The Pokemon Trading Card Game has officially announced "Brilliant Stars," a new set coming in 2022 that will introduce the brand new VSTAR mechanic. The new set will officially be released in February 25, 2022 and will contain over 170 cards, including 4 Pokemon VSTAR cards and 3 Pokemon VMAX cards. The VSTAR mechanic acts as a combination of the VMAX mechanic and the GX mechanic seen during the "Sun & Moon" era of cards. Each Pokemon VSTAR has a VSTAR Power, a move or ability that can only be used once per game. Some VSTAR Powers grant players the ability to search for specific cards in their decks, while others are potent attacks capable of knocking out just about any Pokemon.
Two Pokemon confirmed to have Pokemon VSTAR cards in the upcoming set are Charizard and Arceus. They appear to be joined by Whimsicott and Shaymin, who also appear on booster pack artwork. Additionally, Glaceon and Leafeon are also receiving VSTAR cards in separate box sets that will also be released in early 2022. The set will be released via standard booster packs as well as Elite Trainer Boxes and tins.
The Pokemon VSTAR effect seems to be a representation of the Noble Pokemon seen in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Each Pokemon VSTAR card depicts a Pokemon surrounded by golden light, much in the same way that Noble Pokemon are imbued with a mysterious energy in the upcoming Pokemon Legends: Arceus game.
Notably, "Brilliant Stars" will also bring back "Character Rare" cards, a subset of 30 Alternate art rare cards with artwork depicting Pokemon alongside iconic trainers from the games.
Interestingly, the "Brilliant Stars" set doesn't mention VUNION cards, the other recently introduced card mechanic. To date, these cards have only appeared in box sets and haven't been released in normal booster packs. VUNION Pokemon are powerful Pokemon with multiple attacks and abilities. They can only be played by combining four cards when all four cards have reached a player's discard pile.
More information about "Brilliant Stars" will likely be released in the coming months. The new set will officially hit stores on February 25, 2022.