In honor of today's Swablu Community Day in Pokémon GO, let's take a look back at some of the most iconic Altaria cards from the Pokémon TCG. This includes both vintage and modern. We'd love to hear from you, so chime in with your top Altaria picks in the comments below.
Atsuko Nishida, who also drew the first Swablu card for the same set, illustrates this Altaria debut in EX Dragon. This one looks to me almost like an illustration from a deluxe copy of Lord of the Rings. Quite glorious indeed.
Then, we move to XY: Roaring Skies with a style of card that I feel is criminally underrated: Ancient Trait cards. These were essentially half-art cards, but unlike the current Pokémon Vs which are similar in visual concept, these aren't classified as Ultra Rares. Even common cards could be Ancient Trait. Some were holo-rares though, and promo versions even had galaxy foil. Overall, it's a terrific style that I miss quite a bit, and Naoki Saito's exceptionally clean Swablu art fits it perfectly.
The golden lines of these XY-era Full Arts are something else. I'd put my credibility on the line and say that when it comes to standard Full Arts, not including Alternate Arts, the Full Arts of the Black & White and XY era are simply the best. Better than all the rest. Better than any card. Any card I've ever pulled. Ryo Ueda's Swablu here is especially stunning in XY: Fates Collide.
We end with Shiny Altaria looking ever so graceful in this Shiny GX from Hidden Fates, which introduced the idea of a complete Shiny Vault. 5ban Graphics does this one and man, oh man is it a nice card. The Dragon-type classification, which we don't always see for Altaria in the Pokémon TCG, is also a nice touch with the golden palette.