Pokémon TCG Japan: VSTAR Universe Preview: Roxanne 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 another Special Art Rare Trainer from the set.

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

The first round of Special Art Rare Trainers from VSTAR Universe concludes with this Roxanne SAR featuring Rustburo City Gym Leader and Rock-type scholar observing Fossils of ancient Pokémon. This ties into both the game where she begs for a Fossil at Fossil Maniac's cave and the anime where she has written articles about Fossils. Roxanne is drawn here by Toshinao Aoki who has contributed to the Pokémon TCG since the extremely early days of Neo Revelation. Aoki contributed major hits to the vintage era including the Ampharos holo of Neo Revelation and many popular WOTC Black Star Promos including the iconic Surfing Pikachu, Flying Pikachu, and movie promos including Dragonite with the messenger bag and the Legendary birds. Aoki's contributions came to a halt after Platinum – Supreme Victors back in 2009, but he recently returned. His first card back after a thirteen-year hiatus was the Unown V Alternate Art in this month's Sword & Shield – Silver Tempest.

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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