The PAX Pokémon League is an alternate reality game that is played at PAX, the semi-annual gamer festival held in Seattle, Melbourne, San Antonio and Boston. This guide is for the PAX Pokémon League at PAX East 2015.
All you need to participate is a copy of Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire, keen eyesight, and a love of Pokémon Battle! Gym leaders will be all over PAX, and can be identified by their bright green scarves. Approach them, challenge them to a battle, and if they deem you worthy, you’ll earn their badge! If you can collect eight badges, you’ll earn the right to challenge the Elite Six, and perhaps a Champion, for the right to be crowned a Champion yourself!
The PAX Pokémon League is not a Pokémon tournament. Just like in the Pokémon games, ANYONE can train a team of their favorite Pokémon and challenge the League! So what are you waiting for? Your very own Pokémon legend is about to unfold!
- HAVE FUN! This is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, please don’t get stuck in semantics or rules-lawyering.
- Wheaton’s law applies. We’re trying hard to make it fun for you. Treat us, and those around you, with respect, please!
- Any activity that helps enrich the experience is acceptable and encouraged! Cosplay as your favorite trainer, announce your moves to the public, and help us spread the word! This will not be a success without your enthusiasm!
- Don’t use hacked or banned Pokémon. If a leader suspects you’re using hacked or banned Pokemon, they may refuse to battle you. For a full list of banned Pokémon, please see the In-Depth Rules section.
- Gym Leaders and Elite Four may be challenged at most once per day (unless a rematch is accepted by the leader, but rematches may be turned down depending on the circumstances). This is just so that everyone gets a turn to play, and everyone gets a shot at the champ. This is also to ensure that leaders are able to enjoy PAX too. We want to encourage all of you to spend lots of time at PAX doing more than just playing Pokémon.
- We’d like to remind everyone that certain strategies are really just no fun for the leaders to face. Please do not abuse such tactics as evasion or teams that stall for long periods of time (we have to keep things moving). If you are using a team that is no fun to fight, one of our leaders may ask you to change it up a bit, or refuse to battle you. We try to keep our rules loose, and we would appreciate it if you don’t abuse this fact. There are more details in the In-Depth Rules.
- On a similar note, the Gym Leaders and Elite Four are all volunteers and are trying to make this experience fun for you. We would appreciate it if you would return the favor. Try to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
- Please keep in mind that all GL and E4 are PAX attendants just like you. We have things we want to see, so note there will be times when we’re not able or willing to accept challengers. In general, leaders will remove their scarves when they’re not up for accepting challenges. Additionally, we will have an informal time limit of 15-20 minutes. If a leader thinks the match is dragging on too long, they may call for a 3 minute deadline, and determine the winner at the end of those 3 minutes based on the match so far.
- We will be using the “Battle with Someone Nearby” IR connection option (because it’s fast and convenient). This will automatically level Pokémon down to level 50 if they are above, and, unlike in previous gen games, it WILL level your Pokémon up if they’re below level 50. So you can use whatever Pokémon you like!
- Game Choice: Challengers must have a copy of Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire to participate, as all our gym leaders will be using Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire. If you are using a copy of Pokémon X or Y, let the leader know before the battle so he/she/they can set a team up that is compatible with your game.
- Leader Identification: Leaders will be identified by branded Lime Green “PAX Pokémon League” scarves.
- Battle Type: Unless otherwise specified by the leader, all battles will be single battles played on IR, or local Wireless (GTS->Battle->Battle with Someone Nearby)
- Species Clause: A player’s team may not contain two Pokémon with the same National Pokédex number.
- EXCEPTION: exceptions may be made for novelty teams containing only one species of Pokémon (e.g. the famous Shuckle team, the “All Stunfisk” team, etc). This is left to the discretion of each gym leader. Chances are good if you have a team of six Garchomp, you’re going to be refused battles.
- Soul Dew: Soul dew is not allowed as a held item.
- Self-KO clause: If anyone uses a move that is an intentional self KO move (like Explosion) the user of the move loses the match if it is the deciding factor. If anyone uses a move that has recoil (like Double-Edge) that scores a KO, and the recoil also KO’s the user’s Pokémon, the user wins the match if it is the deciding factor.
- Sleep clause: A player cannot put two or more opposing Pokémon to sleep using attacks that induce sleep to opposing Pokémon A Pokémon using rest does not count towards this total. A Pokémon forced by an opponent to use more sleep moves does not break this clause (example: Encore forcing a player to use spore more than once does not violate this clause. A Pokémon intentionally holding a choice item using spore to put multiple Pokémon to sleep does violate this clause, but if an opponent uses trick to give the player a choice item trapping them into spore, that would not break the clause. (Don’t try to abuse this though, it’s no fun to have everything be asleep!))
- Evasion clause: A player cannot increase their Pokémon’s evasion stat with a move that specifically increases evasion. Items or indirect boosts do not break this clause.
- Item Clause: More than one Pokémon on a team may not be holding the same item.
- Endless Battle clause: Any moveset on any Pokémon that is capable of intentionally causing an endless battle is banned.
- Illegal Moves: No Pokémon may use the move “Dark Void“.
- Speed Boost Blaziken: No team may contain a Blaziken with the ability Speed Boost.
- Banned Pokémon:The following Pokémon may not be on any team:
- 150 – Mewtwo
- 249 – Lugia
- 250 – Ho-Oh
- 382 – Kyogre
- 383 – Groudon
- 384 – Rayquaza
- 386 – Deoxys (any Forme)
- 483 – Dialga
- 484 – Palkia
- 487 – Giratina (any Forme)
- 491 – Darkrai
- 492 – Shaymin (Sky Forme)
- 493 – Arceus
- 643 – Reshiram
- 644 – Zekrom
- 646 – Kyurem (any Forme)
- 649 – Genesect (any Forme)
- 716 – Xerneas
- 717 – Yveltal
- Limited Pokémon:There may be only 1 of any of the following Pokémon on any team:
- 151 – Mew
- 251 – Celebi
- 380 – Latias
- 381 – Latios
- 385 – Jirachi
- 485 – Heatran
- 488 – Cresselia
- 490 – Manaphy
- 492 – Shaymin (Land Forme)
- 494 – Victini
- 641 – Tornadus (any Forme)
- 642 – Thundurus (any Forme)
- 645 – Landorus (any Forme)
- 647 – Keldeo
- 648 – Meloetta (any Forme)
- 718 – Zygarde
- 719 – Diancie
- Hidden Abilities: Any hidden abilities that haven’t officially been released cannot be used.
- Banned Mega Stones: Blazikenite, Diancite, Gengarite, Kangaskhanite, Latiasite, Latiosite, Mewtwonite X, Mewtwonite Y, and Salamencite are not allowed as held items.
We understand that some of you may disagree with our rule choices, but these were the rules we decided on after much debating and testing to keep the game fun and fair for both the challengers and the Leaders. So we hope you enjoy the League challenge as much as we all do!