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Explaining Rotation for beginners

For what I'm seeing in the forum, some people are confused why suddenly a bunch of cards are no longer standard legal. The reason? Set rotations.

As you may now, the game has 2 main formats: Standard and Expanded.

Expanded allows you to play with every card printed starting from Black and White (or at least it should, except that ptcgl expanded is not fully functional yet) Standard, on the opposite side, only has 2-3 years of cards at a time, and once we have more than 3 years of cards, we lose some of the oldest cards in standard.

If you look at the bottom left of a card, the card should have a letter D, E or F (cards from the new set tomorrow will have a G instead!) this is called a Regulation Mark and helps knowing when a card will rotate. Cards with a regulation D (cards from 2020) are rotating out of standard format today, cards from regulation E will rotate in 2024, cards from regulation F rotate in 2025 and so on.

However, some cards like professor research got reprints with updated regulation marks, meaning they will stay in the format.

If you look at the most recent print of a card and that print has a D on its bottom left corner, that card will not be playable in the standard format anymore unless it gets a reprint in the future with a different regulation Mark.


  • kot123456
    kot123456 Member Posts: 107
    5 LOLs First Comment 5 Likes First Anniversary

    The reason card games rotate their older cards out is to keep the format fresh and prevent any unwanted interactions. And dont worry if they rotate out your favorite card, they might just reprint it in a future set or make another card with very similar effects. While the base SV set looks weak, we will be getting alot of cards that will get even better with more cards to interact with.

  • Ravenclawed1234
    Ravenclawed1234 Member Posts: 374
    5 LOLs 5 Agrees First Anniversary 5 Likes

    just wait until Paldea Evolved comes out, then we get N back as Iono

  • HollowWarrior
    HollowWarrior Member Posts: 1
    First Comment

    Hi all, likely me being stupid, but if I buy a Professors Research (Oak full art , regulation mark D) it's not legal even though its the exact same effect as the regulation mark F's?

  • TechHog
    TechHog Member Posts: 2,556
    First Comment First Anniversary 5 Agrees 5 Likes

    If a version of a card (meaning exact same name and effects) with a legal mark exists, all past prints are legal.

  • Drkturtle1
    Drkturtle1 Member Posts: 2
    First Comment

    Now what about the cards with no Rotation letter in the bottom left??? Are those playable??

  • clasingla
    clasingla Member Posts: 1,011
    5 Likes First Answer First Comment 5 LOLs

    nope they are not those cards where created before rotation letters exsisted so they are not in regulation any more

  • redwater
    redwater Member Posts: 2
    Name Dropper First Comment

    @TechHog if the card been reprint but the effect is different it can still be used.

    Great ball (item) - the first version printed long ago had a effectto search out basic pokemon,

    The current great ball (item) has an effect look at the top 7 card and pick a pokemon u find there.

    You can used both great ball card but will have the current effect.

    But in the case of master ball (ace spec) it depend

    You can used the older master ball (ace spe)from bw era,

    But u can not used the master ball (item) from the dp era. Since it a different card type.