- If you were looking for the anime competition known as the "Pokémon World Championships" in Japanese, see World Coronation Series.
The Pokémon World Championships (Japanese: ポケモンワールドチャンピオンシップス Pokémon World Championships) are an annual event held by the Play! Pokémon organized play division of The Pokémon Company International. The first ever World Championship event was run by Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, in August 2002 in Seattle, WA. Due to the transfer of the licensing of the Trading Card Game from Wizards to Nintendo, neither company staged a World Championship in 2003. Nintendo resumed World Championships in 2004, and have held them each year since then. Prior to the start of the World Championships tournament structure, the best players from around the world competed at the Tropical Mega Battle between 1999 and 2001, as well as at several Super Trainer Showdown events held in the US in 2000 and 2001.
The events are held in August of a given year. Players must qualify based on overall ratings, national champions, and past performances in the previous year's World Championships (see Championship Point).
Trading Card Game
Standard/Modified Format Sets
- 2004 — Expedition to EX Hidden Legends
- 2005 — EX Ruby & Sapphire to EX Emerald
- 2006 — EX Hidden Legends to EX Holon Phantoms
- 2007 — EX Deoxys to Diamond & Pearl
- 2008 — EX Holon Phantoms to Majestic Dawn
- 2009 — Diamond & Pearl to Rising Rivals
- 2010 — Diamond & Pearl to Unleashed
- 2011 — HeartGold & SoulSilver to Black & White
- 2012 — HeartGold & SoulSilver to Dark Explorers
- 2013 — Black & White to Plasma Freeze
- 2014 — Next Destinies to Flashfire
- 2015 — Boundaries Crossed onward
- 2016 — XY to Phantom Forces
- 2017 — Primal Clash onwards
- 2018 — BREAKthrough onward
- 2019 — Sun & Moon to Unbroken Bonds
- 2020 — Ultra Prism onward
Expanded Format Sets
World Championship decks
- Main article: World Championships Deck (TCG)
World Championship decks are purchasable non-tournament-legal prints of 60-card decks used by World Championship players.
Video games (core series)
The core series Pokémon games were first featured at a World Championship event at Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008 (VGS). Starting in 2009, the events were renamed the Video Game Championships (VGC).
All battles use the following rules:
- The format is Double Battles. A player must bring between 4 and 6 Pokémon and select 4 of them just before the battle. In games that use Team Preview (Generation V onward), this selection is made after viewing the opponent's 6 Pokémon.
- Two Pokémon may not have the same Pokédex number. Mythical Pokémon (and Ash-Greninja) are disallowed. Special Pokémon are disallowed most of the time but certain years instead allow a limited number per team.
- In games that use origin marks (Generation VI onward), all Pokémon must have an origin mark matching the games used for the competition. This may be substituted with the battle-ready symbol.
- Two Pokémon may not have the same held item.
- Pokémon cannot battle above level 50.
- In 2008 and 2009, there was no auto-leveling and Pokémon above level 50 were disallowed outright.
- Between 2010 and 2016, Pokémon above level 50 were auto-leveled down to 50, but Pokémon below level 50 were not auto-leveled up.
- From 2017 onward, all Pokémon are auto-leveled to 50.
- Two Pokémon may not have the same nickname. A Pokémon may not be nicknamed the name of a different Pokémon, and nicknames and Trainer names may not be inappropriate.
- 2008 — Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
- For at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to Pokémon Battle Revolution. No Battle Revolution-specific clauses were set.
- For this year only, players were only allowed to bring exactly 4 Pokémon, instead of bringing 6 and choosing 4 just before the battle.
- Dragonite and Tyranitar were specifically disallowed, preventing players from using the (at the time) Japan-exclusive level 50 Dragonite event. (It was not possible to obtain Tyranitar at or below level 50 until a Generation VI event.)
- The Japan-only (at the time) Micle Berry, Custap Berry, and Sketching Seed Flare were disallowed.
- 2009 — Pokémon Platinum
- For at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to a modified, unreleased version of Pokémon Battle Revolution. The modified game featured Platinum outfits for Dawn and Lucas as well as no region- or language-locking.
- Event-exclusive level 50 Dragonite were allowed this year.
- All forms of Rotom, including the normal form, were disallowed.
- The Japan-only (at the time) Jaboca Berry, Rowap Berry, and Sketching Judgment were disallowed. Custap Berry was also disallowed despite having the same distribution as the now-legal Micle Berry.
- 2010 — Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
- Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. Uniquely for this year, a player's team of 6 could list up to 4 Special Pokémon, as long as no more than 2 were chosen before battle.
- (The Jaboca Berry was allowed this year despite still being Japan-only at the time.)
- 2011 — Pokémon Black and White
- 2012 — Pokémon Black and White
- Sky Drop and Dark Void were both disallowed.
- 2013 — Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
- 2014 — Pokémon X and Y
- Only Kalos Pokédex Pokémon were allowed. Dark Void once again became allowed.
- 2015 — Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- 2016 — Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed in a team of six.
- 2017 — Pokémon Sun and Moon
- 2018 — Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- 2019 — Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. In addition, the season was split into three series:
- Sun Series (Sep 4 - Jan 7): Mega Stones, Primal Reversion, Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent, and Z-Crystals were all disallowed.
- Moon Series (Jan 8 - Apr 1): Mega Stones, Primal Reversion, Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent, and Ultranecrozium Z were disallowed.
- Ultra Series (Apr 2 - Aug): All Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion, and Z-Moves are allowed.
- Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. In addition, the season was split into three series:
- 2022 — Pokémon Sword and Shield
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 World Championships were canceled and the season was eventually extended to last three years with several different series.
