Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot "An Unusual Mashup, Izzet?" - Plot Twist #9

Jeff Girten • May 21, 2024

Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot by Andreas Zafiratos

Giddy up! Welcome back to Plot Twist, the series where we build a Commander deck that starts out telling one kind of story only to throw out a plot twist mid-game. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome! I'd encourage you to check out the previous articles in the series to get a sense for the types of stories we're looking to tell.

Last time, we committed all the crimes using a deck featuring Vraska, the Silencer that stole our opponents' best creatures by destroying them with lots of targeted removal, then doubled the rewards with Panharmonicon effects. This week, we're smashing together two archetypes we've never seen before on Plot Twist: Spellslinger and Voltron.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction gave us an awesome new Izzet commander that seems primed to mash together this unlikely pair of archetypes in Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot. By building a deck with not one, but two very specific deckbuilding restrictions, we're in the perfect position to tell some unique stories when we sit down to play.

How Does Lilah Work?

Lilah's first ability, prowess, encourages us to cast and copy multiple spells in a turn to buff her, while her second ability allows us to plot multicolored spells that we cast from our hand as they resolve. As a reminder, the plot mechanic reads: "You may cast it on a later turn without paying its mana cost," so that means we can essentially get a free second casting of our multicolored instants and sorceries on our next turn as long as Lilah is in play when we cast the spell initially. A nice bonus of the way plot works is that we don't need to control Lilah on the turn when we cast the plotted spells, so if Lilah dies in the intervening period we still get the value.

Getting two spells for the price of one leans heavily into Spellslinger territory, and we can see on Lilah's EDHREC page that many brewers are taking Lilah in this direction, with Storm-Kiln Artist, Goblin Electromancer, Thousand-Year Storm, and Guttersnipe all appearing on her Top Cards list.

There's also a strong synergy for token-makers, like Third Path Iconoclast, Young Pyromancer, and everybody's favorite bulk rare, Talrand, Sky Summoner, appearing amongst the top creatures in Lilah decklists at the time of writing, so when we sit down to play our Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot deck, our opponents will be looking for us to cast a bunch of spells in one turn to create tokens and ping them for a few extra points of damage, which is when we hit them with the twist: our Lilah deck is designed to win with commander damage.

Doing the Twist

Since Lilah has the ability to buff herself with prowess, and since she allows us to recast multicolored instants and sorceries on future turns, she walks a rather interesting line where she can be both a Spellslinger commander and a Voltron commander. I have a Kalamax deck I play that does similar things by trying to cast one instant a turn and have found it's an absolute blast to play at more casual commander tables, so we're going to take Lilah in a different direction than the average decklist by loading up on multicolored spells and then planning to have a "Storm" turn with her in play where we re-cast all of our plotted spells at once.

We'll still be able to capitalize on cards like Archmage Emeritus, Thousand-Year Storm, and Stitch in Time that are showing up in the average Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot list, but we'll use them in a way that builds towards one epic turn where we knock an opponent out with commander damage.

Multicolored Spells Matter

The first thing we'll want to do is load our deck up with spells that we can plot using Lilah's ability. Arcane Infusion, Creative Outburst, Electrolyze, Practical Research, and Thoughtflare provide us with the card advantage we'll need to keep our hand stocked with cards. We've also included flexible spells, like Izzet Charm, Magma Opus, and Prismari Command, that can function as removal, interaction, or even ramp depending on what we need at the time. I really like how we can use them as interaction on an opponent's turn, plot them with Lilah's ability, and then untap and use Magma Opus and Prismari Command as extra damage spells to burn an opponent out. Stitch in Time is a downright nasty way for us to win the game because, if we're lucky, we can cast it, get an extra turn, plot it with Lilah, and then recast it on our extra turn. That's a 25% chance of us taking three turns in a row, which would be amazing for a Voltron deck but hopefully won't be as frustrating to play against as a dedicated extra turns deck, like Narset, Enlightened Master.

Run for Your Life, Schismotivate, and Teleportal are all key spells for us to have when we're ready to go for a kill with commander damage because they allow us to sneak in a lot of extra damage and then plot them away for later use. There weren't too many multicolored spells that would boost Lilah's power beyond just an additional Voltron trigger, but these sort of strange spells are exactly what we love to find for a Plot Twist decklist.

Voltron... Spells?

