Pre-Release Sells Out, New Season Is Here!

newThe month of August is traditionally a very busy month in the Pokemon community.  This August has been busy for the Gym in a whole new way.  For the last 2 years, our focus has been on helping Gym Leader Logan prepare for the World Championships.  With our closest contender, Gym Leader Georgia missing an invite this year by less than 60 Championship Points,  we did not have to scramble to make travel/work arrangements this year.  However, we have been doing plenty of scrambling as Gym Leader Marthe has taken over the duties of Premier Tournament Organizer for western North Carolina and southwest Virginia.   Marthe’s debut as a new PTO was the Plasma Blast pre-release here in Fincastle.

The Fincastle pre-release turned out great.  We were thrilled to have visitors from Richmond and vacationers from Pennsylvania join us for the event.  We sold out of spots for the tournament, as these events are often limited by the amount of cards the organizer has available (our supply of the Plasma Blast was what eastern NC’s PTO could spare).  We know that several players who arrived after we sold out were disappointed, but this should be the last time that this ever happens as we will control orders for future events.  As luck would have it, we had enough packs of Plasma Storm in our personal supply that we ran an additional sealed event (just like the pre-release) for an additional 8 players.  In the main tournament, Kobe S won the junior division, Hunter H won the senior division and Alex L won the master division.  The new set definitely adds some new dynamics to the format, as several strong decks will surely be born from these cards.  Genesect EX/Virizion EX should gain a place among the top decks in the format.  This set also includes multiple counters to both EX based decks and “Team Plasma” decks.  The Autumn Battle Roads tournaments should see some very interesting battles.

This past Sunday at the Gym during league we were able to broadcast some of the live coverage from the 2013 World Championships in Vancouver.  We hope everyone enjoyed watching the finals of the VG tournament (that was definitely the first time this Gym Leader ever saw a green Mamoswine, how cool was that…).  With the close of the World Championships, so closes the 2012-2013 TCG and VG season.  We at the Gym were impressed with the finals in the TCG, as now 3-time World Champion, Jason Klaczynski proved that skilled players mamocan out-perform over-powered decks like Kyurem/Deoxys and Gothitelle/ Accelgor (now rotated out), as he piloted a straight Darkrai EX deck to victory in the Master Division.  The most interesting and exciting news for us was the announcement of the location of the 2014 World Championships.  Next year’s event will be held in Washington DC, just hours from our home!  Traditionally, the granddaddy of all of the Pokemon events stays in the Pacific, closer to Japan.  This will be the first east coast stop for Worlds since we at the Gym have been playing.  We suggest that you keep that in the back of your mind for next August, as it is an amazing event to attend either as a competitor or as a fan.

The rotation to Next Destinies-on, while not official until 8/28, is basically here.  We suggest that everyone who plays at the Gym go ahead and update their decks to match the new format so that you can get used to any changes you have to make before Battle Roads get here.  Speaking of Battle Roads, Marthe and the Fincastle Pokemon Gym will be running several of these tournaments in the not-to-distant future.  We do not have dates for any of the events yet, but we will post them here as soon as we get them.

We have not posted any updates for Gym Leader Challenges in a while, so we will get one together in the next few days.  As the new format is here and we have several new players at the Gym, we will also post an article or 2 on some basic deck building to hopefully help all of you prepare for the new season.  I think we even feel a little “force you parents to play” time approaching.  This should be a very exciting year at the Gym.  Check back soon.  Until then, see you at the Gym!

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