If you’re a competitive Pokémon player, I’m sure you’ve heard the news: the official Video Game Championship (VGC) ruleset for 2014 was announced by The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) about a week ago. I’m here to give you my opinion on the format. I will be taking directly from the official document (link will be provided at the bottom).
9. Sanctioned Format
Pokémon Organized Play supports one format for sanctioned play: Standard. Sanctioned events are listed on the POP website, and the results are reported to POP after the event concludes.
9.1. Standard Format
The Standard 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 Standard format for the 2014 season will use the following restrictions:
· Only Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Game Cards or downloadable versions are permitted for use.
· Players may use Pokémon from the Central Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #150, Coastal Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #153, or Mountain Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #147.
· Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.
· Pokémon are allowed to Mega Evolve.
· 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.
· Players may use items that have been officially released via Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, the Pokémon Global Link, or an official event or promotion.
9.2. Kalos Native
Pokémon used in the Standard Format must be native to the Kalos region in Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. A native Pokémon is a Pokémon that is hatched or caught in Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. Pokémon that have been transferred to Pokémon X or Pokémon Y via Pokémon Bank or Poké Transporter are not native.
So this right here is the “big” news. Rumors had been flying around about the rules being Kalos Dex only, and here it is: Kalos Dex only. What does this mean? A lot of Pokémon in the Friend Safari are NOT allowed. While this may seem confusing and frustrating to those who want to use Togekiss or Breloom, I’m okay with this. I don’t enjoy that they’re restricting Pokemon, but I get it – they don’t want any Pokémon RNG’d from older gens in, and so they’re eliminating that possibility entirely by simply banning them from play.
One interesting thing about this group of Pokémon is the lack of legendaries. Many teams used at least one or two legendary Pokémon from trios because they were very strong, and others would use those such as Heatran, Cresselia, Latios, etc… because of how well they played. In fact, Latios’ Dragon Gem Draco Meteor was THE special move to EV around in 5th gen.
This sudden lack of those legendaries means two things: 1) Casuals who hate it when people use those legendaries may actually decide to play competitively, and 2) the metagame will definitely be shaken up a little. I don’t think it’s going to be a crazy shake-up, but there will be Pokémon that will replace Cresselia, Thundurus, Heatran, Terrakion, etc…
One thing to note: You can breed egg moves from Pokémon transferred from 5th gen to 6th gen Pokémon and have it be legal, so that’s a plus!
4. Time Limits
Tournament staff is responsible for running a timely event. To assist in this effort, POP has established guidelines for time limits during various portions of the event. Players may take notes at any time during their match but
must begin each match with a blank sheet.
4.1. Pre-game Time Limit
Players will have 90 seconds to view their opponent’s team and select their Pokémon.
4.2. Mid-game Time Limit
Any mid-game effects, such as selecting a move or retreating Pokémon, are to take place within the 45 seconds allocated per turn.
4.3. Match Time Limits
Single-game matches will be 15 minutes. For best-of-three matches, each game in the match will be 15 minutes.
This is the part I’m not super-fond of. I take a long time to decide my moves. You have to think about a lot more than just the turn you’re about to play. Reducing the time from 60 to 45 hits hard – I’ve already had quite a few moments where my turn was decided by the game for me because I took longer than 45 seconds. That’s the only part that I don’t like – 90 seconds for team preview has always been enough for me, and 15 minutes I’m indifferent about.
Those are the two BIG sections I wanted to talk about. If you’d like to see the full rules document, CLICK HERE.
If you want a list of all legal Pokémon in the Kalos Dex, CLICK HERE.