Pokémon-VSTAR Mechanic Revealed For 2022 Pokémon TCG Sets

A new style of card is coming to the Pokémon TCG in 2022. Both Japanese and English-language sets will see the introduction of the VSTAR mechanic with an upcoming expansion. Let's get into the details.

Arceus VSTAR in Japanese and English. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Arceus VSTAR in Japanese and English. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Here is everything we know about the upcoming Pokémon-VSTAR style of cards:

  • Japan will receive VSTARs first with the Japanese set Star Birth which will release in January. The set will focus on Arceus, who features on the first VSTAR we've seen, pictured above in both Japanese and English.
  • We do not yet know when the English-language Pokémon TCG will release the first VSTARs.
  • We can confirm looking at the Arceus-VSTAR set numbering, though, that the English-language set it will appear in will have 172 cards before Secret Rares.
  • The numbering also confirms that VSTAR cards, like VMAX cards before it, will be featured in the normal numbered portion of the set rather than the Full Arts. It will be classified next to Pokémon-V cards, which will continue to be produced.
  • While these function differently than VMAX cards, these seem to be considered the same rarity as VMAXes. They will be textured like VMAXes and will largely take the place of that style of card.

One thing to note, too, is that the set numbering of the Japanese Arceus-VSTAR gives credence to the idea that the Pokémon TCG will continue the Sword & Shield block. Note the S9 in the bottom left corner of the card. This marks it as the ninth main set in the current block. The English-language Pokémon TCG, though, has not yet said if they will continue with the Sword & Shield header or if the Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl games will set off a new mini-era within the Pokémon TCG the way that HeartGold SoulSilver did.

Are you excited for this new mechanic to come to the Pokémon TCG? Chime in below with your thoughts.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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