The Fincastle Gym and Dark Moon Cards & Games are thrilled to announce the launch of our YouTube channel! This has been something that Gym Leader Joel has wanted to do for quite some time, but just did not have the time and more importantly, the understanding to do. You know what it’s like trying to explain to your parent/grandparent how to use their first smart phone? Well, it probably wasn’t that bad, but it is in the same ballpark. And in no way, shape or form have we fully figured it out. For right now, we have a camera, a channel and some editing software, and we’re fine with that for now. What we’ve noticed over the last several years here is that the migration of the world to the smart phone has decreased the desire and ability of people to absorb long written articles, like the ones that we have focused on since 2012. As times change, so must we.
Before we go any further, here is the link to the channel:
Dark Moon Cards & Games – YouTube
Our plan is for the channel to provide a mix of media for our leagues (both in Fincastle & Lexington) and to share with you many of the products available in our store (Dark Moon Cards & Games), as well as products only available at conventions we attend. Unfortunately, the launch has been more Wright Brothers than Space X… we planned to launch the site with several videos at once, not knowing that thanks to SW Virginia internet speeds, it would take 3 days to upload 6 videos. At any rate, our first wave of material includes product reviews of the Porygon Z GX box and the Hidden Fates Elite Trainer Kit and the accompanying opening of those items.
We will try and capture at least the finals of our League Cup this Sunday, October 6, and bring you that content as well. At future league meetings, we will try to pick up some games, or a featured match on days that time and attendance allow. We have no intention of becoming a deck analysis site, as one more lamb bleating on a mountain already full of sheep won’t offer you anything but more sheep breath. If we play something fun or come up with something different, we may share it on the channel.
The majority of future posts here will simply be to alert you to new content on the channel. So, please check back here as often as you like. To help us continue our long running league and business, we’d also like to ask that you “Like” as many videos you’d like (that’s like a lot of likes) and “Subscribe” to our channel. We will work to improve our content and video quality as we gain some much needed experience. We’re always open to ideas, so feel free to contact us with any suggestions. Head over to our channel when you get a chance. Until next time, see you at the Gym!
Posted in Fincastle Pokemon Gym Meetings, Pokemon Organized Play events, What is Fincastle Pokemon Gym?, Who we are.
Tagged Fincastle Gym, Fincastle Library, Fincastle Pokemon Gym, League Challenge, National Championships, Pokemon League Cup, regional championships, Standard Format, trading card game, World Championships
The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is proud to announce that two of its own are on their way to the 2018 Pokemon World Championships in Nashville, TN, this coming weekend, August 24th – 26th. Siblings Ridge and Anna Radtke have both qualified for the video game event in their respective age divisions. They are the charter members of The Gym’s team, Hee-Haw’s Generals, and are the first active members of The Gym to earn invitations to the event under the tutelage of its founders, Joel & Marthe Honts and their children, Logan and Georgia. Logan and Georgia have earned a combined 6 invitations to past World Championships, stretching back to 2011. In 2016, Georgia became the 1st from Fincastle to earn an invite to the video game event. Georgia, who qualified for both the trading card game and video game championships in 2016, was forced to choose between the two, ultimately picking the card competition. This year marks the first time local players will compete in the video game event. Continue reading
This is the final weekend before the Fincastle Pokemon Gym brings the Blue Ridge Regional Championships back to Roanoke. We have been highlighting some of the main features of the weekend here over the last week or two. If you’ve been following us here, you hopefully had a chance to read about our big side events, the Cosplay Contest and the Battle Fiesta. While those two are our featured “sides”, they are not our only ones. We’ve got a pretty long list of additional side events, several of which are new ones for this year, that range from large to small in size, for players of the video game and trading card game. Take a look below, we think you’ll like what you see. Continue reading
The 2018 Blue Ridge Regional Championships is bringing back one of, if not the coolest side event of any of the regional and international tournament. This Memorial Day weekend, we will host our 2nd Japanese-style Battle Fiesta. At our 2017 Regional, we introduced the Fiesta to organized play in North America, but were still feeling out how the Japanese tournament really worked. This year’s event is definitely and improvement over our 1st try, as we have a better working knowledge of how to operate it. To sweeten the deal, this year’s Fiesta is sponsored by Troll and Toad, which gives a nice boost to the prize payout for the winners and participants. There are several opportunities over the weekend to play in a “Qualifier” that can gain you entry into the Sunday afternoon Finals of the Fiesta. The Berglund Center will be open on Friday this year (starting at 2:00pm), which means that you can enter a Qualifier in addition to the main Regional TCG event. We will get into all of those details below. Continue reading
