TPCi has announced that they may change the Modified format to HeartGold & SoulSilver-on starting July 1st due to the new Black & White rules. Currently, the format is Majestic Dawn and on, meaning seven sets would be rotated out before Nationals and Worlds if the early rotation was put into effect. TPCi will make their decision in early June; they are probably waiting until after the spring Battle Roads take place to gauge whether the early rotation is really needed. If the format is not changed to HGSS-on in July, the rotation will occur in September like usual. Their full announcement is below.
This potentially early rotation comes following complaints from the general player base that the current format is stale and unbalanced (mainly due to Sableye from Stormfront). Compounding this, because of the new Black & White rules that were recently put into effect, some older cards that were never meant to work under the new rules are becoming even stronger. This is an inherent problem in the way TPCi brings cards overseas – many cards are removed from their original sets and “saved” for subsequent sets when they were originally supposed to be released together. This means that some cards enter the format anywhere from three to nine months after they were originally supposed to. This can sometimes cause power disparities in the format since TPCi is essentially introducing old cards into what is now a different game.
Sableye is a perfect example of this. Because the player who goes first can now play Trainer cards under the new Black & White rules, they can more easily damage and Knock Out the opponent’s Pokemon using cards like Poke Turn, Crobat G, Super Scoop Up, Uxie, Junk Arm, Victory Medal, Poke Blower, Poke Drawer, and Seeker, all of which allow Sableye to potentially achieve a first turn donk before the opponent can even draw a card. Since Sableye was created at a time when the first player could not play Trainer cards on their first turn, Sableye gains an advantage in this new environment which was never intended by the game designers in Japan. (To use a bad metaphor, it’s like introducing a soldier with a semiautomatic into the Revolutionary War. :p)
Pokémon Organized Play has developed a Modified format to encourage a diverse and vital competitive environment.
With the release of the Pokémon Trading Card Game: Black & White expansion later this month, players will see some changes to the TCG rules. With so many different cards interacting with the new rules, Pokémon Organized Play will be taking extra care to ensure the competitive environment remains as fun and fair as it has always been for our players.
To provide a fun, positive tournament experience for all Play! Pokémon members, we may rotate some older sets out of the Modified format earlier in the year than the typical September 1st rotation date.
The next Modified format will include expansions from HeartGold & SoulSilver to the present. Under normal circumstances, this rotation would take effect September 1st, 2011. However, should we deem it necessary to maintain a healthy competitive environment, the rotation would take effect on July 1st instead. The final decision will be announced in early June.
Please note that some Premier events in Europe may not incorporate rules and cards from the Pokémon TCG: Black & White expansion. Contact your local event organizers to confirm which expansions will be allowed.
Thank you for your understanding throughout this process! Pokémon Organized Play strives to keep players as up-to-date as possible to help you be best prepared to perform at your peak at every Pokémon TCG event.