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 Post subject: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-09 7:02 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA

Traps - This category is for all the cards that can wait to reveal themselves in response to an unsuspecting opponent when they attempt to exploit their graveyard. Most of the situations in which having GY hate means the difference between winning and losing, this is the category you want. Cards from another category will at best only delay that GY combo going off or that Iona or that Rite of Replication getting recurred.
Faerie Macabre - Costs no mana; is easy to reuse (via Phyrexian Reclamation, for example). In a pinch it has other uses (usually chump-blocking, although it can wield a Lashwrithe/Argentum Armor/Sword of Light and Shadow quite effectively). Unlike every other card in this category, it can still be effective when an opponent has Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. This card is the best of the best when it comes to beating graveyard combo. Even outside of combo situations, for example when someone casts Living Death, this will take out the two scariest threats even if they aren't in the same graveyard.

Ravenous Trap - Sometimes free (usually when you most need it); nukes an entire graveyard without targeting any of the cards individually (which is useful under rare circumstances like someone casting Living Death with a full graveyard and a Ground Seal).

Stonecloaker - The only card in this category that can reuse itself more than once in a game without any help from other cards. It is more expensive than other options, though, when you want to get rid of multiple cards in the same turn. Becomes very good with Aluren.

Purify the Grave - It's cheap, it takes out the problem card, and then it sits in your graveyard glaring at any opponent who would dare to try graveyard shenanigans again. It's also Sunforgerable, giving it a slight edge over its cousin Coffin Purge

Coffin Purge - See above

Rakdos Charm - Ravenous Trap for two mana. Its other modes are also really good in many situations. It's just so great. Sunforgeable.

Memory's Journey - This is your best option in this category if you're not playing black or white. It's really good for its flashback cost, but even for 2 mana it's still fine. It's unfortunate that it doesn't exile, so those cards may come up again later. In addition to being graveyard hate, you can also use it as protection for your own graveyard, or The Second Best Tutor Ever (after Doomsday) after someone milled your entire library.

Mnemonic Nexus - Gets around both Witchbane Orb and Ground Seal. It also kills The Mimeoplasm or Body Double while they're still on the stack, and kills (EDIT: no, it doesn't, it just significantly shrinks) Lord of Extinction at any time. It's the most expensive option in this category, so you have to have a good yomi/intuition of when to keep mana up for it (or just have so much mana all the time, for example via Seedborn Muse, that it doesn't matter, or run lots of Sapphire Medallion/Stone Calendar variants).

Krosan Reclamation - If you're playing monogreen or RG, this is what you use. It's perfectly fine, although it's clearly worse than Journey.

Scarab Feast - Cheap to cast and hits 3 cards. Cycles when you don't need GY hate.

Shred Memory - Also very efficient. Although it doesn't have flashback, making it slightly weaker overall than Memory's Journey/Krosan Reclamation, it does actually exile rather than just tuck. When you don't need GY hate, it has more utility than any other Trap because it's also a tutor.

Honor the Fallen - Playable, but not great because it only hits creatures. That said, it does get around both Witchbane Orb and Ground Seal, and exiles rather than just shuffle the cards away. Sunforgerable.

Hallowed Moonlight - Like Honor the Fallen, this hits only creatures and gets around target-preventing effects. Unlike HtF, it's only useful as GY hate when a recursion spell or ability is on the stack, and it only prevents that one spell/ability. Afterwards, the creatures that weren't being affected by that spell/ability are still sitting there waiting for another spell/ability to claim them. This could be a positive, if you are running recursion effects yourself, but in the context of GY hate I feel it gives HtF the edge. It cantrips, though, which is nice.

Learn from the Past - One-sided Mnemonic Nexus that cantrips. Doesn't get around Witchbane Orb.

Stream of Consciousness - As efficient as Shred Memory, except that it only tucks rather than exiles, and has no additional utility (ignoring Arcane interactions). It's unfortunate that it gets shut off by Witchbane Orb whereas most exile effects don't.

Burn Away - Well, mono-red finally got something decent. It's unforunate that because of the way the Command Zone-move is a replacement effect, this won't trigger if your opponent's Commander is their only target with 6 or less toughness. In fact, there will often be some pretty frustrating situations where you just can't quite use this to deal with the graveyard abuse. But if you've been playing mono-red for a while, you'll take what you can get.

Suffer the Past - Very good when hitting just 2-4 cards isn't enough, but those situations are pretty rare. The bonus life drain is nice.

