Since Opus Series began in 2016, there have been a number of cards that have become incredibly rare, with one in particular reaching legendary status among collectors. From limited early prints to promotional material that tossed in the trash, here is our list of the rarest cards in the FF TCG.
Foil Legend Wave One
When Opus I was originally released, the first wave of prints were very limited. This meant that stock sold out pretty much instantly on launch, with much of it used to fulfil pre-orders. Although more prints followed shortly afterwards, it is the first wave cards that many collectors are interested in, especially the Legendary foil cards.
It can be difficult to determine which Opus I cards belong to the first wave, as they can look extremely similar at first glance. One telltale sign is that the crystal on wave one cards are closer to the top edge of the card, although this isn’t always the case. The best way to identify a Wave one card is by checking the colon placement on cards with action or special abilities, which are typically placed much lower. Cards without these details are usually identified by studying the foiling, but this does take a certain degree of expertise.
Cloud (1-182L) –
Arguably, the most sought after Legendary foil card from the initial wave is ‘Cloud’. This is mainly down to him being the most popular character in the Final Fantasy franchise.
Valefor (1-062L) –
This ‘Valefor’ card was the only legendary foil card that had its text changed significantly in the 2nd wave and beyond. The original text read ‘Return all Forwards to their owner’s hands’, while the Eratta version shifted the apostrophe so it read ‘Return all Forwards to their owners’ hands’.
Black Belt (1-100C )and Golem (1-106C )- Wave One
‘Black Belt’ and ‘Golem’ are two more cards that had significant changes made to their text in wave two and beyond. ‘Black Belt’ was changed from ‘Choose one Blocked Forward’ to ‘Choose 1 Blocking Forward’, while ‘Golem’ was changed from ‘If it is blocked’ to ‘If it is blocking’.
The 30th Anniversary ‘Gabranth’ promo card was handed out during a number of events, including Comic-Con. There were also prize promos that were released around the same time, but because there are many more copies in existence, they are not as rare as ‘Gabranth’.
This card was available during the initial release of the FF TCG as a way to advertise the game. The card includes a QR code that navigated people to the Square Enix website so that they could learn more about the TCG. These cards are now incredibly difficult to find, especially in English.
Squall (1-042R) – Wave one
In the artwork of the Wave one ‘Squall’, it looks like he is holding his famous gunblade to his own throat. Because of this, Square Enix opted to flip Squall to the other side in all future prints so that they didn’t have any inadvertent references to suicide. Like other Wave one foils, this version of Squall is rare, but it is the significant change to the artwork that makes it more appealing to collectors. The only other card that had their artwork flipped after Wave one was ‘Ramza’.
The alternate art Lasswell event promo was only given out during the Brave Exvidius Fan Festa event in 2018 and the FF TCG Winter Cup Wales event. The reason why this card is considered rare is mainly down to its limited print run. Another reason why these cards have become scarce is because some visitors of the Brave Exvidius Fan Festa may not have been interested in the TCG and didn’t keep their promo.
Y’shtola and Hraesvelgr Chinese Promo Cards
The Y’shtola and Hraesvelgr Promo cards were initially exclusive to China and were given away to those who bought booster boxes. Although English reprints of Y’shtola and Hraesvelgr did come out in a gift tin in 2019, the Chinese versions are still sought after outside of China.
A-003 and Raubahn (PR-049)
The A-003 and ‘Raubahn’ promo cards both came in the same sealed packet and were available at the 2019 Tokyo Final Fantasy Fan Fest. It was also given out as attendee gifts and prizes at a number of tournaments. The reason why they were distributed this way, was so that they didn’t make the same mistake they did with the last entry on our list, A-002. The unfoiled A-003 card is similar to ‘Cloud A-001’, having a QR code that sent people to the Square Enix website. The Raubahn card is also non-foiled and is a full-art version of ‘Raubahn (2-093H)’. Because these cards were exclusive to the guests of the 2019 Tokyo Final Fantasy Fan Fest, finding these cards can be incredibly difficult.
The Chelinka promo card was intended to be earned at the 2020 ‘Road to World Championship’ event. Square Enix chose Chelinka following her popularity in Wind Decks throughout 2019. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 forced the Championship to be cancelled, which meant that no one got the chance to win one. On the Square Enix website, they expressed how they wanted to reschedule the Championships for early 2021, but as players would still be at risk, they said that they would rather have a ‘clean slate’ and start back up when it was safe to do so. When the competitive season returns, it is unknown whether Square Enix intends on awarding Chelinka as a prize, but as it stands, this card remains incredibly rare.
Like Chelinka, The Aerith reunion promo was another casualty of the pandemic, as it was intended to encourage organised play in stores during the middle of COVID-19. The problem was, many stores were temporarily or permanently closed because of the pandemic, making the distribution of this card limited. Of course, this could change if they distribute this promo again after things get back to normal
Zack (PRO71/10-007H) and Golbez / Cecil (A-004)
The Final Fantasy TCG Fan Fare event was set to take place at the Hilton LAX in Los Angeles on March 15th, 2020. Unfortunately, like the Championships, this event was cancelled and the Zack (PRO71/10-007H) and Golbez / Cecil (A-004) promos were never handed out. A few English versions of A-004 were prizes for the Crystal Cup and Regionals held in the U.S. The Japanese version of A-004 was given out during the Dissidia 4th Anniversary event in Tokyo, although they have now become incredibly scarce.
Cloud of Darkness / Onion Knight (A-002)
A-002 is without a doubt the rarest Final Fantasy card in existence, read more about it here. This card was given out in gift bags during the Dissidia Arcade 3rd anniversary event, held in Tokyo. The card was intended to be nothing more than promotional material, however, after many of the visitors tossed their copies in the trash, the card became incredibly rare and highly sought after. A-002 has been compared to the Alpha Black Lotus in Magic the Gathering and the elusive ‘Pikachu Illustrator’ card in the Pokémon TCG. It is believed that only 100 to 200 of these cards still exist today, although no one knows for certain.
We would like to give a special thanks to ArmastusLive for sharing his knowledge of the rarest cards in the FF TCG with us.
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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