Lexington and Fincastle Pre-Releases This Weekend!

volcanThe 11th expansion of the XY era is coming and pre-release tournaments begin this weekend.  The new set, XY – Steam Siege, contains 114 new cards, including 4 new EX pokemon, 2 new Mega Evolutions, 7 new BREAK pokemon and 8 dual-type pokemon.  Dual-typing for the pokemon characters is a mechanic that has not been seen since the days of Crystal Guardians and Delta Species. We also know that the long-awaited full-art “Professor Sycamore” is included in the new set.  The Fincastle Gym is hosting 2 events this weekend.  The 1st event is this Saturday, 7/23/16, in Lexington, Va.  The 2nd event takes place on Sunday in Fincastle.  Here’s more details on both. Continue reading

Pokemon Announces 2016 Rotation – Primal Clash-On!

Ahhh… another year, another rotation.  The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is proud to be THE place to outline the annual rotation and help walk you through its immediate impact on the Pokemon TCG.  Play!Pokemon just announced the Standard Format for the 2016-2017 season will be Primal Clash-on.  Consequently, the following sets will be rotated out of the Standard Format:  X&Y base set, Flashfire, Furious Fists and Phantom Forces.  As for as the promo cards go, black star promo cards will rotate to XY36 and higher numbered cards.  Cards released in the 2 XY Trainer Kit sets (Latias/Latios Continue reading

Gym Leader Georgia Claims 11th Place At Nationals!

DSCN6516We’re working on a nickname… something that fits nicely with someone who continually breaks new grounds… maybe something do with earthquakes… I dunno, the “Quaker” sounds too 1600’s.  Like we said, we’re working on it.  Whatever it ends up being, it will be a name that Gym Leader Georgia has earned… and then some.  Not only is she the first player from the Fincastle Pokemon Gym to earn World Championship invitations to both the TCG and VG competitions, Georgia now holds the claim of earning the highest finish at the National Championships by a player from the Gym.  Georgia battled her way out of a deep hole, twice, this weekend and narrowly missed the Top 8 finals (which were locked quickly as all 8 players used “intentional draws” over the last 2 rounds to get in).  For her efforts, Georgia picks up another 100 Championship Points, $1000 more in prize money and 2 booster boxes of cards.  Not a bad weekend’s work. Continue reading

2016 National Championships Are Here!

natpicThis weekend, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym Leaders will be knee-deep in everything Pokemon.  The 2016 TCG and VG Championships take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.  This venue is a new one for the Gym, as Indianapolis has hosted the event every year since we became involved with the game.  We are checked in and registered, as are several of our best trainers who made the trip as well.  Play begins tomorrow, so we will have more info at that time as to attendance for the tournament and how everyone fared on day 1 (time permitting).  For those who could not join us:  There is no league this Sunday, 7/3/16.  The leaders will not be available on the following Sunday either, but we may have league under the direction of one of our regular families (check back next week to verify whether we have league or not).  Check back this weekend for details about Nats and wish us all luck!  See you soon at the Gym!

Congratulations Ridge, v1.0!

rickDo you remember those little ol’ things called Gym Leader Challenges?  Yeah, we still have them.  Not at the level that we used to, though.  At one time, the Gym Leaders were trying to see how many challenges they could fit into one league session.  Over the last few months, if we field 1 per meeting, that has been a busy day for the Gym Leaders.  So what’s different?  Not that much at the Gym.  However, over the last year, as Play!Pokemon has expanded the number of events available across the country, the down-time between events has shrunk drastically.  It seems that League Challenges, City Championships and the big events (States/Regionals) take place just weeks apart.  That, coupled with the advent of the new league format, has really put the brakes on Gym Leader Challenges.  Needless to say, the Gym Leaders experienced a mild sensory overload as they fielded two VG Challenges at once today after the League Challenge. Continue reading

Gym Holds First Event in Lexington!

lexingtonThe Fincastle Pokemon Gym was thrilled to take its show on the road, up the interstate to Lexington on Saturday.  The Gym hosted its 1st Pokemon open house at the Rockbridge Regional library and drew quite the crowd.  The Gym Leaders entertained a group of about 35 players, collectors and parents Saturday afternoon.  While some players learned to play the TCG for the 1st time, others did a little coloring, made a few trades, played some VG battles and just learned about what we do.  The Fincastle Gym leaders supplied a few rounds of door prizes, drawn periodically over the afternoon for those who came by.  We also had the opportunity to help a few players make some new decks from the cards in their collections.  We at the Gym had a great time and hope all who attended did as well.  The only thing we forgot was to get the camera out and take some dang pictures! Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #5 – The Boulder

boulder1The Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s final Spring Spotlight connects us back to the Gym Leaders’ first years involved with the TCG.  As those who were deep into the format at the time were squaring off with Luxray GL Level X/Garchomp C Level X (better known as “Luxchomp”) and Mewtwo Level X, we were still buying a pack here and there and learning how to build decent decks.  We went to our first Nationals that year (2010) and despite not being serious contenders, showed our flare for this game and potential (that we did probably not yet recognize) to do great things.  Logan claimed a winning record, missing a top 32 spot by one loss with a Gyarados(SF)/Blastoise(PLT) deck that he created.  Joel, while finishing under .500 (4-5), realized that he was on to something, as despite being far from the top tables, he drew several crowds of spectators who gathered to see what he was playing. Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #4 – Liberace (aka: No Boundaries)

liberaceIn today’s spotlight, we return to a play style and a pokemon that has always held a place as one of our favorites since its introduction in Noble Victories in 2011.  The play style is the “spread” attack and the pokemon is the mighty Kyurem.  Kyurem is the “Boundary Pokemon”.  While we believe the intent behind this name is based on thermodynamics and balancing heat and electricity in a vacuum (not a Hoover), that is a discussion beyond Gym Leader Joel’s pay-grade.  For our purposes, Kyurem is a pokemon with no boundaries, being able to shift from Ice to Fire to Lightning to Dragon, maintaining a high level of awesomeness in whatever form it takes.  Those without boundaries are often labelled as “narcissists”, which are self-centered individuals whose power/beauty/fame/station lead to an overblown sense of their own importance, whether justified or not. Continue reading

New Friends League Challenge Today (5/29)

Pokemon_SunMoon_StartersIn the spirit of anticipation for a new Video Game (new region and new starters), the Fincastle Pokemon Gym is proud to host the “New Friends” League Challenge in Fincastle this Sunday.  As the TCG and VG 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.  Here are the details: Continue reading

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