We are gathered here today to take a look at the most rare and most expensive Magic The Gathering cards.
Since its launch in 1993, the table top card game has birthed a gigantic cult following.
Playing MTG used to be an activity for “nerds”, and games took place at the back of comic book stores in relative privacy.
But, as we know now, things that were once uncool became very cool. And people feel more confident sharing their love of things like retro video games, collectors cards or even Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls.
Magic The Gathering took a spot on our list of the Best Retro Board Games of the Past, so you know we loved it.
As always with our rare collectibles lists, the prices can range quite drastically based on how bad somebody wants it. And previous closing prices are sometimes a thing of myth and legend.
Hard to say for sure how much something is worth when it’s based entirely on the subjective nature of a collectors desire to have it or a sellers willingness to part with it.
One thing is for sure; there are a handful of Magic The Gathering cards out there that are extremely rare and could easily cause a bidding war for the most avid collectors.
And, there does seem to be a collective consensus on a few cards out there…
Let’s take a look at the ten rarest and most expensive Magic The Gathering cards of 2023.
10. Copy Artifact (Alpha)
As the name suggests, Copy Artifact… well, copies an artifact.
And with the right artifact in hand, this would serve you quite well during battle.
It will only cost you two mana to use, but to get your hands on this rare card it will probably cost you anywhere from $2000-6000. It’s price has been known to fluctuate drastically and be kind of all over the place.
Copy Artifact has been sold for as high as $12,000 in the past and is even on the Reserved List, a list of cards that will never be reprinted in order to maintain their value.
9. Underground Sea (Alpha)
Underground Sea acts as a dual land card, as both a swamp and an island.
Which means it taps for blue or black mana with no downsides.
One of these awesome dual landbois can go for around $10,000 and have been known to go as high as $25,000 for a near mint.
And yeah… it’s on the Reserved List.
8. Mind Twist
This is a pretty unique unique card in every way.
First off, it’s use – Mind Twist can be used to force your opponent to discard some or all of their hand.
Which, by itself is simple enough.
But by combining this with a mana generating card, you can preemptively destroy your opponents whole game plan.
Can be devastating when paired with the right mana cards.
The price of this one is all over the place. Alphas go for $2000-5000, and Betas are $2000-3000, but have sold for as high as $200,000. What?!
So yeah, the selling price of this card is a mind twist of its own… it clearly needed to be on the list of rare and most expensive Magic The Gathering cards.
7. Volcanic Island (Beta)
Volcanic Island is the Red and Blue land card and can count as either a island or a mountain.
Which makes the Volcanic Island card quite versatile.
And early land cards in Magic The Gathering come with no downside when you use them, so they only help your game.
Volcanic Island is on the MTG Reserved List as well.
So don’t be surprised to see Volcanic Island selling for around $18,000 lately.
6. Time Walk (Alpha)
Time Walk is a card that just sort of messes with your opponent’s psyche, as it allows you to take an extra turn immediately after your current one.
Right when your opponent thinks they have their next move planned, oh wait, you got another thing coming.
This card quickly became banned in competitive play,
Prices start around $9,000 for an okay condition one, but a mint Time Walk can sell for as high as $21,000.
5. Ancestral Recall (Alpha)
Using an Ancestral Recall allows you to instantly draw three cards or force an opponent to draw three cards… all at the cost of one blue mana.
It’s unlikely you will use it to give your opponent new cards, but drawing three of your own is a pretty awesome opportunity.
It’s one of the best draw cards available, and gives you a strong edge against your opponent.
These super powerful cards are currently selling from about $23,000- $28,000.
4. Timetwister (Alpha)
Timetwister is basically a reset button for Magic The Gathering.
At the cost of three mana, you and your opponent must shuffle your hand, library and graveyard all together and draw seven new cards.
This is a quick and easy way to entirely ruin your opponent’s strategy, especially when a game isn’t going your way.
Timetwister Alphas start at around $10,000, and most mint ones will pull in closer to $29,000.
So obviously this rare card is quite valuable to the right collector.
3. Blue Hurricane (Misprint)
The Hurricane card is simple enough. A super mint copy might pull in around $400.
But the summer 1994 “Revised Edition” print of this card had a small problem… it was blue!
The original design called for a green border.
Apparently this was not the first time that Wizards of the Coast had problems with errors, and somehow this Blue Hurricane slipped past quality control a second time.
They recalled the set, but not before a bunch of players got their hands on some.
So this super rare Blue Hurricane can sell for as high as $30,000.
2. Mox Sapphire (Alpha)
Tap this card at any time (can be used as an interrupt) to add one blue mana to your pool. And that’s every turn. And at no mana cost.
This card is perfect for your offense, since it can interrupt a deadly incoming attack, and feeds your blue mana, usually used by counter-spell cards.
The mint alpha print of Mox Sapphire holds a value of around $30,000. It has even been known to reach $50,000 in some listings.
1. Black Lotus (Alpha + Signed)
An alpha Black Lotus card from the very first 1993 printing of Magic the Gathering is by far the most valued card in existence.
Well what exactly does a Black Lotus do?
The powerful Black Lotus adds three mana of any color to your pool, at no cost. And, it can be used as an interrupt.
If you can play it on your first turn, then you’ve got some serious power on your hands!
Your average super mint Black Lotus would easily be listed for anywhere from $120,000 to $150,000.
And a Black Lotus signed by its original illustrator Christopher Rush sold for over $500,000 on ebay in 2021.
The music artist Post Malone has even claimed to have purchased a Black Lotus for $800,000.
So again… the actual value can be hard to really determine when you have people willing to throw nearly a million dollars at one.
There is zero doubt that a mint condition Black Lotus card is the most rare and most valuable out there.
And if we were ever to see another signed card, it surely would bring in the largest amount for any previous MTG card.
Some of the cards on our list of the most expensive and rare Magic The Gathering cards could swap places. But no card beats the Black Lotus.
Are you a collector? Maybe take a look at our lists of the Best Trading Card Displays and Best Trading Card Storage Boxes.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.