Pokémon TCG Japan's Star Birth Preview: Shaymin Full Art & Rainbow

This week, the Pokémon TCG will release the next Japanese set, Star Birth, which kicks off 2022 with a Sinnoh focus. Star Birth will debut the VSTAR mechanic with cards featuring Charizard, Shaymin, Arceus, and Whimsicott. The set, the first major release of the year, will partly be the basis for the next English-language expansion, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars which will be released in February 2022. We cover both English-language and Japanese-language releases here on Bleeding Cool, as the Japanese sets will give us a peek into the future of what is coming down the line for international releases. Today, let's take a look at two of the first Secret Rares we get to see from Star Birth: the Lumineon V Alternate Art and Roseanne's Back-up Full Art Trainer Supporter.

Star Birth cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Star Birth cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

First, I'll get this out of the way. Did Shaymin deserve an Alt Art? Yeah, I think it did. With both Mew and Celebi getting terrific Alt Arts in Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike last year, I would have loved to see a Mythical like Shaymin get the same treatment. It didn't, though, and that's okay. We do have four terrific Shaymin cards in Star Birth (and almost surely Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars) including a Shaymin V, Shaymin VSTAR, Shaymin V Full Art, and Shaymin VSTAR Rainbow Rare. I was initially excited by rumors that we had seen the end of Rainbow Rares as I was eager to see a possible replacement style of Secret Rare, but the Pokémon TCG were wise in how they handled the actual change. Now, Rainbow Rares are attached to the new VSTAR mechanic, and it seems we are likely to get fewer VSTARs per set than VMAX. At least I hope. For now, in this first set, we have four, and Shaymin looks terrific as one of the set's only Rainbow Rare Pokémon pulls. The Full Art is no slouch either, with a sort of cherry-orange swirl in the background with Shaymin itself rendered in light, pastel coloring.

Stay tuned for more Pokémon TCG news daily right here at Bleeding Cool! You can follow our Star Birth coverage using our official tag for the set and our Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars coverage using this tag for the set.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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