The Plane of Ikoria is one of my favorite places in the Multiverse, and out of all the legendary creatures introduced to us, Kathril, Aspect Warper stood out above the rest to me. Such an interesting mechanic, it has some of my favorite colors, and as someone with a passion for wildlife ecology (Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths actually came out while I was working on my Master's in Wildlife Ecology), I just had to build it. Definitely a plane I'd like to visit (assuming I could survive longer than a minute there haha).

"Kathril, a cunning insectile nightmare with powerful shapeshifting abilities, lurks in the peaty marshes of Indatha. It uses the shifting, adaptive tendrils on its body to mimic other creatures and delights in deceiving would-be predators."

The general game plan is to either dump creatures into the graveyard or play them and attack/block to get them into the graveyard. Once we've got the necessary keywords, drop Kathril, Aspect Warper and potentially one-shot an opponent. However, we can also spread the keywords around to other creatures and make them even more threatening.

  • Akroma, Vision of Ixidor - Flying, First Strike, Vigilance, Trample - This version of Akroma has the same keywords as the original one, but this version we actually want to play on the field as she can massively boost our creatures during our combat step. If Kathril, Aspect Warper and Akroma, Vision of Ixidor are out together, Kathril, Aspect Warper needs fewer keywords to swing for lethal damage.

  • Avacyn, Angel of Hope - Flying, Vigilance, Indestructible - Giving all your permanents Indestructible is great. However, she does cost a ton of mana, so she is better off in the graveyard as either a reanimation target or as keyword fodder for Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Elder Gargaroth - Vigilance, Reach, Trample - 5 mana for a 6/6 beater with three relevant keywords? Awesome. And the module-ability to generate either a 3/3 Beast Token, Draw a card, or gain 3 life on attack or block is even more awesome. A great way to build up our defenses or recover some life.

  • Eradicator Valkyrie - Flying, Lifelink, Hexproof - Lots of good keywords on a solid body. While this has 'Hexproof from Planeswalkers', it technically still counts as Hexproof for Kathril, Aspect Warper. And it has a good Boast ability, where we can sac a creature to make our opponents sac either a creature or planeswalker. Good if we want to get something with Indestructible into the graveyard or we are up against a superfriends deck.

  • Gisela, the Broken Blade   - Flying, First Strike, Lifelink - One half of Brisela, Voice of Nightmares    , and has a ton of keywords if she ends up in the graveyard. We can basically swing with her constantly to gain life until someone finally decides to deal with her.

  • Nighthawk Scavenger - Flying, Deathtouch, Lifelink - Three good keywords for only three mana. Pretty much a better upgrade to Vampire Nighthawk, as it has the same stats if an opponent has a card in the graveyard, such as a fetch land. Anything else just makes this creature bigger and better.

  • Wilson, Refined Grizzly - Vigilance, Reach, Trample - The same keywords as Elder Gargaroth, but much cheaper and has built-in defenses with Ward and uncounterable. A good early-game creature that can be a good blocker until we get online.

  • Zetalpa, Primal Dawn - Flying, Double Strike, Vigilance, Trample, Indestructible - Zetalpa's place to shine is in the graveyard for Keyword fodder or as a reanimation target.

  • Archangel of Thune - Flying and Lifelink - Good Keywords but also can pump the board with +1/+1 Counters whenever we gain life. With a few Lifelink creatures, we can easily build up an army of powerful creatures. And if we have The Ozolith in play, if there is a board wipe, we can move all those +1/+1 Counters over to it to pump up another creature later on.

  • Bassara Tower Archer - Hexproof and Reach - This is mainly a Buried Alive target, as Hexproof is extremely useful, and Reach counts as one of Kathril, Aspect Warper's keywords, but it can also be a good (potentially one-time) blocker if our opponents have a large Flying creature coming our way.

