It's time to grab your old bulk cards again, because we're deep diving into some of the game's most valuable rares!
Rares used to be the 'participation prize' of Yu-Gi-Oh booster packs–a title owned today by Super Rares–but that doesn't mean they're all worthless. Older rares, especially first prints of classic cards like Pot of Greed from Legend of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, can hold onto their value for years or even decades. In fact, you probably own some rares that are impressively valuable.
Before we begin, I want to point out that this list is tailored towards cards that are widely owned and overlooked. The most expensive rares in the game come from promotional releases, tournnament packs, and limited-run sets like Retro Pack and the four Dark Revelation volumes. Duelist League cards with colored foil lettering are also among the most valuable rares in the game, but they're significantly less common than the cards on this list.
Here are the ones that might be chilling between your couch cushions right now.
You can pick up copies of used Cyber Jars for under $2, but undamaged copies from Spell Ruler–formerly Magic Ruler–are typically closer to $3.
Whether your card says SRL or MRL you're still in possession of one of the most annoying and frustrating cards in the game, and your friends will reconsider their friendship with you every time you activate its effect. Cyber Jar second only to Fiber Jar in terms of the most annoying cards in this game, and I dread the day that either card leaves the Forbidden List here in the TCG. Cyber Jar one of the worst things about Goat Format, and in those decks I'm regularly playing multiple copies of Nobleman of Crossout.
Does Gale Dogra still have a place in a world where Extra-Foolish Burial exists? Well, if its $3 price is to be believed then there's at least some situation where Gale Dogra still relevant.
There's probably an argument to be made that playing Gale Dogra and Extra-Foolish Burial together guarantees that you'll send Herald of the Arc Light to the graveyard, but I'm not sure anyone needs that much search power. In any case, Gale Dogra sole printing in Absolute Powerforce makes it much more scarce than Extra-Foolish Burial or any of the other usual go-tos for Ritual strategies, and as a bonus you can still set your spells and traps the turn you activate its effect.
I'd like to think that Rainbow Life is being picked up by Aromage enthusiasts who are still desperately trying any tech they can find to raise their Life Points, but the reality is that it's probably being targeted by casual stall players.
It's a fairly straightforward card that basically says "You don't lose this turn," much like One Day of Peace, and it has the added bonus of potentially building your Life Point buffer even higher. In the era of Mystic Mine it's easy to forget about the old mainstays of classic stall strategies, but with Rainbow Life selling at $4 a copy it's clear there's still a demand for the old school approach.
Obedience Schooled is one of the game's most powerful cards for enabling Link, Synchro, and Xyz Summons, but it's also one of the most restrictive. Beast Extra Deck monsters are few and far between, so Obedience Schooled isn't quite as broken as you might guess just from reading its effect.
That said, Beast Extra Deck monsters like Naturia Beast and Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu have fantastic effects that make them well-worth playing in any deck running Obedience Schooled. Melffy in particular get a lot of mileage out of Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu, and that's why it's floating around the $3-4 range today. It's like an invincible factory for high-ATK monsters, and its low material investment makes it an excellent pick in a deck that might struggle in the Battle Phase otherwise.
At just under $4 Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 Inashichi checks a lot of those 'is this thing secretly valuable?' boxes, but it's probably one of the tougher finds on this list. Starstrike Blast was filled with sleeper hits that wouldn't see price spikes for months or in some cases years, and the set's circulation was surprisingly poor for a core booster. Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 Inashichi had exactly one print in the last decade, and it's the crucial starter for a once-powerful combo strategy.
Karakuris got five new cards in Ignition Assault, which made Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 Inashichi a bit more valuable, though if the deck was seriously competitive I think we'd see Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 Inashichi at a much higher price–whether it was played in 2020 builds or not.
I'm not sure if anyone actually expects all the Dragon Rulers to return at some point, but picking up copies now never sounds like a bad idea. If you're looking to passively build up a collection, or just sorting through your current collection to see which of these Dragons you still have, you'll want to keep an eye out for Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos. At above $4 for a good condition Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy print it's worth taking stock of your old competitive cards if you played during the Dragon Ruler era.
