Japan’s Recent Expanded Bans Now Effective Overseas

Japan recently banned several cards from Expanded. Starting November 15th, those same Expanded bans will go into effect outside Japan:

  • Chip-Chip Ice Axe (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 165/214)
  • Flabébé (Sun & Moon—Forbidden Light, 83/131)
  • Island Challenge Amulet (Sun & Moon—Cosmic Eclipse, 194/236 and 265/236)
  • Lt. Surge's Strategy (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 178/214; Hidden Fates, 60/68)
  • Marshadow (Shining Legends, 45/73; Black Star Promo, SM85)
  • Mismagius (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 78/214)
  • Red Card (XY, 124/146; Generations, 71/83)
  • Reset Stamp (Sun & Moon—Unified Minds, 206/236 and 253/236)
  • Unown (Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, 91/214)

TPCi stated the following reasons for the bans:

  • These card bans were applied in Japan recently. In an effort to maintain a more global experience for the Expanded format, TPCi has also banned these cards.
  • Most of these card bans are an attempt to weaken strategies that involve disrupting or destroying an opponent’s hand. These cards contribute to several combos that result in a player having to discard their entire hand before they get to take a turn.
  • The Expanded format currently has a reputation for being dominated by hand-disruption decks, which many players dislike. Hopefully these card bans will promote a more enjoyable environment and change that reputation.

Our explanation was as follows:

Many of the bans are to protect the hand size of the opponent on the first and second turns of the game. If you’re the player going second, using Mismagius and then Reset Stamp can dwindle an opponent’s hand down to two cards. Flabébé allows you to immediately evolve into the new Floette from Cosmic Eclipse, which lets you shuffle a card from your opponent’s hand into their deck.

Reset Stamp and Unown HAND were banned in Japan a while ago, so TPCi is bringing those bans overseas a little late. Meanwhile, we already banned Ghetsis from Plasma Freeze and Japan just introduced that ban. Some cards are banned here that aren’t yet banned in Japan, like Puzzle of Time.

TPCi moving to keep our ban lists in sync is yet more evidence that we’ll be getting worldwide releases with Japan starting next year.