Pokemon VGC 2020 Rules Mark the Shift to Sword and Shield

Published: December 6, 2019 9:30 AM /


Pokemon VGC 2020 cover

The Pokemon VGC 2020 rules have been revealed. Unsurprisingly, this is also the first year that the Pokemon Video Game Championships will be shifting towards Pokemon Sword and Shield as the game of choice.

Tournaments for the new year will be changed starting on January 4, 2020, when the VGC officially makes the move to Pokemon Sword and Shield. Of course, this also means that new mechanics like Dynamax and Double Battles come into play, forcing even the most experienced tournament participants to learn some new tricks.

A portion of the rules have been detailed on the official Pokemon website, so let's break it down!

Pokemon VGC 2020 arena

The Pokemon VGC 2020 Rules

Here is a portion of the rules highlighted in a news post on the official Pokemon website.

  • All battles will be Double Battles played in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
  • Each player will need their own Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite and a physical or digital version of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield to compete.
  • Pokémon will need to have the Galar symbol, showing they were caught in the Galar region.
  • All Pokémon from the Galar Regional Pokédex will be permitted except for Mythical Pokémon and certain Legendary Pokémon.
  • All Pokémon will be set to Lv. 50, including Pokémon below Lv. 50.
  • Duplicate Pokémon will not be allowed.
  • Duplicate held items will not be allowed.
  • Each battle will begin with a 90-second Team Preview phase.
  • Players will have 7 minutes of Your Time, 45 seconds of Move Time, and (now returning to the VGC) 15 minutes of Game Time in each battle.

Additionally, only ten Pokemon capable of Gigantamaxing will be tournament legal under the Pokemon VGC 2020 rules:

  1. Butterfree
  2. Centiskorch
  3. Charizard (only permitted with the Ability Blaze)
  4. Corviknight
  5. Drednaw
  6. Eevee
  7. Meowth
  8. Pikachu\
  9. Sandaconda
  10. Snorlax

It seems like things are more or less on track as it had been with previous years, with the sole addition of accommodations for Gigantamax and the requirement for Double Battles.

If you're keen on competing this year, you can use the Event Locator to find a tournament near you. The Pokemon VGC 2020 competition will culminate in the World Championships in — where else? — the United Kingdom.

What do you think of the new Pokemon VGC 2020 rules? Do you already have a team all picked out? Let us know in the comments below!

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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Pokémon Sword and Shield
Game Freak
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
November 15, 2019 (Calendar)
Open World, RPG
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)