Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
By: Jacob Sawyers
Published May 16, 2023
Are you wondering what the most expensive Magic The Gathering cards of all-time are? Let's get in to it!
Magic The Gathering, created by mathematician Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast, has redefined the landscape of collectible card games since its inception in 1993. With its rich lore and strategic gameplay, MTG has captured the hearts of millions of players worldwide. But it's not just the gameplay that draws us in; it's the allure of rare and valuable cards that hold immense worth in the MTG community.
Related: The 31 Most Expensive Pokemon Cards of All-Time
There are dozens of beloved TCGs worldwide; however, Magic The Gathering stands alone in many regards.
For starters, Magic institutes a Reserved List, which is an officially sanctioned list of cards that can never be reprinted. This is a unique concept that we rarely see in the sports card hobby or in other popular trading card games.
Consequently, what sets these cards apart is their rarity. Some cards are so scarce that their prices skyrocket, turning them into coveted artifacts for collectors and players seeking an edge in their decks.
Today, we delve into the realm of the most valuable MTG cards ever printed. After we are done, you may want to go check the attic and see if you have any of these iconic gems in a shoebox or a binder.
For the sake of this list, we are only allowing each individual card to appear once. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and highlight the 15 most expensive Magic The Gathering cards of all time!
15. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Dual Land Underground Sea BGS 9.5 – $36,100
To kick the list off, we have a very important piece used in many tournament decks. The Underground Sea/Land dual belongs to the blue and black color combination, allowing players to tap it for either blue or black mana. This gives it unparalleled value and usage for gameplay purposes, but it is also a great collector’s piece in a higher grade like this BGS 9.5.
T-13. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Emerald PSA 10 – $37,200
The Mox Emerald marks the last member of the Power Nine and last Mox Cycle piece on this list. This green mana-producing card is one of five known PSA 10s, and it last sold for $37,200 during a PWCC auction.
T-13. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Ancestral Recall PSA 10 – $37,200
According to the MTG Wiki, Ancestral Recall “allows the player to use one card to draw three more at an extremely low mana cost. It originated as part of the "boon" cycle, one of each color, which gave three of something (e.g. mana, life, damage) for the cost of one mana.” Interestingly enough, this is the only card of the original Power Nine to never be reprinted in any fashion, making it one of the rarest TCG cards you’ll ever come across.
12. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Birds of Paradise BGS 9.5 – $37,877
Birds of Paradise is another MTG card that has become revered based on gameplay usage and striking visual appeal. Mark Poole illustrated the vibrant birds shown above, and this card is pivotal in many deck strategies. Additionally, it is a grail for many MTG enthusiasts, earning a $37,877 price tag during a 2019 auction.
11. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Ruby PSA 10 – $39,600
Here we have another piece of the Mox cycle, the Ruby. This is the only gem on the list that notched a PSA 10 grade, selling in March 2023 for nearly $40,000. Mox Ruby also belongs to the Power Nine, so it will always be one of the more heralded artifact cards in MTG.
10. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Nightmare BGS 9.5 – $42,877
This is a dark and haunting card, so it remains very popular for those who revel in the darker aesthetic of MTG. Nightmare is a powerful addition to any deck, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find it in as flawless condition as this one. The BGS 9.5 copy shown above recently closed at just shy of $43,000, so you may want to check your childhood binders and try to find this one.
T-8. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Chaos Orb PSA 10 – $44,400
With artwork reminiscent of Goosebumps’ The Blob That Ate Everyone, Chaos Orb is threatening both visually and in battle. By flipping the Chaos Orb into the air and letting it fall onto the playing surface, players can destroy any non-token permanent it touches. The affected cards are removed from the game, providing a powerful and unpredictable tool for strategic maneuvering. This makes it banned in most competitive formats, yet it is still a very valuable and sought-after piece in the MTG lore.
T-8. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Shivan Dragon BGS 9.5 – $44,400
When it comes to TCGs, this may not be the first dragon creature that comes to mind. Pokémon’s Charizard and Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Blue Eyes White Dragon are both highly collectible in their respective franchises, but this Shivan Dragon BGS 9.5 Gem Mint is a stunner. It has sold for as high as $44,400 during a November 2022 PWCC auction.
7. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Sapphire PSA 9 – $46,800
At #7, we have another Power Nine member and a wildly rare component of the original Alpha set. Mox Sapphire performs similarly to the Mox Jet, and both subsequently became highly contentious in competition. Many collectors try to assemble all three of the gems together, but that comes at the wallet’s expense.
T-5. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Vesuvan Doppelganger BGS 9.5 – $63,000
Illustrated by Quinton Hoover, the Vesuvan Doppelganger card is another rare piece from the 1993 Alpha set. On a card like this (or any TCG for that matter), you have to examine centering, surface, edges, and corners when grading. The fact that this rare shapeshifter obtained a 9.5 grade 30 years after printing is truly astounding, so it’s no wonder why it reached a sale price of over $60,000.
T-5. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Time Walk PSA 10 – $63,000
Another Power Nine member, Time Walk grants the player an additional turn during a match. And just like pretty much all of the Power Nine, this high-octane MTG card is banned in most formats. Time Walk features both remarkable artwork and stunning coloration, yet this is one of only ten PSA 10s ever cataloged.
4. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Jet BGS 9.5 – $65,100
The MTG Mox gems are instrumental cards in a player’s deck, and it just so happens that three of the original Mox cards belong to the Power Nine. Consequently, they provide immense power in a game and real monetary value to collectors. This Mox Jet is overwhelmingly pivotal in a match because it adds more mana for a player and provides a loophole for the “one land per turn” rule. This card is valuable in a Gem Mint condition like this one, yet it is banned in most competition formats.
3. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Timetwister PSA 10 – $84,000
The impeccable artwork on this Timetwister Alpha card is second to none. Illustrator Mark Tedin weaved an intricate picture that visually highlights the immense power that the Timetwister possesses. Timetwister belongs to the original limited edition “Power Nine,” and many of the others appear on this list as well. This gem sits as one of three PSA 10s in existence, with one recently selling for $84,000.
2. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Lord of the Pit BGS 10 – $105,000
It is estimated that just over 1,000 of these copies exist, making it one of the rarest MTG cards in existence. Furthermore, it achieved a BGS 10 Pristine grade, which is one of the most exclusive grades in all of trading cards. The artwork on this card is some of Mark Tedin’s best, and the black bordering gives this one even more visual appeal. It last sold for $105,000 during a January 2023 PWCC auction.
1. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus Limited Edition Artist Proof Autograph CGC 8.5 – $800,000
To end this list of most expensive Magic The Gathering cards, we have one of the most iconic TCG cards in existence. There are several iterations of the Black Lotus, but this white back, artist proof arguably takes the cake as the rarest.
This particular Black Lotus doesn’t even stem from the original Alpha set, but rather a later Limited Edition Beta set. However, it contains a crisp autograph of the illustrator’s autograph at the bottom of the copy. This particular copy recently closed at $616,000 during a Heritage auction in March, making it the most expensive MTG card ever sold at public auction.
However, singer and noted MTG collector Post Malone confirmed during a 2022 interview with Howard Stern that he paid $800,000 in a private sale for one.
Which on our list of most expensive Magic The Gathering cards is your favorite? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!
