We’re back at it with more Yu-Gi-Oh card facts. In case you didn’t spot my previous article on Yu-Gi-Oh, I used to play a lot as a kid. Back where I am from, you were either into Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh (Digimon didn’t even factor, sorry not sorry) and there was a fierce rivalry between the two factions. Looking back on it, they’re both wildly successful card games so there probably wasn’t any need for any tribalism, but hey. Anyway, I casually played Yu-Gi-Oh and watched the anime as a kid. As an adult, I appreciate the many memes that Yu-Gi-Oh the anime has bestowed upon us but I am a little rusty. That being said, there are some Yu-Gi-Oh cards that even I remember being bad or have heard should not be played. I also know that the game has been around long enough to have some crazy-expensive cards pop up. We grew up watching Seto Kaiba flashing his money looking for a Blue Eyes White Dragon in the anime, so it's not exactly surprising.
But what are the worst of the worst and the best of the best? What is the most expensive card that you can get on the market? I’ve done some digging, and there are some wildly expensive and massively terrible cards that we can check out together. If you’re an old-timer like me, you might want to dust off your old deck and see if you have any surprise valuables in there. If you have some bad cards, you may want to trade them out to someone who doesn’t necessarily know better.
26 Expensive: Crush Card Virus ($2474)
You know how I keep mentioning Seto Kaiba? That’s because he, and the anime as a whole, have shaped the Yu-Gi-Oh community in a number of ways; from memes to new players, this guy won’t stop refreshing the community. This card, for example, can be sold for thousands if it bears the code SJCS-EN004. Why? Because it is the card Seto Kaiba uses in the anime and cites as an important player in his deck. Cards with this number were handed out to winners in the Shonen Jump Championship as a promo card and I am so jealous.
25 Worst: Zone Eater
Unless you have a water deck, this card is not worth your time. That being said, I have seen many games end with a few rounds of each player using this card. Even if you do have a low-level water deck, this won’t do you any favors. Honestly, this is another hard pass for me as I consider it a waste of energy to keep around. It only prolongs games in a desperate attempt to gain ground. This is a bad card, no doubt about it.
24 Expensive: GSC Dark Magician Girl ($1100-$6600)
This girl may as well be the mascot of the franchise at this point; players are all too familiar with her and even casuals and non-players can recognize her. With her popularity and fame in mind, it is no wonder that her prices can go so high. Many old-school fans such as myself may want to check their decks and see if they have one. If you have cash and want to bag yourself a card-game celebrity to add to your collection, Dark Magician Girl is a good investment.
23 Worst: Fortress Whale
The attack and defense stats do not warrant the amount of effort it takes to get this bad boy to work. Its average stats of 2350 ATK and 2150 DEF are not worth having to wait to have both it and Fortress Whale’s oath in your hand. That’s before you have to sacrifice a bunch of monsters to satisfy that star rating. It is an actual joke that you have to work so hard to obtain an average monster when there are far stronger and better-quality ones out there.
22 Expensive: Blue Eyes White Dragon ($1300-$3900)
The Blue Eyes White Dragon is basically an old-but-gold meme at this point. I can hear Kaiba’s voice in my head saying it every time I see that card. You can earn some actual gold and flash some cash if you happen to sell the rare Chinese version of the beloved card. It’s another case of very few were made back in the day and an even more limited number are being sold online or in obscure stores. This card is cool, but is it blow-all-my-next-pay-check cool? Maybe.
21 Worst: Parasitic Ticky
This guy takes being situational to the next level. He gains 500 damage per token in play. This is an issue in Duel Links because there are very few tokens and there are only 3 Monster Zones. This means that your best outcome is gaining 1000 points and hoping your opponent plays a token or two but this is unlikely. All this tied together means that he is useless and there is no point in playing Parasitic Ticky in the Duel Links version of the game.
