Rules

(Note that Rules Have been Revised for 2014!)

How to Participate

All you need to participate is a copy of Pokémon X or Y, keen eyesight, and a love of Pokémon Battle! Gym leaders will be all over PAX, and can be identified by their bright green scarves. Approach them, challenge them to a battle, and if they deem you worthy, you’ll earn their badge!

Brief Rules

  1. HAVE FUN! This is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, please don’t get stuck in semantics or rules-lawyering.
  2. Wheaton’s law applies. We’re trying hard to make it fun for you. Treat us, and those around you, with respect, please!
  3. Any activity that helps enrich the experience is acceptable and encouraged! Cosplay as your favorite trainer, announce your moves to the public, and help us spread the word! This will not be a success without your enthusiasm!
  4. Don’t use hacked or banned Pokémon. If a leader suspects you’re using hacked or banned Pokemon, they may refuse to battle you. For a full list of banned Pokémon, please see the In-Depth Rules section.
  5. Gym Leaders and Elite Four may be challenged at most once per day (unless a rematch is accepted by the leader, but rematches may be turned down depending on the circumstances). This is just so that everyone gets a turn to play, and everyone gets a shot at the champ. This is also to ensure that leaders are able to enjoy PAX too. We want to encourage all of you to spend lots of time at PAX doing more than just playing Pokémon.
  6. We’d like to remind everyone that certain strategies are really just no fun for the leaders to face. Please do not abuse such tactics as evasion, teams that stall for long periods of time (we have to keep things moving), or steamrolling with Speed Boost Blaziken. If you are using a team that is no fun to fight, one of our leaders may ask you to change it up a bit, or refuse to battle you. We try to keep our rules loose, and we would appreciate it if you don’t abuse this fact. There are more details in the In-Depth Rules.
  7. On a similar note, the Gym Leaders and Elite Four are all volunteers and are trying to make this experience fun for you. We would appreciate it if you would return the favor. Try to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
  8. Please keep in mind that all GL and E4 are PAX attendants just like you. We have things we want to see, so note there will be times when we’re not able or willing to accept challengers. In general, leaders will remove their scarves when they’re not up for accepting challenges. Additionally, we will have an informal time limit of 15-20 minutes. If a leader thinks the match is dragging on too long, they may call for a 3 minute deadline, and determine the winner at the end of those 3 minutes based on the match so far.
  9. We will be using the “Battle with Someone Nearby” IR connection option (because it’s fast and convenient). This will automatically level Pokémon down to level 50 if they are above, and, unlike in previous gen games, it WILL level your Pokémon up if they’re below level 50. So you can use whatever Pokémon you like!

