Blue Ridge Regionals Starts Friday, 5/25!

Well, they are finally here.  The Fincastle Gym is thrilled to be hosting our 2nd Regional TCG and VG Championships here in Roanoke this weekend.  We hope that you’ve had a chance to check out our articles previewing everything going on over the weekend.  Here are a few quick reminders for anyone attending or thinking about dropping by and checking it out.  Entry into the hall is FREE!!! You can come in at any time and check out our many vendors (12 total), cosplay contest and side events.  If you want to register for either main event (VG or TCG), you still can… just follow this link.  If you can’t come and want to watch the battles on stream, follow this link to see Critical Hit‘s coverage of the VG and TCG on Twitch.  If you are new to the game or interested in learning, this is a great chance to see what it is all about.  As always, if you follow this page and want to chat with the author (Gym Leader Joel), come by the Dark Moon Cards and Games booth and say, “Howdy.”  And of course, there is no league this Sunday in Fincastle.  See you this weekend at a much bigger gym!

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2018 Blue Ridge Regional Championships – Side Events

This is the final weekend before the Fincastle Pokemon Gym brings the Blue Ridge Regional Championships back to Roanoke.  We have been highlighting some of the main features of the weekend here over the last week or two.  If you’ve been following us here, you hopefully had a chance to read about our big side events, the Cosplay Contest and the Battle Fiesta.  While those two are our featured “sides”, they are not our only ones.  We’ve got a pretty long list of additional side events, several of which are new ones for this year, that range from large to small in size, for players of the video game and trading card game.  Take a look below, we think you’ll like what you see. Continue reading

2018 Blue Ridge Regional Championships – Battle Fiesta

The 2018 Blue Ridge Regional Championships is bringing back one of, if not the coolest side event of any of the regional and international tournament.  This Memorial Day weekend, we will host our 2nd Japanese-style Battle Fiesta.  At our 2017 Regional, we introduced the Fiesta to organized play in North America, but were still feeling out how the Japanese tournament really worked.  This year’s event is definitely and improvement over our 1st try, as we have a better working knowledge of how to operate it.  To sweeten the deal, this year’s Fiesta is sponsored by Troll and Toad, which gives a nice boost to the prize payout for the winners and participants.  There are several opportunities over the weekend to play in a “Qualifier” that can gain you entry into the Sunday afternoon Finals of the Fiesta.  The Berglund Center will be open on Friday this year (starting at 2:00pm), which means that you can enter a Qualifier in addition to the main Regional TCG event.  We will get into all of those details below. Continue reading

Get Ready For Expanded – ACESPEC’s

The Fincastle Gym Leaders have been around.  We think that we pretty safe in our self-assessment in saying that we are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to all things Pokemon.  Knowledge is a many-pronged entity that is both sought out and accumulated.  A lot of what we know are things that we have both studied and practiced.  Some of it is information that we’ve gathered by just being around for a while.  What we’re saying is, we’re old.  And we are okay with that.  Our regional on Memorial Day weekend is in the Expanded format, which includes almost all cards dating back to the base Black & White set.  If you pay attention to the tournament circuit and TCG discussions on multiple platforms (podcasts, web pages, YouTube, etc), then you likely know a good bit of what this entails.  However, if you have played primarily at the Gym or are a new player to the TCG, there are a whole bunch of cards that you likely do not have and may have never seen that are used heavily in the format.  What we are planning to do over the next few articles is introduce you to (or remind you of) some of these powerful older cards that may benefit you when building an Expanded deck. Continue reading

2018 Blue Ridge Regional Championships – Cosplay Contest

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is proud to host its 2nd Regional Championship Event in Roanoke over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  As we did last year, we are striving to incorporate special events as part of that weekend that you cannot experience anywhere but here in the heart of Virginia.  We tried a little bit of everything last year, from Pokemon GO tours, to photo booths, to the 1st attempt on US soil at a Japanese-style Battle Fiesta.  This year, the organizing team of the Fincastle Gym (Joel and Marthe) and Pam & Dave Tuskey have refined the weekend to focus on what worked best last year.  Gym Leader Joel will be detailing the plans for the weekend over the next two weeks, and hopefully slipping in an article or two on the Expanded Format in between, so check back here often to see our latest posts.  You can also follow our links to the main Blue Ridge Regional site and Facebook pages (Gym’s and Regionals) for registration info and additional details.  On to the 1st event in this series, the Pokemon Cosplay contest. Continue reading

