October Pre-Releases & Costume Contests Coming Up!

It’s October, which at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym means  Fall pre-release time.  The upcoming set, Crimson Invasion, looks like it will add some cool new cards, including the Ultra Beasts from Sun & Moon, but that’s not what we’re most excited about.  To us, October means it’s time for Halloween and more importantly, our league’s costume contests.  Our small but hardy group has turned in amazing costume ideas over the years.  We can’t say for sure whether our favorite part is seeing everyone else’s entries or making our own, but either way, we can’t wait for them to get here. Continue reading

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Operation Eddie Part 2 – Ramses

Today we are going to look at the 2nd deck that spawned from the mind of Eddie R.  As Gym Leader Joel rolled around some ideas for this article, he tried to think of some different options.  Whether it falls into the “fortunately” or “unfortunately” category is for you to decide, but Joel’s mind could not escape this line of thinking.  The combination of Eddie’s last name and the set of new comedy material Eddie brought to league a few weeks ago led Joel to the movie villain, Ramses, from “Nacho Libre”.  While he may not be remembering the details of Eddie’s story exactly, this is pretty close.  The story gave Joel no eagle powers or nutrients, but it has had him laughing since he heard it. Continue reading

Operation Eddie Part 1- Jack The Gripper

As our kids have grown older and their responsibilities have increased, we have trimmed the fat, in the parlance of our times, as to the amount of extracurricular activity they stay involved in.  Rec league sports were fun when they were little, but the charm wore off as the routine of oversized teams, nowhere to practice and saturation of opposing coaches, parents and officials in need of therapy increased each year.  We don’t have delusions of our kids becoming pro athletes and have never filled their heads with that nonsense.  Robotics, despite the program being abandoned by Botetourt County, still proves to be a valuable endeavor as you don’t have to look far to see the demands from the growth of the tech industries in our area and nationwide, so they both are immersed in the new 4H backed team.  Both kids still enjoy the pursuit of individual goals in golf (Logan) and dance (Georgia).  The longest running activity in both of their lives (and ours) is Pokemon.  While the format does change frequently, the game overall has not.  They can easily drift in and out of the game competitively as their interest and time allows.  The thing that keeps us involved, in this Gym Leader’s opinion at least, is character.  Continue reading

Congratulations Chris, v4.0!

“Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again.  If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.”  These are words that we’ve heard so often in our lives that they’ve surely lost their significance and power.  In fact, the sarcastic nature of our world probably has us more familiar with such quips as, “If at first you don’t succeed, perhaps skydiving isn’t for you…”, or “…, try doing what your teacher told you the first time…” or even, “… get a bigger hammer.”  What’s lost in all of that wit and cleverness is that the original phrase, penned in the 1800’s by an author and educator named Thomas H Palmer, is perhaps one of the most concise descriptions of The American Dream.  If you will it, dude, it is no dream.  As you pursue your goals, you are bound to make mistakes and experience setbacks, often having to accept that you have to improve.  You have to learn from your mistakes and keep trying until you either get it right or tire from trying and settle for something less.  We at The Gym believe that basic principle, so eloquently wrapped up in a single quote, applies equally to any single desire.   Whether it is something big like trying to save for a first car, or buying a home, or something small, like a child saving money for a toy, or a gift for a parent, the feeling of accomplishment is the same.  The badge won this past Sunday may have been the hardest earned badge to date at the Gym. Continue reading

Congratulations Anna, v1.0!

In our last post, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym discussed our desire to light a fire under our long standing tradition of Gym Leader challenges, especially among our younger players.  The ever-changing dynamics of league support from Play!Pokemon to local leagues has altered our ability to make challenges the priority that we want them to be.  As the 2017 season comes to an end with the conclusion of the World Championships over the weekend, we were thrilled to not only have a young challenger seek a gym badge at Sunday’s league meeting, but even more so to have the 2nd youngest challenger ever seek a badge.  Eddie R made league history in 12/16 by becoming the youngest trainer to ever win a gym badge in Fincastle at the ripe old age of 6 years, 8 months, when he won the Grass-type badge.  This past Sunday, Anna R, who is younger than Eddie, won her 1st badge, narrowly missing the mark of “youngest ever” to claim a badge in Fincastle by a little over 4 months (she currently is about 7 years, 2 months). Continue reading

400th Gym Leader Challenge Is Almost Here!

