Pokémon TCG Japan: VSTAR Universe Preview: Deoxys VMAX SAR

After a few revealing leaks, Pokémon TCG Japan's high-class set VSTAR Universe has finally been revealed. VSTAR Universe will drop in Japan this December and is thought to be the basis for the early 2023 English-language special set closing out the Sword & Shield era, Crown Zenith. Like previous special sets VMAX Climax and Shiny Star VVSTAR Universe is thought to be primarily a reprint set with a large Secret Rare section of chase cards. Among these chase cards are what we initially thought were Alternate Art VSTARs, but which we can now reveal as a new card rarity entirely. Pokémon TCG Japan has revealed new Art Rares and Special Art Rares which riff on Character Rares and Alternate (or Special) Arts. Art Rares are Full Art cards without texture that paint a beautiful unique scene using Pokémon. They are essentially Character Rares without Trainers present. Then, 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. Today, let's take a look at a Special Art Rare that will be a promo card released in conjunction with the set.

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

Maaaan, I love the vibrant colors of this Deoxys VMAX Special Art Rare. Just like the original Deoxys VMAX that English-language collectors got as a SWSH Black Star Promo card, this new version depicts Defense Forme Deoxys. The card adds Orbeetle looking as if it's about to abduct Deoxys with a beautiful cosmic, neon spread of planets in the background. Artist Akira Komayama is responsible for this beautiful card. Komayama first contributed to Call of Legends back in 2011 and may be best known with modern collectors for the Charmeleon card burning the Swablu from Black & White – Legendary Treasures, the berry-stealing Meowth from XY – Roaring Skies, Charizard from the Generations Radiant Collection, and Radiant Hisuian Sneasler from Sword & Shield – Lost Origin.

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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