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

Merry Christmas From The Gym!

hohoThe Fincastle Gym is counting down the days on another great year.  This our 7th year has been an interesting one for sure.  We watched as Gym Leader Georgia turned in a dominating final year in the Junior Division, placing in several Regionals, winning a State Championship, claiming the highest finish ever by a Gym member at the National Championships and becoming our 1st player to earn World Championship invitations in both the TCG and VG.  Her dominating Continue reading

Congratulations Eddie, v1.0!

As promised, the Fincastle Gym hit another milestone at our league.  Sunday, Gym Leader Joel battled the youngest player to ever take on one of our Gym Leader Challenges.  Eddie R, maybe standing all of 3 1/2′ tall, is about as full of himself as any 5-year-old that we have met.  To be good at this game, you need to able to read and comprehend ideas that are pretty foreign to the average pluff15-year-old mind.  You need to be able to perform basic math and at times, math that goes way beyond the definition of “basic”.  You need to be able to grasp the strategy of a themed deck, whether it is a creation of the best cards you have or a deck based off of the top decks played by Masters and Seniors.  Pokemon rates this game for ages 6 and up, but from what we seen on average, most kids aren’t ready until that 7-8 range.  The average 5-year-old (in our country, anyway) does not read and is not expected to be able to.  If their parents are active with them, many 5-year-olds are counting, but that’s a far cry from doing math.  The most complex strategy in most 5-year-old brains is how get something they want or how to not do something their parents want them to do.  We have absolutely zero qualms in labeling any 5 year that can play this TCG as “exceptional”. Continue reading

VG Premier Challenge and League Challenge Results and Report

gdon5The Fincastle Gym has hosted back to back weekends of competitive events at its home base in the metropolis of Fincastle.  Two Sundays ago, the Gym held a VG Premier Challenge, gathering a good showing of skilled players.  Masters battled it out over 4 rounds and then cut to a top 2 to determine the champion of the event.  This past Sunday, the Gym hosted its 3rd League Challenge of the season.  Our cast of regulars were joined by some Juniors and Seniors players making their 1st appearance in Fincastle.  The current Standard Format has proved to be just that, pretty standard, as the decks present provided no surprises.  Gym Leader Joel tried to shake up the match-ups (with no avail) and unfortunately for 1 player, altered the results. Continue reading

Update On League Seasons And Rewards

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 aposter“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. Continue reading

VG Premier Challenge This Sunday, 11/27/16!

Okay, so last Sunday did not go as planned.  We hope that everyone received the notice of league cancellation in time.  That’s the biggest drawback of our league location is that we are required to pick up a key every Saturday and return it on Sunday after league.  In instances like last weekend, we got caught up and could keynot get to the library in time to get the key… and no key means no league.  We apologize to any who did not see Facebook or league emails in time.  On the positive side, all of the Gym Leaders were able to visit the Lexington league on Monday and spend time playing with its trainers.  We are pleased to see the large group of very promising Juniors in attendance in Lexington, and we hope extend the “Generals” program to the fledgling league soon.  At any rate, we are back on track for this Sunday and will have league and a VG Premier Challenge at our regular league time. Continue reading

Halloween Pre-Release Photos

halloween-038Wow.  What a fun couple of weeks at the Gym!  We always enjoy the weeks that surround new set releases and the accompanying pre-release tournaments, as they are nice breaks from the competitive season.  However, no other events, for us anyway, ever seem to hold a candle to the October pre-releases and our costume contests.  Yes, it gets pretty noisy… and yes, the Fincastle Library room was hotter than a billy goat butt in a pepper patch, especially for those in costumes, but it is worth it for us to get to see the creative side of many of our trainers.  Looking at some of the amazing efforts put forth by our trainers, we wonder if we should “re-class” our contest from that of a costume event to a cosplay event.  We think some of our guys and gals could compete with the best at area anime conventions and comi-cons (at little more about that later). Continue reading

A Plethora Of October Events Remain At The Gym!

guapo1Would we say we have a plethora of events?  Oh yes, we have a plethora of events still remaining in October at the Gym.  And don’t worry, we would not tell someone that we have a plethora, if we did not have any idea what a plethora is.  We definitely know what it means to have a plethora.  Sorry to say, there will not be any pinatas involved, but we hope each event will be filled with little surprises.  We are sorry that we have not made the time to post here in the last week or so, but October has already been a very busy month for the Gym.  Gym Leaders Georgia and Logan got their feet wet in their 1st major event of the year, the Orlando Regional.  Gym Leader Marthe is knee-deep in the planning stages of the Blue Ridge Regional coming to Roanoke next May.  All of the leaders have been busy welcoming and teaching new players at both our Fincastle and Lexington leagues.  At times it feels like events are falling from the sky like gringos.  We try to handle them with a little more grace than El Guapo. Continue reading