The Best of Pokemon Card Art

by Pikkdogs ~ February 16th, 2011.

A big hello to all members of Omar-Nation, this is Pikkdogs here today with a different kind of article.  Today we won’t be talking about SP decks, Lost World, or Gengar.  Today we will be talking about an overlooked part of the card game, card art.                                                      

There have been a surge in the amount of Pokemon TCG information in the past year or so.  If you want to read or listen to information about the game, just turn on your PC and you will hear all about the latest tips and tricks to win card games.  But, one aspect of the game that has been overlooked by these new websites is collecting.  There are a lot of people who only participate in this game to collect em all, so its nice to connect with these people at times.   While Pokemon players mostly care about the playability of cards, Pokemon collectors look at card art.  So thats why I thought it would be nice to have an article on Pokemon Card Art.

Everyone looks at the art on the cards when we open them, but most of us don’t give the pictures a second look.  Art in the Base Set days was fairly simple.  There would be a simple depiction of a Pokemon just standing around against a mono-chromatic  background.  Today card art is more complicated with a lot of different backgrounds and situations.  The art today is varied and sophisticated, enough so that I think that it should be looked at more closely.

So that’s why we are here today.  I am not an art person, I can’t judge or appraise art, so I will not be ranking any art today.  Instead, I will give several cards awards in different categories, Oscar style. The only rules of this contest is that to be considered for an award, a card must have be in the current modified format.   So without any further wait lets get to the Art Awards.

Category #1 Scariest Card Art

This category is for the card with the most ferocious and frighting artwork.  The winner of this category will need to make you wanna pee your pants.  The winner is……………………Rayquaza C

Choosing the winner of this category is tough because Pokemon art is rarely about being scary. Pokemon art is mostly made for kids, so a lot of the Pokemon are really cute and fluffy.  But some of the Pokemon do have a bad side, and Rayquaza is one of these Pokemon.  Look at this art,  Rayquaza looked teed off and ready to strike.  If I saw this thing coming at me, I really would be scared out of my mind.

Category #2-Cutest Card Art

Unlike the last category, this category is not something foreign to Pokemon art.  Pokemon were made to be soft and fluffy, so the problem here is to pick the softest and fluffiest.  The winner is…………………..Pikachu SF.

Of course this is a tough decision, but this Pikachu has some great art, and darn it if its not the cutest thing I’ve seen.  Pikachu is rolling on his back smiling and kicking around in the grass.  I also like the depiction of his famous red cheeks, they look like cute little dimples.  The grass itself has some great artwork too.  I like all the detail in the different blades of grass.

Category #3- Best Card Art in a Nautical Setting

Pokemon are known for being both in the land and sea.  Drawing water is a lot different then drawing a pastoral scene, there are things like bubbles and waves to be aware of.  This makes water Pokemon kinda of cool and unique.  The winner of this award is……….Golduck Triumphant

I love all the bubbles and how the water moves as Golduck is moving.  The water in this picture is just plain cool, plus Golduck is one scary duck type thing.  He seems to be pointing his talons right at you.  So for these reasons I am confident in my choice of Golduck Tm.

Category #4- Best Card Art in an Aerial Setting.

Just like in a nautical setting, drawing an aerial setting is different.  While drawing water is harder then drawing air, it still presents its own challenges.  How to draw clouds and the tops of trees and buildings can be difficult.  The winner for this category is……. Latios HGSS Promo #11

This Latios card has it all.  A great bright colored picture of Latios in flight, the twinkling of stars, whisps of clouds, and effects of light.  All these aspects come together to make one heck of a pretty picture.  I love how the holographic parts of the card make it look like the stars are twinkling.  I also love the use of light here.  Its just a great piece of card art.

Category #5- Best Supporting Actor in a Card.

Pokemon are not usually featured in other Pokemon’s card, you rarely see a Pikachu pop up on an Empoleon card. For the most part a Pokemon card usually features 1 type of Pokemon only.  The last couple sets have proved that this trend is slowly changing.  Its always cool to see a lot of different kind of Pokemon on one card, because its rare.  So I thought it is time that we honor those cards.  Also, Pokemon are also commonly seen on trainer cards.  So lets see who makes the best cameo on a Pokemon or Trainer/Supporter card.  The winner is…….. Buneary and Piplup for their appearance on Poke Healer +.

What a cute couple.  These two Pokemon that were featured in the Anime at the time, look adorable in this trainer card.  Even though the card art doesn’t really make sense, how is putting Pokemon in bubble healing them?, the cuteness of the card shines through.  The colors on this card are really bright and extra colorful.

Category #6- Best Card Art featuring the Lost Zone

The Japanese Lost Link Mini Set featured some great artwork, most of which featured the lost zone in the card art.  The Lost Zone in card art is drawn as if it were a portal to another dimension, drawn with swirling dark colors.  Drawing a Pokemon controlling, or getting sucked into, the Lost Zone is kinda cool so thats why I gave it its own category.  The winner is…….Snorlax Cl.

