Casual vs. Ranked Case Studies

So now let’s look at the rules of Pokemon.


This game has some very interesting differences in how it is played. We should start with what happens in the story based adventure, just to see how the rules change step-by-step:

  • Most battles are single battles
  • 1-6 Pokemon on your team
  • 1-6 on the opponent’s team (Does not have to match your team’s number)
  • No team preview
  • Duplicate Pokemon can be on either side
  • Duplicate held items can be used
  • No Pokemon are banned
  • Both sides can have Pokemon of any level (1-100)
  • The player can use healing items on any turn
  • No time limit

These rules help make the adventure easier than if the two sides are evenly matched. This also helps the player get used to the basic rules.

When playing online or locally with the player of your choice, there are a lot of rule selection options. Here’s a few that might exist:

  • Choice of battle format (single, double, multi, etc.)
  • 1-6 (usually 6) Pokemon per team
  • Option to bring 6 Pokemon, then select which of those 6 to bring in the battle (3 for singles, 4 for doubles), or alternately bring all 6
  • Team preview helps with the above. All Multiplayer battles have team preview
  • Some options allow duplicate Pokemon and held items, some do not
  • Some options ban certain Pokemon (there are a lot of options here, depending on what rules you download)
  • Either any level (1-100) or set all Pokemon to level 50
  • Healing items are always turned off in multiplayer battles
  • Time limit options (there is always some limit)
    • Includes match time limit of 1 hour, with 100 seconds to make a move. When time runs out, whoever has the advantage wins
    • Alternately, 10 minutes “your time” that counts down as you think about your move. Timer stops when you make a decision, independent of your opponent’s timer. 45 seconds to make your move is also separate. Whoever runs out of time first loses

There is some freedom here, just keep in mind that one player has to set the rules, and the other has to agree.

This is a sample of team preview, in case you were wondering

Now let’s look at Battle Spot’s Free (casual) Battle mode:

  • Choice of single or double battles
  • Bring 6 Pokemon
  • Choose 3 for the battle if it is a single battle, 4 if it is a double battle
  • Team preview
  • No duplicate Pokemon or held items
  • Choice to play with or without Banned Pokemon (Either too strong or too rare)
  • Levels are set to level 50
  • The 10 minute your time method, with 45 seconds to make a move

This is a good way to get your feet wet for more intense ranked modes, without the pressure to do well or lose rank.

Next is the Battle Spot’s Rating Battles:

  • Choice of single, double, special (custom rules that change each season), and championship (matches the official rules for tournament play, called VGC or Video Game Championship) battles
  • Bring 6 Pokemon
  • Choose 3 if single for the battle, choose 4 if doubles or championship, varies if special
  • Team preview
  • No duplicate Pokemon or items
  • Most of the time, certain Pokemon are Banned (varies with special and championship battles, more on that later)
  • Levels are set to 50
  • 10 minute your time method, 5 minute your time if championship

These rules make sense for ranked battles, most due to time and server management. They also encourage some experimentation, without relying entirely on the strogest choices.

While not close to a normal match up, this is what an online battle looks like

Now a quick note about live tournaments using VGC rules:

  • Most of what applies to championship battles applies here
  • These are always double battles
  • Bring 6 for the entire tournament
  • Each match consists of best two out of three games
  • You pick 4 Pokemon per game, they can be different per game in even in the same match
  • Team preview
  • No duplicate Pokemon
  • No duplicate held items, they must be on the same Pokemon throughout the entire tournament
  • Ban list varies each year including:
    • No Pokemon outside of the game’s regional Pokedex. This includes mostly new Pokemon. Some are banned even within it (the strongest and rarest)
    • All Pokemon available in national Pokedex (all available at the time). Again the strongest and rarest are banned
    • All Pokemon available in national Pokedex, but only two of the Strongest that are normally banned are allowed. The rarest are still banned.
  • Additionally, Pokemon that lack a specific mark on their stat screen are banned (currently a black +). This means if it was transferred from an older game, it cannot be used. This limits some of the moves a Pokemon can know.
  • Levels are set to 50
  • In addition to the 5 minute your time timer, there is a 50 minute match time limit
    • If that runs out, there will be three more turns to resolve the game in progress.
    • If not resolved, tie breaking rules determine who has the advantage
    • If that still isn’t resolved, sudden death (whoever has more Pokemon at the end of any turn wins) occurs.

So there definitely are quite a bit of ways to play the game to prove your skills here. There are differences in each mode, but a fair amount of them make sense if you think about them. The only thing that doesn’t make sense are the specifics of the rotating ban list, though it should be adjusted based on win/loss records, not pokedex categories.

Keep in mind that these are only the official rules that are enforced in the game. There happen to be a bunch of custom rule designed by players that the game doesn’t enforce. They won’t be covered here.

Now let’s go to page 3 for the game Splatoon 2

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