VSTAR Pokémon cards might not have the brute strength of their VMAX cousins, but their place in the Pokémon trading card game is still well-earned. Offering reasonably big attacks and chunky HP with a minimal prize card cost for getting Knocked Out, these V evolutions would be a decent middle-ground sort of card. That is, if it weren’t for their unique, one-off abilities that can completely change the outcome of a match.
For those thinking of adding a few VSTAR Pokémon cards to their deck, we’ve created a quick introduction to them. In addition to a handy definition, this guide also shows off some of the most iconic VSTAR cards and what their VSTAR powers can offer.
Here’s everything you need to know about VSTAR Pokémon cards:
What are VSTAR Pokémon cards?
To understand VSTAR Pokémon cards, we need to go back to their point of origin – V cards. Pokémon V are basic Pokémon cards with stronger-than-average HP and attacks, and they offer two prize cards when Knocked Out instead of one. When they were first introduced in the Sword & Shield Pokémon expansion, V cards could only evolve into VMAX Pokémon cards. The Sword & Shield: Brilliant Stars expansion then introduced a new, alternative evolution in the form of VSTAR Pokémon cards.
VSTAR cards come with a pretty hefty HP, but they’re not quite as sturdy as a VMAX card. The prize cards available for each card reflect this trade-off – the mighty VMAX cards offer three prize cards when Knocked Out, while VSTAR cards only offer two.
VSTAR cards may seem like a weaker version of VMAX, but they come with a trick up their sleeve. Each VSTAR card has a unique VSTAR Power. These abilities are so game-changing that you can only use a single VSTAR Power once per game. That doesn’t mean each VSTAR card can use its power once; it means, if you have two VSTAR cards in play, you’ll need to choose one of their VSTAR Powers to use, and that’s your lot for the entire match.
VSTAR Powers offer a wide range of Pokémon TCG perks. Your VSTAR Pokémon might have an attack that can down a VMAX card in one hit, or they might let you raid your discard pile to bring back items. To show off what this kind of card can do, we’ve shared some of our favourite VSTAR Pokémon below:
It’s not a Pokémon TCG guide if we don’t talk about Charizard. Like many of the iconic dragon’s other cards, the Charizard VSTAR card is all about fiery aggression. Its Explosive Fire attack deals 130 damage minimum, and you can add 100 more if Charizard VSTAR has any damage counters.
The Arceus V card and its evolutions all focus on searching your deck – an often vital ability in a Pokémon TCG match. And while a VMAX Arceus can deal some major damage at the same time, the Arceus VSTAR card has a one-off power that makes it a much more valuable card.
Arceus’ VSTAR Power is Starbirth, an ability that lets you search your deck for two cards and add them to your hand. Other than shuffling the rest of your deck afterwards, there’s no extra cost to this. You can find the exact two cards you need at any time. It sounds like a simple ability, but paired with the right cards, Arceus offers limitless potential.
Like Lucario V, the Lucario VSTAR card’s modus operandi is buffed-up attacks that react to your opponent’s cards. Its basic Fighting Knuckle attack does 120 base damage, but this goes up to 240 if your opponent’s active Pokémon is a V card (V evolutions like VSTAR also count too).
The Aura Star VSTAR Power deals 70 damage for each Energy attached to all your opponent’s Pokémon. Relying on your opponent to play the exact cards Lucario VSTAR needs for max damage is, of course, a risky move. Lucario doesn’t have the guaranteed firepower of Charizard VSTAR or the strategic influence of Arceus VSTAR. However, it can score some good hits for a relatively low Energy cost.
The Mewtwo VSTAR card’s VSTAR Power exclusively attacks other V cards. Dealing 120 damage to each of your opponent’s V cards, this can be an effective way to remove a particularly pesky V card before it has the chance to evolve – or you can take some of your opponent’s more evolved Pokémon down a peg.
Mewtwo VSTAR also has an interesting regular attack to consider. Psy Purge lets you deal 90 damage for every three Energy you remove from MewTwo. Combine this with cards that let you generate consistent Energy quickly, and you can deal some tidy damage without even resorting to Mewtwo’s VSTAR Power.