In honor of today's Swinub Spotlight Hour in Pokémon GO, let's take a look back at some of the most iconic Swinub cards from the Pokémon TCG including both vintage and modern. We'd love to hear from you, so chime in with your top Swinub picks in the comments below.
Swinub first appeared with art by the iconic Ken Sugimori, the main artist and designer for Pokémon as a franchise, full stop, in Neo Genesis. Neo Genesis was the first of the four sets in the Neo era, ushering in the second generation of Pokémon to the TCG. This is one of the most celebrated and beloved sets ever released and, when looking back at the cards, its easy to see why. There is a timelessness to the style of cards like this with Sugimori's clean, precise linework, but the TCG had already begun experimenting a bit with different styles in sets like Team Rocket and Gym Heroes/Challenge. What a time this was.
Skyridge, an e-series-era set, saw clay artist Yuka Morii deliver this sculpted Swinub. Morii has been enriching the Pokémon TCG for many generations of these creatures with her unique cards, and this early example of Swinub shows just how great her work was from the very start. A small touch I like here, too, is that Swinub's eyes are most often depicted as the lower half of a circle, showing a sort of droopy, sloth-like look. Here, Morii's depiction of Swinub's eyes turned up communicates the idea that this is quite the happy little Pokémon.
Finally, we end with a more modern Swinub card from XY: BREAKthrough by Atsuko Nishida. We may just be six years out from the release of this set, but I already look back on this era with nostalgia. Cards like this, which featured unique styles that ranged from this soft and cute blushy Swinub, all the way to the same set's brilliantly strange painting Smeargle, defined the XY era as a generation of embracing artistic variety in the Pokémon TCG.