No League This Sunday, 10/4/15.

see youThe first round of Regional Championships for the 2015-16 season is here.  The Gym Leaders will be involved in events for the next 2 weekends.  With that being said, we will not have league this Sunday (10/4), which was good timing, as this weekend is the Fincastle Library’s annual book sale.  Next weekend, 10/11/15, the Gym will have a shortened league meeting, as our friend Vicki will be the league host in our absence.  Vicki will preside over league on 10/11 from 300pm to 500pm and will need to close up shop promptly at 500pm.  For that meeting only, we are suspending the normal 500-530pm trading time.  Make sure that you report your games to Vicki and we will catch everyone up on the league rewards on the Sunday after.  The Gym Leaders will miss seeing everyone and will look forward to catching up on everything 2 weeks from now.  Check back in a day or 2 and we’ll post some details on what went down at last Sunday’s VG challenge.  Until then, see you at the Gym!

A Little Ketchup & Congratulations Eric, v8.0!

Okay, any of you that have seen the iconic film, Pulp Fiction, surely know the line (and I’m not talking about the wallet…).  I’m referring to my favorite bad joke used in film.  As the lovely Uma/Mia is being escorted home by Vincent Vega, following her near-death-experience, she recounts her only speaking role miafrom “Fox Force Five”.  It went something like this.  “3 tomatoes are walking down the street… a papa tomato, a mama tomato and a baby tomato.  Baby tomato starts lagging behind.  Papa tomato gets really angry, goes back and squishes him… and says, ‘Ketchup!’”.  Excellent moment from an excellent (R-rated, for a reason, kiddies) movie.  As Gym Leader Georgia begins dance season and Gym Leader Logan’s 1st year on the high school golf team wraps up, we have simply not had time to get to the computer to write any articles.  We need to “Ketchup” ourselves, not that Gym Leader Joel is worried about being squished.  We’ve got completed events, upcoming events and more accomplishments by our trainers to update you on.  No better time than the present. Continue reading

League Challenge Sunday 9/6/15

downloadThe Fincastle Gym Leaders are excited to host the next in our series of League Challenges this Sunday at the Fincastle library.  The Petalburg Gym League Challenge  is the first local chance that players will have to earn Championship Points for the 2015-2016 Pokemon Season.  Next year’s World Championships are set for San Francisco – let’s start earning our way there.  Here are this Sunday’s details. Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #5: Vizzini

viz3Today the Fincastle Gym will present its last deck in our spotlight series leading up to Worlds.  In these series, we normally try to look at decks that are kind of off the wall or sometimes just hard counters to what is popular.   However, as all of the Gym Leaders missed invites to Worlds this year (which seems odd in retrospect as this year’s entry requirements are as light as we have ever seen them), we are posting some decks that we would be looking at this time of the year as potential plays.  Approaching Worlds, we look back at what was popular at our Nationals, what was played overseas at various foreign Nationals and what has been strong all year.  Based off what we have seen, we know exactly what we’d be working on if we were attending (which we will talk about at the end of this article).  However, since that idea is “un-built” and un-tested (and we don’t have the time to test for an event we ain’t going to), we will showcase Gym Leader Joel’s favorite “toolbox” deck, which is another of his online favorites that never hit the table at an actual event (but probably should have), dubbed “Vizzini”. Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #4: The Batmobile

bat10Today we will continue our look at some of the Fincastle Gym’s decks from our online collection.  Holy Showcase, Batman, what do we look at now?  Many of these decks, including today’s “Batmobile”, were towards the top of our chart of decks that we were considering for either/or Nationals and Worlds.  Most of these would be completely irrelevant, as the core of several of these decks will rotate out as of September 1st, if not for the recent announcement about the 2015-16 tournament format.  We’ve mentioned here before, but just to state it once for anyone who may have missed it… all of the Regional Championship TCG events will use the Extended Format (Black & White-On), rather than the Standard Format (XY-On), for both days of those tournaments.  That makes everything that most of you have relevant, as that keeps a huge card-base available for those events.  That includes everything we’ve showcased here (many of which are fun decks) over the last 3 years, as we did not post any deck articles prior to the Black & White era.  At any rate, on to the deck… or should I say, “To the Batcave!” Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #3: Ross Perot

