Welcome to Duel Deck #4, featuring...Koth! Just kicking off your Planeswalker Deck Project journey? No worries, I've got the intro article and my first few decks right here for ya.

First off, let's do a little refresher on Koth of the Hammer. After all, even though he's always struck me as a fairly popular character, he's only been in one set over the last dozen years.

Here's what we know:

  1. Mirrodin/New Phyrexia resident, currently the most prominent character of the Mirran Resistance against the Phyrexian overlords, and willing to fight forever [link to Darksteel Plate for flavor text reference] to defeat them and free his plane [link to Conspiracy Phyrexian Arena that shows Koth throwing down against Phyrexians].
  2. Seems to care a great deal about Mountains.
  3. Hammer enthusiast.

Those 3 facts provide us with a great starting point!

Let's check out our heavy hitters:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Koth of the Hammer by Andy Hurst

'Koth of the Hammer' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $42.41

Cards

Prophet of the Peak

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199544_200w.jpg

When Prophet of the Peak enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/prophet-of-the-peak

Spitting Earth

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216133_200w.jpg

Spitting Earth deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/jumpstart/spitting-earth

Hammer of Purphoros

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/71026_200w.jpg

Creatures you control have haste.
{2}{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Create a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230467_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Koth of the Hammer

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $4.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/58087_200w.jpg

+1: Untap target Mountain. It becomes a 4/4 red Elemental creature until end of turn. It's still a land.
−2: Add {R} for each Mountain you control.
−5: You get an emblem with "Mountains you control have '{T}: This land deals 1 damage to any target.'"

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/duel-decks-venser-vs-koth/koth-of-the-hammer

Serum Tank

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/37431_200w.jpg

Whenever Serum Tank or another artifact enters the battlefield, put a charge counter on Serum Tank.
{3}, {T}, Remove a charge counter from Serum Tank: Draw a card.

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Grab the Reins

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/124524_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Until end of turn, you gain control of target creature and it gains haste.
• Sacrifice a creature. Grab the Reins deals damage equal to that creature's power to any target.
Entwine {2}{R} (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/commander-2016/grab-the-reins

Hammer of Ruin

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/34379_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +2/+0.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may destroy target Equipment that player controls.
Equip {2}

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Hammer of Bogardan

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11153_200w.jpg

Hammer of Bogardan deals 3 damage to any target.
{2}{R}{R}{R}: Return Hammer of Bogardan from your graveyard to your hand. Activate this ability only during your upkeep.

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Darksteel Citadel

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218795_200w.jpg

Indestructible
{T}: Add {C}.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/double-masters/darksteel-citadel

Rusted Relic

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98394_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — Rusted Relic is a 5/5 Golem artifact creature as long as you control three or more artifacts.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/modern-masters-2015/rusted-relic

Staff of the Flame Magus

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/90952_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a red spell or a Mountain enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/magic-2015-m15/staff-of-the-flame-magus

Drooling Ogre

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11707_200w.jpg

Whenever a player casts an artifact spell, that player gains control of Drooling Ogre. (This effect lasts indefinitely.)

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Clockwork Servant

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199110_200w.jpg

Adamant — When Clockwork Servant enters the battlefield, if at least three mana of the same color was spent to cast it, draw a card.

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Hammerhand

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145472_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
When Hammerhand enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has haste. (It can attack and {T} no matter when it came under your control.)

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Embersmith

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36356_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast an artifact spell, you may pay {1}. If you do, Embersmith deals 1 damage to any target.

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Oxidda Golem

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93805_200w.jpg

Affinity for Mountains (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each Mountain you control.)
Haste

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Galvanic Blast

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218930_200w.jpg

Galvanic Blast deals 2 damage to any target.
Metalcraft — Galvanic Blast deals 4 damage instead if you control three or more artifacts.

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Pyrite Spellbomb

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218600_200w.jpg

{R}, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: It deals 2 damage to any target.
{1}, Sacrifice Pyrite Spellbomb: Draw a card.

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Claws of Valakut

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/46873_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 for each Mountain you control and has first strike.

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Anger

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $3.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180929_200w.jpg

Haste
As long as Anger is in your graveyard and you control a Mountain, creatures you control have haste.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/ultimate-masters/anger

Great Furnace

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171209_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {R}.

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Mirror Golem

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11519_200w.jpg

Imprint — When Mirror Golem enters the battlefield, you may exile target card from a graveyard.
Mirror Golem has protection from each of the exiled card's card types. (Artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal are card types.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/mirrodin/mirror-golem

Foundry of the Consuls

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171243_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{5}, {T}, Sacrifice Foundry of the Consuls: Create two 1/1 colorless Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying.

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Goblin Replica

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11492_200w.jpg

{3}{R}, Sacrifice Goblin Replica: Destroy target artifact.

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Spiraling Duelist

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39102_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — Spiraling Duelist has double strike as long as you control three or more artifacts.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/mirrodin-besieged/spiraling-duelist

Snapsail Glider

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36524_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — Snapsail Glider has flying as long as you control three or more artifacts.

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Henge Walker

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199111_200w.jpg

Adamant — If at least three mana of the same color was spent to cast this spell, Henge Walker enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Blade-Tribe Berserkers

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36469_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — When Blade-Tribe Berserkers enters the battlefield, if you control three or more artifacts, Blade-Tribe Berserkers gets +3/+3 and gains haste until end of turn.

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Myr Sire

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216472_200w.jpg

When Myr Sire dies, create a 1/1 colorless Myr artifact creature token.

