"Gravekeeper's Curse", "Gravekeeper's Chief" and "Gravekeeper's Guard" performing a ritual involving "Cobraman Sakuzy".
The Gravekeeper's Chief and Assailant were present in the anime. He Duels against Jaden Yuki, giving the Duelist a hard time, but eventually Jaden manages to beat him. After the defeat, he gave Jaden one half of the Shadow Charm pendant, telling him that another person (Atticus Rhodes) has the other half.
The "new" Gravekeepers that were released in later sets bear an uncanny resemblence to members of the Ishtar family, likely because they were Tomb Guardians, as the Gravekeepers are supposed to be.
The key card to the "Gravekeeper's" Deck is "Necrovalley", a Field Spell Card that increases ATK and DEF of "Gravekeeper's" monsters by 500. "Necrovalley" also stops effects from affecting cards in the Graveyard, like "Monster Reborn" and "Call of the Haunted", and prevents either player from banishing from their Graveyards with cards like "Soul Release". However, "Necrovalley" does not prevent effects that activate in the Graveyard, so cards like "Mystic Tomato" and "Pyramid Turtle" still activate.
Because of the effects of "Necrovalley", this Deck tends to be somewhat anti-meta, countering "Zombie", and to a certain extent, "Psychic" monsters, "Inzektor", and "Chaos Dragon". It is therefore an ideal anti-meta Deck. Because most of the "Gravekeeper's" monsters are DARK they can also use "Allure of Darkness", and other DARK Attribute support cards.
Although "Necrovalley" stops most Graveyard related effects, "Gravekeeper's" have their own support that are unaffected by "Necrovalley", namely "Rite of Spirit" and "Gravekeeper's Stele". "Gravekeeper's Chief" enables your graveyard to be unaffected by "Necrovalley". This enables the use of the effect of "Dark Armed Dragon". Your opponent is also allowed to target your graveyard however, so this could become a disadvantage.
The newest addition to the "Gravekeeper's" family is the "Gravekeeper's Recruiter". This monster acts like a "Gravekeeper's" exclusive "Witch of the Black Forest", allowing the player to add a "Gravekeeper's" monster with 1500 or less DEF from the Deck to the hand. The multiple combinations possible with this creature to generate advantage and thin the Deck adds much needed consistency to the "Gravekeeper's" archetype.
Strengths and weaknessesEdit
The use of "Necrovalley" in this archetype prevents the opponent from using the Graveyard as a resource. A very large number of opposing strategies, therefore, will be at a severe disadvantage while this card is on the field (Zombies, "Infernity", "X-Saber", Dragon, "Blackwing" "Inzektor" etc).
They also have excellent search capabilities, as exemplified by "Gravekeeper's Spy" and "Gravekeeper's Recruiter". "Recruiter" is especially useful in this respect, creating fantastic combinations with "Gravekeeper's Descendant".
Their intense reliance on "Necrovalley" and their own effects makes them very vulnerable to opponents who enjoy using Spell and Trap destroying effects and monster card negating effects, so cards to protect "Necrovalley" (such as "Malefic Stardust Dragon"), and traps that can help the player maintain a field and hand advantage over a stronger opponent despite losing access to Monster Card effects amid other things are highly recommended.
"Consecrated Light" is another weakness of this Deck because it is almost entirely made up of DARK monsters. The only good thing is that it still allows you to Set DARK monsters. Luckily, it is only found in the Side Deck of most Decks and cards like "Cyber Dragon" and "Fissure" can be sided to eliminate it. Also, "Gravekeeper's Commandant" can destroy it by battle and you can flip "Gravekeeper's Descendant" and activate its effect.
"Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror" can also be very troublesome for "Gravekeeper's" Decks as it stops the effects of all "Gravekeeper's" monsters other than "Gravekeeper's Commandant" from being used. "Last Day of Witch" and other anti-Spellcaster cards can also cause problems for "Gravekeeper's," since all of them are Spellcaster-Type.
Your opponent may use "Mind Control" on your face-down "Spy" or "Guard" and then Flip Summon them on their side of the field, which is especially deadly in the mirror match as "Spy" will provide field advantage for your opponent. "Guard" could also decrease your field presence and leave you open for an attack.
Keep in mind that cards in the Graveyard that have an ability that Special Summons them to the field will not be negated by "Necrovalley". Cards that Special Summon them, like "Monster Reborn", will be negated, but cards that Special Summon themselves, such as "Treeborn Frog", can still activate.
"Gravekeeper's" Decks most destructive weapon, "Royal Tribute", can put you at a severe disadvantage when Dueling a "Dark World" Deck, as these gain powerful effects from being discarded by a card effect, particularly an opponent's effect. This can be partly solved by siding them out for Anti-Meta cards, such as "The End of Anubis", "Dimensional Fissure", "D.D. Crow", or "Secret Village of the Spellcasters".
- Malefic Stardust Dragon -- A strong alternative to "Field Barrier" to protect "Necrovalley". It can be Special Summoned easily, protects "Necrovalley", and has a good attack stat. While it may not have a place in a "Gravekeeper's" Deck, it surely belongs in the side.
- Gravekeeper's Guard -- With the current metagame, "Guard" serves as a counter to various Synchro and Xyz Monsters by returning them to the Extra Deck. However, keep in mind that it cannot be searched via "Gravekeeper's Recruiter" and it will not gain its effect when Summoned via "Gravekeeper's Spy", making it a bit slow. However you can use Book of Moon to gain his flip effect.
- Gravekeeper's Priestess -- With her effect to treat the field as "Necrovalley", she improves your chances of using "Royal Tribute". She also increases the ATK and DEF of all face-up "Gravekeeper's" by 200.
- Wonder Wand -- This card proves very useful in "Gravekeeper's" strategies, as it serves as an attack boost to already boosted "Gravekeeper's". Use this card with "Gravekeeper's Recruiter" to draw 2 cards and get a search, making this card a +1.
- It may be worth adding 'Summoner Monk' to help bring out Number 39: Utopia. Utopia would be useful as Gravekeeper's can be quite a slow Archetype so Utopia gives you the time to really get the deck going.
- The now-unbanned Tsukuyomi can recycle the effects of Spies and Guards, paticularly useful with ones activated during your opponents turn. As well as being able to flip opponent's monsters face-down so they are unable to use effects or to be destroyed by battle easily.
- Gagagashield -- This card can make any Gravekeeper invulnable to attacks and card effects twice per turn. This card combos well with Gravekeeper's Desendent to strength the Spy-Desendent-Recruiter combo, making this card a +1.