Spring ’16 Spotlight #3 – Symbiotic Titan

lurkOne of the goals that Gym Leader Joel sets out to accomplish in writing deck articles for the Fincastle Pokemon Gym is to tie the article to some sort of pop culture theme.  Gym Leader Joel has spent the better part of the last 40 years immersed in “pop culture”, which is admittedly a broad category.  To him, that includes everything from the old Toho Godzilla movies, to anime movies and series, both old and current, to TV series and commercials, to every type of music he has been able to get his hands on.  His goals in writing in this fashion are two-fold.  One, he tries to make the article differ from the standard, “Here is your deck list” and “Here is how it did in the last tournament” format that flood pokemon TCG sites.  Two, he hopes that some of these themes may put you onto something cool that you might have missed over the years (or in many cases, before your time).  Today’s deck, the 3rd in this series, ties into one of the greatest animated shows that never took off the way it should have thanks to some poor decision-making from the Cartoon Network. Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #2 – Cousin Eddie

eddieIn looking back on the Fincastle Gym’s experimentation and development of today’s deck, we mused that this silly premise, which we did not feel was even on the radar of competitive decks, had a real shot to get there with the release of the Fates Collide set that just went on sale.  This deck, lovingly dubbed “Cousin Eddie”, is one that we thought would gain superpowers with the release of the Fates Collide Mew (29/124), that 50 HP kitty that will lock the format into a 2-way street, “Night March” or item lock, if Play!Pokemon does not rotate Phantom Forces at the end of this season.  However, whether we viewed an early translation of the Japanese version of Mew that was inaccurate, or just misread the scans of the of the English card, we can’t say for sure.  What we thought would be unlocking the potential of this Stage 2 featured in “Eddie” was shot down when we realized that Mew’s ability, “Memories of Dawn”, can only copy the attack of basic pokemon. Continue reading

Worlds Collide League Challenge This Sunday, 5/8/16!

momWe’re not sure which 2 worlds are colliding, but either way, apparently it’s happening in Fincastle this Sunday.  As the National Championships and World Championships both draw near, there are still a few chances to test out ideas and pick up a few Championship Points between now and then.  The 1st of the 3 challenges in Fincastle will take place Sunday at the Gym (also known as the Fincastle Library).  Here are the details: Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #1 – Forest For The Trees

forrstA few articles ago, some of Gym Leader Joel’s meanderings took your across Gym Leader Logan’s love for the obscure, including the SDSU “Jackrabbits”, which is just one of many.  Whether this trait is inherited from his dear old dad or learned, is a much deeper discussion than we are looking to get into here.  Either way, Gym Leader Joel is the likely source.  Joel’s search for the obscure usually stays within the realms of film and music, as they were the only outlets available as he grew up.  Al Gore did not “invent” the internet until he and Gym Leader Marthe were married college graduates.  For example, ask Joel his favorite film and song (as of right now, as these are subject to change by a spot or two in his mental rankings) and he will reply, “The Fisher King” and “My Girls” by Animal Collective.  The 1st is his favorite Robin Williams movie and the 2nd is his “being a dad/husband” theme song.  The wonderful thing about the internet is that if you’ve never heard of either one, you can look them up in seconds.  At any rate, it is another obscure song that came to mind when naming this deck, that being the brilliant flash in the pan, “Dreams” by Forest For The Trees. Continue reading

The Bone Keeper Is Here… Finally!

yayyyBefore we get into our next series of articles featuring ideas we’ve put together in the PTCGO that we hope you will find interesting, let us first make this reserved exclamation about a new card issued in the Fates Collide set, which is going on sale today.  That card being Marowak (37/124).  Ahem…. Hallelujah!  Hal-le-lu-jah, Hal-le-lu-jah!  Hallelujah!  Hal-le-lu-jah,  Hal-le-lu-jah!  Continue reading

Congratulations Jaelynn, v1.0!

fightRemember those little things called Gym Leader Challenges?  It’s been a little while since we’ve had much to say on that subject.  The main reason being, we have not had many challengers.  Among all of the Gym Leaders, we have only fielded a handful of challenges over the last few months.  The majority of those have come in the last few weeks from Jillian B against VG Leader Joel and his Fighting-type team, which is one of the tougher teams to beat, as it encompasses Fighting, Rock and Ground types, giving him lots of options that prevent his team from being to vulnerable to one or two types.  Props to Jillian, as she has almost beaten it on several occasions.  She’d likely already have a badge if she pursued other teams 1st, but were not going to stop her from going after a strong team, as it will help her improve her existing team. Continue reading

Fincastle Fates Collide Prerelease This Sunday 4/24/16!

zygarde We’re preparing for a big weekend here at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  Fates Collide (our 12th Prerelease in Fincastle) will bring with it lots of “first’s”:

The first time we see a new format for Prerelease events.

