BREAKpoint Prerelease – Sunday 1/31

Fincastle Pokemon’s next Prerelease is happening on Sunday, January 31st – finishing up XY9_EN_26the prerelease events surrounding this exciting new set!  The newest set XY BREAKpoint introduces more new BREAK evolution cards, as well as some new heavy-hitting EX cards and others that threaten to impact the current “meta” game in a big way.

First on our list of “must have” cards: Gyarados EX – one of Gym Leader Logan’s favorite Pokemon.  With “Trick Coin” – or a few lucky dice rolls – you can be loaded with energy very quickly.  And with regular and Full Art versions of Gyarados and Mega-Gyarados, this set is a collector’s dream.

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No League This Sunday, 1/24/16.

nosnowNeedless to say, we could not get out today to get the library key.  While things may clear up a little by tomorrow, we are not anticipating it being clear enough to hold league at the Gym.  Our little corner of Botetourt was hit with over 2 feet of snow and most of western Virginia had at least 1 foot of accumulation.  We have tested it out and it is pretty good sleigh-riding snow, so bundle up and enjoy some time outside.  We should be back on schedule next weekend.  Don’t forget that next weekend, we have an Expanded nottodayLeague Challenge on Friday, 1/29 and our Fincastle BREAKpoint pre-release on Sunday 1/31 starting at 1pm.  So, being unable to bounce outta here, we ain’t gonna be at league, not todayyyyy (or tomorrow, to be more accurate).  See you next weekend at the Gym!

All 9 Are His! Congratulations Eric, v9.0!

grassssSince Play!Pokemon implemented the new Casual/Competitive format for pokemon leagues, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s exclusive Gym Leader Challenges have taken a side seat to weekly 8-man pickup tournaments.  The Gym Leaders have fielded a few TCG challenges since then, but they have been few and far between.  This past Sunday, Eric returned to the Gym after a 3 month absence to take on VG Gym Leader Dean and his Grass-type team, Eric’s final unclaimed badge at the Gym.  From the 1st time we battled Eric, we knew one thing for sure… that he was as strong of a VG player as any that have passed through the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  As we put together our Gym teams we soon recognized another truth regarding Eric.  We would have our work cut out for us if any of our team of Gym Leaders hoped to turn Eric away in his quest to claim all 9 Gym badges.  Continue reading

Merry Christmas From The Gym!

christmasAs 2015 draws to an end, we at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  2015 marks the 6th year of the Gym’s existence.  In that time, we have had hundreds of players and families come and go.  Some folks have tried the game out for a while and then moved on.  A few have been with us for a long time.  Many players come just to play for fun, by themselves or with their friends and family.  Some come to compete and try to improve their decks and how they play.  Some come to learn from us, and some come to try to learn how to beat us.  Wherever you fall on the broad scale of all of those who have played with us over the years, we are thankful for you all!

christmas1Now for a few reminders.  There is no league this Sunday, 12/27/15.  We’ll be back on the following Sunday, 1/3/16, to help you welcome in the new year.  Remember that the month of January is a continuation of “Force Your Parents To Play Month” at the Gym.  If you did not have a chance to check us out in December, then come by and join us for league play in either/or the Trading Card Game or the Video Game.  Happy Holidays to you all!  See you at the Gym in 2016!

“Force Your Parents To Play” Month Returns To The Gym!

oldersIt’s been a while.  “Force Your Parents To Play” month is one of the Gym’s creations that go above and beyond what you can find at other leagues across the country.  What was once an annual event at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym has been unfortunately pushed aside as our league has grown and as the Gym Leaders have taken on the roles of local and Premier tournament organizers in both the TCG and the VG.  “Force Your Parents To Play” month was originally a July event, which we shifted to the holiday season in 2012, then to September in 2013, which was the last time we were able to do it.  We think this time of the year tends to be the best for us and most families.  Like last time, “Play” month will take on the plural form, as it will span the months of December and January at the Gym. Continue reading

Casual? Nah, Make It Competitive.

nobamaPlay!Pokemon has traditionally been a little slow to make any changes, especially to the TCG.  Since we became involved, over 5 years ago now, changes that we’ve seen have usually come after being talked to death, often much later than when they were needed.  That does not seem to be the case this year.  Whether it can be credited to the over 7 years of our current government’s relentless war on corporations (and yes, The Pokemon Company, The Pokemon Company International, Nintendo Co. Ltd and Gamefreak are all corporations) and the economic pressure that it has put on them all, or it is simply a rise in the espresso intake by those who make the calls, lots of changes are rolling out this year.  While most of these changes concern organizers and store owners (and hopefully not the players), the most immediate change that everyone will see will be at your local league. Continue reading

October Pre-Release Pics

DSCN6389 - CopyThe Fincastle Gym was back to its regular routine today, following 2 weeks of Pre-Release tournaments, VG Premier events and costume contests.  It was a pretty hectic span, which we at the Gym don’t mind at all, as this time of the year is probably our favorite in the Pokemon season.  There are no major tournaments to stress over, no crazy amount of travel back and forth, just a few weeks of fun events.  Play!Pokemon is moving fairly quickly this season into some changes discussed during their summer meetings that will affect upcoming tournaments and league play, and we will get to some of those later this week.  For now, let’s look back at our Halloween events and some of the awesome costumes players put together. Continue reading

Fincastle Prerelease Friday, 10/30. Have you made your costume yet!?!

Fincastle Pokemon’s next Prerelease is happening on FrXY8_EN_12iday, October 30th – just in time for another great Pokemon Costume Contest!  The newest set XY BREAKthrough introduces a new type of pokemon evolution – BREAK evolution.  Pokemon can add this card atop their Stage 2 level – horizontally.  BREAK evolution adds HP, abilities and attacks, but allows the pokemon to continue to use attacks, retreat, weakness and resistance on the Pokemon below it.

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The Gym is Back From 1st Round of Regionals

indexThe Fincastle Gym is back from a few weeks of hitting the season’s first tournaments.  The Gym Leaders had mixed results, picking up some championships points, while missing a few chances to pick up a few more.  Gym Leader’s Georgia and Logan finished in the prizes multiple times, picking up a nice selection of packs and promo items.   Gym Leader Joel experienced first-hand the power of making the right deck call over the events taking place in Pennsylvania.  Several gym members had success in Pennsylvania as well.  Being that this was our 1st extended look at Expanded Format, we can definitely say that the past few weeks was an extended learning experience. Continue reading

9/27/15 VG Premier Challenge Results

wolfeSunday, a week ago, the Fincastle Gym held its 1st VG challenge of the new season.  Differing from the TCG, a new season of the pokemon VG does not bring with it any new rules, rotated sets or banned elements.  The 2015-16 season of the VG brings many tried and true strategies, with players trying to find ways to either improve them or break them.  For many players, including several of the gym leaders, the VG is more about using their favorite characters and trying to grind out some wins with them.  One thing that we did not expect at our little league in the metropolis of Fincastle was for our 1st challenge of the season to bring a level of competition that rivals some of the biggest events of the year.  Let us quantify that statement for you…. when 2-time National Champion, Wolfe G, slips into the top 8 in 8th place…. that’s a pretty tough field. Continue reading