Pokedecks: Multani, the Liligant

Unsummoned Skull • September 1, 2023

We Can Dance if We Want To!

One of the topics du jour is signature decks for content creators. Over the next few articles, I'm going to discuss the various PokeDecks that came from my former signature deck, Simic Burn.

Like the Klothys Enchantress deck from a couple weeks ago, Simic Burn showed my affinity for colorshifting strategies, something I share with the illustrious Philomene Gatien, of Do Your Worst fame. Check out her version of Simic Burn!

As for mine, well...it is my most popular deck on Moxfield, but, sadly, it no longer exists in physical form.

One the decks born from its ashes, however, is my Multani Teeter Dance!

Multani, Maro-Sorcerer!

Simic Burn, helmed by my all-time favorite goofball commander, Vorel of the Hull Clade, was one of the first decks I built when I developed an online presence. I wanted to make a deck where Unsummon, my favorite card, could be used as a win condition. I did that by using hand-size-matters cards, like Storm Seeker, in concert with mass bounce, like Evacuation for big blasts of damage. The biggest weakness of the deck was that Vorel did very little and seemed like a waste. Since green provided a lot of the power, I decided to drop the blue.

Dropping the blue allowed me to make the deck a little more friendly to newer players. Constantly having their board bounced at best or bounced and then wheeled away at worst is quite a feel-bad for players who're looking for a more combat-centered game, or who are more protective of their creatures. This is especially true for those who enjoy building around specific creature types and need numbers for their cards to do much of anything.

With a plan in mind, I started looking over grass-type Pokemon that fit the vibe. Similar to my Ludicolo Rain Dance deck, this deck would be looking to do a cute little shuffle between hand and grave, in order to use and reuse Storm Seeker as well as Fog effects. Those Fogs would operate on the same axis as mass removal, but without removing anything from the board, and only being employed defensively. But how could I make this into a deck that felt mine and embraced both the card and the alter?

Multani's Abilities

The first challenge was to figure out what Multani brings to the table. Multani wants everyone to have big hands, because its size is equal to the total hand size of all players. Increasing everyone's hand size means increasing the number of answers. Additionally, the commander has shroud instead of hexproof or ward, so we can't buff or alter its abilities. As a result, the size of the commander becomes more of a deterrent to combat than a beatdown option, although that plan B does still exist.

Heartwood Storyteller is a gorgeous card for decks with a Group Hug aspect, although it might seem a bit out-of-place in a deck that features a lot of instants and sorceries. Each time a player casts a noncreature spell, that player's opponents draw cards. Why do we want this Treefolk? It draws us cards off of opponents' spells, which can be helpful, but it also increases Multani's power exponentially with each noncreature we cast!

Howling Mine is a running theme in my Owling-Mine-inspired decks as one of the eponymous cards. Growing Multani, digging deeper into the deck, and providing materials to opponents that they can use to deal with things we don't like or that we can use against them are all important roles the old-school Group Hug staple serves!

Glademuse is a somewhat similar card to the Storyteller, but it inspires a very different kind of story. With Glademuse, each player draws a card when they cast a spell on someone else's turn. Where does this come in? If we're casting Fog effects on opponents' turns, they draw us cards! What are we hoping to draw? You'll have to read on and find out...

Liligant's Moves

The next challenge is to figure out how to cross the IP from Pokemon to Magic. Liligant is a green grass type, which seems to fit, and it looks like a charming and jovial dancer, perfect for a Pokemon that is designed around getting the opponents to let their guards down. But, how does a distracting dance translate into Magic? Easy! There's a move called Teeter Dance, which confuses opponents and uses their strength against them!

Thwart the Enemy is a Fog effect that can work either offensively or defensively. One of Multani's weaknesses as an offensive threat is that it can be easily blocked, especially by small deathtouch creatures. Thwart makes it so creatures I don't control don't deal damage, so Multani deals damage while the blockers do not.

Pause for Reflection is another Fog effect, this one able to be cast without mana up, making it so opponents won't want to overextend in an attack against me, even if I'm tapped out. The presence of instant-speed damage prevention, as well as a large commander, make it so opponents are more likely to hit each other, just like the Confusion effect in Pokemon!

Moment's Peace is a particularly nasty Fog effect, as it has flashback, so it can Fog twice. If opponents aren't paying close attention or are light on graveyard hate, it can catch them unaware, and, even if they are aware, if they need to connect with an opponent, like, for the effect of a Sword, the presence of a Fog in the grave might dissuade them!

So...Teeter Dance is like Confusion, but that by itself isn't a moveset, nor is it a consistent way to win, at least not in any reasonable time period. How can we make this a functional moveset?

The Perfect Fusion

Since we're not pushing the action forward and creating the threats to respond to, we need to have a strong defensive plan. Not removing threats is a dangerous way to play defense, however. We can hope opponents turn on each other, but using synergy to blank attacks enables us to build the resources needed to find win cons and use the opponents' cards in hand against them. The key to this is an old competitive Pokemon strategy: Parafusion, a portmanteau of Paralysis and Confusion. But if Fogs are the Confusion, what is the Paralysis?

Regrowth is the original version of the effect we're looking for. It returns a card from grave to hand, which can do amazing things. Since we play so many instants and sorceries, our grave gets loaded up quickly. Ramp spells, card draw, win conditions, they all use the grave and can be returned!

Speaking of returning cards from grave to hand, Wildest Dreams is one of my favorite cards people don't expect to see. It loads up the hand, which powers up our commander, but it also makes a strong swing, bringing back a bunch of goodies! It does exile itself, but, by then, the damage has been done.

What are we hoping to return over and over? Storm Seeker! Blasting the opponents over and over with our ridiculous supply of Regrowths is an awesome way to end a game, especially if smashing with a giant commander is unwieldy.

Multani, Use Teeter Dance!

Here is the most recent iteration of the deck, which is still one of my favorites.

Is it an improvement over the original Simic Burn?

How would you update either deck?

And how do they compare to Philomene's takes?

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Teacher, judge, DM, & Twitch Affiliate. Lover of all things Unsummon. Streams EDH, Oathbreaker, D & D, & Pokemon. Even made it to a Pro Tour!