What Does the Mysterious 'D' Symbol Mean on Our Upcoming Sword & Shield TCG Cards?

Published on 1 January 2020 at 00:31

Many Pokémon TCG players ask PokeGuardian what the mysterious 'D' Symbol stands for on the upcoming Sword & Shield TCG era of cards. We will explain everything what we currently know in this article.

Please keep in mind while reading this article, that nothing is confirmed yet that a Global Rotation might come. 

Regulation Mark

These mysterious pentagon shaped marks are called a Regulation Mark and were first introduced during the first ever Sun & Moon sets of Japan. Japan currently has a different format system than our International format system. 

Back in September 2019, Japan announced their first rotation for the Regulation Marks.

They had announced that all cards with the Regulation Mark A would rotate out. Sets beginning with the Regulation Marks B, C and D (and later on) will be legal to play in their respective Standard format for this current season. 

Rough explanation on how this system works:

Some reprints in Japan during later sets, are straight reprints (with possible new artwork) from their respective set. These work almost the same as the Alternate Art symbol cards we have here. They won't survive another rotation unless they will get another Regulation Mark that will stay in their Standard Format.

(Rough conversion to our English sets)

  • Regulation Mark A = Sun & Moon Base Set to Crimson Invasion
  • Regulation Mark B = Ultra Prism to Lost Thunder
  • Regulation Mark C = Team Up to Cosmic Eclipse
  • Regulation Mark D = Sword & Shield TCG to future Sword & Shield TCG sets

Possible Global Rotation Format?

This might indicate, since our international Sword & Shield TCG set also includes the 'D' Regulation Mark, that Pokémon might implement a global rotation in the future.

This would of course avoid alot of confusion among players (in major international events) and would benefit everybody since this is much easier to explain to players on what you should look out for when cards rotate out. 

Why a Global Rotation Format Would Currently Not Work

Two examples: Lillie that originated from Sun & Moon Base set and Lusamine from Crimson Invasion, were reprinted in later sets, but retained their original Regulation Mark 'A' symbol in Japan. 

So currently Japan is in a different format right now where these two cards are in Expanded format now, compared to our format where they are still legal to play because of their reprints in Ultra Prism.

These Lillie cards all retained their 'A' Regulation Mark and are Expanded now in Japan, despite the fact that Lillie Full Art in Ultra Prism is still legal here. 

1 Turn Supporter Rule

In an addition to this Regulation Mark format In Japan, since November 29, 2019 there is a new rule that states: 

You can’t play supporters on your first turn going first

This rule would for example kill off Sun & Moon Base Lillie's effect on Turn 1 (this might indicate why Lillie is crying on her Extra Battle Day Promo).

Of course we will get this exact same rule over here too at some point, but there is currently no official word from Play! Pokémon when this rule will be going live. 

Time Will Tell

We all simply have to wait until more information comes.

It's very possible we will get clarification on why we are getting these Regulation Mark symbols closer to the release of Sword & Shield TCG, or when we are close to our next rotation. 

There are some possible scenario's for the future on how they could combine the two different formats together:

  • We get a mid-season rotation 
  • We wait until the next rotation


Global Set Release?

There are some rumours going around that the Regluation Mark symbol system would also partially indicate that a Global Set release would come. 

There is absoutely no official confirmation or guarantee this change will come.

Japan has a monthly set release and are looking to be continuing monthly set releases after S1a VMAX Rising since S2 Rebellion Crash comes 1 month after VMAX Rising. There is no good reason for them to sync the set releases.

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