TPCi has announced that Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick and Unown DAMAGE will be banned in Expanded! The bans will go into effect on February 15th. TPCi always bans the same cards as Japan, so the bans were expected.
As mentioned yesterday, Maxie was banned in Japan last month upon the release of their Tag Team set (our equivalent of Team Up). The ban was assumed to be due to its combo with Team Up‘s Omastar.
In their announcement, TPCi stated, “A Fighting-type Pokemon in the upcoming Sun & Moon—Team Up expansion would create a potentially devastating combo with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick that can be achieved on the first turn of the game. Rather than wait and see how this turns out, it was determined that the best course of action was to prevent this combo before it happened.”
The official Japanese website announced last night that Unown DAMAGE will be banned from their Expanded format upon the release of their Full Metal Wall set on February 1st. The ban was probably due to the strategies described in an article from Stephane Ivanoff named “DAMAGE Control — How to Win a Game in Two Turns.”
TPCi stated, “With multiple combos that exist in the Expanded format, the DAMAGE Ability of Unown could be used to win the game on the first or second turn. Even though these combos haven’t yet proven to be successful in tournament play, they will become easier to achieve with the release of new cards, so Unown is being banned as a preventive measure.”
Archeops, Forest of Giant Plants, Lysandre's Trump Card, and Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick are the only cards currently banned in Japan’s Expanded format (plus Unown in February). In addition to those, TPCi has also banned Ghetsis, Hex Maniac, Wally, and Puzzle of Time from our Expanded format.