In honor of this week's release of Clauncher in Pokémon GO, let's take a look back at some of the most iconic Clauncher cards from the Pokémon TCG. As with Skrelp, the other new Pokémon released this week, there are only four Clauncher cards ever released in the TCG so… well, let's just look at 'em all.
Well, well, well, we have a little nasty boy on our hands, don't we? 5ban Graphics introduces Clauncher to the Pokémon TCG with the Kalos Starter Set, a small introductory set that came in special releases. This is one of my favorites of the small bunch due to the solid design on Clauncher, the "give no Fs" mood that this Pokémon exudes, and the depth and nuance in the color work that 5ban uses on the background. Overall, a great introductory card that I'd have loved to see as a holo in the Black & White era style (even though Clauncher didn't exist during that time) due to the liney artwork.
This one, for me, is a bit indicative of the reason why some collectors critique 5ban Graphics' work on certain cards. When they lean too hard into the computer-generated style, as I believe they do in this Furious Fists Clauncher, the style ends up looking unfortunately dated rather quickly. Funny enough, the mixture of 3D artwork and a photographed background ends up making this look almost like a GO Snapshot from Pokémon GO, which actually makes me like it better. It'd be cool if that was a purposeful theme and the Pokémon TCG did a GO Snapshot style set, but in just a standard set of cards with otherwise normal art, this one sticks out a bit.
Clauncher sparkles in this Kanako Eo artwork from the underrated set Steam Siege. It has become something of a meme to complain about Steam Siege as a set, but it actually has quite a lot of great artwork.
Finally, the last time we saw Clauncher was in the middle of the Sun & Moon era in Forbidden Light. Midori Harada captures the Pokémon in a dynamic action shot, where Clauncher gives a glare that just dares the TCG to keep ignoring it.