Shichifukujin Dragon Art
17, May, 24

The Most Expensive MTG Cards of All Time

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For much of the game’s over 30-year history, MTG has been perceived as an incredibly expensive game. With many decks easily costing $1000 or more, playing Magic at a competitive level is a lot easier said than done. As if that wasn’t expensive enough, Magic: The Gathering also has no shortage of iconic and obscenely expensive cards.

Thanks to the Reserved List preventing specific reprints, some MTG cards have been enshrined into the annals of History. Steadily increasing in price over the years, these cards are undeniably iconic, especially the Power Nine. Despite this provenance, these immensely powerful and iconic cards aren’t the only ones on this list.

Without any further ado, here are the most expensive MTG cards of all time!

Honorable Mention | Priceless Cards

Shichifukujin Dragon | 1996 World Champion

Before we get into the most MTG cards of all time, it’s worth going over the ones that’ll never be sold. To celebrate momentous milestones, Wizards created a pair of one-of-one printings in 1996. As you’ll see later, there’s no question that these cards would be some of the most expensive in Magic’s history if ever sold.

Technically, 1996 World Champion is one of the cheapest cards on this list as it once sold for $17,500. Originally owned by World Championship winner Tom Chanpheng, this card’s iconic status, and price, have risen steadily over the years. Due to its rarity, some opportunistic players have even attempted to sell fake copies of this card online for over $200,000.

Currently, it’s unclear how much the 1996 World Champion would sell for if it ever went to auction today. Since this likely won’t ever happen, it’s hard to call this one-of-one card anything other than priceless. The same is true of Shichifukujin Dragon.

Created to celebrate the launch of a Duelists’ Convocation International Tournament Center in Tokyo, this card is similarly iconic. Occasionally seen touring Japan, this card is another iconic slice of MTG history that should never be sold. If it ever was, there’s little question that this card would have a rightful place on this list.

10 | Chaos Orb

Chaos Orb

Price: $44,400

Following a 2023 PWCC auction, Chaos Orb is now officially one of the most expensive MTG cards of all time. Considering how the card is played, it’s a surprise this classic Alpha card wasn’t on this list any sooner. When activating Chaos Orb’s ability, you literally flip it into the air, making it incredibly susceptible to damage.

Thanks to this incredibly unorthodox gameplay, finding a PSA 10-graded copy of Chaos Orb is no easy feat. As a result, this card is innately collectible and has a devout following who can’t stop pondering this orb. Ultimately, it’s only a surprise that Chaos Orb wasn’t enshrined on this list any earlier.

9 | Shivan Dragon

Shivan Dragon

Price: $44,400

In a slight break from form, Shivan Dragon is not a Power Nine card. In fact, Shivan Dragon isn’t even on the Reserved List. Worse than that, Shivan Dragon isn’t even one of the best dragons in MTG. If anything, Shivan Dragon is one of the worst dragons MTG has to offer, especially considering its heritage. Costing six mana, and only being a 5/5 dragon with Flying and firebreathing, Shivan Dragon is nothing to write home about.

That being said, while Shivan Dragon isn’t the most exciting MTG card, it is nonetheless beloved by the community. Subsequently, it has become a fan-favorite for collectors to fawn over, leading to some truly immense prices. The highest of these prices was obtained in 2022, by a Beckett graded 9.5 Gem Mint example.

8 | Mox Sapphire

Mox Sapphire

Price: $46,800

Despite their power and status as Power Nine cards, only two of the iconic Moxen are on this list. Able to be played for the low low cost of nothing at all, each Mox offers incredible, almost unmatched, ramp. Couple this incredible power with this iconic Reserved List status, and it’s no wonder that the Moxen are so expensive.

Out of the five classic Mox cards, Mox Sapphire is surprisingly the second most expensive. While arguably the most popular out of the bunch, this 2023 auction had one thing holding it back; grading. Unlike many of the cards on this list, this Mox Sapphire was only graded at a Mint 9 by PSA.

Considering this surprisingly low grade, there’s a real chance a more expensive Mox Sapphire may be sold in the future. Until that happens, however, this Moxen remains more than deserving of its spot on this list.

7 | Time Walk

Time Walk

Price: $63,000

While there’s no beating Black Lotus, Time Walk may be one of the most overpowered Power Nine cards. For just two mana, you get to take an extra turn. Considering this effect now costs at least five mana on cards like Time Warp it’s clearly leagues ahead.

Thanks to its power and innate rarity, even cheap copies of Time Walk sell for around $2,500. Unsurprisingly, should a Time Walk be graded to a pristine Gem Mint 10, then this price skyrockets. Given this is pretty much a perfect grade, this may be the limit for the price of a Time Walk. That being said, this price is undeniably impressive and obscenely expensive. 

6 | Vesuvan Doppelganger

Vesuvan Doppleganger

Price: $63,000

By most accounts, Vesuvan Doppelganger should not have made this list. As, similarly to copies of Shivan Dragon this near 30-year-old card is surprisingly cheap. Available for as low as $6 on TCGplayer, it’s clear there isn’t much demand for this card. After all, just like Shivan Dragon, this card also isn’t very good, boasting a very expensive copy ability. While this copy ability can change targets each turn, it is still weaker than Clone.

