Tag Archives: gym leader

Congratulations Chris, v3.0!

far3Let’s see if we can frame this one in terms of the timeline of the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.  Gym Leader Logan had not yet qualified for his 1st World Championships.  Gym Leader Georgia, well, was not a Gym Leader.  She played of few games here and there, but had not become powerful female World Championship level player that little boys all over the country dreaded facing (because they knew they were getting ready to have the butts handed to them… BY A GIRL!!!).  Gym Leader Marthe was not an organizer.  In fact, she had just become a judge and had only helped out in a few small events.  Speaking of events, the 1st Battle Roads to be held in our area had not come yet and we were still campaigning to get our 1st Roanoke area pre-release.  Our Gym Leader Challenge was a brand new concept and our days at league usually consisted of multiple leaders fielding challenges all day at league, sometimes to the tune of 5 or 6 challenges in a single league meeting.  That is what was going on in Fincastle the last time that Chris L won a gym badge. Continue reading

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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

Worlds Testing Results – The Badger

badgerAs we mentioned in our last article, the Fincastle Gym has been testing every imaginable deck as we prepare for our 4th trip to the Pokemon World Championships.  In testing out ideas, we see how decks rate in categories that we rate as the most important performance categories for ranking a deck.  The 1st of those categories is the one that we place above all else… consistency.  A deck that is amazing in one game and then totally flops in the next, does not carry as much favor as one that provides reliable output game after game.  Next up for us, especially in this format, is speed.  We follow that with hitting power, as we believe something that can 1-shot any/everything can often make up for deficiencies in the 1st two categories.  Beyond those 3, we like to rate a deck’s recovery, or how often it can set-up the same attacker or a counter attacker after each KO it takes.  With our sites dialed in through these lenses, we then look at what we think we will see from opponents and how a certain deck matches up against those decks. Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #5 – The Boulder

boulder1The Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s final Spring Spotlight connects us back to the Gym Leaders’ first years involved with the TCG.  As those who were deep into the format at the time were squaring off with Luxray GL Level X/Garchomp C Level X (better known as “Luxchomp”) and Mewtwo Level X, we were still buying a pack here and there and learning how to build decent decks.  We went to our first Nationals that year (2010) and despite not being serious contenders, showed our flare for this game and potential (that we did probably not yet recognize) to do great things.  Logan claimed a winning record, missing a top 32 spot by one loss with a Gyarados(SF)/Blastoise(PLT) deck that he created.  Joel, while finishing under .500 (4-5), realized that he was on to something, as despite being far from the top tables, he drew several crowds of spectators who gathered to see what he was playing. Continue reading

Spring ’16 Spotlight #1 – Forest For The Trees

forrstA few articles ago, some of Gym Leader Joel’s meanderings took your across Gym Leader Logan’s love for the obscure, including the SDSU “Jackrabbits”, which is just one of many.  Whether this trait is inherited from his dear old dad or learned, is a much deeper discussion than we are looking to get into here.  Either way, Gym Leader Joel is the likely source.  Joel’s search for the obscure usually stays within the realms of film and music, as they were the only outlets available as he grew up.  Al Gore did not “invent” the internet until he and Gym Leader Marthe were married college graduates.  For example, ask Joel his favorite film and song (as of right now, as these are subject to change by a spot or two in his mental rankings) and he will reply, “The Fisher King” and “My Girls” by Animal Collective.  The 1st is his favorite Robin Williams movie and the 2nd is his “being a dad/husband” theme song.  The wonderful thing about the internet is that if you’ve never heard of either one, you can look them up in seconds.  At any rate, it is another obscure song that came to mind when naming this deck, that being the brilliant flash in the pan, “Dreams” by Forest For The Trees. Continue reading

Congratulations Robbie, v5.0!

5_9_7_3Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym was a pretty standard, uneventful day at league.  Uneventful for everyone except Gym Leader Logan.  Gym Leader Logan had his hands full in his role as the Water-type gym leader (TCG).  We made some changes to the water deck, trying to transition it towards the coming rotation.  Most of the strong water-type cards, outside of Seismitoad EX and Primal Kyogre EX, fall out of the Standard Format on September 1st.  Many of the Gym Leader’s mainstays like Suicune, Plasma Kyurem, Keldeo EX, Empoleon and Blastoise, leave the format without any worthy successors in the upcoming Ancient Origins set.  What the new set does provide, however, is a huge boost to Grass-type pokemon, which spells trouble for the Water-types.  Continue reading

Fincastle Gym Deck Spotlight #2: The Jerk, aka 20/20

steve1Today we are going to look at the 2nd deck that the Gym used at Nationals, this one used on Saturday in the side events by Gym Leader Joel.  Joel opened Saturday playing a straight Wobbuffet/Crobat deck in a tournament where the winner took home a Wii-U, but lost in the 2nd round.  As described in our last article, the deck featured in this article, lovingly dubbed “The Jerk”, seemed after the fact, like the deck he should have played in the main event on Friday and the Wii-U tournament (ahhh, hindsight… thus the “20/20” portion of the nickname).  However, with the diversity of decks in the field, this one may or may not have fared any better.   Considering that someone played to the finals with a deck (Wailord) that basically did nothing, it’s tough to say what could’ve worked better.  What we can say is that if Joel had played the same decks that he faced on Friday with “The Jerk”, it definitely would’ve been the better call. Continue reading

Congratulations Robbie, v4.0!

the doorAsk Gym Leader Joel what his favorite movie is and without hesitation, he will tell you that it is “The Matrix”.  So it follows, that his favorite movie line is, “…I can only show you the door.  You’re the one that has to walk through it.”  This has special meaning for Joel, not only because it is from an incredible movie, but more so because his father said this same phrase, almost word for word, often to Joel as he grew up in the late 70’s/early 80’s, years before the film.  His father’s point was to teach Joel that while he could guide him and offer advice, Joel had to decide things for himself, taking responsibility for his actions, but also feeling the true sense of accomplishment that only comes when you do something on your own.  It is this same mantra that Joel lives by that was the driving force behind his creation at the Gym, the Gym Leader Challenge. Continue reading

Congratulations Eric, Robbie and Davis

The Fincastle Gym had yet another busy Sunday of challenges this past weekend.  Despite Sunday being a holiday, we had a good turnout at league.  Gym Leader Marthe’s TCG creations were the focus of the trainers on deck.  On the VG front, Eric A continued his assault on the Gym Leader teams.  Before we get into the details, we want to remind everyone about the league challenge this Sunday, 5/31 at the Gym.  We will post details on that directly after this post.   Continue reading

Gym Leader Challenges – Marching On Towards #400

joltikThe Fincastle Gym’s Gym Leader Challenge has become the unique mainstay of our league.  Originally designed as a tool for our younger trainers (which originally made up 100% of our league) to demonstrate quality single-type decks and how to take advantage of weakness, the challenge has evolved into a much wider ranging entity.  We now offer custom badges for anyone who defeats one of us.  We developed a “Final Four” challenge, similar to the “Elite Four” from the video game that presents decks that focus on different styles of decks (Speed, Power, Defense and Skill), with some pretty healthy prizes awaiting anyone who can defeat all 4 in a row.  We also know that for new or younger players, beating any of the decks is difficult, as we strive to make these decks consistent and as strong as the card-base will allow for that type.  Continue reading