Multiplayer red planeswalkers are a curious thing. Red planeswalkers are generally linear in their application, as seen with Chandra Nalaar or Chandra Ablaze. In multiplayer this lack of flexibility usually relegates the planeswalker to a support role at best.
Koth of the Hammer is less flexible than either of these planeswalkers, but his abilities are not easily ignored. Set in a very particular deck, they might not lead to victory, but the rest of the table will have to take notice.
The first ability adds a loyalty counter. It allows you to untap target mountain, which becomes a 4/4 creature until the end of turn. It’s still a land though, so you have the option of leaving it untapped for an opponent’s turn or casting a cheap spell in your own turn. An ability similar to Garruk Wildspeaker‘s first ability, but more flexible.
Koth’s second ability costs two loyalty counters. You add a red mana to your mana pool for each Mountain you control. With this ability we see that Koth has one use, and that use is to give a mono-red deck more mileage out of its mountains. Either the first or second ability may be used the turn Koth comes into play. This ability can be used to power out another spell, or to power up one of red’s many x damage spells such as Fireball. Always useful at the multipayer table, where there is usually a target.
The third and final ability costs five loyalty counters and gives you an emblem. Emblems are something that only planeswalkers can grant (so far) and give you an ability which lasts for the rest of the game, regardless of what happens to the source. Koth’s emblem gives all Mountains you control the ability to tap to deal 1 damage to target creature or player.
With Koth’s emblem in play almost everything you do is a potential threat. Leaving land untapped in your opponents’ turns can let you sneak in to kill a weak player when the time is right, or take out a creature when least expected.
For all the potency of Koth of the Hammer, his only place is in a mono-red deck. Such decks typically shine bright but burn out quickly. You might get a couple of kills but you’ll rarely go the distance. Koth doesn’t change this but does let the red deck work a little faster, increasing its potency.
Verdict: Marginal. A deck based around Koth of the Hammer is unlikely to do well, but the card can be added to mono-red decks with some effect.
Connections: Like Koth of the Hammer? You may also like [Sarkhan Vol] [Chandra, the Firebrand] [Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded]
Don’t like Koth? You may prefer [Liliana Vess] [Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker] [Nissa Revane]