Tag Archives: expanded format

Pokemon 2018 TCG Rotation – Sun & Moon-on!

The Pokemon Company and Play!Pokemon announced its 2018 TCG rotation… back in May.  Why?  “Why” is an often asked and rarely answered question for a lot actions taken by the corporation.  Our speculation as to this “why” is similar to the scenario of the “Top Cut” website (remember the original online site with “Pooka”, where all net-deckers went to get their lists).   The Top Cut was taking too much internet traffic away from Pokemon.com.  So, Pokemon hired Pooka (the site’s creator) to write and commentate for them, thus improving their service and eliminating a competitor.  Of course, dozens of other sites popped up in his absence and the entire community had to embrace net-decking just to keep up, thus turning to many other internet sources.  Mission not accomplished.  Our annual rotation article is our site’s biggest draw, and the subject in general draws lots of traffic to various YouTube channels and other sites.  So, Pokemon’s response is… just throw it out there in May.  Solid plan.  The discussion of “why’s” is not why we’re here today, so let’s move on to the reason we are here, the rotation. Continue reading

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May 2018 Blue Ridge Regional Photos

As many of you have seen, The Fincastle Pokemon Gym was awarded its 3rd Regional Championship right here in Roanoke, coming this November.  That of course leaves us a bit confused when we try to reference it, or the recent one.  Both take place in 2018, so we can’t just say the “2018 Blue Ridge Regional” anymore.  It’s bad to confuse old people like that.  While we are working on branding, we thought we’d share some photos from the Memorial Day event, as we’ve finally had time to sit down and organize them.  We will follow-up soon with some more info on the November 2018 event.

We want to jump right into the cool stuff… the Cosplay Contest.  Last year, our 1st cosplay competition, was a lot of fun, as we had a small group excellent entrants.  This year was the real deal.  As we stated before, we are so glad that we had an experienced judge, Mera Babineaux to evaluate the contestants.  There is no way we could have picked the best out of this group on our own.

****All of these amazing photos are thanks to the event staff photographer:  Doug Morisoli.

Here are a few more of the event.

We will be back with some info on our next event.  Check back here often.  We also will have a League Challenge (Standard Format) at the Gym at our regular time this Sunday, 6/17.  See you there!

2018 Blue Ridge Regional Wrap-Up.

It took us a few days to recover and re-orient ourselves as to what day and time it is, but it is always worth it to the Fincastle Gym Leaders to see one of our events completed to our satisfaction.  This past weekend’s Blue Ridge Regional was our 2nd such event, and we hope that those who attended feel the same as we do… that this year’s event was our best yet.  Despite being awarded an Expanded Format tournament (less popular overall than Standard) and following two weekends in a row of Regionals in other areas, we still had 717 players and over 1380 people through the door over the weekend.  While Gym Leader Marthe was the field general in every sense of the term, keeping everything running on time, staying on top of any and all judging issues, keeping the side events moving and even feeding her staff, Gym Leader Joel worked behind the scenes to manage our huge array of vendors, check on building issues and to oversee the Cosplay contest.  All was made possible for both leaders by the staff.  We had a great time and hope all who attended did as well.  In the midst of all the activity, we had several trainers from both our Fincastle and Lexington leagues shine throughout the weekend.  For the 1st time since the creation of the Fincastle Pokemon Gym, we have multiple trainers from the Gym (not counting our kids) that wrapped up World Championship invitations. Continue reading

Blue Ridge Regionals Starts Friday, 5/25!

Well, they are finally here.  The Fincastle Gym is thrilled to be hosting our 2nd Regional TCG and VG Championships here in Roanoke this weekend.  We hope that you’ve had a chance to check out our articles previewing everything going on over the weekend.  Here are a few quick reminders for anyone attending or thinking about dropping by and checking it out.  Entry into the hall is FREE!!! You can come in at any time and check out our many vendors (12 total), cosplay contest and side events.  If you want to register for either main event (VG or TCG), you still can… just follow this link.  If you can’t come and want to watch the battles on stream, follow this link to see Critical Hit‘s coverage of the VG and TCG on Twitch.  If you are new to the game or interested in learning, this is a great chance to see what it is all about.  As always, if you follow this page and want to chat with the author (Gym Leader Joel), come by the Dark Moon Cards and Games booth and say, “Howdy.”  And of course, there is no league this Sunday in Fincastle.  See you this weekend at a much bigger gym!

