How much can a small piece of cardstock be worth?
The answer: quite a lot. If you were around in the 2000s, you've most likely heard of the Yu-Gi-Oh! and the card game that goes with it. The Japanese anime has found popularity around the world and boasts a full franchise of merch. This article shows 22 rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards and answers which is the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! card in the world.
The question many people ask when looking to start playing Yu-Gi-Oh! is: How expensive are Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards?
A booster pack usually costs $2 to $5, but to play Yu-Gi-Oh!, you need a deck. A deck consists of 40-60 cards. Ready-made decks are available for as little as $10.
Even though the series is no longer running, the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game is still popular. Every year new Yu-Gi-Oh! booster packs are released, so there are now more than 20 thousand different cards to collect.
Card prices depend on the rarity of the card. Approximately 22 billion Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards are in circulation but the following cards are particularly valuable.
Rarity of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards
There are different types and rarities of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards. The higher the rarity level, the higher the price. Not every rare card is equally rare.
Some cards are released for special occasions, such as anniversary events or tournaments. The following explains some rarity grades of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards.
- Common: cards that have no foil. They are very common and you can buy them for a few cents.
- Rares: are easy to recognize, because only the card name is in silver foil. The image on the card has no foil, just like Common cards.
- Secret Rares: can be recognized by the card name, which has a rainbow foil applied to the name, attribute, artwork, and level. The rainbow foil is most easily seen in light.
- Ultra Rares: have gold foil lettering and have holofoil artwork (and sometimes also card name, level, and attribute.)
- Tournament Prize Cards: a separate type of rarity, as you can only acquire them in tournaments. The rarity of cards at this level depends on the way they are made. It is also divided into the same rarity levels used for conventional cards, such as Super Rare, Ultra Rare, or Secret Rare.
Yu-Gi-Oh! card prices: Which is the most expensive?
You can buy rare cards for a few dollars in most places. However, there are also cards that can be worth several hundred or even a thousand dollars.
For example, a Starlight Rare card from the Battles of Legend: Armageddon Edition is worth about $350, but if it's a 10,000 Secret Rare card called "Ten Thousand Dragon", the value is about $1,500.
Although Yu-Gi-Oh!'s country of origin, Japan, has a lower selling price on average, the legendary $10 million card, the 1999 Tournament Black Luster Soldier, was auctioned in Japan.
Of course, the condition of the card also matters: In the U.S., there is a widely-accepted third-party grading company called PSA. PSA uses a 10-point grading scale, and cards graded 10 are the most valuable.
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The 22 Rarest and Most Expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the world
These top 22 Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have been called the most expensive cards in trading history.
Or are the current prices only higher due to collector demand? Let's see which card it will be, especially in Europe and America.
22. Gold Sarcophagus
Those who like rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards will love the Gold Sarcophagus! Because there are only 25 of these in the whole world!
It's incredibly difficult to find this card. Again, this is a prize for a card tournament in 2005 and 2006, and since only 25 were printed as a prize, they are so rare and sought after - as you can tell by their price of at least $1400.
21. Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn (Original)
This card is not only beautiful to look at but also worth a lot. There are two reasons:
It's worth a lot to collectors, but also powerful in the actual game. But it depends on when the card was printed - because originals are more valuable than the 2015 reprints.
The new printings just feel different than the original Minerva Yu-Gi-Oh! card - because once again, this one could only be won in one tournament, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series.
Since this card has a dual value, it is rarely available for less than $2300.
20. Skuna, the Lionine Rakan
There is little info about the printing of this card.
The only sources on the internet say that it was won at a tournament, the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship in 2009.
It is rumored that there are only 6 of these cards in the entire world. Those who have seen the card on Japanese auction platforms report prices of around $6000.
19. Swords of Revealing Light (Original)
The original version of this card is worth a small fortune. It was released as a promo for the anime - and is therefore even older than the game itself.
Even though there are no official estimates: it can be assumed that this rare Yu-Gi-Oh card is worth at least $6000.
