Rule variants

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Rule variants are different sets of regulations players have to follow when engaging in Pokémon battles. Rule variants typically restrict the species, levels, items, and moves of Pokémon, or place time limits on battles.

Rules are employed in official settings (such as in-game content and officially organized tournaments), as well as unofficial settings.

Rules

While normally banning unreleased and/or illegitimate Pokémon, moves, items, and Abilities, there are other sets of rules set to be followed by players in varying contexts, may they be official or otherwise.

Most rule variants employ certain restrictions, which are known as clauses in the fandom. The following clauses have seen considerable usage:

  • Species clause: Each Pokémon on a player's team must be of different species or National Pokédex number.
  • Level Sum Limit: The three Pokémon that were chosen for the battle should have a specific Level Sum, e.g., in the case of the Poké Cup, the Level Sum Limit must be between 150 and 155. This rule is only used in the Pika Cup, the Petit Cup and both iterations of the Poké Cup.
  • Item clause: Each Pokémon on a player's team must be holding different items.
  • Cleric clause: All pokémon must be healthy at the beginning of the battle, this means that they must have full HP, full PP, and no status conditions like sleep or freeze (though the Pokérus is allowed, as well as the confusion caused by the Berserk Gene). Games like Pokémon Stadium enforce this rule automatically by "curing" all Pokémon before the battle.
  • Self-KO clause: The player automatically loses if his last Pokémon uses Selfdestruct or Explosion. Destiny Bond and Perish Song also fail when used by the last Pokémon.
  • Recoil moves clause: If both players' last pokémon faints due to a Recoil move, then the win is given to the player whose pokémon used the move.
    • In Pokémon Stadium 2 Recoil moves don't harm the user when it is the last pokémon left and it KOs the last opposing Pokémon.
  • Event clause: Pokémon and items that have only been released through events, such as Mew, are ineligible. This is often unheard of due to the Pokémon (and sometimes items) banned being specified.
  • Sleep clause: Each player can only have one Pokémon asleep at a time (Pokémon that are put to sleep due to Rest or Sleep Talk do not count).
  • Freeze clause: Each player can only have one Pokémon frozen at a time. In games like Pokémon Stadium 1, when a Pokémon is frozen and another Pokémon of the same team is attacked with a move that causes Freeze, the Freeze rate is reduced to 0 %.
  • Evasion clause: Double Team and Minimize are banned. This is sometimes expanded to include less direct measures to increase evasion, such as Acupressure, Moody, Sand Veil, and Snow Cloak.
  • Evasion items clause: Items that lower the accuracy of the opponent, like BrightPowder, are banned.[2]
  • One-hit KO clause: Fissure, Horn Drill, Guillotine, and Sheer Cold are banned.
  • Semi Invincibility clause: Only used in Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow when the moves Dig and Fly are allowed. If a Pokémon gets stuck during the Semi Invincibility phase of the moves Dig or Fly, its next successful action must be Dig, Fly or Switch. If the next successful action is none of the ones mentioned before, the Pokemon's player loses the game. [3]
  • Tradebacks clause: Only used in the Generation I games. Players can't use Pokémon or moves that are only obtainable with the Generation II games, e.g. a level 20 Tauros in the Pika Cup, a level 26 Koffing in the Petit Cup or a level 100 Mewtwo with Flamethrower in the Prime Cup. Curiously the rule doesn't ban Pokémon with maximum DVs or Stat Experience, this is because players prefer to use Pokémon with maximum statistics in Gen I matches (e.g. it is allowed to use a level 20 Chansey with max stats in the Pika Cup or a level 100 Exeggutor with max stats in the Prime Cup). Tradeback Pokémon and moves can be allowed only if the players and/or the tournament organizers agree to it.
  • Sleep trapping clause: Followed mainly in Generation II competitive play, sleep-inducing moves cannot be used in conjunction with moves that trap the opposing Pokémon permanently such as Mean Look; however, it is allowed to use Sleep inducing moves in conjunction with moves that only trap the opposing Pokémon for a limited time like Whirlpool.
  • Mean pass clause: Another rule exclusive of the Generation II competitive play. A Pokémon can't have a move that traps the opponent permanently (such as Spider Web) and Baton Pass in the same moveset; however, it is allowed to use moves that only trap the opposing Pokémon for a limited time, like Wrap, with Baton Pass. This clause is notable for having been introduced 22 years after the first games of the second generation were released.[4]
  • Moody clause: The ability Moody is banned.
  • Swagger clause: Followed mainly in Generation V and Generation VI competitive play, the move Swagger is banned.
  • Mega Rayquaza clause: Rayquaza cannot Mega Evolve.
  • Dynamax clause: Dynamaxing is disallowed.

