The next rulset for Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s Series 6 Ranked Battles have banned the top 16 most used Pokemon from competitive online play.
Serebii reports that the upcoming Series 6 of Ranked Battle has a ban list of the top 10 most used Pokemon in both Single and Double formats during Series 5/Season 8 (giving a total of 16, as some Pokemon were popular in both formats).
Typically Ranked Battles only ban most legendary and mythical Pokemon; aside from Pokemon that cannot be caught in the current “generation” of games.
Reaching out to Serebii (via Twitter direct messages), they explained that while there had been special rulesets and limitations for online play in Pokemon, this was the first time such a ban had been done for Ranked Battles. Even so, this format may not be used in the Pokemon Video Game Championships (VGC) once they restart.
“Special Battle was a ladder in Generation 6 and 7 Pokémon games which had various rulesets including ones just like this. This is the first time we’ve had it on the standard rulesets as Sword & Shield only has Single and Doubles.
However, it’s worth noting that we don’t know this will affect VGC yet and VGC is technically on pause as all Play! Pokémon events are due to the global situation.
By the time it starts up again, the rulesets will have changed at least once more, probably twice.”
As stated in our review of the Isle of Armor expansion, some of the new tutor moves are shaping the online meta game. Rillaboom is particularly infamous for combining its ability Grassy Terrain with the move Grassy Glide; In short, it is a move that becomes powerful thanks to Grassy Terrain, and gets to hit foes first.
The ban list also includes Incineroar (able to lower foe’s attack when entering battle, then switching out while dealing damage or lowering stats further), Togekiss (possessing many variable builds that can support allies, make foes flinch, or land critical hits easily), and Porygon2 (gaining a lot of defensive stats when holding Eviolite, and can use Trick Room to make slower Pokemon act first).
The fact the format may not be used in the Video Game Championships is further enforced by Porygon2 being distributed soon. The Pokemon Players Cup (premiering this weekend; 11:00 a.m. PDT on August 22nd and August 23rd) will share a code during the event to download it.
Players who earn high enough points through Ranked Battles online are usually invited to participate in the Pokemon Video Game Championships. As mentioned by Serebii above, the tournaments have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The event would have taken place in London, England (the inspiration for Sword and Shield‘s Galar Region) in August.
Series 6 Ranked Battles run from September 1st to September 31st. You can find the full details on the ruleset here (via Serebii).