Few media franchises have achieved the level of success that Yu-Gi-Oh! has. After launching, it offered a compelling trading card game and an anime series reflecting said game in an imaginative, mythology-inspired world in which cards’ monsters come to life. This one-two-punch immediately hooked young fans and began an entire mythos of Yu-Gi-Oh! series, films, video games, and merchandise, to name a few pillars of the empire. And like Pokemon and similar franchises, there are a few select trading cards that have gained prominence for their value and rarity. While some of the higher-valued ones were only distributed as and award status in tournaments, that’s not always the case.
Here are a few standouts cards and just how much they have sold for.
Easily the most valuable card on this list, the Black Luster Soldier was an exclusive prize card awarded at the first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament in 1999. It is printed on stainless steel and is the only one of its kind, thus its coveted rarity makes it essentially priceless. Those who have listed it for sale (with only rumors confirming amounts trading hands) asked for amounts in the millions. Suffice it to say, anyone who lucks into this card has essentially hit the Yu-Gi-Oh! lottery.
Arguably the most iconic card associated with the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! The franchise, Blue-Eyes White Dragon is popular not only for its strength in the trading card game — fusing three of them together will produce Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon — but also its powerful appearances in the original anime and manga. The first of these cards were released in Japan in 1999 and the United States soon after, and mint condition first editions are skyrocketing in value. (One father even went viral for selling a few of his to pay for his daughter’s education!)
Unlike the many commonplace versions of this card inspired by the monster in Frankenstein, the one worth some significant cash is — you guessed it — another tournament award edition. Awarded at the Shonen Jump Championship, and a few thereafter, there are a little over a hundred of these cards in existence. There are only 21 PSA 10’s of this card out there, so they don’t come up for sale often!
There is nothing remarkable about the artwork on this card, but it has become one of the most collectible in the game. When Morphing Jar is activated during a match, both players discard their cards and draw five new cards, in what can be a sneaky good play when your back is up against the wall.
With a PSA 10 population of only 24, it’s no wonder that this tournament pack 2 promo card is so hot and in demand. There are only 92 of them that have ever been graded by PSA, so good luck finding one!
Much like the previously mentioned Morphing Jar, the Mechanicalchaser out of the 2002 Tournament Pack 1 is extremely rare, with only 25 PSA 10’s in existence and only 71 total that have been graded.
Continuing on the trend of ridiculously low PSA populations, there are only 69 of these graded as a PSA 10. This card comes from the first set of the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game released in English.
The Dark Paladin is one of the most useful cards in the game. When a Spell Card is activated, you can discard 1 card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it. This card must be face-up on the field to activate and to resolve this effect.
There are only 44 of these cards that have been graded, and only 12 PSA 10’s, making it one of the rarest cards on this list.
This card was handed out in an envelope for the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2017 attendants and participants. They were limited to roughly 1000 copies, which makes the card extremely rare. Only 24 of them have been graded by PSA, with just 10 of them receiving PSA 10’s.
The Dark Magician fended off the ghosts and battled Diabound. He then continued to serve the Pharaoh in the form of the Dark Magician.
We previously mentioned a Blue Eyes White Dragon from the same promo set at #4 on the list, but this Dark Magician is actually a bit more rare, with only 88 PSA 10’s in population.
Shrink was first released at the 2006 Shonen Jump Yu-Gi-Oh! Championships, making first editions of the card very valuable. If you can prove that your Shrink is one of these limited-edition prize cards, you have quite a gem on your hands. I would personally get it graded, rather than sell it raw as this seller did, but the near $10,000 final sale price is quite a haul.
This card was sold raw, but to display the rarity, there are only 3 graded examples of this card on record with PSA, with no PSA 10’s and only 1 PSA 9.
Packed with all-powerful cards, the Retro Pack series was designed to help Duelists collect hard to get and out of print cards. Pokemon often creates similar sets that are wildly popular amongst collectors.
The total number of PSA graded examples of this card is only 88, with just 27 PSA 10’s in the population.
During either player’s turn, when your opponent activates a card or effect, you can tTribute this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy all cards your opponent controls. Once per turn, you can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects until the end of this turn, and you can activate 1 of its effects as this card’s effect once this turn.
There are only 65 total PSA graded examples of this card with just 22 of them getting a PSA 10 grade. Most of the cards that we talked about on this list were from the original 2002 sets, but this Ghost Rare card has become increasingly popular and it’s artwork is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the entire game.
This card was awarded as a Prize for the October 2020 Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel at Home Sweepstakes.
To say that this card is rare would be an understatement, with only 5 of them on record with PSA and 3 total PSA 10’s on the planet. With a population that low, and the rising popularity of Yugioh cards amongst collectors, the sky is the limit for this card in future sales.