Back in November we posted China would be getting new full art versions of Venusaur V and Blastoise V in their latest Pokemon TCG set, Primordial Martial Arts. The set released on November 17th. This was the first time we ever saw these cards — and it was long after the reign of Pokemon V were over.
It turns out the set also included new rainbow rare versions of Venusaur VMAX and Blastoise VMAX! These cards were also created exclusively for China’s set; they never released in Japan or other countries.
Originally Japan only released regular prints of Venusaur V/VMAX and Blastoise V/VMAX. They were included in December 2020’s VMAX Starter Set Decks, which meant there would be no secret rare prints. In English, we received the same four prints in our Venusaur vs. Blastoise V Battle Decks and in our Venusaur and Blastoise VMAX Battle Boxes.
China has been printing large compilation sets to catch up with the rest of the world, as the TCG just released there a year ago. Their latest set, Primordial Martial Arts, is our version of 2021’s Battle Styles.
Their sets always feature unique booster pack artwork. Venusaur and Blastoise were the headline Pokemon this time, so this may be why The Pokemon Company decided to commission secret rare versions for the set. Venusaur and Blastoise are also classic, recognizable Pokemon that would presumably help the set sell better in China.
These cards will likely remain country-exclusive cards, especially since the TCG moved on from Pokemon V at the beginning of this year. Lately The Pokemon Company has been allowing different countries to have their own cards, such as promo Oddish in the United States.