Over the last week, we’ve learned of some Pokémon TCG bans that will soon go into effect. Not all bans are equal, though, as we’ve got three distinctly different kinds of bans here:
1) A ban for the 2019 World Championship
2) A ban from Hidden Fates
3) Two bans from Japan
The first one is Blaine’s Quiz Show (SM – Unified Minds 186/236). This Trainer Supporter has you place a Pokémon in front of you, facedown. You name one of its attacks then your opponent tries to guess the name of that Pokémon. If they get it right, they draw four cards. If they get it wrong, then you draw four. So why won’t it be allowed at Worlds? Not because of any “broken” combos, but because its effect is too complicated for an event that uses so many different languages. While the powers-that-be attempt to consistently translate card names, they don’t always succeed. Sometimes a word has multiple valid translations, or there are cultural considerations that affect the words chosen. Either way, the powers-that-be have decided it’s just safer to ban the card for Worlds than try to deal with the hassle, and I don’t blame them.
The second ban announcement was rather shocking for me… because I’d forgotten Hidden Fates is already so close to being released. Hidden Fates is a “mini-set” only has 68 cards (disregarding Secret Rares), which is probably why the powers-that-be are willing to release it so close to SM – Unified Minds, which just released on August 2nd. Hidden Fates officially releases on August 23rd, just a week after the 2019 World Championship! You can get the full details from the official announcement but as of September 6, Jesse & James (Hidden Fates 58/68) will be banned from the Expanded Format. Again, from the Expanded Format; you’ll still be able to use this card in Standard! Jesse & James is Trainer-Supporter that has you discard two cards from your hand, then forces your opponent to do the same. The previously linked announcement explains that some vicious hand obliterating combos, similar to the tricks we saw with Delinquent, are why Jesse & James were hit by the ban hammer before they even released.
The third ban announcement is one just for Japan, which I was made aware of via one of Ross’s (PTCGradio’s) videos on Youtube. Reset Stamp and Unown (SM – Lost Thunder 91/214) will no longer be legal for their version of the Expanded Format as of September 1st. At least, I think those are the details; I never did get around to learning Japanese, so to verify Ross’s video, I put the official announcement through Google Translate. It is rare for cards to be banned there and not here, but I believe there are some exceptions. I have to say “believe” because I’ve seen contradicting evidence. The Unown may not be much of a surprise; this is the one with the “HAND” Ability, and if there isn’t a one-turn-win combo with it yet, it is begging for there to be one the instant R&D forget about it. Reset Stamp came as a surprise to many. I’m not too fond of “come-from-behind” effects or this kind of hand disruption, but that’s me; the powers-that-be usually require something like a player being able to win or all-but-win (such as with a lock) on their first turn before something gets banned.
Should there be anymore bans announced before the World Championships, we’ll update this article.