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Gravekeeping 101 with Twio

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1 Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:58 am


New Member
Hi guys, I just found out that you can earn GP by posting here, so I'll give it a shot. Today I will be writing a guide on a Gravekeeper's deck. As some of you may know, my Gravekeeper deck is my pride and joy - I have never taught anyone how to build a GK deck before. This thread will be an in depth guide explaining the ins and outs if the deck, explaining which cards you should be using and why. But before I start with the deckbuilding part etc., here is some general knowledge.

- The Gravekeeper's archtype first appeared almost 13 years ago in the pack Pharonic Guardian. Important support cards also came out in Absolute Powerforce and Starstrike Blast.
- Many staple Gravekeeper's cards are included in Structure Deck: Marik.
- Gravekeeper's is a control deck. This means that the deck relies on maintaining field control by destroying your opponents' cards via effects and using a lot of defensive traps.
- As a result, this deck typically has a low monster count (with generally a maximum of 15 monsters).
- Gravekeeper's are still topping national tournaments worldwide, over a decade after they were released.

Ok, we'll start with the most important thing first. In a Gravekeeper's deck, the card sleeves must be either black or gold. The only exception is if you are a female. If you are male and have those bright pink sleeves because you're trying to be cool, you are already an embarassment to Gravekeeper's Smile

Right, lets go over the Gravekeeper's Monsters.

Gravekeeper's Spy
Lvl 4, 1200 ATK, 2000 DEF.
Flip: Special Summon any Gravekeeper's monster with 1500 or less ATK.
This card is the heart of the deck. Allows you to special summon almost any Gravekeeper's monster (except Commandant, Chief and Visionary). Also acts as a 2500 DEF wall while Necrovalley is on the field. ALWAYS run 3.

Gravekeeper's Commandant
Lvl 4, 1600 ATK, 1500 DEF.
Send this card to the Graveyard to add 1 Necrovalley from your deck to your hand.
Basically a Terraforming for Gravekeeper's. Transforms into a 2100 ATK beater when Necrovalley is on the field. A very useful card seeing as Your whole deck is dependant on Necrovalley being active. WARNING: You can not use Commandant's effect if there is a faceup Macro Cosmos / Dimensional Fissure. Commandant MUST be send to the graveyard to activate his effect. Run 2 or 3 depending on personal preference.

Gravekeeper's Descendant
Lvl 4, 1500 ATK, 1200 DEF.
Tribute 1 other Gravekeeper's monster on the field to destroy 1 card your opponent controls.
Descendant is usually the card which wins games. The general idea of the deck is to get Descendant onto the field and continue to provide him with ammo to shut down your opponents' plays, while also attacking for 2000 (with Necrovalley). Some players run only 2 of him but realistically you need 3. 90% of the time when I play, at least 1 of my Descendants is banished via Bottomless Trap Hole or D Prison, and I definitely would not feel comfortable running only 2.

Gravekeeper's Recruiter
Lvl 3, 1200 ATK, 1500 DEF.
When this card you control is send from the field to the Graveyard, add 1 Gravekeeper's monster with 1500 DEF or less from your deck to your hand.
Recruiter can search for any Gravekeeper's monster except Spy, Guard and Visionary. An amazing combo is tributing him for Descendant's effect, destroying of your opponent's cards, and searching for another Recruiter so you can do it again next turn. Also, with Necrovalley on the field he has pretty decent stats with 1700 ATK and 2000 DEF. One of the best cards in the deck, always run 3.

Gravekeeper's Assailant
Lvl 4, 1500 ATK, 1500 DEF.
When this card declares an attack while Necrovalley is on the field, you can target one faceup monster your opponent controls; change that target's battle position.
This guy helps deal with big monsters that you can't get rid of. For example, your opponent has a 2500 ATK Leviathan Dragon. Switch it to defense position and lols will ensue (Leviathan has 0 DEF). Or, if your opponent has a faceup Spirit Reaper in defense, switch it to attack position and attack over it.
1 of these guys per deck is generally fine.

