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How Competitive Pokemon Works – Pokemon Trading Card Game Online

The 2017 Pokemon World Championships are just around the corner, from August 18-20. The competition will be streamed live online so trainers all around the world can tune in to see who is the very best, like no one ever was. With a prize pool of $500,000, expect competition to be fierce and exciting.

Watching competitive Pokemon is a bit different than playing with your friends in the living room. There are special rules that only come into play in tournaments, and different strategies that might look strange if you aren’t into the competitive scene yourself. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with our guide to everything you need to know when watching both competitive video game (VGC) and trading card game (TCG) matches.

Let’s start with the Pokemon VGC.

The 2017 Pokemon VGC World Champion will walk away with $10,000 and an automatic invite to next year’s World Championships. The expert commentators do a fantastic job at energetically narrating each players’ thought process during matches, which are broadcast online, but there are a few details you should know going in.

Pokemon Team Rules

Competitive players must first consider the six Pokemon they’ll bring with them to a tournament above all. In the Pokemon VGC 2017 format, only Pokemon obtained in the Alola region of Pokemon Sun and Moon can be used. This means a Weavile obtained in Pokemon X or Y, but transferred to Pokemon Sun or Moon, can’t be used even though Weavile are native to Alola. You can tell if a Pokemon originated from Alola by the black clover on its summary screen.

This doesn’t sound like it would be a big deal, but Weavile caught or bred in Alola have no way of using one of its best moves in previous generations: Knock-Off, a Dark-type attack that renders an opponent’s held item useless. This may be disappointing for some with Pokemon that were battle-ready prior to the start of the season, but it has encouraged new strategies and the usage of Pokemon…

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