In-Depth Rules

  1. Game Choice: Challengers must have a copy of Pokémon X or Y to participate, as all our gym leaders will be using those games.
  2. Leader Identification: Leaders will be identified by branded Lime Green “PAX Pokémon League” scarves.
  3. Battle Type: Unless otherwise specified by the leader, all battles will be single battles played on IR, or local Wireless (GTS->Battle->Battle with Someone Nearby)
  4. Species Clause: A player’s team may not contain two Pokémon with the same National Pokédex number.
    1. EXCEPTION: exceptions may be made for novelty teams containing only one species of Pokémon (e.g. the famous Shuckle team, the “All Stunfisk” team, etc). This is left to the discretion of each gym leader. Chances are good if you have a team of six Garchomp, you’re going to be refused battles.
  5. Soul Dew: Soul dew is not allowed as a held item.
  6. Self-KO clause: If anyone uses a move that is an intentional self KO move (like Explosion) the user of the move loses the match if it is the deciding factor. If anyone uses a move that has recoil (like Double-Edge) that scores a KO, and the recoil also KO’s the user’s Pokémon, the user wins the match if it is the deciding factor.
  7. Sleep clause: A player cannot put two or more opposing Pokémon to sleep using attacks that induce sleep to opposing Pokémon  A Pokémon using rest does not count towards this total. A Pokémon forced by an opponent to use more sleep moves does not break this clause (example: Encore forcing a player to use spore more than once does not violate this clause. A Pokémon intentionally holding a choice item using spore to put multiple Pokémon to sleep does violate this clause, but if an opponent uses trick to give the player a choice item trapping them into spore, that would not break the clause. (Don’t try to abuse this though, it’s no fun to have everything be asleep!))
  8. Evasion clause: A player cannot increase their Pokémon’s evasion stat with a move that specifically increases evasion. Items or indirect boosts do not break this clause.
  9. Endless Battle clause: Any moveset on any Pokémon that is capable of intentionally causing an endless battle is banned.
  10. Illegal Moves: No Pokémon may use the move “Dark Void“.
  11. Speed Boost Blaziken: No team may contain a Blaziken with the ability Speed Boost.
  12. Banned Pokémon:The following Pokémon may not be on any team:
    • 150 – Mewtwo
    • 249 – Lugia
    • 250 – Ho-Oh
    • 382 – Kyogre
    • 383 – Groudon
    • 384 – Rayquaza
    • 386 – Deoxys (any Forme)
    • 483 – Dialga
    • 484 – Palkia
    • 487 – Giratina (any Forme)
    • 491 – Darkrai
    • 492 – Shaymin (Sky Forme)
    • 493 – Arceus
    • 643 – Reshiram
    • 644 – Zekrom
    • 646 – Kyurem (any Forme)
    • 649 – Genesect (any Forme)
    • 716 – Xerneas
    • 717 – Yveltal
  13. Limited Pokémon:There may be only 1 of any of the following Pokémon on any team:
    • 490 – Manaphy
    • 151 – Mew
    • 251 – Celebi
    • 380 – Latias
    • 381 – Latios
    • 385 – Jirachi
    • 485 – Heatran
    • 488 – Cresselia
    • 492 – Shaymin (Land Forme)
    • 494 – Victini
    • 641 – Tornadus (any Forme)
    • 642 – Thundurus (any Forme)
    • 645 – Landorus (any Forme)
    • 647 – Keldeo
    • 648 – Meloetta (any Forme)
    • 718 – Zygarde
  14. Hidden Abilities: Any hidden abilities that haven’t officially been released cannot be used.
  15. Banned Mega Stones: Kangaskhanite, Gengarite, Mewtwonite X, Mewtwonite Y, and Blazikenite are not allowed as held items.

We understand that some of you may disagree with our rule choices, but these were the rules we decided on after much debating and testing to keep the game fun and fair for both the challengers and the Leaders. So we hope you enjoy the League challenge as much as we all do!

61 Responses to Rules

  1. Nathan

    Is Snow Cloak allowed?

  2. Vic

    so for limited pokemon is it just one of those on the list that are allowed in a team or do you mean no multiples of any of those pokemon on a team?

    • Propriety

      For “limited” pokemon, it means you can have up to one pokemon on that list on your team.

      The second thing you said, no multiples of any pokemon, is also true, but it applies to ANY pokemon: it’s #4, the Species Clause.

    • Kai

      One of any pokemon on the limited list can be used. ie. You can have Manaphy, or Victini, but not both.

  3. Versuskid

    Species Clause: A player’s team may not contain two Pokémon with the same National Pokédex number.

    What? Does that mean that I can only have one Pokemon from Each of the different sets of games… Like one for Gold-Silver-Crystal, one for Red-Blue-Yellow, one for Ruby-Sapphire-Emerald, one for Firered-Leafgreen, one for Diamond-Pearl-Platinum, and one for Black-White?

    • Anon

      It means you can’t have for example a #641 Tornadus with a #641 Tornadus-T, or two #129 Magikarp. You could have a #129 Magikarp with a #130 Gyrados just fine, because they have different national pokedex numbers (129 and 130).

  4. Aj

    When you say no unreleased hidden abilities, does that include a pokemon obtained from japan? ie: a venusaur dvolved from a japanese bulbasaur who has overgrow from the japanese dreamworld.