Each of the Secret Rare editions of the Dragon Rulers are a bit more expensive than their base rare counterparts, but Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos the most valuable among the four. Keep in mind that Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms already got a reprint since its return to the Limited list.
Fortune Ladies might not have won the 2020 Create-A-Card project, but their recent support helped give the deck a more modern feel thanks to two new spells and a Synchro in Rising Rampage.
The most expensive Fortune Lady of the bunch is Fortune Lady Dark at around $5 per copy. So why's it so valuable when Fortune Lady Light and Fortune Lady Water are arguably more important for the engine? As you might expect: both Fortune Lady Light and Fortune Lady Water were reprinted alongside Future Visions and Fortune's Future in an OTS Pack. Fortune Lady prices might have spiked after the theme won its first round in the Create-A-Card Project, but I expect Fortune Lady Dark to remain above $5 until some kind of reprint's announced.
Creation Resonator hails from the notoriously under-produced Starstrike Blast, and the Resonator theme got a lot more support since its debut. As a result, both prints of Creation Resonator are above the $5 mark, including the short print common. Resonators are an anime theme that's bound to get more support at some point, but Creation Resonator mostly an attractive card thanks to its ability to fit into big Synchro combos while being loopable with Synkron Resonator.
Did I mention that Creation Resonator Special Summon effect isn't once per turn? Yikes.
Snaaaaaaake! It's hard to place Snake Rain on this list due to the price disparities across seller conditions, but generally a moderate to light play copy's on the market for an average of $5. Near-mint copies can go above $10, but keep in mind that some sellers never adjusted their prices after the great hype train derailment of 2020.
Jason wrote about the boom-bust of Snake Rain and Myutants in October, but the short story is that some percentage of speculators assumed Myutants would be Reptiles and might benefit from Snake Rain. The resulting buyout pushed Snake Rain above $10, and naturally that price came crashing back down when we discovered that Myutants had exactly zero Reptiles.
Still, Snake Rain remains loaded with potential for some future Reptile theme. It's the go-to example of "this card is unplayable now, but what if…!" I'm sure Konami will give us a playable Reptile theme eventually. At least, I hope they do.
Ojamas have been endlessly joked about by players, and that's mostly by design.
The Ojamas remain a fan-favorite decades after their debut in Dark Crisis. Yes, I do mean Dark Crisis from 2003. Ojamas are even older than the GX-era where they made their anime debut, and it wasn't until the 5D's era that Ojamas finally got some serious support. Ojama Country release made Ojamagic significantly more playable by triggering the latter's search effect. The +3 of card economy you'd pick up off resolving Ojama Country and Ojamagic still wasn't quite enough to make Ojamas competitive, but the engine at least did something worthwhile.
Ojamas are about to get another wave of support in Blazing Vortex, and newer releases like Ojama Emperor have put the spotlight back on Ojamas in a big way. Ojama Country merely has to exist on the field to give Emperor 3000 ATK and immunity from destruction, and you can summon Ojama Emperor really easily with Obedience Schooled. That 2-card combo's made even more impressive by Ojama Pink's ability to lock your opponent's Main Monster Zones.
The best time to pick up Ojama Country was a few years ago, but it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon before Ojama Country climbs above $10 next year. Somehow it's never reappeared in any of the GX reprint sets, and I'm not sure where it could show up before Blazing Vortex arrives.
That's the list! Keep in mind that those Dark Revelation sets are a treasure trove of valuable rares, and any of the color-stamped Duelist League rares are a big step above their regular silver rare counterparts. There are also black foil rares from the Battle Pack sets, and of course Duel Terminal cards are always in demand with collectors. Hopefully this list is helpful the next time you go digging through your cards, and be sure to check out my previous article that covers twenty valuable commons you probably own!
Until next time then