Forbidden Light Pre-Releases This Weekend

The Fincastle Gym is hosting two days of pre-releases this weekend.  Forbidden Light is the 6th set in the Sun & Moon series, which will be officially released on May 4, 2018.  Forbidden Light contain over 130 cards, including 8 new GX’s, 5 new “Prism Star” cards and some interesting new support cards.  While the original Japanese set Forbidden Light contains 110 cards, this expansion combines cards released of the Japanese set and a subset dubbed, Ultra Force. Continue reading

Gym Leader Update After #400

As most of you likely saw, Daniel S helped us hit the milestone of our 400th gym challenge completed at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  We are already on the way to number 500, as we have two more down and a 3rd halfway completed.  Those of you that have followed the Gym over the years know that Gym Leader Joel likes his statistics.  We don’t know that the numbers we keep have any deep meaning.  They do some show trends, such as which leader is tough to beat and which types are harder to take down.  Some decks that were once hard to defend have become some of our best decks.  Some, like the Dragon type deck, thanks to the random typing of many pokemon that Continue reading

Daniel S Completes 400th Challenge At The Gym!

Well, we finally got there.  The Fincastle Gym has been slowly but steadily advancing towards completing its 400th Gym Leader Challenge over the opening months of 2018.  We hit that number this past Sunday at the Gym.  As we were putting this article together, Gym Leader Joel searched for any significant number 400’s to use as a theme and was left with little good material to work with.  The first responses to an internet search of “400” lead to explanations of the search error message, “HTTP – 400 Bad Request” (computer jargon informing you that your search ain’t happening).  Beyond that, there were some hits on State Route 400 in Georgia and a leap year in medieval times.  Gym Leader Marthe even suggested looking up #400 in the Pokedex and lo and behold… it was Bibarel.  Really?  Talk about a pokemon that’s hard to spin into something cool.  I think the last good Bibarel cards was… never.  So little to work with, yet the 400th challenge netted one lucky trainer the best gift that we’ve ever put together at the Gym. Continue reading

Congratulations William, v1.0!

When it comes to the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s gym leader challenges, there are two things that we promise to those who attempt them.  The first is that we will not take it easy on you.  We have never embraced the “trophies for everyone” mentality that has spoiled many once-competitive arenas.  We take this approach because we know how truly competitive the real world is and have witnessed the effects of not expecting individuals to always put forth their best efforts.  Now, with that being said, we know that Pokemon is a “kids” game and that it was created as a fun hobby.  Whether you choose to play for fun or tackle the competitive side of the game is up to you.  While open play at the Gym is for fun… gym leader challenges are a sound introduction to competitive play.  The second promise is that win or lose, we will always help our trainers learn how to improve, if they so desire.  Whether it is an improvement to a deck or to a Continue reading

Get Ready For Expanded At The Gym!

Well, for anyone out there that is new to this part of the country, welcome to the most schizophrenic weather in the world!  We cancelled league this past Sunday because of the winter weather warnings.  Gym Leader Joel, who was flying solo this weekend, drove home from work early Sunday morning in 30 degree weather with a steady mix of rain and ice.  When he awoke around 2pm, it looked like picnic weather outside.  65 degrees one day, 2 feet of snow the next… that’s winter in southwest Virginia.  At any rate, the insanely busy month of March is thankfully almost over.  Starting this coming Sunday, 4/1/18, all of the gym leaders will be back and we’ll have league at our normal time.  We know its Easter Sunday and that many of you may be busy with family, however, we look forward to seeing any and every one who can join us. Continue reading