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Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215449_200w.jpg

Flying
Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge can't attack unless you control four or more artifacts.
At the beginning of your end step, create a Treasure token for each nontoken creature that died this turn. (It's an artifact with "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/gadrak-the-crown-scourge

Jaws of Stone

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/58083_200w.jpg

Jaws of Stone deals X damage divided as you choose among any number of targets, where X is the number of Mountains you control as you cast this spell.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/duel-decks-venser-vs-koth/jaws-of-stone

Volcanic Hammer

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12879_200w.jpg

Volcanic Hammer deals 3 damage to any target.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/9th-edition/volcanic-hammer

Mask of Immolation

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192670_200w.jpg

When Mask of Immolation enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 red Elemental creature token, then attach Mask of Immolation to it.
Equipped creature has "Sacrifice this creature: It deals 1 damage to any target."
Equip {2} ({2}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2020/mask-of-immolation

Akoum Hellkite

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104995_200w.jpg

Flying
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, Akoum Hellkite deals 1 damage to any target. If that land is a Mountain, Akoum Hellkite deals 2 damage instead.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/battle-for-zendikar/akoum-hellkite

Shrine of Burning Rage

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39578_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep or whenever you cast a red spell, put a charge counter on Shrine of Burning Rage.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Shrine of Burning Rage: It deals damage equal to the number of charge counters on it to any target.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/new-phyrexia/shrine-of-burning-rage

Chrome Steed

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36422_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — Chrome Steed gets +2/+2 as long as you control three or more artifacts.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/scars-of-mirrodin/chrome-steed

Colossus Hammer

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192744_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +10/+10 and loses flying.
Equip {8} ({8}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2020/colossus-hammer

Hammerheim

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $6.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/3896_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {R}.
{T}: Target creature loses all landwalk abilities until end of turn.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/legends/hammerheim

The Game Plan

Koth is a proud Mirran, so it's important to reflect that with a spread of artifact creatures and Metalcraft synergies (the representative mechanic of the Mirran side of the Mirran/Phyrexian conflict). We've got lots of solid mechanical forces, with Chrome Steeds, Henge Walker, Oxidda Golems, Clockwork Servant, and Prophet of the Peak as serviceable bodies that all benefit from either lots of mountains or lots of artifacts involved.

There isn't an Incarnation for Obstinate / Resolute mindsets, so Anger will have to do for Koth, but I think it works out; he certainly isn't overjoyed with the Phyrexian takeover. We also have a very weird but large early threat in Drooling Ogre, who is too stupid to always stay loyal, but thankfullly our high artifact count provides enough trinkets to keep him fighting for our side. Unfortunately with troops like that it's easy to see how the Mirrans are struggling against Phyrexia.

The Mountains matter with several of our spells. Hitting the Adamant thresholds on Henge Walker and Clockwork Servant turn them from "acceptable" to "you love to see it", Oxidda Golems become efficient threats, Spitting Earth becomes a fine removal spell, and Jaws of Stone is a contender for "best card in the deck". Claws of Valakut makes our dinkiest creature suddenly formidable.

Lastly, there's lots of hammers! Aside from our Rares, Colossus Hammer provides an opportunity to make your opponent the anvil and makes use of Koth's ability to help afford the equip cost. Hammerhand removes potential blockers from the mix, Volcanic Hammer operates as serviceable removal, and Hammer of Ruin can nuke any opposing equipment. Although it's not what I would describe as a "good card", Hammerheim seems too perfect to not include in the landbase.

The Rares

Gadrak is extremely cool. A 5/4 flying creature for 3 seems like an insane set of stats, until you get to the fine print. Gadrak can only attack if we have 4+ artifacts, which might be a drawback in most lists, but here it's basically just Metalcraft, something we're already built to enable. And if we happen to kill creatures - a likely occurrence in a Mono Red deck - Gadrak makes Treasure tokens, which is great for keeping our own metalcraft count high while also giving us new triggers for Embersmith and Serum Tank and mana for equipping Colossus Hammer. Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge is exactly the type of modern day Rare that I look for in new set releases as natural inclusions in this project, and it fits perfectly in this deck.

Koth cares about Mountains and eventually turning them into pingers. So does Akoum Hellkite! It's so hard not to spend one of our Rare slots on a big scary monster, and the Hellkite seemed like it ticked the right boxes.

The original Uro. It's fascinating to compare the two to see what WotC thought a pushed, recurring threat should look like in 1996 and again in 2020. Really gives you a firm idea of how far and in what directions the game has changed over all those years. This art rocks so hard; in my opinion Magic's never looked better than it did in Mirage and Visions. Not that cards look awful now, but back then...dear god (bites fist).

Hammer. Enthusiast.

Unsung Hero

Historically, Red and White have both gotten the short end of the card drawing stick. In an era where Black and Green have joined Blue in card drawing Nirvana, the other two colors linger behind, and Red usually only gets to draw cards via rummaging effects (aka Much Worse Looting). So when it comes to getting ahead on cards for these colors, looking to artifacts often seems a prudent choice. Serum Tank only looks great if lots of other artifacts are involved, but in a deck like this, that's not an issue. In this build, the Tank will have no problem building up charge counters to keep the cards flowing, and those cards flow at an acceptable rate supporting a color that has trouble sourcing the ability elsewhere. If the game plan involves lots of artifacts (or even lots of charge counters), Serum Tank is a tank indeed.