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15th November 2023 EDT FEATURES

The Rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards and How Much They’re Worth

From the Blue-Eyes White Dragon to a rather unassuming moth, we run through some of the rarest and most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards ever.


If you’re a ’90s kid, chances are you would have played, watched, read, or at the very least heard about the Japanese multi-media franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh!. Today, Yu-Gi-Oh! might be best known to the world as a trading card game (TCG), alongside the likes of Pokémon TCG series, but it actually started off as a manga series all the way back in 1996.

Written and illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi, the manga series quickly took off in Japan, leading to a TV anime adaptation just two years later, and subsequently launched as a TCG in 1999. Since then, Yu-Gi-Oh! has continued to be one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, remaining popular even until today.

With the entire plot of the manga/anime revolving around the TCG itself, it’s no surprise that youths at the time quickly picked up on the game. In fact, the TCG, which was launched by Konami, actually attained the Guinness World Record for being the top-selling TCG in the world in 2009.

Today, we’ll look at some of the rarest and most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in existence. Chances are, you might not have come across some of these cards given how scarce and obscure they are!

Here’s some of the rarest and most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards

■ Blue-Eyes White Dragon SE Jump Festa 1999 Souvenir – US$125,000

Rarest and most expensive Yu Gi Oh Cards

Even the most casual of Yu-Gi-Oh! fans would recognize the Blue-Eyes White Dragon in an instant. For those who don’t, it’s sort of similar to Pokémon’s Charizard in terms of fame. Featured prominently in the original manga and anime series as Seto Kaiba’s signature card, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon is undoubtedly the most famous monster in the entirety of the series.

Throughout the TCG’s lifespan, several iterations of the Blue-Eyes have made their way into different sets and promos. Obviously, the 1st Edition LOB is the grail that most collectors hope to cop, but featured in the image above is the rare 1999 Jump Festa Souvenir promo version.

Compared to its siblings, this card doesn’t have the iconic Eye of Anubis stamp at the bottom right and features a special blue prism-esque holo foil in the background, making it an extremely unique Blue-Eyes.

Touted as one of the most expensive Blue-Eyes White Dragon version ever, since only 3,000 attendees from the 1999 Jump Festa event got their hands on it. This card in a PSA 10 is valued at US$125,000, while a PSA 3 is listed on the SNKRDUNK App for US$8,241.

■ Black Luster Soldier Stainless Steel (National Tournament) – US$9-10 million

rare yu gi oh cards that are worth money

This is a bit of an intriguing one, for it’s long been shrouded in mystery. In 1999, the first ever Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG national tournament was held in Japan. The triumphant winner was given a special Black Luster Soldier card made entirely of stainless steel as their prize. This makes it one of the rarest cards in the whole TCG, given that there’s only one piece in circulation.

You can probably see where this is going: indeed, it is one of the biggest of grails in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG collector’s world. Unfortunately, trying to even catch a glimpse of it might be near impossible.

While the Black Luster Soldier Stainless Steel card has reportedly swapped hands several times, no one can put a finger down on how much it’s actually valued today. According to Zen Market, it was auctioned off for US$9 million some years ago, whereas Kotaku said the owner of the card in 2013 wanted US$10 million for it.

No one really knows for sure what its sale prices were, and in fact no one even knows where the card is today. But if it ever pops up on the market again, just know that it will go for a pretty, pretty penny.

■ Tyler the Great Warrior – US$311,211

Rarest and most expensive Yu Gi Oh Cards

Tyler the Great Warrior might have the best backstory in the history of Yu-Gi-Oh!. In 2005, a young Yu-Gi-Oh! player named Tyler asked to be put on a Yu-Gi-Oh! card through the Make-A-Wish foundation as part of his last wish. Konami obliged, and created this special one-of-one Tyler the Great Warrior card.

It’s a heartwarming story, and one that comes with a good finale. Tyler eventually beat cancer and led a healthy life. 18 years after he was given the card, he put it up for auction on eBay, which resulted in a US$311,211 sale.

Officially, this is the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! card sale ever recorded, given the doubts surrounding the sale of Black Luster Soldier Stainless Steel. Good on you, Konami.

