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Shiftry Banned from Expanded Format Effective September 1st

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As of September 1, 2015, Shiftry will be banned from all sanctioned Play! Pokémon tournaments that use the Expanded format. This card has created an undesirable play environment because it:

  • Creates a strategy that frequently wins on the first turn of the game

  • Creates a non-interactive play environment where the opponent has little impact on the outcome of the match

Shiftry's previous Evolutions, Seedot (XY—Flashfire, 5/106) and Nuzleaf (XY—Flashfire, 6/106), are Grass-type Pokémon, so it's possible to evolve to Shiftry in one turn using the Forest of Giant Plants (XY—Ancient Origins, 74/98) Stadium card. With the help of Devolution Spray (Black & White—Dragons Exalted,113/124), Super Scoop Up (XY—Furious Fists, 100/111), and Recycle (Black & White—Emerging Powers, 96/98), players can use the Giant Fan Ability repeatedly to get rid of all of the opponent's Pokémon—and win the game in one turn.

The Giant Fan strategy works consistently enough to cause concern. Frequent first-turn wins are a sign of an unhealthy play environment, and the Shiftry deck is capable of doing that a high percentage of the time. Since Shiftry has a clearly negative effect on the Expanded format, we feel that the best option is to ban it from that environment.


This card has been effectively banned from the Expanded format within the Pokémon TCG Online as well. It will be valid in the Unlimited format, however with the following display issue:



Black & White—Next Destinies

Shiftry (#72): The banned circle with an x symbol displays on the card in the Unlimited format. The card is valid in Unlimited, but banned from the Expanded format.


Shiftry will still be in collations; that is to say, if you are opening Black & White—Next Destinies booster packs you may still obtain the card from them.  
Shiftry will continue to be tradeable, for those with tradeable versions of the card.

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