Despite being far from the most powerful card in MTG, Vesuvan Doppelganger is still one of the most expensive. This is thanks to a February 2023 auction reaching the dizzying price of $63,000! To explain this price tag, this copy of Vesuvan Doppelganger was graded a 9.5 by Beckett. This makes it on par with the other highest-quality examples, as no Vesuvan Doppelganger has been graded higher. 

5 | Timetwister

Timetwister

Price: $84,000

As one of the Power Nine, it’s hardly a surprise to see Timetwister made this list of the most expensive cards. What is surprising, however, is that Timetwister only claimed its spot fairly recently. Previously, copies of this card have fallen somewhat shy, only selling for around $25,000 and $23,000 via PWCC auctions. In an April 20th auction, however, a new prized version of this card hit the market and quickly racked up an immense price tag. 

Reaching a staggering price tag of $84,000, Timetwister has become the fifth most expensive unique MTG card ever sold. Facilitating this card’s impressive value is its spectacular grade from PSA. Deemed to be in perfect 10 Gem Mint condition, this card is only matched by three other examples. Subsequently, it’s safe to say this card is exceptionally rare, valuable, and more than deserving of the card’s price tag!

4 | Lord of the Pit

Lord of the Pit

Price: $105,000

Similarly to Vesuvan Doppelganger before it Lord of the Pit is not very good. It’s also not on the Reserved List, so it has been reprinted extensively since first appearing in Limited Edition Alpha. Despite these rather substantial drawbacks, Lord of the Pit nevertheless recently for a truly obscene amount of money. Within a January 2023 auction on PWCC, Lord of the Pit sold for $105,000.

Considering that Lord of the Pit can be yours for just $0.16 on TCGplayer, this immense price tag might be quite a shock. Thankfully, however, there is a good reason this Lord of the Pit cost so much: its rarity. Graded by Beckett as a Pristine 10, Lord of the Pit is in a league of its own, unmatched in quality. Subsequently, with this incredible quality in mind, it’s no wonder this unassuming Lord of the Pit sold for so much.

3 | Mox Jet

Mox Jet

Price: $108,000

As we alluded to earlier, Mox Jet is the only other classic Mox card on this list. Boasting the same ability as Mox Sapphire but in black, this card is fantastically powerful. With a perfect 10 Gem Mint grade from PSA, it’s no wonder this Mox Jet is so expensive!

Unfortunately, fully explaining this higher price point is rather difficult, as there are so many factors contributing to price. Obviously, the higher grade typically warrants a higher price but there’s much more than that to consider. For example, the rarity of this grading can cause huge spikes in price, which is likely what has happened here.

Alongside the rarity of the card itself, when a sale happens matters a great deal too. Notable, the sale of this Mox Jet happened in early 2024, unlike many of the cards in this article. Due to this, the overall market for collectible MTG cards may have shifted a great deal since 2023 and earlier.

2 | The One Ring

The One Ring | The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Price: $2,000,000

Unlike almost every card on this list, The One Ring is a new MTG card. Released in 2023, this new MTG card is definitely powerful, but it’s nowhere near the level of the Power Nine. On its own, regular copies of this card sell for around $70, which is a pittance compared to the cards on this list.

Despite the price of its regular printing, The One Ring has a supremely special variant. To celebrate The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set, Wizards created a one-of-one serialized version of this card. Inserted into one random Collector Booster, this special variant is tried for being the rarest MTG card in existence.

After a mad hunt by MTG players around the world, Forklift-certified Canadian Brook Trafton found The One-of-One Ring. Shortly after finding this prized card, Trafton sent the card to PSA for grading, where it received a Mint 9. Following this, Trafton went on to sell the card to Rapper and MTG fanatic Post Malone for $2,000,000.

Once this sale happened, it was presumed that The One Ring would stand for eons as MTG’s most expensive card. As you can see below, however, this new card didn’t last in the top spot for long.

1 | Black Lotus

Black Lotus

Price: $3,000,000

As the most powerful card, it just feels right that Black Lotus is the most expensive MTG card ever. Beating out everything else, a private collector has made history recently by paying $3,000,000 for a Black Lotus. Unsurprisingly, this card was graded a Pristine 10 by CGC, so it’s no wonder it was so expensive.

In case you’ve somehow never seen a Black Lotus before, this card is unmatched in terms of power. Like the Moxen this card costs nothing to play, however, you get three mana whenever you activate it. As a catch, the Black Lotus will be sacrificed in this process, but its effectiveness as early-game ramp can’t be understated.

While Black Lotus may arguably deserve the top spot, it’s never been close to being this expensive. Before this sale, the most expensive Black Lotus was owned by Post Malone who purchased the card for $800,000. Curiously, for all this money Malone didn’t even get a playable card, as they bought an “artist-proof” copy, signed by artist Chris Rush.

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