Congratulations Dean, v2.0!

whaleIt ‘twas a whale of a day this past Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  At noon, we kicked the day off with a TCG league challenge.  After several rounds of tough competition, we wrapped things up and transitioned right into our regular league play.  Gym Leader Joel was up for another challenge, this time against his Fire-type deck, which is one of the oldest gym decks in circulation. Continue reading

Dark Moon Cards and Games

Glowing black planet in outer spaceThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym is always looking for ways to change, improve and grow.  Being that our unique league is the combined brainchild of Gym Leaders Marthe and Joel,  we don’t ever jump into an idea without having a plan (usually Joel comes up with an idea and Marthe figures out how to actually make it work).  Not a bad combo.  As both leaders are kept busy by full-time jobs and by raising fellow Gym Leaders Logan and Georgia, in addition to running Premier events throughout North Carolina and western Virginia, you can easily imagine that additional changes are pretty slow down the pipeline.  After quite a bit of planning, the Fincastle Gym is very excited to announce our next venture, or step, if you will (maybe towards a storefront one day), Dark Moon Cards and Games. Continue reading

Congratulations Eric, v1.0!

fireWith the recent advent of the Video Game Gym Leader Challenge, the Fincastle Gym Leaders have had their hands full over the last few weeks at league.  Thankfully, the addition of our 2 new VG Gym Leaders, Dean and Noah, we have been able to keep things rolling and handle quite a few challenges.    Our hope in adding an expanded VG element to our league, is that we would attract more experienced players to join us on Sundays.  So far, so good.  The VG leaders have opened our league’s new venture by going 4-0 over our first 4 challenges.  However, we knew that several of our new players were playing enough games at league to earn their 1st challenge (16 games of either TCG or VG or any combo thereof earns the right to challenge the leader of your choice) and that when those players came calling, that any of the leaders would be likely to fall. Continue reading

Congratulations Nathan, v1.0!

The Fincastle Gym, after being busy with City Championships and Premier VG challenges,  has returned to the norm.  The norm being,  having its gym leaders knee-deep in challenges.  We have fielded multiple challenges, both in the TCG and VG, over the last few weeks.  The Gym Leaders have, for the most part, held their own.  However, against more experienced players, holding off a challenge from a trainer playing your weakness is a tall order for any player.  And of course, if we’re writing about it, that means another trainer broke through with a win. Continue reading

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

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