Hardened Scales

Hardened Scales


If one or more +1/+1 counters would be placed on a creature you control, that many plus one +1/+1 counters are placed on it instead.

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander Anthology 2018 (CM2) Rare
Commander 2016 (C16) Rare
Khans of Tarkir (KTK) Rare

Combos Browse all


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Pioneer Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Hardened Scales occurrence in decks from the last year


All decks: 0.1%

Green: 2.17%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.04%

GU (Simic): 0.51%

Golgari: 0.09%

Hardened Scales Discussion

Forkbeard on Zaxara, the Exemplary: Hydra Infestation

11 hours ago

Good call on Pull from Tomorrow over Mind Spring, I'll make that swap.

I really went back and forth as to whether to include both Green Sun's Zenith and Finale of Devastation due to the X cost factor you mentioned, but I ended up adding 3 powerful non-X cost hydras to take that into account. That said, as my options are so limited there I think replacing them is the right call. I want to keep the X spells count up so I may try Open Into Wonder and The Crowd Goes Wild for a couple of hefty surprises.

I wasn't drawn to the Doubling Season effect cards for 1 simple reason - the double tokens produced by Zaxara will enter as 0/0's and will fizzle. That said, they may be worth running for the additional +1/+1's, we'll see how well Hardened Scales performs and if I feel as though I want redundancy for that effect I'll look to add them.

Lastly, mana doublers. Yeah, probably a good idea for maximizing those X casts. I'm leaning toward Mana Reflection and Zendikar Resurgent.

Great ideas Manley1994, thank you - I'll be incorporating a few of these for sure.

Boza on Vitaverdi, Ancient One

2 days ago

It is a fine card, great in counter-doubling strategies with Hardened Scales and its ilk. Pretty nice commander. I think it is a bit overshadowed by other options that exist like Ghave, Guru of Spores, but it is nice legendary card.

thinkoriginal on Wrath of Marath 3.0

2 days ago

-Important Update-

I've added this to the deck description.

WarSpaniel Always looking for optimization, I have made one small change that I think will improve the deck. Pyroblast is a very important card, so doubling up on its effect was something I wanted. In order to cut a card for Red Elemental Blast, I found that the weakest card in the deck was Hardened Scales. While it did provide value, it was not good as a standalone card, and I often found myself not happy drawing it.

Then I remembered a line of play that involved Ashnod's Altar, Earthcraft, and repeatedly casting Marath, but didn't need Scales. The only stipulation is needing one of each of the three basics. Assuming we have Altar, Earthcraft, and Marath (for this example he has been cast once and is a 3/3. For a bigger than 3/3 Marath, skip to step 2) in play, and are either tapped out or have at least one mana available with one of each Basic, the combo can be executed as follows:

  1. We either use the one mana, or tap Marath with Earthcraft to untap a Basic for mana, to remove a +1/+1 counter from Marath to make a 1/1 token. We then use Earthcraft with the token to untap the Basic again.

  2. Once Marath has two +1/1 counters on it (or is an X/2), sac the token to Altar to make another two mana, and remove the other two counters from Marath, making two more tokens and sending him back to the Command zone. Untap the other two Basics with those two tokens. Sac the requisite number of tokens to the Altar and tap all three Basics in order to repeatedly recast Marath. Start again at step 1.

  3. Each time we loop steps 1 and 2, we end up with exponentially more tokens and an ever-increasing in size Marath. Once he has enough +1/+1 counters to activate the damage-mode of his ability to kill the table, we sac the tokens to make the requisite mana we need to win!

RNR_Gaming on What ledgendaries excited you the ...

1 week ago

definitely cool to see an interest in a golgari commander that's not the frog or meren (I like these commanders, I just see them too much). I definitely think an Illness in the Ranks with some Hardened Scales could get out of hand real quick. Oh and throw in some aristocrats for good measure.

wallisface on Please help upgrading my Golgari ...

1 week ago

Obstinate Baloth is a sideboard card against discard decks. Gearhulk I would avoid. Obliterator is strong but requires a deck to be heavily built around him so i’d avoid.

My suggestion would be to worry less about the heavy hitters and go more for those value-gains. If you’re going down the Winding Constrictor and/or Hardened Scales route (which seems strong), then you probably just want lots of lower-costing creatures that can become monsters in their own right.

Scavenging Ooze nets you a big creature, life, and grave disruption

Tireless Tracker gives you cards while he gets swole (you’ll want loads of fetches though)

Rishkar, Peema Renegade gives you counters, and enough flexible mana to abuse stuff like Collected Company, if you wanted.

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar might be useful as a 2-of, giving you a lot of power when followed up by Avatar of the Resolute (though i think the above-mentioned options are better than this one)

As Xica has already mentioned, your point-of-difference over hardened scales decks is your colouration in black - where you want to be running hand disruption and killspells. Outside of that, you should be looking for fast, efficient killers that can thrive in such a resource-deprived boardstate. Don’t try investing in high-cmc cards to do this if you can avoid it.

GerryAvalanche on Modern Golgari Explore

1 week ago

Funkydiscogod Persist + Path of Discovery + Hardened Scales (which Icbrgr mentioned) could build a pretty cool engine for sure imo. I'll try it asap and let you know if I find a consistent combination within that template.

Icbrgr on Modern Golgari Explore

1 week ago

I really love it when people brew/port over decks from other formats so +1 for that alone.

My thoughts about the decklist would be pretty radical/different... I think I would go and drop black...maybe Hardened Scales over Corpsejack Menace and using Path to Exile/Oblivion Ring for removal as well as flicker/blink spells like Cloudshift/Ephemerate..... maybe Knight of the Reliquary somewhere?

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