Series 10: Farewell, Dynamax!

It has already been three months since Series 9 started with the further development of an old metagame. This format has been used for some major competitions, namely:

That is now all in the past as Series 10 is coming with two big news: one Restricted Legendary Pokémon per team, and no Dynamax.

A couple of invitational events have been announced for this new series: the Pokémon Players Cup 25th Anniversary Invitational this August and the Pokémon Global Exhibition this October. But there is no word for the rest of the players. Could we see a return to live events before the end of this format? With vaccination advancing throughout the world, it might be the case!

In the meantime, we have a full summer to enjoy, and what better than to follow the 2021 World Cup of Pokémon VGC! Fifty-five countries are preparing their rosters because as soon as August hits, the World Cup starts. If you want to see high-level action and root for your country, follow the action!

In this article we will introduce all that the new format of VGC brings to the table starting on 1 August and the impact that the absence of Dynamax will have after 19 months with this phenomenon.

Restricted Pokémon

The generally strongest Legendary Pokémon, known as Restricted Pokémon, have been used in some other formats in the past. VGC 2010, VGC 2016 and more recently VGC 2019 (including its three rotations: Sun Series, Moon Series and Ultra Series) were played with the competitive ruleset known as GS Cup, which means that two Restricted Pokémon were allowed to battle per team.

However, similar to the past Series 8, only one Restricted Pokémon will be eligible during Series 10. The following is the list of Restricted Pokémon available starting on 1 August:

List of Restricted Pokémon for Series 10
Restricted Pokémon
mewtwolugiaho-ohkyogregroudonrayquaza
MewtwoLugiaHo-OhKyogreGroudonRayquaza
dialgapalkiagiratinagiratina-originreshiramzekrom
DialgaPalkiaGiratina
(Altered F.)
Giratina
(Origin F.)
ReshiramZekrom
kyuremkyurem-whitekyurem-blackxerneasyveltalzygarde-50
KyuremWhite
Kyurem
Black
Kyurem
XerneasYveltalZygarde
(50% Forme)
zygarde-10cosmogcosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
Zygarde
(10% Forme)
CosmogCosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
necrozma-dusk-manenecrozma-dawn-wingszacianzacian-crownedzamazentazamazenta-crowned
Dusk Mane
Necrozma
Dawn Wings
Necrozma
Zacian
(Hero of Many Battles)
Zacian
(Crowned Sword)
Zamazenta
(Hero of Many Battles)
Zamazenta
(Crowned Shield)
 eternatuscalyrexcalyrex-ice-ridercalyrex-shadow-rider 
 EternatusCalyrexIce Rider
Calyrex
Shadow Rider
Calyrex
 
List of Restricted Pokémon for Series 10
Restricted Pokémon
mewtwolugiaho-ohkyogre
MewtwoLugiaHo-OhKyogre
groudonrayquazadialgapalkia
GroudonRayquazaDialgaPalkia
giratinagiratina-originreshiramzekrom
Giratina
(Altered F.)
Giratina
(Origin F.)
ReshiramZekrom
kyuremkyurem-whitekyurem-blackxerneas
KyuremWhite
Kyurem
Black
Kyurem
Xerneas
yveltalzygarde-50zygarde-10cosmog
YveltalZygarde
(50% Forme)
Zygarde
(10% Forme)
Cosmog
cosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
CosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
necrozma-dusk-manenecrozma-dawn-wingszacianzacian-crowned
Dusk Mane
Necrozma
Dawn Wings
Necrozma
Zacian
(Hero of Many Battles)
Zacian
(Crowned Sword)
zamazentazamazenta-crownedeternatuscalyrex
Zamazenta
(Hero of Many Battles)
Zamazenta
(Crowned Shield)
EternatusCalyrex
 calyrex-ice-ridercalyrex-shadow-rider 
 Ice Rider
Calyrex
Shadow Rider
Calyrex
 

Teambuilding

Some Pokémon will come stronger without Dynamax, while others will disappear from the metagame altogether. Let’s take a look at the most promising Pokémon:

Zacian

Holding the Rusted Sword (thus entering battle in its Crown Sword form) and with its Intrepid Sword ability boosting its already sky-high Attack stat, Zacian is one of the fastest and most dangerous offensive Pokémon.

It has a great move in Behemoth Blade, good Fighting-type options and is often seen with Protect and Substitute. With an excellent Speed stat and only two type weaknesses in Fire and Ground, it is not an easy prey at all, and it seems that the absence of Dynamax will only make it stronger, as fewer Pokémon represent an offensive threat to it.

Xerneas

Dynamax much favoured Max Steelspike and Max Quake as defensive measures. With the Steel-type offensive threats and the Ground-type Special Defense boosts gone, Xerneas is no longer as checked and countered. Its comeback is near!

Its role will presumably not change: the standard Power Herb set with the powerful move Geomancy, as well as Moonblast, Dazzling Gleam and Protect, seems as good as it can get. This time its main companion will be Volcarona, which protects it from Zacian. Be prepared to face this combo!

Kyogre

The eternal battle continues. The protagonists of the “weather wars” are back, but this time the balance is in Kyogre‘s favour. With Dynamax gone, and thus Venusaur unable to Gigantamax, the sun teams lose their main weapon.

The core that this Pokémon forms with Tornadus (Incarnate Forme), Incineroar, Regieleki and Tsareena seems really hard to stop. With their support and Drizzle invoking rain, powering up the infamous Water Spout, this option maintains its power.

Shadow Rider Calyrex

It does not seem that Calyrex will bond as much with Glastrier as with Spectrier this series, given that the Trick Room options without Dynamax hinder Ice Rider Calyrex’s possibilities. However, Shadow Rider Calyrex will be a fast, powerful threat that unaware opponents will not be able to protect from.

Beware of its fatally dangerous STAB-boosted spread moves (Ghost-type Astral Barrage and Psychic-type Expanding Force, when paired with Indeedee or Tapu Lele), whose damage cannot be mitigated with any berry and are boosted after each felled opponent due to its As One ability. This Pokémon is one of the main reasons for the surge of Wide Guard users like Mienshao.

The rest of the team

Regardless of the Restricted Pokémon to be used, even if it is not any of the above, some other Pokémon will be a staple in most team compositions.

Ever-present with the Restricted Pokémon shown above, Incineroar and Rillaboom seem a pair that will be difficult to avoid. Their spectacular Abilities, movesets and stats make them the ideal “glue” Pokémon for a team: they provide outstanding balance, complicate opponent’s strategies and pivot if the situation is appropriate.

Other slots in the team will be filled with purely offensive Pokémon that have a good position in the metagame. Regieleki, being the fastest Pokémon around, and Urshifu (in any Style), with the unforgiving Unseen Fist Ability, will be tools against which your team must learn to play. The newer option here is Landorus, as its Incarnate Forme will probably be better than the Therian Forme we are used to.

What's next?

Series 10 feels somewhat like the mix of the Nintendo 3DS formats, due to the absence of Dynamax, with Series 8, for the one Restricted Legendary Pokémon. What will be most important between these two, and which past format will this series resemble more? Some people have already been adapting old strategies and developing new ones to use now, so take a look at our Rental Teams hub if you are lost!

Prepare for the ruleset that will be played in the World Cup! We welcome everyone to participate in an open event to kick off this new format. The World Cup Open is free for all, will be held this weekend, and registrations are already available here!

Apart from the invitationals mentioned in the first section of this article, no major tournaments are announced yet for this format, with the exception of the Taiwan Nationals, which had to be postponed to September because of new covid restrictions in that region. We are all hoping for the return of live events elsewhere!

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