This Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym, there was another full slate of trainers ready to challenge the Gym Leaders of their choice. The Gym welcomed 2 new players this week, in addition to helping a few of our “regulars” with some deck builds. Gym Leaders Joel and Marthe both fielded challenges for the Fire-type and Psychic-type badges respectively. Last Sunday our “Wall of Fame” welcomed its 19th resident. At the end of this day at the Gym, the wall expanded again as 2 more trainers earned their 1st badges at the Gym.
First up was Gym Leader Marthe in her 1st defense of the Psychic-type deck in a little while. After a quick warm-up game with Gym Leader Joel (to remember what exactly was in the deck), Marthe squared off with Ryan N. Ryan has been painfully close to taking his 1st gym badge in several attempts against Gym Leader Joel, taking games each time, but never able to hang on to take the match (not from bad play, but more from taking on some of the hardest gym decks 1st). We’re not sure if that was his long term strategy or not, but it appears that the early attempts definitely help hone his skills. In his 1st game of the best of 3 match with Gym Leader Marthe, both players got out to good starts, trading KO’s back and forth. Ryan was able to outlast Marthe and take the 1st game. Game 2 saw Ryan get another good start. However, Marthe did not share his good fortune, struggling to set up as Ryan picked up momentum. Ryan never looked back, taking the 2nd game and the match. The win netted Ryan his 1st badge, the psychic badge, making him the 20th trainer to earn a badge at the Gym. Great job, Ryan!
The second challenge of the day was another attempt at the Fire-type Gym Leader, Joel, this time by Wesley H, a young trainer that is definitely picking up the ins and outs of the game. Armed with a brand new mat, sleeves and an improved deck, Wesley looked ready in this, his 2nd attempt on the Fire deck. In his 1st try, Wesley saw how quick the Fire deck can get set and overwhelm you, especially if you don’t have the best start.
Speaking of good starts, Wesley set a Blastoise on his 2nd turn in game 1 of this challenge, showing that he too could come at you quickly. Wesley scored the 1st KO, but Joel responded with the next 2, both on EX’s, quickly swinging the game. However, Wesley answered with his pack of Suicune, stopping the gym leader in his tracks. While Joel tried to dig out his regular Reshiram to close out the game, Wesley recovered and came back to take game 1. Game 2 was quick game, where Gym Leader Joel set up quickly and never looked back, taking all 6 prizes in just a matter of minutes, leaving Wesley with the choice of going 1st or 2nd in the decisive game 3.
Game 3 was an excellent back and forth contest. Wesley got set up, again, not as quickly as Joel, but was careful to not leave any un-needed EX pokemon in play for the gym leader to target. Both players exchanged early KO’s, but the Gym Leader started to pull away by using his regular Reshiram (the drawback being the energy cost of using multiple “Blue Flare” attacks). With the Gym Leader leading (4 prizes taken to 2 for Wes) Wesley had to send his Blastoise into battle to knock out an active Reshiram, a necessary move, but one that could leave him without many options if he lost his Blastoise. Joel sent up and heavily damaged Reshiram EX (30 HP remaining) to KO the Blastoise with “Brave Fire”, which would seal the game if he could avoid the recoil damage from his own attack. Joel flipped “tails” on the attack, damaging his own EX as well for a self-inflicted KO, taking both players to 1 prize card left each. Joel sent up a Reshiram w/1 energy and an “Eviolite” attached, hoping to bait Wesley into damaging it w/Suicune, which he did, setting up a return “Outrage” KO for the game. However, Joel could not draw an energy. He did draw a “Laser”, poisoning Wesley’s active. With 3 cards left (and 1 DCE still in the deck), Joel drew again and again missed the energy card, sending the turn back to Wesley, whose Suicune went to 90 damage (10 away from being knocked out by poison). Wesley attacked for the win, taking game 3 by the narrowest of margins (Joel’s DCE was the next card he would have drawn). By the time this one was done, there was no one left at the Gym to cheer for his victory! Wesley’s win earned him the Fire-type badge, his 1st at the Gym. He becomes the 21st trainer to take down a Gym Leader. Great job, Wesley!
What an exciting day at the Gym! Two 1st time winners in the same day does not happen very often. We are sure that everyone will see their names again, as there are plenty of Gym Leader decks still to go. Gym Leader Joel will get right into the challenges again next week. He will be the only leader available, as Marthe will take the rest of the gang on the road to the 1st of 3 State Championships tournaments that we’ll be hitting this month. Until next time, 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
- Ryan N – Psychic
- Wesley H – Fire
*players in BOLD have won all 9 badges