Tag Archives: gym leaders

Daniel S Completes 400th Challenge At The Gym!

Well, we finally got there.  The Fincastle Gym has been slowly but steadily advancing towards completing its 400th Gym Leader Challenge over the opening months of 2018.  We hit that number this past Sunday at the Gym.  As we were putting this article together, Gym Leader Joel searched for any significant number 400’s to use as a theme and was left with little good material to work with.  The first responses to an internet search of “400” lead to explanations of the search error message, “HTTP – 400 Bad Request” (computer jargon informing you that your search ain’t happening).  Beyond that, there were some hits on State Route 400 in Georgia and a leap year in medieval times.  Gym Leader Marthe even suggested looking up #400 in the Pokedex and lo and behold… it was Bibarel.  Really?  Talk about a pokemon that’s hard to spin into something cool.  I think the last good Bibarel cards was… never.  So little to work with, yet the 400th challenge netted one lucky trainer the best gift that we’ve ever put together at the Gym. Continue reading

Advertisements

Congratulations William, v1.0!

When it comes to the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s gym leader challenges, there are two things that we promise to those who attempt them.  The first is that we will not take it easy on you.  We have never embraced the “trophies for everyone” mentality that has spoiled many once-competitive arenas.  We take this approach because we know how truly competitive the real world is and have witnessed the effects of not expecting individuals to always put forth their best efforts.  Now, with that being said, we know that Pokemon is a “kids” game and that it was created as a fun hobby.  Whether you choose to play for fun or tackle the competitive side of the game is up to you.  While open play at the Gym is for fun… gym leader challenges are a sound introduction to competitive play.  The second promise is that win or lose, we will always help our trainers learn how to improve, if they so desire.  Whether it is an improvement to a deck or to a Continue reading

Gym Deck Retired: Solgaleo GX

Today we are going to look at the recently retired Steel-type gym leader deck.  Traditionally, Steel-types in the TCG have been designed to be more defensive, offering larger HP numbers or defensive abilities in exchange for heavier attack costs.  In the sets released prior to Sun & Moon, one had to wonder if Pokemon forgot that they were a thing at all.  When Bronzong (PHF 61) rotated out of the format, taking Aegislash EX with it, it became very difficult to construct a functional Steel deck.  Gym Leader Joel rode a Mega Scizor EX deck about as long as anyone could stand (because M-Scizor really was not that interesting to play), patiently waiting for something else to come along.  Luckily for him, gym leader challenges were not taking place very often during that time, so he did not have to take too many losses with the deck.  Sun & Moon came along and gave Joel a gift in the form of the most offensive Steel pokemon that he had ever seen (and no, we’re not talking Hollywood-offensive, we mean capable of offense-offensive).  Joel immediately turned this gift into a successful deck. Continue reading

January TCG Challenge Results and Congrats Chris, v5.0!

The Fincastle Gym had a busy day this past Sunday and, thanks to the school system shutting down for the week over weather that makes Gym Leader Marthe (a Wisconsin native) chuckle, our kids have been home all week, making it difficult to find time to finish this post.  We have two interesting pieces of news to share, both about Sunday’s happening.  The first is about a New Year’s resolution of sorts.  For the majority of 2017, we adopted the schedule of hosting one TCG League Challenge and one VG Challenge each month.  Gym Leader Joel thought it’d be a nice addition to post the results of those events to recognize the winners.  So starting this week, we will do so.  We won’t list descriptions of the matches, mostly because we can’t watch them all.  However, for now, we will list the results.  Our dream is to video tape both TCG & VG finals and Gym Leader Challenges and connect a YouTube channel to this site (which is not an issue of “how”, but an issue of finding the time to do so).  For now, we’ll stick with listing the winners.  Speaking of Gym Leader Challenges…. Continue reading

A Christmas Message From The Gym!

