Disrespecting the Dead


Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.Gurmag Angler. Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Kolaghan’s Command. Grim Lavamancer. Scavenging Ooze. These are some of the most popular cards in Magic today.

What do all these cards have in common?

All of these spells gain some benefit from cards being in the graveyard. Some use the cards for the Delve mechanic, some gain power and toughness from it’s contents. Some can even play the spells found there a second time. In today’s game, filling the graveyard is simple. A few countespells or instants here, a fetchland or two there and suddenly, you have what you need to get the job done to full effect all by manipulating the graveyard.

For budget players, these expensive cards listed above are hard to top and chances are you have yet to drop some big bills on these expensive cards. If you aren’t with these spells, you are against them and that’s often an uphill battle when playing cheap.

Today. we look at cards that you may need in your sideboard for matchups against these titans of the tomb…

Grafdigger’s Cage

The first card we look at today is Grafdigger’s Cage. This artifact stuffs creatures with Unearth as well as Flashback spells. This includes a Snapcaster Mage play. Since these types of cards are typically not played competitively, the Cage isn’t as effective as some graveyard hate cards. Keep this one for more casual matchups.

Tormod’s Crypt

This artifact has been a graveyard hater twenty years now. With a 0 casting cost and no activation cost, it’s quick. Just drop, tap and sac. Whoosh, goodbye graveyard. Any color decks can play it.

Leyline of the Void

I’ve been playing this enchantment in multiple black deck sideboards. In your opening hand, it can be played immediately, saving you from any chance of being countered. This spell scours the opponent’s graveyard as spells are cast and as creatures die. If you play black, I recommend this spell.

Relic of Progenitus

This is one of the more popular graveyard sweepers in Modern. The Relic can pick from the graveyard one at a time or flush it with a 1 mana activation. It’s easy to cast and quick to use.

Scavenging Ooze

Why not fight fire with fire? Green’s best answer to graveyard hate is the Ooze daddy himself, This creature munches away at dead threats and becomes bigger with every exiled creature.

Rest in Peace

This enchantment is the white version of Leyline of the Void but with one added benefit. As it comes into play it flushes the graveyard. That could be pivotal in a match if the Rest in Peace is not in your opening hand.


So you get a problem card in the opponent’s graveyard…what next? Remove the problem. Extirpate not only removes a graveyard threat but also the target card from that opponent’s hand and library. A great way to deal with potential issues with combo decks.

Surgical Extraction

This card is the cousin of Extirpate but any color can use it by paying two life. It can also be played when tapped out, snatching potential threats out as spells are being cast to bring them back.

Some honorable mentions include…

Agent of Erebos

What about multiple graveyard flushes? The Agent is able to remove everything from a graveyard as a byproduct of casting an enchantment. Unfortunatly, the Agent is a creature and can easily be contended with, it only having a 2 toughness.

Anafenza, the Foremost

This legendary creature can drop some beats, help other attackers as well as finish off an opponent’s creature for good.

Bojuka Bog

I’ve been using this sneaky land to full effect in Pauper. When played the Bog sweeps the graveyard, flushing an potential graveyard shenanigans away. Play it in black decks that require mana of that color.

Crypt Incursion

This instant can flush a graveyard and net you a sweet life boost. Each removed creature card gets you three extra life which can be a huge swing in today’s game.Just think, only three creatures can get you nine life!

Nihil Spellbomb

Yet another artifact that can sweep a graveyard. This one however, brings an extra card draw to your hand upon it’s usage upon tapping for a black mana. This card has become a Pauper sideboard staple.

Rakdos Charm

Playing red and black? Rakdos Charm not only sweeps a graveyard when needed it also can destroy problem artifacts and deal damage to an opponent at instant speed. It’s versatility is worth noting.

I hope you enjoyed my article in disrespecting the dead of Magic: The Gathering. Come back in a few days for Card of the Week and my weekly journal on my play time in Magic. Till then, swing last.

Have some creative ways of dealing with your opponent’s graveyard? Let’s hear about it! You can contact Aiokii in the comments below, Twitter or Facebook. Aiokii can also be found on MTGO, hit him up for a game sometime. Also, take the time to check out Reddit Budgetdecks for cheap discussion and deck ideas.

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