It’s only three days following the official release of Commander Legends: Baldur’s Gate. The Commander community is already considering the ban of the most problematic card introduced in the set. Personally, I’m surprised something like this didn’t happen sooner after outlining how ridiculous the card is when talking about the best Baldur’s Gate Singles to buy. It’s also showing signs of being viable in Vintage, MTG’s most hostile format. It’s time to talk about Displacer Kitten.
Displacer Kitten is the type of MTG card that plays way better than it reads. Displacer Kitten allows you to flicker a nonland permanent whenever you cast a non-creature spell. Any Enter the Battlefield triggers that permanent may have will occur again. It also means that any once-per-turn restrictions on a card can be reset. These two interactions have raised Displacer Kitten close to the level of another recent combo piece that saw the banhammer: Paradox Engine.
After the release of Baldur’s Gate, Displacer Kitten saw a price drop. This is pretty common with prerelease cards since the market gets flooded with new copies of cards starting from prerelease weekend. Coming into this weekend, Displacer Kitten retailed on TCGPlayer for about $6.00. It is currently retailing for a median price of $26.00 and is still rising!
Like Paradox Engine, Displacer Kitten is a ‘build an infinite’ card. There are many ways to go off with a Displacer Kitten to win a game in Commander, Legacy, or Vintage. Displacer Kitten is much more viable in Eternal Formats than its predecessor because of how well it synergizes with other powerful competitive cards in 1v1 MTG.
Our Kitten is much more vulnerable to removal than Paradox Engine was. The ironic thing is that Displacer Kitten’s most powerful combo piece takes interaction out of the equation. Displacer Kitten can flicker Teferi, Time Raveler, allowing you to reset its loyalty and activate a new ability.
Teferi’s -3 ability will enable you to return an artifact, creature, or enchantment to its owner’s hand and draw a card. It’s not hard to connect the dots at this point. Teferi, Time Raveler will go infinite with Displacer Kitten and any noncreature permanent that pays for itself – either by generating more mana than it costs to cast or simply being a free card. You do this by bouncing the permanent with Teferi’s -3, drawing you a card. When you cast it again, the Kitten flickers Teferi, creating an infinite loop that allows you to draw your deck and potentially make near-infinite mana. Mox Amber, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, and Mana Vault are all Commander Staples that fit these requirements.
Enter the Battlefield
Dockside Extortionist is another Commander card that has the community discussing bans due to its power level in the format. Since its ability triggers when Dockside Extortionist enters the battlefield, Displacer Kitten enables the constant repetition of the already broken ability. As discussed when first looking at this nonsense cat, you can use a variety of value-based cantrip spells to go infinite quickly with these two cards in play.
READ MORE: The Best Tutors for EDH
Search Your Library
The last category of cards that fly off the rails with Displacer Kitten is other non-land permanents that search the library. This interaction allows you to build a combo with various pieces in your 99. Whether it’s Birthing Pod or Spellseeker, every single permanent that searches your library can easily lead to an infinite with our broken kitty… as long as you build it in.
An example of a combo in this category is as follows:
- Start with either of the recruiters mentioned earlier in the article, Displacer Kitten, and three open mana. Note that you can use the recruiters to search for Displacer Kitten, so with seven available mana, you need even less setup (provided you have a non-creature spell to flicker the Recruiter and get another search trigger)
- Use the Recruiter trigger to search for Trinket Mage
- Use your three mana to cast Trinket Mage
- Search your library for a mana positive artifact that costs zero, like Mana Crypt
- Play Mana Crypt to and use Displacer Kitten to flicker Trinket Mage. Use Trinket Mage to search for a new artifact and repeat the process until you have all your mana rocks on board.
- On your last mana rock, providing you have enough mana for Venser, Shaper Savant (which you easily can), flicker the recruiter instead with Displacer Kitten and search for Venser.
- Use Venser to bounce a mana positive Mana Rock you control
- Cast the Mana Rock to flicker Venser with Displacer Kitten. Use Venser to bounce a Mana Rock. Rinse and repeat.
- At this point, you have infinite mana. Generate however much mana you want, then use your Recruiter to search for a win condition or a card that searches for a win condition (like Spellseeker into Torment of Hellfire). There are a ton of these. Just build one into your 99.
Financial Implications Were Clear
The MTG community has been ranting about how much better Displacer Kitten is than they initially thought. As a result, there were a lot of signs pointing to this significant price spike. I got to see Displacer Kitten in action when I accidentally aligned it with Teferi, Time Raveler, Jeska’s Will, and a recursion tool to generate infinite mana and draw my deck. Fortunately, I got my kitty before the major spike in price, but I wished I had purchased more. Did you capitalize on this opportunity? There’s a looming air about the card getting banned, so a price hike of this magnitude could be alluding to another major crash. Buy these carefully!