Announcement Date: January 17, 2019 (updated February 14, 2019)
Effective Date: February 15, 2019
No changes have been made to the banned card list for the Standard format.
Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick (XY—Primal Clash, 133/160 and 158/160) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Unown (Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, 90/214) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Delinquent (XY—BREAKpoint, 98/122, 98a/122, and 98b/122) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Lusamine (Sun & Moon—Crimson Invasion, 96/111 and 110/111; Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism, 153/156) is now banned in the Expanded format.
No new rule changes have been made.
Next Announcement Date: April 18, 2019
Details of Changes
No cards were banned from the Standard format. It will be an extremely rare occurrence for cards to be banned from the Standard format.
Four cards were banned from the Expanded format. The reasoning for these changes is below:
A Fighting-type Pokémon in the Sun & Moon—Team Up expansion would create a potentially devastating combo with Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick that can be achieved on the first turn of the game. Rather than wait and see how this turns out, it was determined that the best course of action was to prevent this combo before it happened.
With multiple combos that exist in the Expanded format, the DAMAGE Ability of Unown could be used to win the game on the first or second turn. Even though these combos haven't yet proven to be successful in tournament play, they will become easier to achieve with the release of new cards, so Unown is being banned as a preventive measure. Note that Unown with the HAND Ability and Unown with the MISSING Ability, also from Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, are still legal for tournament play.
A popular combo with Red Card, Delinquent, and Peeking Red Card created a lot of situations where one player essentially lost the game before taking their first turn. When this kind of strategy can be executed successfully a high percentage of the time and is effective, it creates an unhealthy environment.
Lusamine allows for an infinite cycle of Supporter cards because it can get back a different Lusamine plus another Supporter card. This has created several strategies that negatively affect the Expanded format. It can also create stalemate situations where neither player is able to win.
Tournament results will continue to be analyzed to maintain a healthy play environment. In particular, the Expanded format will be aggressively monitored because there are so many cards and potential combinations available to use.