Screw the rules, these Yu-Gi-Oh cards cost money.
If you think Yu-Gi-Oh is only an anime about kids who love to d-d-d-d-duel, then wait until you see how crazy valuable the actual cards are.
Based on Kazuki Takahashi’s 1996 manga of the same name, the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game has soared to great heights since its launch in 1999. Over 22 billion cards have been sold worldwide, which presumably explains why it was named the top selling trading card game by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009. To this day, the franchise has spawned multiple anime series, five movies, over 50 video games, and even five spin-offs. All of this makes it no wonder that the most elusive Yu-Gi-Oh cards command unreal prices far beyond anything we’ve ever seen before, and if you’ve seen our coverage of the rarest Magic cards and Pokemon cards, you’ll know that’s a statement we do not make lightly.
For those who have more money than an Egyptian pharaoh, below we have chronicled the world’s priciest Yu-Gi-Oh cards to this day. May the heart of the cards guide you and your wallet.
10: Chinese Dark Magician
Because Yu-Gi-Oh is an international phenomenon, cards in certain languages can become wildly sought after if a production run happens to be limited. The Chinese Dark Magician was released in 1999 with only a scant 100 produced, so this card naturally commands high costs on the second hand market.
The Chinese Dark Magician card can be sold for anywhere between $800 – $1600 in good condition.
9: GSC Dark Magician Girl
As practically a mascot character of the franchise, Dark Magician Girl has seen numerous re-releases and variations throughout the years. However, if you happen to own one of the first Japanese promo versions of this card, then this seemingly common card can actually be a goldmine.
Those lucky enough to have one of these cards can sell it for $1100 – $6600.
8: Chinese Blue Eyes White Dragon
It’s becoming increasing apparent that being a Yu-Gi-Oh fan in China is a lucrative prospect. Not that collectors would have been able to predict that in the early days of the game’s lifespan, but hindsight is 20/20.
This Blue Eyes White Dragon, in addition to other elusive versions of Blue Eyes White Dragon, can run between $1300-$3900.
“Wait a minute,” you may ask, “how can a card that can be found for 99 cents on ebay be considered one of the most expensive cards of all time?” As with most collectibles, the text “1st Edition” can turn any card into a sheet of cardboard gold.
If you can confirm your Shrink to be one of the rare releases, it can be sold for anywhere between $1600 to $6000.
6: Promo Des Volstgalph
To be honest, not too much is known about the promotional Des Volstgalph. We know collectors go crazy for it and that’s about it. Not the most exciting story, but we can’t argue with the numbers.
While we’ve seen the card allegedly go for $600 on ebay, this one is reported to sell for around $1900.
5: Gold Sarcophagus
Not only were a scant 25 Gold Sarcophagus cards ever designed, but they were only awarded to players during the Pharaoh’s Tour and Shonen Jump tournaments. In other words, you needed to be a world class Yu-Gi-Oh player at the right place in the right time to receive this card.
If you pursue the second hard market to obtain this card, you’ll be spending over $2200.
4: Cyber Stein
While common variants of this card exist, the rare promo version of Cyber Stein was given to winners of the Shonen Jump Championship.
As to be expected, this makes Cyber Stein valued at upwards of $4500.
3: Armament of the Lethal Lords
Armament of the Lethal Lords is unsurprisingly another card awarded to winners of the World Championship Series in 2006, but what is surprising is the original asking price of this rarity. Sellers made headlines by looking to sell the card for over a million dollars, which is a number only achieved by the likes of the infamous Honus Wagner baseball card.
Even if it never quite sold for those astronomical amounts, Armament of the Lethal Lords has still been sold for as much as $9000 to date.
2: Armored Blue Eyes White Dragon
Armored Blue Eyes White Dragon is a legend in the truest sense of the word. It’s literally unknown if this card is even real, as conflicting sources on the internet both confirm and deny its existence.
If the stories are to be believed, obtaining this card will cost the buyer in excess of $500,000. However, considering how elusive this card has become over the years, we wouldn’t be surprised if a buyer would be forking over even more cash for this mythical card.
1: Tournament Black Luster Soldier
With most top ten lists, we see increasingly rare items stack on top of each other until we award the number 1 spot to a product that somehow trumps everything else on the list. However, with Yu-Gi-Oh’s Tournament Black Luster Soldier, the disparity between the value of this card with everything else on the list will strike even our longtime readers as totally unbelievable.
This one-of-a-kind trading card was given to the winner of the very first Yu-Gi-Oh tournament held in Japan in 1999, and the card itself was printed on stainless steel instead of the usual cardboard and foil. This amazing Black Luster Soldier has a value of – brace yourself – roughly $10 million. While reports indicate that the card may have been sold for closer to $2 million, the fact that a card could command such a high price to begin with is a testament to its rarity among collectibles worldwide.
Make no mistake; this card isn’t merely the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh trading card. Rather, Black Luster Soldier is one of the most valuable trading cards of all time.