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What's the rarest magic card? ›
1. Black Lotus. Black Lotus has long held a reputation as the most valuable Magic: The Gathering card ever made, dating from MTG's very first set, Limited Edition Alpha, released in 1993.How many black lotuses are there? ›
The Alpha version of Black Lotus is the rarest and most sought-after, with an estimated 1100 ever printed, followed by the Beta version, with 3300 ever printed.How much is Black Lotus card worth? ›
Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus worth $615,000 breaks yet another sales record, days after the last one. Artist proof signed by creator Christopher Rush outsells Alpha Black Lotus. Another week, another record-breaking sale for Magic: The Gathering's most iconic card, the Black Lotus.How much is an Alpha Black Lotus? ›
The card's sale for $540,000 via auction house PWCC beat the previous record set by another Gem Mint 10 Alpha Black Lotus signed by Rush, sold for just over $511,000 in January 2021. The new price makes this latest card the most expensive Magic: The Gathering card ever sold at public auction, according to PWCC.What is the rarest card ever? ›
The Shichifukujin Dragon, created to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan, is also the only one of its kind in existence. In Japanese mythology, 'Shichifukujin' is the name given to the Seven Deities of Good Fortune.What is the most a magic card has sold for? ›
In 2019, a Black Lotus sold for $166,000 on eBay, followed by another purchase just two years later in 2021 for $511,100 — more than triple the price. Now, with the recent auction held by PWCC Marketplace, the Black Lotus cements its position as the most expensive Magic: The Gathering card ever sold.How many Grade 10 black lotuses are there? ›
According to PWCC Marketplace, roughly 1,000 copies are believed to be printed, with only six getting a perfect 10 grading.How long do lotuses last? ›
Lifespan: The lotus will probably be the last thing to begin to grow in your pond. Blooms last up to three days. The lotus is a perennial, which means once it has taken hold in your pond, it should bloom for years.What is the highest selling Black Lotus card? ›
One of Magic: The Gathering's most coveted cards, Black Lotus, has sold at auction for a record-breaking $540,000. Magic: The Gathering's illustrious card, Black Lotus, recently went to auction and sold for a record-breaking $540,000.How do I know if I have a rare Magic card? ›
To tell if a card is rare or mythic rare we look at the expansion set symbol. Almost all cards will have an expansion set symbol on it to help you identify it. The colour of this symbol will tell you what rarity the card is; common = black, uncommon = silver, rare = gold, mythic = orange-red / bronze.
How many black queen cards are there? ›
Similarly, the number of black cards = 26 and the number of black queens = 2.Did Post Malone buy a Black Lotus? ›
it was a Black Lotus (an artist print, at that) and, yes, it was signed by artist Christopher Rush. But, as he admitted to Howard Stern on his radio show, he also spent $800,000 on it. This was a big deal, but not specifically because a millionaire bought something expensive.Has there ever been a PSA 10 Black Lotus? ›
Signed PSA 10 Alpha Black Lotus sells for $540,000, Breaks Record For Most Expensive Magic Card.Why is Black Lotus so sought after? ›
What gives? First off, Alpha and Beta copies of Black Lotus are worth quite a bit more than Unlimited copies. It isn't just the look, either—it's scarcity. We have pretty good intel stating that there were only ever 1,008 copies of every Alpha rare even printed, and only 3,025 copies of each Beta rare.Is Black Lotus banned in Commander? ›
The following cards are restricted, which means you can only have one of them in your main deck and sideboard combined: Ancestral Recall. Balance. Black Lotus.What are secret rare cards? ›
Secret Rare is the highest category of Pokémon card rarity, and Secret Rare cards differ in several ways from lower-rarity cards. First, they have a collector card number that's higher than the advertised set number — hence the "secret" in their name.What is the #1 rarest Pokémon card? ›
1. 1998 Pikachu Illustrator Card. What is this? There's no better place to start than what many consider to be the rarest Pokemon card in existence, the Pikachu Illustrator card.What is the most expensive playing card ever sold? ›
The current record price is the US$12.6 million paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311) on August 28, 2022, breaking all previous records.What is the best magic card of all time? ›
Some obvious candidates come to mind, with the Power Nine being the first and foremost ones. These cards are considered the strongest ever printed in MTG history. While, in specific contexts, they are the best cards the game has ever seen, our answer to this question actually lies outside of these cards.What is the most powerful magic card ever? ›
- 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is the mother of all Eldrazi cards, figuratively.
- 2 Progenitus. ...
- 3 Blightsteel Colossus. ...
- 4 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice. ...
- 5 Snapcaster Mage. ...
- 6 True-Name Nemesis. ...
- 7 Griselbrand. ...
- 8 Tarmogoyf. ...
How do you make the most money selling Magic cards? ›
- Sell the cards in bulk at a low price for quick cash.
- Pick out the most valuable ones, search for their value on the Internet, try to get a decent price on them by pitching in local Facebook groups, then bulk out everything else.
