Pokemon TCG

Best of Sword & Shield Brilliant Stars includes Charizard VSTAR

By Olivia Richman


Jan 5, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

The hype around the Pokemon TCG has continued thanks to big influencers like Logan Paul making massive and controversial purchases while streaming pack openings. The competitive Pokemon TCG community is excited for new cards coming out in early 2022 as part of the Sword & Shield — Brilliant Stars expansion.

When is Sword & Shield — Brilliant Stars coming out?

Brilliant Stars is the ninth expansion from the Sword & Shield series. It’s coming out in Japanese on January 14, 2022 and then releasing in English on February 25, 2022.

What are Pokemon VSTAR cards?

Most expansions in the Pokemon TCG come with a new type of card, usually more powerful than existing Pokemon cards. Pokemon V cards are currently the new meta and Brilliant Stars is introducing VSTAR Pokemon.

Pokemon VSTAR evolve from their respective Pokemon V. They have increased HP and powerful attacks. VSTAR Pokemon also have a new mechanic called VSTAR Power. Players can only use one VSTAR Power per game. These powers are either an attack or an ability.

Pokemon VSTAR cards are worth two prizes when knocked out.

What do Charizard VSTAR and Arceus VSTAR do?

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Brilliant Stars features two Pokemon VSTAR cards: Arceus VSTAR and Charizard VSTAR.

Arceus, a mythical Pokemon, has 280 HP and an attack called Trinity Nova that does 200 damage for three basic energy cards of any type. Its VSTAR Power is called Starbirth. This ability lets players search their deck for up to two cards to put in their hand.

Charizard VSTAR has 280 HP and an attack called Explosive Fire. For two fire energy and one basic energy of any type, Explosive Fire deals 130 damage plus 100 more if Charizard VSTAR has any damage counters on it. The Star Blaze VSTAR Power hits for 320 damage. Players have to discard two energy from Charizard VSTAR to use this attack.

As per usual, Charizard is looking to be the star of the expansion, keeping fire decks as some of the strongest in the meta.

What are the best cards in Sword & Shield — Brilliant Stars?

Aside from Arceus VSTAR and Charizard VSTAR, Brilliant Stars features some other standout cards.

One such card is support card Cheren’s Care. It allows players to put one normal type Pokemon that has damage counters on it back in their hand, along with any attached cards. Also looking strong is Double Turbo, an energy card that counts as two basic energy. Keep in mind however that Pokemon with this card attached do 20 less damage to an opponent’s Pokemon.

Another strong card is Magma Basin, a stadium that lets players attach one fire energy from their discard pile onto a benched Pokemon, in exchange for putting two damage counters on the benched Pokemon that receives the fire energy.


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