The most expensive MTG cards would set you back thousands of dollars.
Magic: The Gathering is perhaps one of the world’s most popular card games, as it still enjoys an incredibly large player base 25 years after its original release. This trading card and digital collectible card game came out in 1993 courtesy of Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast. The game can be played by two or more players in different ways, all of which are divided into two categories: limited and constructed. In Limited Mode, players create their decks using a pool of random cards, while in Constructed Mode, they are free to use cards that they own and customize the deck accordingly.
Magic: The Gathering can be played in person using traditional cards (which we’ll talk about in a second), or online via the internet based Magic: The Gathering Online platform. There’s even an international tournament available for this outstanding game, which engages a worldwide community of professional players.
New cards for Magic are being released periodically as part of expansion sets. However, the oldest and the rarest of them command outstanding price tags that sometimes exceed a few thousands of dollars. Why would anyone pay so much for a game card? Well, while some of these cards are quite rare, others are actually incredibly powerful and provide the player with a significant advantage. Today we’re going to have a look at the 15 most expensive Magic The Gathering cards right now.
Prices are sourced from Amazon, mind you, which means that you can actually purchase these cards quite easily if you want to.
17. Wheel of Fortune ($138).
Wheel of fortune is the cheapest MTG card on our list, but it’s still quite an expensive game card, all things considered. This sorcery-type card costs 2 generic mana and 1 red mana, and it currently retails for about $138. What does it do? Well, it basically forces both players to discard their hands and draw seven new cards.
This is definitely a useful card to have in your deck, particularly if you’re not currently satisfied with your hand, or if you’re feeling lucky. While the card that we found on Amazon cost $138, some Limited Edition Alpha variants reportedly cost as much as $19,000. We’ve yet to see one of those in the wild, however, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled.
16. Ravages of War – Portal Three Kingdoms ($200).
Portal Three Kingdoms is the name of the third Magic: The Gathering introductory level game sets known as Portal. Ravages of War is one of its playable cards, and it’s also one of the most expensive in the set, as it can retail for about $200. What’s special about Portal Three Kingdoms is that it introduced an interesting new game mechanic named Horsemanship.
As for Ravages of War, it’s a Sorcery type card that basically destroys all lands, including the player’s lands. It’s mechanic definitely has something to do with the asking price, but the card’s rarity also weighs in the balance, especially given its age.
15. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite – Judge Promos – Foil ($289).
We’re moving on to a rather powerful card, namely Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. As part of the Judge Promos set, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is a Praetor – a very powerful entity that can sometimes secure the win of a match provided it lives long enough. The card that we’ve spotted featured a sticker price of $289, and it it was featured as Promo rarity.
Elesh Norn is a 7 (converted mana cost) for a 4/7 that offers Vigilance while giving other creatures that you control +2/+2. Moreover, it gives your opponent’s creatures -2/-2, which makes it considerably more powerful than Infest. While the card itself is powerful enough as a creature, the effect that it has on your creatures and your opponent’s creatures is likely to win you the game.
14. Mox Jet ($649).
Mox cards were quite pricey even when they first came out, and many players were concerned that it transformed Magic: The Gathering into a pay-to-win game. In the first turns, the five Mox jewels are capable of generating a lot of mana, hence giving the player a considerable advantage over its opponent. This type of “ramp” gameplay type is also present in other modern card games, including Blizzard’s Hearthstone, particularly the Ramp Druid decks.
Mox Jet adds one black mana to your mana pool each turn, which adds up to a lot of mana throughout the game. While several Mox cards have received tweaks and balances over the years, many were banned anyway from multiple formats, and we can definitely understand why.
13. Ancestral Recall – Collectors Edition ($650).
As one of the five boons printed in the original run of Magic: The Gathering, Ancestral Recall is a very special card indeed. Even though its original design was intended as a Common-type card, Richard Garfield eventually decided to make it rare. However, this didn’t do much to nerf the card from the powerhouse that it is.
Think about it: it basically allows you to draw three cards without any penalties. This can allow you to build a powerful hand in no time at all. For this reason, Ancestral Recall was banned from pretty much all formats except for Vintage. However, it is restricted even in that particular format. Also known as Blue’s most powerful card and one of the Power Nine alongside the Mox cards, Ancestral Recall was sketched out by Mark Poole.
12. Underground Sea ($699).
Underground Sea is a card that’s often included in the so-called Bruise deck. This deck relies on a combination of blue and black colored cards, and Underground Sea fits the tactic perfectly, as it is able to produce either black or blue mana. However, this card also has a serious vulnerability, mainly because it counts as both island and swamp.
Therefore, if a spell targets any of these land types and destroys it, the card becomes destroyed as well. As part of the original “Dual Lands” set, Underground Sea is a highly sought-after collectible, especially since it was included in the Magic’s Reserved List.
11. Moat – Legends ($700).
The Moat is a powerful card in MTG, no doubt about it. However, its price tag is also justified by its origins in the Legends print run. Long story short, Moat is a very rare card, rarer than Black Lotus according to some experts, and yet it costs significantly less. Some players are able to put in four of these cards in a single deck, which makes it very useful.
Moat impedes all non-flying creatures from attacking, which is a simple yet effective method of halting your opponent in his tracks. The card was designed by artist Jeff A. Menges, and its price tag varies between $200 and $700.
