Category Archives: Tips and Strategy

Advice for players new to Pokemon

The Bargain Bin #5 – Eon the Terrible

Today we are going to look at our last deck in our Bargain Bin series.  One reason it fell to our final spot was due to some price checking.  We were afraid that because it features a “promo” card, that it might slip out-of-bounds in terms of pricing.  The other reason we waited was because it was a concept deck up until about 2 weeks ago.  By that, we mean that it only existed to us in theory, and there were no online version to peek at.  Our 1st attempt at the deck was not worthy to post, as it was very inconsistent.  Gym Leaders Logan and Joel took turns tweaking the list, trying to get this potentially deadly combo to  work (without Shaymin EX, which is a stumbling block that every player is going to have to face in about 5 months).  What we have here is the best that we could do and frankly, it’s pretty interesting.  Two nights ago in the PTCGO, I watched Logan fall behind to a Darkrai/Giratina list only to flip the game on his opponent, taking his last 4 prizes in one attack, as the opposing player was locked, watching this one wreck the powerful meta deck. Continue reading

The Bargain Bin #4 – Spaceballs (x2)

Today the Gym Leaders are going to look at 2 decks that Gym Leader Joel cooked up while making a new Steel-type gym leader deck.  The past deck was a Mega Scizor EX deck that simply was not that good and was not very interesting to play.  Mega Scizor has carried a little weight this season when paired with Garbodor.  However, its damage output is not enough, especially as we expect to face trainers playing our weakness (Fire-types in this case).  Today’s 2 decks feature 2 pokemon that sport some big ol’ helmet-shaped heads.  Both decks are pretty ridiculous, but we could not keep these hidden away, as when we’ve played them on the PTCGO, we’ve beaten every version of popular decks that we’ve played with the exception of Volcanion.  These are Steel-types after all, so they do die pretty violent deaths to Volcanion. Continue reading

The Bargain Bin #3 – Furious George

The Fincastle Gym is back with another look at an interesting budget-friendly deck.  Much like the Golduck deck featured here, today’s deck is an iteration of a deck that many players were “hyping” when Sun & Moon was still in the pre-release stage.  Much like Golduck, a quick internet search reveals several similar lists for today’s deck.  While we view those lists as handy guides, we never borrow a list without testing it.  And more often than not, when we test a list, we find other ways that we prefer to play it.  The Gym leaders like our decklists to be as smooth and streamlined as possible.  We think that you will find what we’ve done to this deck is an improvement over the lists we’ve seen floating around.  Our gym leaders believe that the structure of today’s deck will open up some options to other variations (which should make a little more sense later in this article). Continue reading

The Bargain Bin #2 – Plucky Duck

Today we are going to look at our 2nd budget deck of our “Bargain Bin” series.  As we pointed out last time, when new cards are released, some deck combos are strikingly obvious to experienced TCG players.  These instant decks (just add water) are usually the 1st to flood the flooded arena of “pay to keep reading” duk9websites and the more accessible YouTube channels, as they both are always digging for content for their readers and viewers.  “Instant decks” are often those that receive a lot of hype when a set is released, usually bound to fade away into the shadows of the deck establishment.  Today’s deck is one of those “instant decks”.  However, this is one that we would caution you to not write off too quickly.  We’ve tested this one and we like it a lot.  And, to beat the band, it just happens to fall nicely into our budget category. Continue reading

The Bargain Bin #1 – Lance Armstrong

bud1The Fincastle Gym is going to continue its look at some of our online decks for the next week or two.  However, we are going to shift our focus from our “Mega Love” theme to some budget friendly decks.  The recent Sun & Moon set offered up some nice additions into this category.  Several of these deck combos are pretty obvious ideas for decks, so it is likely that you have seen a version (or versions) of these decks already.  By “budget friendly”, we mean to show you some builds that you can put together for little to no cost, as you may already have these cards set aside in a binder, tin or box of cards that you think you will never use.  This obviously means no Shaymin EX ($45-$65 at the moment) or any other card that carries with it a cost in the $20 or more range.  Does that mean these decks are not competitive?  Absolutely not.  Some of the most competitive decks over the last several seasons have been some of the most inexpensive.  Remember “Night March”?  How about Vespiquen Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #3 – Turtle and Teeth