Beckon Apparition - The bonus 1/1 flyer can be relevant if you're running equipment. Speaking of which, hi Sunforger.

Cremate - A good trap, doesn't require you to leave a lot of mana open, replaces itself. Probably among the best graveyard hate if your meta doesn't demand too much graveyard hete.

(Crop Rotation and Chord of Calling can both fit into this category too, but I have a separate category for tutors)

Reactions - These are like traps except that they aren't hidden. They exist in plain view and your opponents are forced to try to play around them.
Rest in Peace - Cheap to cast, completely cripples any graveyard strategy. It's a replacement so it even prevents annoying triggers like Woodfall Primus's persist and Archon of Justice. It also has no cost of maintenance.

Leyline of the Void - Hits your opponents but not you. I've had players literally forfeit because I had Leyline and they relied too heavily on their graveyard to do anything.

Relic of Progenitus - Cheap to play; cheap to use; has two modes of GY hate which are both useful, and using one mode doesn't prevent you from using the other; cantrips. It's fetchable by everyone's favorite toy collector (Trinket Mage). It nukes graveyards without targeting anything. Note that it is rated this highly independently of its lack of color restriction. With a little help from Master Transmuter or Shimmer Myr it can even be used as a Trap.

Withered Wretch - Very efficient; doesn't impede your own GY effects while forcing your opponents to play around it; can attack for 2 without giving up its functionality as GY hate (just watch out for Condemn/Ends/Masako the Humorless). Chord of Calling and Cryptic Gateway or among the many possible ways of using it as a Trap.

Scavenging Ooze - See Withered Wretch; AND it provides you with a little bit of life gain usually; AND it attacks for more damage usually. The only reason it's not as good as Withered Wretch is that in a multicolor deck (a deck that has to choose between the two would be necessity be at least B and G), it's a LOT easier to leave 5 of any many up than it is to leave GGGGG up. Again, this list is only considering the cards' use as GY hate, not their overall value.

Planar Void - Like a much worse Leyline, it's still very good if you don't care too much about your own graveyard (although if you're playing it, you're playing black, so . . .). It costs only 1 mana to cast and no additional mana once it's out. Unfortunately, like Leyline, it doesn't do anything about the cards already in graveyards, and worse, it's not a replacement effect. Because it's a triggered ability, there are a lot of combos that get around it easily. But it's pretty effective against Unburial Rites and Dread Return, and even stops your opponents from shenanigans like Mnemonic Wall + Rite of Replication loop (assuming they cast Rite on their own turn).

Tormod's Crypt - 0 mana to cast, 0 to use. Nukes an entire graveyard in one swoop. The only problem with it is that once you've used it, it's gone, and sometimes your opponents will be able to force you to use it before they combo off.

Nihil Spellbomb - Same as Tormod's Crypt but 1 mana more.

Scrabbling Claws - Very good when graveyards are relatively thin, this is precision when you need it and a slow grinding away of graveyards the rest of the time. I value it slightly higher than Phyrexian Furnace because you can target yourself with it when your opponent tries to get you with Geth, Lord of the Vault or Beacon of Unrest. Some people value Furnace more highly because it can hit relevant cards more quickly.

Phyrexian Furnace - See above.

Wheel of Sun and Moon - It doesn't affect you, it's a replacement effect, and it affects all cards rather than just permanents (better than Samurai of the Pale Curtain and Void Maw). The fact that it doesn't affect all opponents is both a drawback and a benefit, because it makes it that much less likely to be targeted by the players who aren't affected by it.

Anafenza, the Foremost

Nezumi Graverobber - See Wretch/Ooze; even more difficult to remove multiple cards per turn than either Wretch or Ooze, but with an even greater reward when you flip it. On the downside, once it's flipped you may regret it if, for example, your opponent starts recurring non-creature cards. It doesn't retain its old ability, so it actually becomes pretty sub-par graveyard hate once flipped.

Creakwood Ghoul - In 3-color decks, this will probably be even more difficult to remove multiple cards per turn than Graverobber. It has higher toughness than any of the other three, and the lifegain is a nice bonus.

Samurai of the Pale Curtain - It's a replacement effect, so that's really good. It's also cheaper than Leyline, and as a creature it's much easier to use as a Trap than an enchantment is. But it doesn't affect spells, only permanents. Also it affects you as much as your opponents, so that's another reason Leyline is better.