I love this card art.  It features a large Snorlax happily sleeping as the Lost Zone is slowly sucking in the scenery around him.  Snorlax is in a forest setting laying against a tree, the grass and the tree all are drawn very well and look awesome.  Plus, Snorlax looks adorable as if is starting to get sucked into the Lost Zone.  It all makes for a funny and cute scene.

Category #7- Best Art in a Legend Card

Legend Cards are known for two things.  One is their great artwork, and other other is poor playability.  The latter makes them a disappointment for competitive players, but the former makes it great for this article.  Legend cards are normally very colorful and have very unique depictions of Pokemon.  For this reason Legend cards should be honored for their artwork.  The winner of this category is ………. Ho-Oh Legend

This was a very tough category to pick a winner for.  Each Legend card has great artwork, with lots of bright colors, artwork of the sky or water, and frightening images of Pokemon.  But, I think Ho-Oh legend is the best.  The card depicts Ho-Oh in flight in great details even down to its Talons.  Whats even cooler is that Ho-Oh seems to be consumed in fire.  The colors are also pretty cool here, the green works great with the bright red.

Category #8- Best Art in a Level X or Prime Card.

Unlike Legend Cards, Level X and Prime cards known for being great cards in terms of playability.  But, they also don’t slouch on the artwork.  Level X cards are known for big pictures of Pokemon that seem to jump outside of the cards barriers and painted against a colorful background.  Pokemon prime artwork usually features a closeup of a Pokemon’s face.  Because of their importance in the Trading Card Game and their unique artwork, they deserve their own category.  The winner of this category is  …………. Rhyperior Lv.X.

This artwork is very cool.  It starts with the standard Lv. X holographic pattern.  Then you see a picture of a big Rhyperior that appears to be jumping in the air throwing a large rock.  The rock almost seems 3-D, its coming right at you.  Too top it all off Rhyperior has a big smile on its face like its evil or something.

Category #9- Worst Card Art

If card art can be good, it also can be bad.  Either poor depictions of the character or poor color choices can make a card unsightly.  We have all seen card art that makes them say. “huh, well lets go on to the next card in the pack.”  The winner of this award is ………… The entire Pokemon Rumble Set.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, “What the crap were you guys thinking?”  The artwork here seems to all be done in crayon and based on weird blocky geometric shapes.  Seriously, what is up with that Skuntank, it looks like a ball of purple cookie dough or something.  And why is Gyarados on the beach, its a sea monster not a tourist.  And finally, why are Heatran’s traffic cone like legs not even connected to his weirdly shaped body?  There are cards not in this set that could have easily won this award, but for being this awful in an entire set, the award goes to the Rumble set.

Category #10- Best Art in a Trainer/Supporter/Stadium card.

When talking about Pokemon art we are normally talking about the Pokemon cards themselves.  People love looking at different versions of Pokemon, but trainer cards are not usually looked at as main stream Pokemon art.  This category honors these unsung heroes of Pokemon cards, and seeks to find the best T/S/S card art.  The winner of this category is………. Lost World.

Lost World Clash of LegendsWhen this card first came out, everyone was in an uproar about what effects this card had on the game.  Some loved it some hated it, but everyone had a strong opinion on how this card will effect the game.  What was lost in all the hype was that this card has some freaking sweet art.  A rocky landscape is being sucked into the Lost Zone while the sky is turning blue and red.  I wanted to give this award to either Lost Remover or Dawn Stadium, but once I really looked at the card art I knew there was only one winner.

So that is it for my tribute to Pokemon card art.  If I left out some of your favorite card art, please let me know in the comment box.  We usually don’t get a chance to talk about card art, so it’s nice to just sit back and appreicate the art.

So long and thanks for all the fish!.


Category: Pokemon Art | Tags: , ,
  • Anonymous

    PIKACHU IS NOT THE CUTEST POKEMON ART EVER! CLEFFA CL IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nevertheless, nice article! I was going to do one on 6P, but I scrapped the Idea as searching all the cards seemed a bit too time consuming.

    • Anonymous

      it was a very hard process to do. I didn’t want to just look at my collection cause its not complete so I didn’t want to leave any cards I didn’t have out. So I had to look through a lot of scans. It took 3 days to write.

      Cleffa is a cute card. Its a good card cause Cleffas like jumping off a cliff or something, its good card art. But, I still gotta say that Piakchu still is a really cute card.

    • lol

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with you on LEGEND and Lv.X
    I think DPL (I think this is the best art ever made even though I like the Ho-oh) is the legend and I think Flygon, Charizard G and Rayquaza C are all better than Rypherior for LV.X. But hey, this is all opinion :)

  • Anonymous

    I think Sunflora’s cuter. (Yes, I just committed sacrilege on Picachu. “Sacrichu”.) And Lucario’s a better Lost World pic–he’s like, “I punch so hard I knock you into other dimension in time and space!” I also like all the Trainers that have various Pokemon suction devices, so my fave supporting cast would have to be Bronzong (Poke-Turn) or Carnivine (Pokemon Circulator).

    +1 on Golduck and Rayquaza though.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yeah Honchkrow is some interesting art, the problem was it doesn’t fit into a lot of my categories.

    There are a lot of good art, that just couldn’t make it in the list.