Huge New TCG Bans, Unban Announced for Expanded

Two more cards join Lysandre’s Trump Card in the metaphorical time-out corner, and Shiftry has been freed at last.

Despite no sets being removed, the official Pokémon website has announced that the Expanded format will be receiving some new card bans and unbans. These are as follows:

Expanded format:

Forest of Giant Plants (XY—Ancient Origins, 74/98) is now banned in the Expanded format.

Archeops (Black & White—Noble Victories, 67/101; Black & White—Dark Explorers,110/108) is now banned in the Expanded format.

Shiftry (Black & White—Next Destinies, 72/99) is no longer banned in the Expanded format.

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

These changes were added, as they are quarterly, “to maintain a fun and healthy play environment.”

The first two cards both affect evolution. Forest of Giant Plants (FoGP) removed restrictions on evolutions for Grass-type Pokémon, while Archeops banned evolution entirely for both players while it was on the field. FoGP allowed for some “unhealthy” combos, while Archeops was a massive advantage for the person playing Archeops, as there were some ways to ignore that Ability that the Archeops player could prepare for. Archeops was also made stronger by the existence of Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, which allowed the Archeops player to get it out before the other player even had a turn! It is worth noting that “Removing a different part of the combo… was also considered”, but that this affected everything else the least.

Shiftry, a card that has been banned in all formats since the introduction of FoGP, was unbanned as a direct result of the FoGP ban. No Forest, no overpowered combo with Shiftry’s Giant Fan ability, no ban.

It is worth noting that no changes were made to the Standard format. Thus, Forest of Giant Plants will remain legal in Standard until it rotates out on September 1st. Lysandre’s Trump Card also remains banned, because it is still kind of unbalanced.

These changes go into effect August 18th, and any official Expanded tournaments on or after that date will use the new rules. What does FoGP’s ban mean for Grass decks? Will Shiftry’s glorious return affect your Expanded strategies?

Edited by Radiating and Volpe Artica.