“Graveyard hate” refers to any card or ability that removes cards from the graveyard zone, especially by exiling them. These effects are used to restrain opponents from making use of cards in their graveyard.
Examples of Graveyard Hate
Graveyard hate can take several forms. It may exile all cards from one opponent’s graveyard, exile all cards from every graveyard, exile individual cards from graveyards one at a time, exile cards that would have gone into a graveyard, or it may prevent players from targeting or using the abilities of cards within graveyards. Effects that shuffle a graveyard back into its owner’s library are not typically included in the category of ‘graveyard hate,’ but can be effective as a means of putting cards in graveyards out of reach of enemy access.
Examples of Graveyard Hate Cards Include
The Importance of Graveyard Hate
Graveyard hate cards are an efficient method of restricting opponents from receiving additional benefit from the cards in their graveyard. Several deck archetypes rely very heavily on the cards in their graveyard as a core piece of their strategy to allow them to win the game, so removing access to that graveyard can be a silver bullet that prevents those decks from enacting their strategy whatsoever. Some archetypes that may be most punished by graveyard hate include Reanimator, Spellslinger, Aristocrats, Artifacts, or Landfall.
Though not all deck archetypes explicitly use the graveyard as a core ingredient in their strategy, many decks also contain cards that are incidentally made less effective against graveyard hate. Examples of this may include:
The high popularity of cards that incidentally utilize the graveyard, combined with the high popularity of deck archetypes that consistent utilize their graveyards, make graveyard hate cards an effective tool to stymie enemy players in Commander.