Magic: The Gathering – Who Is Koth?

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  • Venture To Dominaria
  • The Search For Karn
  • Combating New Phyrexia

Koth, also known as Koth Of The Hammer is a Planeswalker native to the Plane of Mirrodin in Magic: The Gathering that would later be corrupted to become New Phyrexia. He is a Vulshhok, a group of barbarians and sorcerers, where he rose through the ranks, becoming the leader of the Hammer Tribe.

Koth is centered in red mana, and is a rare example of a Planeswalker to have had no influence from any other color. Though a Planeswalker, Koth has rarely traveled to other Planes, keeping his planeswalking to a minimum while his home is under siege. He is a well-respected leader, and the one leading the charge of the Mirran Resistance that is looking to take down New Phyrexia and return the plane to what it once was.

Venture To Dominaria

Koth's Planeswalker spark ignited during a war between the tribes of Mirrodin. The metal the tribes mined was suddenly, and unexplainably, weaker, leading to the weapons made of it being destroyed with ease, and war and resentment settled in.

Now a Planeswalker, Koth was able to use his ability to purify rock and metal to purify the metal from its corruption, and it was returned to its functioning state, and relative peace was restored. That was until the Phyrexians began to appear on Mirrodin.

As a promise to his people, Koth branded his arm with the symbol of Phyrexia so he would always be reminded of them to continue fighting. To help in the fight, Koth left Mirrodin to find help from other Planes.

This landed Koth in the Urborg region of Dominaria, where he was tossed into the gladiatorial pits and was forced to fight fellow Planeswalker Elspeth Tirel. Koth refused to fight her, acting only defensively while Elspeth attacked him, being driven by rage at the sight of the Phyrexian symbol on his arm. The fight was cut short with the arrival of Ajani Goldmane, and Koth was able to explain to Elspeth what was happening on Mirrodin.

Koth and Elspeth became close friends and told each other how Phyrexians had ruined their lives and the homes they lost. Koth offered Elspeth gems that could entrap her fear within them, which she denied in favor of not forgetting the past.

Koth traveled to The Heroes' Memorial, where he communicated with an altar that told him to find a man named Venser. Koth was able to do so easily and found Venser rebuilding an old Phyrexian ship. This enraged Koth who encased Venser's head in stone to coax him to travel to Mirrodin with him, so he could see the danger he was playing with.

The Search For Karn

Koth, Elspeth, and Venser arrive at Mirrodin. Koth took the party to search for what he described as "an old friend". However, they were instead attacked by a zombie, and, while they were able to defeat it, Elspeth became withdrawn and left the party, telling them she could not go on in the quest.

Koth and Venser continued traveling together until they were attacked and taken captive by Phyrexian forces. Koth was able to free himself, but could not free Venser. He did not leave him behind, though, and helplessly fought to protect him against the Phyrexians. They were saved when Elspeth reappeared, and the three were able to clear out the Phyrexians and escape.

In the lower layers, the trio of Planeswalkers met another Planeswalker; Tezzeret. He guided them to a Phyrexian surgery room where they were experimenting on various creatures. Koth and the party were able to free a Mirran woman Melira, who was immune to the Phyrexian corruption – phyresis – and could even reverse the effects it had on victims. Melira became a close ally to Koth, and one of the few would could help save Mirrodin from Phyrexia.

The group left to continue on their quest to search for Karn, the Planeswalker who had created Mirrodin. However, they were betrayed by Tezzeret and his army of Phyrexians attacked but the group managed to escape.

Koth had become enraged at the losing battle on the surface and left the party along with Melira, leaving Elspeth and Venser behind. Though they tried to chase after him, they were cut off by a group of Phyrexians who captured them. Koth returned in time to free them with Melira, and they made their way to Karn's throne room in the core of Mirrodin.

They were able to heal Karn, who had been driven mad by Phyrexian oil in his heart, at the cost of Venser's life. With Karn thinking properly again, he told the group he was incapable of killing Phyrexia, and requested that they cleanse Mirrodin of all of Phyrexia at any cost. Koth agreed and continued to dedicate his life to combating the Phyrexians.

Combating New Phyrexia

Karn, Elspeth, and Koth eturned to the surface to continue the fight, but ultimately failed, and Mirrodin fell to Phyrexia, turning the Plane into New Phyrexia.

The Phyrexians gathered for a ceremony to name the new Father/Mother of Machines, which Koth and Elspeth knew was their last chance to make an attack on the Praetors. Even if the attack failed, they considered it a final act of defiance against the rulers of New Phyrexia.

They arrived with an army of Mirrans, but were immediately attacked. The Mirrans were wiped out, but so were the Phyrexian troops, leaving only Koth and Elspeth left standing.

They entered the heart of Elesh Norn's domain, where Koth prepared to set off a massive bomb. He told Elspeth to leave him to his fate, but she refused. Koth used his powers to entrap her in the ground, forcing her to planeswalk away right as Koth's bomb detonated.

Though Elspeth was unaware of Koth's survival, he returned to the deep levels of the furnace layers of New Phyrexia where the remnants of Mirran remained to continue waging war against New Phyrexia. Though it was the domain of the Phyrexian Praetor Urabrask, he disagreed with the other Praetors and allowed Koth and his resistance to make their home there.

In the aftermath of the second Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria, Koth decided to lead the Mirran Resistance on an assault to the core of New Phyrexia. The Gatewatch – a group of Planeswalkers who vow to protect the Multiverse from Inter-Planar threats – agreed to join the assault once they were ready.

Koth began collaborating with the red Praetor Urabrask directly, who was against Elesh Norn's ways and wanted to overthrow her, leading the charge in the war against New Phyrexia.

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