they definitely have the tools to deal with them but death is not the best all-comers choice on a slann by any means. besides the only massively threatening spell to ogres is PSun (rune maw and great character stats keep them rather safe from the worst of the character snipes) and lizards would do well to be careful of throwing suns around. the banehead/death party toad is a good combo but not a no-brainer by any means.
out of curiosity, what lores was he running? light and metal maybe?