The Fincastle Gym’s Gym Leader Challenge has become the unique mainstay of our league. Originally designed as a tool for our younger trainers (which originally made up 100% of our league) to demonstrate quality single-type decks and how to take advantage of weakness, the challenge has evolved into a much wider ranging entity. We now offer custom badges for anyone who defeats one of us. We developed a “Final Four” challenge, similar to the “Elite Four” from the video game that presents decks that focus on different styles of decks (Speed, Power, Defense and Skill), with some pretty healthy prizes awaiting anyone who can defeat all 4 in a row. We also know that for new or younger players, beating any of the decks is difficult, as we strive to make these decks consistent and as strong as the card-base will allow for that type.
To keep things interesting and offering an incentive for those who keep battling and improving, we offer a special prize after every one hundred challenges, whether that trainer wins or loses that challenge. We completed the 300th challenge in April of 2014. Isiah M, while losing the challenge, walked away with a Speed Lugia EX/Plasma deck. Previous winners have taken home binders full of EX’s (for #200) and binders full of league promos and foil energy cards (for #100). We are well on our way to #400. We will likely build another competitive, format ready deck when we get to #400, but that will probably be closer to this end of this year or 1st of next, so we won’t make any grand plans for right now, as by then, we should have a new set (or sets) and a rotation of some sort. Surely the format will shift quite a bit by then. Just to clarify, our new VG Gym Leader Challenges are completely separate from these numbers. We don’t think that we are far enough along to post a VG update yet (as we have only completed 12 so far). As those numbers grow towards #100, we’ll post some updates and start working on a prize for #100. Here is where we stand as we enter this Memorial Day weekend.
To date, we have completed 332 challenges. The Gym Leaders have combined to win 278 challenges, while losing 54 of them (a winning percentage of 83.7%). The toughest decks to take a badge from to date remain the Water-type deck (35-2, 94.6%), the Fighting-type deck (28-2, 93.3%) and the Darkness-type deck (19-2, 90.1%). The Psychic-type and the Grass-type are the most challenged decks, with the Psychic deck holding a record of 52-10 (83.9%) and the Grass deck with a record of 41-9 (82.0%). The remaining decks break down as follows: Steel – 20-7 (74.1%), Dragon – 12-3 (80.0%), Fire – 38-9 (80.9%) and Lightning – 33-10 (76.7%).
Gym decks definitely seem to swing back and forth, as new sets and rotations add and take cards away from existing decks. For example, the Grass-type deck at one point was a simple Volbeat/Illumise deck, which almost seems laughable compared to the consistency and power of the current Virizion/Genesect deck. Gym Leader Georgia has only had access to 1 decent Dragon-type deck (Garchomp/Altaria) since taking the reigns as that leader. Now, with the most recent set Roaring Skies, she has quite a few options to pick from. New sets are always exciting to us, as they often salvage a struggling gym deck or present a new deck to try out.
As we said earlier, with 68 challenges to go, it is very unlikely that we’ll make 400 until after this year’s Nationals and Worlds. As we get closer, we will probably leak the number remaining one more time. After that, you’ll just have to sign up for challenges and hope you’re lucky enough to hit #400. Even if you do, you won’t find out until after the challenge (we don’t want to distract you in your attempt to earn a badge). So, keep signing up and bringing us your best. See you at the Gym!
TCG 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, Fire
- Robbie F – Lightning, Grass
- Nathan S – Dragon
*players in BOLD have won all 9 badges
VG Gym Badges Earned (aka, The Wall of Fame v2.0):
- Eric A – Fire, Dragon, Lightning, Darkness
- Hunter H – Lightning, Grass