This past Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym was a busy and exciting day all the way around. The day kicked off with the Xerneas League Challenge. The event saw a nice mix of decks and some very close matches. Following the League Challenge, the Gym moved on to its own brand of challenge, the Gym Leader Challenge. For the 2nd season in a row, a trainer took home a gym badge on the same day as a League Challenge.
Gym Leader Georgia, looking to grab the few points remaining necessary to earn her invitation to Worlds, blew through the Junior Division, going undefeated in a series of quick matches (not the day to stand in the path of the mighty Georgia). Following her in 2nd place was Sarah N, while Davis N took the 3rd place prizes. Gym Leader Logan carried the gym leader torch into the Senior Division. While Logan’s path was not quite as smooth, he followed suit, finishing the day undefeated and in 1st place. Hunter H finished in 2nd place and Ryan N finished 3rd.
Gym Leader Joel tried to carry out the hat-trick and nearly pulled in off. Joel battled his way to a final round game with Ettelie L to see who would claim 1st place. Joel jumped out to a lightning-fast lead, taking 5 of his 6 prizes before Ettelie could really get rolling. However, as is often the case, big early leads leave you vulnerable to crippling “N” plays, which is exactly what happened to Joel. Having the game in hand 2 different times, Ettelie played a “N” each time, shuffling the winning cards back into the gym leader’s deck. Ettelie came all the way back and rounded out the win by a bench snipe on a damaged Virizion EX that netted her last 2 prize cards. Great job to Ettelie on the come from behind win, taking the Xerneas challenge with her own Xerneas EX! Sounds like a win that was meant to be!
Following the League Challenge, Gym Leader Marthe shifted from her role of organizer to player, fielding a challenge for the Psychic-type badge. Normally, Gym Leader Challenges are for trainers to test their best decks out against established gym decks. However, this time it was Marthe who was testing a new deck. Her test would come against Rob C. Test results… back to the drawing board. What we learned through testing (and looking a lists and articles of others who have tested it as well) is that Crobat (PLS-55) just does not work. While fun to play and capable of piling on some surprising damage with the poison condition, it cannot recover fast enough to keep up with this format. Rob provided the case test, as he mowed the swarm of bats down in 2 consecutive games, taking the challenge for his 1st badge at the Gym. Great job, Rob, who becomes the 23rd trainer to win a badge at the Gym, sending Crobat back to the binder along the way.
The Psychic-type deck will be unavailable for challenges this week at the Gym, as Joel will have to dig into his catalog of decks to create another Psychic deck (a daunting task at times). Our testing time has been a little short this week with baseball and softball practices every night of the week. We will get a new one rolling as quickly as possible and hopefully be ready for Psychic challenges again 2 weeks from now. See you this Sunday 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
- Alex T – Grass
- Rob C – Psychic
*players in BOLD have won all 9 badges