Gravekeeper's Guard
Lvl 4, 1000 ATK, 1900 DEF
Flip: Return one of your opponent's monsters to the hand.
This guy became a lot more useful since the introduction of Synchro and XYZ monsters. If my opponent has a Laggia on the field, there's nothing I'd rather have than a Guard + Necrovalley. However, it's really annoying if you open with him. Again, 1 works perfectly for me, but some players replace Assailant with an extra Guard.

Gravekeeper's Curse
Lvl 3, 800 ATK, 800 DEF
When this card is summoned, inflict 500 damage to your opponent.
Completely useless, run 0.

Gravekeeper's Vassal
Lvl 3, 700 ATK, 500 DEF.
Any battle damage inflicted by this card is treated as effect damage.
Same as Curse, avoid like the plague.

Gravekeeper's Watcher
Lvl 3, ATK 1000, DEF 1000
When your opponent activates a Spell/Trap/Monster Effect which would make them discard, you can send this card from the hand to the graveyard to negate the activation and destroy it.
Could potentially be semi-useful against Dark World, but there are better cards that do basically the same thing (Gemini Imps, Neko Mane King). Again, run 0.

Gravekeeper's Spear Soldier
Lvl 4, 1500 ATK, 1000 DEF.
When this card attacks a defense position monster whose DEF is lower than this card's ATK, inflict piercing damage.
Before Descendant was released, this guy combo'd well with Assailant. Now the deck revolves around control, whereas this guy is more beatdown. I run 0 but you could try 1, might make a good tech choice.

Gravekeeper's Cannonholder
Lvl 4, ATK 1400, DEF 1200
Tribute 1 Gravekeeper's monster except "Gravekeeper's Cannonholder" to inflict 700 damage to your opponent.
This is an interesting card. He is effectively the burn counterpart of Descendant. Standard Gravekeeper decks don't use him at all, but it could potentially work if you swapped 3 Descendant for 3 Cannonholder. Noone would expect it.

Gravekeeper's Priestess
Lvl 3, 1000 ATK, 1500 DEF.
While this card is faceup on the field, the field is treated as Necrovalley (this effect does not apply if there is a faceup field card). All Gravekeeper's monsters gain 200 ATK and DEF.
Another interesting card. Basically allows you to run 6 Necrovalley and gives an extra boost to Gravekeeper's monsters. While on the field she has 1700 ATK and 2200 DEF. Why does nobody use her? There is not enough space in the deck; she is simply not needed. You may be asking why people dont use 3 Priestess instead of 3 Necrovalley. First and foremost, she is not searcheable by Commandant. Secondly, even if she was, she needs to be summoned, whereas you could be summoning a Spy or Descendant instead. Also, Necrovalley can destroy existing field spells, whereas Priestess' first effect is negated by existing field spells.

Gravekeeper's Chief
Lvl 5, ATK 1900, DEF 1200.
You can only control 1 Gravekeeper's Chief. Your Graveyard is unaffected by Necrovalley. When this card is Tribute Summoned, you can Special Summon 1 Gravekeeper's monster from your Graveyard.
Well. Let's start with the good stuff. He is effectively costless to tribute summon (you can special summon the monster you used to tribute summon him) and he has 2400 ATK while Necrovalley is active- enough to take out a Laggia. However, there is a reason why he is not popular; he opens your Graveyard. Now some of you may think this is a good thing. Yay! Now I can Monster Reborn my monsters! Right? No. Gravekeeper decks do not run Monster Reborn, because they run 3 Necrovalley. Your opponent on the other hand, he almost certainly has a Monster Reborn and maybe a Call of the Haunted that he's been dying to use but can't. Then he sees you summon Chief. "Ooh, hello," he says. "My opponent's grave is open. I think I might steal his stuff." he then notices your Descendant, Monster Reborns it, and uses his effect. What's that? He doesn't have any Gravekeeper's to tribute? Well, if you look closely, Descendant's effect says nothing about which side of the field the tribute has to come from. That's right, he just tributed your Chief to destroy one of your cards. Still, a costless 2400 ATK beater is pretty nice. Run 0 or 1.