  • Bontu the Glorified - Menace and Indestructible - A powerful beater on her own, but also allows us to sacrifice any creatures with Indestructible and get them into the graveyard for Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Bruna, the Fading Light   - Flying and Vigilance - While Bruna costs a lot, there are several Angel or Human reanimation targets that we can look for when playing her, notably her sister counterpart Gisela, the Broken Blade   to meld together to form Brisela, Voice of Nightmares    . Other good targets include Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Archangel of Thune, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Eternal Witness, and Slippery Bogbonder.

  • Carnage Tyrant - Trample and Hexproof - Another powerful beater that will serve us well no matter where it is. If we play Kathril, Aspect Warper and give it Indestructible or Double Strike, this dino becomes quite terrifying.

  • Doom Whisperer - Flying and Trample - Provides two good keywords and gives us Surveil for two life, which we can use to smooth out draws or put creatures into the graveyard for Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Gemrazer - Reach and Trample - Gives us another copy of Reach for the graveyard, but can also Mutate onto a creature and destroy an artifact or enchantment. We don't have a ton of Mutate to take true advantage of its skill, but it's still effective.

  • Glissa Sunslayer - First strike and Deathtouch - The combo of First strike and Deathtouch is very powerful, enabling us to swing out basically every turn without fear of being blocked, allowing us to get one of her three possible effects almost every combat unless our opponents have a good number of chump blockers. If we do connect with an opponent, we can either draw a card, destroy an enchantment (The enchantment doesn't even have to belong to the player we attacked!), or remove up to 3 counters from target permanent (Planeswalker hate or other counters our opponents might be using).

  • Nethroi, Apex of Death - Deathtouch and Lifelink - This delightfully terrifying Cat Nightmare Beast is one of my favorite cards from the Ikoria set, and I almost built a deck around him. He is one of our alternate Win-Cons, as when we Mutate him, we can return creatures with total power or less to the battlefield. We can go get things like Carnage Tyrant and Archangel of Thune.

  • Nullpriest of Oblivion - Menace and Lifelink - For just 2 mana we get two good keywords on a creature that can easily die and be used by Kathril, Aspect Warper, but if we pay the Kicker cost too, we can reanimate any creature in our graveyard.

  • Oketra the True - Double Strike, Indestructible - She is another good target for Buried Alive or Entomb, as she has the all-important Double Strike plus Indestructible, both of which can make Kathril, Aspect Warper very difficult to deal with.

  • Sigarda, Host of Herons - Flying, Hexproof - Sigarda works great in the graveyard, as she can provide Hexproof to Kathril, Aspect Warper, but having her on the field eliminates one possible way to remove an Indestructible and Hexproof Kathril, Aspect Warper, by an opponent forcing us to sacrifice Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Faeburrow Elder - Vigilance - Can tap for up to three mana if we have the right permanents in play, plus has vigilance for Kathril, Aspect Warper. Also, since it is a 0/0, it can be brought back by Nethroi for free.

  • God-Eternal Oketra - Double Strike - Another source of the all-important Double Strike, we can also create a few tokens if she is on the field. Her death trigger is a may ability, so if she dies we can send her right to the graveyard.

  • Nyx Weaver - Reach - This card does it all. It self-mills us for two each turn, it can exile itself to return a target card from the graveyard to our hand, it's an enchantment creature which helps fuel Delirium if it's in the graveyard, and it provides Reach for Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Birds of Paradise - Flying - A nice 1-drop that ramps us and provides our best evasion keyword.

  • Skullwinder - Deathtouch - Basically an Eternal Witness with a relevant keyword for us. Plus an opportunity to play a little politics if someone else needs a card back.

  • Slippery Bogbonder - Hexproof - This card is amazing. For and with enough counters in play, we could easily KO an opponent by instant speed by moving +1/+1 or ability counters over to Kathril, Aspect Warper or another powerful creature.

  • Sylvan Caryatid - Hexproof - Another mana dork that also provides Hexproof for Kathril, Aspect Warper if it's in the graveyard.

  • Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider - Trample - Wow, I don't know why it took me this long to add this monstrous beast to the deck. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider has a replacement effect of "If you would put one or more counters on a permanent or player, put twice that many of each of those kinds of counters on that permanent or player instead." So let's say we have 5 keywords in our graveyard when we cast Kathril, Aspect Warper and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is in play. We would put the 5 keyword counters on Kathril, which Vorinclex would double to 10 total counters. Then the second part of Kathril, Aspect Warper's ETB ability would resolve, putting 10 +1/+1 counters on him. But Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider would see this too, doubling those to 20 +1/+1 counters. With the full keyword suite of 11 Keywords in the graveyard, we would end up with 22 ability counters and 44 +1/+1 counters. Just add in something to give our God Bug Haste and we could attack for 94 damage!

  • Fauna Shaman - Discarding creatures to tutor for more creatures? Very useful for searching for a missing keyword before dropping Kathril, Aspect Warper.

  • Fiend Artisan - A slightly more flexible but more mana-intensive tutor than Birthing Pod. For , we can sacrifice a creature and go get another one. A good way to get some of our Indestructible creatures into the graveyard.

  • Old Stickfingers - Depending on our available mana, we can put the next creatures from our library into the graveyard.

  • Underrealm Lich - Looks at the top three cards, we select the one we want and discard the rest to provide fuel for Kathril, Aspect Warper. Also is part of the Underrealm Lich + Sylvan Library combo, which can help us get a ton of good cards into the graveyard.

  • Winding Constrictor - Similar effect to Vorinclex. When Kathril, Aspect Warper enters the battlefield, this will add an additional counter to each creature getting a counter from Kathril, Aspect Warper. While this doesn't actually help the creature (Double Trample doesn't do anything), Kathril, Aspect Warper gets a +1/+1 counter for each ability counter placed on a creature. So we basically double the number of +1/+1 counters added to Kathril, Aspect Warper to make it an even larger threat.

"Many a monster hunter, seeing only a big bug, has ventured after what he thought was easy prey, only to meet his end at Kathril's mandibles"

For a One-Hit KO with Kathril, Aspect Warper, we need at least 9 keywords in the graveyard, one of which has to be Double Strike so Kathril, Aspect Warper can become at least an 11/11. Once it's a huge threat, we have a few ways to make sure it connects with an opponent and wipes them out.

  • Key to the City - Provides a Discard outlet, makes a creature unblockable, and can provide Card draw if we have available mana. All great things.

  • Rogue's Passage - A bit mana-intensive, but for we can make any creature unblockable for a turn.

  • Shizo, Death's Storehouse - While not true Unblockable, we can give a legendary creature Fear, which makes it only able to be blocked by Black and Artifact creatures.

  • Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider/Winding Constrictor - As stated above, these two creatures can mess with the counters and math a little to make it easier to swing out for lethal damage.

Tutors and getting Creatures into the Graveyard

Obviously, we want creatures in the graveyard, so we have plenty of spells and tutors to get cards into our hands and more importantly the graveyard.




  • Buried Alive - Probably one of the best cards in this deck. You go get three creatures and put them into the graveyard for Kathril, Aspect Warper. Of course, this will telegraph what your game plan is to the rest of the table, so you should be careful about incoming graveyard hate. One of the best three-card combos to look for are: Zetalpa, Primal Dawn + Bassara Tower Archer + Nighthawk Scavenger = 9 keywords with Hexproof, Double Strike, and Indestructible. If no one stops this and Kathril gains these abilities, it will become a true monster that can One-Hit KO any opponent who doesn't block.

  • Demonic Tutor - Go grab any card at Sorcery Speed and put it into our hands.

  • Entomb - Instant Speed get a card a puts it into the graveyard. Great if you are casting Kathril, Aspect Warper and still missing a keyword or two. Since it's an Instant, we can cast Kathril, Aspect Warper, and if there isn't a response or counterspell, we can then in response to casting Kathril, Aspect Warper, we cast Entomb to go get something like Zetalpa, Primal Dawn or Akroma, Vision of Ixidor.

  • Grapple with the Past - Put the top three cards into the graveyard then return a creature or land. Great if you accidentally binned something like Fauna Shaman or Nethroi, Apex of Death that you actually want to cast.

  • Grisly Salvage - Look at the top five cards and take either a creature or land, then put the rest into the graveyard.

