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Last month, Pokémon announced that players could bring one restricted Legendary per team to competitive battles in VGC Series 8. Now, only two weeks into Series 8, Pokémon has announced a complete 180 for the next ruleset.
Restricted Legendary Pokémon will be banned again when VGC Series 9 begins on May 1.
The rules for Pokémon Sword and Shield VGC Series 9 will be completely identical to those of Series 7. As a result, all Mythical Pokémon will be banned, along with the following Legendary Pokémon:
- Calyrex (including its Ice Rider and Shadow Rider forms)
All other rules regarding Gigantamax, duplicate Pokémon and items, Pokémon eligibility and battle time remain the same as Series 8.
More about Pokémon VGC Series 9
Though Series 9 is exactly the same as Series 7, the two formats mark notably different shifts in the Pokémon VGC metagame. When Series 7 began, it reintroduced 16 previously-banned Pokémon, along with every new and returning creature from The Crown Tundra. However, the Series 9 rules will strictly remove Pokémon without adding anything new.
Pokémon Players Cup champion Santino “Santi” Tarquinio criticized the decision to split a single format into two separate series. Meanwhile, Players Cup II champion Wolfe “Wolfey” Glick simply expressed his interest in bringing back Coalossal, a Pokémon that featured prominently on both his and Santi’s winning teams.
— Wolfey (@WolfeyGlick) February 15, 2021
Since the 2021 Pokémon World Championships were canceled, the Series 9 rules will only apply to online competition for the foreseeable future. Currently, the most prominent online tournament fans can tune into is the ongoing Pokémon Players Cup III.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more coverage as we approach Pokémon Day on Feb. 27.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.