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A black lotus in a green field, with light streaming in from the upper right corner.
Image: Christopher Rush/Wizards of the Coast

That’s… a lot of money

There are a few constants in this chaotic life: death, taxes, and Magic The Gathering’s Black Lotus card selling for increasingly absurd sums of money.

An Alpha Black Lotus card fetched $3 million at auction last week, grading company CGC Cards announced in an Instagram post. This particular card is not only super rare, but also in pristine condition.

“The transaction went down in a private sale between Adam Cai of Pristine Collectibles and a mystery buyer, shattering previous records,” the post reads.

In 2021, a signed Black Lotus card went for a record-high $511,100 at auction — a record broken not once, but twice in 2023, going for $615,000 at its highest. For comparison, just five years ago, the rare card went for $166,000. This most recent $3 million deal, though, doesn’t just represent the highest sale price of a Black Lotus card, but the highest Magic: The Gathering card sale ever.

The previous record was set in 2023 by rapper Post Malone, when he purchased a rare Lord of the Rings-themed card for $2 million.

The Black Lotus card dates back to the first Alpha printing of Magic: The Gathering in 1993. Not only is it a rare card — only about 1,100 were printed — it’s a powerful one. It costs no mana to play but adds 3 mana of any color to your pool, so it’s a great shortcut to casting powerful spells early in the game. It’s one of the “Power Nine,” a set of cards that has been banned from most formats of competitive play for their overwhelming power.

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