After a few revealing leaks, Pokémon TCG Japan’s high-class set VSTAR Universe has finally been revealed. VSTAR Universe will drop in Japan this December and is thought to be the basis for the early 2023 English-language special set closing out the Sword & Shield era, Crown Zenith. Like previous special sets VMAX Climax and Shiny Star V, VSTAR Universe is thought to be primarily a reprint set with a large Secret Rare section of chase cards. Among these chase cards are what we initially thought were Alternate Art VSTARs, but which we can now reveal as a new card rarity entirely. Pokémon TCG Japan has revealed new Art Rares and Special Art Rares which riff on Character Rares and Alternate (or Special) Arts. Art Rares are Full Art cards without texture that paint a beautiful unique scene using Pokémon. They are essentially Character Rares without Trainers present. Then, Special Art Rares take the same concept and add the V or VSTAR mechanic. It is expected that this will be the final set with Pokémon-V and VSTARs, as 2023 will see the launch of the Scarlet & Violet era which returns to the Pokémon ex mechanic. Today, let’s take a look at a Special Art Rare from the set.
The Galarian Legendary Birds got their Art Rares, and now the Johto Legendary Beasts get their Special Art Rares. This cartoony, almost Bob’s Burgers-esque Entei V takes this card in a much different and more unique direction than I imagined under the pen of artist Shigenori Negishi. Negishi has been contributing to the Pokémon TCG since Call of Legends. Negishi’s standout cards, in my opinion, are the Terrakion from Legendary Treasures, Shining Jirachi from Shining Legends, and Corviknight VMAX Character Super Rare from Sword & Shield – Silver Tempest.
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 VSTAR Universe cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.