Reito Lantern - The least efficient of the Wretch/Ooze/Graverobber style, this costs 3 mana per card and tucks rather than exiles. But it is colorless, and being an artifact makes it slightly harder to remove (for some colors) than a creature.

Grazing Kelpie - Oh I love love love this one. I haven't had it in a deck in a long time, but when I did it was so easy to use and reuse all the time, either by itself, graveyard recursion, or Crystal Shard. It does only tuck rather than exile, and it has a high initial casting cost, but sitting around and staring down cards in graveyards for only one or two mana up is great.

Heap Doll - Super efficient. Being both an artifact and a creature, it's pretty easy for every color to remove, but it costs only 1 mana initially and 0 mana to activate. It's too bad you only get one shot with it, but if your opponents aren't playing graveyard hate (maybe they haven't read this), it's very easy to recur and recast.

Dryad Militant - If you had this and Samurai of the Pale Curtain, you would have achieved the same effect that Rest in Peace does on its own, and you would get to attack for 4. Spells are not usually the thing I'm most worried about when I feel obligated to add some graveyard hate, but there are some staples that are affected by this: Eternal Witness, Archeomancer, Spitting Image, Life from the Loam, and probably a few others.

Night Soil - Really good and super efficient (1/2 mana per creature exiled), but it only hits creatures. Still, exiling is part of its cost, so an opponent can't even respond before the creatures are gone.

Cranial Archive - I wouldn't be super thrilled about paying 4 mana to do what Nihil Spellbomb does for only 2 mana, but this has added versatility and can go into nonblack decks.

Initiatives - These are cards that don't typically function at instant speed but which empty graveyards (either completely empty or just one or two key cards) so that later graveyard-based spells will not be as threatening. Note that many of the cards in the above categories of Traps and Reactions can be used in this way; Tormod's Crypt is a great example of a case where it's often correct to hold it in your hand so as not to let your opponents know you have it, then play it after a massive Pernicious Deed or something like that.
Bojuka Bog - costs no mana; doesn't take up relevant deck space (and is essentially a cantrip; it costs no card advantage in game); can be fairly easily reused by bouncelands and/or Vesuva (none of which take up relevant deck space either). With a little help it can even work at instant speed as a Trap (Crop Rotation, Walking Atlas) or Reaction (Ruin Ghost).

Agent of Erebos - It's a creature and it triggers off of other enchantments you play, so getting extra uses out of it either by blink or recursion or just playing more enchantments should be super easy.

Angel of Finality - Same as Agent of Erebos but in a different color and only triggers off itself, not any enchantments.

Morningtide - Cheap to cast, can be reused a lot more easily than Relic of Progenitus. Doesn't target. On the downside, it doesn't kill Lord of Extinction.

Loaming Shaman - Cheap to cast, and being a creature makes it easier to reuse, as well as being easier to use as a Trap or Reaction.

Bazaar of Wonders - It may not be as easy to reuse EtB abilities of enchantments as it is of creatures, but it is possible. And for only 5 mana it exiles all graveyards. It kills Lord of Extinction.

Jotun Grunt - It's only 2 mana, and it still does its thing through both Damping Matrix and Torpor Orb, but doesn't do its thing until a whole turn after you've cast it. Still, every turn it sticks around afterwards, you do it for more and more cards.

Deterrents - Every Deterrent is also a Reaction; it forces your opponents to play around it, but is worse than other Reactions (like Leyline of the Void) because it doesn't have any lasting effect after it has been destroyed. It just buys time, which is far less meaningful in EDH than it is legacy (for example) because not only is the time it buys less because there are more players trying to find an answer for it, but even if it bought the same number of turns it would still be less significant because EDH games tend to take longer, making each EDH turn "worth" less than a legacy turn. The whole time that Leyline is sitting around while your opponents wait to destroy it, it's having a lasting impact on the cards that are going to graveyards. That said, Deterrents aren't all bad. They're pretty useful when your opponents have a narrow window to use their graveyard spells (for example when Omen Machine or Elkin Lair or Wild Evocation forces them to do so).
Grafdigger's Cage - cheap to cast; Trinket Mageable; very effective at preventing certain forms of recursion. However, it doesn't stop your opponents from looping absurd Cackling Counterpart/Rite of Replication + Mnemonic Wall/Eternal Witness/Izzet Chronarch shenanigans, or from just plain recurring creatures with Phyrexian Reclamation, or from making use of one of the most commonly played reanimation spells in the game, Living Death (it also fails to stop one of the most commonly played library-to-battlefield spells in the game, Tooth and Nail). In addition, there are minor downsides: it's sorcery speed, it has additional splash hate that will encourage other players to destroy it even more (in particular it aggravates green players, who are particularly good at destroying artifacts), and it prohibits your recursion too and prohibits your creature-from-library stuff.

