Rules for the Pokémon VGC 2019 Season

During this year’s Pokémon World Championships, rules for the Pokémon 2019 Video Game Championship format have been announced! These rules will replace the current VGC 2018 rules from September 4th.

Unlike previous seasons, in the 2019 season there won’t be a single format played throughout the year, but instead we will have a different format for each of the season series:

  • Sun Series: 4/9/18 – 7/1/19
  • Moon Series: 8/1/19 – 1/4/19
  • Ultra Series: 2/4/19 – Worlds 2019

All formats follow the GS Cup set of rules, which allows for all Pokémon from the National Dex to be used, except for Mythical Pokémon. This means a lot of powerful legendary Pokémon will now enter the scene. These Pokémon haven’t been allowed since 2016, which will give the newer players a chance to play around these powerhouses and take the most out of them with support Pokémon such as Incineroar, Hitmontop, Smeargle, Crobat and Amoonguss.

For those who played in 2016, the news comes with the introduction of powerful new Pokémon such as the Tapus, Solgaleo, Lunala and the Necrozma forms, as well as the nerf of a lot of the common Pokémon from 2016 such as Dark Void Smeargle, Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Salamence. The “rotating” format, with Z-moves and Mega Stones banned during some parts of the year will also bring a challenge to both new and old players, meaning they must adapt to a new metagame much more often than before.

Ruleset Overview

  • All matches are to be played as Double Battles in Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon.
  • All Pokémon must have the black clover icon, meaning they must be caught or hatched in Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon, or obtained from an event distribution in these games.
  • For all series formats, GS Cup rules apply, meaning only two restricted Pokémon can be used per team: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-oh, Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Solgaleo, Lunala, Necrozma
  • Mythical Pokémon are banned.
  • The “your timer” system has been changed, with the maximum player time increased from 5 minutes to 7 minutes.

Sun Series (September 4th 2018 to January 7th 2019)

In addition to the GS cup rules, these restrictions are unique to the Sun Series.

  • Z-crystals are banned
  • Mega stones are banned
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb are banned
  • Rayquaza can’t learn Dragon Ascent

Moon Series (January 8th 2019 to April 1st 2019)

In addition to the GS cup rules, these restrictions are unique to the Moon Series.

  • Z-crystals are allowed (except Ultranecrozium Z)
  • Mega stones are banned
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb are banned
  • Rayquaza can’t learn Dragon Ascent

Ultra Series (April 2nd 2019 to June 23 2019)

In addition to the GS cup rules, these restrictions are unique to the Ultra Series.

  • Z-crystals are allowed
  • Mega stones are allowed
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb are allowed


  1. Where did it say that the Black Clover was required? Unless I’m missing something, that would mean that GameBoy icon Pokemon such as Multiscale Lugia wouldn’t be allowed, but Showdown’s validation check says it is. I know that when transferred, GSC Pokemon don’t have the Black clover, so I’m just trying to see what the deal is, because I can’t find an official and thorough rule statement from TPCI, although I expect that we’ll see one on the 4th. Thank you.

    • The official Pokémon page announcing the new format clearly specifies «Pokémon must have the Alola symbol, showing they were caught in the Alola region.».

      Multiscale Lugia from GSC is not allowed. However, a Multiscale Lugia with the Alola symbol was distributed in Japan recently to promote the 21st Movie, therefore, making it VGC legal.

  2. I would like to enter the Pokémon Sun Series. Thank You

  3. can i use old 3ds?

  4. What does it mean when it says “symbol?” What symbol? How do I check if my pokemon have the symbol? When is the next battle of competition and where? Are pokemon like ninjask allowed? Does it have to specifically regional (alola) pokemon? Is there a fee to play? Is it like battle tree and battle royal dome rules, same pokemon and same item banned?

    • Hey Emmanuel,

      By “symbol” what is meant is the origin marking ( The black clover symbol in this instance means that the Pokemon was originally caught, bred or distributed in/to an Sun/Moon/Ultra-Sun/Ultra-Moon game.

      In earlier seasons before pokebank was available in SuMo/USUM games Ninjask would not have been allowed, as there would have been no legal way to obtain this pokemon. Now that pokebank is available, Ninjask will be allowed so long as it was bread in Alola. What this means is that you will have to transfer Ninjask from another game and then breed one for competition.

      I have never encountered a fee for entering the VGC, that’s not to say there is not one this season.

      VGC rules are double battles, levels capped at 50, same item and same pokemon banned. I would suggest reading further.

      I hope this helps.

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