During every Championship Series season, Pokémon Organized Play removes older expansions from competition in the Standard format with the goal of maintaining a healthy competitive environment. This rotation challenges existing players to create new strategies and enables new players to get involved in Play! Pokémon events using the most recent releases.
The Standard Format for 2023
As briefly mentioned in April 2021, cards with the “D” regulation mark will no longer be legal for play in the 2023 Standard format. Cards with “E” and “F” regulation marks will be legal to use (as will any future regulation marks that may be released). A card’s legality status is no longer based on which expansion it’s from. Even if a card is from a recently released expansion, players will need to refer to the regulation mark on the bottom of the card to see whether that card is legal for play. New cards still must follow the appropriate waiting period to become tournament legal, which is typically two weeks after their release.
For in-person Play! Pokémon events, the Standard format rotation will go into effect on April 14, 2023. For digital play on Pokémon TCG Live, the Standard format rotation will go into effect on March 30, 2023. This will give players an official platform to test out the new Standard format before participating in any in-person events.
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 Rare Candy from the Sun & Moon expansion can still be used because the card Rare Candy from the Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO expansion has an “F” regulation mark. And even though the card Boss’s Orders (Giovanni) from the Sword & Shield—Rebel Clash expansion has a “D” regulation mark (which is rotating out of the Standard format), it can still be used because the card Boss’s Orders (Cyrus) from the Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars expansion has an “F” 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 2023
The Expanded format will remain unchanged, 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.
Pokémon Tool Card Errata
In the past, Pokémon Tool cards were considered a subcategory of Item cards. When the Scarlet & Violet expansion becomes legal for play, all Pokémon Tool cards will receive errata. Moving forward, Pokémon Tool will be its own category of Trainer card. That means there will be four categories of Trainer cards: Item, Supporter, Stadium, and Pokémon Tool.
Starting with the Scarlet & Violet Series, all Pokémon Tool cards will be printed as their own category, not as Item cards. Pokémon Tool cards from all previous series will receive errata to align with this change. For example, Vitality Band says Item on it, but it won’t be considered an Item card once this change goes into effect—it’s just a Pokémon Tool.
The Pokémon Tool card errata affects certain card interactions. For example, if the effect of PokéStop is used, the player would no longer put any discarded Pokémon Tool cards into their hand. On the other hand, if Vikavolt V’s Paralyzing Bolt attack is used, the opponent would be able to play Pokémon Tool cards during their next turn, since those are no longer considered Item cards. Be sure to pay close attention to these card effects moving forward!
The Pokémon Tool card errata will be applied at Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet Prerelease tournaments.