Pokemon Organized Play has announced the tournament format for the 2013 tournament season. The format will allow sets from Black & White on to be used for tournament play which includes the 2013 Worlds Tournament. The new format will go into effect on September 1st. This follows the release of Dragon EXalted TCG set which will be on August 15th. Below is the press release involving the the set rotation and what it means for players of the Pokemon TCG.
Changes to the Play! Pok√©mon Modified format for the 2013 tournament season have been announced.
In the interest of maintaining a healthy tournament environment, Pok√©mon Organized Play removes older sets from the Modified format at the beginning of each new tournament season. Each rotation challenges existing players to create new strategies while enabling new players to get into Organized Play with a minimal investment.
The 2013 season will be starting on July 9th so that players can get an early start on working towards the 2013 Pok√©mon World Championships, but in order to avoid confusion we will rotate sets on the more familiar date of September 1st.
The 2012 Pok√©mon World Championships being held on August 10th‚Äď12th in Waikoloa, Hawaii, will use the 2012 format and rules as are currently listed.
The Modified format for the 2013 season will consist of the following expansions:
Black & White
Black & White Trainer Kit
Black Star Promos BW01 and higher.
In addition, future Pok√©mon TCG sets will become legal as they are released, per the Pok√©mon Organized Play Tournament Rules.
What this means for players for the Pokemon TCG is that cards from the HeartGold & SoulSilver series though Call of Legends will not be allowed in tournament play. Some current deck staples such as Pokemon Collector, Professor Oak New Theory, and PokeGear 3.0 will be unplayable due to upcoming rotation. Cards such as Rare Candy and Switch will continue to be used due to them being reprinted in the BW series. The only way cards such as Pokemon Collector and PONT will be allowed in tournament play is if they are reprinted in future sets. Until then, TCG players will have to find substitutes such as Bianca, Professor Juniper, Dual Ball and Random Receivers.
As for Pokemon staples, players will see the Pokemon Prime cards leaving the format. The biggest impact of this will be on any decks using Typhlosion Prime as energy acceleration. Vileplume will also be remove from the format which will close any possibility of running a Item Lock strategy from the bench. Trainers will also lose access to the Lost Zone due to rotation. These cards are least likely to be reprinted compare to Items and Supporters but there is a chance that these or similar abilities could be reincarnated as future Pokemon cards.
Pokemon TCG player have until September 1st to retool their decks to meet with tournament format standards. Players will be allowed to use cards outside of the format in casual play but their decks will be invalid for play in tournaments.