My friend was counting the number of Creatures in his Graveyard and then randomizing the order the cards are in. Is this allowed?

2 Answers 2


By default you are not allowed to change the order of cards in a Graveyard. This is because there are some cards that care about the order that cards are in the Graveyard.

404.2. Each graveyard is kept in a single face-up pile. A player can examine the cards in any graveyard at any time but normally can't change their order. Additional rules applying to sanctioned tournaments may allow a player to change the order of cards in his or her graveyard.

However, since they haven't printed any cards since before Urza's Saga that care about Graveyard order the Magic Tournament Rules contain this rule.

3.14 Graveyard Order
In formats involving only cards from Urza’s Saga™ and later, players may change the order of their graveyard at any time. A player may not change the order of an opponent’s graveyard.

This means that Legacy and Vintage are the only common tournament formats that you can't rearrange your own Graveyard, you are allowed to in Standard, Modern, Draft and Sealed formats.

In casual play generally as long as nobody is playing with any cards where Graveyard order matters it isn't a big deal if graveyards get reordered.

  • 1
    I think in most circumstances, though, you'll find that (even in sanctioned tournaments) by default you CAN change the order of your graveyard because many more games are played with non-order-caring cards than with order-caring cards. So while you're answer may be technically correct, from a practical perspective, it seems to over-represent how often it matters.
    – corsiKa
    Nov 29, 2014 at 9:01
  • That's why I included the last two sections, but maybe a note saying it only applies to Legacy and Vintage wouldn't be out of place.
    – diego
    Nov 30, 2014 at 3:42
  • Most of these cards care about the controller's (or owner's) graveyard order (like Nether Shadow, which sees play in Legacy), but there are also some, like Guiding Spirit or Bone Dancer, that care about the opponent's graveyard order. Of course, even without them, spells like Commandeer, Fork, or Control Magic mean that your own graveyard order could end up mattering even without any such spells in your deck. Feb 4, 2020 at 10:05

Examples of cards where it matters

Nether Shadow (Alpha - 5th) http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=159265

At the beginning of your upkeep, if Nether Shadow is in your graveyard with three or more creature cards above it, you may put Nether Shadow onto the battlefield.

  • While useful information, this doesn't explicitly answer the question. This would be better suited as part of a more complete question. Nov 23, 2018 at 7:53
  • @ArcanistLupus thanks for feedback. My philosophy is: if it helps Googlers, then it's good. Hopefully we can let up and downvotes decide that for low volume questions. Nov 23, 2018 at 7:56

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