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Advanced format in the Yu-Gi-Oh world has experienced its first successful term. The new ban-list is upon us once again with slight changes. There is one deck type that is still overshadowed and considered un-competitive. The gravekeeper’s deck type is a very rare sight in the majority of the tournament scene. Despite the fact they’ve done so well in regional appearances if built right. This article will hopefully shed some light on the deck and how it can become a top tier deck.
For little background info on me, I have been playing this game for about 2 or 3 years now. I started playing when LOB first came out, although wasn’t serious until about the LON days. I started gravekeeper’s when PGD came out and used them until I quit. Now that I’ve come back to the game, the deck has been retired.
Obviously with each deck there is a theme. With gravekeeper’s, the theme is probably one of the most simple and effective. Swarm your opponents with monsters as you keep them from accessing the monsters in the grave. Gravekeeper’s run at an amazing speed, this speed is almost on par with that of an aggro but not quite. The other advantage is that the grave is kept off limits from any special summoning, removal, etc. This is a great help as chaos is still quite rampant in today’s meta-game, even in advanced format.
So now that we have the theme down, we can go over the actual cards in the deck. Gravekeeper’s are built in a special way as there are many factors to take in. However, the main cards that should be brought into consideration will be laid out here (*note* my focal point is on the beatdown aspect of gravekeeping):
Magic Card: Field
As long as this card remains face-up on the field, all effects of Magic, Trap, and/or Effect
Monster Cards that involve Graveyards are negated and neither player can remove cards in the Graveyards from play. In addition, increase the ATK and DEF of all monsters that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in their card name by 500 points.
This is the heart and soul of a gravekeeper’s deck. It does one of two things for you:
1.) It effectively raises the attack and defense of all gravekeeper’s by 500. This gives a nice boost to all gravekeeper’s as most are either for attack or defense.
2.) It negates any effects that target the graveyard. No more Premature Burial, Call of the Haunted, Black Luster Soldier, Chaos Emperor Dragon, etc.
The fast that you can get out this card, the easier of a time it will be for you to win a duel. With the effect of each gravekeeper, it’s extremely easy to do damage to your opponent.
Dark/Spellcaster/4 stars/ATK 1200/DEF 2000
FLIP: Select 1 monster that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in its card name with an ATK of 1500 or less from your Deck and Special Summon it in face-up Attack or Defense Position. The Deck is then shuffled.
We begin to now look at the actual body of the deck. What makes up the body and etc? This is probably one of the most effective gravekeeper’s as this is the source of all your speed. With a def of 2000 (2500 with Necrovalley on the field) it won’t be easy to attack this thing. When it’s flipped, you select one gravekeeper with an attack of 1500 or less (all gravekeeper’s excluding one) from your deck and special summon it to the field. Not only does it effectively give you field advantage but it also thins down your deck. As a last resort, it can be used as a wall if your being over run, which is a rare case.
Gravekeeper’s Spear Soldier
Dark/Spellcaster/4 stars/ATK 1500/DEF 1000
When this card attacks with an ATK that is higher than the DEF of your opponent’s Defense Position monster, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent’s Life Points.
This is the card that will more than likely be dealing the most damage. Although 1500 attack is not by any means high, it gets boosted to 2000 with Necrovalley (see why I say it’s the soul of the deck?) With its’ trample ability, it eats through a lot of defensive monsters. With the games high majority of Scapegoats and Spirit Reapers, you’ll be happy to have him in the end.
Dark/Spellcaster/4 stars/ATK 1500/DEF 1500
You can activate this card’s effect only when “Necrovalley” is active on the field. When this card attacks, you can change the battle position of 1 face-up monster on your opponent’s side of the field.
This is probably the most versatile gravekeeper. Although his effect only exists with Necrovalley on the field, it’s deadly when you use it. Again this card also dominates Scapegoats as you can change them to attack mode during the damage step causing 2000 points of damage. Or say there’s something stronger on the field like a Jinzo, attack it and change it to defense to kill it. His effect also automatically kills off Spirit Reapers and Berserk Gorillas.
Dark/Spellcaster/5 stars/ATK 1900/DEF 1200
You can have only 1 face-up “Gravekeeper’s Chief” on your side of the field at any time.
As long as this card remains face-up on the field, your Graveyard is not affected by “Necrovalley”. When you Tribute Summon this monster, you can Special Summon 1 monster that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in its card name from your Graveyard.
He’s probably the highest attack you’ll have in the deck. The advantage of him being a tribute is that if you tribute summons him successfully, you can pull out any gravekeeper from your graveyard and sp. summon it. Pretty self explanatory as he fills in the requirements of speed or giving you field advantage.
Dark/Spellcaster/4 stars/ATK 1000/DEF 1900
FLIP: Select 1 Monster Card on your opponent’s side of the field (regardless of position) and return it to its owner’s hand.
This is a debated card whether to be used in a deck or not. I personally think it should be or in the sideboard. Another defensive based gravekeeper that is only 100 points off from a spy. Two things that he can do for you:
1.) If there is a strong monster that you can’t get rid of at the moment then you can set this and bounce them back.
2.) If they have a set monster and your ready to give a giant attack that’s about to end it, flip this guy and there’s a clean shot for you.
Of course like with spy, if the need arises, he can be a pretty solid wall for a bit.
Rite of Spirit
Select 1 Monster Card that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in its card name from your Graveyard and Special Summon it in face-up Attack or Defense Position. This card’s activation and effect is not affected by “Necrovalley”.
Here is the revival aspect of a gravekeeper deck. It works under Necrovalley, which gives you an advantage. With Monster Reborn banned in advanced format, that’s more advantages to you as your opponent will want his monsters back desperately while you have free reign to gain them back.
Of course what would the article be without and actual deck, here’s my current build:
 Gravekeeper’s Chief
 Gravekeeper’s Spear Soldier
 Gravekeeper’s Assailant
 Gravekeeper’s Spy
 Gravekeeper’s Cannonholder
 Tribe Infecting Virus
 Breaker the Magical Warrior
 Exiled Force
 Pot of Greed
 Graceful Charity
 Heavy Storm
 Mystical Space Typhoon
 Smashing Ground
 Enemy Controller
 Nobleman of Crossout
 Lightning Vortex
 Snatch Steal
 Rite of Spirit
 Mirror Force
 Ring of Destruction
 Torrential Tribute
 Call of the Haunted
Deck Total: 
 Gravekeeper’s Guard
 Sinister Serpent
 Giant Trunade
 Book of Moon
 Nobleman of Crossout
 Swords of Revealing Light
 Wave Motion Cannon
 Threatening Roar
 Dust Tornado
So the deck includes most of the gravekeeper’s themes. Other monster cards include for more speed and standard monster / s/t removal. Spells equal speed, s/t removal as well as monster removal with a few damage controllers. Spells round out with revival, damage control and field control. Sideboard includes more s/t removal, some field control, damage control, and removal.
I hope this article has helped in revealing the hidden potential of gravekeeper’s. Thanks for reading.
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