10. Tropical Island ($900).
Tropical island costs a lot. Sure, we found it at $900, but in other places, it can sell for as much as $4,300. It’s also a part of the original “Dual Lands” alongside Underground Sea, and it is often played in Eternal formats like Vintage and Commander. It’s also a part of Magic’s Reserved List, which means that Wizards of the Coast will never reprint it.
As for the card’s actual in-game effect, it counts as both Island and Forest, and it allows the player to tap in blue or green mana. The card is vulnerable to various effects that target Lands, but it’s quite the powerhouse nonetheless.
9. Candelabra of Tawnos – Antiquities ($1,050).
Candelabra of Tawnos is an Artifact type card in MTG that allows you to untap your opponent’s lands if so desired. Rare and part of the Antiquities expansion, this card represents the hard work of artist Douglas Shuler, and it can retail for $1,000 or more depending on its age and condition.
So what makes this card so special in the game? It might not appear very powerful at a glance, but it can do quite a bit of damage when paired with cards such as High Tide or Cloudpost, as it allows the player to generate a LOT of mana.
8. Chains of Mephistopheles – Legends ($1,100).
Chains of Mephistopheles can wreak havoc on your opponent’s hand or deck, and it can heavily disrupt his or her plans. To be clear, if a player draws a card except for the first one he or she draws in his or her draw step each turn, that player discards a card instead. Illustrated in 1994 by Heather Hudson, Chains of Mephistopheles is a part of the Legends expansion, and it can cost upwards of $1,100.
It’s a very spooky-looking card, and it relies on Black mana. It is one of the rarest and most expensive Magic The Gathering cards in the world, and many players see it as overpowered.
7. Mox Pearl ($1,999).
Mox Pearl made it on our list of the most expensive MTG cards, as it is one of the five original Moxen. This card surfaced on various auctions throughout the years, and it even boasted an asking price tag of $250,000 on eBay at some point. The one that we found would set you back $2K, which is still a considerable amount of money to pay for an MTG card.
Mox Pearl allows you to add White Mana to your mana pool, and it features a beautiful pearl illustration signed by Dan Frazier. Those of you who are lucky enough to get your hands on at least three original Mox cards are in for a lot of fun at MTG tournaments.
6. Time Walk ($2,900).
Back in the day, the original Magic: The Gathering ban list included some fairly unbalanced cards that had the potential to break the rules. The Power Nine set was obviously targeted, but we’re here to talk about the most notorious card of them all. Time Walk allows you to take an extra turn for two mana right after you completed the current turn.
Basically, you could take multiple turns until you defeated your enemy provided you had the mana to spare. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a mode that still allows this card into play, but for $2,900, you could try.
5. Timetwister ($2,999).
Timetwister is one of the most interesting Power Nine cards, as it doesn’t completely fit in with the rest of the set, at least not in a conventional way. The card was out in the game’s original alpha/beta phase, and it did indeed help break the game at the time.
As far as functionality is concerned, Timetwister can be set aside in a new graveyard pile, and the player then shuffles his hand, library, and graveyard together before drawing a brand new seven-card hand. All cards are left in play where they are, and the opponent must do the same. As for pricing, Timetwister goes for $2,999 at the time of writing, which makes it one of the most expensive Magic the Gathering cards in the world.
4. Mox Sapphire ($3,039).
The final Mox cards that we’re going to mention on our list are Mox Sapphire and Mox Emerald. The Sapphire allows you to add one Blue Mana to your mana pool each turn, and when combined with other Mox gems, it can allow you to become undefeatable. Can you imagine how many tournaments were won because of these unbalanced cards?
At any rate, Mox Sapphire is one of the most expensive cards in the MTG franchise, as it can retail for $3,000 without breaking a sweat.
3. Mox Emerald – Alpha ($5,559).
Our next Mox powerhouse is the Mox Emerald, which gives you the ability to add Green mana to your pool. Apparently, Green mana is quite a bit more precious than other mana types, as the Emerald would set you back almost $6,000 depending on its rarity and quality.
If you ask me, Mox Emerald is the most beautiful Mox card out there, as it features a matching green background alongside the gemstone set in gold.
2. Mox Ruby ($8,580).
Apparently, Mox Ruby is an incredibly expensive MTG card, as it can reach price tags up to $8,580. The card works by adding red mana to the player’s mana pool, and tapping the artifact can also work as an interrupt.
As with most Power Nine cards, this one is incredibly rare and quite sought-after. You should count your blessings if you ever get your hands on one of them, particularly for a price tag lower than a few thousand dollars.
1. Black Lotus (Up to $250,000).
Last but not least, the absolute most expensive Magic The Gathering card out there is Black Lotus. This card isn’t even available on Amazon at the time of writing, but you could probably find an auction that includes it if you look hard enough. Black Lotus is also arguably the most famous MTG card of them all.
The artifact gives the player three mana of whichever color they choose, which means that it allows him to pull out incredibly powerful cards early in the game. Banned from all formats except Vintage, Black Lotus rarely sees the light of day anymore. However, diehard collectors still scour the online and offline for it regularly. Usually, when a Black Lotus pops up, it sells out in a heartbeat, which also contributes to its relatively ridiculous price tag.
This concludes our list of the most expensive MTG cards in the world. If you have more information or you would like to tell us about other expensive cards that you’ve come across, feel free to get in touch with us!
Let’s pull up a chair and enjoy a game in the meanwhile, shall we?