In honor of today's Dratini Spotlight Hour in Pokémon GO, let's take a look back at some of the most iconic Dratini cards from the Pokémon TCG. This includes both vintage and modern. We'd love to hear from you, so chime in with your top Dratini picks in the comments below.
We begin our journey with the classic Dratini from Base Set, drawn by none other than head Pokémon designer and long-time TCG artist, Ken Sugimori. One thing that is notable about this card is the background detail here, which shows Dratini on a beach as sunset dyes it a gorgeous purple. Back in the early days of the TCG, many of the cards and especially many of Sugimori's cards were primarily vehicles to showcase the character design with little background. Especially the holos. This Dratini is a major exception and is among the most beautiful of the set.
Here, we get a more standard for the time Dratini card from Gym Heroes, again drawn by Sugimori. One thing that makes this card memorable for me, though, is that this is Erika's Dratini. Erika is primarily a Grass-type trainer, but I love how the Pokémon TCG used their selections to broaden her typing to include whimsical Pokémon like Clefairy and Dratini.
We move into the Black & White era with the mini-expansion Dragon Vault, which showcased a collection of all-holo Dragon-types (which had been newly added to the TCG at that time) with only twenty cards in the set. Naoki Saito's artwork looks great, with Dratini swimming through what looks like water lit by a burst of rainbow energy. With the liney holographic pattern of the time, this is easily among one of the best Dratini cards.
Now, we move to the modern era with Sun & Moon: Team Up, where Midori Harada delivers a Dratini card lovingly referred to as fat Dratini. I don't know what is it about chonks in the Pokémon TCG, but a Pokémon who has clearly been eating a few extra Nanab Berries is somehow so much more lovable.