Top cards in Brilliant Stars & VSTAR explained | Pokemon TCG Online

The upcoming expansion of the Sword & Shield Series of Pokemon TCG Online is called Brilliant Stars and is looking to be the best one in the series yet, bringing a set of cards that will seriously impact the meta. The Brilliant Stars expansion releases a new in-game mechanic called VSTAR – a new type of Pokemon V – and features fan-favorite Pokemon such as Arceus and (yet another) Charizard. As you can probably guess, this is going to be a pretty popular one for physical-card collectors.

How do VSTAR Pokemon work?

With all the different types of Pokemon the game keeps releasing, it can get confusing to understand how VSTAR Pokemon actually work and how they are different from V, VMAX, EX, or GX Pokemon. Here’s the difference between the five:

  1. EX Pokemon: The game was centered around regular Pokemon until EX Pokemon came in. These are stronger and have more HP – two traits that will be common in the rest of the types on this list. They are also worth two Prize cards when knocked out, and often feature fully evolved Pokemon as Basic Pokemon.
  2. GX Pokemon: They are just like EX Pokemon, but with an additional GX attack that you can only use once per match.
  3. V Pokemon: Also like EX Pokemon, but they are always Basic Pokemon. With EX Pokemon, you could have Mega Evolutions as well.
  4. VMAX Pokemon: They evolved from V Pokemon and are worth three Prize cards.
  5. VSTAR Pokemon: They also evolve from V Pokemon, are worth two Prize cards, and have a VSTAR Power, which you can only use once per match. This can be an Ability, not just an attack. While the Prize card price feels like an advantage, they also have lower HP than VMAX Pokemon.
Brilliant Stars VSTARS cards Pokemon TCG Online
Image by The Pokemon Company

Doesn’t the artwork look incredible on these? TPC really knows how to nail the color combinations and I can only imagine how the shiny, physical cards would look like.

Charizard V and Charizard VSTAR

Charizard has featured in almost every expansion in the Sword & Shield series in one way or the other, but it’s so hard to get tired of this amazing Kanto Pokemon. Charizard V has a 3-Energy 90-damage attack that discards all Tool Cards from your opponent, and a 4-Energy 180-damage attack.

Charizard VSTAR certainly looks better than Charizard VMAX, with a 320-damage attack that will destroy absolutely anything you put before it.

Star Blaze: 320
Discard 2 Energy from this Pokémon. (You can’t use more than 1 VSTAR Power in a game.)

Even Explosive Fire is a great attack, and it will be doing 230 damage in most situations. In a later section, we have also shown a Stadium card that synergizes perfectly with it.

Arceus V and Arceus VSTAR

Arceus V features one 2-Energy attack that fetches and attaches Basic Energy cards to your Pokemon V:

Trinity Charge
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.

Its second attack is a 3-Energy attack that only does 130 damage. Moving on to Arceus VSTAR (hint: BROKEN), its attack is pretty similar, only that it does 200 damage while also attaching Energies:

Trinity Nova: 200
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.

And then we have its VSTAR Ability:


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 VSTAR Power in a game.)

Just when you thought Raihan was strong, Pokemon TCG put double Computer Search as an Ability on a Pokemon. Arceus VSTAR is definitely going to see a lot of use in the meta, and its Colorless Energy requirements make it an easy addition to any other deck.

Other notable cards

Cheren’s Care makes Arceus even stronger and puts focus on Normal-type Pokemon, allowing you to return it to your hand. We also have Double Turbo Energy, which is just Double Colorless Energy, but with a -20 damage condition on your Pokemon.

Brilliant Stars VSTARS Pokemon TCG Online
Image by The Pokemon Company

Then we have Magma Basin, a Stadium card that will pair well with Charizard VSTAR, allowing you to put damage counters on it to trigger its 230-damage attack.

There’s also an amazing Supporter called Kindler that has the following effect:

Kindler (Supporter)

You can use this card only if you discard a Fire 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.


Featuring a bunch of meta-defining cards, Brilliant Stars will be releasing on Feb. 25, 2022 in physical card stores and in Pokemon TCG Online, and on Jan 14. in Japan under the name Star Birth. If more of such powerful cards are revealed from the set, we will update this list accordingly.

For more Standard, Expanded, and Theme deck guides and lists, be sure to check out our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online guide and resource list.

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Rahul Abhyankar

I'm a 24-year-old copywriter, technical writer, and computer engineer based in Toronto.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for this article! I was looking for sources that explain new content and how it plays into the game rather than just posting some screenshots. Arceus vstar looks bomb cant wait for it, I’m calling it now this set will be the Darkness Ablaze of SwSh

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