18. Exodia the Forbidden One (LOB 1st Edition, 2002)
Although this card is banned from tournaments in America, Exodia LOB 1st Edition is still valuable for collectors.
Having all 5 pieces of Exodia together in your hand automatically wins the duel, making this card popular to play in Asia. It has a market value of up to $8,000.
17. Armament of the Lethal Lords
Like Skuna, this card has rarely been seen on auction platforms until now.
Again, it is a card that can be won in tournaments. Rumor has it that the card even changed hands once for $1 million.
Although we can't verify that, this card is certainly worth at least $9000.
16. Shrink (Ultra Rare Limited Edition)
Many people may feel that a frequently seen card like Shrink can't fetch such a high price. Actually, this card has been reprinted many times and there are many different copies. The Shrink that we mean is not a normal card.
Rather, it is the Limited Edition that fetches a top price of $9,856.
15. Dark Magician (Dark Duel Stories Promo, 2002)
This card is part of the 2002 Dark Duel Stories Yu-Gi-Oh! promotional cards. The Dark Magician was created when a pharaoh's guardian fused his spirit with his soul. The price of this card often fluctuates, today it is often auctioned for $9,999.99.
14. Red-Eyes Black Dragon (LOB 1st Edition, 2002)
In 2002, the Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon (also abbreviated as LOB) series of Yu-Gi-Oh! monster cards were released. The first edition has become a rarity.
The first edition of the Red-Eyes Black Dragon series, one of the highest valued cards in the PSA, the 70th card in the 2002 series, was auctioned for $10,600.
13. Dark Magician Girl (Ghost Card World Championship Promo, 2017)
The Dark Magician Girl Ghost Card World Championship Promo is a monster card that was released at the 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship, and was distributed as an enclosed invitation to participants and organizers only.
With only 1,000 cards in total, only 24 of the cards were deemed Class 9 intact by the PSA, making the highest bid for this card over $10,000.
12. Dark Paladin (Magician’s Force 1st Edition, 2003)
In the Western market, Magician's Force Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are highly valued. The first releases were released in 2003, but only 44 cards were valued and graded by the PSA, and only 12 of them passed maximum grade standards.
From past transactions, the value of the card was highest valued at around $8,300, but its value today is estimated to be as high as $12,000.
11. Iron Knight of Revolution (2017)
The 2017 edition of this card was only printed three times - and given out as a prize at tournaments in the same year. Many tournament cards are hard to find online, but this one is exceptionally so.
It was given as a prize for the 1st and 2nd place winner's awards, and as a consolation prize at the World Championship in the same year. That is why this card is extremely rare. And it is also rare to see this card on auction sites. It was last seen in an auction where it sold for $12,999.
10. Morphing Jar (Tournament Pack: Season 2 Promo, 2002)
Morphing Jar is a monster card that appeared in 2002 as a promotional card for World Tournaments Season 2 and was auctioned for almost $15,000.
9. Doomcaliber Knight (Shonen Jump Championship, 2008)
At a Yu-Gi-Oh! event, the 2008 Shonen Jump Championship, winners received a Doomcaliber Knight as part of their tournament rewards.
This makes this Yu-Gi-Oh! card, with only 68 copies worldwide, a highly sought-after card by collectors. This can be seen by the high auction price of $15,300, even when the card isn't in perfect condition.
8. Amatsu-Okami of the Divine Peaks
This Yu-Gi-Oh card isn't quite as rare as the others on this list, but the sagas surrounding it still make it one of the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh cards out there.
Tournament winners from 2018 have received them, but no one knows how many there are. Players have all kept them for their private collections - except for one who sold theirs for $18,880.
7. Blue-Eyes White Dragon (Dark Duel Stories Promo, 2002)
Anyone who knows the series definitely knows this card. Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon appeared in many scenes of the anime.
The value of this card, however, is not directly related to the anime or the movies - but the rarity. That's because this card was given away in 2002 as a promo for the Game Boy Color game "Yu-Gi-Oh!: Dark Duel Stories."
