Rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards are becoming more wanted by the day, the franchise is forever growing and with the release of the best Yu-Gi-Oh games coming out more frequently it’s only time before a boom of collectors come over to the TCG scene.
The Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game started in Japan in 1999, and made its way to North America and Europe in 2002. The early 2000’s is when trading card really boomed with the younger audience, every kid wanted that blue eyes white dragon, and packs were flying off the shelves.
Now many years on rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards are increasingly wanted, and with the many sets being released there’s a lot of cards worth a lot of money. So we’re going to take a look at some of the rarest and most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh cards in the world.
Table of Contents
20. Shonen Jump championship Des Volstgalph SJC-EN002 (2015)
You might remember Yugi puling this card out just the one time in the series, and probably for a good reason. I mean, it’s that rare and hard to come by that he probaly didn’t want to risk anyone nabbing it out of his hand and selling it on eBay!
If you were lucky enough to attend the 2005 Shoen Jump championships and come out victorious, then you would have pocketed one of these cards as a prize.
Prices are currently sitting at around $799, but you’d need to remortgage your house to pay for a card in mint condition, with the highest recorded sale prices averaging out at around $40,000!
19. Kaiser Eagle, The Heavens’ Mandate EN001 (2019)
What would you say if I told you that this card has an average price tag of $70,000. Would you run up to the attic on the off chance that you still have one, or would you flop into the nearest chair and cry over the fact that you sold it for $20 to a friend?
This card is special for more than just its price tag though. Before covid hit the world, this card was the prize at the last ‘in person’ word championship competition before tournaments moved online due to the pandemic.
Even though the world has resumed its steady toll and things are back to normal, this card is still heralded as a piece of Yu-Gi-Oh history and serves as a reminder of a different tume, so to speak.
I guess when you put it like that… no, $70,000 is still an extrotionate amount of money to spend on anything!
18. Minerva, The Exalted Lightsworn YCSW-EN008 (2015)
Next up on our list of the most rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards is Minerva, The Exalted Lightsworn, but specifically the YCSW-EN008 printed card.
If you were lucky enough to win big at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series held back in 2015, then you would have been given one of these epic cards and have sent multiple enemies to their doom while playing with friends ever since.
Nowadays, you can get a reprint of this card, but it’s the YCSW-EN008 that bring the bacon home. If you’ve got one of these, then expect to pay or make around $4,000!
17. Shonen Jump Championship Series Crush Card Virus SJCS-EN004 (2007)
Let’s keep the ball rolling with an unsuspecting looking card that sold for just under $50,000 back in 2020, shall we?
Yes, the Crush Card Virus trap card was handed out at the ten Shonen Jump Championship matches.
With only 46 of these cards rumoured to be in existence, they make for a pretty rare find, especially in mint condition.
This card used to be on the forbidden list, meaning players couldn’t pull it out in a duel. Still, over time its use has changed and become less destructive, so you an can have three in your deck at any one time now.
16. Mirror Force – Bandai Card (1998)
The Mirror Force Bandai card might not be worth as much as the Crush Card Virus, but it’s a rare piece of Yu-Gi-Oh history that is well worth having in your collection.
Bandai only released around 200 Bandai branded Yu-Gi-Oh cards before Konami took over. Of those 200 cards, the Mirror Force card is undoubtedly one of the most sought after.
And come on, who doesn’t want a stressful trap card in their deck to mess with an opponent’s head?
These cards have been known to sell for upwards of $9,000, though you may be lucky and grab one for a couple of thousand dollars unrated but in great condition.
15. Tyr, The Vanquishing Warlord (2008)
With a whopping $199,000 price tag in mint condition, Tyr, The Vanquishing Warlord is one entry in this rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards article that you’re going to need to remortgage your house for!
This is still one of the rarest cards in the game, one that could only have been obtained dream the World Championship back in 2008. It’s status remains ‘ultra-rare’ and fetches a hefty price even when not graded.
This guy is a game changer too. It’s what you’d call a bona fide match winner.
I.e, if you know someone that has one, never ever play them.
14. Magician’s Force Dark Magician Girl (1st Edition) (2003)
No wonder Yugi likes this card so much; one recently sold for $9,100 in mint condition. I think I’d keep it close to my chest if it cost that much too!
Yu-Gi-Oh fans go crazy for the Dark Magician Girl. Originally released in N.A alone, the card gradually made its way to Japan and the rest of the world. Weirdly, however, it was censored in certain places, and various other versions of the card cropped up in different places.
The 1st edition card pictured above is the one that is original, the one that is the rarest and costs the most cash.
And, just like she helped Yugi, she’ll help your deck by bringing 2000 attack points and a whopping 1700 defence points!