…In the old days, players would come to a prerelease, get a promo card that you can’t play in the tournament, get 6 new booster packs and open them.  They usually get a mix of really cool Stage 1 and 2 Pokemon (but not the corresponding basics) and would build a deck that is difficult to play, often losing to the player that built that “1 EX + 39 energy” deck because they didn’t have any trainers or effective Pokemon.

…Now, players will get a “seed deck” of 22 cards (some of which may be reprints) that will include things like trainers and supporters you might need, full evolution lines of Pokemon, and 1 of 4 promos – which you can actually use in the event.  Plus, everyone will get 4 additional booster packs to open.

The first time that performance in a Prerelease can win you more prizes!*

…In the old days, everyone got 2 packs when they finished the event.

…Now, everyone will still get 2 packs when they finish.  However, now, starting in Round 2, you will also get an additional booster pack for each game you win!  So players who build and play well could get up to 4 (or even 5) booster packs at the end of the event.  And of course, at the end of the day, you take everything, including your energy home with you.

The first time to see Zygarde – and its forms in print.  We’ve seen the green and black “slug-like” pokemon starting in the 2013 release of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y on the video game, but we haven’t had a chance to “play” it yet.  We spponalso get our first chance (since we started playing in Platinum: Arceus days) to see Alakazam and his amazing spoons!  (Even though children in The Matrix will remind us “there is no spoon” – we hope the event will be a truly mind-bending experience.)

The first time we see you?  Plan to join us (and bring some friends, family, foreign dignitaries or fashion designers) on Sunday April 24th for this fun event.  Registration is available now online at www.DarkMoonCardsandGames.com.  You may also register in person at the Fincastle Library Meeting Room on Sunday between 1 and 1:30 PM.  Event entry is $30 and payable by credit card or PayPal online and cash or credit in person.

Where will your Fate lead you (hopefully not into a collision)?  See you at the Gym!

2016 TCG States Come To A Close

raceAs the TCG State Championship series wraps up this weekend, so does a very impressive run from the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s best.  Gym Leader Georgia entered the series with her World Championship invitation already in hand, so for her, the State Championships were a chance to test out some different ideas.  Gym Leader Logan, on the other hand, entered the series looking to secure an invitation to Worlds, a concept that he was not even on his radar as he began this season.  As they frequently do (a fact that we sometimes take for granted), both Georgia and Logan went above and beyond. Continue reading

North Carolina TCG States & VG Midseason Showdown This Weekend!

statesThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym is off to another busy weekend.  This Saturday, 4/2/16, Gym Leader Marthe is running the North Carolina State TCG Championships in Mooresville, NC, followed by the VG Midseason Showdown on Sunday, 4/3/16, at the same location.  There will be side-events that will be announced on location.  In addition to the TCG and VG events, the Gym will be manning the vendor showdownlocation for Dark Moon Cards & Games.  This is our 1st venture in on-site sales, so come by and check us out.  We have both card singles and booster packs for sale.  We have TCG gaming supplies, promotional items, Pokemon plushes, buttons and pins.  We will also have a limited buy list available, with an emphasis on limited, as this is our 1st attempt and don’t want to get in over our heads.

Check out our “Upcoming Events” tab for details on both events or follow us on Facebook.  Of course, with all that going on, we unfortunately will not have our league meeting this Sunday in Fincastle.  We will, however, be back next Sunday, 4/13, at our regular time.  If you can’t wait until then, then come join us this weekend in Mooresville.  If we don’t see you this weekend, then we’ll see you next time at the Gym

Happy Easter! No League Today 3/27/16.

bunnyThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym will not hold league today, as it is Easter and we will be spending the day with family, as many of you are.  However, for those needing a Pokemon fix this weekend, we are holding a League Challenge tomorrow, 3/28 at the Fincastle Library.  Registration is from 5:45-6:15pm and play will follow, with the number of rounds depending on attendance.  Entry into the event is $5 for all ages.  Bring a decklist of your Standard Format deck.  We hope to see you there!  Happy Easter!