What’s poppin’ PTCGO Store readers? Are you hyped for the release of Brilliant Stars? I love the new Pokemon VSTAR and I’ve been building as many Pokemon online decks as possible to test this set for our community! Brilliant Stars contains some insane cards, like Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars], that seem to break the game as we know it! VSTARs have a similar power level as VMAX Pokemon, have special VSTAR Abilities / Attacks, and are only worth two Prize Cards. While the set includes many amazing cards, like the reprinted Ultra Ball [Sun and Moon] card, perhaps there are some other cards that you haven’t had the opportunity to discover. That's why this article is here - I’m going to do all of the tests and share my top five cards from Brilliant Stars! If you wanna know all of the relevant cards, I’ve actually gone ahead and included a “buy list” as well to share all of the cards I plan on picking up from this set. If you’re trying to pick up some PTCGO codes to grow your online collection, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on your next order here at PTCGO Store. That being said, let’s jump into these new cards!

5. Magma Basin

Magma Basin

Magma Basin [Brilliant Stars] is one of my favorite cards from Brilliant Stars for a huge personal reason, I love Fire-type decks! I’ve built up an impressive resume with some notable Fire-type decks, such as my Regionals-winning Blacephalon-GX [Lost Thunder] deck and my Internationals Finalist Reshiram & Charizard-GX [Unbroken Bonds] deck, so I’m personally hyped for this card! Adding Fire-type Energy acceleration is a huge boost of support to an entire type of card and it might bring back some previously successful Pokemon online decks into the spotlight! While I still need to test many of these concepts, I look forward to testing Centiskorch VMAX [Darkness Ablaze], Entei V [Brilliant Stars], and Charizard VMAX [Shining Fates] with Magma Basin. Be sure to pair this card with “discarding cards” such as Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars], Quick Ball [Sword and Shield], and/or Kindler [Brilliant Stars] to get Fire Energy in the discard pile.

4. Double Turbo Energy

Double Turbo Energy

Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] might remind a few players of Double Colorless Energy [Shining Legends] and I have to say the cards look incredibly similar. Double Turbo Energy reduces your damage output by 20, but you can attach it to any Pokemon - no restrictions at all. Similar to Magma Basin [Brilliant Stars], Double Turbo Energy breathes life into some decks that have been held back due to their Energy requirements. Togekiss VMAX [Vivid Voltage] might see the light of day and newcomers, such as Arceus V [Brilliant Stars], can soar high! Look for Pokemon that have two Colorless Energy as part of their attack requirements and see if Double Turbo Energy can fulfill that need.

3. Choice Belt

Choice Belt

Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars] is a spiritual reprint of Choice Band [Guardians Rising] and while that might not sound like much, it’s huge for the game! Some Pokemon have struggled to hit proper damage thresholds and an additional 30 damage can be huge! Gengar VMAX [Fusion Strike] can now hit OHKOs on Pokemon VMAX easier and  Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] can get over the hurdle that Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] presents with its damage reduction. Think about all of the games that you’ve been short by only a few damage and realize that Choice Belt might’ve allowed you to win those games.

2. Ultra Ball

Ultra Ball

Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars] has long been a staple in this game since it came out in Dark Explorers but somehow was rotated out of Standard for the past few years. Now that it’s back, it will likely be a four-of inclusion in most decks because it can search out any Pokemon! When it comes to playing Evolution Pokemon, Pokemon VMAX, and Pokemon VSTAR - we don’t have many options to search for any Pokemon. Sure, Evolution Incense [Sword and Shield] might be able to search for those Pokemon, but nothing like the options we have with Ultra Ball. Cards like this end up becoming format staples and are really the backbone of most decks we play with - this card is pure cardboard gold.

