Even those with only a passing knowledge of Magic: The Gathering have probably heard about the CCG’s reputation as a potentially expensive and often addictive hobby. While you don’t technically need to spend hundreds and hundreds (or thousands upon thousands) of dollars to play MTG, dropping that amount of money on the game is still the surest way to quickly build a competitive collection of cards.
If the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a collection of cards seems wild to you, then you might want to sit down when I tell you that a single MTG card valued at $2 million has finally found a (fairly famous) buyer. What’s really remarkable, though, is the increasingly popular suggestion that MTG‘s $2 million card may only become more valuable from here.
The card in question is the “One Ring” card from the game’s recently released Lord of the Rings-themed Tales of Middle-Earth set. While numerous cards featuring the fabled ring were printed as part of the overall set, publisher Wizards of the Coast previously announced that they also printed a very special “one of one” version of that card. In essence, they replicated the business model that brought all the kids to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Rather than five golden tickets, though, one lucky MTG fan was going to receive a gold foiled card that was deliberately manufactured to be the rarest MTG card ever. The hunt for that card sent prices for that set skyrocketing. Everyone knew it would be valuable, but nobody knew exactly how much someone would be willing to pay for it.
About a month ago, it was revealed that a previously unidentified fan in Brazil had found “the one card.” Shortly thereafter, various individuals and organizations began making bids for the card via intermediaries and public forums. One group in New York offered $1 million for the card, and an anonymous buyer in Spain was reportedly willing to offer as much as $2 million for the card (along with a free trip to the buyer’s home country).
Ultimately, though, the person who initially unpacked the card (who was recently identified as Brook Trafton) revealed via TikTok that they decided to sell it to one of MTG‘s most famous fans: rapper Post Malone. In a statement, Trafton said that he actually thought of Malone when he unpacked the card and is ultimately happy that he was able to sell it to “someone who would appreciate it as much as I do.” He also mentioned that even getting to meet Malone was a “moment straight out of a fairytale.”
While a very loose report suggests that Malone ultimately spent $2.6 million to acquire the card, that number has not been verified at this time. Of course, it’s hard to imagine that Trafton would have taken less than $2 million for the card, unless he gave Malone a massive fan discount (or received non-cash benefits that helped sweeten the overall deal).
In any case, it’s reasonable to suspect that the value of the card will only go up from here. Again, this card was manufactured to be one of the most valuable collector’s items in the history of the CCG genre. It’s a card that appeals to hardcore MTG fans, hardcore Lord of the Rings fans, and will now also likely appeal even more to fans of Post Malone. Given what we’ve seen with MTG and Pokémon card prices over the years, it’s hard to imagine that a card like this will suffer a serious drop in overall value anytime soon.
Having said that, it’s worth noting that the most anyone has paid for an MTG up until this point was $800,000 for an ultra-rare Black Lotus card (which has long been the poster child for rare collectible cards in this genre). That card was also purchased by Post Malone. So while history tells us that nobody is willing to spend more money on an MTG card than Post Malone, the nature of this particular card’s release, design, and history makes it easy to suspect it will remain valuable for as long as anyone with a ton of disposable cash wants to own one of the most notable pieces of MTG‘s history.