We're excited to announce the new rules and regulations for the 2017 Pokémon Video Game Championship Series (VGC) season featuring the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon video games. This new competitive format will be the official format for all VGC events, all the way up to the 2017 Pokémon World Championships. New rules typically go into effect at the beginning of the calendar year, but this year we're moving up the start of the new format to December 1, 2016.
In the 2017 Championship Series season, all battles will be Double Battles. Players must compose their teams using only Pokémon found in the Alola Regional Pokédex that have been caught in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. This means that even if you have a Pokémon found in the Alola Regional Pokédex from a previous game, you'll have to catch it again in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon for it to be eligible for competition. Some Legendary Pokémon will not be allowed, including Solgaleo and Lunala. Mythical Pokémon will not be allowed either, including Magearna. Other Pokémon that have yet to be revealed may also be banned from competition.
Pokémon will not be allowed to hold Mega Stones, so Mega Evolution will not be allowed. However, Pokémon will be able to hold Z-Crystals, allowing the use of new and powerful Z-Moves.
If you're looking to practice using the 2017 Pokémon VGC format, head over and start battling on the Pokémon Global Link, where you can play using this rule set year-round using the new “Championship Battles” format. This format will be available right away when Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon launch on November 18, 2016.
This season, a new player time system will be used to control the length of each battle. Similar to a chess clock, each player will have 10 total minutes to choose their moves within a game. You'll need to manage your time carefully throughout the match to make sure you have plenty of time in later rounds!
2017 VGC format summary:
All battles played with Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon
Alola Regional Pokédex
Mega Stones not allowed
Some Legendary and Mythical Pokémon banned, including Solgaleo, Lunala, and Magearna
10-minute player time system
Look forward to much more analysis and coverage of the 2017 Pokémon VGC season all year long at Pokemon.com/Strategy, where we'll be breaking down new Pokémon and tactics.
Good luck to everyone participating in the 2017 Pokémon Video Game Championship Series season!