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[VGC] Early Intro to VGC 2017 (Ruleset Explanation)
Early Intro to VGC 2017 (Ruleset Explanation)
Preview:  Before we get into into the main "beef" of this post, consider this an "informal guide", or a simple "Early Intro to VGC 2017" given we have received "confirmation" the next format, though at the same time some of the analysis is rather based on speculation. Note there can be any additional information, ruleset changes, or possible new mechanics / features in both the VGC format we won't know even after launch, and possibly beyond. Until Pokemon Su/Mo are released, we won't know for sure some of the features, rules, mechanics, and of course, the Pokemon themselves. Once the games finally launch on November, as well as full confirmation of at the "basics" rulesets mentioned here, I'll work on a new guide, though it will most likely be a "clone" of this one. Will try to keep this short and concise as possible for all new entry level players, and I'll have links to important information regarding the VGC Circuit. Alright with that all said, lets get started. 

VGC 2017 Ruleset & Useful Info
So what's the VGC 2017 format for the upcoming year? Just this October 4th, TCPi released a statement regarding the new ruleset for the VGC 17 format and some interesting new changing upcoming. The point of this thread will be to provide as much explanation, though admit with some speculation here and there to the best of what we know. For those interested in the summary of the rulesets, as well as other "lingering" questions regarding the format change, all information can be found here:
  • "All battles [will be] played with Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon" : This rule is self-explanatory as TCPi / Game Freak want to showcase the "new" mechanics and Pokemon found in the latest titles.  Keep in mind if anyone, anyone is going to participate in VGC events, have a copy of either Pokemon Sun or Moon version. Honestly the simpliest one here.

  • "Double Battles": For those who've played the VGC circuit since as early as Generation 4 (maybe Gen 3), this is yet another simple rule, which won't see any change anytime soon. As stated, all battles will be in the "Doubles Format", not "Singles Format" for the Battle Spot Singles, or Smogon players. Will like to remind all competitive players that Single Battles is NOT the same as Double Battles and all format should be respected, no matter viewpoints we have.  Regardless, not any Doubles-oriented format is not the same as the Singles as there are many factors to consider. Some of these are the following such as specialized support moves and strategies like doubles-oriented moves (I.E Helping Hand, Follow Me, After You), Speed Control, Spread Attacks, and of course the viability of each Pokemon. 
    • (Important Non-VGC Guideline): While not an exact explanation for the VGC 17 ruleset, consider this a reminder. At Pokemon Forever Forums, we won't tolerate anyone talks down, or demeans anyone level of "skill" or "experience" in VGC or Singles (Smogon). Though we will promote discussion for all relevant competitive metagames in the forums, we don't condone such behavior or attituted towards each other. 
    • For those who want a run down at the differences between Singles and Doubles, here's @naitre guide regarding the differences in both format, and which best suits you.
  • "Alola Regional Pokedex":  Note: Here is all relevant "new" VGC format rulesets come in, so pay attention. For VGC 2017, all Pokemon eligible must be found, caught, or bred in Pokemon Sun / Moon's Alola Regional Dex. To those who don't follow, well here's a brief explanation. 
    • This means players will not be able to use any Pokemon from past generations to use in VGC events or Online Competitions for the next VGC Circuit, including "Pentagon" Pokemon from Gen 6.
    • This ruleset is similar to almost every "entry" VGC format such as VGC 11 and VGC 14 respectively where only the Pokemon found in the regional Pokedex can be used.
    • Any "hidden abilities" released or are available to the Pokemon can be used, even if its from a past generation. Best example of this is the Gen 5 Gothithelle being able to pass down Shadow Tag to Pentagon variants for VGC 14. 
      • Note long as the Pokemon is available in the Alolan Regional Dex, any abilities released or available can be used regardless. 
    • As of right now, the Alola Regional Pokedex is not known, likely due to the fact the latest installments haven't been released.
    • There will be a link with a list of all Pokemon in the Alola Dex as soon as its known.
  •   "Z-Crystals Allowed": As mentioned prior, this new rule is likely to "promote" the new Z-Crystal and Z-move battle mechanics of the game.  How Z-Crystals and Z-Moves become "viable" or integrated into the format remains to be seen, but they are allowed. For those who don't know what Z-Crystals and Z-Moves are, here's a quick rundown: 
    • Once the player has acquired the Z-Ring held item in-game, they are able to perform powerful Z-Moves with their Pokemon by holding specific Z-Crystals.
    • There is one specific Z-Crystal per every type of Pokemon.
    • All Pokemon must know the same move that corresponds to the same type as the Z-Crystal.
    • There are exclusive Z-Crystals for specific Pokemon.
    • Important: Z-Moves can only be used once per battle. Whether Z-Moves are "consumed" after using the move "Protect", or other information remains to be seen.
    • For a list of all "confirmed" Z-Moves, here's a link to Serebii's Z-Move listings.
  • "Mega Stone Not Allowed": Here's a major change: All Mega Stones are banned, and thus Mega Evolution are not allowed. This means players cannot use popular strong Megas such as Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Salamence, Mega Lucario, Mega Charizard Y, and all the other available Mega Evolutions on respective teams, at least for this format.
    • To elaborate, this move was likely to "promote" the new Z-Crystal and Z-Move mechanics for the upcoming games.
    • This might have been a move by the organizers to "balance" the VGC format in general. Whether or not players agree, they cannot deny Mega Evolutions became a centralizing factor from a team building aspect to the actual battles. The most "overused" Mega Evolution in all three VGC 14, 15, and 16 was Mega Kangaskhan, which proved to be the most dominating Pokemon in the format for those years.
    • Whether or not certain Mega Evolutions are "balanced", this is the definitive VGC ruling and chances are the ruleset won't change.
  • "Some Legendary and Mythical Pokémon banned": Well this rule is self-explanatory as most of the Legendary & Event Pokemon like Solgaleo, Ash-Greninja, Lunala, and Magearna will be banned, most likely for exclusive and "high base stat totals".
    • No word on Tapo Koko and the Zygarde forms, but the article does indicates there might be legendary Pokemon found in the Alolan Regional Dex.
    • Most likely other legendary Pokemon like Cresselia, Suicune, Zapdos, Registeel, Mesprit, Thundurus, etc will be banned...unless they are found in the Alolan Regional Dex.
  • "10-minute player time system": The last main rule listed on the official site. There is a new "battle timer" which indicates how much time do the players have for the duration of the battle. Inspired by the chess clock, each player will have 10 minutes of "Your Time" total, and a command time of 60 seconds to decide the moves of their Pokemon per turn. If one of the players runs out of their time, that specific player will lose the match. 

