It seems that the Pokémon Company realized how oppressive the first turn of the game can be. Because of this, they announced a rule change in Japan, which is almost guaranteed to become a universal rule in the game not too far from now. A specific date is not yet known though. The new rule is as follows;
“During the very first turn of the game, players are not allowed to play any Supporter cards.”
This makes cards like Judge no longer able to drastically hamper the opposing player before they even took their first turn. Cards greatly affected by this new rule are, among others; Tapu Lele GX will lose most of its usefulness, as it was mostly used to pick a useful Supporter card on the first turn you played. This no longer is possible if you go first, making Tapu Lele GX a useless card in your hand on that turn. Dedenne GX becomes much more useful and possibly will be the most expensive card in the game. General usefulness in every stage of the game makes ‘Dedechange’ an extremely strong effect that will be needed to get a strong first turn.
Lillie, mostly used to draw to 8 cards on your first turn, will only be able to do this half the time now. As the ruling does not allow you to use Lillie when you go first, but Lillie has the most impact when used on your first turn, Lillie will likely be a much less commonly seen card. Jessie & James is likely what caused this change in the first place. These weirdos manage to break everything, even our game’s rules. Discarding the opponent’s hand almost entirely by using Jessie & James in combination with Weezing on turn 1 is incredibly oppressive and will luckily no longer happen once the rules have changed. Slowpoke & Psyduck GX may take quite a hit from this change, as there is no way to use Misty’s Favor on your first turn and get the Supporter-train rolling. This is likely the least important of the cards listed here, but still worth mentioning. Judge, as previously mentioned, has lost a majority of its early game impact as it no longer reduces the opponent’s starting hand to 4 cards if you go first. Professor Elm’s Lecture likely stays the best way to set up your bench if you play a deck with many low HP Pokemon, but relying on it may lead to an active Pokemon with low HP and an empty bench. This may lead to even less Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokemon being played. Though currently banned from the Expanded Format, Wally is no longer able to evolve a Pokemon on your very first turn, taking away most of the use people had used Wally for in the first place. May this lead to Wally leaving the ban-list? Let’s wait and see.
Just like Wally, Ghetsis is banned in the Expanded Format. Unlike Wally though, this change is not likely to take it off the ban-list, even though this change makes it much less impactful in the early game. There are more cards impacted by this change, but these are what came to mind first. With how oppressive cards such as Jessie & James have become, this new rule is very welcome and will lead to many changes in deckbuilding over time. Let’s hear what you think about this change and how it will impact your favorite or most hated decks.