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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Mara RMara.png
HP 95-192
HD 18
XP 7999
Speed 10
AC 12
EV 14
Will 140
Attack1 30 (hit: plain)

Resistances rF++
Vulnerabilities Holy
Habitat Land
Intelligence Human
Uses Weapons & armour
Starting equipment
Open doors
Holiness Demonic
Size Medium
Type rakshasa, rakshasa
See invisible
This tall and powerful demon is Mara, Lord of Illusions, mighty among dreamers. He is capable of creating intricately detailed illusions, so real that they are almost as deadly as the creatures they impersonate.

“This night the Lord of Illusion passed among you, Mara, mighty among dreamers, mighty for ill. He did come upon another who may work with the stuff of dreams in a different way. He did meet with Dharma, who may expel a dreamer from his dream. They did struggle, and the Lord Mara is no more. Why did they struggle, deathgod against illusionist? You say their ways are incomprehensible, being the ways of gods. This is not the answer.”
-Roger Zelazny, “Lord of Light”. 1967.

“He who lives looking for pleasures only,
his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food,
idle, and weak, Mara will certainly overthrow him,
as the wind throws down a weak tree.”
-The Buddha, _Dhammapada_, 1:7.
trans. F. Max Muller

Useful Info

Mara, Lord of Illusions, is the unique lord of all rakshasas. Armed with a deadly array of illusory magic, he is an extremely dangerous opponent capable of turning all your strengths against you. He always generates with a branded demon weapon, and his unique spellset makes him challenging regardless of your preparations.



Spell set I
Slot1 Blink Magical flag
Slot2 Bolt of Fire (3d27) Magical flag
Slot3 Mara Summon Magical flag
Slot4 Summon Illusion Magical flag
Slot5 Pain (d17) Magical flag


Mara is a notoriously dangerous unique.

  1. Alone, Mara has moderately high durability (especially for the Lair branches), and Bolt of Fire can hurt quite a bit.
  2. He can create 2 copies of himself, and each copy can cast spells at the same strength. Having 3 Maras, all shooting Bolts of Fire, means you'll take high damage quickly. Up to 273 damage/turn, if you lack fire resistance.
  3. He can also create copies of you, which are just as deadly as you are. You might win 50/50 against yourself... but that's a 50% chance to lose on the spot. That's before considering Mara himself - when combined with 2 Mara clones, the chances of you winning are extremely low.

Remember that you do not need to kill every monster you come across in Crawl in order to win the game. He often spawns in rune branches, and you'll eventually need 3 runes to win. But you can always come back for the rune later, when you have the power to kill Mara quickly. If he spawns on <Lair Branch>:3, you can skip the floor he's on.

If you do decide to deal with him, fire resistance is highly recommended, and you should be able to deal decent damage without using fire, poison, or negative energy. In general, it's best to treat him like you would any other extremely dangerous summoner: kill him as quickly as possible, and if he summons something you can't handle, teleport away.

Dealing with Clones

Mara will create clones, either of himself or you. These clones will harass you until they time out, until the real Mara is defeated, or until you change the level. Upon use of Mara Summon, the real Mara may switch places with the clone, making it impossible to tell them apart.


  • Fighting a player clone is extremely risky on its own, and with Mara in play, it clearly becomes a losing fight. Generally, the best approach with a player ghost is to not deal with it at all: you can go back up the stairs or teleport away if it's summoned.
  • It is technically possible to 'cripple' your clone before it is summoned; e.g. casters with -Cast gear, melee fighters wielding a scroll. However, this is a bad idea - until he summons your clone, he has free reign to attack you.


  • Retreating upstairs can isolate Mara from the clones, since only the real Mara can follow you.
  • Like other rakhsasas, he can clone other monsters. While monsters (most likely) won't be as dangerous as you, it can still make a dangerous encounter even worse. This is another good reason to fight Mara by himself.

Tips & Tricks

  • Silence does nothing against demons, but antimagic will cripple his spellcasting.
  • With a demon trident, Mara becomes better at melee. As he constantly blinks, the trident's reaching makes it easier for him and the clones to hit you in melee.
  • Any statuses you have (haste, might...) will also be transferred to the clone. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't buff yourself; any buffs you have make it easier to kill Mara before the clone is summoned. Just don't go berserk, since berserk works poorly against any enemy with Blink.
  • While Mara has great willpower, a scroll of vulnerability can make it reasonable for a wand of paralysis (if you have one) to work. But if you have any sort of Hexes spell (or Petrify), don't use vulnerability - it'll make you vulnerable to the clone's spells.
  • He's a very good choice for a Yredelemnul bound soul. Few monsters are able to handle a clone of themselves and 3 Maras and the player at the same time.


In Buddhism, Mara is the demon that tempted Buddha to give up his enlightenment.