Top 10 Graveyard Exiles in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on October 3, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Exiling Graveyards in Magic

In Magic, when most cares are destroyed or discarded, they're sent to a player's graveyard. Here, their powers aren't active, but they can potentially be recovered or rejuvenated, remaining a lingering threat. This is especially true for cards with self-reviving traits like flashback and unearth.

But very few spells can retrieve exiled cards, meaning banished threats are usually gone for good. Luckily, many effects help deplete opposing graveyards, preventing foes from recovering their tools. You'll see many among the black faction, but a fair number exist elsewhere; with dozens of options available, which reign supreme? These are the ten best graveyard-exiles in Magic: The Gathering!

Phyrexian Scriptures mtg
Phyrexian Scriptures mtg

10. Phyrexian Scriptures

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4

Like other sagas, Scriptures activates its initial effect immediately and its next two abilities during your following upkeeps. First, it places a +1/+1 on up to one creature, also granting it the artifact type. Not only does this boost the unit's stats, it saves it from your upcoming removal, as Scriptures's second effect destroys all non-artifact creatures.

Finally, you'll exile all opposing graveyards, an excellent removal that leaves your own cemetery untouched, affects all opponents in multiplayer, and should have plenty of fodder thanks to the recent nuke.

Haunting Echoes mtg
Haunting Echoes mtg

9. Haunting Echoes

CMC: 5

Echoes's effectiveness really depends on the format you're playing, preferring non-singleton arenas. It costs a fair chunk of five mana, but exiles all cards from a player's graveyard other than basic lands. Then, you search their library and also exile all cards with the same names.

It singleton formats like commander, you won't find any duplicates in your target's library, but in playstyles like standard, this eliminates numerous threats and works towards a deck-out mill loss. Either way, you also get to peek at your foe's arsenal, gaining knowledge of their upcoming plays.

Ebony Charm mtg
Ebony Charm mtg

8. Ebony Charm

CMC: 1

For a single mana, Ebony Charm lets you pick from three abilities at instant speed:

  • Target opponent loses one life and you gain one
  • Exile up to three cards from any single graveyard
  • Target creature gains fear until the end of the turn (it can't be blocked except by black or colorless creatures)

That's a versatile spread of effects for such a low price, and you'll often find three exiles more than enough to eliminate key threats in a graveyard.

Rakdos Charm mtg
Rakdos Charm mtg

7. Rakdos Charm

CMC: 2

Another of the multi-option Charms, Rakdos needs two colors and a bit more mana than Ebony, but offers greater power and three impressive choices at instant speed:

  • Exile all cards from a player's graveyard
  • Destroy target artifact
  • Each creature deals one damage to its controller

Here's another interesting spread with no clear highlight. Banishing an entire graveyard can really save you against zombie decks, artifact destruction counters commander staples like "Sol Ring," and mass creature punishment is handy for non-creature builds or against swarming opponents.

Nihil Spellbomb mtg
Nihil Spellbomb mtg

6. Nihil Spellbomb

CMC: 1

Despite accepting any mana type, Spellbomb requires a black commander due to its text's symbol. Still, it only needs a single resource to cast and can tap and sacrifice itself to exile all cards from a player's graveyard, a formidable removal you can set ahead of time.

As if that weren't enough, when Spellbomb enters a graveyard from the field, you can pay a black mana to draw a card, skillfully replacing itself to maintain your hand advantage.

Deathrite Shaman mtg
Deathrite Shaman mtg

5. Deathrite Shaman

CMC: 1

Although he can only exile one card at a time, Deathrite has an amazing number of traits for such a cheap unit. He only needs one mana and accepts either black or green, ensuring early access. His stats are also an impressive 1/2, and he carries the elf subtype, blending well with green's most abundant faction.

Then, by tapping, he can exile a land from any graveyard and grant you one mana of any color. Alternatively, by tapping, spending a black mana, and exiling an instant or sorcery, he can drain two life from each opponent. Or, he can tap, spend a green, and exile a buried creature to grant you two life. Thus, he'll slowly but surely diminish opposing graveyards while activating bonus effects, and you can even target cards in your own discard pile.

Tormod's Crypt mtg
Tormod's Crypt mtg

4. Tormod's Crypt

CMC: 0

When it comes to easy graveyard exiling, Crypt is about as simple as it gets. This relic costs zero mana, making it a free play, and it can tap and sacrifice itself to exile all cards from a player's graveyard. Remember that artifacts (unlike creatures) can exhaust as soon as they arrive, meaning you can activate it immediately if you like.

Simple yet efficient and available to all colors, Crypt's an excellent counter to graveyard-dependent structures and a frequent member of my own commander builds, especially since it costs well under two dollars!

Ravenous Trap mtg
Ravenous Trap mtg

3. Ravenous Trap

CMC: 4

For four mana, this trap card exiles an entire graveyard. Fortunately, it resolves at instant speed, and if an opponent had at least three cards placed into their graveyard (from anywhere) in a single turn, you can cast Trap for free!

Many turns, particularly during a match's later nuke-heavy stages, will see three units die at once, making Trap an easy trigger that (unlike today's artifacts) should catch opponents by surprise. You can also use black and blue's variety of mill spells to hasten the process and ensure easy access.

Bojuka Bog mtg
Bojuka Bog mtg

2. Bojuka Bog

CMC: 0

One of the best lands in the game, Bojuka Bog functions similarly to a basic swamp except it enters tapped; try playing it on a turn where you don't need the extra resource immediately.

But as a trade-off for that small disadvantage, Bog exiles all cards from an opposing graveyard, a fierce bonus on top of a mana-generating terrain.

Relic of Progenitus mtg
Relic of Progenitus mtg

1. Relic of Progenitus

CMC: 1

Relic provides a nice and completely colorless alternative to Spellbomb. For a single mana, this artifact can tap to have a player exile a card from their graveyard. Opponents get to choose what they forfeit, but repeated uses will soon leave them with few options.

Plus, if you need a faster removal, you can spend one mana at any time to exile Relic plus all cards from all graveyards. Not only does this immediately wipe evert cemetery (including your own), it also lets you draw a card. With both continuous and immediate exiling options, Relic works well whether drawn early or late, adjusting to suit your needs.

Which Card Do You Prefer?

See results
Leyline of the Void mtg
Leyline of the Void mtg

Exiling Cards in Magic

In addition to today's list, you can exile cards that leave the field (lessening the need to banish graveyards) with spells like "Leyline of the Void" and "Anafenza, the Foremost". Planeswalker "Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver" also offers several dispelling traits, and you can take advantage of exiled units with units like "Wasteland Struggler," who reward you with bonus effects who if you return exiled cards to an opponent's graveyard.

The effectiveness of banishment depends on which themes you face, but nearly every deck relies on the graveyard to some extent; limit your rivals' ability to retrieve their aces with today's spells. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of graveyard-punishing effects, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)