The Pokémon Company announced the ruleset for the upcoming VGC Series 6 on August 20 via Pokémon HOME. With it came the bombshell news that 16 frequently-used Pokémon will not be legal in upcoming competitive tournaments. Series 6 will go live in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Battle Stadium beginning on September 1.

The upcoming ban likely intends to diversify players’ teams by targeting the most common Pokémon at high levels of play. The banned Pokémon were all top 10 in usage for Singles and/or Doubles in Sword and Shield’s Ranked Battles ladder during Season 8 according to Pokémon HOME’s Battle Data section. Beginning with VGC Series 6, trainers will have to remove the following Pokémon from their teams:

  • Rillaboom
  • Togekiss
  • Cinderace
  • Incineroar
  • Indeedee (both male and female variants)
  • Tyranitar
  • Whimsicott
  • Torkoal
  • Dragapult
  • Venusaur
  • Porygon2
  • Mimikyu
  • Gyarados
  • Hippowdon
  • Excadrill
  • Magnezone

Breaking down the Pokémon VGC Series 6 ban list

Notably, Urshifu and Terrakion dodged the cuts made for Pokémon VGC Series 6. These two powerful Legendary Pokémon became legal in competitive play with the switch to Series 5 in July. However, many of the games’ popular starter Pokémon were not so lucky. Galar starters Rillaboom and Cinderace were banned due to high usage rates, along with Incineroar and Venusaur.

As Wolfe “Wolfey” Glick noted, Dusclops is one of the best Pokémon that will remain legal in the upcoming season. Previously, Dusclops was extremely useful as the games’ bulkiest Trick Room setter. However, Porygon2 largely replaced Dusclops when the Isle of Armor DLC launched. But now that Porygon2 is out of the picture, Dusclops will likely return. The Ghost-type Pokémon will certainly be a crucial member of any Trick Room team going forward.

Naturally, other Pokémon will rise up to fill the gaps left by those banned in VGC Series 6. Likely top-tier contenders for the upcoming season include Lapras and Amoonguss. Along with Dusclops, they are just outside of the top 10 most-used Pokémon for Season 9.

Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.