There are other rules normally followed only by official tournaments, such as:

  • No two or more Pokémon can have the same nickname.
  • Pokémon cannot be nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon (e.g. an Unfezant named "Pidove" or "Arbok").

In addition, official Generation V tournaments have required the use of the Battle Box feature introduced by Pokémon Black and White.

Tiers

Main article: Tier

In unofficial multiplayer play, Pokémon are typically divided into tiers. A Pokémon's tier placing depends on several factors, including its base stats, type, Abilities, movepool, and usage.

Tiers also serve as banlists. Battles take place according to tier, with all Pokémon in a higher tier banned. In the most common metagame, the Standard or Overused metagame, all Pokémon in the Uber tier are banned. In the Underused metagame, all Pokémon in the Borderline or higher tiers are banned.

As a variation of tiers, in certain communities, players are only allowed to use a maximum of one Pokémon out of a select group of Pokémon. This group of Pokémon is usually limited to legendary and pseudo-legendary Pokémon.

Generation I

In the games

Pokémon Stadium (Japanese)

The first Pokémon Stadium game, which was only released in Japan on August 1, 1998, features a tournament mode with two divisions: the L1-30 division, based on Nintendo Cup '98, and the L50-55 division, based on Nintendo Cup '97. The finalists from the Nintendo Cup '97 appear as opponents in the L50-55 Division.

Each division features a set of rules that would become standard for all console games:

  • The species, self-KO, sleep, and freeze clauses are in effect.
  • Both teams are shown before the battle, and each player must select three Pokémon to battle.

The game also features a Free Battle mode where players can customize the rules.

L1-30 Division L50-55 Division
Level Limit 1-30 50-55
Total Level N/A 155

Pokémon Yellow

The Cable Club in Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue feature no rule regulations. However, Pokémon Yellow features an exclusive battle arena, Colosseum 2, with three Cups.

Each player can only use three Pokémon, and no additional rules are in effect, with the exception of level limitations. These Cups would later be used in the international Pokémon Stadium and future international tournaments.

Pika Cup Petit Cup Poké Cup
Level Limit 15-20 25-30 50-55
Total Level 50 80 155

Pokémon Stadium

 
The Japanese Stadium Cups in Pokémon Stadium

The second Pokémon Stadium game, which was released internationally as Pokémon Stadium, features tournaments called Stadium Cups.

All versions of Pokémon Stadium featured the Pika and Petit Cups from Pokémon Yellow Version's Colosseum 2, along with the Prime Cup, a no-holds barred tournament based on the normal Cable Club battles.

The Japanese version, known as Pokémon Stadium 2, also features three Nintendo Cups based on the first three Japanese tournaments, Nintendo Cups '97, '98, and '99. In-game representatives of its real-life participants appear as opponents in Round 2 of Nintendo Cup '98, while Nintendo Cup '99 and the Prime Cup each have four divisions. All three cups follow the species, self-KO, sleep, freeze, and event clauses.

Nintendo Cup '97 Nintendo Cup '98 Nintendo Cup '99
Level Limit 50-55 1-30 1-50
Total Level 155 N/A N/A

In the international versions, the Nintendo Cups were replaced with the Poké Cup from Yellow's Colosseum 2. The Poké Cup features the four divisions and the arena of Nintendo Cup '99, but the rules of Nintendo Cup '97. All four Cups follow the species, self-KO, sleep, and freeze clauses, while only the Pika and Poké Cups follow the event clause.

