Japanese Pokémon TCG Will Introduce VSTAR Mechanic In 2022

Speculation is running high as to what changes may be coming to the Pokémon TCG in 2022. Details have been released for a high-class set titled VMAX Climax in Japan which is rumored to be the final set to include Pokémon-VMAX as a mechanic. That is speculation at the moment, but it comes at a time when a change makes sense. The TCG often ties into new game releases, and we do indeed have three major releases coming between now and the first quarter of 2022: Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, all of which focus on Sinnoh (the latter, during a time when the region was called Hisui) which isn't a region that has Dynamax or Gigantamax as a feature. In addition to that, it has now been revealed that the Japanese Pokémon TCG will debut a new mechanic in 2022 called Pokémon-VSTAR. Could this replace VMAX as a new style of premium Ultra Rare above Pokémon V?

Japanese Pokémon TCG carc back. Credit: TPC
Japanese Pokémon TCG carc back. Credit: TPC

Here's what we know so far about the future of the Pokémon TCG:

  • As far as English sets beyond October's Celebrations, very little. Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike will be Mew-centric and will introduce Fusion as the third Battle Style. It is thought to adapt Japan's Fusion Arts and Inteleon and Gengar decks into English, though little has been confirmed.
  • VMAX Climax arrives in Japan as a high-class set in December 2021. It will be another Shiny set like Shining Fates. Or, more accurately, the Japanese equivalent of Shiny Star V. There is no information on when this will arrive in English, but it will likely be a special set when it does.
  • The same month, we'll see new Japanese decks with exclusive cards featuring Kingler V and VMAX. These will likely be adapted into an English set in 2022.
  • Japan's January 2021 Pokémon TCG expansion is titled Star Birth and will include an Arceus VSTAR. No word on what that means.
  • The Japanese Pokémon TCG has filed trademarks for sets seemingly tying into the new games, including Time Gazer, Space Juggler, and Dark Phantasma. These will very likely be Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina-themed sets.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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