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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Grave Pact
9th Edition

Reviewed October 13, 2006

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 4.35
Limited: 2.65

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

Jeff Zandi

 5 Time Pro Tour

Grave Pact
This card is pretty difficult to play thanks to its triple black mana cost.
For constructed, Grave Pact has never really proven itself beyond the fun-casual level, not that there's anything wrong with that. In any limited environment in which it has appeared, Grave Pact has been a fairly powerful card. I've never played Grave Pact in a limited deck before, but whenever I play an opponent who manages to get Grave Pact in play, it has ALWAYS been a big problem for me. Once you have Grave Pact in play, every creature YOU lose equals your opponent losing a creature as well. You block his only creature, say a 6/5 Ancient Silverback with your 1/1 chump-zilla, then Grave Pact makes your opponent sacrifice his 6/5 regenerating monster! Pretty sick. I don't like cards like this for limited, because I tend to limit my limited decks to (a) creatures and (b) things that directly kill creatures and, okay, (c) things that give me card advantage. Grave Pact does b and c to a certain degree, but it is rather hard to cast and it is possible for it to be a dead card, or nearly a dead card in some situations.


Grave Pact
The ultimate combo piece in any deck that can sacrifice creatures. Multiplayer is where this deck shines, but it gets frustrating in duels just as easily. No card ever made your opponent more reluctant to kill your creatures as this one did, and this is in the color that most proficiently sacrifices its own creatures.
Constructed- 4
Casual- 5

Jordan Kronick

Grave Pact - This is one of those cards that came out during my two year hiatus from Magic. And when I came back, I was introduced to the stunning power that this card posseses. When it was first used against me I thought that I must be reading it wrong, because there's no way a card so strong would be printed for such a small cost. But it's true, and it's incredible. Grave Pact is dominant whenever it hits the table. The only decks that don't fear this card are those no creatures at all. Any deck that relies on a limited number of non-token creatures and removal to get them through the red zone - which is to say most decks - hates Grave Pact. Even if you have no way to abuse it (say, by using the Symbiotic Creatures from Onslaught or even a Pentavus), this card is still worth playing. All of your opponent's removal has the potential to become a 2-for-1 in your favor, and creature combat becomes a lot more costly. The three black mana can be harsh, but this card is going to continue to show up in high level decks as long as it's legal.

Constructed Rating - 4.1
Casual Rating - 3.8
Limited Rating - 3.9

Nick Tan

Grave Pact

Erm. I always thought of this as a really casual card, one that ought to give everyone laughs at the multiplayer table. You might want to consider it in B/W control, and bring out hordes of weenies, Wrath them, and watch your opponent cry, but when it comes down to the crunch, this card just doesn’t cut it for real constructed or limited play. Keep this one in your casual deck for a few laughs now and then.

Standard: 2
Casual: 4
Limited: 2

KC MetroGnome

Grave Pact - 10/13

Grave Pact is one of the sickest multi-player combo pieces ever created. Any sacrifice outlet plus this plus a few creatures gives you instant board control. Just make friends with the people playing enchantment hate and you've got it made. It's harder to make it work for you in constructed or limited, because you're getting a 1 for 1 trade instead of a 1 for 12 trade, but not unheard of either. It would play nicely with Nantuko Husk to help eliminate blockers on the kill turn. There might be more efficient ways to do that, though.

Constructed - 3
Casual - 5
Limited - 1


Grave Pact

A really fun black card to use. There are lots of ways to abuse this effect and make your opponents lose creatures. Note that opponents is plural...this card is best in a multiplayer game, as it works on every opponent. In normal two-player games, this costs a little too much and isn't as abuseable.

In limited, if you're playing heavy black and can support the BBB in the cost, I'd throw it in. It can give you a huge advantage in winning the creature race.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3

Matt Cortez

Grave Pact

Constructed - When I see this card the first thing to pop in my head is Nantuko Husk. The only draw back of the card is the cost. It's a great card and I'm surprised that we don't see this a lot more.
Casual - If you do not think this card is fun in casual then I do not know what to say. THEY SAC A CREATURE WHEN ONE OF YOURS GOES TO THE GRAVEYARD!!
Its crazy fun and it get's even more fun when there are multiple people playing.
Limited - unlike yesterday's card this one benefit's only you. but like yesterday's card this one is to mana intensive. If you can run it do it. It is completely worth it but the triple black is going to be hard to cast.

Constructed - 4.0
Casual - 5
Limited - 4.0


Grave Pact
Here's another 9th edition enchantment that sees comparatively little play, despite looking pretty neat on paper. For the cost of 1BBB, you set up a situation where whenever a creature of yours dies, for any reason, every one of your opponents also lose one. This can prove to be a devastating effect when paired with the right cards. Play a Smallpox with a creature to sacrifice, and your opponents are forced to sacrifice two. Not much is going to be left alive after a mass sacrifice of your creature tokens to Nantuko Husk, for example. In fact, take a look at Monday's card, Phyrexian Soulgorger. Play it the turn after you resolve the Pact to turn your serious drawback into a way to slowly wipe out the board. Find a way to keep creatures in play, and your opponents will have little choice but to take 8 from a creature that only costed 3 mana as long as you feel like paying its cumulative upkeep. Alas, such tricks aren't constructed viable, but that's not to say that Grave Pact still doesn't have more useful applications...
Constructed: 3/5. This card definitely says "Build around me." Do not expect sucess by sticking one into any old deck. It must be heavy to mono black, it should have lots of abilities that sacrifice creatures, and it must have a decent way to make a lot of them. Otherwise, Grave Pact won't be hitting anything truly relevant, and it would have been better to spend that 1BBB on something else on turn 4.
Casual: 4/5. Has the potential to really screw with your friends' plans. When ALL players are sacrificing whenever you do, it will give you a large amount of card advantage, especially if you are simply sacrificing or blocking with creature tokens, while they are being forced to lose things like Watchwolf and Paladin en-Vec.