Pika Cup Petit Cup Poké Cup Prime Cup
Level Limit 15-20 25-30 50-55 N/A
Total Level 50 80 155 N/A

Pokémon Stadium also introduced a Gym Leader Castle, where the player has to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and the Elite Four of the Generation I games. While the Castle features no level restrictions, all of the opposing Pokémon will be at level 50 by default. If the player uses a higher leveled Pokémon, all of the opponents' Pokémon would be at the same level as the player's highest-leveled Pokémon. A similar auto-leveling feature would appear in the battling facilities such as the Generation III Battle Frontier. The Castle features the same clauses as the Stadium Cups.

Pokémon Stadium was also the first Pokémon game that allowed more than two players to battle at a time. Up to four players can compete in the Free Battle mode; if two players are on a team, each player can only select and control three Pokémon. A similar mode of play, Multi Battle, was introduced in the Generation III main series games.

In tournaments

Nintendo Cup '97

A series of annual tournaments sponsored by Nintendo began in 1997, taking place in various locations across Japan. These tournaments, which would later be referred to as Nintendo Cups in the Japanese version of the Pokémon Stadium series, established the first set of rule variants that would pave the way for future tournaments and Pokémon games.

In the first of these tournaments, Nintendo Cup '97, Full Battles did not take place due to time constraints, instead, each player selected three Pokémon to battle after showing their party of six to their opponent. The battles took place in the Game Boy.

The event consisted of 14 regional tournaments. At the end, the 14 champions and one runner-up competed in a national tournament to determine who was the best trainer. The national event took place during the Nintendo Space World '97. Toru "Miyasawa" won the tournament thus becomming the first national champion in Pokémon History; on the other hand, Hiroki Yoshi was the runner-up, while the third place was a tie between Yojiro Yuki and Yusuke Suzuki.[1][2]

The players of the national tournament were depicted as opponents in the first Japanese Pokémon Stadium game, with eight out of the 15 players being randomly selected to appear on any given playthrough. In addition, most of the Pokémon that appeared in Pokémon Stadium were selected due to their tournament performance.[3]

In the international scene, the Nintendo Cup '97 was renamed Poké Cup and appeared in the games Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Stadium 1.

JP Nintendo Cup '97      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration August 29 to November 23, 1997
Registration ???
Release of Rankings November 23 1997
Maximum Entries 3,584
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

  
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 10 minutes
Command Time ???
Total Level 155
Level Range 50-55
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Nintendo Cup '97 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Nintendo Cup '98

The Nintendo Cup '98 made use of the first Japanese Pokémon Stadium game 12 days before it was officially released. In the tournament, only Pokémon that were available in that game were allowed to participate. The restriction to level 30 or lower narrowed down the choice of Pokémon even further, with a total of 33 species legal for use.

Like the previous event, the Nintendo Cup '98 was divided into two phases: seven local tournaments and one national tournament. The national tournament took place at the Studio 1 of TV Tokyo on August 30, 1998. The contestans were the seven champions from the local tournaments. Norishige Hanamoto was the champion, Tatsuya Hori was the runner-up, Shinji Yoshikawa won the third place and Shōhei Yanagisawa won the fourth place. The first three places got a gold, silver and bronze trophy repectively, on the other hand, the first four places got a Game Boy Light, a Game Boy Printer and a copy of the Pokémon Yellow Version once it was released.[4][5]

The seven finalists of the national tournament, along with one generic Lad trainer to fill out the roster, were depicted as opponents in the second Japanese Pokémon Stadium game, in the Round 2 mode.

JP Nintendo Cup '98      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration July 19 to August 30, 1998
Registration ???
Release of Rankings August 30, 1998
Maximum Entries 1,528
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 
  Pokémon Not Banned  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                                 
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level 90
Level Range 1-30
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Nintendo Cup '98 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Spring Pokémon League

 
The first postcard of the event.
 
The second postcard of the event.

The Spring Pokémon League was a series of tournaments organized by Nintendo. The events took place in March and April 1999 in Japan. To give variety to the game, the tournaments used the rules of the Petit Cup, which only allowed "cute" Pokémon. Battles used Pokémon Stadium 1 before it was released, and the competitors could use their Pokémon from their Game Boy cartridges. To participate, players had to send a postcard to Nintendo before a certain date, after which the company sent them an invitation in case they were selected or a notice of loss in case they were rejected. The reply mail was sent at least one week before each tournament started and there was no entry fee.

