14 most valuable and rare Magic: The Gathering cards (2022)

Magic: The Gathering is practically its own currency at this point, with no shortage of rare and expensive cards out there to buy, sell and trade. Your old deck could be more valuable than you realise - or it could be full of Mudholes and goblins worth less than the box they're kept in. There's no way of knowing if you'll find the most expensive magic card until you start looking around, especially considering that at the end of the day... well, it's all just printed card.

And some MTG cards are ridiculously expensive, the kind of long-term investment that could justifiably be kept in an armoured vault with attack dogs waiting outside. Fingers crossed you find one of these in your attic; here's the most rare and expensive Magic: The Gathering cards of all time.

Most expensive Magic: The Gathering cards

  • Foil Intuition (Judge Promos)
  • Time Walk (Alpha)
  • Mox Jet (Alpha)
  • Mox Emerald (Alpha)
  • Underground Sea (Alpha)
  • Copy Artifact (Beta)
  • Timetwister (Alpha)
  • Mox Sapphire (Beta)
  • Mox Ruby (Alpha)
  • Mind Twist (Beta)
  • Volcanic Island (Beta)
  • Ancestral Recall (Alpha)
  • Black Lotus (Beta)
  • Black Lotus (Alpha)

However, there are plenty of people who put big money into MTG, and it’s caused some spectacular prices throughout the years thanks to things like the Reserved List. The Reserved List, for those not in the know, is a list of cards that can never be reprinted. Its purpose is to keep the value of certain cards from dropping, but what it’s actually done is caused certain formats to be completely inaccessible to all but the most trust-fundy of people.

That being said, it is fun to marvel at just how expensive MTG cards can become, so we thought we’d take a look at the most valuable cards in Magic: The Gathering.

Now, there are rules here. First of all, all of the prices are as listed on MTGGoldfish for a consistent comparison. Secondly, we’re talking about the most expensive these cards have been on the site. That means we’ve got a look back at the most expensive cards, rather than attempting to nail down any kind of finances in the current market.

Thankfully, this leaves us with some all-time classic cards, so it’s likely to be true several years from now - even if the prices themselves change, the content should be accurate. Now then, without any more ado, onto the list.

14. Foil Intuition (Judge Promos)

My gut feeling says I absolutely cannot afford this.

Peak price: $4,999

This one is very powerful, but interesting enough not to be banned absolutely everywhere. Arguably Blue magic at its bluest, three mana allows you to hunt down any three cards in your library... but you only get to keep one. Your opponent gets to choose two to go in the graveyard, but that still gives you a lot of power. If they don't know your strategy, you could try and fool them, or just pick three super-cards and watch them struggle to guess which one is least dangerous. And if you're running some graveyard snuffling cards, you can always get the two they made you throw away back.

13. Time Walk (Alpha)

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Let's do the Time Walk again!

Peak price: $6,500

Now come on, who let this happen? Time Walk is as powerful as it is simple - you play two mana to take a whole second turn after the one you're currently doing. That's a very good advantage, and the fact that it's so cheap to play means you can do a massive amount of set-up early in the game, or just a play a big monster and have it get over its summoning sickness before the opponent can do anything whatsoever. This might explain why it's banned in basically every format you can think of.

12. Mox Jet (Alpha)

Jet-setters.

Peak price: $9,999.99

There’s a lot of Mox cards in this page, but we promised to lay out the most valuable MTG cards and Mox cards remain ridiculously valuable. This one's a Black mana source, and remains as ridiculously powerful as the rest of its moxy brethren.

11. Mox Emerald (Alpha)

A lot of green for a bit of Green

Peak price: $10,125

This time around - and in something of a break from tradition - we’re not looking at a Blue, Red or Black Mox, but at Green. That makes this card unique on this list for being the only card on the Reserved List on this list. Wait, no. It’s the only Green card on this list.

10. Underground Sea (Alpha)

Everything’s better, down where it’s wetter

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Peak price: $11,882

Underground Sea is the only other dual land on this list. It taps for either Blue or Black mana with no downside whatsoever. We think you can agree that with this and Volcanic Island on the list, it must mean the combination of Red, Blue and Black must be the best one in Magic - and that means Nicol Bolas is probably right. Yes, this is also on the Reserved List.

9. Copy Artifact (Beta)

Can I copy your homework?

Peak price: $12,611

For only two mana, Copy Artifact is an enchantment that lets you copy an artifact. This card might take the prize for having the most on-the-nose name, but it’s a very powerful effect and one that only gets better as more artifacts get released. The pricing of this one might be the most interesting on the list, with it generally being very steady up until its peak in 2020 and then fluctuating wildly ever since. In a shocking departure from the norm, this card is also on the Reserved List.

