The Pokémon TCG has revealed the English-language versions of new cards coming in the next special set. January 2023 will see the release of Crown Zenith, a special set that will only be available in branded products rather than booster boxes. The art-themed Crown Zenith closes out the Sword & Shield era as The Pokémon Company International plans to switch over to the Scarlet & Violet series block in March 2023. Crown Zenith is largely based on Japan’s VSTAR Universe, which was a reprint set with a large Secret Rare section that introduced two new card types: Art Rares and Special Art Rares. Art Rares are much like Character Rares, but they do not show Pokémon with Trainers, rather showing them in their environments or sometimes even interacting with other species in interesting ways. Special Art Rares are like Alternate Arts, combining the idea of Art Rares with mechanics like V, VMAX, and VSTAR. Here is a new card that has been revealed from Crown Zenith featuring Zacian VSTAR and Zamazenta VSTAR.
We couldn’t close out the Sword & Shield era without one more run of the set mascots, could we? Zacian and Zamazenta, the Sword and Shield of Galar, have each appeared throughout multiple sets and promos throughout this series block, and now they get their VSTARs. VSTAR is the final new Ultra Rare mechanic of the Sword & Shield era, with this set paying tribute to both the entire era and this specific mechanic, so what better way to end? I like how 5ban Graphics illustrated the cards as if they are both leaping together in formation.
Japanese sets often give us early ideas of what the English-language sets may include, so be sure to keep an eye on our coverage. You can stay tuned for previews of VSTAR Universe cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.