August 10, 2020

A Look Back at Twenty Years of Slowpoke Cards in the Pokémon TCG

We pick our favorite cards of the Dopey Pokémon throughout the years.

When it comes to Pokémon, Slowpoke is as iconic as they come. Just the mention of the Dopey Pokémon puts an image in your head of it snoozing under a tree somewhere, living a carefree life of leisure. What better place to see Slowpoke in its element than in the many Pokémon Trading Card Game cards it has graced?

By our count, Slowpoke has been on about two dozen cards in the past twenty years, and often doing exactly what you'd think—chilling, eating, snoozing... Typical Slowpoke stuff. We surveyed the many cards Slowpoke has appeared on and selected a few of our favorites. Take a very slow walk down memory lane to see Slowpoke throughout the history of the Pokémon TCG!


Slowpoke's introduction in the Pokémon TCG in 1999 was not exactly flashy—the poor Pokémon is all alone in an empty field. Artist Miki Tanaka has gone on to be one of the most prolific illustrators for the Pokémon TCG, and continues to provide distinct art to the game to this day. Slowpoke's artwork might be a little low-key, but its card was pretty useful at the time, giving a players a way to retrieve Trainer cards from the discard pile via Scavenge.


It might be known as the Dopey Pokémon, but it's become apparent over the years that Slowpoke also loves to eat. In late 2000, artist Tomokazu Komiya depicted Slowpoke living it up under a tree full of delicious Berries. (You can see Komiya's more recent art featured in Sun & Moon—Unified Minds). Reflecting Slowpoke's dual type, the Pokémon's two attacks each use a different type of Energy, either letting you Paralyze the opposing Pokémon with Psyshock or pile on damage with Water Gun.


Artist Yuka Morii's sculpting talents have added a wonderfully distinct style to the Pokémon TCG, and those skills were used on Slowpoke in the FireRed & LeafGreen expansion in 2004. It looks like someone has stumbled upon Slowpoke on a late-night beach walk. Slowpoke doesn't have a reputation for being the brightest Pokémon, so it's no surprise that its Confusion Wave attack Confuses both the opposing Pokémon and Slowpoke itself.


There is nothing cuter than seeing Pokémon in the wild living their best lives. Saya Tsuruta captured a moment of Slowpoke bliss with the Pokémon snoozing in a bed of flowers on a beautiful day. It's exactly how we imagine Slowpoke spending its day, and frankly, we're a little envious. Slowpoke's attacks were clearly made with the art in mind (or vice versa): its Rest attack heals the Pokémon while making it Asleep, and its Tumble Over attack chips in what was a decent amount of damage when it came out in 2008!


One of the more iconic locations in the Johto region is the Slowpoke Well, where we discover one of Team Rocket's most nefarious plots—to cut off and sell Slowpoke tails! Artist Sumiyoshi Kizuki moves that moment into the Pokémon TCG world early in 2010 in the HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion, and judging by the wholeness of its tail, Team Rocket fortunately hasn't gotten their hands on this defiant Pokémon.


Slowpoke has often had wonderfully playful art in the Pokémon TCG, but it's hard to argue that its contribution to winning decks has been that great. However, one standout card came in August 2010 in the HS—Undaunted expansion, where Slowpoke's Rambunctious Party attack could help fill up your Bench for little cost. Plus, this card art by Kagemaru Hideno is still wonderfully playful, with Pikachu and Totodile getting in on the fun.


In a truly weird scene from the XY—BREAKpoint expansion from 2015, Akira Komoyama chose to show Slowpoke leading a march of Ducklett behind it, in what has to be the world's slowest parade. Still, it looks like they're all having the time of their lives. What sets this card apart is the cameo appearance of Shellder, who obviously plays an important part in Slowpoke's evolutionary path.


TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX made a splash toward the second half of the Sun & Moon Series, and quite literally did so with Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX in 2019. The two Water-type Pokémon are a natural pair, both with a rep for being just a little confused all the time. We particularly love this version of the card, where a Shellder has mistakenly taken hold of Psyduck's tail, much like the memorable scene from the episode “The Evolution Solution” in the second season of Pokémon the Series. Oh, and Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX is no slouch on the battlefield, with its Thrilling Times-GX attack capable of doing unreal damage (for an unreal amount of Energy).


Slowpoke is usually shown in its natural state of ignorant bliss, but the recent art by Misa Tsutsui takes the Pokémon on a different direction in the Hidden Fates expansion, also in 2019. Not in the 20 or so years of Slowpoke in the Pokémon TCG have we seen it so riled up! Don't worry—as fierce as the Pokémon's disposition, the only attack it knows is Yawn, which puts the opposing Active Pokémon into a fitful slumber.


Slowpoke continues to be a fan favorite around the world, and we can't wait to see where it'll show up in the Pokémon TCG next! Until then, be sure to check out even more Slowpoke cards in the Pokémon TCG database.

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