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Review of the Brilliant Stars Set

Pokemon Brilliant Stars Rezension des Sets

A new year has arrived, and that means it's time to spice up the Pokemon TCG again! With the expansion, Sword & Shield: Brilliant Stars, a huge new mechanic comes into play, as well as all the top-notch moves and charming art you know and love from the game.

Pokemon Arceus VSTAR Premium Collection

What's new in Pokemon Brilliant Stars?

Ever since the first Sword & Shield core set, V-Pokemon have been the central focus of every expansion. These Pokemon are bigger, stronger, and have more impressive effects, but they also risk costing more of your prize cards. There are two types: the regular Pokemon V and the larger, gargantuan VMAX forms. For the first time in a full expansion, Brilliant Stars introduces a third type of V-Card: the all-new VSTAR Cards!

Like VMAX, VSTAR Pokemon evolve on your base V-Forms to power them up even further. Unlike VMAX, however, VSTAR Pokemon possess an incredibly powerful "VSTAR Power," a one-time boost of power that can easily turn the game in your favor. For example, Shaymin VSTAR's Star Power, Star Bloom, heals 120 damage from each of your Benched Grass-type Pokemon. Charizard VSTAR's Star Blaze, on the other hand, does an insane 320 damage.

Keep in mind that you can only use one VSTAR ability per game - not per Pokemon, but in total. So be careful who you evolve and when to get the most out of your VSTAR Pokemon.

Which cards should I keep an eye on?

Of course, fans also love V and VMAX Pokemon, so they're back in full force in Brilliant Stars . To spice things up, this expansion brings new Trainer Gallery cards that feature Pokemon along with some familiar faces from the series' history.

It's nice to see old friends again, like Mustard alongside his two Urshifu VMAX forms, or Blue with his Jolteon V, Flareon V, and Vaporeon V. We're also finally getting a Mimikyu VMAX, shown alongside Acerola from Sun & Moon . If you loved the cards from the last few sets that simply featured a Pokemon at their leisure, these trainer cards are essential. A particular favorite of mine is Oranguru V, relaxing on a hot day with its owner, lab assistant Sina.

Arceus Vstar from the Brilliant Stars Pokemon TCG

The star (no pun intended) of the set is, of course, Arceus. The god of all Pokemon has been a big part of Pokemon lately thanks to the excellent video game Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Included here in both V and VSTAR forms, with many alternate Art versions to collect. A special V-chart shows it flying over the Sinnoh region and it looks absolutely stunning.

Keep an eye on the set's Gold and Rainbow Secret Rares, too! For the Gold Rare this time we have the three Galar Legendary Birds in their V-shapes (Galarian Zapdos is awesome, it's just a big angry bunch) but by far the biggest draw of them all is the Gold Secret Rare Arceus VSTAR . In Rainbow Rares, we have the VSTAR Pokemon (Arceus, Shaymin, Charizard , and Whimsicott) as well as some great Trainer cards like Cheren's Foster, Cynthia's Ambition, and Rosanne's Backup!

Many fascinating artworks

Even the standard cards look incredible, making Brilliant Stars possibly one of the best looking Pokemon expansions ever released. Just look at cards like Klinklang, Weavile, and my favorites of the whole set, Magmortar, and Electivire, which show the same battle from two different perspectives! Pokemon really nailed it here.

I want to collect everything!

There are many ways to acquire Brilliant Stars! First the obvious: you can buy booster packs and booster boxes , as well as a slick Arceus-branded Elite Trainer Box . There are also Blister Packs containing some boosters, a coin and a card: this time we have the Sinnoh Eevee evolution Leafeon and its Ice-type counterpart Glaceon!

Pokemon Brilliant Stars Elite Trainer Box Pokemon Brilliant Stars Sleeved Booster Pack

Something special at Brilliant Stars is the Builds & Battle Stadium. It's meant to be a way to play the game right out of the box while still having the freedom to customize your decks. Inside are two Build & Battle boxes, each containing a 40-card deck, four Brilliant Stars Booster Packs, and an exclusive holo promo card. There's also a pack of Energy cards, a damage-counting die, a coin, and condition tokens, giving you and a friend everything you need to start playing Brilliant Stars right away.


While it's sad that last year's fighting style mechanics are less present in Brilliant Stars, there's so much here to look forward to! Whether you're a player preparing to demolish your opponent with the new VSTAR powers, or a collector looking to collect those Trainer Gallery cards, this expansion continues to cement Sword & Shield as one of the best points of the whole Story of the game!