The Fincastle Gym Leaders have been busy hitting area Battle Roads and building decks for the new format for the last month or so. In that time, lots of the trainers at the Gym have earned challenges against Gym Leaders. This past Sunday, the gang was all here, so we jumped in head-first into the pool of challengers anxiously awaiting a chance at earning one of our new Gym Leader badges. At the end of the day, two of our league’s best walked away with a little more decoration than they came in with.
The first challenger of the day was Erik F. Erik was the first to take on the new Dragon-type Gym deck. Gym Leader Joel fielded the challenge, as our Dragon-type Gym Leader Apprentice, Georgia (more on that later), was at a friend’s party for the afternoon. Erik unveiled a new deck and is definitely on the right track with this one. A few consistency changes in his deck would have likely netted Erik a badge. However, the set-up speed of the “Dragons” was a little too much and Gym Leader Joel was able to take the match in two well-fought games by Erik.
As Gym Leader Joel was wrapping up that challenge, Gym Leader Marthe was already knee-deep in a defense of the Psychic-type Gym deck. Her opponent was none other than the current league leader in total badges, Hunter H. A win here would move Hunter into uncharted territory…. the first ever at the league to earn a fifth badge. With a bit of a type advantage in this one (resistance) and Hunter’s skill with this deck, the result of this one was inevitable. Hunter cruised through both games in his best 2-of-3 match with Gym Leader Marthe, locking her attacker and then blowing it away time after time. Hunter played the match to perfection and earned his fifth badge in style. Great job, Hunter!
While Hunter had his badge in his sights, Brycen F tried to keep pace in the quest to win all 9. We say “pace” light-heartedly, because by the time this match was done, Brycen was being contacted by potential colleges and Gym Leader Joel was enrolled in the AARP. If anyone ever wanted to see two of the more complicated mechanics of the game of Pokemon in one match, then this was the game to see. “Prize Denial” vs “Condition Lock”….. the best way to describe this match is to imagine two people in a race pushing very heavy carts towards the top of a tall hill, both almost reaching the top, then both falling down, while their carts rolled all the way back down to the bottom…. again and again. In game 1, Gym Leader Joel locked Brycen’s attacker, over and over, having a different EX 10 damage away from a KO three times, only to see damage healed completely off by Brycen. The two went to “time” and the “plus-3” turns in game 1 with 4 prizes left each. Then to sudden death, still 4 to 4. 13 turns later, the Gym Leader ran out of ways to keep the lock going and Brycen took the winning prize card, while having only 2 cards left in his deck. That was game 1. Game 2 followed suit, excepted this time Brycen had a prize card lead as time expired and was able to hold on for the win. Brycen thought his way through this one the way a very experienced player would. He saved his crucial cards for the right moment and definitely earned this one. We hope that years from now, Brycen will look back at this one and have a chuckle, as the match was great fun. What a way to earn badge number 4 for Brycen!
The Fincastle Gym Leaders are thrilled to see the level of play continue to rise at the Gym. Hunter and Brycen are neck-and-neck in the chase to earn all of the league badges. As we’ve hinted at before, winning all 9 will give them the opportunity to take on the League Champion. We are ironing out the details on that, but we promise that the reward will be sweet! The path to all 9 only gets tougher for both, as some of the strongest league decks remain. We can’t wait until the next challenge. See you at the Gym!
Gym Badges Earned (aka, The Wall of Fame):
- Austin W – Steel, Grass
- Tyler D – Lightning, Steel, Grass
- Chris L – Lightning, Fire
- James H – Psychic, Steel
- Tessa Y – Fire, Psychic, Grass, Lightning
- Angela Y – Lightning, Fighting, Psychic
- Dustin F – Psychic
- Brycen F – Psychic, Lightning, Fire, Grass
- Troy B – Lightning
- Jordan L – Grass
- Hunter H – Grass, Darkness, Steel, Lightning, Psychic
- Kelli B – Fire
- Eli T – Grass