The Fincastle Gym was created in May of 2010 as an instructional league. In July of the same year, we created the idea of the Gym Leader Challenge at our league, based directly on the concept of the Gym Leaders from the various Pokemon video games. However, we wanted our leaders to be more challenging than those in the video game. Our thought was that by creating tough, single-type decks, we could drive our trainers to think “outside the box” in building decks to defeat us, making them stronger players along the way. Well, it has worked wonders. While early challenges were more of a formality, challengers over the last year and a half having improved by leaps and bounds, taking us to the wire constantly and defeating us many times along the way. This past Sunday, we reached challenge #200 (and continued beyond), which meant an awesome prize for lucky #200.
In the midst of a round of challenges, Addison M took on the Psychic type leader, Marthe. Unfortunately for Addison, he went up against a deck that she has been preparing and fine-tuning for competitive play. Gym Leader Marthe won the challenge in straight games. However, little did he know (or us at the moment), Addison took part in the 200th challenge ever at the Gym. After completing all of our active games, we went to the books and verified that his was the match. Here’s what Addison won for being #200. He won a Play!Pokemon binder that we put together as both a collector’s item and a players prize. The first several pages of the binder contained one of every “Prime” printed in the Heartgold Soulsilver expansion. Those expansions also saw the only 2-piece full art cards in the “Legend” cards that contained either one or two legendary Pokemon printed in amazing artistic detail. Addison received a set of all of those printed. While those cards are awesome collectors items, we also wanted to strengthen the winner’s current card collection. He got full art versions of each of the genies. We could not round them all up, but Addison also received one of almost every EX Pokemon printed from Next Destinies to present. Congratulations to Addison, we hope you enjoy the prize!
Our Gym Leaders have quite a task each Sunday in taking on challengers for the league Gym badges. We enjoy the difficult task of usually taking on our weakness. It helps us stay on our toes and think our way around some tough game situation. Lets look at how we’ve done up to (and beyond) 200 challenges.
Gym Leader Joel has taken on the most challenges of our leaders. Joel, the pilot of four different type decks, has an overall record of 73 wins and 14 losses, a win percentage of 83.9%. By types it breaks down like this: Steel (12-5), Fire (8-1), Grass (32-6) and Fighting (21-2).
Gym Leader Marthe defends 2 types, the Psychic and Lightning types. She also stepped in once to field a challenge on the Grass deck. Marthe’s overall record is 56 win and 15 losses, a win percentage of 78.9%. Her record breaks down like this: Psychic (34-7), Lightning (22-7) and Grass (0-1).
Gym Leader Logan, no longer our youngest leader, defends the Water type and Darkness type decks. He also has stepped in to field challenges for the Fire type deck. Logan has an overall record of 39 wins and 2 losses (a win percentage of 95.1%) with a breakdown like this: Water (22-0), Darkness (15-1) and Fire (2-1).
Georgia is now our youngest leader, defending the Dragon type badge. It’s a little early for stats on her as she has only fielded one challenge. She is off to a good start at 1 win and 0 losses. Also of note, former Gym Leader Austin went 13-1 as the Fire type leader in his stint at the Gym.
All in all, 32 badges have been won by trainers at the Gym. At least that many matches have been won by the narrowest of margins by our gym leaders. We love the increased level of play in our challenges, as it definitely makes our jobs more interesting. What can be concluded by these numbers? The Grass, Psychic and Lightning decks are the most challenged. The Steel and Lightning decks have the lowest winning percentages (70.6% and 75.9%). These are probably the best decks to start out against. The Grass and Dragon type decks are also good ones to start against. The Water (100%), Darkness (93.8%) and Fighting (91.3%) decks have proven to be the toughest to defeat. None of the decks are easy to defeat, but choosing the deck that you have a decided type advantage over will definitely increase the chances that you might win a badge. As our league’s top trainer Hunter H has shown, once you have a deck that works well for you, the type of deck does not matter as much.
We are well on our way to #300. Who knows what kind of prize awaits the lucky trainer that gets that honor. We promise to make it a good one. Until then, keep battling and improving your strategies. As a quick reminder, there is no league this Sunday, November 25, 2012. We will be back the following Sunday at the library. 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, Fighting
- Kelli B – Fire
- Eli T – Grass
- Isaac B – Steel
Fincastle Gym Champion: ??????