There were five regional tournaments. The Kumamoto tournament took place on March 27 and 28 at the TKU Plaza and was won by Naruyoshi Isasaka. The Osaka tournament took place on April 4 at the ATC Hall and was won by Atsushi Fujiwara. The Tokyo tournament took place on April 11 at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center and was won by Yasuaki Yoshitake. The Sendai tournament took place on April 25 at the San Festa and was won by Zenichiro Murakami. Finally, the Nagoya tournament took place on April 29 at the Fukiage Hall and was won by Kenta Takeshita. Unlike the previous events, there was not a national tournament.[6]

JP Spring Pokémon League      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
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C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration March 27 to April 29, 1999
Registration March 3 to April 9, 1999
Release of Rankings April 29, 1999
Maximum Entries 256 per tournament
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Pokémon Not Banned  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                                             
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level 80
Level Range 25-30
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Spring Pokémon League are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Nintendo Cup '99

Nintendo Cup '99 combined aspects from the previous tournaments. In addition to the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo and Mew, the Pokémon used by the finalists of the Nintendo Cup '97 and the Nintendo Cup '98 were also banned from the tournament. In the event, battles took place in Pokémon Stadium 1 where players used the Transfer Pak to use their teams from Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow.

Nintendo Cup '99 also consisted of two phases: 12 local tournaments and one national tournament. The national tournament took place during the Nintendo Space World '99. The contestants were the 12 champions from the local tournaments. Yukifumi Aoki was the champion, Yasuhito Kajihara was the runner-up and Akihiro Nagai won the third place.[7]

Nintendo Cup '99 also appeared in Pokémon Stadium 1; however it was cut in the international version.

JP Nintendo Cup '99      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration July 1 to August 28, 1999
Registration ???
Release of Rankings August 28, 1999
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                         
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level 150
Level Range 1-50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Nintendo Cup '99 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour

A series of tournaments were held in Canada and the United States during the Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour, which took place to promote Pokémon Stadium. Competitors were separated into three skill groups: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each skill group was assigned to one division of Pokémon Stadium: Pika Cup for Beginners, Poké Cup for Intermediate players and Prime Cup for Advanced players. Battles took place in the Game Boy and in Pokémon Stadium. In the case of the Game Boy, if both players had a Yellow Version they played in the Colosseum 2 mode; however, if one or both had a Red or Blue Version they played in the Colosseum 1.[8]


NA Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration February 5 to April 9, 2000
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries 1,000 per day
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

Varies depending of the format
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level Varies
Level Range Varies
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon 2000 World Championship

Thunder for Down Under, a worldwide qualifier, took place in various countries in the year 2000. In this tournament, players from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States all competed in regional championships, with the winners heading for the Pokémon 2000 World Championship, the first Pokémon World Championship, in Sydney, Australia. The regional and Continental events featured three formats: Pika Cup, Poké Cup and Prime Cup; however, the World event only featured the Prime Cup. Pokémon Stadium was used for the battles. Regarding the Prime Cup rules, Mewtwo was allowed in the Spanish tournament, on the other hand, Mew was banned in all the events. Darryn Van Vuuren, from the United Kingdom, won the World tournament thus becoming the first World Champion in Pokémon History; on the other hand, Edwin Krause from Germany finished on second place, Sergio García Maroto from Spain finished on third place and Ian Garvey from the United States finished on fourth place.[9][10]

NA

PAL
Pokémon 2000 World Championship      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration June 1 to September 22, 2000
Registration ???
Release of Rankings September 22, 2000
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

Varies depending of the format
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 10 minutes
Command Time 12 seconds
Total Level Varies
Level Range Varies
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon 2000 World Championship are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Generation II

In the games

Pokémon Stadium 2

The final Pokémon Stadium game, Pokémon Stadium 2, features four Stadium Cups. The Poké and Prime Cups returned from the original; however, the Prime Cup only had one division. The Little Cup and the Challenge Cup were added, with the latter featuring four divisions. The moves Dragon Rage and SonicBoom are banned in the Little Cup, making it the first rule variant to prohibit certain moves. In the game, players can customize and save various sets of rules. Still, all cups follow the species, item, self-KO, sleep, and freeze clauses; only the Prime Cup follows the event clause. With a total limit of 155, only the Poké Cup has a total level limit.

