Hello, Pokemon trainers from all around the globe! I’m sure you’re all settling up nice and cozy into 2022 with some Pokemon, whether you’re enjoying some good ol’ Pokemon TCG online or some Pokemon Legends Arceus. I decided that with Brilliant Stars on the horizon, I think it’s about that we start focussing on the newest mechanic that will be running our format, VSTARs! This unique Pokemon V only give up two Prize Cards, and evolve from Pokemon V. Here is the product description from Pokemon themselves: 

“The stars are coming out to shine in the next Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars. There are over 170 cards in this latest collection, including new Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX. Also featured are brand-new Pokémon VSTAR, which evolve from Pokémon V and come equipped with a mighty VSTAR Power, a special Ability or attack that can turn the tide of a battle. Just be aware that you can use only one VSTAR Power per game (and don't miss our earlier look at the Pokémon VSTAR gameplay mechanic, which includes a peek at Arceus VSTAR and Charizard VSTAR).” 

Now let's take a peek at some of these new Pokémon VSTAR and a few of the other awesome cards that you can find when the Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars expansion releases on 2月 25, 2022!

I booted up my Pokemon Trading Card Game Online app, loaded up some PTCGO codes, and then traded those Pokemon online codes to trade for these cards. I was very excited, and it honestly didn’t take that many PTCGL codes to get some of these cards. If you’re looking to buy some codes, we sell them here on PTCGO Store, and I highly urge you to check out our competitive pricing and swift delivery! Let’s talk about the newest expansion that is arriving soon, Brilliant Stars!

Utility Pokemon


Grotle


Grotle

Ability: Sun-Drenched Shell
Once during your turn, you may search your deck for a [G] Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
Razor Leaf: 50 damage.

I love this card because of its utility for the Gym Leader Challenge format. Its inherently strong ability will help setup Grass decks for some time to come, and the added Stage 2 Torterra will be a decent attacker for the deck as well. Torterra might become a genuine threat in standard because of how strong the Grotle is!

Lumineon V


Lumineon V

Ability: Luminous Sign. 
When you play this Pokémon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, you may search your deck for a Supporter card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
Aqua Return: 120 damage. 
Shuffle this Pokémon and all cards attached to it into your deck.

I think this card is one of the best cards, if not THE BEST card to come out of this entire set! Lumineon V is very reminiscent of Tapu Lele-GX and its Wonder Tag ability. This ability was widely used to find tech one-of Supporters as well as key setup cards like Brigette. The utility of this ability is great right now in our format.

Manaphy


Manaphy

Ability: Wave Veil 
Prevent all damage done to your Benched Pokémon by your opponent’s attacks.
Rain Splash: 20 damage.

Manaphy is a necessary card that the community has been begging to have printed for some time now! This Pokemon will help to balance decks like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and Jolteon VMAX decks. Important to note is that this Pokemon’s ability does not block damage counter placement, so Dragapult VMAX��s “Max Phantom” attack could still put damage onto a Manaphy. Water-types can also really use this card in the Gym Leader Challenge format to fend off beasts like Amazing Rare Kyogre.

Liepard


Liepard

Ability: Trade
Once during your turn, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, draw 2 cards.
Slash: 60 damage.

This card could be an excellent partner for Eternatus VMAX decks! Having a card similar to Cincinno is excellent in a different typing - it’s also a great card to include in Darkness-type Gym Leader Challenge decks.

Bibarel


Bibarel

Ability: Efficient Front Teeth
Once during your turn, you may draw until you have 5 cards in your hand.
Tail Smash: 100 damage. Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.

Bibarel is absolutely STRAPPED UP and ready to run wild in the standard format. Its ability Efficient Front Teeth will be a steady draw-engine for any single Prize Card deck that consistently needs resources. I think this card will be widely played in decks like Mad Party and potentially Fire decks.

Attacking Pokemon

Charizard VSTAR


Charizard VSTAR

Explosive Fire: 130+ damage.
If this Pokémon has any damage counters on it, this attack does 100 more damage.
VSTAR Power Star Blaze: 320 damage. 
Discard 2 Energy from this Pokémon. (You can’t use more than 1 VSTAR Power in a game.)

The first of many VSTAR Pokemon we will be reviewing! This Charizard is not a Stage 2 like it normally is - it evolves from a basic Pokemon V! Charizard’s VSTAR Power, Star Blaze, can handily knockout a VMAX with relative ease. With all the Fire-support released within this set, it’s pretty simple to set this guy up to! If you need to OHKO something with more than 320 HP, you can simply use a damage modifier (perhaps one that we’ll read about a little later on in this article). The first attack is also really nice for KOing Pokemon V, and likewise also 2HKOing other big Pokemon. You can trigger the damage clause by using a Stadium card we’ll touch on later. 280 HP is really nice too for a Pokemon that only gives up two Prize Cards! Man, I love this new mechanic. It feels like it solves a lot of power creep problems brought on by Pokemon VMAXs, and makes many cards (both old and new) viable in a format where otherwise they wouldn’t be.

Entei V


Entei V

Ability: Fleet-Footed
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is in the Active Spot, you may draw a card.
Burning Rondo: 20+ damage. 
This attack does 20 more damage for each Benched Pokémon (both yours and your opponent’s).

This is essentially a Fire-type version of a Pokemon V we already have, Suicune. It has 20 more HP, and a slightly higher retreat cost, however, I like the typing this Pokemon has because it can abuse all of the new Fire-type support that was released in this set. Will probably be good alongside Ludicolo and Inteleon, or on its own.