1. Arceus VSTAR

Arceus VSTAR

Here we are, the best card in all of the Brilliant Stars - Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars]. Looking at Arceus V [Brilliant Stars], its first attack allows you to quickly accelerate Energy to your Pokemon V for a single Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] which makes it a staple in most Pokemon online decks! You can quickly power up an Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX [Chilling Reign], Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies], and even newer cards like Raichu V [Brilliant Stars]. Arceus VSTAR takes that same attack, making it cost extra Energy, but it now does 200 damage! Considering you can do 200 damage (180 after Double Turbo Energy) and accelerate Energy to any Pokemon V that you like for a two Prize Card Pokemon, Arceus VSTAR is broken! Did I mention it’s VSTAR Ability yet? It can search your deck for any two cards once during the game! Did you start off poorly? Grab a Professor’s Research (Sword and Shield) and anything else you need? Planning a big turn? Rip a Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars] and Double Turbo Energy from your deck! Trying to win? Jump for joy by guaranteeing that Boss’s Orders [Rebel Clash] to steal the game! Arceus VSTAR fits in many decks and is the main reason I’ve been loving the Sword and Shield to Brilliant Stars format!

Buy List


While everyone is invited to pick up the cards they like, the following cards are currently on my early buy list for Brilliant Stars. Feel free to use my list as a guide to help yourself navigate this set. Some cards might not be included here due to their uncertainty being included in our English set. Let’s check it out:

Must Haves

  • 4x Floatzel 029/100 S9
  • 2x Lumineon V 030/100 S9
  • 2x Manaphy 031/100 S9
  • 4x Bibarel 082/100 S9
  • 4x Arceus V 122/172 BST
  • 4x Arceus VSTAR 123/172 BST
  • 4x Minccino 085/100 S9
  • 4x Ultra Ball 089/100 S9
  • 4x Choice Belt 090/100 S9
  • 4x Cheren's Care 134/172 BST
  • 4x Professor's Research 095/100 S9
  • 4x Roseanne's Backup 096/100 S9
  • 4x Boss's Orders 097/100 S9
  • 4x Collapsed Stadium 098/100 S9
  • 4x Magma Basin 144/172 BST
  • 4x Double Turbo Energy 151/172 BST
  • 4x Entei V 056/414 S1
  • 4x Raikou V 137/414 S1
  • 4x Liepard 272/414 S1
  • 4x Team Yell's Cheer 388/414 S1


  • 4x Grotle 007/100 S9
  • 4x Shaymin V 012/100 S9
  • 4x Shaymin VSTAR 013/100 S9
  • 4x Charizard V 017/172 BST
  • 3x Charizard VSTAR 018/172 BST
  • 4x Moltres 021/172 BST
  • 4x Infernape 021/100 S9
  • 4x Raichu V 034/100 S9
  • 4x Pachirisu 040/100 S9
  • 2x Dusknoir 047/100 S9
  • 4x Whimsicott V 049/100 S9
  • 3x Whimsicott VMAX 050/100 S9
  • 4x Lucario 055/100 S9
  • 2x Muk 061/100 S9
  • 2x Weavile 063/100 S9
  • 4x Honchkrow V 064/100 S9
  • 2x Flygon V 072/100 S9
  • 2x Farfetch'd 076/100 S9
  • 1x Tornadus 087/199 S9
  • 4x Kindler 143/172 BST
  • 4x Cynthia's Ambition 093/100 S9
  • 4x Simisear V 063/414 S1
  • 4x Kingler V 080/414 S1
  • 3x Kingler VMAX 081/414 S1
  • 2x Zamazenta V 313/414 S1
  • 4x Marnie's Pride 408/414 S1

Time to Test

I hope this Brilliant Stars article has inspired many of you trainers out there to play some Pokemon! There is the possibility that this set release coincides with PTCG Live, but we’re currently unsure how the rollout will happen overall. That being said, the PTCGO store aims to be the best way for you to acquire PTCGO codes no matter which platform players are playing Pokemon on. You can use my discount code zlesage5 to save 5% on your next order! As for me, I always get inspired by new set releases and use it as a time to explore as much of the format as possible. I hope to share my findings with our community and write about them here! I still have a bunch of testing left to do so I’m gonna start that and catch up with all of you later!

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PTCGO store. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. As Zach Lesage PTCG, he creates YouTube content, streams on Twitch, and provides hot takes on his Twitter. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokemon events and follow him on Twitter @ZachLesagePTCG.