Why is Brilliant Stars such a promising set?

Alola Trainers! Welcome back to the PoTown Blog! We are only a few days away from the release of the Brilliant Stars set and I couldn't be more excited about it! There are many cards that have mechanics similar to really good cards from the past that made for some really skill-intensive matches and the amazing new mechanic, VSTAR which can lead to very interesting situations.

Leafeon VSTARGlaceon VSTAR

We already have seen Leafeon VSTAR and Glaceon VSTAR be released and people have been really excited to try out the PTCGO codes of these in their Pokemon Online decks, myself included. I did a VMAX Challenge which utilized Leafeon V in a lot of different decks in order to help power up my main attacker, and I was able to include Leafeon VSTAR towards the end of the challenge to gain access to the very powerful Ivy Star Ability to gust something up at any time.

Going back to better times!

When the Pokemon X & Y, and the Pokemon Sun & Moon video games came out, we entered a really cool era of the TCG which had a lot of cool mechanics and interactions, including many that helped support your deck and set up. We are now getting back a few of those mechanics, as we can directly compare Crobat V to Shaymin-EX, the upcoming Bibarel from Brilliant Stars to Octillery from XY Breakthrough, Lumineon V fetches Supporters just like Tapu Lele-GX did, and we get Ultra Ball, bonus damage against V’s with Choice Belt just like Choice Band and Double Colorless Energy with a drawback.

Arceus VSTAR

The VSTAR mechanic, which can be either an attack or an Ability, being once per game is reminiscent of the GX attacks from that era too. All of this points to the game heading in a much better and healthier direction than we’ve had for the past two years with the VMAX’s being very one-dimensional and three prize Pokemon making games unnecessarily short.

Arceus VSTAR is the star of the show, and it makes sense given TCG sets always like to synergize in some way with the videogames and we just had Pokemon Legends: Arceus released for Nintendo Switch.

Its Trinity Nova attack synergizes perfectly with the new Double Turbo Energy, and the -20 damage drawback is not too significant to downplay the great damage and bonus effect of attaching 3 Basic Energy to your Pokemon.

The Star Birth Ability also provides bonus consistency and usability to the card after it has accomplished its function of powering up other attackers, letting you find the specific resources you need, at the time you need them in order to beat your opponent. This makes Arceus VSTAR a useful card early, mid and late game, and with a slow shift back to two prize Pokemon, games will start lasting more time and thus this Ability will only become more valuable.

Sitting at a hefty 280 HP, it can’t be easily OHKO’d by anything that isn’t hitting for Weakness, and thus lends itself to trading very well against other VSTAR Pokemon but exceptionally well against opposing VMAX’s, whilst setting up future attackers with Trinity Nova. Expect Arceus VSTAR to be very popular from here on out, either as a support Pokemon or as the main focus of plenty of different pokemon online decks.


Another key concept that is coming back after a while, is bench protection with Manaphy featuring the Bench Barrier Ability. This will help bolster a lot of decks to not have terrible matchups against Jolteon VMAX and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks. I expect Manaphy to be splashed into plenty of decks from here on out, and for there to be a cycle of popularity with it, based on tournament results. Jolteon VMAX and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX winning tournaments will lead to more people including Manaphy into their decks. That in turn will lead to the aforementioned decks doing worse at tournaments, and when people see that those decks aren’t doing well and being played less, they will deem Manaphy unnecessary, take it out of their Pokemon deck, which in turn will lead to their rise once again. This is a cycle that we continually see with other Pokemon such as ones that prevent damage from Pokemon V like Altaria or Decidueye in the past.

If the Japanese metagame is any indication, as they have been playing with Arceus VSTAR for a couple of months now, we should expect Arceus VSTAR to show up in a myriad of different decks, with all sorts of type combinations and combos, given how it’s so splashable with its CCC attack cost, along with its incredible VSTAR Ability.

Final Thoughts

I’m very excited about all the support Pokemon coming out, I’m excited at the uniqueness of the VSTAR mechanic and that it is featured on two prize Pokemon rather than three. In other words, Brilliant Stars could be a very impactful set for the future of the game, in terms of enjoyment, playability and core mechanics shift that paves the way for more interactive games.

This bodes really well for the current Pokemon TCG Online ladder but especially for the future Pokemon TCG Live Ranked ladder, hopefully leading to some amazing streamed matches from the best players in the game battling it out for the number one spot. It goes without saying that Pokemon TCG Online codes and Pokemon TCG Live codes for the Brilliant Stars set will be in high demand for quite some time. Especially as this set leads us back to real-life events, so testing online will be in high demand in the near future. Thanks so much for reading my newest article for PoTown Store and best of luck in your pulls and games!