■ Dark Magician LOB 1st Edition – US$85,000

While Seto Kaiba had the Blue-Eyes White Dragon as his go-to, titular OG protagonist Yugi Mutou used Dark Magician as his trademark. In fact, the iconic Dark Magician is often compared to Ash’s Pokémon Pikachu and Tai’s Digimon Agumon as the titular monsters from their respective series. Dark Magician was a prominent feature in Yugi’s deck, and arguably one of his strongest cards too.

The first ever set to be printed, the Legend of Blue Eyes, notably contained the extremely-rare Arkana variant of the Dark Magician. For those who don’t keep up with the series, Arkana was one of Yugi’s many opponents, but in particular he also had a Dark Magician which came in a crimson hue. Reportedly, it sold for over US$85,000 via an auction in 2021.

While that card is not available on our app, you can check out the many different Dark Magician offerings via the button below:

■ Dark Magician Girl National Tournament/Lottery [G3-11] – US$50,000

Rarest and most expensive Yu Gi Oh Cards

What comes after Dark Magician? Dark Magician Girl, of course.

Dark Magician Girl took off as soon as it was introduced in the manga/anime. In an otherwise gnarly and often scary world of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dark Magician Girl was a breath of “cute” air. Similar to how female Pokémon trainer cards are so much more desired and expensive, the same would apply to Dark Magician Girl, who became an iconic and prominent figure within the franchise.

Back in 2000, her popularity was so immense that when the card was first introduced to the TCG, it was done through a national tournament. In total, only 300 Secret Rares and 2,400 Rare Cards were handed out, although rumor has it that a further 100 Secret Rares and 400 Rares were later given out through a lottery.

This means that the above pictured [G3-11] variant is the first Dark Magician Girl edition ever, and hence the demand. The Secret Rare in particular, with only 400 (at max) in circulation, would set you back an estimated US$50,000 to procure, although trying to find one in the first place might be the taller task.

■ Crush Card Virus (2007 Shonen Jump Championship) – US$49,999

rare yu gi oh cards that are worth money

Competition/championship cards are in their own league. This special version of the Crush Card Virus was given out during the 2007 Shonen Jump Championship. In total, only 40 pieces were handed out, but the number was later rumored to have increased to 46. Even then, 46 cards is still a minute number in any TCG, automatically making it one of the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, ever.

As rare as they come, this Crush Card Virus in a PSA 10 was last sold for US$49,999 in 2020. No one really knows how much it will go for in today’s market, but some estimate its value at over US$75,000 now.

■ Cyber-Stein (2004 Shonen Jump Championship) – US$30,100

rare yu gi oh cards that are worth money

Similar to the Crush Card Virus above, Cyber-Stein was also a prize card from the Shonen Jump Championship three years before. Reportedly, only 18 were given away at this tournament, and a further two more were printed in 2008. A year later, 126 more were made for a promotional event.

Reprint or not, the Cyber-Stein still remains one of the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the market. The last official sale in a PSA 10 came in 2020, where it sold for around US$30,100 at the time. Reportedly, it’s worth more than twice that price today.

■ Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth – US$30,000

rare yu gi oh cards that are worth money 3

Last but certainly not the least is the Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth. If you’re a long-time player or collector, scavenge through your old boxes and pull out the vintage binders. If you happen to have this vintage card, you could potentially be holding onto one of the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.

This otherwise unassuming insect card started off as a free promo that came together with the Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories Nintendo Game Boy video game back in 2000. It wasn’t a particularly rare card nor was it hard to get back then, but it has certainly blossomed into a gem for those who held on to it.

While trying to buy one wouldn’t be too hard compared to some of the others on the list, trying to find it in a pristine condition might be a challenge given how old it is. That’s why a PSA 10 version sold for around US$30,000 back in August 2021.

And there you have it— some of the rarest and most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the world. This list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other rare and expensive cards that could fetch you a pretty penny on the market today.

Want in on the action? You can find other amazing Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and authentic box sets via the SNKRDUNK App today. Who knows? Your pulls might be worth a fortune 20 years down the line!

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