Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze Banned List and Rule Changes Announcement

Announcement Date: July 30, 2020
Effective Date: August 28, 2020

Standard format

Bellelba & Brycen-Man
Bellelba & Brycen-Man

Bellelba & Brycen-Man (Sun & Moon—Cosmic Eclipse, 186/236) is now banned in the Standard format.


Mismagius (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 78/214) is now banned in the Standard format.

Expanded format

No changes have been made to the banned card list for the Expanded format.

The list of banned cards for the Standard and Expanded formats can be found here.

Next Announcement Date: October 23, 2020

Details of Changes

Two cards were banned in the Standard format. The reasoning for these changes is below:

  • These card bans were issued in Japan recently. In an effort to maintain a more global Standard format experience, TPCi has also banned these cards.

  • Control decks and mill decks (strategies that try to discard all the cards from the opponent’s deck) have a place in the Pokémon TCG, but when they become too powerful, the play environment becomes less enjoyable. Bellelba & Brycen-Man has been identified as the card that makes these decks highly effective in tournament play. In an effort to reduce the strength of control decks and mill decks, Bellelba & Brycen-Man has been banned.

  • Hand destruction decks can be similarly unenjoyable to play against when they consistently achieve their goal. With the addition of Crobat V in Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze, there are some hand destruction combos with Mismagius, Dusk Stone, and Reset Stamp that can be achieved more consistently on the first or second turn of the game. In an effort to break up these combos, Mismagius has been banned.

There are no major Play! Pokémon tournaments using the Expanded format in the near future, so no cards will be banned from that format yet. Based on recent results, it’s clear that there are some issues with the current Expanded format environment, but those problems will be addressed in a future update.

Tournament results and community feedback will continue to be analyzed to maintain a healthy play environment. In particular, the Expanded format will be aggressively monitored because there are so many cards and potential combinations available to use.

Link to the official announcement.