The Gym Leader Challenge is the Fincastle Gym’s longest running tradition.  Shortly after beginning our league, Gym Leader Joel went to work on taking the core concept of every Pokemon video game to date and incorporating it into our gym.  That concept is having Gym Leaders and type-specific decks available for its trainers to test themselves against.  Originally, we scrounged the web for a supply of the 2008 league promo badges to reward our trainers for wins over gym leaders.  That supply soon dried up, so we went to our trainers, held a contest and eventually created our own gym badges based on the design of Kelli Bowen, a trainer that was part of one of the many great families that have come and gone over the years at the Gym.  We have documented every challenge we’ve ever taken… every win, every loss, every battle that came down to the wire.  Those who have prevailed are immortalized on our Wall of Fame. Continue reading

Regional Championship Returning To Roanoke In 2018!

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is thrilled to announce that the Regional Championships are returning to Roanoke in 2018!  The Regional will return to the Berglund Center on Memorial Day weekend, the 25th through the 27th of May, 2018.  Pokemon confirmed this with us prior to their announcement this past Wednesday and informed us that our TCG event will be in the Expanded Format.  We are planning on returning many of the features from this year’s event, like the vendor marketplace and a variety of side events including Battle Fiesta style tournaments.  We have other ideas in mind to expand the weekend experience, including several Friday evening events, which we will share soon on the Regional website as we solidify those details.  Roanoke was one of the biggest and most diverse Regionals of the 2016-17 season.  It is our goal to outdo ourselves for next May’s event.  Check back here and on the Regionals site for details as they come!  See you at the Gym!

Pokemon Announces 2017 Rotation – BREAKthrough – On!

Play!Pokemon has announced its 2017 edition of the TCG’s annual rotation.  As expected the oldest 3 sets from the X&Y series, Primal Clash, Roaring Skies and Ancient Origins are leaving the Standard Format officially on September 1, 2017.  This means that all cards printed in XY BREAKthrough and newer sets will remain legal for the Standard Format.  The promo card pool will be cut to include XY promo #67 and higher and all Sun & Moon promos.  This also means that promo set dubbed, Generations, remains in format, as it was officially released on February 2016.  The Fincastle Gym, now in its 7th year of existence (9 years of playing the TCG) has developed what we hope is an easy-to-follow guide to walk both new and seasoned players through the annual rotation.  We have posted articles each of the last 5 years and like the layout that we’ve come to over the last 2 years.  We’ll stick to that design again this year, so if you have navigated our past posts, this year’s article should be familiar to you.  Continue reading

Back From North American Internationals (Nats)!

The Fincastle Gym leaders have returned from the event formerly known as “Nats” (now the North American International Championships).  While Gym Leader Marthe was knee-deep in “deck checks” for most of the weekend, Georgia, Logan and Joel all competed in the main TCG event.  We were joined by our “General”, Ridge, who took on the VGC field in hopes of earning his 1st World Championship invitation.  While Ridge just needed to pick up one last chunk of point to get over the hump, Gym Leaders Georgia and Logan needed Top 8 finishes to stretch either of their Championship Point totals into another invitation.  Joel, who has played very little this season outside of league challenges, was looking to occupy himself until it was time to hit some of favorite Indy eateries. Continue reading

VG Premier Challenge 6/18/17 at The Gym!

Join us at The Fincastle Pokemon Gym on June 18th for our 2nd Video Game Premier Challenge!  Be sure to download your game update and the 2017 Worlds Rules before you come and bring your team sheet.

Sunday, June 18

Registration 2:45 – 3:15 PM

Entry fee: FREE

Worlds 2017 Format. Teamlist required. Championship Points awarded based on division attendance.

See you this Sunday at The Gym!