Video Game Gym Leaders Are Here!

leedaThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym opened its doors during the summer of 2010.  Our first meetings were classroom style instructional sessions for the TCG.  By the Fall of 2010, we were already looking for ways to challenge the players that took to the TCG and make them better.  The Gym Leaders decided to follow the format laid out by the video games and create single type decks for our trainers to battle.  And so the Gym Leader Challenge was born at the Gym.  We now have completed well over 300 TCG challenges, giving away collections of promo cards, EX cards and a fully built competitive deck along the way.  Type-specific gym badges, custom-made and designed by one of our trainers, await anyone who defeats a Gym Leader in a card challenge.  The challenge has become the hallmark of the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  Now it is time for the “hall” to get a little bigger. Continue reading

No League on 2/22/15.

enoughHa…. 1 to 3 more inches of snow, my butt.  I checked outside at about 8pm and we are at 10″ and counting.  And that’s on top of the frozen layer of snow that we already had.  Needless to say, we couldn’t get either car out this morning to get the key from the library, which may or may not have been open anyway.  That being said, we are obviously not going to be able to hold league tomorrow, 2/22/15.  It’s supposed to warm up, but forecasts in our area have not been terribly accurate so far.  We think at this point the weatherman has hit the Irish coffee and is just throwing darts at the map.  Unless this mess continues, we should have league as scheduled next Sunday, 3/1/15.  We are holding onto a post with an exciting announcement at the Gym, anticipating that league would get cancelled for this week, thinking that we could make the announcement at league if we could get there.  Now that cancellation is a foregone conclusion, we will post it tomorrow night.  Check back Sunday night for some exciting news.  Until next time, see you at the Gym!

Congratulations Robbie, v1.0!

regsThe Fincastle Gym Leaders have had a busy week.  Gym Leader Marthe is putting the final touches on preparations for the Virginia Regional VG Championships (this Sunday) that she is organizing in conjunction with David Tuskey, the PTO for the Virginia Regional TCG Championships (this Saturday).  The remaining Gym Leaders are rounding up their lists and teams for both events.  First things first…. we have a little business to attend to from last week’s Gym meeting. Continue reading

Counter #3 – King Creole

king3Today we are going to look at our last “Counter” deck.  Gym Leader Joel had to do some narrowing down, sifting through his piles of virtual deck lists from the PTCGO, searching for the ones that may have a place in this format.  As we’ve mentioned before, the mere existence of Seismitoad/Garbodor kills a handful of very playable decks.  Some of Joel’s deck creations,  like Mew EX / Weavile/Eggs (w/”Dimension Valley), Kingdra/”Battle Compressor” (very similar to our older “Electric Seahorse” article), Umbreon/Beartic (w/”Training Center”), Hydreigon/Mega Charizard, Shiftry and other various Stage 2 and Plasma variants, all go out the window because of 1 deck in the format.  Unfortunate, no…, sad, is the only word we can put to that.  However, we hope this last look at a deck will lift your spirits and renew your faith in a few cards that also seem to be cast aside at the moment. Continue reading

Congratulations Dean, v1.0!

grassIts been a while.  With City Championships tournaments keeping the Gym Leaders busy over the last few months and now Primal Clash pre-releases underway, Gym Leader Challenges have taken a bit of a back seat.  It’s not that there have not been any.  Trainers Cooper D, Patrick C, and Dean E have all made attempts for different gym badges, taking games in the challenges, but not being able to win the best 2-of-3 challenges.  Today at the Gym, Dean broke through and won the 1st badge from a gym leader since October of last year. Continue reading

Counter #2 – Evil Bastille

As the Fincastle Gym continues to present some format counters, we will look today at our 2nd deck in this series.  We hope you enjoyed looking at the “Fluffy Penguin”, which as we described, was not originally built as a counter deck.  It is just a deck from Gym Leader Joel’s collection that happens to be good against the current format.  That’s not the case with today’s deck.  Today’s deck was built to as a specific counter to multiple popular decks.  While “Penguin”  is a deck focused on offense and trying to 1-hit several of the formats “big hitters”, today’s bastilledeck works in the opposite direction.  It is all about defense.  The goal of today’s deck is to take advantage of some handy “resistances”, strengthen them a little, then hunker down behind them and wear your opponent out.  Depending on what you’re playing, this deck could get a little frustrating to battle against.  If you are playing “Toad” or “Donphan”, you might even think this is a little evil.  Thus the name.  “Eh-eh-o eh-o, Eh-eh-o eh-o, Eh-eh-o eh-o.” Check out our “Evil Bastille”. Continue reading

Counter # 1 – The Fluffy Penguin

codecardThe 1st of Gym Leader Joel’s counter decks that we’ll look at was not originally built as a counter to anything.  When the PTCGO was still being developed and redesigned, the Fincastle Gym Leaders sat on our collection of online code cards while Pokemon worked out the bugs.  We don’t remember exactly what the reason was at the time, but it seems like it had something to do with fearing that  the online collections might not survive the transition from the original Beta version to the current online game.  Once the online game was launched, we had a rather large collection of codes, the majority of which were from the Dark Explorers set.  Gym Leaders Logan and Joel split the collection between our 2 accounts, assuming we’d both get the cards to build Darkrai EX decks (one of the best decks at the time).  Logan got what he needed to build Darkrai…. Joel did not. Continue reading

Format Counters Are On The Way!

As the City Championship series draws to a close, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym is very pleased to see how the TCG community has created a fairly diverse format.  By that, we mean that no single deck has dominated the series.  We have seen bestsome numbers compiled to show the decks with the most wins.  These decks may truly be the BDIF (best deck in the format, a term commonly over-used in the TCG).  We feels it’s worth mentioning that simply because a deck won an event, does not mean it’s that strong.  The level of competition varies by area and sometimes by a given day.  We’ve had events in Fincastle in the past where there were only a few strong players present, where those players would’ve likely won, regardless of what they played.  However, at events like this past weekend’s Fincastle City Championship, the field of 42 players included 6 World Championship competitors, in addition to another 3 or 4 players who have made top cuts at State, Regional and National Championships. Continue reading

Happy Holidays and Welcome 2015!

pokemon-all-wallpaperThe Fincastle Gym Leaders hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, spending time with your friends and family.  We also hope that you got some cool, new Pokemon presents.  Whether you got the new video game or got some new cards to beef up your best decks, we hope that you are looking forward to 2015 at the Gym and at events in our area.  The Gym Leader had a great time in 2014, playing and staffing at TCG and VG events across the country. Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Video Game Tournament Results

G-chorusVG 018The Gym has been quite busy over the last few weeks.  From Thanksgiving until now, we have hosted the majority of our TCG City Championship tournaments, with strong attendance at each event.  We were hoping to keep that going as this weekend’s VG event at the Gym drew near.  Sunday did not disappoint, as we had 22 players for the Premier VG tournament at the Gym.  We had players from Christiansburg, VA Beach and North Carolina join our batch of regulars, making the event fun but very competitive.  The day did not end there, as the Gym Leaders took on a pair of challenges for gym badges during league time following the tournament.  A very busy day at the Gym indeed, but that is how we like it.  Let’s look at what went down. Continue reading