  • Jarad's Orders - Searches our deck to get one creature card into our hand and one creature card into the graveyard. Can grab or bin a variety of creatures depending on the situation.

  • Traverse the Ulvenwald - Go get a basic land card, but if Delirium is active go get any creature or land card.

Backup Plans

  • Graveyard Hate is our number one problem/counter to this deck. If we run across lots of cards like Bojuka Bog, Tormod's Crypt, or Leyline 0f the Void, we are going to be in for a rough time.

  • Forced Sacrifice/Edict Effects - All the Hexproof and Indestructible counters in the world won't stop something like Soul Shatter or Dictate of Erebos. We do run Sigarda, Host of Herons (UMA) to prevent that, but she's just one card to counter all that, and she has Hexproof, so it's likely she'd be in the graveyard for Kathril, Aspect Warper to use.

  • Mass Exile - Cards like Farewell or Merciless Eviction would be extremely problematic since we usually prefer board wipes like Wrath of God or Damnation to at least fill up our graveyard.

  • Akroma, Angel of Wrath - This is a usual staple in Kathril, Aspect Warper decks, but I've found that I usually either get Zetalpa and other creatures and don't target her, or I draw her and she sits in my hand until I can cast her, then she doesn't do that much. Akroma, Vision of Ixidor has the same keywords, and is so much better on the field than Akroma, Angel of Wrath

  • Cataclysmic Gearhulk - It is a nice board wipe with a Keyword, and it could help get some of my creatures into the graveyard, but I don't currently have too many issues doing that.

  • Fanatical Devotion/Martyr's Cause - These could be useful to keep Kathril, Aspect Warper around, but I usually don't even cast him until I know I've got either Indestructible or Hexproof in the graveyard, so these effects aren't as important for me. Thanks to bushido_man96 for the recommendation!

  • Luxior, Giada's Gift - Feels like a bit of a win-more type effect, and I'd rather spend some mana to equip Swiftfoot Boots to give Haste.

  • Odric, Lunarch Marshal - This originally seemed like such a good back-up, but more often than not it either just sat in my hand or wasn't very effective on the field.

  • Reprocess - This could be a useful way to draw cards and get some of my Indestructible creatures into the graveyard for Kathril, Aspect Warper, but currently, I don't need it.

  • Scavenged Brawler - I don't have one yet, but it seems like a win more type effect, so I'd almost rather have some other effect than another instance of this.

  • Shadrix Silverquill - I'm considering swapping her in for God-Eternal Oketra, since she has Double strike and can make +1/+1 counters to be absorbed by The Ozolith if necessary. Don't have one currently.

  • Survival of the Fittest - I'm working on a way to slot this in. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

  • The Great Henge - It's powerful, and we have a lot of strong creatures to reduce the cost, but it also seems like a bit of a win-more type card. If I need more card draw I could sub it in for something, but right now it's a strong Maybe.

  • Tortured Existence - I can spend to basically swap creatures between my hand and my graveyard. Useful if I've got a keyword card like Zetalpa, Primal Dawn in my hand and something useful like Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider that I'd like to actually cast. I can also cast Kathril, Aspect Warper, then in response to that cast trigger, activate Tortured Existence to flash a creature into the graveyard to give Kathril, Aspect Warper those keywords. Thanks to KBK7101 for the recommendation!

I've opted to remove some tutors like Vampiric Tutor and Grim Tutor because I feel like I can find my cards without the extra help, and this deck wants to slowly assemble its pieces to attack, so speeding things up isn't always necessary.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my deck. If you have any suggestions or feedback, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Updates Add


Revision 3 See all

(1 month ago)

+1 Birds of Paradise main
-1 Odric, Lunarch Marshal main
Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 5 days

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

21 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 0 Rares

13 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.20
Tokens Beast 3/3 G, Warrior 1/1 W w/ Vigilance, Zombie Warrior 4/4 B
Folders My Deck Creations, EDH, iLike, Potential Commander Decks, Cool Ideas, Favorites, Commander Ideas
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