Basketball fans and Pokemon fans alike, March Madness is here. The Gym Leaders just finished a busy week of games and banquets to wrap our winter sports season up, in addition to watching our Alma Mater battle its way through to the semi’s of their conference tournament (upsetting the #6 and then #3 seeds along the way… way to go Generals!!), all the while making preparations for the up-coming Pokemon State Championship series. So, we hope you understand our delay in getting around to reporting on last weekend’s Froakie League Challenge and league activities. The Fincastle Gym had a small but competitive group via for the League Challenge points, with 16 players and 3 rounds of swiss play in each age group. During league play after the event, the Gym Leaders jumped into another group of Gym Leader Challenges. We have been taking on several each week over the last few weeks and had some trainers come very close to earning a Fincastle Gym Badge. Win or lose, each match had also moved us 1 step closer to challenge #300. Last Sunday, someone finally broke through and took away the 1st gym badge earned this year.
First things first, onto the Froakie results. The Master division saw a nice mix of decks that both added cards from the new X/Y set to existing decks or were centered completely around cards from the new set. When the smoke cleared, Audrey stood as the lone undefeated player, claiming 1st place, followed by Wesley in 2nd and Harold in 3rd place. North Carolina’s Hunter H took 1st place in the Senior Division, followed by Iain M. and Vinny I., another North Carolina player. Gym Leader Georgia continued to cruise in the Junior Division, taking 1st , with Camille M. claiming 2nd and Wesley H. taking 3rd. Great job to all the competitors and thanks for all who attended and helped make it a fun event.
Following the tournament, we jumped right into league play which for us meant Gym Leader challenges. Like we mentioned earlier, we have been fielding quite a few challenges over the last several weeks. As most of you know, the challenges consist of a best 2 of 3 match with the Gym Leader of your choice. We have split games in several of the matches with league trainers during recent challenges. In a few cases (like a challenge several weeks ago from Ryan N.), the 3rd and deciding game came down to single prize cards, leaving trainers a turn away from winning a badge. Just so you know our philosophy (which is the same approach that we take with our own kids), we don’t take it easy on trainers during challenges (even the younglings…). We want to help you become better players and we believe that the only way to get better is to play against solid competition. We hope that during challenges that you lose, you see short-comings in your build (like too many Pokemon, too much energy, not enough Supporter cards, etc.) and we always try to discuss what we see after the match. We also hope that losses, whether they were close or not, drive each of you to improve. That being said, we’ve seen a lot of good decks in these challenges. A few “tweeks” here and there and many of you will be ready to cruise through some of the gym decks.
Speaking of cruising through a gym deck… Alan G. brought his Keldeo/Suicune/Blastoise deck to challenge the Fire-type gym leader, Joel. A properly built Keldeo deck is a daunting task for any mono fire-type deck. While Alan experienced a slow set up in game 2, he got the core of the deck set in both games. Gym Leader Joel was able to trade one-hit KO’s in both games, but the recovery that Blastoise provides was too much for the Gym Leader. Alan defeated the Fire deck and won the matching gym badge in straight games. The victory was Alan’s 1st at the Gym, making him the 19th player to join the Gym’s “Wall of Fame”. Great job, Alan.
The Gym Leaders will jump right into challenges with those who are ready this Sunday at league. Seems like there are a lot of challengers signed up for the Fire-type deck all of a sudden….(did you guys form a junior fire brigade in secret or something?). Who will be the next to put out the flames? Stay tuned. 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 and Dragon
- Kelli B – Fire
- Eli T – Grass
- Isaac B – Steel
- Jeff D – Psychic, Fire
- Jacob A – Steel
- Alex D – Lightning, Grass
- Jacob V – Dragon
- Alan G – Fire
*players in BOLD have won all 9 badges