Containment Priest - I struggle with finding the right category to label this card. Maybe it's more like Pseudohate, but it works pretty well as a Trap. Other cards in the Trap category can be used when pressured by hand-discard or Wild Evocation as sort of an Initiative, exiling one or more cards, but when you play Containment Priest at any time that a creature isn't being returned from a graveyard, it just sits around discouraging one type of graveyard abuse.

Ground Seal - is efficient; cantrips. It's interesting that it also protects graveyards somewhat while simultaneously making them harder to abuse.

Tutors - These don't count as GY hate themselves, but I thought it would be worth including them in the list because they can make certain types of GY hate way more effective (Bojuka Bog)
Crop Rotation (fetching Bojuka Bog) - costs 1 mana; comes as a surprise; nukes an entire graveyard without targeting any of the cards individually. However, sometimes you have already drawn both Bojuka Bog and Vesuva, so you have a Crop Rotation in your hand that can't be used as graveyard hate when you really need it.

Chord of Calling (fetching The Mimeoplasm) - I only say The Mimeoplasm because its exile effect doesn't use the stack, so your opponent can't respond to it by trying to recur their creature some other way. Other good cards to fetch with Chord include Puppeteer Clique, Samurai of the Pale Curtain, Loaming Shaman, or Stonecloaker, just to name a few. Chord is just an amazing instant speed creature tutor and many of the best GY hate cards are creatures.

Sunforger - Doesn't turn non-instant GY hate into instant, but it does add some consistency to your access to GY hate, particularly when tutoring for Sunforger is usually one of the first things you do in a deck that has Sunforger in it. And it's reusable.

Tezzeret the Seeker - Reusable and probably the most effective way to surprise someone with a Grafdigger's Cage. Suddenly, it's in play. "Oops. Guess you should have flashed back your Mystical Teachings in response to the Tezz activation. Although then I could have just chosen something else, like the Sol Ring you were expecting."

Junk - These are awful as graveyard hate in this format and you really shouldn't play them, but they do get the job done, sometimes, maybe, if you're lucky.

Spellweaver Helix

Selfless Exorcist (note - the rules have been updated since this card was printed and its reminder text is no longer true; if you use it on a Lord of Extinction, it will probably die . . . EDIT - the rules were updated again and I felt I should point out it will also die if you use it on a creature card with deathtouch.)

Grip of Amnesia

Web of Inertia

Lost in Thought


Grave Consequences

Carrion Rats

Carrion Wurm


Grave Robbers


Gruesome Encore

Graveyard Shovel

Rats' Feast


Curse of Oblivion

Rotfeaster Maggot

Pseudohate - These cards are actually pretty good and you will probably see some of them a lot in the format, but other cards will generally be more efficient if you're specifically looking for graveyard hate.
Time Spiral - Its converted mana cost may be 6, but it actually costs less than 0 mana (you usually untap at least one land that taps for more than one mana), and it hits all cards in all graveyards. It's really good, although sometimes you're really unlucky and some of the cards your opponents just shuffled away find their way into the new hand of 7. Also worth noting that this, unlike Mnemonic Nexus, Timetwister and Temporal Cascade, will kill Lord of Extinction.

Puppeteer Clique - It only hits creatures, and only 1 on its own, for 5 mana, so it's terribly inefficient. But Clique is so good against certain cards that after playing against it several times I took cards out of my own decks so that Clique couldn't use them against me (Karmic Guide, Adarkar Valkyrie, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker). That's very strong. It also can be used as a Reaction with any sac outlet (and if that sac outlet is hidden, for example an Altar's Reap, it can also be used as a Trap).

Void Maw - Like Samurai of the Pale Curtain, except it costs 3 times as much and doesn't even hit all permanents, only creatures. That said, you can dump your own creatures back into your yard from it, so it's one-sided. And it can swing for a lot of damage sometimes.

Pharika, God of Affliction - Really cool card, great choice for a Commander if you want to put a stop to someone going infinite with consistent graveyard combos, but she just does a worse job than Necrogenesis which is itself worse than Withered Wretch. The fact that the tokens go to the owner of the card exiled is sometimes a plus (politics) but usually I would prefer to get them myself. The fact that she's indestructible makes me think she might be more useful than the category of "pseudohate" implies, but I'm leaving her here for now.

