The Gym has been quite busy over the last few weeks. From Thanksgiving until now, we have hosted the majority of our TCG City Championship tournaments, with strong attendance at each event. We were hoping to keep that going as this weekend’s VG event at the Gym drew near. Sunday did not disappoint, as we had 22 players for the Premier VG tournament at the Gym. We had players from Christiansburg, VA Beach and North Carolina join our batch of regulars, making the event fun but very competitive. The day did not end there, as the Gym Leaders took on a pair of challenges for gym badges during league time following the tournament. A very busy day at the Gym indeed, but that is how we like it. Let’s look at what went down.
In the VG tournament, Juniors played 3 rounds with no top cut, Seniors played 3 rounds with a top 2 and Masters played 4 rounds with a top 4. Gym Leader Georgia cleaned house en route to a 3-0 day and the top spot in the Junior Division. Griffin D claimed the 2nd place honors in the juniors. Gym Leader Logan and Hunter H battled through the field in the Senior division to an eventual face-off in the top cut. Having already battled with Logan in round 3, Hunter was able to send out the portion of his team that held an advantage over the core of Logan’s team. Logan made the battles in the best 2-0f-3 match close, but was unable to out-last Hunter. Hunter took 1st place, followed by Logan in 2nd place and Alyssa P finished in 3rd place. Great job to the juniors and seniors!
Gym Leader Joel’s pre-tournament theory on the masters division turned out to be pretty accurate. That theory being that you don’t drive from NC or the beach to play the VG unless you know what you’re doing. Over the opening 4 rounds, the tournament built towards a showdown between the Carolina and VA Beach contingents. However, the day would not be decided without a little resistance from the Gym’s strongest players. Chad B led the way for the Gym, making the top cut with only 1 loss on the day. He was joined by brothers Nicholas P and Ben P (NC), also sporting 3-1 records. Shawn S (VaB) entered the top cut as the only undefeated player. Oddly enough (to this writer), Gym Leader Joel finished just outside the cut in 5th place. It seemed that he was bound for top cut when he jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on Ben P in the swiss rounds. However, Ben turned the tables and swept Joel’s team with his last 2 pokemon. It was an impressive comeback.
The top 4 saw undefeated Shawn square off with Chad on one table. The adjacent table had its own little civil war, as Nicholas P and Ben P battled each other. Shawn carried his undefeated status into the finals where he faced Nicholas P. Nicholas pulled off what no one else was able to do on the day, defeating Shawn in a long best 2-of-3 match. At the end of the day, Nicholas P claimed 1st place, Shawn S took 2nd place, Ben P finished in 3rd place and Chad B rounded out the group in 4th place. (***Editors note: Being new to running VG events, we don’t know if its kosher to divulge details on players’ teams, so for the time being we will refrain from doing so). Great job to Nicholas and all of the masters for making one of our 1st premier events a great one!
As we said earlier, the day did not end there. The VG tournament was wrapping up right as our normal league time was beginning. Much to the Gym Leaders’ delight, we had 2 challengers waiting in the wings. Challenges for badges have been few and far between lately, leaving the Gym Leaders a little rusty with their individual decks. Challengers usually (not always) come after the deck that their deck is weak to. However, what we try to showcase with our gym decks is that consistency is the strength of any competitive deck and can often make up for type advantage (not always).
Cooper D was first up, challenging Gym Leader Marthe and her Lightning-type deck. Cooper managed to get a Mega Lucario EX in play in both games in his match with Marthe. Marthe wore down this 220HP monster and defeated Cooper in straight games. Hopefully a little of the post-game advice will help him get his deck on track. Good job, Cooper!
Dean E was next up, going after Gym Leader Joel and his Grass-type deck. This match would drive home the consistency concept and eventually allow Joel to escape defeat. Game 1 was a slaughter. Dean set up a quick Pyroar and tore through the grass deck. From start to finish, Dean spent, oh, about 5-6 minutes taking 6 prizes and game 1. It seemed that in another few minutes, Joel would be handing out a badge. However, game 2 saw Dean get a slow start, not what you want against Virizion/Genesect. Gym Leader Joel began taking prize card after prize card while Dean looked for something in his deck to rescue him. His deck refused to cooperate as Joel took game 2. Dean’s deck decided to continue its uncooperative streak as they entered game 3. Joel set up and began attacking while Dean tried to get something going. Each time he got close, an “Enhanced Hammer” reared its ugly head and set him back a turn. Joel took a much closer game 3 and the match. A little post-game discussion hopefully produced a few possible changes for his deck as well. Joel knows very well that a more consistent version of this deck will maul his Grass-type deck. While Joel never looks forward to an eminent defeat, he always enjoys seeing players improve their deck.
Gym Leaders Joel and Marthe hopefully knocked the rust off and are ready for our next challenges. If you have enough games in, be sure to sign up for the leader of your choice. We always look forward to our next challenge. Until then, see you at the Gym!