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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Set Review Commander 2013 – Marath, Will of the Wild

October 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Hi my fellow EDH-ers and welcome to yet another review of the Commander 2013’s Commanders. Today we will be looking at the final Commanders of the series. Hailing from the colors of the Naya (though not be confused as it is not native to Naya) is Marath, an Elemental Beast which is believed to be one of his home world’s progenitor. An elusive and powerful Beasts, Marath roams the untamed region of his yet unnamed shaman-ruled world, where many had try but few have glimpse the majestic Beast. It is also believed that he has been around since the dawn of time. Vines twine out of the earth as he passes; green mist rises around his feet with some taking animalistic forms; and new life is created as he passes by. Marath is infused with Elemental magic and many of the Elves who share the wilds with him believe that he is the source of growth and natural justice. Marath is a ferocious opponent when threaten, striking with furious blows and predatory power.


Naya Shard: Marath, Will of the Wild

Before we continue on, let’s have a look at the stats of Marath below.


 Marath, Will of the Wild

Card Name: Marath, Will of the Wild


Types: Legendary Creature – Elemental Beast

Card Text: Marath, Will of the Wild enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the amount of mana spent to cast it.

X, Remove X +1/+1 counters from Marath: Choose one –

  • Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature. X can’t be zero.
  • Marath deals X damage to target creature or player. X can’t be zero.
  • Put an X/X green Elemental creature token onto the battlefield. X can’t be zero.

P/T: 0/0

Marath is the Commander designed for Naya colors that interact with the Command Zone. As can be seen from the first line of its ETB trigger, the number of +1/+/1 counters it enters the battlefield with is depended on the amount of mana spent to cast it. That is usually three if Marath is a common Creature in the deck. This changes if Marath is the Commander. The main purpose of the ability is to make use of the Commander Tax to generate more +1/+1 counters. The more times you cast Marath back from the Command Zone the more counters he gets. His modular ability is where all the fun parts come in. With all those +1/+/1 counters, you can either attack with him or remove any number of them and do a couple of things according to your choice. At this point, it is to be noted that due to unknown error the “X can’t be zero” was accidentally omitted from the final print of the card. Marath had been issued errata to include that in the oracle text. Now looking at the modular abilities, you can see that each is actually very much related to his colors. +1/+1 counters are always seen in many White and Green cards and widely used to transfer between Creatures. The Red part can be seen with him removing the counters and dealing damage for each removed. Finally converting the removed counters into an Elemental token is what Green is specialized in. The three choices makes Marath into a very versatile Creature where he can pumps up your Creature; deal a last blow of damage should he dies; or create more body to attack.


Counters. Counters Everywhere

Doubling Season

This is the season where one become two.

Although the most straight forward way to increase the amount of mana use to cast Marath is by the Commander Tax, it is to be noted that the counters can be increase through other means. There are many cards which can put +1/+1 counters on Marath even you keep casting him from your hand instead of the Command Zone. Below are some such cards which can be used to increase the amount of counters on Marath. Out of the below cards, Doubling Season; Hardened Scales & Primal Vigor are the key combo cards with all the other cards as all of them snowball the counters as you move them around.


Celestial Ancient Gives all your Creatures a +1/+1 counter for each Enchantment you cast.
Chorus of the Conclave Makes all your Creatures into Marath.
Contagion Clasp / Contagion Engine / Plaguemaw Beast / Throne of Geth Permanent Ways to Proliferate counters.
Doubling Season Double all counters and tokens you get.
Dragon Blood Slowly increase the number of +1/+1 counter one by one.
Forgotten Ancient Grows with +1/+/1 counters for each spell cast. Counters are transferable at upkeep.
Graft Mechanic which let the cards with Graft move their +1/+1 counters to Creatures which enters the battlefield. Some Creatures with Graft also “share” their abilities by having activated abilities which target Creatures with +1/+1 counters. Notably of these such Creatures are Aquastrand Spider; Cytospawn Shambler; Simic Basilisk; Sporeback Troll.
Hardened Scales Add one more counter whenever you put +1/+1 counters on your Creature.
Primal Vigor Double all counters and tokens everyone get. Political tool.
Rite of Passage Creatures which survived being damage get a +1/+1 counter.
Spikes Group of Creatures which can transfer their +1/+1 counters to other Creatures.
Vigor Convert damage into +1/+1 counters. Marath’s best combo buddy.



One shall not die when they keep growing.


When it comes to +1/+1 counter, the Class Lords always comes to mind. These “Lords” are a set of Creatures from Morningtide which gives boosts to their respective class in the form of +1/+1 counters and provide an extra ability to all Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them instead of just their class. Within Marath’s color identity are; Bramblewood Paragon who gives Warriors +1/+1 counters as they enters the battlefield and grants Trample to all Creatures with +1/+1 counter; Cenn’s Tactician which taps to put +1/+1 counter on a Soldier and let each Creature with +1/+1 counter on them able to block an additional Creature; Rage Forger which puts a +1/+1 counter on each other Shaman you control as it enters the battlefield and let Creatures you control with +1/+1 counter on them to be able to deal 1 damage to target player when they attack. Combine all three of them together, Marath and all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them will have Trample; can block an additional Creature; and may deal 1 damage to target player when they attacks. Also Marath can transfer his counters to other Creatures and let them join in the fun with the three Class Lords. Due to the above fact that Marath can transfer counters, those counters are also good for Creatures who use those counters for their abilities. Below are some examples of such Creatures.

