Graveyard and the graveyard hate

In my quest to understand the meta-game and try to make it better, I want to discuss the graveyard. Of all of the formats in Magic, Vintage makes the most efficient use of the graveyard.

Dredge is obvious because it is a crazy deck due to the graveyard. Xerox makes very heavy use of the graveyard but in a much more subtitle way. Dark Ritual style decks and any deck with Yawgoth's Will can make the graveyard explode into a win condition.

Should playing graveyard hate be a main deck consideration? It does not do much against Shops and other aggro decks but it does hurt at least 30% or more of the meta-game.

I have been thinking more and more that considering the hate as a sideboard only option is not smart. The rise of the Survival deck makes my point.

This is like asking do you run Hurkly's Recall main deck because it is only good against certain decks in certain situations.

I think if we want to balance the format beyond where it is now the consideration of dealing with graveyards main deck must be a consideration.

last edited by moorebrother1

Interesting discussion! A few quick thoughts:

  • Leyline-style hate isn't dead against Shops, as it shuts off Ravager and Hangarback.
  • To my mind, the biggest argument against maindeck grave hate is the prevalence of PO, where it seems fairly useless.
  • For hate to be maindeckable it has to bring something to the table other than, well, hate. In other words, avoid cards like Tormod's Crypt or Ravenous Trap. Relic cycles, Deathrite fixes mana and gives you a clock, Leyline/RIP can combo with Helm, etc.
  • Obvious examples of decks successfully running maindeck hate would be Dredge (Leyline), Two Card Monte (Leyline), and BUG/4C (Deathrite).
last edited by Stuart

You know this mono red list I’m trying to run, with Null Rods. I am looking at graveyard hate cards I can play, and I’m seriously considering surgical extraction. I don’t have room for 4 Leyline of the void, or that would be a legit strategy. I can’t play artifact graveyard hate with activation costs, because I want a card that is good vs Dark ritual Storm and Dredge, vs Storm I am keeping in my null rods.

I’m also looking for some action vs survival of the fittest.

Which narrows my card choices to ravenous trap, surgical extraction, and faerie macabre. Of those I think surgical is the best choice.

Surgical Extraction has spiked because it is an essential card in Legacy and Modern. The reason it gets no love in Vintage is Mental Misstep. But the decks that you would use it against may not play Mental Misstep.

last edited by moorebrother1

@gkraigher I don't think Surgical (or graveyard hate in general) is particularly good against Dark Ritual Storm, but it does seem good in the other matchups you mentioned.

@moorebrother1 said in Graveyard and the graveyard hate:

This is like asking do you run Hurkly's Recall main deck because it is only good against certain decks in certain situations.

This is an interesting comparison that you've made. Hurkyl's Recall has marginal value in most matchups, including non-shops. As @Stuart pointed out, graveyard replacement effects (Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void) have similar marginal value.

The problem with GY hate is that it is generally poor against Workshops/Outcome/Xerox and a number of other decks in the format. So really you are playing it main deck for maybe 10-20% of the metagame. I don't think Leyline is particularly good in Dredge as a result, and I'm not so sure any deck without numerous Tutors should really be playing any hate (if you have tutors running a miser's Nihil Spellbomb or something is fine).

Interestingly, maindeck graveyard hate used to be quite common, usually in the form of Tormod's Crypt. This would have been before Dredge was as threatening as it is today, it was used to combat Welders and YawgWills and Gifts, which were not more prolific than Delve and Snapcaster today. I don't recall exactly when it started to go out of style.

@brass-man it might be that snapcaster and delve spells are better vs crypt effects than Yawgwill, etc are.

  • 9
  • 3068