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 VVSTAR 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.
This Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR Special Art Rare is a true stunner of a card. It looks like some kind of ancient scroll showcasing Hisuian Zoroark’s ghostly powers on weathered parchment. Undoubtedly the most unique of the VSTAR Special Art Rares revealed so far as part of the VSTAR Universe rollout, this card was illustrated by the supernaturally skilled SIE NANAHARA. Believe it or not, this is NANAHARA’s first Pokémon TCG card… ever. Imagine your first card being such a banger of historic proportions. I hope we see a lot more from this incredible artist who once contributed a Wayward variant cover to Image Comics.
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.
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