  5. Bahamut Dragons

    Do we need to have a 3ds or does an old-school work?

  6. Tre

    Will everyone be moving up to Black & White 2 now that it has been released in the states or is everyone sticking with the original Black & White?

    • Propriety

      Gym leaders will be using Black 2 and White 2, but since Black/White and Black 2/White 2 are battle compatible, you can use whichever you wish.

  7. Anon

    For released/unreleased hidden abilities, does being available in-game count as released? The example for rule 14 explicitly calls out impostor ditto as unreleased, but I’m not sure if that was written with BW1 in mind. You can legitimately get an impostor ditto in BW2 (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxxupIylazE for an example) even though you can’t get one through dream world.

    • Propriety

      You are correct, insightful Anon! Being available in-game of course counts as released. That was a leftover from last year. Imposter ditto is now available in the hidden grotto in Giant Chasm!

      The text of the rules has been updated to reflect this change.

  8. Pat

    The Wonder Launcher is on by default in the IR battle rules, but these rules don’t mention it at all. Is it allowed?

    • Propriety

      An astute observation! No, use of the Wonder Launcher is not allowed.

      It prolongs battles (which is bad because gym leaders are very busy) and takes the focus away from the Pokemon.

  9. puddlesA1

    Can you use white and black kyurem?

  10. Pat

    Moody should be banned. I’m confident this was just an oversight, but I thought it was worth demonstrating, so I used an Octillery with Moody against the Rotation Master at PAX East 2013. Here’s the result: https://www.pokecheck.org/?bid=708633036904

  11. Anoni

    Is species clause actually enforced? I saw a post on the forums about someone using a team of all stunfisk, and no one seemed to bat an eyelash.

    • Propriety

      In the past, we’ve made exceptions for novelty teams made up of entirely one pokemon (all Stunfisk, all Shuckle) because they’re fun and, frankly, kind of hilarious, and people haven’t abused them.

      We’ll revisit this rule in the future, I think, maybe make exceptions for novelty teams. I mean, if you want to have a team of six Bidoof, yes please. :B If you have a team of six Salamence, on the other hand… I might look at you askance. >.> There’s definitely a discussion to be had.

      • Anoni

        So a team of, say, three feebas, two rattata and a sunkern would not be ok because they’re not all the same pokemon?

        • Propriety

          We’ve added an exception to the species clause to address this. Basically we’re only allowing exceptions for teams of all one species, and even then it’s up to the discretion of the gym leader as to whether to accept the battle (if it’s something they don’t think is fair, they can refuse to battle you).

  12. kalai

    Can you challenge everyone even if you are not going to be there all three days?

  13. Pat

    You may want to change the term “Dream world Abilities” to “Hidden Abilities” since A) The Dream World will be shut down in January and B) The Hidden Abilities will be accessible through other means like Pokemon Hordes and the Friend Safari.

    • Propriety

      This rules page is out of date and will be substantially updated within the next month. The gym leaders are working on figuring out our rules for X and Y as we speak!

  14. Phillip

    Just curious, are other speed boosting pokemon banned?

  15. How many Gym Leaders do you have to defeat to challenge the Elite Four?

    Also, could you in theory challenge everyone each day?

    • Propriety

      You have to acquire eight badges to challenge the Elite Four, just like in the game! Though… there are actually six members of the Elite Six at PPL East! (you only have to defeat four of them to challenge the Champ though, just like in the game!)

      Yes, in theory, you could challenge everyone each day! Though I will tell you, that is EXTREMELY difficult… there are a LOT of gym leaders, and they’ll be wandering around all over the place! ;D

  16. Tre

    Does the ability effect spore fall under the sleep clause even though it is not a move?

    And is it illegal to have multiple pokemon holding the same item?