Today  we are going to double down on Mega Love and look at 2 lists.  These lists carry 2 distinct strategies that do differ from each other quite a bit.  However, as the builds are similar in card counts, Gym Leader Joel feels like he can handle this degree of multitasking.  Oh yes, that is right, he is quite the experienced stoy1multi-tasker.  His years of intense divided focus has spanned such impressive areas as watching TV and eating, playing his 3DS and watching TV, eating and playing his 3DS while watching TV, reading or playing his 3DS while sitting on the… well, scratch that one… probably too much info.  Either way, this ain’t his 1st rodeo,  so sit back and enjoy this double-barrel of Mega Love with 2 “Water-type” giants…. (hold on…. I had to turn the TV off, I couldn’t remember what I was trying to say), Blastoise EX and Glalie EX. Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #2: Agnes Gru

This week we are returning to our Mega-love feature, which we have to admit was not intentional, but does fall nicely into place in terms of timing as Valentine’s Day approaches.  If you are like us, you are surely being bombarded by advertisements with all sorts of “loving” ideas that you can order with a convenient app and have delivered to your beloved, without taking away valuable moments of your iPhone duties.  In the last few days, we’ve seen everything from comfy jammies to giant bears, gourmet dipped strawberries to Zyppahs (because fluff1nothing says “I love you” like a device that says, “Shut up & quit snoring!”), to roses made out of beef jerky.  Mmmmm, beef jerky roses…..  Sorry, lost our train of thought for a minute.  Traditionally, Gym Leader Joel has been a lover of the stuffed animal.  Stuffed animals don’t wilt, can’t make you gain weight, always fit and generally do not offend (although in this day & age, I’m sure some little snowflake somewhere has taken issue w/a little puppy holding a heart that says, “I Wuv You”).  We hope that when you look at the featured pokemon today, like any good stuffed animal, you will exclaim, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” Continue reading

Welcome To “Ian’s Insanity” – A Look At The Creepy Persian

DSCN6365 - CopyOur 2nd deck that we are going to look at this winter is a break from our Mega-themed series that Gym Leader Joel is working on.  Under other circumstances, we would have shelved this one to look at later.  There are a couple of reasons that we just could not do that.  One is that this is the 1st submission from one of our trainers at the Gym.  In our years of existence, we have had quite the interesting mix of original creations from our trainers.  Some are good attempts at an idea that is just too hard to pull off.  Some have surprised us at how well they work.  At any rate, we have not featured any of those decks here… mainly because we never thought of doing so.  This brings us to the 2nd reason we are deviating from our Mega articles… this submission was just too cool not to share. Continue reading

2017 Spotlight On Mega Love #1: Destroyah

ttar8The scourge of winter weather that hit our area over the opening weeks of 2017 cancelled our 1st 2 weekends of league and tournaments.  While the forced break was not what we wanted, the Fincastle Gym Leaders used the time to do some much needed post-Christmas clean up and organizing.  This also coincided with the kick-off of another robotics season, which is always very exciting but very time consuming.  That being said, we’ve been on break from Pokemon for the majority of 2017.  We all pieced together decks the night before our league challenge last Sunday, which was the 1st time we’ve raised a card this year.  Now that things have settled down a bit, we’re ready dive back into all things Pokemon.  We thought the best way to kick things off this year would be with a look at a few decks.  Gym Leader Joel is going to focus on the Mega Pokemon that no one loves the way they should… the underappreciated, or dare we say, the deplorable.   We also plan to introduce the 1st deck from one of our most original trainers, Ian M, who we hope will provide us, from time to time, with a peek at some of his other insane lists. Continue reading

Logan’s Worlds Day 1 Deck – Darkrai/Garbodor

flash6The 2016 World Championships presented several “firsts” for the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  It was the 1st time that we’ve had a trainer qualify for the VG Championship, as Gym Leader Georgia had a strong VG season to go with her TCG season where she amassed 600 Championship Points.  Unfortunately, Georgia was unable to participate in both events, as they took place simultaneously.  Had she automatically made Day 2 of the TCG event (as her 600 points were only good enough for 24th in North America), she could have played Day 1 of the VG event and then decided what to do on Day 2 if she made it through Day 1 of the VG competition.  This was Georgia’s 2nd time qualifying for the TCG Worlds, as she also made the DC event in 2014.  Joining her was our league veteran, Gym Leader Logan, earning his 3rd World Championship invite.  Logan previously qualified as a Junior for the 2011 and 2012 Championships, when the Pokemon TCG was an entirely different animal.  Despite all of their successes, the 2016 Worlds was the 1st time that both siblings qualified in the same year. Continue reading