Question Is the VGC worth starting when Sword and Shield releases?


Aspiring Trainer
Hi, I am interested in starting competitive Pokémon on the VGC when Sword and Shield releases, as a long time tcg player I understand how some of the main tournament rules work such as player ID and registration. However would you personally say it is worth joining with the new game releases?. Additionally would there be any advice on good starting points for someone interested in this format of Pokémon?. Thanks,


The Blonde Brainiac
Forum Mod
Advanced Member
I would honestly start honing your skills on a place like Showdown, which will help you automatically get an EV and IV spread, and a accompanying Nature, once you choose and Pokemon and it's moveset. Start by looking at a place like Smogon and look at the tier list. You can also do this in Showdown, as you can previously create a team based solely in one tier list (OU, PU, Ubers, LC, etc.)

I wouldn't go into SwSh competitive blind, because you're going to struggle, and if you're anything like me; struggling will lead to anger and disenchantment, and you end up quitting the whole thing altogether.

While Showdown obviously doesn't have a Gen 8 metagame yet, it's beneficial to you now to get your feet wet and dip your toes in right now as opposed to later, or when Gen VIII drops in November. I know, you're going to playing in the tail end of this current Generation's meta, but playing now will get you accustomed to the intricacies of competitive Pokemon.

You can also use Showdown as a sort of sandbox mode, once you get familiar with how the competitive side operates. Create teams, and move sets and then breed in Sword and Shield once you feel ready to actually play Pokemon competitively.

This isn't easy, you're going to go through rough patches where you'll find out how nasty RNG can be when she's not on your side. The thing is, to keep your chin up, and remember that it's only one match; the RNG can easily swing back in your favor in the next battle.

Card Slinger J

To answer your question I think that entirely depends on whether enough people at your LGS (assuming they run VGC events) are willing to spend $300 on a Nintendo Switch just to play Pokémon Sword & Shield competitively. I remember back when my LGS had a huge VGC following in Gen IV which I like to call the Pokémon Renaissance period of the late 2000's and early to mid 2010's when everyone had a Nintendo DS just to play Diamond / Pearl / Platinum and HeartGold / SoulSilver. It got so big that it exploded on YouTube with hundreds If not thousands of PokéTubers uploading their own Wi-Fi Battles. Nowadays you just don't see that anymore as it became more of a fad when online battle simulators took most of the effort away from it.

I'd love to go back to the Pokémon Renaissance that we last experienced in the late 2000's and early to mid 2010's, though given the current state of the Pokémon franchise as a whole (the Trading Card Game / Online Card Game, Anime / Manga, Video Games, etc.) I'm not so sure If we'll be able to recapture that magic again. Back then it was a culmination of all the nostalgia that Pokémon is known for with the help of HeartGold / SoulSilver however you can only go so far with nostalgia alone as proven by LGPE. The removal of the National Dex in Sword & Shield was just another reminder that we can't rely on Kanto / Johto / Hoenn pandering forever. Something's gotta give whether we like it or not. The competitive VGC scene was overdue for a major shake up for a long period of time.
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