Tyler the Great Warrior
27, Mar, 23

The Rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! Card May Foretell the Future of MTG

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During the fairly recent First Look for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, Wizards caused quite a stir. This was thanks to the reveal of the rarest MTG card ever printed: The One Ring. Rather aptly, for a Lord of the Rings crossover set, Wizards is creating a one-of-one serialized version of this card. Inserted into one of roughly three million Collector Boosters, this card has enamored casual players and MTG collectors alike. While the card is certainly eye-catching, it’s far from the only ultra-rare TCG card in existence. It’s not even the only one-of-one MTG card ever created!

Unfortunately, as exciting as one-of-one cards are for players and collectors, they are rather hard to keep track of. So much so that MTG’s past one-of-one cards have practically been lost to time. Thankfully, this hasn’t been the fate of every one-of-one trading card as some have maintained relevance and become legends. Arguably, the most legendary of all these is the Yu-Gi-Oh! card Tyler the Great Warrior. Originally printed in 2005, its creation is quite the story, however, after 18 long years, the card is being sold. Once listed for auction, Tyler the Great Warrior is undoubtedly going to set quite the precedent for the rarest MTG card to beat. 

Tyler the Great Warrior

Tyler the Great Warrior
Tyler the Great Warrior

First devised back in 2005, Tyler the Great Warrior is a Yu-Gi-Oh! card unlike any other. Rather than being traditionally created and printed by Komani, the card was instead designed by Tyler Gressle. Through the Make a Wish program, Gressle was allowed to create their very own one-of-a-kind Yu-Gi-Oh! card. While undoubtedly an incredible opportunity, this wasn’t Gressle’s first choice. Instead, after being approached by the Make a Wish foundation, Gressle wished to receive a Porsche. Due to their age, this wish couldn’t be completed, however, their second choice was thankfully a viable alternative. 

While it might not have been their first choice, as a lifelong Yu-Gi-Oh! player, Gressle understandably relished the opportunity to create their very own card. Offered unlimited freedom, Gressle combined their two favorite pastimes to create the card: Dragon Ball, and Yu-Gi-Oh!. Within the card creation process, Gressle helped to create the stats, themes, and art for the card, which would be finished by the legendary Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi. The only detail they weren’t allowed to choose was the name, as that had already been picked out. As a special surprise, the name Tyler the Great Warrior had already been chosen by Yu-Gi-Oh! themselves. 

After being created in 2005, Gressle would thankfully go on to win their battle with undifferentiated sarcoma of the liver. Subsequently, they were able to keep the one-of-one card in their possession since its creation in New York. During that day, Gressle met Yu-Gi-Oh! creators and cast members, while also watching the card get pressed. Following a few pictures with the card, it was then sealed within a heavy-duty protective case, where it remained until recently. 

The End of an Era

After 18 years, Tyler the Great Warrior’s protective case was finally opened. This process was captured during a documentary video by YouTuber Alex “Cimoooooooo” Cimo. Within this video, Cimo spoke to Gressle while taking their prized procession to Beckett Grading Services in Texas. As you might expect, during this visit, Gressle’s card was graded ahead of being put up for auction next month. Curiously, despite having been sealed within a thick protective case for practically its entire existence, Tyler the Great Warrior didn’t get a perfect 10 grade. 

Instead, Beckett Grading Services only graded the card at a Near-Mint 7. This lower-than-expected grading was due to a crease on one corner, as well as surface damage, which had been sustained due to the original case’s pressure. Thankfully for Gressle, while the grading isn’t perfect, it doesn’t exactly matter when it’s the only copy in existence. Sure, an excellent 10 grade would have been preferable, however, it’s nevertheless the best quality example in the world. Subsequently, as a one-of-one card, Tyler the Great Warrior is expected to fetch an incredible price at auction. 

According to Gressle, selling Tyler the Great Warrior hasn’t been something they’ve thought about in their nearly 20 years of ownership. That was, until recently, when Gressle decided they want to sell on the card so “someone [else] can truly truly enjoy it.” Alongside continuing the story of this legendary card, Gressle wants to fund starting a family, business, and travel adventures. Alongside this, Gressle stated they want to give back to the Make a Wish foundation, donating part of the proceeds. 

The Mother of All Auctions

MTG LOTR vs Yu-Gi-Oh

Closing their video, Cimo revealed that “the action for ‘Tyler the Great Warrior will be hosted on eBay, beginning April 19th, 2023.” Currently, it’s unclear just how much the card will be sold for once this auction ends in April. Obviously, it goes without saying that the sale price will be seriously expensive. While arguably not as iconic as a Black Lotus, within the Yu-Gi-Oh! community, Tyler the Great Warrior is a legendary card. Subsequently, it’s entirely possible the card will sell for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Similarly to The One Ring, this card could even sell for a million dollars.

Alongside Yu-Gi-Oh! players and fanatical TCG collectors who have obviously been enamored by Tyler the Great Warrior’s upcoming auction, MTG players are paying interest too. After all, the card’s sale may mimic the seemingly inevitable auction for The One Ring. While there are debates about which card will sell for more, they’re both bound to be incredibly valuable as one-of-one cards. Exactly how valuable? That remains to be seen. However, it’s certainly going to be compelling watching these cards be sold.

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