Timetwister - See Time Spiral, except that it costs 3 mana. It doesn't exile itself, which might be relevant sometimes.

Day's Undoing - Like Timetwister, except that it ends your turn immediately, exiling itself. Or, with Hypersonic Dragon/Vedalken Orrery/others, it pretty much just becomes another Timetwister.

Vessel of Endless Rest - Like Bojuka Bog, this is so easy to include in a deck. You probably should be playing it in more decks than you are. You definitely should be playing it in any deck with Master Transmuter or Shimmer Myr, if you aren't already.

Mirror Golem - It became much easier to flicker creatures with the arrival of Avacyn Restored, and Golem was already decent before that. Note that it can't be flickered by Nephalia Smuggler or copied by Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker if the card imprinted on it is a creature, or Momentary Blink/Cloudshift/Cackling Counterpart when imprinted with an instant. Master Transmuter and Deadeye Navigator will both work regardless of the imprinted card.

Fated Return - Seven mana is a lot to hold up just to fizzle someone else's one-mana Reanimate.

Psychic Intrusion - Cost is a little high if you're using it just to get rid of a single pesky returning card. When you then actually cast that card for the added benefit, it winds up right back in their graveyard for them to abuse again.

Underworld Cerberus - The Ground Seal effect is very strong, but Seal is a lot harder to remove because it's an enchantment, not a creature. Also the fact that generic removal (the non-exile kind) turns Cerberus into a symmetrical graveyard recursion effect makes it a lot harder to justify calling it GY hate.

Angel of Serenity - Obviously not bad in general, but I don't like the thought of putting my opponents' creatures back into their hands with a simple removal spell so I would say as graveyard hate it's pseudohate, apart from the cool interaction with Flash.

Necromancy - Only targets creatures, only targets one creature, and costs 3 mana for a single use with very few effects to reuse it; it's pretty bad as GY hate, but it's worth including here because it's a really great card that can be used as a Trap)

Grim Return - Same problems as Necromancy and more restrictive because you can only target creatures that died this turn, but in a lot of ways it's better as GY hate because you get to keep the creature. In the case of Necromancy, if you want to use it to stop an infi combo, you really only get to do it for one turn during which you need some help from City of Shadows or similar, or else it ends up back in the graveyard to combo out next turn. Grim Return avoids that, at least until the creature eats a Terminate.

Noxious Revival - This has to be the worst kind of graveyard hate: tuck to the top. That said, it is quite usable against a turn 1 godhand with Entomb + Exhume + Dark Ritual, and can even be used as a more effective tuck when your opponent is already about to shuffle his or her library (upon activating a fetchland, for example).

Mimic Vat - It's a trigger, not a replacement, it only hits creatures, only as they're dying, and if you want to use it you can only choose one creature to keep exiled; the only good thing I can say about it as graveyard hate is that it doesn't cost mana to use.

Primal Command - 5 mana, and it tucks rather than exiles. Still, its other modes make it one of the most useful green spells in the game.

Hedonist's Trove - Like Praetors' Counseling someone else's graveyard. How awesome is that?

Gaea's Blessing - Cheap to cast, tucks rather than exiles; is also a cantrip, and has a strange ability that prevents you from losing to mill.

Temporal Cascade - 7 mana (or 9, if you like), and it's like a Time Spiral but when you use it only as GY hate it also strips hands. It's really good, aside from the outrageous mana cost.

Diluvian Primordial - Is really expensive, and only hits one of the less-abused card types, but it will make certain opponents think twice about trying to self-mill for abuse.

The Mimeoplasm - Not very efficient and only hits creatures, but you don't have to announce which creatures are being exiled until The Mimeoplasm resolves. It's especially nice when you get to make a Trap out of it with a Chord of Calling or a Quicksilver Amulet, because by the time the 'plasm is revealed it's already too late for an opponent to respond.

Identity Crisis - 6 mana is a lot to pay for the same amount of GY hate that Tormod's Crypt does for 0. But it's very good, and the whole effect is generally totally crippling to the player who receives it.

