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Gust of Wind / Instant Switch - Is it Legal?


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Me and my friends get together and play in expanded and sometimes standard formats. Some of us have been using the old Gust of Wind card from original release. My question is, is this card/ or type of card legal for use in tournaments? We also use regular Pokemon Catcher cards that force a coin flip. I feel like an item card that switch opponent's pokemon without drawback is too over powered.


We have been debating on this and have been searching for answers. Can someone please help?

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There is a format called Unlimited in which every Pokemon card in existence with the exception of cards like Birthday Pikachu, Ancient Mew, oversized cards etc. is actually legal. That format is, as far as I know, not supported by The Pokemon Company anymore, which means there are no official tournaments anymore and new cards are not balanced in regards to Unlimited.

And that is for a good reason: during the last 20+ years thousands of different cards have been printed. Nearly every effect had an extremely overpowered card at one point in time. Take (Super) Energy Removal or – what you said – Gust Of Wind for example. There has never been a better version of these effects. So naturally, why would you settle for a Catcher if you can Gust? Why Hammer when you can Removal? 

If you go even further there are some extremely unfair and restrictive Combos which are only enabled by unforseeable interactions between cards sometimes printed decades apart.


Long story short: if you and your friend agree on playing Unlimited you open Pandora's box. The only way to excel in such a broken format is to find the most broken combos which win fast, preferably during turn 1, or lock your opponent out of playing the game. If you like to play a more balanced format but with a big card pool stay in Expanded. It is still officially supported by TPCi, thus having a ban list and having official tournaments. You can read about which sets are legal in the format here.

(Note that some cards have received errata, so for example there are Pokemon Catchers in some prints which omit the coin flip, but later on TPCi decided that every card named Pokemon Catcher requires a coin flip no matter if printed on the card.)


And yes, your intuition is right, Gust of Wind is not legal in Expanded and Standard.

Edited by OelBoy
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I don't think that Unlimited format is supported on PTCGO? Expanded and Legacy formats are, but not unlimited. (and both formats are legit fun). I recon unlimited format would be NUTS. I would likely play it and create some wild decks too!!! I know a whole lot of other folks sure would put their minds into making some unique lock decks and mill decks, and various other strategies,  etc. Way too many sheer broken broken combinations! 

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You can only play unlimited in friend Challenge in the online version. I'm not sure weather any actual Official Unlimited tournaments exist in paper format. nevertheless the answer to the question is in paper Unlimited Format, any cards are legal as you can see below:


Pokémon TCG Banned Card List



  • Archeops (Black & White—Noble Victories, 67/101; Black & White—Dark Explorers, 110/108)

  • Chip-Chip Ice Axe (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 165/214)

  • Delinquent (XY—BREAKpoint, 98/122, 98a/122, and 98b/122)

  • Flabébé (Sun & Moon—Forbidden Light, 83/131)

  • Forest of Giant Plants (XY—Ancient Origins, 74/98)

  • Ghetsis (Black & White—Plasma Freeze, 101/116 and 115/116)

  • Hex Maniac (XY—Ancient Origins, 75/98 and 75a/98)

  • Island Challenge Amulet (Sun & Moon—Cosmic Eclipse, 194/236 and 265/236)

  • Jessie & James (Hidden Fates, 58/68 and 68/68)

  • Lt. Surge's Strategy (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 178/214; Hidden Fates, 60/68)

  • Lusamine (Sun & Moon—Crimson Invasion, 96/111 and 110/111; Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism, 153/156 and 153a/156)

  • Lysandre's Trump Card (XY—Phantom Forces, 99/119 and 118/119)

  • Marshadow (Shining Legends, 45/73; Black Star Promo, SM85)

  • Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick (XY—Primal Clash, 133/160 and 158/160)

  • Milotic (XY—Flashfire, 23/106)

  • Mismagius (Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, 78/214)

  • Oranguru (Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism, 114/156)

  • Puzzle of Time (XY—BREAKpoint, 109/122)

  • Red Card (XY, 124/146; Generations, 71/83)

  • Reset Stamp (Sun & Moon—Unified Minds, 206/236, 206a/236, and 253/236)

  • Sableye (Black & White—Dark Explorers, 62/108)

  • Shaymin-EX (XY—Roaring Skies, 77/108, 77a/108, and 106/108)

  • Unown (Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, 90/214)

  • Unown (Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder, 91/214)

  • Wally (XY—Roaring Skies, 94/108 and 107/108; Generations, RC27/RC32)


  • No cards are currently banned in the Unlimited format.


Edited by nekoshounen
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A few years ago I played Unlimited. Big mean cards and well planned combos. You had to know your cards.

All we are is "Gust in the wind" lol.

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6 hours ago, nekoshounen said:

You can only play unlimited in friend Challenge in the online version.


At this thread began by discussing Gust of Wind, I'm going to have to agree with @guruguy87 here.  The PTCGO has a Format called "Unlimited", but it just means all the cards available on the PTCGO.  You may as well call it "Legacy Expanded" because it just adds the Banned Cards plus the HeartGold & SoulSilver series cards back into the cardpool.  Call of Legends as well, since they sometimes treat it as its own separate series instead of just being part of the HS-block.


Gust of Wind is from the Unlimited Format of the physical TCG.  I haven't played that in over 11 years at this point, and it is probably more like 16.  It was "nuts" back then.  I cannot imagine what it is like in the present, though if you're following the current rules of the game, including treating all cards with tweaked reprints at their new face value, it might be better than I vaguely remember.  While you still have the insanity of the original Professor Oak (Item-card version of Professor's Research), Energy Removal (Crushing Hammer without the flip), etc.  Computer Search is now your Ace Spec, Erika is now a Supporter, no one can attack Turn 1, etc.

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