How Competitive Pokemon Works


The ins and outs of professional VGC and TCG tournaments.

The 2017 Pokemon World Championships are simply across the nook, from August 18-20. The competitors shall be streamed reside on-line so trainers all all over the world can tune in to see who’s the easiest, like nobody ever was. With a prize pool of $500,000, anticipate competitors to be fierce and thrilling.

Watching aggressive Pokemon is a bit totally different than enjoying with your mates in the lounge. There are particular guidelines that solely come into play in tournaments, and totally different methods which may look unusual should you aren’t into the aggressive scene your self. Don’t be concerned although, we have got you coated with our information to every thing you might want to know when watching each aggressive video game (VGC) and buying and selling card game (TCG) matches.

Let’s begin with the Pokemon VGC.

The 2017 Pokemon VGC World Champion will stroll away with $10,000 and an automated invite to subsequent yr’s World Championships. The skilled commentators do a implausible job at energetically narrating every gamers’ thought course of throughout matches, that are broadcast on-line, however there are a couple of particulars it is best to know moving into.

Pokemon Staff Guidelines

Competitive gamers should first think about the six Pokemon they’ll convey with them to a event above all. Within the Pokemon VGC 2017 format, solely Pokemon obtained within the Alola area of Pokemon Solar and Moon can be utilized. This implies a Weavile obtained in Pokemon X or Y, however transferred to Pokemon Solar or Moon, can’t be used despite the fact that Weavile are native to Alola. You possibly can inform if a Pokemon originated from Alola by the black clover on its abstract display.

This doesn’t sound like it will be an enormous deal, however Weavile caught or bred in Alola haven’t any approach of utilizing one among its greatest strikes in earlier generations: Knock-Off, a Darkish-sort assault that renders an opponent’s held merchandise ineffective. This can be disappointing for some with Pokemon that have been battle-prepared previous to the beginning of the season, however it has inspired new methods and the utilization of Pokemon by no means-earlier than-seen within the aggressive circuit.

There may also be no duplicate Pokemon or duplicate held gadgets on a group, and although Mega Evolutions have been an enormous a part of the 2016 season, you gained’t be seeing any on the 2017 Pokemon VGC World Championships. As an alternative, anticipate Pokemon to carry Z-Crystals, held gadgets which activate extremely arduous-hitting Z-Strikes to take down potent threats. Mostly, you’ll see a Tapu Koko with Gigavolt Havok, or Garchomp with Tectonic Rage.

Final however not least, very highly effective “uber-tier” Legendary and Legendary Pokemon, like Lunala, Solgaleo, and Necrozma, are usually not allowed. The Fairy-sort Tapus and unusual Extremely Beasts, nevertheless, are permitted on groups with no limits. All Pokemon are auto-leveled to 50 to advertise a good enjoying area.

Initially of every day at a event, each participant should declare every of their six Pokemon on a Workforce Sheet, full with what gadgets they’ll maintain, talents they’ve, and strikes they know. If any of the declared info is fallacious, the participant won’t be allowed to make use of that Pokemon. For instance, if I declare my Snorlax is holding Leftovers, however is definitely holding a Figy Berry, I will be unable to make use of it in battle that day.

Official Battle Format & How to Win

Pokemon battles within the video game are fairly easy on the floor: A participant wins when all of their opponent’s Pokemon have fainted. That is far and above the standard decision of a match.

If each gamers’ final Pokemon faint on the final flip, the participant whose Pokemon fainted final wins. That is to stop gamers from utilizing a transfer like Explosion, which knocks out the consumer, as a final-ditch effort to win. The consumer of Explosion will all the time faint first.

Although the only battle format is the most typical within the core Pokemon games – and most frequently used within the Pokemon anime – the official event format makes use of double battles. This isn’t solely as a result of they’re usually quicker-paced games, however as a result of it forces gamers to decide on groups with synergy in thoughts, as an alternative of simply the strongest Pokemon on the market.

2017 North American International Championships Pokemon VGC Junior finals. (The Pokemon Company International)

2017 North American Worldwide Championships Pokemon VGC Junior finals. (The Pokemon Firm Worldwide)

In these double battles, gamers select 4 Pokemon from their social gathering to make use of throughout a ninety-second group preview display, which permits gamers to see every others’ six Pokemon (however not transfer units or held gadgets). The primary two Pokemon they select will seem on the battlefield as their lively Pokemon, with the opposite two safely of their Poke Balls, awaiting to be switched into battle. The 2 that weren’t chosen in any respect won’t seem in the course of the battle.

Gadgets like Full Restores will even by no means be utilized in battle, as solely gadgets held by Pokemon are allowed in aggressive play.

As soon as a battle begins, right here’s an instance of what you’ll see.

2017 North American International Championships Pokemon VGC Junior finals. (The Pokemon Company International)

2017 North American Worldwide Championships Pokemon VGC Junior finals. (The Pokemon Firm Worldwide)

1. Your Time (Participant Time)


This timer counts down each time a participant is selecting a transfer, and pauses when it’s not their flip. If a participant makes use of all 10 minutes of this time throughout a battle, it can rely as a loss. Earlier seasons solely had complete battle time, which might finish the battle for each gamers.

 2Transfer Time


Separate from the “your time” counter, gamers have forty five seconds to decide on strikes on their flip. If nothing is chosen in time, the flip is missed and the opponent will get to maneuver. If a participant have been to make use of all forty five seconds every flip, they might run out of their time in thirteen turns.

 3. Celebration Pokemon


These Poke Balls characterize the Pokemon on a participant’s group. If a Poke Ball is grayed out, that signifies that Pokemon has been knocked out and may not battle. From this, we will see the participant on the left, Phillip, has solely three Pokemon left, whereas Nicholas has all 4.

 4. Pokemon Info


This bar tells you the identify of a Pokemon, its gender if it has one, and the way a lot well being it has left. On this screenshot, we will see that not solely is Phillip down a Pokemon, however his Kartana could be very near fainting as properly. Nicholas is forward on this battle.

Trainers play greatest two out of three, so if a coach wins two battles in a row, they win the match.

On prime of the “participant time” and “transfer time” mechanics, there’s additionally a complete “match time” of fifty minutes, which encompasses all three battles. If that point restrict is met in a battle, the gamers have three extra full turns to complete the match. There are a number of extra nuanced guidelines in case of unlikely occurrences, however these are the fundamentals.

If a participant earns sufficient wins through the “Swiss Rounds” of the primary two days of the Pokemon World Championships, they will earn a spot within the “Prime Minimize” on Saturday night. In the event that they battle properly sufficient that night time, they will take part within the finals match for his or her age division on Sunday.

How to Compete within the Pokemon World Championships

To compete within the Pokemon VGC World Championships 2017, gamers should have earned sufficient Championship Factors (CP) at different tournaments all through the season. Relying on the age of the participant and the area they’re from, this may be anyplace from one hundred CP to 500 CP.

Although it is too late to earn CP for the 2017 Pokemon World Championships, it is not too late to seek out tournaments and Pokemon Leagues close to you to start out working in the direction of the 2018 season. Native occasions pay out 15 CP for first place, whereas much less typically, bigger occasions pay out a whole lot of CP, typically together with money prizes. Take a look at the Play! Pokemon web site for extra info on the way to become involved, and our Newbie’s Information to Competitive Pokemon for a primer into what the professionals do to coach their greatest Pokemon. It is a surprisingly arduous course of.

For extra on the TCG aspect of the Pokemon World Championships, proceed studying!



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