2022 Rotation Switches to Regulation Marks, Japan and Rest of World Better Synced!

As we’ve long suspected, TPCi will be switching to rotations based on a card’s regulation mark!

TPCi just announced the 2022 season rotation will include cards with regulation marks D, E, and higher (this roughly falls in line with Sword & Shield and higher). This will go into effect on September 10th. The last format was Team Up and on; it’s now the final set-based rotation.

Regulation marks make it easier to see when a card is legal. Japan introduced them in Sun & Moon when all the cards were marked with a mysterious “A.” At the time, we didn’t know what they were. Their purpose later became clear as Japan started marking their cards with B, C, and then D for Sword & Shield. This is when TPCi jumped on the train.

Since then, TPCi’s cards have been matching the same regulation marks as Japan’s cards. Japan currently allows cards with a regulation mark of C and higher. By winter they will move on to D to match us! Despite this, our card pools will never be the same. Japan always has new sets ahead of us. And our format changes in September whereas theirs changes in January. But at least our cards will be better synced!

TPCi also announced basic Fairy Energy will be illegal for Standard tournaments going forward, which is yet another nail in Fairy’s coffin. Pure Dragon-type Pokemon like Regidrago will likely become Colorless cards if Creatures doesn’t reintroduce Dragon cards.

English cards without a regulation mark that were later reprinted with one will still be legal for tournament play, such as Switch from Sun & Moon.

The Standard Format for 2022

The 2022 Standard format rotation will officially go into effect on September 10, 2021. Going forward, card legality will be linked to regulation mark rather than expansion release. Starting with the Sword & Shield Series, cards have a letter on the bottom of the card (the regulation mark) that signifies whether or not a card is legal for tournament play. Note that not all cards from the same expansion will necessarily have the same regulation mark.

For the 2022 season, cards with “D” and “E” regulation marks are legal for use (as well as any future regulation marks that may be released). As of right now, that includes all cards from the Sword & Shield expansion forward. New cards still must follow the appropriate waiting period to become tournament legal, which is typically two weeks from their release.

Support for the Fairy type in the Pokémon TCG stopped in the Sword & Shield Series. Now that all of the Sun & Moon Series is rotating out of the Standard format, basic Fairy Energy will not be legal for use in the Standard format in the 2022 season.

Grouping cards by regulation mark should make it clearer which cards are legal to use in the Standard format. Future format rotations will be more predictable, as well. For example, the 2023 season rotation will remove all cards with the “D” regulation mark from the Standard format. (The exact date of that rotation will be announced at a later time.)

Older versions of cards that don’t have a regulation mark can still be used if the card is currently legal for play. For example, the card Switch from the Sun & Moon expansion can still be used because the card Switch from the Sword & Shield expansion has a “D” regulation mark. Be sure to check the Play! Pokémon Tournament Rules Handbook for further clarification on which reprints are OK to use.

The Expanded Format for 2022

The Expanded format will remain unchanged for the 2022 season, maintaining the Black & White Series and forward. Players should double-check what format is being used before choosing a deck to bring to their events. Just like the Standard format, new expansions become legal for tournament play two weeks after release.

Please note that several cards are currently banned from the Expanded format. You can find the list of banned cards here.