Get Ready For Expanded – ACESPEC’s

The Fincastle Gym Leaders have been around.  We think that we pretty safe in our self-assessment in saying that we are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to all things Pokemon.  Knowledge is a many-pronged entity that is both sought out and accumulated.  A lot of what we know are things that we have both studied and practiced.  Some of it is information that we’ve gathered by just being around for a while.  What we’re saying is, we’re old.  And we are okay with that.  Our regional on Memorial Day weekend is in the Expanded format, which includes almost all cards dating back to the base Black & White set.  If you pay attention to the tournament circuit and TCG discussions on multiple platforms (podcasts, web pages, YouTube, etc), then you likely know a good bit of what this entails.  However, if you have played primarily at the Gym or are a new player to the TCG, there are a whole bunch of cards that you likely do not have and may have never seen that are used heavily in the format.  What we are planning to do over the next few articles is introduce you to (or remind you of) some of these powerful older cards that may benefit you when building an Expanded deck. Continue reading

Get Ready For Expanded At The Gym!

Well, for anyone out there that is new to this part of the country, welcome to the most schizophrenic weather in the world!  We cancelled league this past Sunday because of the winter weather warnings.  Gym Leader Joel, who was flying solo this weekend, drove home from work early Sunday morning in 30 degree weather with a steady mix of rain and ice.  When he awoke around 2pm, it looked like picnic weather outside.  65 degrees one day, 2 feet of snow the next… that’s winter in southwest Virginia.  At any rate, the insanely busy month of March is thankfully almost over.  Starting this coming Sunday, 4/1/18, all of the gym leaders will be back and we’ll have league at our normal time.  We know its Easter Sunday and that many of you may be busy with family, however, we look forward to seeing any and every one who can join us. Continue reading

Regional Championship Returning To Roanoke In 2018!

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is thrilled to announce that the Regional Championships are returning to Roanoke in 2018!  The Regional will return to the Berglund Center on Memorial Day weekend, the 25th through the 27th of May, 2018.  Pokemon confirmed this with us prior to their announcement this past Wednesday and informed us that our TCG event will be in the Expanded Format.  We are planning on returning many of the features from this year’s event, like the vendor marketplace and a variety of side events including Battle Fiesta style tournaments.  We have other ideas in mind to expand the weekend experience, including several Friday evening events, which we will share soon on the Regional website as we solidify those details.  Roanoke was one of the biggest and most diverse Regionals of the 2016-17 season.  It is our goal to outdo ourselves for next May’s event.  Check back here and on the Regionals site for details as they come!  See you at the Gym!

Pokemon Announces 2017 Rotation – BREAKthrough – On!

Play!Pokemon has announced its 2017 edition of the TCG’s annual rotation.  As expected the oldest 3 sets from the X&Y series, Primal Clash, Roaring Skies and Ancient Origins are leaving the Standard Format officially on September 1, 2017.  This means that all cards printed in XY BREAKthrough and newer sets will remain legal for the Standard Format.  The promo card pool will be cut to include XY promo #67 and higher and all Sun & Moon promos.  This also means that promo set dubbed, Generations, remains in format, as it was officially released on February 2016.  The Fincastle Gym, now in its 7th year of existence (9 years of playing the TCG) has developed what we hope is an easy-to-follow guide to walk both new and seasoned players through the annual rotation.  We have posted articles each of the last 5 years and like the layout that we’ve come to over the last 2 years.  We’ll stick to that design again this year, so if you have navigated our past posts, this year’s article should be familiar to you.  Continue reading