Moltres


Moltres

Inferno Wings: 20+ damage. 
If this Pokémon has any damage counters on it, this attack does 70 more damage. This attack's damage isn't affected by Weakness.

I think this card could be the next Zapdos LOT - it’s fast, hard-hitting, but it caps out at 90 damage without buffs. It’s a great card to soften up Pokemon, and finish off any KOs that may be left on the board.

Raikou V


Raikou V

Ability: Fleet-Footed
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is in the Active Spot, you may draw a card.
Lightning Rondo: 20+ damage. 
This attack does 20 more damage for each Benched Pokémon (both yours and your opponent’s).

Yet another one of the three Legendary Dogs, this is arguably the weakest of the three. In expanded this could be cute with Electropower and Thunder Mountain, however, in standard this card isn’t so hot. It has 10 less HP than Suicune, 30 less than Entei, and is overall just not worth it right now. The typing is interesting though, and could be good if Lightning gets more standard support in the future!

Whimsicott VSTAR


Whimsicott VSTAR

Tricky Wind: 160 damage. 
Your opponent can’t play Pokémon Tools or Special Energy from their hand during their next turn.
VSTAR Power Cotton Ball Star: 
This attack does 60 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon for each Energy attached to this Pokémon. (You can’t use more than 1 VSTAR Power in a game.)

This card is going to be CRAZY in Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX decks - you can lock out decks entirely that rely on Special Energy cards. It is a unique lock-style VSTAR that comes with a very fringe VSTAR Power. It can get you some stealthy KOs though, so this card could make a great 1-1 or 2-2 line in some Psychic-type decks.

Arceus VSTAR


Arceus VSTAR

Trinity Nova: 200 damage. 
Search your deck for up to 3 basic Energy cards and attach them to your Pokémon V in any way you like. Then, shuffle your deck.
VSTAR Power Ability: Starbirth 
During your turn, you may search your deck for up to 2 cards and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck. (You can’t use more than 1 V Star Power in a game.)

Arguably one of the best attackers in the entire set, and probably the best VSTAR released from the set, Arceus VSTAR is inherently powerful because of how it can use Double Turbo Energy so well, and how easy it is to setup. Trinity Nova accelerates so much energy in play that it can be difficult to keep up with this powerhouse. 200 damage is enough to 2HKO VMAX Pokemon, even with the -20 damage negation on Double Turbo Energy. Starbirth is also a crazy ability, even though you can only use it once a game. Being able to search for any two cards is probably in the top five abilities printed of all time, and it’s very balanced. This card is amazing because of how splashable it is into any deck - be prepared to play against it many times at the top tables!

Trainers


Kindler


Kindler

You can use this card only if you discard an [R] Energy card from your hand. Look at the top 7 cards of your deck and put up to 2 of them into your hand. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck. A great Supporter for Fire-type Pokemon, or even Colourless decks that can abuse Fire Energy. Kindler is great because even though it doesn’t replace Professor’s Research, it can supply you four more copies of another useful Supporter that can dig deep into your deck and search for…

Magma Basin


Magma Basin

Once during each player’s turn, that player may attach an [R] Energy card from their discard pile to 1 of their Benched [R] Pokémon. If a player attached Energy to a Pokémon in this way, put 2 damage counters on that Pokémon. 
This is another crazy card printed from this set. Magma Basin will make cards like Entei V and Charizard VSTAR playable - however, I don’t think this card is amazing right now. Fire attackers will come out in the future to make this card even better, however, the current card pool will always be the life source for how strong this card will be.

Ultra Ball


Ultra Ball

Discard 2 cards from your hand. If you do, search your deck for a Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck. Reprint of Ultra Ball SLG 68. Probably the best Pokemon search card ever printed. I’m amazed it got reprinted due to how amazing it makes Genesect V decks; you can just draw so many extra cards now! This card is very nice for any deck that requires search power for both basic Pokemon and evolutions.

Choice Belt


Choice Belt

The attacks of the Pokémon this card is attached to do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon V (before applying Weakness and Resistance). A game-changer for hitting correct numbers! I welcome this card into the format - if only it had an errata to deal additional damage to Pokemon GX and EX as well. Maybe even just any Pokemon with a Rule Box? That would be sweet.

Gloria


Gloria

Search your deck for up to 3 Basic Pokémon that don’t have a Rule Box (Pokémon V, Pokémon-GX, etc. have Rule Boxes) and put them onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck. A spiritual successor to Brigette. I expect this card to be played in setup decks alongside Lumineon V for a timely search ability of this card. An excellent setup Supporter!

Energy

Double Turbo Energy


Double Turbo Energy

As long as this card is attached to a Pokémon, it provides [C][C] Energy. The attacks of the Pokémon this card is attached to do 20 less damage to your opponent’s Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). This is the best card printed on the set! It’s going to break so many decks - think of all the cool cards that can abuse this card: Arceus VSTAR, Mad Party, and Galarian Rapidash V to name a few. I love this card and think it will be in many decks to come, so be prepared to see it in local tournaments! I’m excited to see how players will run this unique energy.

Conclusion

This, of course, is just a sampling of the cool cards in the upcoming Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield - Brilliant Stars. See what else you can discover when the expansion releases on 2月 25, 2022. Stay tuned for our store to begin selling PTCGL codes for this expansion, and keep your eyes peeled for more great content from us. Until next time, Trainers!

If you’re looking for the PTCGO codes for play, feel free to pick some up in our shop. We offer PTCGL codes at a very competitive price and ensure instant delivery of your PTCGO codes directly to your email. Thank you for reading this article today on the PTCGO store! Have a great day.