The desirability is reflected in the high price of the card. But this card is not based on the anime story, as it was actually released before the anime. Since it was only available as a promo card for the Gameboy game, this card fetched up to $21,600 at auction.
6. Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth (Dark Duels Stories Promo, 2002)
This card was auctioned on the UK eBay website for £22,700 (about $27,800) because the Great Moth cards are extremely rare, even though they were originally cheap promotional cards.
Not only are these cards rare to begin with, but the auctioned card also had a PSA quality certificate ranking it as the highest quality.
5. Cyber-Stein (Shonen Jump Championship, 2004)
The rare Cyber Stone card, which was used as a prize for the 2004 Shonen Jump Championship, initially fetched an auction price of $30,100 - now it is estimated to fetch prices of up to $1 million.
This card was given only to the best players in the competition. Therefore, the price is very high, because both collectors and professional players want to own this card.
4. Crush Card Virus (Shonen Jump Championship, 2007)
It's not often that the most expensive cards in the world are trap cards. That makes this trap card, Crush Card Virus, something very special. Actually, the playability of this card is not particularly good.
It was actually banned in the TCG but has been allowed once more (with the abilities re-written to be weaker). Released in the Shonen Jump tournament in 2007, there are only 40 copies in the world. Therefore, the value of the card is estimated at $49,999.
3. Dark Magician Girl (Lottery Edition)
This rare Yu-Gi-Oh card is known from the anime and the earliest card sets, but it is also one of the most sought-after cards in the history of the card game. It was printed various times, but collectors are only looking for one particular version: this one was only given in a Japanese lottery.
How much does it cost? For this rare Dark Magician Girl, you'll have to fork up $50,000.
2. Dark Magician (LOB 1st Edition, 2002)
In the anime, Dark Magician was used as a monster card in Yugi Muto's deck, the protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh! This card, also called Dark Mage, was first printed in 2002, making the first version highly sought after by collectors.
It is also popular with gamers, as it has a nostalgic value. So it's no wonder that the second place in this article has a value of up to $85,000!
1. Black Luster Soldier (Tournament, 1999)
We won't beat around the bush: the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! card in the world sold for $9 million - even though you can't even use it in the game! But among collectors, the card is highly coveted.
As you might already guess, this card could only be won in one tournament: and that was the first Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament held in Japan in 1999.
To celebrate, the Black Luster Soldier was awarded as a monster card, made entirely of stainless steel and gilded. This card has been a collector's item for a long time and is always number 1 in the ranking of the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
There is only one card and it was sold a few years ago - so it might be difficult to buy the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! card in the world.
BONUS: Tyler the Great Warrior
This card has no official monetary value. The story behind it, however, is very touching.
Tyler was a young child who suffered from cancer in 2002. When asked for his last wish, he wanted his own Yu-Gi-Oh! card.
And his wish was granted.
Fortunately, the story ended well and Tyler recovered. He has the card to this day, and has received many offers for it - but has yet to accept any of them.
Despite many offers, he still hasn't sold the card to this day.
Order Yu-Gi-Oh! cards from Japan
Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are widely available in the United States and other western countries. However, Japan has the advantage that there are many card models that are not officially sold overseas.
Whether it is new cards or used cards, browsing Japanese online stores or Yahoo! Auctions Japan is the best option for those who are interested in Japanese cards.
What to look for when ordering Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards
From all the above information, it is obvious that the foreign trading market for Yu-Gi-Oh! cards is very tough. If you want to enter the collectible industry or buy a high-priced Yu-Gi-Oh! card online from Japan, you should first check the credibility of the seller - we will be happy to help you communicate with Japanese dealers.
Be cautious especially if the seller claims that the card has been verified by PSA in the USA. You should check the certificate with a unique code number from the seller before making a purchase.
Buy Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! cards
Yu-Gi-Oh! will definitely continue to remain popular and excite the international market - we're already looking forward to the new Yu-Gi-Oh! card releases from Japan!