In this ninth duel deck, we visit a time just before the true threat of Phrexia was made known on Mirrodin. Can Koth and Venser save the land of metal?
Koth is the embodiment of rage. This geomancer uses the very mountains as weapons, moulding flame and magma into potent engines of wrath and passion. Venser, however, is calm, calculating, almost cold in his pursuit of his goal. The strength of both will be needed to save Mirrodin from the corruption of Phyrexia, but only one will be able to lead them.
Meet my new friends:
Aren’t they sexy? Yeah Ok, I also miss Venser’s manly sideburns, but the stubble look suits him and is still manly enough.
Koth of the Hammer, as I mentioned in my article about GLEEFUL FLAMES, is a great powerhouse. Venser, the Sojourner is a great control guy, and sadly he won’t stay around long enough after all the great ‘flicker’ mechanics are introduced in Avacyn Restored.
Planeswalker emblems are sure to be chased after as Sorin, Lord of Innistrad was the first to have his Emblem printed.
On the alternate art front, both Planeswalkers have their power shown in some of the spells:
Anger finally gets a new artwork (the original was hard to take seriously), this time the incarnation resembles Koth. Preordain, one of my favourite cantrips, has Venser staring at the plates of Mirrodin.
If you like the Modern format, these alternate art cards may excite you:
Path to Exile is quite the staple in Modern, and can be pretty elusive for an uncommon. Plated Geopede gets a welcome facelift, and I hope to have him at the forefront of a Boros deck soon.
Chartooth Cougar gets a more menacing coat of paint, just in case you felt you didn’t get enough Leonins and cats in the Ajani duel deck.
As far as fighting each other, Koth’s deck feels a little land heavy and lacks the major punch I thought it would have. Sadly Valakut didn’t make its way into the deck. The Lithophage is also a slightly worrying choice, as it eats your mountains.
Venser’s deck has slightly more thematic cohesion, however, but lacks the large creatures that would benefit from being unblockable. It does however contain several nifty "when enters the battlefield" creatures, making him more than a thorn in your side.
Sadly, it seems Koth’s fire will be cooled in this battle.
Venser and Koth are both relatively new planeswalker cards, as both first appeared in the Scars of Mirrodin set, which was released less than two years ago (with the cards rotating out at the end of September this year).
Sadly the days of duel decks like Jace vs Chandra, which sold out manically for their chase rares, seem to have come to an end. While you definitely get your money’s worth with this set, and it makes a great addition to any collector’s display, I fear that Duel Decks have definitely had their heyday. However, if you are new to Magic, this is a great way to get 1 Path to Exile and 2 Planeswalkers. Those longer in the teeth may complain about the drop in apparent value, but I prefer it this way. The price of the old duel decks were way out of the casual gamer’s budget. This duel deck won’t cost an arm and a leg
Personally, I am getting it to have some sexy alternate art cards, which make me a better Commander player (scientifically proven stuff!).
Hopefully the trend of having duel decks thematically linked to one of the current standard sets will continue, seeing as one of my favourite planes, Ravnica, will be next.
Here are the deck lists:
"Erupt and Overwhelm – Koth’s Deck"
"Evade and Shimmer – Venser’s Deck
Ah, you are still here? Good, because those nice guys at http://sadrobot.co.za/ have given us a Venser vs Koth duel deck to give away!
To enter, all you have to do is go to their site, find the price of Koth or Venser, and e-mail the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Winners will be announced next week. Also, if you are keen to meet the guys that make that poor robot sell his shiny cards, or if you want to meet me, come join us for a game of Magic at Vee’s Videos in Bonaero Park (more details on the Sad Robot events page). I even heard that fresh faces often walk away with free loot.
was reviewed by Garth Holden