It is restricted in Vintage and banned in Legacy. Christopher Rush drew its original artwork. On February 27th, 2019, a "Gem Mint 9.5 grade" Beckett Grading Services graded Alpha Black Lotus was bought on eBay for a record $166,100. On January 27, 2021, a "Gem Mint 10 grade" was sold for $511,100.Who owns a Black Lotus? ›
Last time we checked, the current owner of that item is the rapper Post Malone, who paid over $800,000 for the privilege. The Black Lotus is part of the MTG Power 9, which are considered some of the most powerful (and rarest) cards in the entire trading card game.Do they still print Black Lotus cards? ›
Additionally, Black Lotus was only printed in the Alpha, Beta and Unlimited sets, which has further increased its value with both fans and collectors alike. But while Wizards of the Coast has never reprinted Black Lotus, it has done limited digital runs of the card and referenced it in others.What color lotus is rare? ›
The blue lotus flower, which is the rarest one, symbolizes a spirit's victory over wisdom and knowledge. The pink lotus flower symbolizes spiritual path & enlightenment.Can you fail a drug test on lotus flower? ›
Blue Lotus itself is not detectable by urinalysis. Most products labeled as Blue Lotus contain synthetic cannabinoids, which is detected through testing.What are the four kinds of lotuses? ›
Four varieties of lotus flowers: Lotus flowers of Pathum (1), Boontharik (2), Sattabongkot (3), and Sattabutre (4).How many original Black Lotus cards are there? ›
Black Lotus and the rest of the Power Nine were only printed for the early Alpha, Beta and Unlimited sets right at the very beginning of Magic: The Gathering's inception. All in all, it is estimated that only about 1,100 Black Lotus cards were ever printed.How much is a damaged Black Lotus? ›
|Sale Date||Title||▲ ▼ Price|
|2023-01-29||MTG Black Lotus - Damaged / Poor Normal - Unlimited Authenticated by Beckett [eBay]||$6,000.00|
|2023-01-26||Unlimited Black Lotus Damaged / Heavily Played MTG Magic the Gathering [eBay]||$6,000.00|
|2023-01-22||MTG Black Lotus Unlimited Magic the Gathering [eBay]||$6,900.00|
Yes, currently in Magic card codes there are seven options for the rarity field: C – common. U – uncommon. R – rare. M – mythic rare.
What does S mean in MTG cards? ›
"S stands for special".What is purple rarity in MTG? ›
A silver symbol indicates the card is uncommon. A black or white symbol indicates the card is common or is a basic land. A purple symbol signifies a special rarity; to date, only the Time Spiral® “timeshifted” cards, which were rarer than that set's rare cards, have had purple expansion symbols.What are the odds against drawing a black queen? ›
Find the probability of drawing a black queen a black card and a black face card. No. of black queens = 2. So, Probability of black queen = 252=126.How many black spades cards are there? ›
- There are 4 suits (Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, and Spades) and there are 13 cards in each suit (Clubs/Spades are black, Hearts/Diamonds are red) - Without replacement means the card IS NOT put back into the deck.How many red king cards are there? ›
∴ The number of red kings present in a standard deck of 52 playing cards would be 2.What is Post Malone's favorite magic card? ›
Post Malone is certainly no stranger to showing off his love for Magic: The Gathering. He had previously spent $800,000 on an Alpha Black Lotus Card, the rarest and most valuable MTG card available, signed by Christopher Rush.How many MTG cards are there? ›
There are currently more than 25,000 unique Magic cards, to which hundreds are added each year. Cards are sold in a variety of languages and products, including booster packs and preconstructed theme decks.Does Post Malone have a deal with Bud Light? ›
Post Malone first partnered with Bud Light in 2018 as part of their “find the best friendships” campaign. Since then, Post Malone has headlined the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour, collaborated with Bud Light to create a one-of-a-kind branded clothing line, and posted on social media to his 22.6 million followers.What is the oldest PSA 10 card? ›
Manufactured in 1910, this Ty Cobb E98 Red card has remained perfectly preserved since, and is believed to be one of the most scarce and well-conditioned pre-war cards in circulation. Only two Ty Cobb E98 PSA Gem Mint 10's are known to exist in the world.Is Black Lotus legal to play? ›
Black Lotus is banned in all formats apart from Vintage, and even then, you're only allowed to have one copy of it.
