Pokemon Draft

The following is a table of contents for convenient rule navigation.

What is it?

The Pokemon Draft is a game invented by our club.

10 people each play through an entire game of pokemon in one sitting, with restrictions on the pokemon they are allowed to catch and use.

Each player must “draft” a team of pokemon they can use before the event begins, and no two players are allowed to use any of the same pokemon.

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When is it?

This event is typically done past official club hours, after people have gotten dinner.  Previous tournaments have begun around 7 PM, and go through the rest of the night.

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What are the rules?

Competitors play through an entire game of Pokemon in one sitting, and each player is only allowed to use the pokemon that they drafted before starting the game. The pokemon you drafted can only be caught by you, and when you select a pokemon you are selecting their entire evolutionary family, with some exceptions.

The number 1 rule is to use only the pokemon you drafted. The second most important rule is to not give up. You can take as many penalties as you want reviving pokemon that died, or over-leveling pokemon to make a gym fight easier, but do not give up.

If any of your pokemon faint, then they are to be considered dead and must be placed in the PC permanently. You may replace any dead pokemon with another pokemon of the same evolutionary family, but you must train them again from scratch.

There is a level cap rule. What we mean by this is that your pokemon should not be more then 4 levels higher then the gym leaders highest level pokmon. This mean for Flanery in pokemon emerald, you cannot have a pokemon that is level 34 or higher, because her highest is a level 29 Torkoal.

We have also been experimenting with a level leash rule, where and specific checkpoints you have to make sure all your drafted pokemon are within 5 levels of eachother. Most recently we made it so that you had to have 3 before beating Norman, and 4 before beating Tate and Liza and Juan.

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How long does it usually last?

Depending on when you decide to place the finish line, the draft can take a long time. We have had drafts take 8+ hours. These usually were when we decided to make the elite 4 the end goal.

Final timer for Pokemon Emerald.

However, we have recently been getting better at the game, and the drafting process. We most recently experimented with a 4 hour limit, and stopping after the 8th gym leader, and whoever got the furthest would be declared a winner. During this we had 4 people finish before time was up.

Spring 2013 pokemon draft

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The Drafting Process

The first thing you do is determine the order of your draft. Random is the best way to go about this, different positions have different advantages and disadvantages.

We do a snake draft, here is an example on what a snake draft is, for those of you unfamiliar with the process.

Now let’s say there are ten players, with player 1 drafting first, and player 10 drafting last.

Player 1 starts by picking a pokemon, let’s say Geodude for example. This means player 1 may catch as many Geodudes, Gravelers, and Golems as he or she wishes, and no one else can catch these pokemon. Then the player 2 drafts his or her first pokemon, and so on.  When it is time for player 10 to draft, he or she chooses 2 pokemon. Then player 9 picks his or her second pokemon, then 8, and so on.  This repeats until it comes back to player 1 again and then he or she gets to draft 2 pokemon.  The process repeats itself going back and forth until all evolutionary families available in the game are assigned to a player.

Notes: Branch evolutions count as separate evolutionary families. This means that you can draft Jolteon and someone else can still draft Vaporeon. Ninjask and Shedinja, and Vileplume and Bellosom also count as separate evolutionary families.

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Every player must choose the water starter pokemon (Totodile, Mudkip, etc) at the beginning, but you are only allowed to use him until you catch your first drafted pokemon. After you have another pokemon, your water starter pokemon must only be used as an HM slave. You are not allowed to switch to use this pokemon in battle. Also, try to avoid being forced into double battles early on.

This is very important:

The first pokemon that each player chooses in the draft must be a pokemon that is available in the wild before battling the first gym leader (Pidgey, Rattata, Hoot Hoot, etc).  We refer to this as a “starter pokemon”.

The player that chooses last will get the worst starter, but this means they are then allowed to draft the most effective non starter pokemon in the game as well.  This generally requires more skill than simply choosing an effective starter.


1. Make sure you know when you can catch each of your pokemon. Some pokemon are powerful, but if you can’t catch one until the end of the game, what’s the point?

2. Be aware of each gym’s type when drafting, so that you will have something that can beat that gym when you come to it.

3. Grind like hell.

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