Prior to the 2009-2010 tournament season, foreign language card draws could also be played indefinitely, provided that the user provided a local language reference outside the game. However, starting with the 2009-2010 season, sanctioned events began requiring players to play with cards printed in English or the local language of a region (for example, players in the United States are limited to English cards only, while players in Canada can also use cards in French). Some American players who had invested in Japanese versions of cards, usually cheaper, expressed dissatisfaction with the change in rules, and as a result, the rules of the 2009-2010 tournament season were changed so that up to 10% of a player`s deck (six cards) can be made up of foreign language cards. From the 2010-2011 season Play! Pokémon followed its initial plan to allow only English and local language maps in Premier events. If a card in a standard legal extension is a reprint of an older card, all prints of the card can be played in a standard legal expansion right game (for example, Aquapolis Energy Switch). However, some cards differ significantly in wording between older prints and newer prints (e.g., Aquapolis` Pokémon Fan Club compared to its Ultra Prism iteration); These cards cannot be used in sanctioned tournaments. The exception is for cards that have received errata (e.g., basic potion); All card prints with errata can be used in sanctioned tournaments. Yellow A Alternate cards were introduced in 2017, which were reprints of cards from previous expansions with alternative illustration. These cards are only allowed in the same formats as the original print.
It is extremely rare for a card to be blocked in the standard format, and there are currently no prohibited cards in the standard format. The most recent bans in the standard format were those of Mismagius UNB 78 and Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186, which have since disappeared from the standard format. These cards were blocked on September 1, 2020. Before its ban, the last card that was banned from the standard format was Lysander`s Trump card, which was banned on July 15, 2015. Lysander`s Trump card set was printed in Phantom Forces and shot from the standard format on September 2, 2016. Mismagius and Lysander`s trump card remain banned in the expanded format. Sometimes a card is printed with the same name as an older card, but the text is so different that the effect of the card is slightly or completely altered, but there is no official errata that changes the text of the old card. In such cases, these old prints of the card, such as Recycle Energy N1 105 below, will no longer be available to be read in standard format.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the differences in wording as a new actor. Other cards that explicitly mention that they are not legal on the card itself or on the packaging of their product are also not legal in the sanctioned game! Pokémon tournaments. New promotional cards, such as those found in special collections, will also become legal two weeks after their release. If you`re not sure if a promotional card in your deck is legal or not, you can visit the Pokémon TCG Promotional Card Legality Status page on the official Pokémon website to see when the new cards become legal and which promotional cards are already legal. Base energy cards are cards that have “Energy” printed at the top left of the map, but they do not contain text that explains an additional effect that a special energy card would provide. Unlike basic energy cards, special energy cards are limited by the rule of four. Sometimes older cards with the same name as a card printed in a standard legal clause receive an errata that changes their official text. Quick Ball MD 86 below has a completely different effect printed on the card than Quick Ball SSH 179 – the version of Quick Ball included in our Sword & Shield package, which is a current standard legal set.
However, Quick Ball MD 86 has an official errata that adapts its text to that of Sword & Shield`s Fast Ball, making Majestic Dawn`s Quick Ball legal to play in the standard format. These changes to the map text should be known to all participants in a tournament, so it`s a good idea to refresh the map`s errata before participating in a major tournament. You can check out a list of official errata on Pokemon.com. The Pokémon Company International also publishes an article detailing official rule changes, new card locks, and any new errata on the Thursday before pre-release events begin for a new set. The standard format (then known as the modified format) was introduced in 2001. Tournaments in the 2001-2002 season were played in a format that only allowed cards from the Team Rocket expansion to Neo Genesis (with the exception of Sneasel, which was banned). Since then, Play! Pokémon continued to replace the expansions once a year, usually after the World Cup, to keep the game fresh and, as some speculate, to get players to buy cards. The 2009-2010 tournament season did not include a rotation, and the rotation for the 2010-2011 season turned only four expansions, leaving cards worth about two years in the pool. Additional enhancements will be added to the current rotation three weeks after its release in the United States. Starting in 2016, they were added to the current rotation on the third Friday of the month of publication.
The languages of the cards that are legal to play in your deck vary depending on where you live. In the United States, for example, only cards printed in English are legal to play Premier events – or tournaments where championship points are awarded. Below is an excerpt from two tables from the Play! The Pokémon Tournament Rules Guide lists the legal languages in which region, as well as any additional languages that are legal to play in certain countries. With Recycle Energy, the effect has changed as the old version of the card will eventually be in your pile of drops. However, the new version of the card has a label that prevents it from being placed in the pile of drops. This changes the way Recycle Energy interacts with other cards, such as Mr. Mime TEU 66 and its ability to pick up the block. With the old wording, Recycle Energy would return to the hands of its player after the Pokémon it was attached to was deactivated. With the new text, the recycling energy gets stuck in the disposal stack. (Note that the cards in this example, Recycle Energy and Mr. Mime TEU 66, both rotated the standard format, but their interaction still exists in the extended format.) One important thing to note is that some parts of the Pokemon TCG community use “Unlimited” and “Legacy” interchangeably.
However, this is not correct. Unlimited is an unofficial format that allows any map in the entire history of pokemon TCG to return to the basic set to date, while Legacy is a currently purely digital format that uses maps from 2012 at the earliest. As mentioned in the introduction to this guide, reprints are cards that have been printed in the past and reprinted in a new set, often with new illustrations. Typically, these cards have the same text as their original print or other previous print. Sometimes the wording of the map text changes slightly, but its effect remains unchanged. If a card like this has been reprinted in a standard legal phrase, such as Switch below, it`s reasonably safe to assume that previous prints of the card are legal again in a standard format. Like altered cards, damaged cards are also not legal for tournament play if their damage is significant enough to possibly be visible during play. If a card you want to use in a deck has creases, wrinkles, or cracks, it`s best to set it aside and replace it with a copy of that card in better condition. Damaged cards can lead to accusations of marking cards – or cards in a game that have been made easily identifiable – even without seeing the front of the card – to facilitate fraud. Proxies – printouts of real card placeholders – are not legal to play in a sanctioned tournament. Your local Pokémon League may allow the use of proxies during open play for testing purposes, but in all other cases, proxies should be treated in the same way as other fake cards.
Any card used in your deck must be legal in the format for which you are building your deck. Cards taken from the sets listed below are legal in the standard format. You can compare the symbol of the set of each set with the symbols of the set on the cards you want to include in your deck.