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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh Card of the Day

Gravekeeper's Chief
Super Rare

Spellcaster / Effect Monster
You can have only 1 face-up “Gravekeeper’s Chief” on your side of the field at any time. As long as this card remains face-up on the field, your Graveyard is not affected by “Necrovalley”. When you Tribute Summon this monster, you can Special Summon 1 monster that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in its card name from your Graveyard.

Type - Dark / 5 / 1900 / 1200
Card Number
- PGD-065

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

Date Reviewed - 9.6.04

ExMinion OfDarkness Monday:
Gravekeeper's Chief

Welcome to the second Gravekeeper's week! This week we're going to look at more of the playable Gravekeepers...the ones that make the deck worth playing as a whole.

This card is the strongest Gravekeeper we have. And this actually isn't a bad card for a Tribute. This card gets around one of the negative things associated with Tributing; the loss of field presence/card advantage. You lose a monster on the field, but you gain another one back. The fact that you can access your Graveyard now shouldn't really matter; a good Gravekeeper build will use its Rite of Spirits and possibly one Reborn -- that's about it.

He helps with swarming, which is desperately needed in Gravekeeper (the recursion/lack of opponent's recursion is its best aspect in my opinion.)

Tranorix Gravekeeper's Chief

It's Gravekeeper Week II (technically III; I seem to remember a Gravekeeper Week in the days before I started), and we start it off with the strongest Gravekeeper, Gravekeeper's Chief. The stats aren't that good. 1900 ATK for a Level 5 monster is usually something to avoid; however, if the effect is worth it, they're worthy of consideration. 1200 DEF makes him Witchable (won't be an issue for long). With Necrovalley on the field, he becomes a solid 2400 attacker, which is much better.

He has three effects, two of which are extremely useful. First, your Graveyard isn't affected by Necrovalley as long as he's on the field. What does this mean? You're allowed to use Monster Reborn (for now), Premature Burial, Call of the Haunted, and Magician of Faith while your opponent still can't. Though he can (for now) use Monster Reborn if he's targeting something in your Graveyard. Of course, this effect isn’t that spectacular since Gravekeeper decks SHOULD be running a few Rites of Spirit, which are unaffected by Necrovalley anyway.

The second effect helps ease the pain of Gravekeeper Chief's being 5 stars. You sacrifice a monster for him and you can bring that monster right back (if it's a Gravekeeper). Or another Gravekeeper. Whatever works for you.

The third effect is basically there to prevent Special Summoning of another Gravekeeper's Chief with Gravekeeper's Chief's effect. It shouldn't hurt too badly, though it's a bit of a downside.

Typical tournament deck: 1.5/5
Gravekeeper deck: 4.5/5

Stats: Gravekeeper’s Chief, like all the Gravekeepers, is a Dark/Spellcaster.  This is good-Dark means Chaos Food, amongst other support, and Spellcasters are heavily supported, like Warriors and Zombies, but without a bunch of anti-measures available, like Dragons.  Unlike all the other Gravekeepers, the Chief is the only one who requires a tribute, as it is a Level 5 Monster.  SO far, this card seems worthy of its title.  Let’s check the final stats: ATK and DEF.  Ouch.  Its Base ATK is a mere 1900.  Now, that’s not the end of the world-Airknight Parshath is still pretty popular as a Tribute Monster, and it has the same paltry ATK score.  The Defense is only 1200, which is low enough to for this card to be searched out by Witch of the Black Forest.  Personally, I would have preferred a 1500 DEF, as that is still low enough to keep it searchable, but high enough to block a lo of support and control monsters.  Now, I debated saying this in the combination section, but if you’ve been paying attention to the recent CotDs you should recall that Necrovalley provides all monster’s with Gravekeeper in their name with a +500 bonus to both ATK and DEF.  So, in a proper Necrovalley deck, this will be a solid 2400/1700 single tribute Monster.  However, that still really isn’t enough.  Fortunately, this is again like all other Gravekeeper’s Monsters, and is an Effect Monster.

Effect(s): There are three effects to this card: two positive, one Negative.  I will start with the good, as they explain the bad.  The first effect is one of the primary reason’s to play Gravekeeper’s Chief-Necrovalley no longer affects the Graveyard of this card’s controller.  Since it is not the owner’s but the controller’s Graveyard, this can backfire- if your opponent uses Change of Heart, Creature Swap, or Snatch Steal.  They get your Chief, and can finally use their Chaos Monster or recursion cards.  It can also backfire if they use something like Monster Reborn and target your Graveyard.  This effect becomes much less important with the latest Japanese Ban List-I find that it makes little sense to run Call of the Haunted and Pre-Mature Burial.  You have three recursion cards already in a Gravekeeper deck: three copies of Rite of Spirit.  Most of your monsters will be Gravekeeper’s anyway.  Still, since Magician of Faith and D.D. Warrior Lady are or were already general deck cards, you might squeeze a Black Luster Soldier in.  There could be other cards you’d wish to use on yourself as well, but that escape me.

The second effect does make sense when you have a tight Gravekeepers deck: when you Tribute Summon this monster, you can Special Summon a monster that includes “Gravekeeper’s” in its name from your Graveyard.  It has been ruled that you can resurrect a Gravekeeper that you just used for Tribute to Summon Gravekeeper’s Chief.  That make’s it almost a free summon.  If you are really lucky, you may sack something lame like a spent Morphing Jar, then revive a Gravekeeper’s Spear Soldier or Assailant.