Animate Dead


Sepulchral Primordial

Ghastly Conscription - One of very few cards that can steal an opponent's Phage the Untouchable from their graveyard without killing you

Return (of Never//Return)

Flesh (of Flesh//Blood)

Crime (of Crime//Punishment)

Entering (of Breaking//Entering)

Mourner's Shield - Probably very underplayed in this format. It is only a one-shot, one target effect for 4 mana at sorcery speed, but the bonus it provides is actually really relevant against Sword of Fire and Ice, General damage, Comet Storm, infect, when one unblockable shrouded creature is coming at you or a planeswalker you want alive, or even just normal creature vs creature combat (including Arena effects and Ulvenwald Tracker).

Jace, the Living Guildpact (ultimate)

Outclassed - These are better than Junk or Pseudohate, but they're just less efficient than other options in their respective colors.
Ebony Charm - This was the height of efficiency for Traps. Its other modes are pretty underwhelming, but once in a few hundred games you might find use for them and when you do it will feel VERY satisfying. Now there's Scarab Feast, so this got demoted to Outclassed.

Necrogenesis - 4 times less efficient than Night Soil as GY hate, but that's still actually pretty efficient. It makes more Saprolings per creature exiled, and can be used on a creature card when it's the only one in the graveyard, which is one weakness of Night Soil. However, it does not exile the card as a cost. You might not like battling a Reassembling Skeleton with this card.

Junktroller - Really efficient; its two major weaknesses (being unable to hit more than one card per turn, and being unable to do anything the until your first turn after it enters the battlefield) can both be eliminated by Thousand-Year Elixir. That said, I put it this low on the list because you don't always have T-YE in every game. Junktroller happens to also be really good at sitting around and blocking.

Deathrite Shaman - Only 1 mana to play and 1 mana to use (usually), and hits the most relevant card types. I mean sure, eventually it's going to come up that someone is abusing Hanna, Ship's Navigator with Second Chance and the Shaman is going to sit by and watch helplessly, but for the most part it's pretty decent. It even makes mana when you are using it to exile lands. The only problem with it is that it dies easily and can't be used the turn it enters the battlefield.

Rag Dealer/Carrion Beetles - Nearly as efficient as Withered Wretch (and slightly more if you pair it with Rings of Brighthearth), their major weaknesses are the same as Junktroller's. Having a CMC of 1 might be relevant if you like Ranger of Eos or Hibernation's End.

Dimir Doppelganger - Not very efficient as graveyard hate and only hits creatures, but the card itself becomes quite a scary threat sometimes. Can be used multiple times per turn.

Chainer, Dementia Master - Like Dimir Doppelganger, except that it costs more specific mana and costs life but the bonus can be even greater.

Eater of the Dead - This one's card text might be slightly misleading. Here's its Oracle text: "{0}: If Eater of the Dead is tapped, exile target creature card from a graveyard and untap Eater of the Dead." Can only be used once per turn on its own, but effects that allow you to tap your own creature are far more abundant than effects that allow you to untap. On its own, it's still slightly better GY hate than Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni or Scion of Darkness, because it doesn't need to damage the player or even be attacking the player whose graveyard concerns you. It just needs to attack any player or planeswalker. However, if you rely on it too much, your opponents may out-tech you with Angel's Trumpet (ha, kidding). UPDATE: Filth filled us in on a trick to abuse Eater here - any sacrifice outlet when Eater is tapped allows you to exile any number of creature cards.

Extirpate - Split second may be relevant sometimes. For example, I think a lot of Necrotic Ooze combo decks can go off again in response to graveyard hate or removal. Split second shuts that down, at least in part (they may still make infinite mana with Pili-Pala, though). Also you get to peek at the opponent's hand and library, which is a small bonus.

Surgical Extraction - Can be cast for 2 life when tapped out. Otherwise, a worse Extirpate.

Thraben Heretic - Super efficient, but only hits creatures and only once per turn.

Grave Birthing - Worth mentioning that when an opponent is trying to steal from another opponent's graveyard, you can offer the owner the option to deny the theft. Also, draws a card and leaves behind a bonus, slitghty weaker Blood Pet.

Watchers of the Dead - Your opponents can always keep the best cards in their graveyards, so they don't work as a Reaction. They do help to lower the amount of work that a Scrabbling Claws/Phyrexian Furnace needs to do, so they're not awful, and they can tip a "fair" Living Death strongly in your favor for no extra mana, unlike Withered Wretch or Scavenging Ooze.

Merrow Bonegnawer - Like Watchers and Birthing above, it suffers from giving your opponent the choice in which card to exile. My intuition is that I will not be casting enough black spells every turn to make the untaps worth it, but maybe in the right deck, like Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder?