13. United We Stand: Duel At Home Promo (2020)
Duel at Home might sound like a familiar concept to many of us after recent years. Released during the Covid-19 pandemic by Konami to make us all feel a little better, this card is now one of the most rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards on the planet.
And back in August 2022, it was worth a tidy $400.
Not bad to say it’s one of the newest cards too!
I say ‘make all of us happy’ – only 300 people got this card throughout North America.
To have been in the running for getting one of these epic cards, gamers had to send a snap of their duel at home remote battle setups into the Yu-Gi-Oh Twitter and Instagram pages.
United together through the pandemic, Yu-Gi-Oh battlers stood together. Apart from ones with this card and all five monster zones used; they just battered everyone in sight thanks to their attack being raised by 4000!
What a card!
12. Dark Magician Dark Duel Stories Promo PSA 10 (2002)
There’s plenty of cards rarer than this one as of writing this article. But why we have featured it comes down to what we think is going to increase in price the most over the next 5 – 10 years.
I have been collecting everything from Digimon cards to rare Pokemon Topps cards for well over 20 odd years now, and I am sure that Yu-Gi-Oh will one day boom just like Pokemon cards have done over the last few years.
Once that happens, this card, the infamous Dark Magician Promo will boom in popularity, and you’ll be thankful that you read this article if you’re a collector.
The Dark Magician is the card a lot of original Yu-Gi-Oh collectors remember, and when nostalgia meets with low demand, prices and rarity increases.
There’s only 88 PSA 10’s out in the world, making it incredibly rare and with a price tag of around $3,750!
11. LOB Monster Reborn (1st Edition) (2002)
LOB Monster Reborn (1st Edition) card was one of the super rare cards found in the first Yu-Gi-Oh booster packs to drop on shop shelves back in 2002.
Now, 20 years later at the time of writing, these 1st edition cards can can easily sell for over $1,000 if graded in mint condition.
So what does Monster Reborn do?
Well, it’s one of the most powerful spells in the game, allowing you to resurrect any card from either yours or your gaming partner’s graveyard.
That means you could summon your opponent’s most treasured card and use it against them. It’s such an amazing card that the number you’re allowed in your deck is one, not three like the other cards!
10. Skuna, The Leonine Rakan WCPS-EN902 (2009)
Skun, The Leonine Rakan is a card that has little confirmed information regarding it’s print quantity, which is music to collector’s ears.
This card was launched in 2009 and given to those as a prize who competed in the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship tournament. Some that were there are the tournament never saw the card, some did.
After discussing with other members of the Yu-Gi-Oh many are saying that there’s rumoured to be just 6 of these cards in the wild, and that was back in 2009, so many of them have probably been lost, bent or just in poor condition.
Yu-Gi-Oh collectors have seen them on eBay for at least $7,500 dollars in the past.
9. Exodia The Forbidden One BLCR-EN101 (2002)
Remember that epic battle against Seto Kaiba in the first anime episode where Yugi managed to get all the pieces of Exodia and smash Seto into the ground?
Well, it turns out that Exodia is just as sought after in real life as it is in the TGC!
To use Exodia the Forbidden One in the game, players need to get all five peices of him and use them at once, automatically winning the game. That’s the head, both arms, and both legs.
Obviously because this is such a baller move, these cards are all limited, just like Monster Reborn. And like Monster Reborn, Exodia’s head fetches a pretty penny at auction.
A 1st edition mint card sold for $8,000, with the head costing the most out of all 5 cards.
Weirdly, the left leg is the next rarest and most expensive. Maybe Exodia plays for Domino City FC in its down time?
8. Red Eyes Black Dragon 1st Edition PSA 10 (2002)
There was a constant battle between who liked Blue Eyes and who liked Red Eyes when I was at school, and although I was a BLue Eyes kinda guy, this card never got old.
And still 20 years on, it’s one of the go to rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards, holding a pricetag of around $1,500. It was one of the rarest card in the first ever sets and because of that, many collectors struggle to find it in great condition. I remember having lots of these as a kid, but it’s the “1st Edition” stamp that turns it into a hidden gem.
Only 69 of these exist in a PSA 10 grade, so this low quantity just goes to show how rare this card is. For those who collect the first ever set, and first editions this is a mandatory pick up, for sure.
7. Morphing Jar Tournament Pack 2 PSA 10 (2002)
You’ll see a theme with these rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and that’s most of them being released before 2005, that’s simply due to the high demand and low quality.
One of those rare cards is Morphing Jar, a card released in 2002 within a tournament pack 2 promotion. The reason many loved this card was due to the fact it was very effective in the card game.
When activated during a game, both players discard their cards and draw five new ones, this can be highly effective if you think your opponent has the upper hand.
One of these sold in February 2021 for $15,000 and because there are only 92 of these graded a PSA 10, this number is only going to get bigger as the years go on.