Rage Forger

“Can you feel the Rage within?”


Arcbound Reclaimer Use +1/+1 counter to retrieve Artifact from graveyard to top of library.
Canopy Crawler T: Pump target Creature by +1/+1 till end of turn for each +1/+1 counters on Crawler.
Daru Stinger T: Deal damage equal number of +1/+1 counters on it to target attacker or blocker.
Fertilid Exchange +1/+1 counters to tutor for basic Lands to battlefield.
Kilnmouth Dragon T: Deal damage equal number of +1/+1 counters on it to target.
Molten Hydra / Spitting Hydra / Triskelion Use +1/+1 counters to deal damage to a target.
Pentavus / Spike Breeder  / Thopter Squadron Exchange +1/+1 counters for tokens.
Phantom Creatures A group of Creatures who uses +1/+1 counter to prevent damage.
Sekki, Seasons’ Guide Damage prevention ability which prevent each point of damage by removing +1/+1 counters and changing them into Spirit tokens.
Shinewend Use +1/+1 counters to destroy Enchantment.
Spike Feeder Exchange +1/+1 counters into life.
Spike Tiller Use +1/+1 counter to change Lands into 2/2 Creature.
Spike Weaver Exchange +1/+1 counters to Fog attacks.
Stingmoggie Use +1/+1 counters to destroy Artifact or Land.
Triskelavus Exchange +1/+1 counters for Triskelavite tokens or deal damage to a target.
Twilight Drover Exchange +1/+1 counters for Spirit tokens. One counter for two tokens.
Ulasht, the Hate Seed Use +1/+1 counters to deal damage to a target or exchange for Saproling tokens.
Workhorse Exchange +1/+1 counters to mana.


Spike Weaver

Stopping the Onslaught all Day


And EDH is also where many like to burst out infinite combos with many cards. Marath has his own share of infinite combo although the setup might take a while to get to. Below are some examples.


Marath + Cathars’ Crusade + Earthcraft Infinite tokens. Creates a 1/1 Elemental token with Marath; Crusade refills +1/+1 counter when token enters the battlefield; use Earthcraft with token to untap Land for mana to make token; rinse and repeat.
Marath + Cathars’ Crusade + Ashnod’s Altar Infinite mana. Creates 1/1 Elemental token with Marath; Crusade refills +1/+1 counter when token enters the battlefield; sacrifice token for 2; use 1 to make token; rinse and repeat.
Marath + Cathars’ Crusade + Earthcraft + Blasting Station / Goblin Bombardment Infinite damage. Creates a 1/1 Elemental token with Marath; Crusade refills +1/+1 counter when token enters the battlefield; use Earthcraft with token to untap Land for mana to make token; sacrifice token to deal damage; rinse and repeat.
Marath + Cathars’ Crusade + Mana Echoes Infinite tokens and mana. Creates 1/1 Elemental token with Marath; Crusade refills +1/+1 counter when token enters the battlefield; gets 2 from Mana Echoes when token enters your battlefield (1 for Marath 1 for Elemental token); use 1 to make token; rinse and repeat.


Cathars’ Crusade

Eye of the Combo


Nature’s Resurgence

Marath, Will of the Wild

Army and Weapon all in One

Marath is very similar to Ghave, Guru of Spores; the Abzan Commander. Both deals with +1/+1 counters and produce tokens with their counters. Marath is more versatile though as compare to Ghave in that he has more use for his counters rather than just producing tokens. Marath is an army and a win all in one. He can produce tokens of various sizes should you need bodies to break through opponent’s defense; pumps up individual when they are dying in combat or from damage; or just burn the opponent if he is within range. The most direct way to fully utilize Marath is to use him as the Commander and use the Commander Tax to get more counters from the start. Although it is still possible to use him as a common Creature since counters can be increase afterwards. Marath is not too costly with his base cost thus it is not too hard to cast him back from the Command Zone. Furthermore with Green in his color identity, mana ramp is relatively easy. If you want a versatile Commander, Marath is a good choice.

Ghave, Guru of Spores

Dark Side of the One Man Army


What do you think of the one with many purposes? Will you choose Marath among the many Naya Commanders? Share with us what you think in the comments below. And with that, we come to an end for the Commander 2013 Commander Review. We thank you for reading and following the series of article so far. Please continue to support us and we shall end it for now. Till our next article.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



2 Responses to “Set Review Commander 2013 – Marath, Will of the Wild”
  1. Jamie Lee says:

    voice and omnath (bfz) are definite adds to the deck imo
    those uncommon white cards that give an ability to creatures with +1/+1 counters on it