Jund Charm - Ravenous Trap but without the "sometimes free but sometimes costs 4" part. It only costs 3 mana. It also has other legitimate uses when you don't need GY hate. Outclassed by Rakdos Charm

Rapid Decay - barring interaction with Fluctuator, I think Scarab Feast is always better.


Crypt Creeper - Heap Doll for the Zombie Tribal deck.

Sewerdreg - A slightly harder to kill but way less efficient Heap Doll.

Coffin Queen

Cemetery Reaper

Moratorium Stone


Not Forgotten

Shamble Back

Mardu Woe-Reaper

Nantuko Tracer

Crypt Incursion

Offalsnout - I guess it has additional interactions with Nephalia Smuggler or something like it, but I can't pretend Awfulsnout is anything else.


Vile Rebirth

Serene Remembrance

Dwell on the Past

Martyr of Bones

Necromancer's Covenant - 6 mana, only hits creatures. Being an enchantment makes it the hardest to use as a Trap or Reaction. This is really the bottom of the barrel when it comes to GY hate. I only play it in 1 deck and only because the bonus is relevant in multiple ways.

Skullsnatcher - Might be a good choice for a Kaalia deck looking to reuse her Angel of Despair/Rune-Scarred Demon EtB abilities. Thanks to Shoe for pointing this interaction out. Otherwise, it's not that great because you need to actually connect with it to work, so if you don't have an unblocked attacker to make use of ninjutsu, you usually need to wait a whole turn and hope they can't find a way to block and/or kill it.

Yixlid Jailer - is more of a player hater (rules headaches abound) than a GY hater. Really, you'll be confused by all the things it will and won't affect. For example, an Elvish Soultiller will still trigger its shuffle, but Kozilek, Butcher of Truth won't. What happens when Skullbriar, the Walking Grave dies? What happens when you Zombify Skullbriar, the Walking Grave? What happens when you resolve The Mimeoplasm? What happens when you Zombify The Mimeoplasm? I don't know and my head hurts go away Yixlid Jailer nobody likes you.

Entrails Feaster - Like a Jotun Grunt that only hits creatures, and only one per turn. On the plus side, you'll never have to sacrifice it for failing to pay its upkeep.

Repopulate - Only hits creatures; only hits one player; only tucks, not exiles; but it's very efficient at what it does, and if you don't need it for GY hate (or to give yourself a chance to draw your critters again) you can always cycle it.

Haunting Echoes - If someone in your playgroup is running a Relentless Rats or Shadowborn Apostle deck, you can have a good time trolling them with this, otherwise it's a 5-mana Tormod's Crypt that does not hit basic lands and reveals their hand.

Last edited by intreped on 2015-Oct-08 10:50 am, edited 20 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-09 7:58 pm 
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I don't see Gaea's Blessing. That card + Loaming Shaman are my go-to GY hate in decks that feature a general that can tutor, due to their double use as recursion.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-09 8:04 pm 
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Nice list. Really exhaustive, and great analysis of each card. I want to go and edit your post, though, and put Gaea's Blessing in place of Krosan Reclamation. I think that Gaea's Blessing is also better than Memory's Journey due to the draw (and also it protects you against mill combo i guess?). Another great trap card, that is unfortunately restricted due to its colours, is Jund Charm. I can't imagine playing a deck with those colours and not including that crazy diamond.

There's a class of cards, starting with Time Spiral, that work great as initiatives (liking this categorization thing you got going) in addition to being super powerful on their own. Not a lot of people really think of them as graveyard hate, but it's tough to lose to reanimator when you're playing a deck that loves its draw7s.

Finally, concluding with a nitpick, I think you're really underestimating Cremate. I love that card, and think of it like a black Ponder. Super cheap, never gets in the way, replaces itself, and gives you a small but really tangible benefit. Like Ponder it's sometimes hard to find room for it, but it's hardly ever wrong to play a copy.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-09 9:34 pm 
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This was terribly useful. Thanks!

Jenara--Control-based aggro
Karrthus--Aggro Control/Red Rock
Karrador--Aggro Control/White Rock
Captain Sisay--Aggro Control

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-09 10:41 pm 
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Ban Ki-moon wrote:
I want to go and edit your post, though

With great power comes great responsibility. I'll do it for you so you don't have to deal with the temptation to use your powers for evil.
Ban Ki-moon wrote:
and put Gaea's Blessing in place of Krosan Reclamation.

