Its been a while. With City Championships tournaments keeping the Gym Leaders busy over the last few months and now Primal Clash pre-releases underway, Gym Leader Challenges have taken a bit of a back seat. It’s not that there have not been any. Trainers Cooper D, Patrick C, and Dean E have all made attempts for different gym badges, taking games in the challenges, but not being able to win the best 2-of-3 challenges. Today at the Gym, Dean broke through and won the 1st badge from a gym leader since October of last year.
Dean picked one of the more difficult gym decks to beat, the grass-type deck, for his 1st challenge several weeks ago. We think that he was caught a bit off-guard by how little the type advantage matters against a well-built Virizion/Genesect deck. The exchange between a Fire-type deck and Genesect is a back-and-forth match of alternating 1-hit KO’s. Games of the this type usually swing on the consistency of the deck build and who makes the better choices. Granted, a lot to take in on a 1st gym challenge. That match, despite a quick game 1 win by Dean, swung back heavily into Gym Leader Joel’s hands, in which he defeated Dean in 2, smooth running games. Dean made some adjustments to his deck a came back today for his 2nd attempt for the Grass badge.
Today’s match did not start the way Dean was hoping. Despite having to sacrifice a Virizion EX early on, Joel set up the core of his deck and with proper timing of the ACESPEC “G-Booster”, was able to battle around (and through) the Pyroars and take game 1. Game 2 exposed one of the soft spots in the armor of Virizion/Genesect. We don’t know that all Genesect lists include the card, “Town Map”, but every version of it we’ve built has always included it. We believe that if your “G-Booster” is prized, that it is vital to be able to retrieve it from your prize cards as soon as possible, especially against a deck that features Pyroar. An opening turn play of “Town Map” revealed that it was indeed prized. Joel went to work on digging it out, but was unable to do so until late, as Dean set up quickly and took control of game 2. Joel had a chance late to turn the game around, as Dean attached his ACESPEC “Victory Piece” to a benched Victini EX, 1 turn before he should have. However, Joel could not dig out 1 of his 2 “Startling Megaphone” cards, allowing Dean to close out game 2 with a 1 hit KO from his Vicitini EX, after Joel KO’d his last Pyroar in play.
Game 3 figured to be a toss-up, as Joel’s experience with Genesect would surely test Dean’s skill with a fire deck that was still fairly new to him. Joel observed several misplays over the 1st 2 games that he hoped to capitalize on in the final game. However, misplays can only be taken advantage of if the other player makes them. Throughout game 3, Dean made none. He was able to apply pressure early and keep ahead of Joel in terms of energy attachments, leaving Joel unable to attack on more than 1 occasion. Vicitini EX, the victory pokemon, lived up to its name, as Dean punished the Grass deck with the speed of Victini. Dean won game 3 and the match in convincing fashion, earning his 1st badge at the Gym. Great job, Dean!
Dean is the 24th different trainer to earn a badge at the Gym. His win is the 51st badge earned to date. We have not looked lately at where we stand in terms of challenges at the Gym. We’ll do a little looking and give everyone an update on how close we are to challenge #400.
We know that there is a lot going on this time of the year in the pokemon community. Case and point, the Gym is hosting our Primal Clash pre-release this coming Sunday, February 1st, at noon at the Fincastle library. The Virginia Regional Championships are also just around the corner. Nevertheless, we are ready to field challenges for all badges. So, make sure you sign up and when you are ready for your battle, let that Gym Leader know (when you 1st get to league if you can) so that we make sure we have/make time for the challenge.
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, Water, Lightning
- Dean E – Grass
*players in BOLD have won all 9 badges