Pokémon TCG Japan: VSTAR Universe Preview: Radiant Eternatus

After a few revealing leaks, Pokémon TCG Japan's high-class set VSTAR Universe has finally been released. VSTAR Universe, which is available in Japan and locations that sell Japanese products, is 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 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. This set also includes Special Art Trainer Supporters and, for the first time ever, Gold Alternate Art VSTARs. 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 Radiant Pokémon from the set.

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

Of all the Shiny Pokémon who could have gotten Radiant cards, I did not see Eternatus coming! It does make sense, though, that this Legendary Pokémon around whom much of the Sword & Shield storyline was based is here to close out the era in Radiant fashion. This card is illustrated by Kagemaru Himeno, who has been contributing to the TCG since the second-ever set, Jungle. A selection of Himeno's notable cards includes a whopping 23 cards from Jungle (that's over 1/3 of the entire set), including Eevee and its three Generation One evolutions, Dragonite and Aerodactyl from Fossil, the banned Grimer from Team Rocket, and the gorgeous Vileplume GX Alternate Art that depicted the Grass-type Pokémon dozing under a tree with its Trainer, Gym Leader Erica.

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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