The Bargain Bin #1 – Lance Armstrong

bud1The Fincastle Gym is going to continue its look at some of our online decks for the next week or two.  However, we are going to shift our focus from our “Mega Love” theme to some budget friendly decks.  The recent Sun & Moon set offered up some nice additions into this category.  Several of these deck combos are pretty obvious ideas for decks, so it is likely that you have seen a version (or versions) of these decks already.  By “budget friendly”, we mean to show you some builds that you can put together for little to no cost, as you may already have these cards set aside in a binder, tin or box of cards that you think you will never use.  This obviously means no Shaymin EX ($45-$65 at the moment) or any other card that carries with it a cost in the $20 or more range.  Does that mean these decks are not competitive?  Absolutely not.  Some of the most competitive decks over the last several seasons have been some of the most inexpensive.  Remember “Night March”?  How about Vespiquen Continue reading

Congratulations Chris, v3.0!

far3Let’s see if we can frame this one in terms of the timeline of the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  Gym Leader Logan had not yet qualified for his 1st World Championships.  Gym Leader Georgia, well, was not a Gym Leader.  She played of few games here and there, but had not become powerful female World Championship level player that little boys all over the country dreaded facing (because they knew they were getting ready to have the butts handed to them… BY A GIRL!!!).  Gym Leader Marthe was not an organizer.  In fact, she had just become a judge and had only helped out in a few small events.  Speaking of events, the 1st Battle Roads to be held in our area had not come yet and we were still campaigning to get our 1st Roanoke area pre-release.  Our Gym Leader Challenge was a brand new concept and our days at league usually consisted of multiple leaders fielding challenges all day at league, sometimes to the tune of 5 or 6 challenges in a single league meeting.  That is what was going on in Fincastle the last time that Chris L won a gym badge. Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #3 – Turtle and Teeth

Today  we are going to double down on Mega Love and look at 2 lists.  These lists carry 2 distinct strategies that do differ from each other quite a bit.  However, as the builds are similar in card counts, Gym Leader Joel feels like he can handle this degree of multitasking.  Oh yes, that is right, he is quite the experienced stoy1multi-tasker.  His years of intense divided focus has spanned such impressive areas as watching TV and eating, playing his 3DS and watching TV, eating and playing his 3DS while watching TV, reading or playing his 3DS while sitting on the… well, scratch that one… probably too much info.  Either way, this ain’t his 1st rodeo,  so sit back and enjoy this double-barrel of Mega Love with 2 “Water-type” giants…. (hold on…. I had to turn the TV off, I couldn’t remember what I was trying to say), Blastoise EX and Glalie EX. Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #2: Agnes Gru

This week we are returning to our Mega-love feature, which we have to admit was not intentional, but does fall nicely into place in terms of timing as Valentine’s Day approaches.  If you are like us, you are surely being bombarded by advertisements with all sorts of “loving” ideas that you can order with a convenient app and have delivered to your beloved, without taking away valuable moments of your iPhone duties.  In the last few days, we’ve seen everything from comfy jammies to giant bears, gourmet dipped strawberries to Zyppahs (because fluff1nothing says “I love you” like a device that says, “Shut up & quit snoring!”), to roses made out of beef jerky.  Mmmmm, beef jerky roses…..  Sorry, lost our train of thought for a minute.  Traditionally, Gym Leader Joel has been a lover of the stuffed animal.  Stuffed animals don’t wilt, can’t make you gain weight, always fit and generally do not offend (although in this day & age, I’m sure some little snowflake somewhere has taken issue w/a little puppy holding a heart that says, “I Wuv You”).  We hope that when you look at the featured pokemon today, like any good stuffed animal, you will exclaim, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” Continue reading