Little Cup Challenge Cup Poké Cup Prime Cup
Level Limit 5 Varies 50-55 N/A

Pokémon Crystal

Pokémon Crystal introduced the first Battle Tower, a special battling facility. The Battle Tower's rules are similar to Pokémon Stadium's, and this was later followed by future Battle Towers:

  • Players must select three different Pokémon to battle.
  • All Pokémon must be holding different items.

A change from the Pokémon Stadium games, a draw will end the player's streak, even if the opponent's Pokémon causes the draw with a move such as Explosion. Also, items cannot be used from the Bag.

Unlike future Battle Towers, event Pokémon can be used in the level 70 and higher divisions.

In tournaments

Nintendo Cup 2000

 
Nintendo Cup 2000 logo

In Japan, a fourth series of tournaments for the Pokémon games, Nintendo Cup 2000, was held. The event used Pokémon Stadium 2 to organize battles days before the game was officially released. Similar to Nintendo Cup '97, the tournaments took place using Pokémon from levels 50-55, with a total limit of 155. At the end, the winners of the eleven local tournaments competed in a national tournament. Yuki Sato won the event, Akira Nakamura finished on second place and Tatsuaki Fujita finished on third place. The runner-up and the third place won a silver and a bronze trophy respectively, on the other hand, the champion won a Game Boy Advance once it was released.[11][12]

Like the other official tournaments, the Nintendo Cup 2000 appeared in the game Pokémon Stadium 2. In the English versions of the game, the format inherited the name of the Poké Cup due to its smilarities with the tournament that appeared in the international Pokémon Stadium 1.

JP Nintendo Cup 2000      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration November 3rd, 2000 to January 14th, 2001
Registration ???
Release of Rankings January 14th, 2001
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Additional rule:
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

     
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 15 minutes
Command Time 30 seconds
Total Level 155
Level Range 50-55
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Nintendo Cup 2000 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Mobile Cup 2001

 
Photo logo from Mobile Cup 2001

The last Japanese national tournament of the Game Boy Color era, the Mobile Cup 2001, was held with 1,000 players who were selected in a drawing. It used the Mobile System GB, a feature exclusive of the Japanese Pokémon Crystal.[13]

The tournament used Pokémon from levels 1 to 30, on the other hand, each player had three Pokémon and all went into the battle. The rules only said that Mew and Celebi were banned; however, technically other 22 Pokémon were also banned because they were not available at level 30. Unlike previous tournaments, Species Clause was absent, also, Team Preview, Sleep Clause, Freeze Clause and Self-KO Clause were only enforced in the semi-finals, the third place play-off and the final. Another oddity was that players didn't face each other until the semi-finals. In the firsts six rounds each player had to defeat a Nintendo player in a Mobile Battle in Pokémon Crystal within a 10 minute time limit. If the player won he got a Trainer Certification Card. Players were allowed to change teams after each round.[14]

The day of the match, the player got a phone call from the Nintendo player, the latter initiated the communications so that the company would pay the charges of the match. Players that disconnected or ran out of time lost the battle and were eliminated from the tournament. In the sixth round, the four players that spent the fewest turns to win the match advanced to the semi-finals.[15]

The last matches took place at the Nintendo Space World 2001 and were played on Pokémon Stadium 2. Akihiro Nagai won the tournament, Shiori Yamamoto was the runner-up, Kotaro Ochiai finished on third place and Mika Fujita on fourth. The four players got a Celebi-colored Game Boy Advance and a certificate while the champion was also rewarded with an e-Reader once it was released. [16][17]

JP Mobile Cup 2001      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration June 3 to August 26, 2001
Registration April 15 to May 11, 2001
Release of Rankings August 26, 2001
Maximum Entries 1,000
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                        
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
3 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 10 minutes
Command Time ???
Total Level 90
Level Range 1-30
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Mobile Cup 2001 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Generation III

In the games

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles, where each player battles with two Pokémon at a time. In Double Battles, certain attacks affect multiple Pokémon and certain Abilities, such as Plus and Minus, only take effect in Double Battles. This format has been used in almost every tournament since the one held in Pokémon Festa 2004 and is the main format in the story modes of Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.