kyrmToday we will look at the 3rd deck in the Fincastle Gym’s spotlight on our online collection.  This deck’s core stretches back over several seasons.  In the format that most of you know, one that is dominated by EX cards where players routinely pay anywhere from $15 to $40 dollars per EX, the centerpiece of this deck almost seems laughable.  That card is Kyurem (“Outrage”/”Glaciate”).  Kyurem entered the TCG in 2011 in the Noble Victories set.  The only reason this card is in the format at the moment is that it has received multiple reprints since 2011, the most recent one coming in last spring’s Legendary Treasures set.  Kyurem can be purchased for a little over $1 nowadays, a far cry from the $20 price tag that accompanied it in 2011.  We remember opening a box of Noble Victories and celebrating if we pulled a Kyurem.  Thanks to our online experiences with this deck, we have dubbed this one “Ross Perot”, again offering some references that many of you are too young to get (we’ll help you out on that front in a few paragraphs).  At the very least, look at like a history lesson.  Continue reading

Congratulations Robbie, v5.0!

5_9_7_3Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym was a pretty standard, uneventful day at league.  Uneventful for everyone except Gym Leader Logan.  Gym Leader Logan had his hands full in his role as the Water-type gym leader (TCG).  We made some changes to the water deck, trying to transition it towards the coming rotation.  Most of the strong water-type cards, outside of Seismitoad EX and Primal Kyogre EX, fall out of the Standard Format on September 1st.  Many of the Gym Leader’s mainstays like Suicune, Plasma Kyurem, Keldeo EX, Empoleon and Blastoise, leave the format without any worthy successors in the upcoming Ancient Origins set.  What the new set does provide, however, is a huge boost to Grass-type pokemon, which spells trouble for the Water-types.  Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #2: The Jerk, aka 20/20

steve1Today we are going to look at the 2nd deck that the Gym used at Nationals, this one used on Saturday in the side events by Gym Leader Joel.  Joel opened Saturday playing a straight Wobbuffet/Crobat deck in a tournament where the winner took home a Wii-U, but lost in the 2nd round.  As described in our last article, the deck featured in this article, lovingly dubbed “The Jerk”, seemed after the fact, like the deck he should have played in the main event on Friday and the Wii-U tournament (ahhh, hindsight… thus the “20/20” portion of the nickname).  However, with the diversity of decks in the field, this one may or may not have fared any better.   Considering that someone played to the finals with a deck (Wailord) that basically did nothing, it’s tough to say what could’ve worked better.  What we can say is that if Joel had played the same decks that he faced on Friday with “The Jerk”, it definitely would’ve been the better call. Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #1: Manny’s Buffet

As we’ve described before, Fincastle Gym Leader Joel loves the mechanic of the PTCGO (online game), as it allows for a quick creation of a deck idea as soon as we think of them.  Back in the day, we had to scratch ideas down on paper, grumpthrowing them together and then eventually cutting the idea down to 60 cards.  From there, we had to discuss the idea and see if it sounded like it was worth making into a real deck (and we liked it…).  Because of limited card supplies, many (most) ideas never made it to actual card form.  However, with the PTCGO, there is no limit to how many virtual decks you can make and try out (at least we hope there isn’t).  Gym Leader Joel’s account has swelled to over 200 decks, as he tries out anything that seems like a good idea.  Within these 200+ decks are decks that are terrible, decks that a fun to play and decks that have won multiple Battle Roads, City, State and Regional Championships, as well as decks that have competed with the best at 3 different World Championships. Continue reading

Congratulations Eric, v7.0!

bobbDuring the summer months, you really never know what you gonna get when league rolls around on Sunday.  With vacations, camps and summer sports, our attendance fluctuates from anywhere between 6 or 7 players to 30 players.  We had a pretty full house today at the Gym, which is how we like it.  The Gym Leaders, like many of our trainers, are looking ahead to the next set and the format beyond the September 1st rotation.  Today we saw a lot of testing out a format without staples like “N”, “Laser/Bank”, ACESPEC’s and “Float Stone”, as well as pokemon like Garbodor, Mewtwo EX, Donphan and others.  However, with all of those changes in the TCG on the horizon, the VG side of the Gym was business as usual.  Lately for the Gym Leaders, that business has been trying to hold off the onslaught of very talented trainers who have been taking badges from us left and right.

Continue reading