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Remember when Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were the thing? I remember having tons of rubbish, common cards that I used to try and trade for shiny ones to add to my 'rare' collection. The grind was real and my deck got pretty big, but like with all once great things the idea of collecting them soon died off.
Well that was just for me and my mates, obviously, as it turns out collecting them is what some people do for a living and some of the harder to get cards can actually be worth thousands, if not more.
The really rare cards are usually only available if you lived in certain areas or competed in specific tournaments but that doesn't mean that the ones still lying in your bedroom draw aren't worth a few pennies.
Written and Illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi, Yu-Gi-Oh! started in 1996 as a weekly magna series in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Since then, it was created into some small time animated TV show before being adapted into the one we all remember seeing as a kid, and then into the trading card game that we used to beg our parents to buy us.
We'll include three lists, the first of the nearly impossible for the average Joe to own, the second from a price guide website of easily attainable cards and lastly one from eBay, of cards you could actually have and not know it.
12 rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards
12. Doomcaliber Knight - $700
This promo version of the card was awarded to those who came 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 2006 Shonen Jump Championship.
11. Chinese Dark Magician - $1,050
Back in 1999 only 100 copies were made of this card in conjunction with the Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine where it all began.
10. Dark Magician Girl - $1,100
The first Japanese promo version of the card was given to tournament winners and participants in 1999.
9. Shrink - $1,200
This is quite a common card, unless you have the first edition version. They can be very hard to find and even harder to confirm they're a first run. An ultra-rare version was given at the 2006 Shonen Jump Championships.
8. Gold Sarcophagus - $1,372
A mere 20 copies were ever produced of this card, with each one going to the winners of Yu-Gi-Oh! championships between 2005 and 2006 and should have the code SJC-EN002.
7. Des Volstgalph - $1,530
Similar to the last in the list, only 20 copies are known to exist of this card. Winners of the 2005 Pharaoh Tour received these, which took place in five countries.
6. Minerva, The Exalted Lightsworn - $1,900
This is a more recent one, as it was a prize card during the 2015 Championship Series and is only a super-rare.
5. Crush Card Virus - $2,474
Shonen Jump Championship winners received this as a promo card but fans of the TV will remember one of the main characters using this in season one, which is why the price has been skyrocketed.
4. Cyber Stein - $3,400
There are many common version of this card but the rare promo variant, given to Shonen Jump Championship winners, has actually fetched up to $23,000 in charity auctions.
3. Skuna, The Leonine Rakan - $5,999
The World Championship in 2009 saw this card be given out to the winners and only six are said to be in existence, with only two ever appearing on eBay.
2. Armament of the Lethal Lords - $8,000
It was reported that in 2007 this card sold for $1.2 million but this wasn't correct. It was given to the World Championship Series in 2006 winners and it one of the most sought after cards in the world.
1. Tournament Black Luster Soldier & Tyler The Great Warrior
Both these cards only have one of each ever to be made, so the price of each is really whatever the seller wants. The Black Luster Soldier was printed onto stainless steel and awarded during the 1999 Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship in Japan, and it's reported that it once sold for $2 million but the owner now wants anywhere from $10-12 million.
Tyler The Great Warrior was produced thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. They discovered that Tyler, a cancer patient, loved the card game and helped design a card which would ultimately be made after 4Kids Entertainment Inc. saw what they were doing. He thankfully survived his scare with cancer and now owns probably the rarest card in the world.
Now, onto the more reasonable stuff. This selection is random and comprised from yugiohprices.com of cards we can remember from the TV shows or what we actually had:
Harpies Pet Dragon (Retro Pack 2) - $53
Cyber Dragon (Dark Revelation Volume 4) - $44
Exodia the Forbidden One (Retro Pack)- $30
Dark Magician (Retro Pack) - $30
Monster Reborn (Retro pack) - $24
Dark Armoured Dragon (Phanton Darkness) - $24
Blue Eyes Toon Dragon (Magic Ruler) - $14
These prices might seem a little underwhelming but these came from a list that's "relevant to the Yu-Gi-Oh! competitive meta and secondary market due to the fact that they are not prize cards from tournaments, and because they are not cards whose price is far higher than any other version of the same card currently in print."
The value all depends on the rarity of the card, so edition, pack release, code, release date and condition all come in to play. Here's a list of eBay first editions that reportedly anyone could have:
Blue Eyes White Dragon (LOB-000) - $12,000
Red Eyes Black Dragon (LOB-070) - $3,000
Gaia the Fierce Knight (LOB-006) - $3,000
Tri-Horned Dragon (LOB-000) - $2,300
Gaia the Dragon Champion (LOB-125) - $1,750
Now, if these sell or not is another matter but there seems to be a lot of interest surrounding them. If you find some of your old ones at home it is definitely worth either typing them into yugiohprices.com or eBay and see what they're going for!
Words by: Matthew McGladdery
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