20 Expensive: Armored Blue Eyes White Dragon ($500,000)
Is this card even real? The Internet is pretty conflicted about the answer, with equal parts denial and confirmation easily found everywhere. One thing can be certain; this card is a legend. It is practically a mythical creature at this point. To be honest, I would not be surprised to hear that this card is real and that someone paid way more than $500,000 for it. If you have the cash, you should buy it just to show that you own a god among Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
19 Worst: Fusionist
People actively laughed when I brought up this card in the past. Another waste of deck space, this is the weakest fusion monster card that does not have an effect, with Flame Ghost being the next worst. Its attack and defense scores of 900 and 700 respectively, when added together, make it weaker than Mystical Sheep #2, which is a creature it can create. There are stronger fusion monsters that would make better additions to your deck than this one.
18 Expensive: Cyber-Stein ($4500)
You may be surprised to see Cyber Stein on here since Cyber-Stein is a relatively common card in decks across the world. However, the version I am talking about is a very specific one. During the Shonen Jump Championship, rare promotional versions of Cyber-Stein were given to the winners of the Championship. The price of $4500 is honestly the cheapest price I have seen for this card (many higher prices are common too).
17 Worst: Sword Slasher
Back when Yu-Gi-Oh first came out, there were certain cards that were not so bad. They weren’t good but they certainly weren’t bad, either. The Sword Slasher card is one of them. Nowadays, however, there are plenty of level 3 monsters who have better stats than his measly 1450 ATK and 1500 DEF. You have to sacrifice a monster just to get this? No one would be willing to do that in this current meta. A decade ago, sure, but not now.
16 Expensive: Shrink ($1600 - $6000)
Yes, you have indeed seen this card before. Yes, you can indeed buy it for around 99 cents in stores just like any other Yu-Gi-Oh card. However, if your Shrink card has the magic words ‘first edition’ on it, then you are holding an actual goldmine in your deck. As long as it is legit, you can earn thousands selling this bad boy; you’ll have a chance to shrink your debts or student loan repayments.
15 Worst: Larvae Moth
Larvae Moth’s series is one that hypothetically makes sense; the longer you hang onto Petit Moth in battle, the stronger it becomes. The problem is having to wait around for it to evolve. Just waiting two turns for Larvae Moth is crazy, let alone waiting five turns to get Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth. The insect series is not the most practical of card series and can honestly be skipped over, especially these days. Even Pokémon level up faster than this guy.
14 Expensive: Gold Sarcophagus ($1372 - $2200)
Another limited edition, this card is somehow even rarer than others I have mentioned so far. There were only 25 Gold Sarcophagus cards made. Not only this, but they were handed out to skilled winners of the Pharaoh’s Tour and Shonen Jump Championship. This means that you had to be immensely skilled and in the right place and time to even have a chance of winning this back in the day. These days, they are sold for thousands online to the highest bidder.
13 Worst: Sparks
Arguably the worst card in the game, period. Sparks is a card that deals 200 damage to your opponent. This seems like a good thing until you remember that you both start with 8000 life points at the beginning of the game. Most players do not even give this card a second glance and refuse to have it take valuable space in their decks. If you play this card, you will reveal your desperation and noob status for sure. Be sure to leave this one at home in the garbage. Or give it to a young sibling who doesn’t know better.
12 Expensive: Promo Des Volstgalph ($600 - $1900)
First of all, what kind of name is that? Second, why do we not know much about it? Literally, the only thing I know about this card is that collectors go crazy for it. I know that is not exactly the coolest entry of all time but it’s all I’ve got for you on this one. If you happen to know why people go nuts for this card, then please do let me know. I’m burning with curiosity over why this is so expensive.
11 Worst: Pot Of Generosity
‘Return two cards from your hand to your deck. Then shuffle your deck.’ How pointless is that? Surely, if you have cultivated your deck carefully then you should not need to use this card (or even have it in your deck at all). The fact that you then shuffle your deck means that it is possible to get at least one of the two cards you returned back into your hand at any given moment in the game, so what is even the point?
