The Fincastle Pokemon Gym Leaders have just wrapped up an exhausting 3 weeks of travel, hitting along the way State Championship tournaments in Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland. Gym Junior Noah B grabbed a 5th place finish, while Gym Leader Logan picked up two 7th place finishes. Both players had some close calls in missing the top tables at the events, but the finishes earned them championship points and booster packs for their efforts. With the States behind us, it was time to get back into business at the Gym. For us, that means Gym Leader Challenges. This Sunday, Gym Leaders Joel, Marthe and Logan fielded 4 challenges. If we’re writing about it, we think you can guess what happened.
Gym Leader Marthe successfully defended a challenge for the Lightning/Electric badge. Gym Leader Logan turned away a challenge for the Water type badge. Gym Leader Joel fielded two challenges on the day. Joel defended the Fighting badge in straight games. Then came one of the most entertaining challenges that the Gym Leader has taken to date, as Joel stepped in for an attempt on the Fire badge from Kelli B.
In game 1, Kelli set up a Kyurem EX quickly while the Gym Leader tried to keep up. The early one-hit knockouts were too much, leading to a fairly easy sweep of game 1 by Kelli. Game 2 turned quickly on Kelli, as the Gym Leader set up quickly and his strategy fell into place…. first weakening her field and then cleaning up with some swift knockouts. It took a little work, but the Gym Leader cruised through game 2 to force a decisive 3rd game. Game 3 was a battle that was worthy of its own YouTube video, full of momentum swings, game-changing coin flips and last minute surprises.
Kelli started strong, but so did the Gym Leader. While she set up a field of “tanks”, Joel began spreading damage with attacks and special conditions. As the two traded early prizes, it looked as Kelli would take things over with the big “EX” as she earned another knockout, leaving her with 2 prizes remaining to the Gym Leader’s 3. Gym Leader Joel took a chance and attacked the fully powered up Kyurem EX, missing the KO by 10 hit points, but inflicting the “burn” condition at the same time. Enter the coin flip. Kelli flipped tails, knocking out the “EX” and giving the Gym Leader 2 prize cards and the advantage with only 1 prize card left. She attached and attacked with a NV Kyurem “Outrage” which Joel followed with another “Flame Burst” to set up all of her remaining Pokemon for a knockout on the next turn. Kelli got the energy she needed and wisely hit the Gym Leader with a “Glaciate”, knocking out the active and two benched basics to take her last two prizes, one turn away from defeat. What an exciting and well-played match! Great job, Kelli!
Kelli’s victory was her first in a Gym Leader challenge. It is the 22nd badge earned at the Gym overall. Kelli is the 12th different trainer to earn a badge and only the 3rd to win a Fire badge. The Fire badge has been defended by 3 different Leaders during the Gym’s existence (Logan, Austin and Joel), with each leader only losing once so far. When the smoke clears from the past few weeks, we will update the challenge stats and see where we are. Check back this week for updates on that and upcoming events at the Gym!
Gym Badges Earned (aka, The Wall of Fame):
- Austin W – Steel, Grass (*now a Gym Leader)
- Tyler D – Electric, Steel, Grass
- Chris L – Electric, Fire
- James H – Psychic, Steel
- Tessa Y – Fire, Psychic, Grass, Electric
- Angela Y – Electric, Fighting, Psychic
- Dustin F – Psychic
- Brycen F – Psychic
- Troy B – Electric
- Jordan L – Grass
- Hunter H – Grass
- Kelli B – Fire