For those of you who keep up with the Fincastle Pokemon Gym, you have probably grown accustomed to the word “Congratulations” being followed by either Brycen or Hunter, as they continue to plow through gym leader decks week after week. This Sunday at the Gym, we had something that we have not seen in quite a while. Our “Wall of Fame” gained 2 new names, as 2 trainers on the same day took down gym leaders, both earning their 1st badges at the Gym.
Gym Leader Joel started off the day with a challenge against his Grass-type deck. Addison M put up a good fight, but found out that type advantage alone is not quite enough to take down the “special condition” assault that the deck throws at you. If Addison listened to the advice from the Gym Leader, he should be primed take down the grass deck on his next go round. While Joel was wrapping up that challenge, Gym Leader Marthe was beginning a challenge for the Psychic-type badge.
Marthe fielded the challenge from Jeff D, one of our league dads who just recently started playing. Hopefully in the same way that we realized when Logan and Georgia started playing, Jeff has seen that it is much more fun to learn the game and play along side your kids as opposed to watching from the sidelines and declaring that you don’t understand all this stuff. Learning the game and playing is also a great way to help your kids improve. That being said, we’d definitely say that Jeff is a quick learner.
In game 1, Jeff’s Grass and Fighting-type Pokemon were quickly set aside and the game focused on a back and forth Mewtwo EX war. At 1 prize each, a well-timed “N” knocked both players to one card each and the waiting game ensued. Jeff played “Pokemon Catcher” to put Marthe’s Garbodor in the active spot, while Marthe caught Jeff’s Landorus EX. With both players stuck with heavy retreat costs, it came down to whose “Switch” turned up first. Jeff played it smart and found a “Skyla” to get “Switch” and take the final knock-out. The 2nd game started right in on another Mewtwo war. After just a handful of turns, Jeff was ahead with only 1 prize card left to Marthe’s 2. Marthe used “Crushing Hammer” to discard one of the two psychic energies from Jeff’s benched Mewtwo, but she was stuck attacking an active Landorus EX with her Mewtwo EX. Holding a “Switch” in his hand, Jeff drew a Double Colorless energy – giving him the KO on her Mewtwo. Great job, Jeff!
While Jeff was wrapping up his victory, Gym Leader Joel took on his 2nd challenger for the day, Jacob A. Jacob was back to try his hand against the Steel-type deck. Game 1 saw the Gym Leader “Hammer” away 6 of Jacob’s energy cards in the first 7 turns, while slowly setting up and wearing down everyone Jacob had in play with Registeel EX. Jacob seemed to realize a little too late that he was “powering up” the wrong guy on his side (as Mewtwo EX is not the best match-up for the steel guys). By the time he switched to Reshiram EX, he was too far down to complete the comeback, needing to take 2 prize cards still as Joel took his last 2 prize cards for the game. Jacob would not make the same mistake again.
In game 2, Jacob went straight for the big Fire-type EX as Joel tried to slow him down with his “hammers”. The coin flips were not with the gym leader in this game and Jacob took a big lead. Joel battled back and evened this game at 2 prize cards each, but could tell Jacob had a trick up his sleeve (we think he needs to work on his “poker face”). He saved his “Pokemon Catcher” for the perfect moment and used it to pull up a Registeel EX from the Gym Leader’s bench and one-hit it for the game, forcing a decisive game 3. We’d like to tell the “epic battle” tale for game 3, but Jacob was not going to wait around for that kind of battle to unfold (he must have really wanted this badge). Gym Leader Joel started a lone Registeel EX and went without a Supporter card for 3 turns, which was how many turns it took for Jacob to load his Reshiram and KO the EX for the game and the match. Great job, Jacob! While the 3rd and deciding game was a breeze for him, he would not have made it to that game without some excellent play in game 2. Now all he has to do is spend a little time in the mirror working on that blank poker stare!
Unfortunately for the rest of the Gym, the new Plasma Storm set includes some cards that may turn Steel types from being one of the most vulnerable in the game, to being the toughest in the game. The new Steel deck is already under construction and may prove to be one of the hardest to beat at the Gym. Next up, we will look at those and the rest of the new set and how those cards will affect the decks we have featured in our posts on the format. Excellent job again to our 2 new members of the league’s “Wall of Fame”! 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, Darkness, Steel
- Troy B – Lightning
- Jordan L – Grass
- Hunter H – Grass, Darkness, Steel, Lightning, Psychic, Fighting, Water, Fire
- Kelli B – Fire
- Eli T – Grass
- Isaac B – Steel
- Jeff D – Psychic
- Jacob A – Steel