    • Keep in mind the amount of time available in these VGC 17 battles in VGC events and on the in-game "Championship" ladder (will get to on the next point). 
    • Do not know if the turn phase in battle, as well as the "battle animations" are factored into "Your Time". We'll have to wait and see until the launch of the games. 
    • This means players have to make faster judgement calls in these battles, otherwise they'll "lose" the match.
  • Where can I practice online?: In Pokemon Sun and Moon, both new and veteran VGC players can now partake in the brand-new "Championship Battle" ladder on Rated Battle, which use the current VGC 17 format rules mentioned and the new batter timer. 
    • There will likely be an "online" leader board just like in previous editions of Rated Battle from Global Link to showcase who's on top of everyone else.
    • This is honestly great news as VGC players may now use Battle Spot throughout the year to practice for events, instead of using online simulators like Pokemon Showdown.
      • Don't leave out Pokemon Showdown as it is still an amazing resource and battle simulator to build and test teams.
      • The main issue will be if the developers will implement the new in-game battle timer. 
  • Man... I don't want to breed, catch, or obtain any Pokemon in Sun / Moon! I WANT TO START BEATING UP PEOPLE ONLINE NOW!!!!! : Well .... for those of you are "impatient" as I am, well I have some good news. A new feature in the Global Link where players can register their "battle box" teams and can be "downloaded" via "publicly shared" QR Code Scans. This new feature is called QR Rental Teams, and will be explained further below:
    • If someone wants to "use" a certain team from the player, all they have to do is find the QR code of the team on their Global Link Profile, scan the QR code of the team, and enjoy battling with the team. 
    • Up to Six QR Rental Teams can be registered in a save file.
    • QR Rental Teams can also be used on Online Wifi Battling, so players can use against others. 
    • Likely players have to reach a certain point in the game to be able to use these QR Rental Teams
      • Kinda 99.9% confirmed (well technically not yet) QR Rental Teams cannot be used In-Game.

As of right now, the new VGC 17 format is relatively young, however, there will be more post on my end regarding any additional resources and things to consider. Might update this thread with "Resources" later with important links to the Pokemon website with all VGC 17 info. With that I'll continue to work on this thread as we go throughout the upcoming season.
I like how the new format looks actually. Great write-up as always!
I have a question about the QR rental teams. How do we make one?
(Oct 7, 2016, 08:18 PM)TheGamingPerson12 Wrote: I have a question about the QR rental teams. How do we make one?

To be honest, we don't know the exact steps, however just the fact that players can essentially "download" publicly shared teams both from the Pokemon Global Link, and from other players who decide to "share".  Obviously for this feature to be a "usable", the person must have registered an account and either copy of Pokemon Su/Mo. From here this is just speculation, but I'll try to fill in the gaps. Chances are players have to "register" a team with their battle box either in-game when using Rated Battle, and/or Pokemon Global Link. Thing is during events, the Tournament Oragnizers "scan" the Pokemon team, and will make a QR code to check for legality purposes, yet now can be used to for downloading teams. I guess this is what TCPi / Game Freak intends on baseing the QR feature from the VGC events to work with this feature. 

Based on the page, the players have to go into the Pokemon Global Link in order to receive the QR code, though I think from there, people can print screen their QR teams and share them. These teams can be used on Link Battle and the Rated Battle, though not certain if we can use them for actual online or VGC events, since obviously TCPi might not allow players to have other teams. Could be wrong about that though. 

In the future, we'll work on a guide on how to make QR rental teams and share them with others online. We need to see how exactly this feature is implemented first-hand before anything.
it says right on the global link site that you will not be able to use rental teams at official events, thought i'd share in case some people didnt know already. Smile
Keep in mind I made this article prior SuMo release before speculating too much than I already did here. Then again did "forget" to add the section about using QR teams not being used for live/online tournaments, though kinda felt it was going to be an obvious decision by TCPi and GF to make.

I know some of the QR features and online features just now so everyone is testing them out. Will probably make an "update" to this as well as a formal guide to QR teams.

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