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10 Best Rares in Brilliant Stars (Sword & Shield)

There is an impossible number of chase cards in the new Brilliant Stars series. The set features 172 new cards, as well as 30 Trainer Cards and 14 Rainbow or Gold rares. While valuable cards are often powerful in-game as well, a lot of the best rares from Brilliant Stars didn’t make our top 10 most valuable list.  

This set introduced the new VSTAR mechanic, so it’s no surprise that we’ll feature these powerful Pokemon. Brilliant Stars also introduced another round of V and VMAX Pokemon with a variety of dynamic, game-changing abilities. Here are the best cards in Brilliant Stars.

Charizard VSTAR

Charizard VSTAR (018/172)

Poised to be the star of the set, Charizard VSTAR is a beastly fighter with two impressive abilities and 280 HP. For three Energy, Charizard VSTAR does 130 damage to a Pokemon – 230 if he has any damage counters. His once-per-game VSTAR ability does a whopping 320 damage, and Charizard only has to discard two of the four Energy the ability requires. Plus, when Charizard is discarded, the opponent gains two Prize cards (as opposed to the three they would gain from a VMAX Pokemon).

Mimikyu VMAX

With 300 HP, Mimikyu VMAX will be hard to Knock Out. But what makes this Pokemon impressive is its Occult Number attack. Ideally played as a combo with Acerola’s Premonition, this ability has the potential to do 130 damage to an opponent’s Pokemon any way they like. Combined with its other ability, Max Shadow, I expect this Pokemon will lead many Psychic decks into the arena. 

Zamazenta V

For a Basic Pokemon, Zamazenta V has a ridiculous amount of power. Three Energy deals 120 damage – 30 more for each Prize card the opponent has already taken. An attack that scales with the player’s need for it is always welcome, and so is the Ability to draw cards. That’s exactly what Zamazenta V’s Ability does. Though it ends a player’s turn, they have the option to discard their hand and draw five cards. “Royal Stance,” is a perfect name for that extremely helpful utility.

Shaymin VSTAR

Shaymin VSTAR (014/172)

Shaymin VSTAR has one of the most helpful VSTAR Abilities of the new cards. Star Bloom heals 120 damage from each of the Trainer’s Benched Grass Pokemon. While this can only be used once per game, it allows the Trainer to easily heal a lot of Pokemon, thereby extending their game through denying the opponent Prize cards. 

Lumineon V

When Lumineon V is played from a hand, the Trainer gets to put any Trainer card from their deck into their hand. This alone is going to make Lumineon an immediate hit. It’s also a slippery bugger with Aqua Return. This attack does 120 damage, then Lumineon V and the Energy attached to it is shuffled back in the Trainer’s deck. It’s hard to knock something out that won’t sit still.

Bibarel

If you liked Zamazenta’s Ability but thought, “I don’t want to end my turn,” say hello to Bibarel. Once per turn, the Trainer can draw until there are five cards in hand. Not quite the same as Zamazenta’s Ability but incredibly close and without the penalty. Plus, this Pokemon is colorless. That makes it an ideal utility inclusion for various decks across the Standard format. 

Arceus VSTAR

Arceus VSTAR (123/172)

This 280 HP Pokemon requires only three Energy to deal 200 damage – that’s not even its VSTAR Ability. That attack can go off every turn, and the Trainer gets the added bonus of searching their deck for three basic Energy cards to attach to V Pokemon. Arceus’s VSTAR Ability is Starbirth, which allows the Trainer to find any two cards from their deck for their hand. This wildly powerful Pokemon made our top 10 most valuable cards list three times for good reason – it’s easily one of the best cards in Brilliant Stars.

Raikou V & Entei V

Two of the three Legendary beasts made their way into Brilliant Stars. This completes the trio with Suicune V having been printed in Evolving Skies. These Pokemon are paired together because their Abilities and attacks are identical (Suicune V included). When Raikou V or Entei V are in the Active Spot, the Trainer can draw a card once per turn. Their attack ability does 20 damage plus 20 damage for each benched Pokemon in the game. That means they have the ability to do up to 220 damage with an attack that costs only two Energy.

Raichu V

Raichu V bends the rules allowing players to attack with Raichu on their first turn if they do first. Don’t have the Energy? No problem. The Trainer also searches their deck for Lightning Energy and attaches it to Raichu V. Raichu V’s other attack has the ability to ramp up and do extreme damage: for two Energy, the Trainer can discard any number of Lightning Energy from any of their Pokemon in play. Raichu V does 60 damage for each Energy discarded this way. With the right amount of Energy, there’s no Pokemon Raichu V wouldn’t be able to Knock Out. 

Moltres

Moltres (021/173)

Moltres is a Basic Pokemon with a powerful attack that’s easy to overlook. For one Fire Energy, Moltres deals 20 damage. But if this 120 HP Pokemon has any damage counters itself, it does 90 damage instead. A Basic Pokemon that can do that much damage for only one Energy is certainly going to be played in many Standard decks.

Whimsicott VSTAR

Whimsicott VSTAR (065/172)

The cutest new VSTAR Pokemon is also incredibly deadly. Whimsicott VSTAR has a strong attack in Tricky Wind, which does 160 damage. This attack also prevents the opponent from playing Tools or Special Energy their next turn. But, of course, it’s Whimsicott VSTAR’s attack that really shines. For each Energy attached to Whimsicott, Cotton Ball Star does 60 damage to one of the opponent’s Pokemon. Yet another attack with the potential to Knock Out any Pokemon.

Best Uncommons from Brilliant Stars

There are a lot of fantastic uncommons in the Brilliant Stars series as well. The following are some of my favorite additions (or returns), many of which also have a Secret Rare version with special art.

Double Turbo Energy

Double Turbo Energy (151/172)

This Special Energy provides two colorless Energy to the Pokemon it’s attached to. There is a small catch: the opponent’s Pokemon will receive 20 less damage when the Pokemon this Energy is attached to attacks. Highly worth the trade-off, this will be a common deck staple. 

Manaphy

Manaphy is a Basic Water Pokemon with a stellar Ability. Simply, this Pokemon protects a Trainer’s benched Pokemon from receiving damage from opponent attacks. This will be a common inclusion in Standard decks for this reason alone.

Liepard

Another Pokemon with a highly useful Ability, Liepard allows a player to draw two cards once per turn. The only penalty is they have to first discard a card, but that is often highly worth the trade off. This Stage 1 Darkness Pokemon does decent damage too: 60 for two colorless Energy.

Ultra Ball

It’s back, baby. Ultra Ball returns to the Standard format with Brilliant Stars. This Trainer card allows a player to search for any Pokemon to put in their hand, the only catch is they must discard two cards. With proper graveyard return, that’s hardly even a penalty. 

Choice Belt

Choice Belt is a Tool, so it attaches to a Pokemon. That Pokemon’s attacks deal 30 more damage to the opponent’s Active Pokemon V. What’s not to like? 

Cynthia’s Ambition

Cynthia's Ambition (138/172)

Well, prepare to buy three of these for your deck. Cynthia’s Ambition allows the Trainer to draw until they have five cards in their hand. Unless, of course, an opponent Knocked Out one of their Pokemon last turn. In that case, the Trainer draws until they have eight cards. Yes, please. 

Collapsed Stadium

This card restricts both player’s number of Benched Pokemon to four. When the card is played, players have to discard a Benched Pokemon if they have five, beginning with the player who played this double-edged Stadium.

What cards are you chasing from Brilliant Stars? Let us know in the comments below! 

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