Since our multicolored Voltron spell options (wow, what a mouthful) were limited, we've added Balduvian Rage, Expedite, Fists of Flame, Reckless Charge, and Temur Battle Rage to help boost Lilah's power and get her through for damage. The first time you attack with a Lilah and then pump her up to 11 power and then cast a Temur Battle Rage is a story you're going to telling at your local game store for years to come. Both Charmbreaker Devils and Octavia, Living Thesis look like excellent backup options for all of our spells that pump a creature's power or give it evasion in the event that Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot is too expensive to recast or otherwise unable to attack.

How to Win Once the Jig is Up

Though Lilah is going to be our primary win con, once our opponents figure that out we'll need to find other ways to piece together a win. Fortunately, there have been quite a few cards printed in the last couple of years that care about the number of instants and sorceries in our graveyard or exile. Crackling Drake and Haughty Djinn are naturally evasive creatures whose power should be relatively high in the late game since we're running 26 instants and 8 sorceries in the deck.

The aforementioned Charmbreaker Devils and Octavia, Living Thesis can become big threats with just a handful of spells. I once killed an opponent at 20 life with Charmbreaker Devils by countering my own spell for the final trigger; that's probably the most memorable game (Sorry, Zack) I've ever played with my Kalamax Spellslinger Voltron deck. Lastly, both Glamdring and Runechanter's Pike can turn any creature in the deck into a huge threat, especially if you can give that creature evasion or trample too.

Other Ways to Double Up on Our Spells and Effects

Since we're so reliant on spells with this particular build, especially spells that draw a card to replace themselves, we're running plenty of ways to copy spells beyond just Lilah's plot ability. Thousand-Year Storm will net us a copy of a spell for each spell we've previously cast this turn, and Arcane Bombardment will let us exile a spell from our graveyard the first time we cast a spell each turn and then recast every spell exiled with it, a fantastic synergy with the mass of instants we're running.

Note that spells that have been plotted with Lilah are cast a a second time, so you'll be able to trigger both of these enchantments with spells you plot using Lilah. Invasion of Arcavios finds an instant or sorcery from our library, graveyard, or exile when it comes into play and then doubles our spells once we're able to defeat the battle. I also really like Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant as a way to both double up our spells and make it harder for our opponents to destroy Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot.

It's important to note that Lilah's prowess ability only triggers when you cast a spell, though, so copied spells won't result in any additional prowess triggers. However, cards with Magecraft, like Veyran, Voice of Duality and Archmage Emeritus, will trigger whenever you cast OR copy a spell. Magic is hard!

A Few Additional Twists for Good Measure

There were so many fun cards I stumbled across in building today's list that I want to share with you. Spellweaver Volute is an Aura that enchants an instant in any graveyard. Wut? We only have eight sorceries to trigger Spellweaver Volute, but notably it'll also trigger if we cast any of them with Lilah's plot ability. This seems like a great way to get some extra value from our graveyard or find an answer from our opponents' graveyards. Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch is a great way to get ourselves a random instant or sorcery back from our graveyard once per turn in addition to doing a bit of damage every time we cast an instant or sorcery.

Chaos Mutation seems like a really flexible interesting removal spell that will help this deck deal with creatures that are indestructible or too big to get through otherwise. When I saw Cerebral Vortex, it immediately reminded me of the old joke that you can Sign in Blood your opponent when they're at two life, but this card seems better because it's an instant and punishes cards like Rhystic Study that allow our opponents to draw multiple cards in a single turn. I'm really excited to see this one in action and actively on the lookout for other homes for Cerebral Vortex in my existing decks.

Here's the full decklist for you to peruse:

Izzet Multi-Color Matters with Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Instants (26)
Sorceries (8)
Creatures (11)
Enchantments (4)
Artifacts (12)
Battles (1)
Lands (37)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
View this decklist on Archidekt

Roll the Credits

I hope you enjoyed reading the latest edition of Plot Twist featuring Lilah, Undefeated Slickshot. Next time you sit down for a game of Commander, see what sort of plot twists you can add to take the game's narrative in a new direction.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's deck and what cards could find a home in it in the comments below or on Archidekt. The Maybeboards of my decklists are always filled with cards I thought could work but didn't make the final decklist.

You can find me on Instagram at @girtenjeff and you can check out my other articles here or see what decks I'm currently playing here

Stay tuned to see what other twists and turns are headed your way in the next edition of Plot Twist.