Limited: 2/5. Like Furnace of Rath from yesterday, I would not expect sucess in limited if you pick this. The effect can be quite good if you luck into the right tools, but since you can't really build around it ahead of time, its effectiveness isn't nearly as high.

Gackley Ferguson

Hello readers, and happy Friday the 13th to you all! Finishing with the themes of unlucky 13 and 9th Edition, we wrap up the week with Grave Pact.
Much like yesterday's card, today's feature won't win you the game single-handedly, but I feel that it has more uses than Furnace of Wrath.

Again, if you just plop Grave Pact down, and play the game as normal it probably won't do you much, but if you combo it with other things then It'll really shine. One of my friends uses a token deck which has Grave Pact, and if it starts going off then you have to be really careful. His main maneuver is having out Savra Queen of the Golgari, Gutless Ghoul, and Grave Pact.
He'd sacrifice a Golgari Creature (green and black) to Gutless Ghoul to gain two life...then he gains another two life from Savra (since it's green) then pays two life (since it's black) and makes everyone else sacrifice 2 creatures. Meanwhile he's sitting back with an army of tokens to swarm in with. Imagine...the Timmy in all of us is loving this card!

Here's the verdict.

Constructed: 4/5- This is probably the best format since you can most tweek your deck to revolve around the sacrificing theme.

Casual: 4/5- As with Constructed, in Casual theme it's probably a lot better since the aray of cards available to you is even greater than Constructed.

Limited: 1.5/5- I really don't see this card doing well in this theme, not enough cards to combo with it.

Mr. Anderson

Today's Card of the Day pays tribute to Friday the 13th. No, it's not Jason Vorhees or Freddy Krueger, but a wicked fun card called Gravepact. This card is the definition of casual play. It's best used in a deck with some sacrifice outlets and a way to bring them back into way. Shall I be so bold and say zombies? This card will give your friend's fits and tantrums. It screams, "Go ahead and kill one of my creatures!" In constructed, I will just say maybe. In limited, stay away from it, unless you're playing with quite a few Swamps. I love the 9th edition art of this card, but's it's even cooler when it's foil. This is a fun card to use in a Halloween deck.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 5
Limited: 1

Until then, sacrifice recklessly and laugh at said opponent.


One of blacks great enchantments. Even though triple black is hard
play in a draft, this is a great constructed/casual card. Graveback
turns any sacrafacial payment into a benefit, and is easy to construct
a deck around. And with a cost of four its quite easy to search for
using everyones favorite transmuter, Dimir House Guard. Overall a
crazy card, delightful to combo buffs and tourney junkies.
Constructed- 5
Casual- 4
Limited- 3

Cyrus Huang

Constructed: Despite being completely unplayable in competitive play, people still make G/B sacrifice decks with this guy revolving around golgari cards. Most of these decks combo grave pact with something like Shambling Shell or some other dredger to get a Cruel Edict every turn, with extra benefits too if Savra is on the field. Unfortunately, the deck is ultimately too slow against aggro decks since you're forced to play lower tier expensive creatures that have synergy with Grave Pact and Savra. Also it's too slow for control not doing much until turn 4 and even when it's out it's still not fast enough to make any impact.
.5 for the G/B deck it goes in. It's not as crappy as Furnace of Rath because burn decks shouldn't even run that. Grave Pact decks kind of have to run Grave Pact.

Limited: This is a really really annoying card in limited.You play non-splash black, you play this. It would be a bomb if it didn't have a triple casting cost. Simply all of your creatures become 1-for-1's, which gives you a ridiculous advantage in competing for board advantage. A good amount of your creatures will also become 2-for-1's, taking down one creature in combat damage then taking another creature down due to the Grave Pact effect. Now you really don't need to worry about making unfavorable trades and all of your chump blocking becomes a 100 times more effective. When you drop this card, you might as well swing with all the non-utility creatures you got every turn because your opponent will be hurting no matter what. Creatures are the meat and potatoes of sealed decks. If you can equal your opponent in creature advantage, you should be at least tied with him throughout the game.

The Enigma

Grave Pact

This is one of those cards that has so much potential that has yet to be tapped.

If used in the right combo, it can act as a partial Wrath of God. It’s best used with something that use can use as a sac outlet, to put your creates in the graveyard for a good effect, and then have Grave Pact make the sacrifice even better. Wonderful with something like Plagued Resulka. In constructed, there’s quite a few of these sac outlets. The Resulka. Ghost Council. In Casual, there are a million different ways to loose creatures. Some of the best are Thrulls. Sac them for counters, mana, or discard abilities, and then have your opponent loose a creature for it. (This get’s even better with Debtors’ Knell.) In Limited, the odds of you drawing a sac outlet for this are quite small. Pass it if you can.

Casual: 4.5
Limited: 1.0
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