Gravekeeper's Visionary
Lvl 8, 2000 ATK, 1800 DEF.
You can Normal Summon this card by tributing 1 Gravekeeper's monster. This card gains 200 ATK for every Gravekeeper's monster in your graveyard. If this faceup card would be destroyed, you can discard 1 Gravekeeper's monster instead.
This is the Gravekeeper's boss monster. He's not very good. Although I once saw a Visionary with 3900 ATK (Necrovalley + 7 dead Gravekeeper's monsters), he doesn't do a lot to maintain field control. Most players replace him with either Malefic Stardust Dragon or Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo. Run 0 or 1.

Now onto the Spell Cards. 99% of Gravekeeper's decks run the exact same 11 Spells. These are:

3 Necrovalley
2 Royal Tribute
2 Gravekeeper's Stele
2 Pot of Duality
1 Dark Hole 
1 Book of Moon

I tech 1 Mystical Space Typhoon for problem cards (Skill Drain, Royal Decree etc.) and to stop my opponent's Field Cards from resolving before they can destroy Necrovalley. DO NOT run Allure of Darkness. Because you have a low monster count, you want to make use of every monster you have. If you're in a tight spot you may be forced to banish a Descendant or Spy.

And finally the Trap Cards. This varies among decks. Cards you need include:

Bottomless Trap Hole
Compulsory Evacuation Device
Dimensional Prison
Torrential Tribute
Mirror Force
Solemn Warning
Solemn Judgment
Starlight Road

Dark Bribes and Fiendish Chains are optional. Most people who I know run 2 Torrential Tribute and 0 Mirror Force. I prefer 1 of each; there has never been a situation where I've wished I ran 2 Torrential.

Most of the Trap layout is down to personal preference. Some of it is not. Some people choose to run a single Starlight Road. YOU. NEED. TWO. No ifs or buts. Mirror Force is at 2. Torrential is at 2. Dark Hole and Heavy Storm are staples. Starlight Road wins games. Fact.

WELL ANYWAY I hope you found this guide interesting and informative, even if it is quite long. If anyone wants 1 on 1 help with building this orgasmic deck let me know.

ALSO if anyone feels like winning a tournament and wants to build a Gravekeeper deck irl, I do have a lot of common Gravekeeper cards for sale/trade. Most of the cards in my own Gravekeeper's deck are now max rarity.

At the moment I'm looking for:
3 Roanintoadin
3 Dupe Frog
2 Sea Lancer
2 Daigusto Phoenix
2 Number 96: Dark Mist
2 Battle Fader (common)

I also have a folder so let me know if you're looking for anything.


That's all for now guys, cya.

2 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:41 am


New Member
It's good to see a guide on Gravekeepers, I've been trying to figure out the best way to use these guys for quite some time now.
Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about teching Malefic Stardust Dragon? A good 2500 beater that protects Necrovalley seems like a good choice. And it prevents your other monsters from attacking but you can still troll your opponent a little with Descendant and Spy...

3 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:55 am


New Member
Yup I main Malefic Stardust and side Fossil Dyna. I tested Malefic Cyber End but I didn't like him that much. That's what I do, keep the field clear with Descendant and swing with Sinstar

Sig by Solarfall.