In the Cable Club, four players can play a Double Battle variant called the Multi Battle. Similar to Pokémon Stadium, each player can only select and control three Pokémon at a time.

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire featured a Battle Tower similar to Pokémon Crystal's. However, only two divisions are available: the Level 50 and the Level 100 division. Also, Double Battles can not be conducted.

Pokémon Colosseum

In Pokémon Colosseum, the Stadium Cups were replaced with Colosseums. While the general clauses remain from the Pokémon Stadium series, the Colosseums have no special rules in place, with the exception of level divisions. Each Colosseum can be challenged in a single or Double Battle format.

Pokémon Colosseum also introduced Poké Coupons, which are rewarded to the player upon completing portions of Mt. Battle. Poké Coupons can be traded in for various TMs or items; however, the player receives a 15% penalty for each legendary Pokémon used.

Division Phenac Pyrite Under Orre Tower
Level 50 Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Level 100 No No No Yes Yes

Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

In these games, a Battle Tower is not present; instead, Trainer Tower took its place.

While the Battle Tower values winning streaks, Trainer Tower prioritizes speed. In the Japanese version, players can scan e-Cards to change the floor layouts; in international versions, the e-Reader support was removed, and many of the card layouts were incorporated into the Tower.

Trainer Tower features four modes of play: Singles, Doubles, Knockout, and Mixed. In a Knockout Battle, the player has to defeat three Trainers in a single battle consecutively. The Mixed mode incorporates battles from the other three layouts.

Unlike the Battle Tower, no clauses are in effect, items can be used from the Bag, and the player can interrupt their challenge to use the Pokémon Center in the lobby at any time.

In addition, a special battle format is present in the Union Room. Each Trainer can select two Pokémon up to Level 30 in a Single Battle format.

Pokémon Emerald

Pokémon Emerald introduced the first Battle Frontier. In addition to the Battle Tower, it features six other facilities with special rules, similar to the Stadium Cups.

Each facility can be challenged in a Single Battle or a Double Battle format. In addition, two players can team up in a Multi Battle format, where each player can control two Pokémon at a time. Players can battle in a Level 50 division or an Open Level division where all of the opponent's Pokémon will be at the same level as the player's highest-leveled Pokémon.

Unlike the previous Battle Tower, players do not receive items after winning a streak. Instead, players receive Battle Points. Like Poké Coupons, Battle Points can be saved and traded in for certain items or moves; however, there is no penalty for using legendary Pokémon.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness

Unlike Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD does not feature a Battle Mode. However, after completing the game, the player may challenge the Orre Colosseum, which has similar regulations to the Colosseums in Battle Mode.

Like almost all of the battles in the game, the Colosseum uses the Double Battle format.

no

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Orre Colosseum      
R
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C
St2
R
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LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration N/A
Registration N/A
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries N/A
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

               
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 60
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Orre Colosseum are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

In tournaments

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Misc. official/Nintendo-supported tournaments worldwide

???

The first tournament of Generation III took place during Pokémon Festa 2003. Unlike previous Japanese tournaments, two divisions were available: a Level 50 and a Level 100 Division. The tournament used the Single Battle format, and only Pokémon from the Hoenn Pokédex could be used.

JP ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

 
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party ??? per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50 or 100
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

???

The following tournament took place at Pokémon Festa 2004. This tournament used the Double Battle format. Unlike single battles, each player selected four Pokémon for battle. In addition to the previous rules, new restrictions were placed on nicknames: no vulgarities are to be used nor any Pokémon could be named after another Pokémon (e.g. a Smeargle nicknamed "KYOGRE").

As Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen were released earlier that year, almost all of the Pokémon in the National Pokédex were available for use.

