A Little Ketchup & Congratulations Eric, v8.0!

Okay, any of you that have seen the iconic film, Pulp Fiction, surely know the line (and I’m not talking about the wallet…).  I’m referring to my favorite bad joke used in film.  As the lovely Uma/Mia is being escorted home by Vincent Vega, following her near-death-experience, she recounts her only speaking role miafrom “Fox Force Five”.  It went something like this.  “3 tomatoes are walking down the street… a papa tomato, a mama tomato and a baby tomato.  Baby tomato starts lagging behind.  Papa tomato gets really angry, goes back and squishes him… and says, ‘Ketchup!’”.  Excellent moment from an excellent (R-rated, for a reason, kiddies) movie.  As Gym Leader Georgia begins dance season and Gym Leader Logan’s 1st year on the high school golf team wraps up, we have simply not had time to get to the computer to write any articles.  We need to “Ketchup” ourselves, not that Gym Leader Joel is worried about being squished.  We’ve got completed events, upcoming events and more accomplishments by our trainers to update you on.  No better time than the present.

Two weeks ago we held our 1st League Challenge of the new standard format.  We saw a nice variety of decks, with new versions of established decks, some anti-meta game decks and a few that fell somewhere in between.  Gym Leader Georgia won the Junior Division, Robbie F won the Senior Division and Alex C took 1st in the Master Division.  Unfortunately, as seems to usually be the case, low numbers in the Juniors and Seniors seem to throw off TOM (Tournament Operations Manager), which did not pair the 2 best seniors and 2 of the top masters, allowing tie-breakers to skew the runner-up positions.  Thankfully, TOM performs better at larger events.  Congratulations to all those who grabbed their 1st points of the season.

This past Sunday, Eric A continued his pursuit of the video game Gym Leaders.  Entering Sunday, only 2 leaders remained on Eric’s path towards winning all 9 of the VG gym badges and a face-off with the Final 4, Fincastle’s version of the Elite 4.  Mostly because he was the available option on Sunday, Eric targeted Gym Leader Joel’s Fighting-type badge (which like the card game, encompasses the Fighting, Rock and Ground types).  Having the 3 types to choose from gives Gym Leader Joel the largest pool of pokemon to choose from of all of the gym leaders.  However, he, like Eric had to narrow it down to which 6 he would bring.  Joel knew shortly into game 1 that one of Eric’s team members was something that he had no answer for and that the match would swing on that 1 character.

poliThat pokemon was a very bulky Politoed.  Joel anticipated correctly the appearances of Landorus-T and a “Hyper Voice” fairy (Sylveon in this instance) and had answers a plenty for them.  Game 1 saw Joel quickly go to work on Sylveon and then turn his focus to the Politoed.  Joel lost his Hariyama and Mega Aerodactyl along the way.  Joel was left with his own bulk-monster, Scrafty and his speedy Krookodile.  However, where Eric had already taken control of this game was in his switch-ins, getting 3 “Intimidate” out of his Landorus-T, dropping the attack stats of Joel’s remaining “mon” to the point where they could not trade blows with his Landy and Mega Swampert.  Game 1 to Eric.

Joel shifted his team slightly for game 2, bringing his “triple guard”  Machamp, mostly for his “Wide Guard”, which can (and did) pose some major problems for spread attackers like Landorus-T, Sylveon and the like.  Joel added Mega champLucario to accompany Hariyama and Scrafty, making this a true Fighting-type team.  However, Joel’s mistake in this game was not opening with Machamp to protect his Mega Lucario, which he lost quickly to an “Earthquake”.  However, he corrected his mistake by correctly predicting a switch-in to Sylveon, which he 1-hit with “Guts-activated” Hariyama and a “Heavy Slam”.  Machamp carried his load, blocking several “Rock Slide” attacks from Landorus, as this game swung on the turn where Joel gave up his “Wide Guard” to deal with the Politoed that was slowly wearing down his entire team.  Joel had the “Toed” targeted with a “Dynamic Punch”, whose massive damage and guaranteed “Confusion” status would have hopefully, for Joel, shut down the bulky frog.  However, the ensuing “Rock Slide” from Landy flinched the Machamp, allowing Politoed to avoid the damage and more importantly, the confusion status.  Game 2 dwindled down to again, Joel’s Scrafty vs Eric’s 2 remaining pokemon  (Politoed & Landorus, I think….forgot to save that video and don’t recall the 4th team member that Joel KO’d earlier).  Nonetheless, Eric battled around some major roadblocks to his team and took the match in straight games.  Great job, Eric!

With his 8th victory over a gym leader, Eric had won every badge at the Gym, save one.  Gym Leader Dean and his Grass-type team are the lone remaining unbeaten team on Eric’s list.  If Eric succeeds, then he will be the first to face the Final 4 challenge, in which he will face in a random order (drawn by Gym Leader Marthe), Gym Leaders Noah, Dean, Logan and Joel, all with varying Standard Format teams, unbound by type.  There will be a single game against each leader and the challenger will have to beat all 4 in a row with no changes to his team in the process.  The Gym Leaders will lock their teams into their battle boxes prior to the 1st game with no changes allowed on their side either (and no peeking at the games prior to theirs).  We haven’t nailed down the prizes for victory yet, but we try to make it worthy of the accomplishment.  First things first, though.

ketchupNow, we have almost achieved “Ketchup” status.  What’s coming up for the Gym?  The better question is probably what’s not coming up…?!?  Let’s start with this Sunday, 9/27.  How about the 1st VG League Challenge of the year for the Gym.  For full details, check our “Upcoming Events” tab.  Registration begins at 1:00pm with the event kicking off shortly after registration closes at 1:30pm.  League play will follow at our normal time.  If the VG event is still on-going, our league players can start playing at available tables until the Gym Leaders are through with the VG event.

We will not have league on Sunday, October 4th.  The library is having their annual book sale that weekend, so the room will be full of books.  Come on by Friday or Saturday for some great deals (and baked goods) and support our local Library!

One of our favorite events comes to Fincastle on October 30th.  We will accompany the BREAKthrough pre-release with a Pokemon costume contest.  We will hold this dual event on Friday, 10/30 beginning at 5:30pm at the Fincastle Library.  We had some awesome entries last year at our Fincastle and North Carolina events and are very excited to see what people bring this year.

Before we close out this update, huge congratulations are in order for Gym Leader Noah.  Last Saturday, 9/19,  Noah and friends celebrated his wedding to his long-time girlfriend, Sarah (who was a lovely bride, by the way).  Dinner, dancing and irishmerriment were enjoyed by all who were present.  The Fincastle Gym wishes Noah and Sarah all the best.  If we may close by “waxing Irish” for a moment, and yes, this is a highlight of sorts of many blessings, both given and received over our years together.  Noah & Sarah… may the road rise to meet you both, may you laugh as much as you breathe and may a pocket full of gold be the least of your wealth.  May you both see your children’s children and may you live long enough that no one ever wants to see you naked.  Methinks that about covers it.

See you at the Gym this Sunday.

VG Gym Badges Earned (aka, The Wall of Fame v2.0):

  • Eric A – Fire, Dragon, Lightning, Darkness, Steel, Water, Psychic, Fighting
  • Hunter H – Lightning, Grass, Water, Fire
  • Chad B – Psychic

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