Gym Members Battle Hard at VA Regionals

This weekend, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym took competitors in all age groups to the VA Regional TCG and VG Championships.  Gym Leaders Joel, Logan and Georgia were joined by trainer Brycen in the TCG tournament on Saturday.  The three gym leaders stuck around on Sunday for the video game event (a first for Gym Leader Joel).  Attendance was through the roof, as Masters hit 280 players, Seniors had 88 players and Juniors had 44 competitors in the TCG.  We do not have numbers for the VG tournament, but it was a large field as well.  The Fincastle gang had a great time and played some great matches on both days. 

Gym Leader Georgia, the mighty 7 yr-old warrior, entered Saturday playing an identical deck to dad, Gym Leader Joel.  The deck is a rogue that we put together over the last month and has been one of the most enjoyable decks that we’ve played for a while.  As much as we’d like to share the list at the moment, we think that it definitely has good mileage left in it, so we’ll keep it to ourselves for the moment.  Come play us at league and you are welcome to play against it.  With Georgia at the helm, the deck played well, taking her on a roller coaster ride through the 6 rounds of swiss.  At 2-2 in a must win game, Georgia lost a close match.  She followed with a convincing win to end at 3-3 and in 24th place.  Georgia earned 7 booster packs for her efforts.  As it was for Joel, the Blastoise/Keldeo match-up proved to her nemesis on the day.  On Sunday, Georgia opened her 5 rounds of VG competition with 2 wins and then lost her last 3 (the last one on damage from “Sandstorm”).  It was definitely a solid weekend for the youngster in a field dominated by 10 and 11 year-olds.  We think the highlight of her weekend came on Saturday during registration when several groups of Junior players, upon seeing her, shared whispering and pointing sessions, exclaiming, “Oh no!  There’s Georgia!”  If this 7 year old already strikes fear into her opponents, wait until she’s 10!

Gym Leader Logan had the unenviable task of taking on the field of Seniors that, as the year unfolds, looks to be one of, if not the top fields in the country.  Logan played Blastoise/Keldeo with his own tech in it.  Seniors played 7 rounds with a top 16 and prizes extending to the top 32.  His games would show the importance of a fact that we are already painfully familiar with… the importance of going first.  Logan opened with a quick win over Garbodor.  In his next 3, he faced Rayquaza/Eels, Blastoise/Keldeo and Darkrai/Hydregion.  In each of the 3 games, he had either 1 or 2 prizes cards remaining and the means to take the win on his next turn.  The difference?  Logan went 2nd in each match.  Out of the running for the top 16, Logan battled on with hopes of getting into the top 32 and prizes.  Logan won the next 3, with wins over Darkrai/Hydregion, Mewtwo/Zekrom/Eels and Klinklang/EX’s.  Logan put himself in a position for top 32, as a handful of 4-3 records made it.  Unfortunately, tiebreakers did Logan no favors, as he landed in 43rd place in a large group of 4-3’s.  As we said, this field is unforgiving.  Even a great day may leave you out of top cut.

Speaking of unforgiving, let Brycen tell you about his day.  Brycen definitely took the prize for games coming down to the wire.  We don’t have all of his match details, but Brycen had game after game come down to one card or one turn.  Brycen was able to grind 2 wins out, but he did it without the benefit a much luck on his side.

Logan’s day in the VG tournament didn’t exactly mirror the TCG, but the results did.  Seniors played 7 rounds with a top 8.  Logan opened with a loss and then ran his record to 4-2 with some very cool/close matches along the way.  In his final game, his missed a KO on a Hydregion by a miserable 1 HP!  Logan’s Ludicolo was KO’d on the next turn ending the match.  Wow.  Still fairly new to the VG, Logan had a great time almost making into the top.  Like Saturday, he finished with a 4-3 record.

Gym Leader Joel had a very interesting day on Saturday in the TCG in the massive field of masters.  Most of his opponents described the rogue deck he brought as a “brave” play.  What was obvious in the masters is that most of his opponents play well against “meta” or internet decks, but are thrown off when something else pops up.  Masters were set for 9 rounds of swiss and a top cut of 32.  Joel’s nemesis on the day was Blastoise/Keldeo (BK).  Joel opened with a loss to BK where he went 2nd.  He followed up with 3 straight wins over Darkrai/Tornadus, Hammertime and Tornadus EX/Mewtwo/Terrakion.  Round 5 pitted Joel against another BK, in which he found that 3 of his 4 main attackers were prized on his 1st turn.  Somehow, he battled out of this mess and took 5 prizes and was more than set to take the last on his next turn, but his opponent was able to take her last one before he got a chance.  Next round, Joel dismantled a Darkrai/Hydregion deck pushing his record to 4-2.  Round 7 was pivotal to getting into the top 32 and Joel again faced BK.  We wish there was a good tale to tell on this one, but Joel went 2nd, his opponent got a 2nd turn Blastoise with energy for Keldeo EX and that was pretty much it for the game.  At 4-3, Joel battled on hoping that a few 3 loss records might make top 32.  His round 8 opponent opened with some pretty sketchy antics, flipping an illegal dice to determine who went first, losing the flip to Joel and then saying “Oops, I flipped the wrong dice”.  The re-flip allowed him to go 1st.  Joel struggled to set up as his opponent took the lead.  Once Joel was set, he took 4 prizes in 2 turns and was more than set to take 2 more on the next turn.  But guess what…. the opponent took the last one before the game came back to Joel.  Oh well.  Gym Leader Joel was actually pleasantly surprised that he went that deep into a major event before running into someone who plays the “gamesmanship” game rather than the TCG.  All of his opponents prior to that were pretty cool.  At 4-4, Joel called it a day.  Ah, BK, BK, BK.  All 3 of Joel’s key losses came to Blastoise/Keldeo EX.  Joel went 2nd in 2 of the 3 games.  In each game, his opponent had BK set on the 2nd turn.  BK is not unbeatable, but the Gym Leader knows that his deck will need a little tweaking to do so, and a little luck.

Sunday was Joel’s first entry into any VG tournament.  He expected it to be a rough day battling people who actually knew what they were doing.  Much to his surprise, he lost 2 very close games in the 1st and 2nd rounds.   In the 3rd round, he struck gold, winning his first VG match ever!  Woo hoo!  Once Gym Leader Marthe was done officiating the Senior VG championship match, we were ready to go.  Joel did not play out the rest of the rounds.  It was fun but definitely time to get home.

Marthe spent Saturday as the head judge of the Senior Division in the TCG tournament and Sunday as judge of the VG event also in the Senior Division.  She may have had the most tiring weekend of all of us.  By all accounts, she did a great job on both days managing what can be a very hectic role.  Great job, Marthe!

We do not like to think of ourselves as a “decklist” site, mainly because you can find lists on lots of other websites.  However, over the next few days, we will try to post some lists and information on what have emerged as the top decks in the format.  Our aim will be to give our league members access to some good lists to play and maybe help you prepare for decks you may play in the future.  That is all for now.  We are back to our regular schedule this Sunday at league.  See you at the Gym!

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