10 Expensive: Minerva The Exalted Lightsworn ($1900)
Another prize card, this one was given out at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series back in 2015. The playability of this particular card is what gives it such high replayability and desirable qualities. Not only is it actually valuable in your deck, but it is also super rare and you are incredibly unlikely to come across one in real matches unless you purchase one yourself. Man, I wish I had the cash to throw at this bad boy. Too bad I have bills and rent to pay.
9 Worst: Thousand Eyes Idol
While it is cool and creepy that it has 18 eyes, it cannot look away from the fact that it is a bad card. Ignoring the Token Monsters, it is one of the worst normal monsters in the entire game. It literally has 0 ATK and DEF and is a level one monster; you cannot get any lower than that. There was a period where Thousand Eyes Restrict was banned, which made this card even more useless than it already was, which is honestly a feat at this point.
8 Expensive: Doom Caliber Knight ($700)
In the 2006 Shonen Jump Championship, promo cards of the Doom Caliber Knight were handed out to the lucky winners of the tournament. Those who came in the third, second, or first place were awarded this awesome card. While there have been more reprints of this card specifically, it is the ones with the code GLD4-EN023 that were handed out. Doom Caliber Knight is a tough card to use but a useful one nonetheless. If you managed to get one of these during the competition then I salute you
7 Worst: Slot Machine
This one feels like a lot of effort for little reward to show for it. After all, it has no support and 2000 ATK and 2300 DEF yet you have to go and sacrifice two monsters just to get this? That does not make sense. I mean, if it had a support that would make it more useful or at least feel a bit more worth it than this, I might get it. There is not much point in going to such great lengths for this one. Just leave this one out of your deck.
6 Expensive: Skuna The Leonine Rakan ($5999)
This is another mysterious card that we do not know much about. All I know is that is was awarded to winners of the 2009 Yu-Gi-Oh World Championships and that at most there are six copies of this card out there. Barely anyone has seen them or knows who owns them. There have been two that have gone up for sale on eBay at around this price point, but I’m very curious to know more information. This is a very beautiful and intriguing card indeed.
5 Expensive: Armament Of Lethal Lords ($8000-$9000)
Okay, so way back when, there were rumors going around that this card was sold for over one million dollars. While that rumor was ultimately proved to be wrong, it did boost the heck out of this card’s fame. Now we know that this has sold at a maximum of $9000 and has been valued at around $8000. It was handed out to winners of the 2006 World Championship series and there are again a limited number of them out in the world.
4 Worst: Performance Of Sword
Arguably one of the worst Ritual Monsters, what really lets this card down is its stats. It has 1950 ATK and 1850 DEF, and it is a six-star monster. What is even the point of this? Sacrificing some of your better monsters just to get this card is pointless. This situation feels a lot like previous ones I have mentioned with a high effort-low reward kind of thing. I honestly would rather bypass this one, even with its combo strats.
3 Expensive: Tournament Black Luster Soldier (Name Your Price)
There is no card like this one. While it does have the exact same abilities as its more famous cousin the Blue Eyes White Dragon, it is the only card in Yu-Gi-Oh history to be printed on stainless steel; no other card has been bestowed this honor. It was awarded during the 1991 Yu-Gi-Oh championship in Japan and disappeared for a while. There were rumors that it was put up for sale for between 10 and 12 million dollars but then others say that it changed hands for 2 million dollars. Either way, that is absolutely nuts.
2 Worst: Dancing Elf
This low-level fairy swap is almost worthless. It has barely any stats to its name and its features make it a highly situational card. While situational cards can be useful, they are only good if the situation occurs more than once in a blue moon. If the situation is too rare then it renders the card useless for 99.9 per cent of the time. Cards like this may as well not be in the deck, to be honest. You may as well try to palm this off on a newer player.
1 Expensive: Dark Magician ($800 - $1600)
Made back in 1999, this is a really rare card. While the Dark Magician was made in many countries and languages, this one is different. In the weekly editions of Shonen Jump Magazine, only one hundred of these cards were made in Chinese. You can find some of these one hundred on eBay and if you are lucky they will even be in mint condition. Just watch out for fakes, you don’t want to get caught buying someone’s trap card.