Pokémon TCG Japan's Dark Phantasma Preview: Rainbow Rare VSTARs

The new Pokémon TCG set has arrived in Japan. Dark Phantasma was released on May 13th, 2022, and continues the focus on the Hisui region that debuted earlier this year in the Nintendo Switch game Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Like the previous three sets (Battle Region, Time Gazer, and Space Juggler), Dark Phantasma features cards with certain Hisuian species for the very first time. This Zoroark-themed set also continues the VSTAR mechanic introduced this year and sees more Radiant Pokémon cards (formerly thought to be called "Sparkling" cards) that depict species in their Shiny form with a unique reverse holo pattern. This set, along with the upcoming Japanese sets Lost Abyss and Incandescent Arcana, will likely be the basis of the next English-language set, Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, coming in Summer 2022. Today, let's take a look at all three Rainbow Rare VSTARs available in this set.

Dark Phantasma cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Dark Phantasma cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

No VMAXes this time, just VSTARs. We have Magnezone, Hisuian Goodra, and Hisuian Zoroark all in Rainbow Rare form. Unlike the Gold VSTAR treatment which is reserved for one card per set, it seems very much like the Pokémon TCG standard for current man series Japanese sets is that every VSTAR in the main series set, not including any associated decks or boxes, gets a Rainbow Rare equivalent.

Earlier, there were rumors that we would soon see the end of the Rainbow Rare card type. January 2022's Star Birth from Japan showed us that this rarity was actually not going away. My current theory is that we will continue to see Rainbow Rares throughout the rest of the year for the last leg of the Sword & Shield block, but that they will likely not be included in the upcoming Scarlet & Violet block set to start in 2023.

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 Dark Phantasma cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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