8. Timetwister (Alpha)

Let’s twist again

Peak price: $14,999

Timetwister costs three mana and lets you shuffle your hand, graveyard and library together and then draw seven cards. Once you’ve managed all of that, your opponent does the same. In essence, it’s an incredibly potent spell that lets you not only draw a whole new hand, but almost reset the game without changing the actual board state. Also, it’s on the Reserved List.

7. Mox Sapphire (Beta)

A price tag that’ll leave you blue

Peak price: $14,999

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Imagine a Mox Ruby, but make it for Blue mana, and you’ve got everything you need to know here. These two, along with Volcanic Island, all fit in the same colour scheme, and therefore regularly go in the same decks, which is probably why they’re all so highly valued.

6. Mox Ruby (Alpha)

You’re as likely to afford it as steal it from the Cave of Wonders

Peak price: $17,908

The Mox cycle of cards are a marginally less broken version of a Black Lotus. Each one gives you one mana for no mana but, unlike Black Lotus, can be used multiple times. Mox Ruby gives you Red mana, and has been used in a plethora of decks since they were released. Also, they’re on the Reserved List - it’s at this point that you should be fully aware of how much the Reserved List has bolstered the cost of these cards instead of protecting them.

5. Mind Twist (Beta)

Do the twist

Peak price: $18,416

This is a fun one; Mind Twist is a card that can be used to make your opponent discard their hand. It’s not an obviously powerful effect and, on its own, it’s not all that great. However, thanks to the magic of mana generation like Black Lotus, it means you can potentially destroy your opponent’s hand before they even play anything. That, as it turns out, pretty much wins you the game… most of the time.

4. Volcanic Island (Beta)

Burning a hole in your pocket

Peak price: $19,888

We come to the first of the dual lands on our list. The dual land cycle includes ten lands, each of which represents a different colour pairing. Volcanic Island is the Red and Blue land. Land is an important part of MTG, and the reason that these ones cost so much is that there is no downside to playing them. Modern-day lands that give you access to multiple colours always have a downside of some sort, that’s just not the case here. Of course, this is also on the Reserved List.

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3. Ancestral Recall (Alpha)

Forget about being able to afford it

Peak price: $19,999

It turns out that gaining access to cheap resources is something that comes at a premium in MTG. Where Black Lotus gives you free mana, Ancestral Recall gives you very cheap card draw. For a single Blue mana, you can choose to draw three cards or make an opponent draw three cards. You’re unlikely to ever actually use the second mode of the spell but, then again, you’re also unlikely to be able to afford this responsibly.

2. Black Lotus (Beta)

Oh, that Black Lotus

Peak price: $42,000

The chances are that you’ve heard of this card even if you’ve stumbled across this article by some weird coincidence. Black Lotus is an excellent card because for the low cost of zero mana, it gives you three mana. Needless to say, that’s a powerful effect - and, thanks to the Reserved List, it’s not one we’ll be seeing again any time soon. Black Lotus is the poster-card for how expensive MTG can be, and that’s unlikely to ever change.

1. Black Lotus (Alpha)

The most expensive Magic: The Gathering card of all time thanks to an extremely rare sale

Peak price: $511,100

Black Lotus has long held a reputation as the most valuable Magic: The Gathering card ever made, but the rare MTG card managed to outdo its own legendary reputation in early 2021 after a copy of a Black Lotus from MTG's Alpha set sold for over half a million dollars.

The mint-condition Black Lotus sold on eBay in January 2021 was especially rare and unique, featuring the autograph of the card's original artist and designer Christopher Rush on its protective plastic case. The autograph was itself given a perfect 10 Gem Mint rating by card grader PSA.

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The final $511,100 sale price makes the autographed Black Lotus (Alpha) the most expensive Magic: The Gathering card of all time, as well as potentially the most valuable trading card game card ever sold at auction.

While the autographed card is especially rare, even non-autographed versions of the Alpha Black Lotus fetch serious amounts, with MTGGoldfish estimating a peak value of $35,000 at the time of writing.

FAQs

What is the most rare Magic The Gathering card? ›

Black Lotus is the rarest MTG card, adding three mana of any single color of your choice before being discarded. It has no cost and can be played as an interrupt as well. Every year, this card sells for a higher price due to the sheer value of its effect.

How do you know which Magic: The Gathering cards are worth money? ›

When a set (also known as an expansion or edition) is printed, some cards get less copies than others, making some cards worth more than others. You can tell what rarity a card is by looking at the color of the set symbol, found under the art to the right.