- All Pokémon that were obtainable at the beginning of a series were allowed for that series, including those not in any of the Galar Pokédexes, as long as they met all other requirements (such as having the Galar symbol/battle-ready symbol and not being Special/Mythical). As a result:
- Version 1.1.0 and Pokémon HOME released before Series 3, The Isle of Armor released before Series 5, and The Crown Tundra released before Series 7.
- Between Series 1 and 2, only Galar Pokédex Pokémon were allowed due to the only obtainable Pokémon outside the Galar Pokédex being Mew. The only non-Galarian forms allowed were Kantonian Meowth, Persian, Mr. Mime, and Unovan Yamask due to those being the only obtainable ones at the time.
- Between Series 3 and 4, all non-Galarian forms of compatible Pokémon were allowed except three: Alolan Raichu and Kantonian Weezing were not obtainable with the Galar symbol at the time, and Kantonian Slowpoke was not compatible with Sword and Shield at the time (only Galarian Slowpoke was). Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion were compatible but disallowed due to the battle-ready symbol not existing at the time.
- List of series:
- Series 1 (Nov 19 - Dec 31, 2019): All Gigantamax Pokémon were disallowed.
- Series 2 (Jan 4 - Feb 29, 2020): Gigantamax Pikachu, Eevee, Butterfree, Drednaw, Corviknight, Sandaconda, Centiskorch, Blaze Charizard, Meowth (event-only), and Snorlax (event-only) became allowed.
- Series 3 (Mar 1 - Apr 30, 2020): Gigantamax Coalossal, Lapras, Flapple, Appletun, Alcremie, Kingler, Orbeetle, Grimmsnarl, Hatterene, Solar Power Charizard, and Toxtricity (event-only) became allowed.
- Series 4 (May 1 - Jun 30, 2020): All Gigantamax Pokémon became allowed (the remaining five at the time being Machamp, Gengar, Garbodor, Copperajah, and Duraludon).
- Series 5 (Jul 1 - Aug 31, 2020)
- Series 6 (Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2020): The most used Pokémon from the previous series were disallowed: Venusaur, Gyarados, Porygon2, Tyranitar, Torkoal, Hippowdon, Magnezone, Togekiss, Excadrill, Whimsicott, Incineroar, Mimikyu, Rillaboom, Cinderace, Indeedee, and Dragapult.
- Series 7 (Nov 1 2020 - Jan 31, 2021): The above 16 Pokémon became re-allowed.
- Series 8 (Feb 1 - Apr 30, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed.
- Series 9 (May 1 - Jul 31, 2021): No Special Pokémon were allowed. (identical to Series 7)
- Series 10 (Aug 1 - Oct 31, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax were disallowed.
- Series 11 (Nov 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2022): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax became re-allowed. (identical to Series 8)
- Series 12 (Feb 1 - Aug 2022): Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed.
In the games
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the top four competitors from each division of the Video Game Championships from the 2012 World Championships were featured in the World Championships Tournaments in the Pokémon World Tournament. In the Generation VI games, unused text exists for the top three competitors as opponents in the Battle Maison.
In the anime
- Main article: World Coronation Series
- While Mythical Pokémon have never been allowed, Zorua and Zoroark were allowed in 2011 and 2012 despite being event-exclusive at the time due to not being Mythical. In addition, event-exclusive moves and items have nearly always been allowed, and event-exclusive Hidden Abilities have never been disallowed. (For example, Bounce was an event-exclusive move on Gyarados in VGC 2017 only, as it otherwise needs a Move Tutor to learn Bounce and so could not have the black clover at the time.)
- The first half of 2020 is the only time that non-event Pokémon have been disallowed because of rarity. Specifically, Gigantamax Pokémon that were rarely available normally in-game did not become allowed until the start of the first Wild Area News event that temporarily made them more common. This would become moot with the release of The Isle of Armor, which would make all relevant Gigantamax Pokémon available without relying on rarity.
- Between approximately October 2020 and March 2021, the published rulebook mistakenly implied Regigigas was disallowed (by omitting its National Pokédex number from the list of allowed Pokémon that do not have a Galar/Isle of Armor/Crown Tundra Pokédex number). This was fixed sometime on or before February 2022.
- 2015 - Pokkén Tournament (arcade version, invitational only)
- 2016 - Pokkén Tournament
- 2017 - Pokkén Tournament
- 2018 - Pokkén Tournament DX
- 2019 - Pokkén Tournament DX
Scheduling and matchups
|This section contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while. Please check the content of this section and update it as required.|
The Championships are set over three days with a last chance qualifier (known to players as "The Grinder") on the Friday to fill seats left vacant for various reasons (no travel, local qualifiers) until all seats are filled. The second day is limited to Swiss Pairings over a set number of rounds, and the top players (16 each in the Junior and Senior Divisions, as well as the top 32 in the Masters division) move onto the Sunday rounds. The format for this final is single elimination, until the finals, which are a best two matches out of three to decide the World Champion. There are three divisions: Junior (known as the 10 Years Old and Under Division until 2006), Senior (known as the 11 to 14 Year Old Division until 2006) and Masters (called the 15 Years and Older Division until 2006). In 2010, a Last Chance Qualifier was held on Friday to fill all vacant spots. In 2011, a Masters age Division was added to the VGC to parallel the TCG. The event format consists of Swiss rounds, followed by a single elimination tournament. In 2009, the top two advanced to play the finals on Sunday, whereas since 2010, the top eight advance to play in a head-to-head single elimination event to decide the World Champions.
In other languages
- First-Ever Pokemon Trading Card Game World Champion Titles Won by Dylan Austin, 14 of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Mindy Lambkee, 10 of Kent, Washington