JP ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

              
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

???

The tournament of Pokémon Festa 2005 featured nearly identical restrictions; however, Kyogre and Groudon were also banned.

JP ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

               
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Masters 2005

A tournament held September 17 to 18, 2005 in Paris, France, Pokémon Masters 2005 was organized by French fansites and sponsored by the likes of Nintendo and Bandai.

FR Pokémon Masters 2005      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration September 17 to 18, 2005
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries 512
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

             
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 20 minutes
Command Time 20 seconds
Total Level None
Level Cap 100
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon Masters 2005 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle

A small competition called the Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle took place in 2005 to commemorate the international release of Pokémon Emerald.

The tournament used the Single Battle format. Unlike other Generation III tournaments, all items were banned.

NA Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

       
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Single Battle
Party 3 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time 30 minutes
Command Time 20 seconds
Total Level None
Level Cap 100
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

???

Following the Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle, another North American tournament took place during the Journey Across America tour in 2006 commemorating Pokémon's 10th anniversary.

The rules were similar to the Pokémon Festa 2004 rules; however, only event Pokémon were banned.

NA ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 

  • Only Wobbuffet is prohibited from holding Leftovers.
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

       
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Generation IV

In the games

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, six Cups were introduced for wireless battles in the Pokémon Colosseum Club Colosseum, many of which are similar to those in the Pokémon Stadium series. In addition, players can set the levels of all Pokémon to 50 or 100 during Wi-Fi battles.

Mix Battles were also introduced, wherein players swap one Pokémon with each other from a team of three, then battle.

Unlike Pokémon Emerald, Diamond and Pearl does not have a Battle Frontier, only a Battle Tower. In addition, a level cap of 50 is established.

Pokémon Battle Revolution

Colosseums made their return in Pokémon Battle Revolution; however, like the Stadium Cups, each Colosseum features a special rule. Each battle takes place in a Level 30 or a Level 50 mode, and can eventually be challenged in a Single or a Double Battle format. Players may use Rental Passes or Custom Passes in any Colosseum except for the Gateway Colosseum, which restricts the player to Rental Passes.

Under Colosseum battles, the sleep, freeze, species, item, and self-KO clauses are followed.

In addition, Pokémon Battle Revolution features a mode of online play against random players, a system that eventually carried on to Pokémon Black and White. Battles can be conducted in a single or Double Battle format, with each player selecting three or four Pokémon before battle. All Pokémon are set to level 50, Pokémon nicknames are not used, and Trainer quotes are set to default. Other than that, there are no further restrictions.

Pokémon Platinum

As with Pokémon Emerald, a new Battle Frontier incorporated the Battle Tower and added four other battle facilities: the Battle Factory, Battle Arcade, Battle Castle, and Battle Hall. Each facility has a set of rules to be followed, all depending on the format of battle selected.

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver

Flat Battle mode was introduced in HeartGold and SoulSilver at the Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum. Regardless of rule set, all Pokémon are set to level 50 for the duration of the battle. The exact same Battle Frontier from Pokémon Platinum also made a return.

In tournaments

???

The first tournament for Generation IV took place in Pokémon Festa 2006, wherein Pokémon only found in the original Sinnoh Pokédex were eligible. No Pokémon are allowed to hold Soul Dew, which remained a banned item throughout all Generation IV competitions from 2006 to 2010.

JP ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

   
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

???

The Pokémon Festa 2007 tournament featured similar rules; however, Pokémon outside of the Sinnoh Pokédex were eligible.

JP ???      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Info
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                       
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under ??? are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008

The Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008 took place in the in-game Double Cup. For the first time it implemented the Junior and Senior age divisions on Pokémon Video Game tournaments that were originally from the TCG tournaments, so younger players would have a fairer chance on competition.

