Palace 101 — An Exploration of the Palace / Hall of Fame Format

Greetings PokeBeach readers! After over a month of testing, running tournaments, and playing lots of Pokemon throughout this quarantine, I’m incredibly excited to bring to light one of my favorite formats that the Pokemon TCG has ever seen — Palace! In this article, I will detail how I go about building decks for this format and offer a ton of fun and innovative concepts with guest commentary from their architects. Pretty much anything is possible in this format; I hope you open up a card search engine and get to work on your own crazy concepts as well.

The Palace format (also known as the Hall of Fame format) is an officially sanctioned format in Japan that consists of sets from Diamond and Pearl to the present! In order to help balance the format, Palace utilizes a “star list.” Exceptionally strong cards are assigned a “star value” of one through four and a few cards are banned outright. A player may only include four stars in their deck total. This allows incredibly strong cards, like Broken Time-Space and Porygon2 to see play in the format, but it stops players from including cards like Shiftry and Forretress from being played alongside them. Overall, the star list eliminates un-fun strategies like turn 1 hand lock, donk decks, and lock decks that have no counters from being played while keeping these powerful cards as options in other strategies. Here is the full star list:

Palace Format Star List

Outright Banned Cards

Cards Explicity Allowed

Miracle Diamond – Trainer

Look at all of your face-down Prize cards. You may choose 1 Trainer, Supporter or Stadium card you find there, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand. If you do, put this card as a Prize card face up instead of discarding it

Mysterious Pearl – Trainer

Look at all of your face-down Prize cards. You may choose 1 Pokemon you find there, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand. If you do, put this card as a Prize card face up instead of discarding it.

Wonder Platinum – Trainer

Look at all of your face-down Prize cards. You may choose 1 Energy card you find there, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand. If you do, put this card as a Prize card face up instead of discarding it.

 

This star list is technically unofficial because Japan hasn’t provided any updates recently, but this list has been heavily tested through Palace tournaments and individual play. The star list constantly changes; when cards like Scoop Up Net are released in Rebel Clash, the list is bound to change when new strategies become oppressive. However, in the Diamond & Pearl – Sword & Shield format this list has proven to allow for a very healthy metagame of different strategies.

Standout Strategies from Palace Events and Testing


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