Sometimes Pokemon news comes in ways you just can’t miss. We’ve seen announcement take the form a TV adds, internet promotions, information packets to organizers or even well thought out and descriptive articles on Pokemon.com. Sometimes they are a little more subtle. Take the new season of league materials and format for league play, for example. Several weeks ago we received some league posters that looked like smaller versions of the “leaderboard” posters we used last season. And… that was it, no instructions, no promo pins, badges, cards, etc. So, we’ve made no announcements at league because we did not have anything to tell you other than, “We got posters”. League leaders were finally given a breakdown of what to do with said posters, although we have yet to receive the accompanying materials (which we have learned will be Item cards specific to each season). So, this is what we know.
This league format began on November 1st and will continue through the end of January 2017 (at which point something new will be introduced for February-on). Much like last season/year, Play!Pokemon is promoting a “Casual” or “Competitive” option for players. They say that we are to award stamps on the leaderboards to players based on their choice of how they want to track their season. We’re not complaining here, but first off, they didn’t give us a stamp. Also, I don’t think they realize how difficult it is to track a different method for each player at league while we try to teach people to play, help them with their decks and play a game or 2 ourselves. Maybe there is a league somewhere with a management team and a full staff of accountants, but not in Fincastle. So, here’s a quick look at the guidelines they suggest and then we’ll get into our plan, because we are all about full disclosure and fair, unbiased reporting (who do you think we are…CNN, or even worse, NBC? Sheesh, we’re not monsters.) What the Gym is doing will simplify things for us and make it a little easier for you to earn the cards… when they come… maybe sometime soon.
Guidelines published on the Pokemon Professor forums:
Players choose if they want to follow the Casual or Competitive track and are awarded stamps based on their activities :
Players earn two stamps for battling a new opponent. Only two stamps per opponent per week are awarded.
Players earn two stamps for a new single type deck used during League play. Only two stamps per deck type per week are awarded.
Players earn three stamps for every win during League play. Only three stamps per opponent per week are awarded.
Players earn four stamps for every win during a sanctioned tournament.
Leaderboards will be separated into sections to earn the TCG Promotions. When a player completes one of the sections they will receive a promotional card.
Season 1 –
• Boulder Badge, Cascade Badge and Thunder Badge
Season 2 –
• Rainbow Badge, Soul Badge and Marsh Badge
Season 3 –
• Volcano Badge and Earth Badge, Pikachu Promo
Players will receive one Promo card for filling in each of the 20 circles in each season. You will want to mark the Leaderboards in a way that allows you to mark each circle three times so the players can earn all three promo cards for each season.
Follow all of that? It’s okay if you didn’t. I think I started thinking about sandwiches about halfway through that. Here is what we plan to do at the Gym, which is a combination of what Play!Pokemon suggests and what makes sense. Each player will receive 1 mark for each week that they attend. Players receive 1 mark for each game played, whether it is a VG battle or and TCG game. The winning player of each battle will receive 1 additional mark. If the player is participating in a tournament (VG Premier Challenge or TCG League Challenge), they get 2 marks for the game and 1 additional mark if they win that game. So, a tournament battle can net you 3 marks.
This simplified format, we hope, will make it easier to get back to the Gym Leader Challenges, the hallmark of our league. Last season’s “pick-up tournament” format made it difficult to conduct challenges as we were often pressed for time during league. It also appeared that players lost interest in playing tournament after tournament after a few months and eventually just cycled back into playing games at their own rate. For those who are newer to the Gym and have never attempted a challenge, a Gym Leader Challenge is a best 2 of 3 match against a single type deck (Grass, Fire, Water, etc.) which you may attempt after earning marks each season. This season the number of marks required to do a challenge is 15. We know that challenges can be a little time consuming, so we plan to reward those who take us on with bonus marks. Each Gym Leader challenge will net you 6 marks , regardless of whether or not you win or lose, or whether the match is over in 2 games or 3. Of course, if you win, you get the custom Fincastle Gym badge, a place on our Wall of Fame, all the glory that follows and you get 1 step closer to becoming League Champion (a title that still remains unclaimed after the 5+ years of the Gym’s existence).
If the cards shown on Pokebeach are the actual league badge cards that we are supposed to get (which look to be 3 cards per season and maybe a code card), you will get a badge card each week that you attend. We will continue to distribute the promo Energy, Trainer, Pokemon and Code cards as we always have, assuming that Play!Pokemon continues to send those. If not, then we will continue as we have while that supply lasts. Each week, we’ll add any extra badge cards into the mix of promos, so if you miss one of the badge cards, you may choose the ones that you are missing as your weekly promo card when you check out.
We will make an announcement at league next week just as a reminder of all of this. Gym Leader Marthe has been tracking games since the beginning of November. If you earn the season promo before we actually get them, then we will note that you earned it and deliver it as soon as we receive it. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email us or track us down at league. Until next time, see you at the Gym!