The new year is bringing changes to the rules of official Pokémon video game tournament battles! Pokémon will again be permitted to hold Z-Crystals as battles shift to the Moon Series format on January 8, 2019. This change will go into effect at all Play! Pokémon video game tournaments, as well as in Championships Battle matches on the Pokémon Global Link. The reintroduction of Z-Moves is sure to bring a big shift to the GS Cup battles of the 2019 Video Game Championship series, where, alongside the usual rules, Trainers are permitted to use two of the powerful Legendary Pokémon typically prohibited from tournament play.
Tournaments will feature the Moon Series rules from January 8 until April 1, 2019:
All Pokémon from National Pokédex No. 001 through 807 are allowed, with the following restrictions:
Mythical Pokémon and Ash-Greninja are not permitted.
Players may only include two of the following Pokémon in their teams: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala, Necrozma.
Ultranecrozium Z is not permitted, but other Z-Crystals are permitted.
Mega Stones are not permitted.
The Blue Orb and Red Orb items are not permitted.
Rayquaza may not know the move Dragon Ascent.
Pokémon must have the Alola symbol, showing they were caught in the Alola region.
Duplicate Pokémon are not allowed.
Duplicate held items are not allowed.
All Pokémon are set to Lv. 50, including Pokémon below Lv. 50.
Players will have seven minutes of Your Time.
The Impact of Z-Moves
The only change between the Sun Series and Moon Series is that Trainers may give their Pokémon Z-Crystals to hold. This allows Pokémon to use Z-Moves, moves of great power that each team can usually only use once per battle. While many of the Sun Series's top performers will probably continue their reign in the Championship Series Event Results, the reintroduction of Z-Moves is sure to shake up the competition.
Pokémon that otherwise lack a go-to item have stood out as great Z-Move specialists in practice Moon Series matches. The Legendary Pokémon Groudon, Palkia, and Yveltal get a significant boost in the Moon Series format. Alola's own Solgaleo and Lunala are sure to be featured on more teams thanks to their exclusive Z-Moves. Don't be surprised if you see some other Pokémon's exclusive Z-Moves, too—the guardian deities can all use the Guardian of Alola Z-Move, which will do 75 percent damage even to a full-health Legendary Pokémon. Kommo-o could also return to the fray now that it may hold Kommonium Z.
Xerneas may be the Pokémon that feels the brunt of the impact from the return of Z-Moves. The Life Pokémon was considered by many to be the most powerful Pokémon in the Sun Series because it was so difficult to stop it from increasing its stats with Geomancy and blasting through teams. Z-Moves are a powerful tool to take down Xerneas before it can go on the offensive, so don't be surprised if many of the Pokémon holding Z-Crystals are speedier than Xerneas or wielding physical attacks to avoid dealing with Geomancy's Special Defense boost.
You'll be able test out your own Moon Series teams by competing in Championships Battle matches on the Battle Spot starting on January 8, 2019. Once you're ready to compete in a live tournament, use the Event Locator to find an event near you. Enjoy your battles in the Moon Series, and reach for the Pokémon World Championships!