Sunday was a very busy day for the Fincastle Pokemon Gym. We awoke to realize that on our list of Saturday chores, we forgot one small, but important one…… pick up the key to the library! A few frantic phone calls later, we were able to work our way into the firehouse so that we could still have league. Once we settled in to the new location, we opened the doors and jumped right into the challenges. Before the day was done, the Gym Leaders took on five challenges. We finally reached challenge #200, which meant someone took home a pretty sweet prize. The most impressive part of the day was our top trainer, Hunter H, taking home his 6th gym badge.
Hunter took on Gym Leader Joel and his Fighting (Ground/Rock) type deck (Pokemon TCG doesn’t separate out the types the way the VG does). The match actually began last Sunday towards the end of league. Game 1 saw the Gym Leader begin with his late-game hitter, Groudon EX (emphasis on LATE…), so he had to shift gears with his strategy from the start. Hunter didn’t have a great start either, so 3 or 4 turns into the game things finally got rolling. Hunter, who has become very good at picking out the strengths and weaknesses of decks, realized early on that the Gym Leader’s deck relies on “Exp Share” to keep energy in play and set up the “Retaliate” attack on Terrakion. Hunter played his “Tool Scrapper” card at exactly the right moment to change an even game 1 into a huge advantage for him. Hunter took game 1, 6 prizes to 3.
This Sunday we picked up where we left off, with the Gym Leader needing to win 2 games to hold off Hunter. Game 2 was a little more straight forward, as both players got the starts they wanted. However, Hunter became more aggressive with his strategy in this game. He loaded up a Mewtwo EX as quickly as possible and put the pressure on the Gym Leader from the start. Much like the first game, the chance the Gym Leader had to keep things even was dispelled as Hunter saved the “Tool Scrapper” for the exact moment needed to cripple the deck. Hunter played two excellent games and took the Fighting badge in straight games.
To give a little perspective to Hunter’s win, here’s a little about the deck he defeated. Joel’s Fighting deck was the longest running deck at the Gym, meaning that it has not been beaten for a long time. Gym Leader Logan is still undefeated as the Water type leader, but the Water deck have been drastically changed several times because of major format changes and card rotations. The Fighting deck has been running almost the same since the Noble Victories set was released, with a “tech” added here and there and Trainers/Supporters changed with rotations. This same deck ran through top qualifiers in the open league room (never losing a game) at the World Championships in Hawaii, sending players back to Japan, Australia, Germany and Brazil all surely saying the same thing….. “Who the heck plays Hippowdon?” It definitely sent the Gym Leader home wishing he’d played it a day earlier in the Last Chance Qualifier.
While Gym Leader Joel loves the “rogue” decks and has created some very nice rogue decks over the years, Hunter has created a very strong rogue deck that is only made stronger by how he plays it. The victory nets Hunter his 6th badge at the league. His win is only the 2nd win ever over the Fighting type leader. The last loss by this Gym Leader was in July of 2011. Wow. He has only 3 to go to run the table at the Gym. Standing in his way are the mighty Georgia, Gym Leader Logan and his water deck and Gym Leader Joel’s Fire deck. Hunter has come a long way and can see the finish line for sure, but he is going to have to jump pretty high to clear the last three hurdles. All of the Gym Leaders are excited about the remaining challenges.
As already mentioned, we did take on several other trainers and complete the 200th Challenge on Sunday. We will get to those details in a day or two in another post. At this point, the Fincastle Gym Leaders feel that Hunter’s accomplishments are deserving of his own posts. Great job, Hunter!
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, Fighting
- Kelli B – Fire
- Eli T – Grass
- Isaac B – Steel