Relive the Yu-Gi-Oh! Beginnings

Add original & re-released classics to your trading cards collection. This post has been sponsored by eBay.

We have been in touch with eBay, and there is an amazing opportunity for any classic collectors out there. For 10 days, running from Thursday the 13th – Sunday the 23rd of July The Yu-Gi-Oh! Vintage Anniversary International Auction event will take place on eBay. Their team has reached out to people to pull up an inventory of gems dating back to the start of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. If you’re a serious collector, there is a whole catalog of crazy items you have a chance of grabbing. We wanted to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the most collectable or impactful cards from the beginning of the game. All the cards featured here appear in the eBay event, so if you start feeling nostalgic head over and check out their inventory.

UK event link for the auction



For the Collector – DDS Blue-Eyes White Dragon
Without a doubt, the most famous and popular card in Yu-Gi-Oh!, this card not only featured the more favoured ‘Anime Artwork’ in a unique rarity, but was itself the rarest distributed card in the English game until Prize cards started being given out at Shonen Jump Championship events. Exclusive to the first released copies of the Gameboy title “Dark Duel Stories”, the vast majority of people who owned that game instead received cards such as “Seiyaryu” and “Acid Trap Hole” instead of the Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon. That made this card particularly sought after by high-end collectors, fetching prices of over $100 even back in 2002, a time where the most competitive and powerful cards, even things like Yata-Garasu, would fetch at most $50. A ‘Prismatic Secret Rare’, it also features unique foiling you can’t find on other printings of the card that really make it stand out in collections, compared to some other high-end collectibles that are typically distinguished by a small set of characters in the set ID field. Exclusive to America, and obtained predominantly by children getting a gameboy game at launch, and used because, well, it’s Blue-Eyes of course, so few of these have survived the 21 year journey to the present that less than 200 ‘mint condition’ copies are known to even exist. Blue-Eyes White Dragon is arguably the games most collectible creature, and the DDS copy is arguably the most collectible version of the card.

You can find a 1st edition PSA graded 10 copy of the DDS Blue-Eyes if you want to add a true crown jewel to your collection.








For the Competitor – PSV Jinzo

Pharaoh’s Servant launched back in North America October 20th 2002 and was later released in most of the EU December 12th 2003. Jinzo was the Hobby Box Secret Rare. For those who weren’t around, the booster sets were released in 2 versions. Hobby Box and Retail Box. The Hobby displays were 24 packs each and the Retail boxes were 24 or 36 packs each depending on the set. Hobby boxes went out to your local card shops whereas the retail boxes went out to big chain stores such as Walmart. Jinzo was one of the most impactful cards released in the vintage era. Deck building fundamentally changed from the release of this single card. The text is ever so simple, it simply negates all Trap cards and prevents their activation. With this single release, an entire card type of the game was forever hindered. When it came to building decks, for the longest time players would never have more than 5 trap cards in their deck simply because Jinzo was so powerful and would blank these cards (in case you wondered, these were Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute, Call of the Haunted, Ring of Destruction, and its partner, Imperial Order).

Jinzo was an absolute terror on the competitive game yet it never found its way onto the forbidden list. Every serious competitive deck played Jinzo, it basically gave you unhindered attacks that would let you push for huge amounts of damage and although it stopped you from using your own traps, you were the one with the strongest monster in play. There was a long standing argument asking if Royal Decree was better than Jinzo because you didn’t need to tribute summon it. A UK player, Duncan Tang broke this argument by saying, “I’ve never lost a game of Yu-Gi-Oh! To direct attacks from Royal Decree.” For those interested, Duncan was a Judge who went on to work for Upper Deck Entertainment, and was an excellent player. A preferred opening move was to set a monster and set one spell or Trap, you rarely wanted to set a second Spell or Trap because of Heavy Storm or Harpie’s Feather Duster, unless you also had Imperial Order).

The opponent’s opener would be Change of Heart, stealing their monster, then tribute summon their Jinzo and attack you directly. While there were tons of removal (such as Raigeki, Dark Hole, Man-Eater Bug) this was still a valid early game exchange. So much so that people began setting Witch of the Black Forest on Turn 1 to search for their copy of Jinzo or have an answer to an opponent’s Change of Heart. Jinzo was a high value Target for Call of the Haunted and Monster Reborn because it let you have a battle phase that the opponent couldn’t respond to. Having a normal summon and a Jinzo in play followed by a Raigeki would be enough to close out most games. Trap cards would go on to be underplayed for years, even through all of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX era. The difference was that you could go Cyber Dragon, Brain Control Tribute for Jinzo Attack and Limiter Removal for game. Jinzo stayed relevant all the way up to the Synchro era of 5D’s. While this card wasn’t the best card of the classic era (Pot of Greed is hard to top), no one can deny how impactful Jinzo and the mark it left on the game.

You can find a 1st edition PSA graded 10 copy of Jinzo in the event if you ever want to re-live the nightmares it caused everyone as kids.


For the Misprint Hunter – ‘Secret Ultra Rare’
Gaia the Dragon Champion Gaia the Dragon Champion was the first Fusion monster featured in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime. It was played in Yugi’s Duel VS Weevil Underwood. It showed up again against the eliminator PaniK, where Yugi placed Gaia onto Catapult Turtle and fired it directly at the opponents Castle of Dark Illusions, destroying its flotation ring, causing it to fall from the sky and crush PaniK’s monsters and wiped out his life points (the rules were a lot less defined in the Duelist Kingdom arc of the story…) Gaia the Dragon Champion was one of the 2 first Secret Rare cards introduced to the game. For players who wanted to live the Yugi fantasy, it was a staple addition to your Starter Deck Yugi. Interestingly, a huge number of these cards were misprinted. A small percent of Gaia the Dragon Champion was printed with a gold name and secret rare foiling technology instead of the prismatic name. As a result, an already hard to come by card has an even rarer version available.

Any true misprint hunter has one of these in their collection, and you can add one to yours with a PSA 10 copy in this Auction.

For more information on this particular kind of misprint, you can read more at

If you were ever missing something from the classic era of Yu-Gi-Oh! for your collection, or just want to be that guy in your local store rolling up with your Blue-Eyes deck worth more than your opponent’s car as a flex, this event is the best chance to do it and you should check out the event page.


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3 thoughts on “Relive the Yu-Gi-Oh! Beginnings

  • July 20, 2023 at 2:33 am

    kind of a pointless article, but hey you got paid for it so w.e.

  • July 20, 2023 at 2:48 am

    Absolutely the epitome of sellout nonsense. There’s no such thing as a first edition DDS, Jinzo was mid at best during GX, and the regular ultra secret rare is so common almost no real misprint collector cares about them.

    • July 20, 2023 at 4:24 pm

      hey, it’s the only card of the three that saw any competitive play and they even say it was mid if you average the “omg why wasn’t it forbidden” and “this tribute summoned card was an easy target for spell cards”. lol

      and it’s the only one that doesn’t read like “member the anime? member yugi? this card is what he played in the anime, member?, oh, it goes high in price! buy! buy this investment! i clapped when i saw blue eyes dragon”, at least there is some meta analysis throw in there

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