The upcoming Pokémon TCG high-class set VMAX Climax, which will be released in December 2021 in Japan, was previously shrouded in mystery. Very little was known about how this set would show up for English-speaking collectors and players until the Pokémon TCG revealed that their February 2022 set, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, would feature a subset of 30 cards called the Trainer Gallery. However, this week's reveal of a shocking 100 Secret Rares in VMAX Climax has created confusion as to what will show up in Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars. While speculation will continue, let's take a look at some of those Secret Rares from VMAX Climax.
In another piece I wrote for Bleeding Cool today, titled "The Cards of Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike Part 30," I focused on Rainbow Rare cards. The running theory is that this style of card will be discontinued in 2022. While there is no way to know if that is true until the entire setlist for Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars is released, what we're looking at in today's VMAX Climax spotlight makes one hell of a case for a replacement style of Secret Rare. Here, we have a card style that debuted in 2020 with Zacian and Zamazenta as SWSH Black Star Promos and then returned with Eternatus V and VMAX in Shining Fates and the Japanese equivalent set, Shiny Star V. Now, in VMAX Climax, Japan's first high-class set since Shiny Star V, we get a whopping eight of this Black & Gold style of card.
The Pokémon featured on these cards are Ice Rider Calyrex and Shadow Rider Calyrex as seen above, as well as Pikachu, Mew, Rayquaza, Single Strike Urshifu, Rapid Strike Urshifu, and Duraludon. VMAX Climax also offers an update to this card, with a subtle added color to help the artwork stand out. The additional color seemed to be type-reliant, with Ice Rider Calyrex getting blue for Water-type and both Shadow Rider Calyrex and Mew getting purple for Psychic-type. This set has no Rainbow Rares, which fuels the rumor that Rainbow Rares are out. Will this style of card replace Rainbow Rares? Possibly! Or, this could be a card style that Japan saves for high-class sets. The set to pay attention to for information is Japan's next standard set, Star Birth, releasing in January. Whatever that set establishes as the normal set of Secret Rares is what will almost certainly follow in the English-language Pokémon TCG releases.
Stay tuned for more Pokémon TCG news daily right here at Bleeding Cool! You can follow our VMAX Climax coverage using our official tag for the set and our Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars coverage using this tag for the set.