Like most gamers who grew up watching the show and playing the game, I enjoy learning more about the cards that are considered treasures in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community today! It’s fun to go through all the listicles and see which cards have reached the top, and why. So, I decided to make one of my own.
Usually, a list like this would showcase 10, 15, or even 20 cards, but I like to keep things shorter and sweeter than most, so we’re going to look at seven instead, most of which are prize cards. Also, I’m switching it up a bit this time around too, by starting with the rarest cards first and working my way down.
We’ll begin with a card that many, including myself, believe to be absolutely priceless!
1. Tyler The Great Warrior
Image from DeviantArt.com
This one is a personal favorite of mine because of its history and what it stands for. Like many, every time I see Tyler The Great Warrior, I can’t help but think of Dragon Ball Z, which is what was used for the inspiration of the design. The card itself was inspired by a brave warrior named Tyler Gressle, who was battling a rare liver cancer back in 2002. After hearing about Tyler and his family, the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in and helped Tyler bring his very own Yu-Gi-Oh! card to life. In 2005, three years after his diagnosis, Tyler The Great Warrior was born.
20 years later, Tyler Gressle has made a full recovery and still possesses the single, one-of-a-kind card that symbolizes his victory over the rare disease. Again, you can’t put a price tag on a card like this, which is why it makes the top spot on my list!
2. Black Luster Soldier
Image from Skeptics Stack Exchange
Just so you know, I originally wanted this list to feature only cards that were/are actually playable in-game. But, since this stainless steel version of the Black Luster Soldier is technically considered a ‘card’ it makes my list…and many others. In fact, I think that any ‘card’ that reportedly sold for $2 million is worthy of a spot on every ‘top rarest’ list.
For those who don’t know the tale, Yu-Gi-Oh! held its very first tournament in Japan, way back in 1999. To commemorate the event and make it even more special for those who chose to participate, some unique prizes were put forth that could only be obtained by earning a spot in the winner’s circle once the tournament was over. 1st prize was a one-of-a-kind Black Luster Soldier that was printed on a stainless steel sheet.
Almost 15 years after the tournament, the winner of the stainless steel treasure put the card up for sale and managed to walk away with $2 million. Today, the card is worth around $10 million, which is what the original owner listed it for back in 2013.
3. Iron Knight of Revolution
Image from db.ygoprodeck.com
There were three winners crowned at the 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship, which means only three Iron Knight of Revolution cards were awarded that year. Today, those three original copies are the only ones known to be in existence, with one of them being sold for almost $13k by its owner.
Maybe this is just me, but I think that if I won a prize card at a championship tournament, I would wait to let it appreciate. Granted, I don’t know the financial situation of the owner/winner of the original card, but if I was in a comfortable position, I would let some more time go by before even thinking about selling. As we now know, cards from popular TCGs, like Yu-Gi-Oh! gain more value with age. With that said, I’m curious to see how much it would bring to one of the other owners if they chose to sell in say 2027. Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments after.
4. Amatsu-Okami of the Divine Peaks
Image from db.ygoprodeck.com
In 2022, this card is just four years old and takes the 4th spot on my list of rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. This is yet another prize card that was awarded to a handful of players at the 2018 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championships. One of those players was able to sell their Amatsu-Okami of the Divine Peaks for close to $19k.
So, if this card was sold for more than the Iron Knight of Revolution, why is it at #4 on my list instead of #3. Because I’m really focusing on the rarity rather than the price tag in this post. While we know that only three Iron Knights of Revolution were given out, we still don’t know exactly how many Amatsu-Okami of the Divine Peaks were given out. All we know is that there were a few, and to me, a few can mean 3 or more, which means it’s possible that there’s maybe one or two more of these floating around.
I have to say, this is probably one of the coolest-looking cards on the list.
5. Skuna, The Leonina Rakan
Image from thesidedeck.com
Speaking of a few, that’s how many Skuna, the Leonine Rakan cards were given at the 2009 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship. I told you that there would be a lot of prize cards on this list. Because of its age and very limited release, there isn’t much info on Skuna, the Leonine Rakan out there. In fact, no one can confirm exactly how many originals are floating around.
Right now, all we do know is that there have been some sightings on eBay and other platforms, where they’ve been seen going for as much as $7,000. One was actually sold at auction for around $6,000. But again, I’m more interested in the rarity than the dollars and cents, and since we don’t have a clear view of exactly how many Skuna, the Leonine Rakan cards there are, it earns the #5 spot on my list.
If you stumble across any valuable info about this card, be sure to leave it for me in the comments below.
6. Cyber-Stein (Shonen Jump Championship Series)
Image from trollandtoad.com
Well, what do you know! A card that I actually have...but I can’t seem to find. However, even if I do happen to find it, I’m not sure that it will bring in the big bucks that I’m looking for. But, I’ll keep looking anyway. Cyber-Stein makes almost every rare and valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! list, and for good reason. There were 18 Cyber-Steins handed out during the Shonen Jump Championship. Not just any Shonen Jump Championship…the first one ever. Yes, that means this card goes all the way back to 2004/2005.
If you count the additional cards that were made exclusively for special promotional events, it’s estimated that only about 130 - 140 of these cards exist today. And if you have one from the 2004 Shonen Jump Championship in mint condition (PSA grade 10), you can expect to see anywhere from $15,000 - $30,000 for it.
Now you know why I'm going to keep searching for mine!
7. Crush Card Virus (Shonen Jump Championship Series)
Image from collectorscache.com
I didn’t mean for two Shonen Jump Championship prize cards to end up right next to each other on this list, but I guess I’ll just go with it. After all, both Crush Card Virus and Cyber-Stein have taken a similar path to rarity ever since they were first introduced over a decade ago.
There were originally 40 copies of the Crush Card Virus given out at the 2007 Shonen Jump Championships, but a few extras were printed for another tournament (SJC) that took place the following year. So, it’s safe to assume that there are around 45 - 50 of these original printings out there now. Out of all the Trap Cards, Crush Card Virus has been deemed the rarest and most valuable among collectors.
Ok, now it’s your turn! If you’ve been keeping tabs on all the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, then you know that keeping this list to only seven was a challenge for me. I was thinking about throwing in some honorable mentions that came close, but I thought it would be cooler to see what you come up with instead. So, be sure to leave your list, thoughts, questions, or suggestions in the comments below!
I had a lot of fun with this one and hope you did too!
Until we meet again,
Vince The Prince