Developers at Game Freak have made a short-hand list of Pokemon that are banned from competitive play when it comes to Pokemon Sword and Shield.
With Pokemon GO taking the spotlight over the summertime away from the main franchise with all their summer events. Pokemon Sword and Shield made history for the first time in the franchise by introducing the first downloadable content available for fans to play. The introduction of the Isle of Armor introduced more Pokemon that were not available in Galar during the original release of Sword and Shield. What that means more for players of the franchise is a way to diversify their teams and how to compete more effectively in battles. However, recently with the announcement recently by Game Freak before the recent season of ranked battles in Season 6, there has been a general announcement for a list of Pokemon to be banned from rank battles.
The original announcement of the games limited species from the National Pokedex for the first time in franchise history was met with wide criticism from fans. The limiting of species from the entire franchise already altered the ability of trainers to keep certain Pokemon in order to compete in battles. The excuse made by the creators at Game Freak during the teasing of the new titles was admitting that the coding of all Pokemon from prior games is a tedious process, and not all of the favorites species could be generated in order to make room for new Pokemon. This problem was initially resolved with Pokemon Home where trainers can store Pokemon from prior games with the promise from Game Freak that all Pokemon will eventually be available in future titles.
The original banishment of certain Pokemon was obviously targeted to Pokemon that have Gigantamax forms and Legendary Pokemon. Judging from the past in competitive competitions, it was a no-brainer that Legendary Pokemon will not be available because they have been banned in the past when it came to competitive competitions. In Sword and Shield, there still would be no exception despite the list of Legendary Pokemon available was a shortlist due to the species limit in the first place. Gigantamax was originally banned because it would be a disadvantage to players in competitive battles online. In a chance where a Gigantamax Pokemon can wipe out three Pokemon on average in three turns or less, it is something that takes out the esthetic in battling. In addition to the recent feature replacing G-Max moves and Mega Evolutions, it is the only one of the three that has been limited in battle.
The recent list of Pokemon that are banned from competitive battles includes Venusaur, Gyarados, Porygon2, Tyranitar, Torkoal, Hippowdon, Magnezone, Togekiss, Exadrill, Whimsicott, Incineroar, Mimikyu, Rillaboom, Cinderace, Indeedee, and Dragapult.
Research has been conducted by spectators of completive battles in Pokemon. The selected Pokemon have different abilities that enhance other Pokemon that make them difficult to challenge when it comes to battling in double battles. It was interesting to observe that Inteleon is the only recently introduced starter Pokemon was not banned from battle alongside the other two on the list. With Kanto and Alolan starter Pokemon also available, two of the three starters in that selection are available where Venasaur and Incineroar were banned as a whole. Impact Pokemon that are considered “pseudo-legendary” Pokemon like Tyranitar and Dragapult not being included for competitive battles also hurts when they are popular Pokemon to have in parties. The rest that is not included to compete in battles of any form in the recent season looms with the possibility with more Pokemon to be banned, especially if another DLC will be released by the late autumn months.
The ban of listed Pokemon is a frustrating standard for players who invest heavily in battling competitively. The online ranked battle system was an enhancing feature that made battling more interesting from online capabilities on the Nintendo Switch. However, the online features for Pokemon have been criticized and considered glitchy at best when battling on an online interface. A more frustrating circumstance when major tournaments that are held every season have been canceled due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Pokemon World Tournaments held in every region and internationally were put on a complete pause during the pandemic, and will most likely not continue into well into the 2021 season. Where the leaning on the ranked system drives the outcome of invitations for future events, it is clear that the players that are looking to compete in the Pokemon Invitational will not be decided any time soon. As a result, players have to adapt to rule changes if selected Pokemon are not available for battling, including a growing list that is left to be determined.
The next DLC that is available for Pokemon Sword and Shield will be the Crown Tundra. The new chapter of this content will include Legendary Pokemon from prior games and include new Legendary Pokemon that have Galarian Pokemon. In addition to the region to be featured, it leans more on the concept of Ice-type Pokemon to be featured in the future due to the region to be a “frozen tundra”. There is also the inclusion of more Pokemon that did not make the qualifications of the Galarian Pokedex to be revealed, but this hinders the possibility of more Pokemon being banned in future seasons in competitive battles. This limitation of Pokemon not being allowed in battle is something that will continue to frustrate players who have been dedicated to the franchise, and this may result in them giving up on the series as a whole.