The final set of Pokémon TCG cards for the Sword & Shield era had made some impressive noise, before we’d even seen a card. Celebrating the end of the V, VSTAR and VMAX generation, the Japanese VSTAR Universe, and English-language Crown Zenith, are sets that said they were going all-out on special art cards, including what are being called Art Rares and Super Art Rares. Now we’ve seen the first few examples shown from VSTAR Universe, they were underselling the set if anything: It’s looking beautiful.
Over the last week, the main set of cards from VSTAR Universe were revealed, added to in the last couple of days with a fair number of the Art Rares, and it’s proving to be the most gorgeous collection of Pokémon TCG art we’ve ever seen. This is a collection focused on favorite V cards from the last three years, reissued with brand new—often astonishing—art. It’s going to be an expensive couple of months for Pokémon card fans.
It’s even more expensive this time, given that outside of Japan, Crown Zenith is being released as a so-called Special Set. This means cards will be found in collection boxes, Elite Trainer Boxes, and so on, but not available to buy in 36-pack booster boxes. It makes it far more expensive to pick up the individual packs, coming as they do either with frippery and extras like coins, oversized cards, or sleeves, that bulk up both the contents and the price, or in individual booster packs at $5 a pop. (That’s slightly more frustrating, given the non-rare cards are identical reissues of cards from the previous sets, meaning your bulk’s going to have bulk.)
Still though, wait until you see some of these cards. They’re like nothing before, with such an extraordinary emphasis on background detail. While Evolving Skies had its “Moonbreon,” and Lost Origin that mind-blowing Giratina, what we have in VSTAR Universe/Crown Zenith is a collection of over a dozen cards that match these, and more are to be revealed tomorrow. Right, enough waffle, let’s look at the prettiness.