How Stuff Works: Necrovalley

In this article I’m going to talk about Necrovalley and how it functions.


First of all, I’ll begin with the usual disclaimers pertaining how this information is not “official”, but nonetheless it is accurate and consistent with the latest card rulings and text.

Necrovalley is infamous for having a long history marred by inconsistent rulings that seemed to contradict each other and flip-flop every time the card was reprinted in the TCG. The text itself has undergone equally confusing reversals. Finally, after nine years of this, Necrovalley was reprinted in Legendary Collection 3: Yugi’s World with problem-solving card text that matched how the card is supposed to work (that is, comparing it to its more stable OCG counterpart).

So, what does this card do? It’s a Field Spell with the following effect:

All “Gravekeeper’s” monsters gain 500 ATK and DEF. Cards in either player’s Graveyard cannot be banished. Negate any card effect that would move a card in the Graveyard, other than itself, to a different place.

I’ll break down each effect to clarify how it works and interacts with specific effects.

1. All “Gravekeeper’s” monsters gain 500 ATK and DEF.

  • This sentence is fairly self-explanatory. Do note that this counts cards like Gravekeeper’s Servant or Gravekeeper’s Stele, if they’re turned into monsters by Magical Hats.

2. Cards in either player’s Graveyard cannot be banished.

  • This is a preventative effect, so you cannot willingly perform an action that would result in a card being banished from the Graveyard.
  • This includes card effects, costs for effects, Summoning procedures, etc.
  • This part of the effect affects the player, not the card. Using Forbidden Lance on your Dark Armed Dragon will not let you use its effect.
  • While Necrovalley is on the field, you cannot activate cards or effects that would banish a card from the Graveyard, including D.D. Crow, Book of Life, and Darkflare Dragon.
  • You may activate cards/effects that could banish cards from the Graveyard, but don’t have to (in which case you cannot allow them to), including Debunk (you may activate it in response to a monster effect in the hand), Hazy Flame Basilitrice (you may target a monster on the field), and Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (you can banish from the field and/or hand).
  • You cannot activate effects if they have a cost of banishing cards from the Graveyard, including Spore, Prophecy Destroyer, and Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos (the first effect).
  • You cannot Special Summon monsters like Chaos Sorcerer, Dark Necrofear, or Gaia Plate the Earth Giant through the methods described in their text.

3. Negate any card effect that would move a card in the Graveyard, other than itself, to a different place.

  • This is the effect that has changed every time the card was reprinted, and the one that causes the most confusion.
  • This effect does NOT prevent you from using an effect that would try to take a card out of the Graveyard. You CAN still activate cards like Monster Reborn and Pot of Avarice while Necrovalley is on the field. It’ll just negate them when they resolve, as long as Necrovalley is still active at that point (chain Mystical Space Typhoon to your own Monster Reborn, pro play).
  • So, cards/effects that try to move another card out of the Graveyard will be negated, including Rekindling, Monster Reincarnation, and Dragunity Dux.
  • This part of the effect affects the card. Using Forbidden Lance on your Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner WILL let you use its effect successfully..
  • A few special cases: Cards like Fiber Jar will be negated if there are any cards in the Graveyard to affect, but otherwise won’t be.
  • Costs or Summoning procedures that do this are NOT negated. Necrovalley will NOT negate or prevent the effect of Caam, Serenity of Gusto, nor will it prevent a player from Special Summoning Exodius, the Ultimate Forbidden Lord. It will not prevent you from shuffling your Gishki Aquamirror into the Deck to activate its effect, even though the effect itself (returning a target monster to your hand) will be negated.
  • Cards that affect only themselves are exempt. So, Necrovalley does not negate effects such as Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru, Treeborn Frog, or Plaguespreader Zombie. This can be case-specific; Necrovalley will negate the effects of Grandmaster of the Six Samurai or Colossal Fighter if they target another monster, but not themselves.
  • Keep in mind that Necrovalley, if it negates an effect, must negate the entire effect. This means that the entire effects of cards like Beckoning Light, Wind-Up Rat, and Light and Darkness Dragon (the last effect) will be negated. This brings me to my final point:

Philosovalley

What about cards that may or may not move a card out of the Graveyard, with the result being unknown until the effect starts to resolve? This creates a problem, since we’ve established that negating an effect is an all-or-nothing deal. How can Necrovalley negate something like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon or Inzektor Centipede (the first effect) without knowing for sure that the card is going to affect something in the Graveyard? Both of those monsters can move cards from the hand, and you don’t decide until you’ve begun resolving the effect. What Necrovalley does is allow you to activate that effect, and either negate it if your only option is the Graveyard (suppose you have no hand), allow it to resolve if your only option is the hand, but prevent you from going for the Graveyard if both options are available. In summary, while Necrovalley is active, you can activate the effect of Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. If you have Dragons in both your hand and Graveyard, you are not allowed to Special Summon from the Graveyard. You must Special Summon from the hand. Likewise, if you were to activate a card like De-Fusion, you would return the Fusion Monster to the Extra Deck, but you would not be able to Special Summon its materials. Necrovalley is a bit unique in this aspect, but it’s the only card that quite works the way it does.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of how Necrovalley works.

Redshift

Number VI of The Organization, Redshift is a firm believer that the toilet paper should be pulled outward from the top of the roll, not the bottom.

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