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
We think Mike Tyson said something like, “Everyone has a plan til they get punched in the mouth.” We had a plan, we changed the plan, something completely different happened… that’s the way of the world, it seems. The end result was a fun day at the Gym, but wasn’t exactly what we had anticipated. We had hoped to have results of both a League Challenge and VG Premier Challenge to report, however we did not have enough players for the VG Premier Challenge. While Anna R was ready to show VG players how its done, unfortunately, we could not hold the video game event without the minimum of 8 players. As we mentioned before, the month of March this year is a lost cause for us, as we just have too many things scheduled. The month of April will return us to our normal schedule at league, thankfully. Continue reading
The Fincastle Pokemon Gym took a well-deserved break following the Blue Ridge Regional Championships before diving into the task of sorting and putting away materials (which we did not complete until the end of last week). Following that, we did some data collecting from the event that we’d like to share with everyone. The Regional Championships exceeded our expectations and went as smoothly as any event that we’ve ever attended (more so than many). We know that those results would not have been possible without the strong response from players, fans and staff. We hope that all who attended were as satisfied with the weekend as we were. Now, we sit and wait and hope that we are awarded another Regional next year, a decision that is beyond our control. Should we be so lucky, we are already thinking of ways to improve upon and expand what we did this year. Only time will tell. Continue reading
Posted in Blue Ridge Regional Championship
Tagged anime con, Berglund Center, Blue Ridge Regional, comic con, Cosplay, Fincastle Pokemon Gym, Play!Pokemon, pokemon live stream, pokemon trading card game, Pokken, regional championships, video game tournament
Gym Leader Joel has always enjoyed the late-season tournaments in Pokemon organized play, in both the TCG and VGC. On top of enjoying playing in them, he has enjoyed considerable success in tournaments this time of year. Why is that? Gym Leader Joel does not devote much time to deck sites that spout about “The 3 Tops Plays” for the next event, as those seem to be efforts to dictate the format, rather than aid players with helpful info. This often leaves Joel a step behind in terms of what to expect early on in a season. However, by this time of the year, he has had time to step back and absorb what has been going on and build decks that handle most, if not all, of the format. Joel regrets not being able to play this year’s Roanoke event, but as the Fincastle Gym has too strong of an obligation to helping the Regional weekend go as planned, playing is just not a possibility this time. So, in this environment where secret decks or strong lists kept close to the vest are virtually impossible, here’s a look at what he was heavily considering playing. Continue reading
As we’ve mentioned here recently, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym and its companion store, Dark Moon Cards and Games, has branched out from our online store to try our hand at local conventions. While we are still learning that side of our business and trying to improve what we have to offer, we have had a great time at these local events. The main reason is the environment. When you are in a building surrounded by people who love the same stuff that you do, its hard not to enjoy yourself. In our planning for the Blue Ridge Regional Championships, we did a lot of brainstorming on how to bottle that environment and bring it to our event. As soon as we started planning, we ran into one slightly monumental hurdle to our plans… licensing from Pokemon. We think we’ve cleared that hurdle, perhaps not in the purtiest fashion ever, and put together a pretty cool group of vendors to supplement this weekend’s event. Continue reading
The next aspect of the Blue Ridge Regional Championships that we are going to look at is the planned TCG and VGC Side Events. Side events have been a staple of the Regional Championship format since we at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym have been playing the game. Typical “sides” have been 8-person, single elimination pods in formats ranging from Standard to Expanded to Theme Deck contests. In more recent Regionals, Day 2 (usually Sunday) has included a League Challenge. While these are great additions to the main events at these weekends, we are looking for (and have found) some great ways to expand those options and, in the process, bring you the 1st event of its kind on the east coast (maybe USA…, 1st that we’ve heard of anyway). The Battle Fiesta events are exciting new events for us to try out. We’ve read some amazing articles from American and European players that have been lucky enough to travel to Japan to compete in the real thing. Their tournament reports make for some fascinating reading. On both Saturday and Sunday, we will hold Japanese-style Battle Fiesta contests. Let us break down some details on all of these events. Continue reading