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 V, VSTAR 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 from the set.
Zeraora, a fan-favorite Mythical Pokémon whose Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign remains high in value, gets a Special Art Rare VSTAR in VSTAR Universe. This beautifully intricate SAR is illustrated by Ligton, who first began to contribute to the Pokémon TCG with this year's Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars. You may recognize Ligton's evocative style from the Umbreon V Character Super Rare from Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars which paired the Dark-type Eeveelution with Karen or the cute Mimikyu card 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.