In honor of this weekend's Rayquaza Raid Weekend in Pokémon GO, let's take a look back at some of the most iconic Rayquaza cards from the Pokémon TCG. We're covering modern and vintage here, and we'd love to hear from you as well. Let us know your four favorite Rayquaza cards in the comments below.
This Kouki Saitou Rayquaza from EX Emerald may not be the first-ever Rayquaza appearance in the Pokémon TCG, but at a time when the art often defaulted to computer-generated artwork that looks dated by today's eye (and perhaps even back then), this hand-drawn Rayray holographic card captured the Legendary Dragon's majesty with the proper amount of beauty and terror.
I will always lament the lowercase ex cards, which featured a silver border with galaxy-style holographic foil. Beyond the style of the card, this Rayquaza from the Nintendo Promos sees artist Ryo Ueda create a fearsome depiction of Hoenn's most ferocious Legendary. It looks almost as if we're curled up in the grasp of Rayquaza's tail as it about to lunge at us with that snapping maw. That said, how many of you have noticed that Rayquaza's teeth are under its pink gums? It's a bit less frightening when you realize it has to gum you to death if it attacks.
Easily the best Rayquaza card of all time, Masakazu Fukuda illustrated this Shiny Rayquaza Gold Star for EX Deoxys. The winding, ashen black Dragon breaks out of the card's border here in this card that is worth just under $1,000 USD raw as of this writing. It's the best card in the set and it's not even close. Among Gold Stars, this card is truly peerless.
While it still qualifies as vintage, this Black & White era set begins to move Rayquaza more into the modern era with this Full Art EX by longtime Pokémon TCG artist 5ban Graphics. The firey background and the iconic, straight-from-the-games depiction of Rayquaza makes this one of the best Rayquaza cards ever printed.