Pokemon Just Banned Its Most Powerful Pokemon From Its World Championships

Pokemon's competitive governing body just discreetly banned one of its most powerful Pokemon ahead of next month's World Championships. This year's Pokemon Video Game Championships was labelled as the Ultra Series and focused on the use of exceptionally powerful Pokemon. Unlike recent years, players can include any Pokemon on their team, giving them access to every Pokemon in the game. The only limitiation is that players can only have two Pokemon from a small list of powerful Legendary Pokemon, which include Pokemon like Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Groudon, and Rayquaza. However, the upcoming World Championships, which will be held next month in Washington DC, will not feature one of the most powerful Pokemon seen in recent tournaments.

Play Pokemon, the organization that governs official Pokemon Video Game and Card Game tournaments and events, released an updated set of rules today that bans the move "Dragon Ascent" from use in future events. Although not stated outright, this change effectively bans Mega Rayquaza from use in the upcoming World Championships, as Rayquaza can't be Mega Evolved without knowing Dragon Ascent.

Up to this point, Mega Rayquaza had dominated this year's VGC - Ultra Series, appearing on three of the top four teams in the North American International Championships and appearing on two of the top eight teams in the European International Championships Notably, Mega Rayquaza appeared on the winning teams of both tournaments, establishing it as a top Pokemon in this year's series. Rayquaza was a seen as a bulky Pokemon that had a diverse set of available moves that could counter a variety of popular Pokemon builds and team combinations. While players didn't typically center their team's build around Mega Rayquaza, it was a fantastic catch-all with few weaknesses.

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It's unclear whether the Mega Rayquaza ban is deliberate or not - the rules used the same language as the Sun and Moon Series (which did ban specific Pokemon and moves) earlier this year and it seems unusual to ban a Pokemon just one month before the World Championships. It's possible that Mega Rayquaza's ban was just an accident caused by someone accidentally using out-of-date rules, especially as there was no indication a ban was coming. While some are claiming that the updated rules were pulled off the website, we were able to access the updated rules (with Dragon Ascent still banned) as of press time. We've reached out to The Pokemon Company for comment and will update this article should any clarification be given.

(h/t Joe Merrick of Serebii)