Gotta Collect ‘Em All: The Most Expensive Magic: The Gathering Cards

Magic: The Gathering is a strategy game played with both digital collectable and physical trading cards. Although many players have moved their games online for the sake of convenience and expediency, the majority of games still take place in person, around a kitchen table or in the back room of a game store.

Purchasing a new Magic: The Gathering card or card deck can cost anything between a few cents to several thousand dollars. Cards are valuable because of their rarity, but also because of their utility within gameplay. If you’re looking to start playing, or just want a sense of how much some of your cards could be worth, take a look at this list of the most expensive Magic: The Gathering cards in history.

Black Lotus

Magic: The Gathering was invented by Richard Garfield and was released in 1993 by games company Wizards of the Coast. It was their first major collectible card game published, and while they were working out the kinks, they released a collection of nine cards that many people came to realize vastly overpowered the rest of the cards. This group, which is referred to as the “Power Nine” are extremely rare and very useful.

Black Lotus is the most powerful of the Power Nine, and a professional Magic: The Gathering player even went as far as to say that a Black Lotus would undisputedly improve any deck to which it was added. Non-mint condition cards sell for between $1,600 and $3,000, while mint condition Black Lotuses have sold for as much as $30,000 each.

Time Walk

Time Walk is another one of the Power Nine cards, which allows a player to take another turn after the one that they’ve just had. It’s actually possible to have more than one of these in your deck, and play them one after the other, taking enough turns away from the opposing player that it completely derails their chances of winning. There are a few early editions of this card still on the market that read “target player loses next turn”, which led some people to believe that playing this card would force their opponent to lose on their next turn — not just lose their next turn. The wording was changed for the Alpha set.

Now, Time Walk cards generally retail for between $3,600 and $5,000.


Mox Sapphire

The Moxen (or Moxes) make up a large percentage of the Power Nine. They’re jewelry cards that are better than land as a mana source. Normally, to add mana, a player would need to use one of their turns, but the Moxen can help players set up powerful plays without needing to stop the game. Of the five Moxen that exist, Mox Sapphire is the most valuable. It has other spells in the Power Nine which use its mana, making it more valuable than the other Moxen.

Currently, Mox Sapphire cards are valued between $4,800 and $5,500, and they’re only appreciating in value on the secondary market, so if you’re going to make the purchase, sooner is better than later.

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