6. Amatsu Okami Of The Divine Peaks 2019-EN003 (2019)
Now this isn’t technically a rare card, or even that expensive but what’s unique about Amatsu Okami Of The Divine Peaks is that nobody knows how many of these are out there.
These were originally awarded to the best players of a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament held in 2018 by Konami, and although a few people managed to snag one, there was no definitive number by Konami. It could be 5, or it could be 100, who knows.
Some of these have started popping up, and one lucky tournament go’er sold his official tournament card for $18,000 in 2020.
Who knew that cards just two years old could sell for this much!
5. Dark Duel Stories Blue-Eyes White Dragon PSA 10 (2002)
This may not be “the” Blue Eyes White Dragon which you’ll see further down this list, but it is a very wanted card, and that’s because it was bundled with the game Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories in 2002, which just so happens to be one of the best Gameboy Color games for fans of the TCG.
These cards were a part of the Prismatic Secret Rare set, meaning that the holo foil pattern moves horizontally instead of diagonally, giving a new look to the old nostalgic cards.
As of currently there are only 132 of these cards in PSA 10, making it very hard to find and making it again, very wanted for hard core Yu-Gi-Oh card collectors. One of these recently sold for over $20,000!
4. Shonen Jump Championship Cyber-Stein PSA 10 (2004)
Imagine Optimus Prime and Frankenstein having a child. Yep, this is what you will get, Cyber-Stein himself.
This makes it’s way onto our rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards list for one simple reason and that’s due to how hard it is to grade and how they were given out. Like many trading card companies, especially in the early 2000’s print lines could sometimes get faulty, and they wouldn’t fix them.
Even if a small bit of dirt got onto the printer, it would create small, but noticeable marks on the card, and this is what happened with Cyber-Stein. This makes it hard to grade a PSA 10 due to the flaws. Not only that, only 100 of these cards existed, and they were given out at the Shonen Jump Championship as awards.
But it has been done, and 21 time’s in fact. This makes a PSA 10 Cyber-Stein an expensive card, coming in at around $35,000. We actually think that’s a great deal seeing as there’s only limited quantity of this card, but its not the most “famous” card and that’s probably why many don’t want it.
But nonetheless, one of the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh cards in the world.
3. Blue Eyes White Dragon 1st Edition PSA 10 (2002)
The holy grail of rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards is the Blue Eyes White Dragon, the card everyone wanted as a kid back in 2002, and now nothings changed… everyone still wants it.
It’s the rarest card that’s actually somewhat possible to get hold of. The other two further down on this list are near impossible, but the classic first edition Blue Eyes White Dragon is possible to snag if you have a spare $100,000.
There’s a few different variants of this first edition card, the rarest being the “wavy” effect on the holographic, which are only used in a small ammount of the cards.
This card is just like the 1st Edition Charizard in our rare Pokemon Cards list, its the most popular Pokemon and was the earliest “holy grail” card, meaning many gamers value it highly for sentimental and nostalgic reasons.
Currently on the market there’s only 90 of these in this PSA 10 condition, making them incredibly rare and continuously increasing in price.
2. Tyler The Great Warrior (2002)
Tyler The Great Warrior is one of those rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards that you want, but you really don’t. The story behind this is so empowering that it’s a card that collectors are happy not to own.
Back in 2002, a young Yu-Gi-Oh card player which we won’t fully name for privacy reasons, came down with cancer. It was his last wish to be put on a Yu-Gi-Oh card. Konami didn’t hesitate and made the young boy a one of one Yu-Gi-Oh card called Tyler The Great Warrior.
Konami passed it onto him in hopes to make his struggle easier. Due to the magic in the card Tyler is still living a healthy and happy life with this card still in his collection.
Many collectors have offered him insane prices for this card but Tyler has refused, knowing that money doesn’t bring happiness.
He is a living legend, and we’re so happy he’s kept onto his card.
1. Tournament Black Luster Soldier (1999)
According to Zen Market this card is worth over $9,000,000 and is classed as the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh card in the world.
The Black Luster Soldier card was an exclusive winning card awarded at the first ever Yu-Gi-Oh tournament back in 1999 in Japan, making it a one of one.
Konami printed this card onto a sheet of stainless steel making it even more unique and a symbol of Yu-Gi-Ohs birth of their popular trading card game. It has now gone through many hands, but nobody knows who owns it.
Those who have owned it in the past have asked for millions, but because it’s a one of one, it’s essentially priceless and many collectors of rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards want this… badly.
So, there’s a look at the top rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards for collectors and investors. Let us know your favourite over on our Twitter @retro_dodo and we’ll have a nerdy conversation! Happy gaming.
This article may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase an item we may earn a commission. Thank you for your support.
A 31 year old British fella that’s had a Gameboy ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has created a YouTube channel with 260,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.