What old Magic cards are worth money? ›

15 Most Valuable Magic: The Gathering Cards
  1. 1 Black Lotus. The undisputed king of the Magic: The Gathering cards in terms of dollar value is the original Black Lotus.
  2. 2 Ancestral Recall. ...
  3. 3 Mox Sapphire. ...
  4. 4 Underground Sea. ...
  5. 5 Mox Jet. ...
  6. 6 Tropical Island. ...
  7. 7 Time Vault. ...
  8. 8 Wheel of Fortune. ...
6 Nov 2017

How many black lotuses exist? ›

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 are 2022 Magic cards worth? ›

13 Most Expensive 'Magic: The Gathering' Cards in 2022
  1. Black Lotus – $150,000. The Black Lotus is a legend. ...
  2. The Moxes – $17,400 – 30,000. The Moxes are our first grouped set. ...
  3. Ancestral Recall – $18,000. ...
  4. Time Twister – $16,800. ...
  5. Dual Lands – $6,500 – $25,000. ...
  6. Chaos Orb – $17,600. ...
  7. Time Walk – $19,000. ...
  8. Wheel of Fortune – $14,000.
3 Mar 2022

Are Magic cards from 1994 worth money? ›

Magic: The Gathering is the world's most popular trading card game. The cards known as the Power Nine stopped being printed in 1994, making them extremely rare. The most sought-after card is the Black Lotus. The Black Lotus can cost $27,000 (£20,000) alone if it is from the first edition.

Are Magic cards a good investment? ›

Traditionally, Magic cards didn't tend to increase much in value. But since 2020, the growth in the trading card market has been bringing in new investors to the market.

How can you tell if a Magic card is rare? ›

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 do I price my Magic cards? ›

Cards are typically priced based on the market average i.e., the average price it's being sold for across thousands of resellers like local game stores, individual players, and big organizations like ChannelFireball. There are a lot of sites to get this price from but TCGPlayer's market average is the most common.

Are any common MTG cards worth anything? ›

Odds are you are going to be selling lots of bulk picks to a buylist, so I wanted to see what the most valuable Modern uncommons and commons that go to buylists in general are.
...
TCGPlayer Retail – Tier 1 Modern Uncommons and Commons.
Card NameAven Mindcensor
SetFuture Sight
TCGPlayer Value$11.98
Avg Buylist$7.50
25 more columns
27 Oct 2014

How much is a Black Lotus worth? ›

Black Lotus gives you three mana of any color, granting you massive power over your opponents. It's the most prized MTG card ever sold, with its most recent sale standing at a staggering $160,000. Currently, the Black Lotus card's estimated price is $40,000.

Is Lion's Eye Diamond on the reserved list? ›

Discard your hand, Sacrifice Lion's Eye Diamond: Add three mana of any one color. Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant. This card is on the reserved list.

Are Star Wars cards worth anything? ›

Luke Skywalker 1977 Star Wars #1 PSA 9— $7,699

While other characters like Darth Vader and Princess Leia are popular Star Wars characters, Luke Skywalker seems to hold the most value with trading card collectors. The card sold as low as $100 in 2013 making for a 7,598% appreciation in a little less than a decade.

How many PSA 10 Black Lotus are there? ›

It is one of seven PSA 10 Gem Mint Alpha Black Lotus cards in existence, and as of the updated publication of this article, the high bidder sits at $310,300.

What is the strongest creature in MTG? ›

The Most Powerful Creature Cards In Magic: The Gathering, Ranked
  1. 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is the mother of all Eldrazi cards, figuratively.
  2. 2 Progenitus. Progenitus by Jaime Jones. ...
  3. 3 Blightsteel Colossus. ...
  4. 4 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice. ...
  5. 5 Snapcaster Mage. ...
  6. 6 True-Name Nemesis. ...
  7. 7 Griselbrand. ...
  8. 8 Tarmogoyf. ...
4 Jan 2022

Why are MOX cards banned? ›

The cause for this is the ability to play multiples in a single turn, giving an unbalanced, extremely powerful mana acceleration which led to them being restricted in Vintage and completely banned in every other format very early in the game's history.

Are Magic cards from 1993 worth anything? ›

The Magic: The Gathering complete 1993 Alpha card set was by far the top lot of the auction, finishing at an astounding $423,750.

Are Signed Magic cards worth more? ›

In general any card modifications, including artist signatures, are more likely to lower the value of a card.

Are foil Magic cards worth more? ›

Most foils were worth roughly 1.5 to 2 times as much as their non-foil counterparts, with select Commander and eternal staples demanding a premium up to 10 or 20 times their non-foil value.

