The Pokemon website says that no cards are banned in unlimited format. Is this true? Are cards such as _____’s Pikachu or Ancient Mew banned? What about jumbo cards?

1 Answer 1


Unlimited format has no official tournaments, so it doesn't get much attention from Pokémon. However, the general statement that no cards are banned is correct, though with some caveats as below.

Jumbo cards are banned in tournaments per a ruling in the Compendium:

No, you cannot. You may only use cards that have been released for TCG play in the standard size. Jumbo cards are artistic representations of the legal card's art.

___'s Pikachu is legal to play in the Unlimited format.

Ancient Mew would be illegal due to the different card back.

  • Are the only banned cards ones with different backs or different sizes? Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 12:47
  • 1
    Where the ruling about a different card back being illegal? Bulbagarden says Ancient Mew is banned because of the unreadable Runic, and also says that _____'s Pikachu is banned, and says: "Both Japanese prints have the clause '(This card cannot be used at official tournaments)' to the right of the illustrator name". I would post an answer, but I don't have more official references.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 14:10
  • Same back is more of a common sense thing - it is referenced in some rulings, but not explicitly in the rules. (Again, this is really a "tournament" ruling, which ... may or may not make sense for the context of this question, but there's nothing better really.) ___'s Pikachu doesn't have that text in English, and so I don't see why it wouldn't be legal in Unlimited formats here (but again there are no official Unlimited tournaments).
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 17:19
  • I'd also note that Bulbapedia seems to be referencing Wizards rulings, which are not necessarily valid any longer (Wizards hasn't controlled the game for twenty years now.). In fact, Ancient Mew was legal in Standard in Japan for a while (but never in the TPCi regions.)
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 17:22
  • @Joe For what it's worth, and it's probably not worth much, since what applies to one game obviously doesn't say much about what applies to others, but Magic The Gathering has tournament-legal double-faced and meld cards that don't have card "backs" (requiring sleeves or helper cards if you want to play with them). Although they haven't otherwise changed their card backs (apart from contraptions and attractions, which don't go in your regular deck and are part of non-tournament-legal sets in any case).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 15:02

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