Pieces of the Puzzle - Displacer Kitten
I Might Know Who You Are?
Welcome back to Pieces of the Puzzle! I’m your host, Goldshot, a Head Editor on the Commander Spellbook project. Pieces of the Puzzle is an article attempting a look into combo decks, both how they function, and how they are made. My overarching goal with this series is to look at each new set and showcase a bit of what they do for combo players or interested individuals. As opposed to the last two times, where I covered commanders, this time I'm going to focus on a non-commander card. I'm going to talk about my third favorite cat, (afterand the kitty in her art), Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate's .
This set has a lot of really interesting combo pieces to look at, like, and , but our dear kitten friend stood out to me, both in cuteness and in the ability to evaluate a card in the 99, rather than a combo in the command zone.
is the first Commander-legal card with "kitten" in its name, and it's by far one of the cutest things I've ever almost seen. I say 'almost' because this thing's hard to keep your eyes on! It has an extremely powerful ability: "Avoidance — Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, exile up to one target nonland permanent you control, then return that card to the battlefield under its owner’s control."
I think this is one of the most powerful blink effects we've ever seen to date. By simply casting a noncreature spell - artifacts and other noncreature permanents included - we get to blink not just any creature we control, but any nonland permanent we control. Not only that, we get it back immediately! We don't even need to wait for our end step!
Blinking any permanent other than a creature tends to be extremely rare. Our options for that effect include the likes of 50 combos to its name) and , to name a few., a famously powerful card and commander, (which has more than
These cards are all powerhouses, and much like these predecessors,holds the ability to pull off some incredibly powerful combos, as well as the ability to play as just a very strong value engine. Simply blinking a card like , which draws a card upon hitting the battlefield, suddenly allows to do a pretty decent impression. The Kitten can also blink mana rocks, immediately resetting them to generate mana once again, allowing the playful feline to act as a cost reducer, not just for our instants and sorceries, like a would, but also for our enchantments, artifacts, and planeswalkers. This allows our favorite to slot nicely into most enchantment decks, artifact decks, spellslinger decks, and Superfriends decks!
And again, this is all without it even leaning into combo territory! So what does it look like when these kinds of cards do start to get into combos?
Time to Talk Combos
- Archaeomancer + Ghostly Flicker + Peregrine Drake
- Brago, King Eternal + Strionic Resonator + Sol Ring
- Aminatou, the Fateshifter + Felidar Guardian + Altar of the Brood
Our first standout combo is, , and . In this case, our blink source is aimed at a way to get it back, and a way to recast it. Those roles are filled by for recursion and for mana.
Interestingly,can act as half of this because we only get one blink. Normally this would kill the combo, but instead, we can use the spell we cast to trigger as the remaining half of our combo. For example, we could keep the , but replace our with a ritual, and a second spell to cast. As a result of this, a ritual like can become our source of mana. Then, we just need to point 's trigger at our to get back our spell.
"But wait," I hear you cry, "the blink trigger will resolve before the spell, we can't get it back!" You are mostly correct. While we can't get back our, we can get back a different spell and use the extra mana to cast that spell, getting back our ritual to do it all again.
Lastly, the combo I think is the most interesting for us to observe iswith . This shows us a way to use our blink ability with a planeswalker. By using 's blink ability, we can reset , making it a new object in the eyes of the game. As a result, we may lose any extra loyalty counters we may have accrued, but we get to activate our planeswalker again. This combo takes advantage of that by using 's ability to blink , putting us back where we started.
I think this revelation is perhaps the most powerful because it will act as the foundation for the decklist I'd like to brew around, which is coming up at the end of this article! Planeswalker abilities are quite varied, giving us plenty of opportunities to get a noncreature spell to cast. allows us to bring an artifact card back from our graveyard with his second ability, allowing us to recur a card like or which we can then immediately cast again to trigger , and sacrifice to make prime targets for to start us over. (RIP his ) can pick up one of our artifacts, such as with his second ability, and then allow us to cast it again, putting us up a mana and resetting so we can repeat it yet again.
Not only this, but once we have repeated the look enough to have infinite colorless mana, we can then instead pick up something liketo make infinite mana, and then any planeswalker we control for infinite activations of the walker. One such outlet is who can be used to make infinite 0/1 tokens, and then activate his second ability to turn those tokens into cards!
Where Does This Leave Us?
When I started to brew a deck around's combos, I realized a lot of the slots in the deck were already spoken for to make these combos happen, and the deck kind of began to build itself. The insane synergy of not only comboing with planeswalkers but also allowing us to generate extra activations of them caused me to want to try out a Superfriends build. can even blink 'walkers at instant speed, getting them out of trouble in case anyone tries to attack them. The Superfriends strategy allows the kitten to be both a combo play and a value play.
Planeswalkers like EDHREC's planeswalkers theme page reveals to us that we'll want to play , , and to help this strategy out. And who better to command this deck than yet another planeswalker? will give us slow value, demonic blockers, and when she's used with , we can activate her minus ability as many times as we want in a given turn. This even goes infinite with the use of the previously-mentioned , because it allows us to both put cards into exile with page counters, and cast them with each new instance of . We can also use the existence of rituals like to combo with cards like .allow us to dig through our deck while also giving our opponents trouble in the process. acts as protection for our other walkers, giving them blockers and Ward 2. A quick glance at
From there, we just want to support our planeswalker plan, while also adding some mill to support our commander,. I think the coolest spice I could fit into this deck was exploiting token creation and our low creature count to play effects. Even in the worst case scenario, we'll just flip into and use the ability to get back our !
Enjoy the deck, enjoy's awesome combo potential, and thanks for reading!
The Witches Third Best Kitty
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