Published on December 9th, 2015 | by Firestorm


GS Cup Announced as Pokémon’s 2016 Ruleset

Today, Pokémon announced the ruleset we’ll see in place for the 2016 World Championships as well as all events after January 1st, 2016. The GS Cup ruleset is one that should be familiar to anyone who played in 2010 as well as those who played in the Generation Showdown tournament late last year.

If you’d like an analysis on the format, make sure you check out the first part of this great guide at Pokémon’s strategy site. Don’t forget to also check out the stats from the Generation Showdown for ideas or cool teams from 2010 for inspiration.

Simplified Ruleset – 2016

  • All matches are played in the Doubles format.
  • Time Limit: 90 seconds for Team Preview, 45 seconds for each turn, 15 minutes for the match for all tournaments at Regionals-level or higher.
  • Players choose 4 of their 6 registered Pokémon after team preview.
  • Pentagon Rule: All Pokémon must have the blue pentagon on their stats page indicating they were caught, bred, or received as an official gift in Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire.
  • Species Clause: No two Pokémon on your team can share the same Pokédex number.
  • Item Clause: No two Pokémon on your team can hold the same held item.
  • The following items are banned:
    • Soul Dew
  • The following Pokémon are banned (all forms):
    • Mew
    • Celebi
    • Jirachi
    • Deoxys
    • Phione
    • Manaphy
    • Darkrai
    • Shaymin
    • Arceus
    • Victini
    • Keldeo
    • Meloetta
    • Genesect
    • Diancie
    • Hoopa
  • You may have up to two of the following Pokémon in your Battle Box:
    • Mewtwo
    • Lugia
    • Ho-oh
    • Kyogre
    • Groudon
    • Rayquaza
    • Dialga
    • Palkia
    • Giratina
    • Reshiram
    • Zekrom
    • Kyurem
    • Xerneas
    • Yveltal
    • Zygarde

About the Author

is one of the co-founders of Nugget Bridge and the Community Manager for eSports Tournament Platform Battlefy. He has been playing Pokémon since 1999, competitively since 2007, and attending tournaments since 2010. He lives in Vancouver, Canada with a degree in Interactive Art & Technology + Communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @rushanshekar.

196 Responses to GS Cup Announced as Pokémon’s 2016 Ruleset

  1. MattDorrell says:

    Not happy about the Orbs being allowed.  Or MegaRayQuayQuay

  2. Wilson says:

    Yeah, I just saw this a couple min ago.

    I automatically groaned about the inclusion of Primals, but I don’t think it will be awful.if anything, less common Pokemon (Golduck) will get a time to shine in order to check those behemoths, and the other box legends will also be around to check, counter and keep things interesting.

    From previous battle spot competitions, I’ve noticed that Primals and even Mega Rayquaza are not unstoppable by any means; they just require prep during team building.

    The sheer amount of soft-resetting, though

  3. Specs says:

    Oh my god please no. How on earth can Rayquaza not be banned?

  4. Sprocket says:

    Personally I’m happy to see this.
    I’m just wondering, how the heck do you configure local battles for it?

  5. Opkil says:

    Mega Rayquaza?! Dude the meta is either going to have adjust or an emergency ban.

    Then again, it’s doubles…? Only time will tell, but it feels like the next CHALK.

  6. Seawolf17 says:

    I really wish I hadn’t already caught all those legendaries in my game.  Guess I’m gonna have to be all over the trading threads.  I can still SR the shiny rayquaza but that would be a pain

  7. Unreality says:

    From a competitive standpoint, yeah, primals being around hurts. From a marketing standpoint, why on earth would you not include the Pokemon on the covers of the boxes of the games you’re trying to sell in an advertising scheme?

    I’m going to focus on the positives of this metagame before complaining about the negatives.

  8. Sprocket says:

    Mega Rayquaza?! Dude the meta is either going to have adjust or an emergency ban.

    Then again, it’s doubles…? Only time will tell, but it feels like the next CHALK.

    Time for Mega Mawile to make a return I guess ;)

  9. TwiddleDee says:

    In all seriousness, not happy to hear Mega Rayquaza is legal. I’d be fine with it if it wasn’t a base 180 Atk with 115 base speed, option for a damage increasing item with a very good ability.

  10. freezehaxVGC says:

    Good thing only two legends are allowed. I expect trick room kyogre and Xerneas

  11. Sprocket says:

    Some other notes on the format, which are applicable.