Welcome To “Ian’s Insanity” – A Look At The Creepy Persian

DSCN6365 - CopyOur 2nd deck that we are going to look at this winter is a break from our Mega-themed series that Gym Leader Joel is working on.  Under other circumstances, we would have shelved this one to look at later.  There are a couple of reasons that we just could not do that.  One is that this is the 1st submission from one of our trainers at the Gym.  In our years of existence, we have had quite the interesting mix of original creations from our trainers.  Some are good attempts at an idea that is just too hard to pull off.  Some have surprised us at how well they work.  At any rate, we have not featured any of those decks here… mainly because we never thought of doing so.  This brings us to the 2nd reason we are deviating from our Mega articles… this submission was just too cool not to share. Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #1: Destroyah

ttar8The scourge of winter weather that hit our area over the opening weeks of 2017 cancelled our 1st 2 weekends of league and tournaments.  While the forced break was not what we wanted, the Fincastle Gym Leaders used the time to do some much needed post-Christmas clean up and organizing.  This also coincided with the kick-off of another robotics season, which is always very exciting but very time consuming.  That being said, we’ve been on break from Pokemon for the majority of 2017.  We all pieced together decks the night before our league challenge last Sunday, which was the 1st time we’ve raised a card this year.  Now that things have settled down a bit, we’re ready dive back into all things Pokemon.  We thought the best way to kick things off this year would be with a look at a few decks.  Gym Leader Joel is going to focus on the Mega Pokemon that no one loves the way they should… the underappreciated, or dare we say, the deplorable.   We also plan to introduce the 1st deck from one of our most original trainers, Ian M, who we hope will provide us, from time to time, with a peek at some of his other insane lists. Continue reading

Merry Christmas From The Gym!

hohoThe Fincastle Gym is counting down the days on another great year.  This our 7th year has been an interesting one for sure.  We watched as Gym Leader Georgia turned in a dominating final year in the Junior Division, placing in several Regionals, winning a State Championship, claiming the highest finish ever by a Gym member at the National Championships and becoming our 1st player to earn World Championship invitations in both the TCG and VG.  Her dominating Continue reading

Congratulations Eddie, v1.0!

As promised, the Fincastle Gym hit another milestone at our league.  Sunday, Gym Leader Joel battled the youngest player to ever take on one of our Gym Leader Challenges.  Eddie R, maybe standing all of 3 1/2′ tall, is about as full of himself as any 5-year-old that we have met.  To be good at this game, you need to able to read and comprehend ideas that are pretty foreign to the average pluff15-year-old mind.  You need to be able to perform basic math and at times, math that goes way beyond the definition of “basic”.  You need to be able to grasp the strategy of a themed deck, whether it is a creation of the best cards you have or a deck based off of the top decks played by Masters and Seniors.  Pokemon rates this game for ages 6 and up, but from what we seen on average, most kids aren’t ready until that 7-8 range.  The average 5-year-old (in our country, anyway) does not read and is not expected to be able to.  If their parents are active with them, many 5-year-olds are counting, but that’s a far cry from doing math.  The most complex strategy in most 5-year-old brains is how get something they want or how to not do something their parents want them to do.  We have absolutely zero qualms in labeling any 5 year that can play this TCG as “exceptional”. Continue reading

VG Premier Challenge and League Challenge Results and Report

gdon5The Fincastle Gym has hosted back to back weekends of competitive events at its home base in the metropolis of Fincastle.  Two Sundays ago, the Gym held a VG Premier Challenge, gathering a good showing of skilled players.  Masters battled it out over 4 rounds and then cut to a top 2 to determine the champion of the event.  This past Sunday, the Gym hosted its 3rd League Challenge of the season.  Our cast of regulars were joined by some Juniors and Seniors players making their 1st appearance in Fincastle.  The current Standard Format has proved to be just that, pretty standard, as the decks present provided no surprises.  Gym Leader Joel tried to shake up the match-ups (with no avail) and unfortunately for 1 player, altered the results. Continue reading

Update On League Seasons And Rewards

Sometimes Pokemon news comes in ways you just can’t miss.  We’ve seen announcement take the form a TV adds, internet promotions, information packets to organizers or even well thought out and descriptive articles on Pokemon.com.  Sometimes they are a little more subtle.  Take the new season of league materials and format for league play, for example.  Several weeks ago we received some league posters that looked like smaller versions of the aposter“leaderboard” posters we used last season.  And… that was it, no instructions, no promo pins, badges, cards, etc.  So, we’ve made no announcements at league because we did not have anything to tell you other than, “We got posters”.  League leaders were finally given a breakdown of what to do with said posters, although we have yet to receive the accompanying materials (which we have learned will be Item cards specific to each season).  So, this is what we know. Continue reading