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The best rare Dragonite Pokemon cards

Looking for the most valuable, rarest Dragonite Pokémon cards? Here are the coolest Dragonite cards, the ones that you'll want to add to your collection.

Pokemon TCG art showing the Pokemon Dragonite sleeping on a cloud

Here are the most expensive, impressive, or otherwise plain cool Dragonite Pokémon cards. While some fans don’t like how the aesthetic of Dragonair and Dratini is lost in its sequel, there is something to be said for Dragonite’s awesome power disguised behind an adorable appearance. 

Dragonite might look like a sports mascot or winged moomin, but it’s undeniably strong, both in the videogames and the trading card game. There are lots of rare Pokémon cards featuring this big orange dragon, so we’re going to take a look at some of the best Dragonites around.

Dragonite V Sword and Shield Promo

The best Dragonite card for Expanded play

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Dragonite V Sword and Shield Promo specifications:
Set SWSH Black Star Promos
Release date September 2021
Estimated price $4.41
Reasons to buy
  • Cheap, affordable Dragonite
  • Powerful card, fun for Expanded
Reasons to avoid
  • You don’t like awkward energy costs
  • You want a card that plays well in Standard
  • You mostly care about collecting valuable cards

If you want an affordable, highly powerful version of Dragonite, this Sword and Shield promo version of Dragonite V is up there. The full art version of the same card from Pokemon Evolving Skies can set you back a hundred dollars, but this version, from the Dragonite V Sword and Shield box is still pretty, functionally identical, and ultra cheap.

As for what the Dragonite card actually does, its main attack deals a pretty impressive 250 damage – very solid for a basic Pokemon card, though your bench does take a hit. Shred is situationally useful, too, with damage that cannot be avoided through abilities.

Dragonite V, and its evolved form Dragonite VMAX, don’t see much play in Standard, but you can get a good Dragonite V(MAX) deck going in Expanded, where you’ve got more support from the likes of Double Dragon energy.

Delta Species Dragonite

A Lightning type Dragonite

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Delta Species Dragonite specifications:
Set EX Delta Species
Release date October 2005
Estimated price (near mint) $130
Reasons to buy
  • Funky typing
  • Awesome glowy art
Reasons to avoid
  • Not playable
  • Outshone by the ex version

Whether you’re a fan or a foe of Scarlet and Violet’s type-changing crystal hats, you have to agree that the Delta Species did the weird typing thing before it was cool.

And this Delta Species Dragonite is plenty cool. Representing the Metal and Lightning types, like some kind of dragon-shaped Magnezone, this card would be horribly outmatched in the modern day, but in 2005 it was pretty powerful, able to dish out damage and maybe dodge an attack – plus loading up on energy thanks to its ability.

Interestingly, until 2012 there was no Dragon Pokemon card type, so at the time this Dragonite was printed, it would typically have been Colorless, not a specific Dragon typing.

Fossil Dragonite

The first Dragon-type Pokémon

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Fossil Dragonite specifications:
Set Fossil
Release date October 1999
Estimated price $350
Reasons to buy
  • You like hunting first edition Pokémon cards
  • It’s one of the cutest Dragonites
Reasons to avoid
  • You hate the old style Pokémon cards
  • You only want dragon-type dragons

As we just mentioned, early dragon cards were colorless, and this Fossil Dragonite was the very earliest, the first appearance of this Pokémon type in the trading card game.

Printed in the third Pokemon TCG expansion ever, in 1999, the holo version of this Dragonite was one of the most sought after cards from its set, thanks to its power and the absolutely adorable artwork.

Nowadays, interestingly enough, you can get very affordable and very expensive versions of the card. It all depends on how you feel about first edition Pokémon cards, the shorter print run versions that are so much harder to get hold of.

If you don’t mind an unlimited version that’s not holofoil, you can pick up Fossil Dragonite for about $10. But the rarer versions of this card go for at least $300!

Light Dragonite

A hard-to-find Dragonite Pokémon card

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Light Dragonite specifications:
Set Neo Destiny
Release date February 2002
Estimated price $250
Reasons to buy
  • One of the few ‘Light’ Pokémon cards
  • Rare card from one of Pokémon’s best sets
Reasons to avoid
  • You prefer the dark side

In 2002, Neo Destiny introduced the concept of ‘Light Pokémon’, particularly friendly versions of regular ‘mons with white and gold art boxes, and abilities that were often centred on healing or protection.

One of the rarest of these cards (though not as rare as the ‘Shining’ cards from the same set) was Light Dragonite, a version of the dragon that couldn’t deal too much damage, but was a pain nonetheless – preventing the effects of attacks and shutting down special energy types.

As with all the cards from early Pokémon sets, there are first edition or unlimited versions, though here even the unlimited card will set you back at least $100.

Dark Dragonite

A Dragonite card so evil it has minions

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Dark Dragonite specifications:
Set Team Rocket
Release date April 2000
Estimated price $150
Reasons to buy
  • It’s the only card called ‘a god of destruction’
  • You’re a prospective supervillain
Reasons to avoid
  • You can’t bear to see Dragonite corrupted like this

Before Light Pokemon, there were Dark. Dark Dragonite is one of the most hilarious Pokémon in terms of flavor, because it’s essentially a supervillain, yet as a Dragonite, still looks like a children’s cartoon character.

The Pokédex text at the bottom describes Dark Dragonite as a ‘God of Destruction’ and its ‘Summon Minions’ ability lets it bring forth any basic Pokémon to the bench. You can just tell from its angry eyes, this Dragonite means business.

A second Dark Dragonite was printed in EX Team Rocket Returns, but for this list we’ve decided to go for the original.

Dragonite GX

Dragonite GX was one of the best decks in its meta

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Dragonite GX specifications:
Set Sun & Moon: Unified Minds
Release date August 2019
Estimated price $3.50
Reasons to buy
  • You like big damage
  • It was recently a top card in the TCGO meta
Reasons to avoid
  • You’re a collector, after old cards
  • It’s a very energy intensive strategy

If you want a Dragonite that just boasts big numbers, Dragonite GX is the card for you. While its attack still won’t be enough to take down the highest HP Pokémon cards, it’s very impressive nonetheless. An output of 270 damage can deal with most threats effectively.

You need a lot of energy to use Dragonite’s attack (and you then have to discard it all immediately), but interestingly that can be energy of any type. That means there are many different ways to suit up your Dragonite GX, ready for a big hit.

The most popular strategy was to use Rillaboom, whose Voltage Beat could stick two grass energy onto Dragonite each and every turn.

For a look at some more of the best Pokémon cards, here are our picks for the best Charizard Pokémon cards and the best Pikachu Pokémon cards.