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Published on November 27th, 2012 | by Firestorm

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VG Modified Ruleset Updated for VGC ’13 Season (Updated)

The moment you have awaited has arrived! We’ve received a heads up on the ruleset for the rest of this season’s events (and January’s Apex tournament) before it goes live on the official website. As we’ve long predicted, the format will use the same ruleset as the Global Battle Union and, as we reported earlier, only Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 game cards will be allowed. This will ensure that you see the Therian formes of Landorus, Tornadus and Thundurus. You will also notice that Chatot is banned to mirror the GBU ruleset more closely. RIP Chatot.

6. Standard Format Style

All sanctioned Pokémon video game tournaments require players to assemble a team of Pokémon, with items, prior to the start of the event. The standard format style for all PLAY! Pokémon tournaments is Double Battle.

6.1. Double Battle

In Double Battles, each player selects four Pokémon from his or her party of six to battle with. At the start of the battle, players send out the first two Pokémon in their party, making a total of four Pokémon on the battlefield. Game play continues until a player knocks out all four of his or her opponent’s Pokémon.

7. Standard Team Construction Rules

When building a team for a PLAY! Pokémon tournament, all players must adhere to these standard construction rules.

  • A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number
  • Each Pokémon on a player’s team can hold an item, though no two Pokémon may hold the same item
  • A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same nickname
  • A player’s team cannot contain a Pokémon nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon (for example, an Unfezant named “Pidove”)
  • Pokémon may only use moves that have been learned through one of the following methods:
    • By leveling up
    • By TM or HM
    • As an Egg move, through breeding
    • From a character in the game
    • A move already known by a Pokémon received at an official Pokémon event or promotion
    • A move already known by a Pokémon that has been transferred from another Pokémon game via Poké Transfer or the Relocator.

8. Sanctioned Format

Pokémon Organized Play supports one format for sanctioned play: Modified. Sanctioned events are listed on the POP website, and the results are reported to POP after the event concludes.

8.1. Modified Format

The Modified format is the standard tournament format for PLAY! Pokémon video game events. This format will be used at all premier events unless specified otherwise. The Modified format for the 2013 season will use the following restrictions:

  • Only Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 Game Cards are permitted for use.
  • Players may use Pokémon from the National Pokédex, from No. 001–649, that are caught in the game, transferred from a previous Pokémon title, or received at an official event or distribution
  • The following Pokémon may not be on a player’s team:
    • 150 – Mewtwo
    • 151 – Mew
    • 249 – Lugia
    • 250 – Ho-Oh
    • 251 – Celebi
    • 382 – Kyogre
    • 383 – Groudon
    • 384 – Rayquaza
    • 385 – Jirachi
    • 386 – Deoxys
    • 441 – Chatot
    • 483 – Dialga
    • 484 – Palkia
    • 487 – Giratina
    • 489 – Phione
    • 490 – Manaphy
    • 491 – Darkrai
    • 492 – Shaymin
    • 493 – Arceus
    • 494 – Victini
    • 643 – Reshiram
    • 644 – Zekrom
    • 646 – Kyurem
    • 647 – Keldeo
    • 648 – Meloetta
    • 649 – Genesect
  • Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.
  • Pokémon above level 50 are permitted, but they are auto-leveled down to 50 for the duration of battle.
  • Players may use Pokémon with Hidden Abilities that have been officially released through the Pokémon Global Link or an official event or promotion.
  • Pokémon may not know the moves Sky Drop or Dark Void.
  • Players may use items that have been officially released via Pokémon Black Version, Pokémon White Version, Pokémon Black Version 2, Pokémon White Version 2, the Pokémon Global Link, or an official event or promotion.
  • The Wonder Launcher cannot be used during battle.

The other important to the ruleset is new clarification on note-taking. According to the rules document:

4.2. Mid-game Time Limit

Any mid-game effects, such as selecting a move or retreating Pokémon, are to take place within the 60 seconds allocated per turn. Note taking may only occur when not being prompted to select a move.

This means that note taking will only be allowed while waiting for your opponent to make a move or during the animation sequences.

With rules in hand, it’s time to start preparing for the rest of the 2013 season.

Note: Soul Dew is not explicitly restricted yet but we expect it to be added to the list soon.

Update! Soul Dew is banned from VGC Play

As expected, we have received confirmation that the item Soul Dew, which gives Latios and Latias a free 50% boost to both Special Attack and Special Defense, will be banned from VGC play despite not being explicitly banned in the ruleset.

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About the Author

started playing in the VGC series in 2010 mostly as an excuse to meet up with some friends. It would bring him out of Pokémon retirement and fuel his drive in the game for years to come. In the real world he's just graduated with a degree in Interactive Art & Technology + Communications and lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC!



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