Pokémon Sword and Shield VGC Series 3 brings back Incineroar, Venosaur and more

A shake-up of the Pokémon Sword and Shield competitive rules has caused slight concern in the community, making monsters like Incineroar, Blastoise and more legal once again.
Pokémon Sword and Shield VGC Series 3 brings back Incineroar, Venosaur and more

While Pokémon Sword and Shield sparked outrage for not having the entire Pokedex available upon release, the reduced number of monsters has contributed to renewed excitement within the competitive scene through new strategies. 

The release of Pokémon Home, however, has thrown a spanner in the works by introducing 35 new monsters into Sword and Shield through trading – which were past staples of many teams.  

Many of these new monsters and regional forms will now be legal in the official Pokémon Video Game Championship (VGC) ruleset, starting on 1st March when Series 3 begins.  

So what Pokémon will be legal from 1st March from the new monsters? Here’s the confirmed list so far, with more Gigantax forms also set to be announced.  

  • Bulbasaur 

  • Ivysaur 

  • Venosaur 

  • Squirtle 

  • Wartortle 

  • Blastoise 

  • Rowlett 

  • Dartrix 

  • Decidueye 

  • Litten 

  • Torracat 

  • Incineroar 

  • Popplio 

  • Brionne 

  • Primarina 

  • Galarian Slowpoke 

  • Alolan Raichu 

  • Alolan Vulpix  

  • Alolan Ninetales 

  • Alolan Diglett 

  • Alolan Dugtrio 

  • Alolan Meowth 

  • Alolan Persian 

  • Kantonian Ponyta 

  • Kantonian Rapidash 

  • Kantonian Farfetch’d 

  • Kantonian Weezing 

  • Johtonian Corsola 

  • Hoenian Zigzagoon 

  • Hoenian Linoone 

  • Unovian Darumaka 

  • Unovian Darmanitan 

  • Unovian Stunfisk 

To use these monsters in competitive Sword and Shield, they have to possess the Galar region symbol. All transferable moves and abilities with Pokémon from Pokémon Home however will be permitted in VGC rules.  

The new additions have prompted a mixed reaction from the community, with many users concerned about the return of Incineroar particularly, who was previously a dominant force due to possessing the Intimidate ability and Fake Out move. 

Sword and Shield, however, did introduce more effective methods of countering Intimidate (with Inner Focus and Own Tempo), while Dynamaxed Pokémon are immune to Fake Out’s flinching – so it remains to be seen if Incineroar will be less effective in the new titles.  

Could there be a new threat though? 

A batch of new Pokémon are also set to arrive in the upcoming expansion packs for Sword and Shield, so this likely won’t be the first major shake-up to the rules we’ll see this year.  

Pokémon VGC Series 3 begins on 1st March 2020.