    • Pentagon Rule is still in effect (thank Arceus). Competitively this means everyone will still be on equal footing for accessibility.
    • Soul Dew is still banned (no surprise).
    • Time limits for battles will be allowed to vary.
    • Since this format doesn’t mimic Battle Spot rules, there will be no practical way to practice outside of premier challenges, or the occasional battle competition/special rules.
  12. Kyruem Black is going to be amazing

  13. AlphaArrowz says:

    Oh my glob. Primal are allowed?! Whale then. Months of waiting for this.

  14. Hibiki says:

    I think the metagame can be pretty exciting, especially from what I’ve seen from the online tournaments (albeit those had stupid Mythicals such as Darkrai included as well).
    The fact that Skill Swap works on the Primal’s weather abilities makes things a lot less liniar and more interesting, and makes Kyogre a lot more viable than it would be without Skill Swap being a thing. 
    Extremely offensive oriented, probably, but still super exiting to explore.

  15. AlbusMagus says:

    Oh boy! now Golduck is viable again. lol

  16. DonVGC says:

    Swagger will become even more useful.

  17. Policolo says:

    Taking OgreTop to the next level! Also, with Xerneas being allowed, Mega Gardevoir and Sylveon will be even more stronger because their Hyper Voice will be boosted by Fairy Auro (if I’m correct, if not please correct me!) which balances things out with all those Primals around. I suspect that the metagame will shift from more bulky to offensive.

  18. As somebody who was playing singles in the days of 2010 and missed that VGC format, I’m on the fence about how this change makes me feel. On one hand, using the crazy powerful legendaries sounds like a lot of fun (plus Kyogre is up there as one of my favourite pokémon) and team building to manoeuvre around the power of your opponents chosen restricted legendaries will be a fascinating new challenge. On the other hand, this runs the risk of becoming a ridiculously over-centralised game type and the cries of “XYZ pokémon/combination is overpowered and ruins the game” could grow even louder.
    Thankfully, I think the positives could outweigh the negatives and I’ll look forward to at least trying out this ruleset. Though I’m slightly worried about how practice on the game carts is going to work (does the Free Battle mode allow you to run Rayquaza and pals?).

  19. TheMinimizer says:

    time to miss VGC for a year :(. I won’t restart my game or another for this.
    Some people want Legendaries or Megas removed? Let’s add MORE Legendaries and Megas. Oh and gotta make them the most powerful in the game .

  20. RevRush says:

    This is going to to be interesting to say the least, from the pokemon website:

    • All discovered Pokémon will be allowed except the following Mythical Pokémon: Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta, Genesect, Diancie, and Hoopa.

    • Teams may have no more than two of the following Pokémon: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde

  21. Oryx says:

    Speechless at the new format and how drastic of a change if is to traditional VGC (huge throwback to 2010).

    Weird that Rayquaza and the Primals are allowed. It’s definitely going to be a very different metagame but hopefully there’ll maybe be more room for variety.

  22. AidanVgc says:

    Time to make a new team around countering weather

  23. AtTehCross says:

    This will be fun to try out! Not completely sure how I feel about the format yet though. Either way, Mega-Khan is getting replaced by Mega-Ray is my guess.
    At least I get to hopefully use my favorite legendary in Lugia!
    I best start getting ready to soft reset some new Pokemon….

  24. freezehaxVGC says:

    Kyruem Black is going to be amazing

    scarf i assume?

  25. clarkvgc says:

    Mega Mewtow Y will now be the new Kang.
     Aura Sphere FTW

  26. Keonspy says:

    I have no idea where to start!

  27. clarkvgc says:

    I’m starting to teambuild right now

  28. CSFlare says:

    This is crazy! Xerneas+Rayquaza will run rampant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. makiri says:

    3 things:
    1. If you think Mega Rayquaza is a problem, you haven’t really experienced Primal Groudon. Groudon has always been the best legendary Pokemon since RS, and it is even better. Everyone gravitates to Kyogre because it seems strong (and now Rayquaza) but Groudon is the best legendary by far. Primal Groudon also means you get a Mega that doesn’t take up your restricted spot, 2 restricted with 1 Mega will be the way to go.
    2. ITS TOPOGRE NOT OGRETOP. People who want to replace Hitmontop with Kangaskhan may not realize Hitmontop’s exact role in that team. They function sort of similar, a strong Fake Out and Sucker Punch, but Mach Punch is what made Hitmontop so good at what it did. Finishing a Pokemon off before Water Spout so you get full damage from the Spout.
    3. Better be an in game ladder…
    PS remember Delta Stream is a weather condition and doesn’t just cancel out weather like Air Lock, Delta Stream can be overridden by Desolate Land and Primordial Sea, but not regular weathers.

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