What is the most valuable PSA 10? ›
The highest priced PSA 10 condition card from the 1970 Topps baseball set is currently the Thurman Munson. The rookie card last sold for over $33,200 and remains the highest valued and most sought after card from the set to date.Why are old Magic cards so expensive? ›
Basically, it all comes down to supply and demand. Expensive cards are the ones in demand, but as supply becomes more limited, the cost goes up to reflect that. That's why decks get so much more expensive as you go into older formats.How many sets was Black Lotus printed? ›
Falling Star was banned for dexterity reasons. This card, unlike other cards that rely on chance, has to be flipped as per their rulings. So if someone was unable to actually flip the card for whatever reason, they would be at a disadvantage.How many black lotuses still exist? ›
Its Alpha and Beta versions in particular are considered to be extremely valuable, due to the more limited print runs and black borders of those sets. The Alpha version of Black Lotus is the rarest and most sought-after, with an estimated 1100 ever printed, followed by the Beta version, with 3300 ever printed.What angel is banned in Commander? ›
4 Iona, Shield Of Emeria
While Iona, Shield of Emeria is steeply costed at nine mana, this mono-white angel was banned from the Commander format for its ability to completely shut down entire decks.
The Money Cards
Very old cards, the most powerful cards printed in the 1990s like Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall, can command prices in the thousands of dollars and vary depending on condition. Iconic cards printed and reprinted more recently, like Snapcaster Mage or Misty Rainforest, can climb higher than $50.
To tell if a card is rare or mythic rare we look at the expansion set symbol. Almost all cards will have an expansion set symbol on it to help you identify it. The colour of this symbol will tell you what rarity the card is; common = black, uncommon = silver, rare = gold, mythic = orange-red / bronze.What is the most beautiful card of magic? ›
Gift of Orzhova — Johannes Voss
Gift of Orzhova is no doubt the most beautiful card in Magic: The Gathering and was created by Johannes Voss.
Consider The Card's Rarity
The rarity of a Magic card can have a significant impact on its value. Generally, the rarer a card is, the more valuable it is likely to be. There are four levels of rarity in Magic: The Gathering: common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare. Mythic rare cards are the rarest and most valuable.
What are the most commonly guessed cards in magic? ›
People chose the Ace of Spades more than other Aces, and Aces and face cards more than number cards. More than half of the people chose one of four cards: the Ace of Spades, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Hearts, and King of Hearts. For number cards, people seemed to name Threes and Sevens the most.What brand is best for magic cards? ›
- Bee Playing Cards. Bee Playing Cards are a high quality, affordable deck of cards that are manufactured by the USPCC on a premium flexible stock. ...
- Tally-Ho Circle Back Playing Cards. ...
- COPAG 310 Playing Cards. ...
- Superior Playing Cards. ...
- The Dapper Deck. ...
- Monarch Playing Cards.
You can typically expect around 70% market value in cash for the cards and 10% to 15% more for store credit. If you don't have an LGS or they don't want to buy your cards, you can also sell them directly to sites like Star City Games or Card Kingdom.What color is a magic card rare? ›
A red-orange symbol indicates the card is mythic rare. A gold symbol indicates the card is rare. A silver symbol indicates the card is uncommon. A black or white symbol indicates the card is common or is a basic land.What is rare magic cards? ›
Rare is one of the four rarities of Magic cards. Cards that are of the rare rarity are often referred to as "rares." Rares have been identified by a gold-filled expansion symbol since the Exodus expansion. In sets printed before Exodus rarity was not denoted on cards.What cards are worth collecting? ›
- Best Overall: Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps Rookie Card.
- Best Rookie Card: Luka Doncic.
- Best NFL Card: Tom Brady Optic Base.
- Best Classic Movie Cards: Star Wars.
- Best Animated Cards: Pokémon.
Check the collector number
Secret rare cards have a collector number that is higher than the total number of cards that were printed in that set. For example, it may appear as 99/98. Secret rare cards can be quite valuable!
Secret Rare (1 in 49)
Secret Rare cards come in two visual styles. Since there are more Rainbow Rare cards than Gold Rare cards in Lost Origin, you're more likely to open a Rainbow Rare card, but your odds on a specific Gold Rare are slightly better than your odds on a specific Rainbow Rare.