    • Propriety

      My ruling would be that Effect Spore would fall under the part of the rule that says “A Pokémon forced by an opponent to use more sleep moves does not break this clause,” since Effect Spore is triggered by your opponent attacking you, and you have no control over it. So if you put an opponent to sleep (say with Sleep Powder), and they switch out and attack you, and Effect Spore triggers, putting them to sleep, that’s fine, because that was caused by your opponent’s attack, not yours.

      Of course if the situation is flipped (your Pokemon puts an opponent to sleep using Effect Spore first and then they switch out), you can no longer use Sleep Powder to intentionally put any of their pokemon to sleep. If Effect Spore then triggers again on another Pokemon… well, you just got really lucky!

    • Propriety

      Oh, and no, it’s not illegal to use the same hold item.

  17. Jeff

    Just to confirm.. these are 6v6 battles? and I’m only going to be there 1 day.. what if I can’t find all 8 gym leaders? D:

    • Propriety

      Like in the games (or, more accurately, the TV show), each Gym Leader is different! Aside from the above League-agreed-upon rules, each gym leader sets the rules for their match. You may be playing 4 v 4, or first to three KOs, or double battles, rotation battles, triple battles… it’s up to the leader how they want to run their gym!

      If you’re only attending PAX one day, getting eight badges can be tough, but it’s definitely not unheard of! We have had a few people (though VERY few) challenge the Champion on Friday, which means it’s possible to complete the challenge in one day. But it’s not easy! Do the best you can. Earning however many badges you can is its own reward! And since we’ll have raffles all three days this year, if you complete your MegaBingo card, you can enter a raffle and potentially win a cool prize, even if you don’t collect eight badges!

  18. James

    Hey guys,

    As I read I saw that there are banned and limited Pokemon but you left some of the legendary trios off the list. Seeing as in regular tournaments the trio Pokemon are usually legal, is it ok if we use these legendary trios? Such as: Entei, Raiku, Suicune, Moltres, Zapdos, Arcticuno, the Regi’s, etc.

  19. Stephen

    I noticed that there is no item restriction except for soul dew. Does that mean we have can have multiple of the same item? (i.e. Leftovers, Life Orb, etc)

  20. Stephen

    Nevermind, I didn’t check all the comments. Sorry!

    • Propriety

      No problem! It’s been asked before so it’s a good question, and we will address it next year. Sorry for the confusion.

  21. James

    Hey guys, new question. Seeing as there are more than eight gym leaders and more then four elites, will we just have to beat that many? Or do we have to challenge and defeat all of em? Either way I’m eager to meet my challenges head on xD

    • Propriety

      You need to collect 8 Badges to challenge the Elites, and collect 4 Elite Emblems to challenge the champ.

      You don’t have to challenge all of them! You’re free to try, though. It’s not easy! ;D

  22. Guthy

    there is no requirement for them to be Kalos born is there?

    • Propriety

      Nope! We think that’s silly; many of our gym leaders battle with Pokemon that are old friends from many games ago! You can use pokemon that were born in any region.

  23. Daniel

    How/where can I challenge the Pax League?

    • Propriety

      The PAX Pokemon League is run at PAX East and PAX Prime, and we’re working on expanding to PAX Aus and PAX South! To participate, you have to attend PAX and look for gym leaders wearing bright green scarves. If you spot one, you can challenge them to a battle using your copy of Pokemon X or Y for the 3DS!

      That’s all there is to it!

  24. Joey

    How do we know which hidden abilities have been officially released?

  25. Yoav

    Just wondering, do the pokemon have to be Kalos native? like born in Kalos?

    • Propriety

      No! You can use Pokemon born anywhere you like!

      We don’t want to keep people from using their favorite Pokemon, even if they come from past games. :)

  26. Grimmsley

    so are the new uptodate bans in effect? swagger agieslash only one batton pass?

    • Propriety

      I think you’re referring to bew Smogon bans? We don’t really follow Smogon rules. We may revise the rules in the future as the gym leaders test out new things, but for now they’re staying the way they are. :) The PPL is about having fun, not necessarily about winning all the time, so use whatever Pokemon/moves make you happy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>