JP

NA
Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries 128
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                        
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
4 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Video Game Championships 2009

In 2009, the Pokémon Video Game Championships were included in the yearly Pokémon World Championships, which previously only featured the TCG. In the Video Game World Championships for 2009, players could only use Pokémon Platinum, and the alternate forms introduced in Platinum were ineligible. The Double Cup rules were reinstated.

no

KO
Pokémon VGC 2009      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                              
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon VGC 2009 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Video Game Championships 2010

In 2010, powerful legendary Pokémon such as Mewtwo were allowed once again in the 2010 World Championships. These Pokémon, referred to as special Pokémon, were limited to two per battle, but four were allowed per team. Event-only Pokémon such as Mew were still banned.

The tournament used only Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and the rules followed the GS Cup rule set found in Flat Battle mode. All Pokémon above level 50 were leveled down to 50, while Pokémon below level 50 will retain their levels. Also, Pokémon that evolve at levels above 50 like Dragonite and Tyranitar could compete. While Item Clause was in effect, players could switch items between Pokémon in-between games.

no

KO
Pokémon VGC 2010      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 

  • A maximum of four "special Pokémon" are allowed in a party.
  • Only two "special Pokemon" can be used per battle.
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

             

Special Pokémon
          

  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon VGC 2010 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Generation V

In the games

Pokémon Black and White

Pokémon Black and White introduced Triple Battles, Rotation Battles, and the Wonder Launcher were introduced, the last of which is only available on multiplayer. As with the introduction of Double Battles, these introduced a new set of rules to be followed when battling under these formats.

Black and White also brought about the Pokémon Global Link, with the Global Battle Union alongside it. Accessible in Pokémon Centers is the new Random Matchup mode wherein players may face random opponents over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection without Friend Codes. Any type of battle may be selected. Random Matchup follows its own set of rules for every format available, which updates at times. It also presents a ranking system, with worldwide ranks available on the Global Battle Union section of the Global Link.

In tournaments

Global Battle Union tournaments

Main article: Global Battle Union

The Global Battle Union hosts its own tournaments via the Battle Competition option on the game menu, and acts similarly to Random Matchup. These tournaments are participated entirely through Wi-Fi connection, and randomly match the player with an opponent. Players are not eliminated, but instead lose points for losing. Each tournament can be joined by anyone with the appropriate region set on their accounts on the Global Link if there is space, and these tournaments each have their own set of rules. All Pokémon used must be placed in the Battle Box.

Pokémon Video Game Championships 2011

The 2011 Video Game Championships became the venue for the first Generation V tournament. As with the first tournaments of Generation III and Generation IV, only Pokémon in the Unova Pokédex may be used. The tournament continued to use the Double Battle format, and due to a glitch Sky Drop was banned in this format.

no

KO
Pokémon VGC 2011      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration ???
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
 
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

    
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
  • All Pokémon, items, moves, and Abilities unreleased or unobtainable legitimately during the duration of the battles under Pokémon VGC 2011 are also banned, but they are not specifically listed.

Pokémon Video Game Championships 2012

For the Pokémon Video Game Championships 2012, all Pokémon from the National Pokédex may be used rather than only those in the Unova Pokédex, but there are still some banned Pokémon. Most of the rules remain unchanged from the previous year, with the only difference with Dark Void being banned.

no

KO
Pokémon VGC 2012      
R
G
B
Y
St
St
G
S
C
St2
R
S
E
FR
LG
Colo
XD
D
P
Pt
HG
SS
PBR
B
W
B2
W2
Duration August 10 to 12, 2012
Registration ???
Release of Rankings N/A
Maximum Entries ???
  Clauses  
Evasion Clause
Sleep Clause
Freeze Clause
Self-KO Clause
Item Clause
Species Clause
Additional rules:
  • No two or more Pokémon can have the same nickname.
  • Pokémon cannot be nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon.
  • Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.
  Banned Pokémon  
Pokémon from the following Generations:
I
II
III
IV
V

                           
  Banned Items  
 
 
 
ALL
NONE
N/A
  Banned Moves  
  Sky Drop  
  Dark Void  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
  Hyper Beam  
NONE
  Rules  
Format Double Battle
Party 4 per battle
6 per entry
Format Party
Single Battle 3 per battle
3-6 per entry
Double Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Triple Battle 6 per battle
6 per entry
Rotation Battle 4 per battle
4-6 per entry
Battle Time ???
Command Time ???
Total Level None
Level Cap 50