For almost three decades, it has been no secret that Magic: the Gathering can be an incredibly expensive game. Not only can competitive decks cost between $500 and $23,000, but MTG is also incredibly alluring to collectors. Thanks to iconic cards such as the Power Nine, it’s entirely unsurprising to see six-figure card sales. While these sales are undeniably impressive a new bounty has blown tradition out of the water. MTG has a new most expensive card, and it’s worth a million dollars.
Soon to be released as part of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth MTG’s new most expensive card is The One Ring. Technically, this card is available for just $47 on TCGplayer, however, that’s only for the normal variant. To aptly celebrate a Lord of the Rings-themed set, Wizards is also releasing a serialized one-of-one copy of the card. That unique and prized variant is now the most expensive card in all MTG.
One Million Dollars
Ever since it was announced back in March There was no doubt that The One Ring was going to be incredibly expensive. Initially fetching a $100,000 standing order, the card instantly became the third most expensive card of all time. As expensive as it was already, this was just the start.
As the release date for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth draws near, bids have been pouring in. Jumping to $150,000, then $190,000, major celebrities and local games stores alike tried to secure The One Ring. One MTG fanatic hoping to do just that was NFL player Cassius Marsh.
Recently publicizing a staggering $500,000 bid for The One Ring, it seemed the bidding madness may finally be over. After all, at this price, the potential bidders are incredibly few and far between. Despite this presumption, however, TCG seller Dave & Adam’s Card World would soon prove skeptics wrong.
Across social media, Dave & Adam’s Card World recently announced an incredible $1,000,000 bid for The One Ring. Should the card sell at this price, that would make it the most expensive MTG card ever sold. While this is obviously an incredibly tantalizing offer, it seemed to come with a bizarre catch. Namely that this offer had an expiration date, which expired on July 17th, 2023.
While it is understandable that a collector would want their million-dollar MTG card as soon as possible, many players were nevertheless perplexed. Thankfully, however, in an update to their blog post, Dave & Adam’s stated this expiration date has since been removed. “There is currently NO expiration date on this bounty.”
A Dangerous Game
Understandably, since the serialized One Ring is effectively now a lottery ticket, it’s safe to say many players are incredibly excited. Sure, the odds may be dismally low, but one lucky player is still going to open a million-dollar MTG card! Well, that’s how it should work in theory, at least.
In reality, finding The One Ring is going to be a lot easier said than done. Subsequently, it seems inevitable some unscrupulous MTG players are going to do just that and fake The One Ring. In fact, this has already started to happen. Unfortunately, this is going to make finding the real deal incredibly difficult, especially if the fakes are believable.
For better or worse, due to the abundance of expensive cards, fakes are nothing new in the world of MTG. This should hopefully mean that players and sellers are able to weed out forgeries when they appear. While this is good news for the buyer, the potential prevalence of forgeries nevertheless threatens to spoil the fun.
Without a proper system of verification from Wizards, authenticity may only be guaranteed from a public pack opening. This, however, is not a good idea. Much like The One Ring from Tolkien’s books, this MTG card facsimile may bring out the worst in people. Subsequently, opening the winning Collector Booster in public could result in it being stolen.
Unfortunately, even if Wizards were to have printed a voucher to ensure authenticity, theft would still be a major concern. Subsequently, we strongly recommend that you do not open The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Collector Boosters in public. Instead, MTG players should follow the advice of Gandalf. “Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.”
A Needle in a Haystack
While there are certainly problems with finding and authenticating The One Ring, before then the card has to be found. As we briefly mentioned earlier, this is not an easy thing to do. According to Wizards of the Coast, the odds of finding The One Ring is <.00003%. Ignoring the pesky less-than symbol, this means The One Ring is within one of 3,333,333 English Collector Boosters.
When not ignoring the all-important less-than symbol, the potential odds are even worse, as pointed out by u/OtherProfessional971. As a result of this, there’s a very real chance that The One Ring is never found at all. Potentially locked away in storage, The One Ring could theoretically be in one of the last Collector Boosters ever opened. If this is the case it may take literal years for this million-dollar card to emerge.
If it does ever get found and sold, The One Ring is sure to be the most expensive MTG card of all time. Beating out Post Malone’s $800,000 artist-proof Black Lotus, it seems the sky is the limit for The One Ring. At this point, it would be entirely unsurprising to see additional bounties pushing up the card’s value even more. So long as Wizards doesn’t ever repeat this stunt, this record price may well be unbeatable.