Oh, I forgot Blessing. It's really good. But it's not a Trap, it's an Initiative, so it would go in a different category than Reclamation.

Speaking of Traps vs Initiatives, how did I do on the naming? I feel like "Initiative" and "Reaction" aren't perfect. I'm happy with "Trap" and "Deterrent," though.

I also forgot Jund Charm. Mostly I made this list from my own experience, and I haven't built a Jund deck yet.

I didn't forget Time Spiral, nor did I decide to leave it out because it's unworthy. I was just lazy after doing all that typing. I have a Damia deck with Time Spiral, Timetwister, and Temporal Cascade as well as Crop Rotation and Bojuka Bog and Nihil Spellbomb and some other stuff, and they definitely do contribute nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 3:22 am 
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intreped wrote:
Mnemonic Nexus - Gets around both Witchbane Orb and Ground Seal. It also kills The Mimeoplasm or Body Double while they're still on the stack, and kills Lord of Extinction at any time. It's the most expensive option in this category, so you have to have a good yomi/intuition of when to keep mana up for it (or just have so much mana all the time that it doesn't matter, or run lots of Sapphire Medallion/Stone Calendar variants).

I may be wrong, but I don't think this would actually kill Lord of Extinction. Once the Mnemonic Nexus finishes resolving it will be in your graveyard, making him a 1/1 (amirite?).

<3 the list, I am still reading it, but I had to stop here a second to comment about this interaction. Edits most likely forthcoming :)

EDIT: Ok, I found something to add! I kept a table groaning and moaning about this card the whole game. Mono-blue graveyard hate - Bazaar of Wonders. I bounced this thing with my Kederekt Leviathan at least twice (the first time I didn't even realize I was going to be -that guy- and get a reuse out of it LOL). Bouncing is one of the things Blue does best, so this secret tech should be considered by anyone wanting to get a rise out of folks... or just use non-staples.

My decks on Tappedout.net

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 6:23 am 

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You have Night Soil, but you are missing it's cousin Necrogenesis. More mana, but more saprolings, and it will work if they only have 1 creature in the yard.

Repopulate is a decent hate spell at instant speed that can be cycled if it won't be useful.

Primal Command shuffles away a graveyard, while also tutoring for a creature or shuffling away a problem permanent.

Sygg, River Cutthroat: Ninjas, Rogues, Ophidians
Rosheen Meanderer: Hydras
Sapling of Colfenor: Toughness > Power
Riku: Pump Spells
Teneb: Life Manipulation
Kiki-Jiki: Big Red
Geth: Nim
Kodama of the North Tree: Hard Mode Voltron
Nin: Elementals
Sram: Jankstorm
Zur: Zombies
Rhys the Redeemed: Aura Voltron
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh: Chandras
Ojutai, Soul of Winter: Tap Out Control
Alesha: Allies
Inalla: Treasures
Vial Smasher: Lava Axes
Atraxa: Counterless Keywords
Ludevic and Tymna: Curses

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 7:36 am 
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Superstrength79 wrote:
I may be wrong, but I don't think [Mnemonic Nexus] would actually kill Lord of Extinction

Oops, you're right.

Adding Bazaar, Necrogenesis, and Repopulate now (Primal Command was already there). Thanks everyone!

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 8:22 am 
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You missed one of my all-time favourites: Shred Memory. It's a fairly good trap, but can double as a tutor.

Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

Follow me on Twitter: @generalspeak

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 9:01 am 

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I use Chainer, Dementia Master as a form of creature based graveyard hate since not only do I get to use the creatures I take with him against my opponents.. but if they try to take them back I can just sac him to remove the creatures from the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 7:16 pm 
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Gaea's BLESSING, not Gaea's Balance.

Get Reito Lantern on that list. It's also doubles as recursion in decks with tutor generals.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-11 2:23 am 
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Two more cards to consider adding:
Junktroller - slow use, but doubles as a blocker for fast generals
Necromancer's Covenant - lifelink zombies :)

My decks on Tappedout.net

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-12 7:53 am 
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Thanks, everyone. I already had Chainer and Covenant on the list, but the others were definitely overlooked.

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-12 8:08 am 
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intreped wrote:
Thanks, everyone. I already had Chainer and Covenant on the list, but the others were definitely overlooked.

Hmmm, not sure how I missed it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cremation Revisited
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-12 8:42 am 
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Sewerdreg is missing from the list, he's not fantastic but he is recurrable and unblockable a decent amount of the time...what with Urborg and all

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