Pokemon Trading Card Game Reveals New Mechanic

The Pokemon Trading Card Game has revealed a new mechanic which will be introduced in sets next year. Earlier today, The Pokemon Company dropped a commemorative video celebrating the Pokemon Trading Card Game's 25th anniversary. At the end of the video, The Pokemon Company revealed its first official VSTAR card - Arceus VSTAR. The new VSTAR mechanic functions as a combination of the VMAX and GX mechanics introduced in past sets. Players can only play a Pokemon VMAX card by placing it on an already in play Pokemon V card. Unlike VMAX cards, the Pokemon VSTAR card has a special one-use ability called a VSTAR Power. In the case of Arceus VSTAR, the card's VSTAR Power allows a player to search their deck for any two cards and place them in their hand. Defeating a Pokemon VSTAR card rewards a player with two prizes. You can check out the full video down below:

The VSTAR mechanic will likely be one of the core gimmicks for the Pokemon Trading Card Game as it enters 2022. Other recently introduced gimmicks include the V UNION cards, a set of four cards that combine to form a single powerful Pokemon with multiple attacks and abilities. Players can only play a V UNION Pokemon when all four cards combining the Pokemon are in a player's discard pile. The game is also continuing its Battle Style mechanic by introducing a third Battle Style in the upcoming Fusion Strike expansion. Pokemon with a Battle Style have no additional abilities or extra powers on their own, but players can build a deck that synergizes around a specific Battle Style. 

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The VSTAR mechanic will be introduced in the Japanese set "Star Birth" in January 2022, which conveniently comes out just a couple of weeks before Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Given its proximity to the new game's release, the VSTAR mechanic will likely serve as a stand-in for the Noble Pokemon that will appear in that game. Expect to hear more news about the VSTAR mechanic and its introduction in non-Japanese sets in the near future.