The final effect states you can only have 1 face-up Gravekeeper’s Chief on your side of the field.  This help’s keep Chief from being abusive.  If that limit wasn’t there, you know it would be “Tribute Chief for Chief, revive Chief”.  It also makes sense for there to be a single “Chief”-that’s part of the definition of chiefdom.  Should two somehow get on the field at once, I believe you just have to nuke one (this is extrapolated from a ruling on Chief and Skill Drain).  Under normal circumstances, you’d be prevented form summoning a second one anyway.

Uses/Combinations: As stated, this make Necrovalley almost completely one-sided (you still couldn’t Monster Reborn their cards, for example).  In the latest ban format, it can become a liability, but it also is the strongest Gravekeeper’s Monster, meaning it still is useful.  Also note that you can use Metamorphosis to change it into Dark Balter the Terrible, Fiend Skull Dragon, and Reaper on Nightmare (well, those are the only one’s you’d want to, anyway).  This almost feels natural in a Gravekeeper’s deck-the Chief sacrificing his very existence to summon a powerful, “magical” monster from beyond.  Fiend Skull Dragon might be pushing it, but Dark Balter (the most useful) has a close feel, and Reaper on the Nightmare seems very appropriate (and is even a set mate to both Chief and Metamorphosis).  Pretty sweet to randomly chuck cards from the opponent’s hand when they can’t get them back (thanks to Necrovalley). 


Casual: 4/5, 4.25/5, with current bans, 4.5/5 with new October 1st bans.  I was growing worried about it, since my deck has no cards negated by Necrovalley, it was actually a possible weakness, as stated above-but using Metamorphosis gives it a decent fall back use.  Of course, both are largely untested aspects, so use all do caution.

Tournament: 3.5/5, 3.75/5 with bans, and 4/5 with the new October 1st bans.  Simply put, nearly all coherent themed decks I see now are on much more even footing, and this is the “biggest” Gravekeeper.

Limited: 2/5-Not so hot.  If you manage to draft a plethora of other Gravekeepers with Necrovalley, then he can be good, but otherwise, most of his effects become useless, and he is just a sad, level 5 1900 attacker.


Don’t underestimate him, but don’t over estimate him either-his high score comes from being the only Gravekeeper that (with Necrovalley) can stand up to most commonly played single Tribute Monsters… and GAF.

MerrilHess Gravekeeper's Chief

This is one of the keys to building a Gravekeeper deck. Swarms like hell.

Revives dead GK's when Tribute Summoned. It also has a decent Attack under Necrovalley (2400 ATK). This is key for swarming the field, then launching the rest of you GK's for game with Cannonholder. If you ever build GK's, this is a must x 2.

Only 1900 ATK when Necrovalley is not out and Can only revive GK's when Tribute Summoned, so Reborn won't activate his ability.

Overall, I give GK Chief a 8/10 in GK's. He is great in that deck type. 

Monday: Gravekeeper’s Chief

Rated For: Gravekeeper Deck

This week is good Gravekeeper’s week, as opposed to last week’s festival of Gravekeeper related garbage. The five cards we will review during this week will all play a prominent role in the formation of a solid Gravekeeper deck.

The first card of the week is Gravekeeper’s Chief, the only Gravekeeper tribute monster. He packs an additional effect onto his 2400 attack frame, but is he deck-worthy? Let’s examine his viability in the Gravekeeper build!

Advantage F/H: With an attack of 1900, upgradeable to 2400, there aren’t many monsters that will kill the big, bad Chief. Bringing him out on the field gives the Necrovalley deck a huge advantage. Basically, through his effects, you’ll get back the monster you tribute summoned for him, keep a 2400 attack monster on the field, AND allow your own graveyard to be manipulated once again. The only thing that brings his score down is his rather paltry 1900 base attack. He won’t have much field advantage on its own without Necrovalley on the field. It could have at least been 2000.     9/10.

Best Draw for the Situation: He’s not always a great draw; mostly, you’ll want to dump him and bring him out through effects such as Rite of Spirit and such. However, the GK deck also has other methods of bringing him out rather easily. He’s searchable, and the Gravekeeper’s Spies provide tribute summon fodder on the field reliably. Throw in Change of Heart, Snatch Steal, and 3 additional methods of revival (Rite of Spirit) and you’ll find that there will be plenty of favorable situations to draw this guy.       7/10.

Attributes/Effect: With Necrovalley out on the field, he’s a frightening powerhouse. As Necrovalley monsters go, you can’t really beat this one. He’s a great option for the deck, with two great effects. Unfortunately, his sub-par non-boosted attack lowers his score a touch, giving him a solid 9/10.

Dependability: When you have Necrovalley out on the field, he’s basically unassailable by monster attacks. The fact that you have 3 chainable methods of reviving him gives him even greater staying power. Unfortunately, he relies on Necrovalley to get most of his use (as do most Gravekeeper’s), and so I must base most of his dependability score on that fact alone. 3 Necrovalley+ 2 Terraforming in most decks gives him a very high chance of coming out and causing severe havoc.                                                 7/10.

The Bottom Line: I’d suggest running two of these in your Necrovalley deck.

A BAD Score:      32/40=                                       80/100    

Cards he functions well with: Standard GK support, Necrovalley, Rite of Spirit.

E-mail Address Change: Mine. It’s now


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