Pokémon TCG Japan Releases High-Class Set VSTAR Universe

Today is the day! Pokémon TCG Japan's high-class set VSTAR Universe has released. This is the final set of the Sword & Shield era for Japan and will be the basis for the early 2023 English-language special set closing out the Sword & Shield era internationally, Crown Zenith. Like previous special sets VMAX Climax and Shiny Star VVSTAR Universe is primarily a reprint set with a large Secret Rare section of chase cards that include Art Rares and Special Art Rares. Art Rares are Full Art cards without texture that paint a beautiful unique scene using Pokémon similar to Alternate Arts or Character Rares. Special Art Rares take the same concept and add the V or VSTAR mechanic. It is expected that this will be the final set with Pokémon-V and VSTARs, as 2023 will see the launch of the Scarlet & Violet era which returns to the Pokémon ex mechanic. It truly is the end of an era! Let's take a look at some of the top cards that you can pull in this set.

VSTAR Universe cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
VSTAR Universe cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Now that all of the Secret Rares have been released, it is confirmed that there are:

  • 37 Art Rares featuring Hisuian Voltorb, Kricketune, Magmortar, Oricorio, Lapras, Manaphy, Keldeo, Electabuzz, Toxtricity, Galarian Articuno, Mew, Lunatone, Deoxys, Diancie, Comfey, Galarian Zapdos, Solrock, Galarian Moltres, Absol, Thievul, Magnezone, Altaria, Latias, Hisuian Goodra, Ditto, Dunsparce, Miltank, and Bidoof on the normal Art Rares. The final nine Art Rares form a single image and include Swablu, Lucario, Duskull, Bidoof, Pikachu, Paras, Turtwig, Poochyena, and Mareep.
  • 25 Special Art Rare Pokémon featuring Leafeon VSTAR, Charizard V, Charizard VSTAR, Entei V, Simisear VSTAR, Suicune V, Lumineon V, Glaceon VSTAR, Raikou V, Zeraora VMAX, Zeraora VSTAR, Mewtwo VSTAR, Deoxys VMAX, Deoxys VSTAR, Hatterene VMAX, Zacian V, Lucario V, Drapion V, Darkrai V, Hisuian Samurott V, Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, Hoopa V, Zamazenta V, Regigigas VSTAR, Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR.
  • 10 Special Art Rare Trainer Supporters
  • 6 Full Art Trainer Supporters
  • 8 Secret Rare Energies
  • 4 Gold VSTAR Alternate Arts which debuts this card type for the first time. These include Origin Forme Palkia, Origin Forme Dialga, Giratina, and Arceus. The Arceus is likely to be one of if not the ultimate chase card of VSTAR Universe and Crown Zenith.

This, like VMAX Climax before it, seems destined to be an all-time great Japanese set.

Japanese sets often give us early ideas of what the English-language sets may include, so be sure to keep an eye on our coverage. You can stay tuned for previews of VSTAR Universe cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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