As many of you know from reading past articles on this page, we like to tie the themes and ideas that we write into pop culture, mostly in the form of movies, both popular and obscure.  The reason behind this is that the author (Gym Leader Joel) loves all genres of film.  To call him a film buff would be like calling Count Von Count a numbers guy.  No, Joel is a film fanatic.  Joel will deify a movie over shooting a short sequence better than others that have attempted the same, or over detailed camera work, even if the film itself is lackluster.  Needless to say, when film makers put it all together and make a masterpiece, Joel is blown away.  So it is with this is mind that he is sharing a Christmas message from the Gym that is directly from a movie that remains his favorite above all others. Continue reading

Congratulations Chris, v4.0!

“Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again.  If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.”  These are words that we’ve heard so often in our lives that they’ve surely lost their significance and power.  In fact, the sarcastic nature of our world probably has us more familiar with such quips as, “If at first you don’t succeed, perhaps skydiving isn’t for you…”, or “…, try doing what your teacher told you the first time…” or even, “… get a bigger hammer.”  What’s lost in all of that wit and cleverness is that the original phrase, penned in the 1800’s by an author and educator named Thomas H Palmer, is perhaps one of the most concise descriptions of The American Dream.  If you will it, dude, it is no dream.  As you pursue your goals, you are bound to make mistakes and experience setbacks, often having to accept that you have to improve.  You have to learn from your mistakes and keep trying until you either get it right or tire from trying and settle for something less.  We at The Gym believe that basic principle, so eloquently wrapped up in a single quote, applies equally to any single desire.   Whether it is something big like trying to save for a first car, or buying a home, or something small, like a child saving money for a toy, or a gift for a parent, the feeling of accomplishment is the same.  The badge won this past Sunday may have been the hardest earned badge to date at the Gym. Continue reading

400th Gym Leader Challenge Is Almost Here!

The Gym Leader Challenge is the Fincastle Gym’s longest running tradition.  Shortly after beginning our league, Gym Leader Joel went to work on taking the core concept of every Pokemon video game to date and incorporating it into our gym.  That concept is having Gym Leaders and type-specific decks available for its trainers to test themselves against.  Originally, we scrounged the web for a supply of the 2008 league promo badges to reward our trainers for wins over gym leaders.  That supply soon dried up, so we went to our trainers, held a contest and eventually created our own gym badges based on the design of Kelli Bowen, a trainer that was part of one of the many great families that have come and gone over the years at the Gym.  We have documented every challenge we’ve ever taken… every win, every loss, every battle that came down to the wire.  Those who have prevailed are immortalized on our Wall of Fame. 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

Worlds Testing Results – Steampunk Teapot

teapotToday the Fincastle Gym is continuing is look at Worlds potentials that we’ve tested over the last several weeks.  The deck that we’ll look at today is one that is only in the mix thanks to the early release of Steam Siege.  Much like “The Badger” from our last article, this deck scored well in our categories used to evaluate deck potential.   Its consistency and speed are both pretty amazing.  Its recovery may be the best of any deck we’ve tested.  Its hitting power is also impressive, as it can often hit for 90 to 100+ damage for a single energy cost.  As much as we like this one, we again look at this deck and struggle to answer the question, “Why not play this deck at Worlds?”  Let’s look a little deeper for the answer. Continue reading

Congratulations Ridge, v1.0!

rickDo you remember those little ol’ things called Gym Leader Challenges?  Yeah, we still have them.  Not at the level that we used to, though.  At one time, the Gym Leaders were trying to see how many challenges they could fit into one league session.  Over the last few months, if we field 1 per meeting, that has been a busy day for the Gym Leaders.  So what’s different?  Not that much at the Gym.  However, over the last year, as Play!Pokemon has expanded the number of events available across the country, the down-time between events has shrunk drastically.  It seems that League Challenges, City Championships and the big events (States/Regionals) take place just weeks apart.  That, coupled with the advent of the new league format, has really put the brakes on Gym Leader Challenges.  Needless to say, the Gym Leaders experienced a mild sensory overload as they fielded two VG Challenges at once today after the League Challenge. Continue reading