Pokemon Sword and Shield Announced a Ban For Pokemon From Competitive Play

Game Freak recently announced a ban for most meta-defining Pokemon from being available in ranked Sword and Shield matches online. The news is quite intriguing.

Pokemon Sword and Shield will start baning many Pokemon from online Ranked Battles during Series 6, which begins tomorrow (September 1). So, 16 of the most-utilized Pokemon from both Singles and Doubles will be banned, hugely disrupting the process’s metagame. Here is what you need to know. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Ban Details: What to Expect

The latest Pokemon Sword and Shield’s announcement marks a significant shift in strategy for Game Freak, the developer of the game. The studio released some limits on competitive team-building during Series 1 through Series 5. 

The odd part is that it did such a thing even after the Isle of Armor DLC expansion introduced dozens of new Pokemon. 

During Series 1, the only bans were for some Legendary Pokemon, such as Mewtwo, Zamazenta, and Zacian, and some Gigantamax types. Recent ban changes even allowed Legendary Generation V Pokemon Virizion, Terrakion, and Cobalion to participate. 

Here is the list of newly-banned Pokemon:

  • Gyarados;
  • Dragapult;
  • Venusaur;
  • Indeedee;
  • Porygon2;
  • Cinderace;
  • Tyranitar;
  • Rillaboom;
  • Torkoal;
  • Mimikyu;
  • Hippowdon;
  • Incineroar;
  • Magnezone;
  • Whimsicott;
  • Togekiss;
  • Excadrill.

Some of these Pokemon, Gyarados, and Mimikyu, for instance, have been praised in Ranked Battles since the Pokemon Sword and Shield’s release. A few come from the Isle of Armor DLC, like Magnezone and Porygon2. But, some banned Pokemon were present in the base games, which became viable after players received access to their Hidden Abilities months after the games’ launch (Rillaboom and Cinderace). 

It remains unknown if the recent bans persist into Series 7 and onward. Since these changes were aimed explicitly at the most-utilized Pokemon of Series 5, the developers might instead ban the most praised Pokemon of Series 6 for the upcoming format. Also, the launch of the Crown Tundra DLC expansion later this year will bring even more uncertainty. 

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