Where can I sell Magic cards? ›

The Best Ways to Sell Magic Cards
  • Locally (trading, selling)
  • Buylisting (to a local or online store, or at events)
  • Marketplaces (Ebay, TCGplayer, etc)

Are Magic cards worth more than Pokémon? ›

Overall MTG has more value, from what I've seen the most expensive Pokemon cards are a fraction of the cost of MTG's finest. I also think that the reprint cycle and circulation strategy for MTG is better, instead of just reprinting the same cards which tanks the vale.

Are Magic cards profitable? ›

If the market shifts in two months and the price shoots up to $10 each, that's a neat 400% profit, way better than any possible stock return in such a short amount of time. However, if the card never takes off, you could find yourself down 50%, and a tough time to even sell all 100 copies you had bought.

Is MTG still popular? ›

Estimates place the active MTG Arena player count at around 10 million in 2021. Naturally, the pandemic boosted the popularity of Magic's digital version. And now, even if COVID-19 were to suddenly disappear, the game's success in the eSports world pretty much secures its place for the foreseeable future.

What does M mean on a magic card? ›

Yes, currently in Magic card codes there are seven options for the rarity field: C – common. U – uncommon. R – rare. M – mythic rare.

What is a mythic rare? ›

Mythic rare is a rarity level, one step higher than rare. It is indicated by an orange-red colored expansion symbol, which originally was meant to provide a "fiery" appearance.

How many rare Magic sets are there? ›

In modern sets (ie. Shards of Alara and up), large sets have 249 cards, with 101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares and 20 basic lands. Commons, uncommons and rares are always colour-balanced.

How do you tell a first edition Magic Card? ›

Nick Short. The easy way to tell what edition a card is from is by checking the symbol on the right side of the bar between the art and the text box. This is the expansion symbol which tells you the set it's from.

How much are rare MTG cards worth? ›

Peak price: $511,100

Black Lotus has long held a reputation as the most valuable Magic: The Gathering card ever made, but the rare MTG card managed to outdo its own legendary reputation in early 2021 after a copy of a Black Lotus from MTG's Alpha set sold for over half a million dollars.

How can you tell if a magic card is Alpha or Beta? ›

ALPHA cards are black bordered and have very very rounded edges (2mm radius) compared to all other kinds of magic cards (1mm radius). Just pick up a black bordered card and overlay them on top of each other. If the corners are VERY different then you have ALPHA, otherwise you have BETA.

How much is an alpha Lotus? ›

Black Lotus - $161019.06 Set: Alpha
Card Color:Art
Mana Cost0
Type & Class:Artifact
Card Text:{T}, Sacrifice Black Lotus: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.
Flavor Text:
4 more rows

Why is Alpha Black Lotus so expensive? ›

Black Lotus is one of the most powerful cards you can play in Magic: the Gathering. The card was printed in only three sets when the game was first made. An Alpha Black Lotus can be bought for $500,000 due to huge demand, little supply, and no way to be printed again because of the Reserved List.

What is the most valuable card? ›

Most Expensive Sports Trading Card Sales to Date
PlayerCardPrice
1. Honus WagnerT206 SGC 3$6.6 Million
T2. Mickey Mantle1952 Topps$5.2 Million
T2. LeBron James2003-04 Rookie Patch Autograph$5.2 Million
4. Luka Doncic*1:1 Logoman Autographed$4.6 Million
6 more rows

Will dual lands ever be reprinted? ›

Oh, and they'll never be printed again. They're also legal to play in Commander, the most popular Magic format. If you want the best lands for your deck, you've got to compete against an increasing number of players for a decreasing number of available copies. Dual lands are also incredibly old.

What is hellbent MTG? ›

Hellbent is an ability word that indicates that a card is better if its controller has no cards in their hand.

Is fork on the reserved list? ›

One such reprint that blurred the lines of WotC's Reserved List reprint policy is Reverberate. At first glance, you might think Reverberate has the same text as Fork, a Reserved List card. The first and last group of words on Reverberate and Fork mean the same thing.

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2. 15 Most Valuable GREEN REVISED Magic Cards on eBay - Vintage RARE MTG Magic: the Gathering
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3. 20 Most Valuable UNCOMMONS in MTG - Most Valuable on eBay! Selling Magic: The Gathering Cards
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4. 20 Most Valuable ALPHA MTG cards on eBay - Rarest Magic: the Gathering Cards in the WORLD!
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5. Top 100 Commons in Magic the Gathering & Why They Are Expensive
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6. 15 Most Expensive BLACK REVISED Magic Cards on eBay - Selling RARE MTG Magic: the Gathering 2015
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