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New Format for the 2016 Pokémon VGC Revealed

The official Pokémon website has announced that there will be a new format for the annual Pokémon Video Game Championships!  A new rule has been added for the 2016 Pokémon VGC that allows for the use of Pokémon that have previously been banned such as Mewtwo, Groudon, Xerneas, and more.  This is the first time since 2010 that these powerful Pokémon have been allowed entry into the Pokémon VGC – a change that will cause significant rifts in the current meta-game, for sure!

Before you think you can load up your team with nothing but uber-powerful Legendary Pokémon, however, there’s one major caveat to this new rule: you can only bring 2 of these particular Pokémon onto your team at a time.  It’s up to Trainers competing in the 2016 Pokémon VGC to come up with a balanced team that utilizes the strength of these powerful Pokémon while playing within the restrictions of the new format.

Speaking of which, here’s all the main rules of the new 2016 Pokémon VGC format:

  • All battles will be Double Battles played in Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokémon brought in via Poké Transporter will not be permitted (the blue pentagon is required)
  • 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
  • All items will be allowed except Soul Dew; each Pokémon must hold a different item
  • 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 Zygarde

For those of you competing in official Play! Pokémon tournaments, this new format begins on January 1, 2016.

In the mean time, the official Pokémon site has provided a nifty guide that gives insight into how players are likely to use these restricted Pokémon, so be sure to check it out.  Also, the folks over at Nugget Bridge have begun writing guides on what to prepare for with this new format, so make sure to follow them in the months to come (read their other articles as well; you’ll definitely find some serious nuggets of wisdom over there).

It should be noted that Mega Rayquaza, while absolutely fearsome in Singles battles, will face serious opposition in Doubles battles.