4 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:39 am


New Member
hmm you could also add magician circle since it can special summon your Visionary from your deck and magician circle is a trap card meaning you can special summon it during your bp and get another beater free although it has a draw back that makes your enemy also summon a spellcaster with 2000 or less attack from their deck.. Smile

you can also add spellbook of wisdom its basically a forbiddenlance without the -800 Laughing Smile

also one-shot wand and wonder wand are good equip cards it gives you attack power and it also gets you to draw a card if you met the requirement..

well those are some cards I put to my gravekeeper deck

also ultimate offering can be a good trap card to add so that you will be able to spam those gravekeeper monsters and use your descendants eff to destroy one card after another

also(Laughing I use "also" alot) a good combo with be magician circle then summon flamvell magician to let you synchro summon level 8 synchros with ease.

well those are cards which I think you can add to your guide but those are just my opinions Smile

5 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:08 am


New Member
Yeah Magician's Circle and Ultimate are swarm cards though. Gravekeeper's don't swarm, the objective is to slowly grind out advantage. One Shot Wand is pretty good but I still prefer Pot of Duality, and Wonder Wand is too situational. You'd only ever want to use it on Recruiter and even then I'd prefer to use him as ammo for Descendant. Spellbook of Wisdom is good, might put one in when Warning gets limited. I'm a little worried as to what you took out to fit all this stuff in..?

Sig by Solarfall.

6 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:35 am


New Member
i dont have any royal tributes I dont have assailant and other stuffs are preety normal except spellbook of wisdom magician's circle and ultimate since even though gravekeeper's forte is not swarming the field, I like to swarm it lol so I can maximize the eff of descendant and destroy their cards one by one

7 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:05 pm


GFX Designer
Just so you know, Descendant can't tribute monster's on the opponent's field.

It's like Deck Devastation Virus and Darkbright.

Other than that, this guide is pretty rock solid. Nice job. You may want to talk about the other GK variants though. This one only focuses primarily on anti-meta and the GK that you use primarily.

8 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:55 am


New Member
Oh thank god, I was hoping that wasn't a ruling. Some guy on DN did that to me and I didn't have time to wait for an admin so I assumed he was telling the truth. The reason why I only went into this style of Gravekeeper's is because it is the only build which is competitive in the current meta. Swarming with GK's is not efficient, nor is the Gravekeeper Synchro variant. The Gravekeeper's archtype was built for control and 99% of current Gravekeeper players run this version. Of course there are players who change it up a little with a couple of Effect Veiler /Cardcar Ds, but the roots are still the same.

9 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:28 pm


GFX Designer
I just wanted to say that Royal Tribute isn't exactly needed in Gravekeeper:

Explanation: The card is only really good when you open it and you also need to open a small amount of monsters plus Necrovalley to use it effectively. sure it's crazy scary early game but the more the game progresses the more situational it gets. Not to mention considering your potential matchups it's not as good vs decks like Wind-up and Fire Fist that utilize Tenki to get their monsters (plus factory for Wind-Up), and those matchups can already be seemingly difficult since gorilla destroys this deck if you can't answer it. The only matchup it seems particularly good in is water, and vs basically every other good deck the card is just adequate.

10 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:01 am


New Member
Royal Tribute wins games. End of story. I was able to beat Wind-Ups 2-0 at my locals because I hit 5 monsters out of his hand first turn game 1, then hit another 3 close to the end of game 2. In Gravekeeper's you almost always open with a low monster count because only you're only running 14/15 monsters, 3 of which will most likely be used to search for Necrovalley anyway. Even if I open with Necrovalley, Commandant, Spy, Recruiter, Royal Tribute and a backrow, it's still playable. I pitch Commander for another Necrovalley, play one of them, set spy and backrow, then Tribute. It doesn't even matter if I lose Recruiter because odds are my opponent will discard at least 2 of their monsters, plus I get to see their hand. The potential plays they had basically just disappeared.

What do you mean only adequate? All good decks need monsters to win. If you can't play a monster you will lose. If I have established field control and you have an opening hand of 3-4 cards with max 1 monster, good luck coming back. The only time you would ever side it out is vs Dark Worlds and in the mirror match. There is a reason why its at 2 per deck.

Sig by Solarfall.

11 Re: Gravekeeping 101 with Twio on Wed May 29, 2013 8:52 pm


A great guide that seems to have provoked a lot of discussion. Worth the max of 50 GP. Accounts updated.

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