders are headed to Washington DC this weekend for the Pokemon World Championships, so there will be no regular meeting of the Fincastle Pokemon League on Sunday, August 17.

Don’t despair, you can stay connected to the Gym and follow Gym Leaders Logan and Georgia (as well as other Gym members) at the official World Championship website:

Worlds webpage

Look for articles about various trainers and VIPs daily under the News heading.

For a live list of standings and pairings during the tournament Saturday and Sunday, click on the purple Standings bracket.  You can see all the matchups in each division and their current records (Win, Loss, Tie).

Worlds web 2

Click on the “World Championship information” link, and get lots more cool info.




  • Full listing of the World Championship Invitations by country
  • Details on prizes, schedule and other events held during the Championships
  • Official and “un”official photos of the event shared via Instagram
  • Decklists and Video Game team lists for the finalists in each division
  • and more.

The final rounds in each age group (both Trading Card Game and Video Game) will be broadcast live on Sunday via Twitch.  There will be additional live streaming throughout the event – so take a peek.  You never know when you might see a familiar face!

We will try to post an update or two during the weekend, but only as time permits.  We expect this to be an exciting 3 days of tough Pokemon matches and we want to stay focused on supporting our Gym Leaders in their pursuit of the World’s best.  Gym Leader Joel will have a full summary of the tournament and everyone’s journey after we return to Fincastle.

Our next regular league meeting will be on Sunday, August 24 at 3PM.  This weekend, cheer on Logan and Georgia as aim for the top of the year’s biggest Pokemon event!  Until then, see you at the Gym!

Furious Fists in Fincastle on Sunday!

XY3_EN_55XY-Furious Fists, the 3rd set in the XY series, is finally on its way.  If your favorite Pokemon are Fighting-types, then you are going to love this set!  Furious Fists brings Lucario-EX (and its Mega Evolution) as well as Hawlucha-EX.  Other Fighting-types in the set include Machamp, Tyrantrum, and Hariyama. Plus Fighting-types are easily paired with the Fighting Stadium, Strong Energy, and new trainers like Korrina to maximize their attack potential! For those who aren’t fans of fighting, the set contains a strong mix of of both EX and non-EX pokemon, including Seismatoad, Heracross, and Dragonite (all EX’s).  There are over 100 cards in the set, with 5 new EX’s and 3 Mega evolutions.  Continue reading

Gym Leader Georgia Headed To Worlds!

Star Wars Day & Easter 009Gym Leader Georgia, the Fincastle Gym’s youngest leader, at 9 yrs old, has broken new ground for us.  Logan, our most accomplished leader (2-time World’s competitor), did not pick up a pokemon card until he was 8.  Logan was 9 by the time we started to even understand what this game was all about.  Logan paved the way for the Gym to turn into what it has become.  In doing so, he laid the blueprint for his younger sister to follow, if so inclined.  Georgia inclined and then inclined a little more, turning on to her brother’s path and then charging up it.  As a result, Georgia has earned her first invitation to the Pokemon TCG World Championships, which will take place in Washington DC on the 2nd weekend in August. Continue reading

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, 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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