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 one of the major hits in Star Birth: the Whimsicott VSTAR along with the Whimsicott V.
This is one of the very first VSTARs that we're seeing. This new mechanic will essentially replace VMAX cards both in the competitive Pokémon TCG and as a rarity slot. VMAXes have been coveted pulls that are a step above the standard Pokémon-V in rarity and a step below a Full Art. Star Birth will come out swinging with four VSTARS and no VMAXes but don't expect the English-language Pokémon TCG to lose VMAXes as quickly. In addition to adapting Star Birth, it is expected that Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars will adapt VMAX Climax (the high-class Japanese set that sent VMAXes off with a final special selection of them) and Start Deck 100 which included new VMAX cards as well. This leads us still with a selection of Character Super Rare VMAX cards and standard VMAXes like Mimikyu and Kingler that we'll see likely in this set and potentially continuing into the next one as well.
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.