The Yu-Gi-Oh! Economy

Hello boys and girls, its T-Time! Today I want to talk about something that I get asked about all of the time. Something that is completely different from what you would expect to read about from a player. I want to talk about the Yu-Gi-Oh economy. With cards being reprinted left and right, people are wondering what to hold and what not to. They don’t want to have cards in general right now and everyone is trying to sell. People have been asking me about what to do and what to sell so I figured I would make an article explaining all of this.

Think of having Yu-Gi-Oh cards as owning stocks or commodities. They are constantly changing value. Sometimes it is good to hold them and hope they increase value or are only going through a dip, or sometimes it is good to take a quick sale and eat a loss or take the small profit. I personally like to take a short sale but that is only alright if you already have the cards you need to play. Short sales are the best in my opinion because it acts like day trading. You turn quick profit at high volume and you minimize risk. However, this isn’t possible for everyone. People need to first be able to build their deck before being able to establish a collection vast enough for doing such a thing. You also need a large bankroll. So while it is an easy way to make money, it isn’t always an option.

Another issue with Yu-Gi-Oh day trading is that you have to have enough buyers to meet the capacity of your inventory. If you overbuy, you will be stick sitting on cards and have your assets tied up. When that happens, you are susceptible to a crash in the Yu-Gi-Oh economy in the form of reprints or just depreciating values based on a card becoming outdated. So if you want to be a successful day trader in this game, you better know a lot of people. You also need to have a lot of capital so that you don’t run out of money and miss sales. You also need to make sure that people have a reason to sell to you rather than your competition, since you will have a lot.

So lets assume you aren’t one of those people and you are simply a player in this game with a reasonable collection etc. You want to know when to dump certain cards to avoid taking a big loss. Well the most important think to realize is how the Yu-Gi-Oh economy operates. Like a stock market, it has bear markets (when prices are down) and bull markets (when prices are up). You can make money in either of these scenarios, its just easier to do so in a bull market. You have to realize what shifts prices in this game in a dramatic way. Of course there is the overall depreciation of cards that are becoming less playable and the increased desire for cards that are becoming better, but then there are the BIG factors. These factors include set releases, big events, reprints, and banned/restricted lists.

Set releases and big events almost always increase the price of cards that are coming out. Luckily, this happens more often than the rest of the price altering factors, since most of them are actually pretty negative. Events tend to take a more gradual toll on cards if it is affecting them negatively. It can cause a slow depreciation on cards needed for a deck that has not been performing well lately. Examples of this can be seen in Karakuri and Dragunity decks. When a new and innovative deck or tech card emerges in a YCS or National Championship, the price of those cards increase as do the rest of the support cards. For example, if Zombies got popular again, not only would Mezuki and Plaguespreader Zombie go up as a result of them being played, but so would Shutendoji because people would experiment with the support cards.

Set releases are always a good stimulus for the Yu-Gi-Oh economy because without forcing people to forget about their current options, they have the chance to experiment with totally new ones. When Extreme Victory came out, the price of all Psychic support cards increased because there were new cards for the deck coming out. Not only do new sets create new power cards to buy and sell, but they raise interest in innovation which directly stimulates the price of cards. These happen a lot at the start of formats and in the middle of them making up the majority of the bull market. In this time, the money favors the sellers, since they are getting top dollar for their cards.

Banned/Restricted lists and Reprints are what cause bear markets. They not only directly lower the price of power cards (top selling cards), but can lower prices due to fear. Regardless of whether or not Solemn Warning will be reprinted in the upcoming tins, the fact that Pot of Duality was leads people to believe that Solemn Warning might also be reprinted. As a result, the price of Solemn Warning went down. This happened to most of the power cards across the board. In fear of the Banned/Restricted list coming in November, paired with the eminent reprints coming in the tins also coming in the fall, we are currently in a bear economy. This favors the buyers because they can buy very low. If you are willing to take a risk, you can make a lot of money.

What I personally suggest to normal people who want to sell all of their big cards is to sit on them. They prices are artificially low. If they get reprinted, then they get reprinted. If they get banned or restricted, they get banned or restricted. They are important parts of your deck and there is a good chance that if they aren’t touched they will go up in price. Everyone thought Pot of Duality was going to get restricted last year so the price dropped below $80 before the March Banned/Restricted list. It didn’t and so afterwards the price climbed to nearly $150! They need to reprint older cards so that people buy them again and in order to make new cards out of new sets worth more money. It is very important to understand WHY certain cards are banned, restricted, or reprinted.

Cards get banned or restricted if they are a direct detriment to the game. Pot of Duality helps the game because it gives slower decks speed. Solemn Warning helps the game because it stops decks from exploding and OTKing people. Effect Veiler helps the game for the same reason Solemn Warning does. Giant Trunade does not help the game because it gives people the ability to seal a game in one turn without the opponent having a chance to come back. Therefore, there is a greater chance that a card like Giant Trunade would be banned than the odds of Solemn Warning or Effect Veiler being banned.

Hopefully this article was helpful to some people and that it answered a lot of the questions that people have about price changes etc. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer it. Don’t forget that nobody is a wizard who can tell you exactly when to sell or buy cards, because they would use it for themselves and make a lot of money. I still haven’t come up with a closer so help would be appreciated with that, thanks!



Hello, I am Alex Vansant. If you want to know more about me you can add me on Facebook or check out my youtube site ate

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