2HG in Amonkhet

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Posted on April 17, 2017, 2:09 p.m. by clayperce

I absolutely love Two-Headed Giant, and have compiled a bunch of tips. I'm sharing them here for Amonkhet Pre-release. Please let me know if you have others!

From the Mothership:

  • Each team has a shared life total that starts at 30 life.
  • Each team takes their turn together, meaning they draw as a team, attack as a team, block as a team, and go through all phases of the turn as a team.
  • The team that goes first skips their first draw step.
  • Teams do NOT share any resources other than life--meaning players can't share cards in hand or mana. The short way of remembering this is any reference to "you" on cards still means each individual player.
  • Teams may share information and strategize together.
  • The first mulligan is to seven cards, then each mulligan afterward results in one fewer card (six, five, four etc.).

That said though, you probably want to ...

  • Confirm the mulligan rule for your LGS. Though the first mulligan should be free, not every LGS plays it that way.
  • Confirm that matches are only one game at your LGS, and that you're allowed to sideboard between matches.
  • 2HG is a higher power level. 12 packs + 2 extra rares = higher average card quality. This means "solid fillers" in a normal sealed pool may not be so solid in 2HG.
  • Splashing is easy. More fixing (because there are two pools) plus first mulligan free makes it possible to play all your Rares if you want.
  • It's often best to choose Draw. Two extra cards + slower games/stalled boards (which make early Lands less relevant) makes it a good idea to choose Draw unless you're both very Aggro.
  • Evasion is even more important than normal. More Creatures on board means lots of stalled boards. This makes Menace is much worse but everything else much better.
  • Counterspells are better. I'm quoting magicjudges.org here: "With two spell-casting opponents it's less likely you kept mana up for nothing, there are more must-answer bombs overall, and its less problematic if you don't do anything for a turn if your teammate can advance the board."
  • Consider hate cards for the maindeck. This is especially true for Flyer hate (in any 2HG game). Mainboard Artifact hate was good in KLD/AER, so it Graveyard hate may be worthwhile in AKH.
  • Practice deckbuilding with your partner beforehand, if at all possible. Most LGSs give 50 minutes, and that's a PAINFULLY small amount of time.
  • Communicate with your partner LOTS, but carefully. Knowing your opponents are watching and listening, don't hesitate to bluff. Quoting manadeprived.com: "When your opponents attack, you can pause and discuss, as if you were considering killing a creature, when in fact there is nothing in your hand that can do so."

Also, here are some thoughts on card selection for Amonkhet 2HG ...

In general:

  • Watch for cards that can affect multiple opponents or multiple Creatures.
  • Also, watch for cards you can use on your partner's Creatures (e.g., anything that says 'target Creature(s)' instead of 'Creature(s) you control'). There are a bunch of these, so I did not try to include all of them below.

Cards that are better in AKH 2HG than 'normal' Sealed (please sound off on any I missed!):

Cards that are worse in AKH 2HG than 'normal' Sealed (again, please sound off on any I missed!):

  • Common/Uncommon: Protection of the Hekma (your opponents can simply choose to deal damage to your teammate, so this will not trigger).
  • Rare/Mythic: Gideon's Intervention (because there's generally no Game 2 or 3 in 2HG, it's very unlikely you can use the first effect proactively; because your opponents can simply choose to deal damage to your teammate, the second effect is useless).

Hope you and your partner crack, build, and draw well!

Edits:

greyninja says... #2

Super stoked to go to 2HG with one of my buddies on Sunday. Thanks for compiling the list of cards that have a better advantage in 2HG! Something I was going to look up anyway but you've made it easier!

Also don't expect to pull a Tattered Mummy; they're only available in the duel decks

April 17, 2017 3:04 p.m.

clayperce says... #3

greyninja,
You bet, and great catch on Tattered Mummy!

April 17, 2017 3:35 p.m.

Zaueski says... #4

Blazing Volley will make combat math a nightmare for your opponents and it doesn't hit your ally. Other than that, looks like you got all the major ones aside from Invocations which half of them just win on the spot lol

April 17, 2017 8:45 p.m.

clayperce says... #5

Zaueski,
Blazing Volley's a great add; thanks much!

April 17, 2017 11:05 p.m.

clayperce says... #6

Zaueski,
Volley made me realize I'd overlooked Failure / Comply and Manglehorn too. So thanks again!

April 17, 2017 11:14 p.m.

Homura_Akemi says... #7

Great info clayperce! Thanks!

April 18, 2017 7:59 a.m.

Ellori says... #8

I don't think Sandwurm Convergence protects the team. Since attacks in 2HG is declared against on of the "heads" of the giant (aka one of the players in the team) the opposing team can just decide to attack the player who doesn't control the enchantment.

April 18, 2017 4:24 p.m.

clayperce says... #9

Ellori,
It does.

Attacks are declared against the team as a whole, and it's not until the Combat Damage step that the attacking team decides which opponent a creature deals its combat damage to.

Of note, the text from Sandwurm Convergence is actually used as an example in Rule 810.7c:

As the declare attackers step begins, the active team declares attackers. If an effect of an object controlled by a defending player prohibits a creature from attacking him or her, that creature can't attack the defending team. The active team has one combined attack, and that set of attacking creatures must be legal as a whole. See rule 508.1.

Example: One player in a Two-Headed Giant game controls Teferi's Moat, which says "As Teferi's Moat enters the battlefield, choose a color." and "Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you." Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack that player's team.

Thanks though!

April 18, 2017 5:18 p.m.

clayperce says... #10

Ellori,
One thing I forgot to mention though with Sandwurm Convergence: Flying creatures can still attack your teammates Planeswalkers.

April 18, 2017 11:29 p.m.

clayperce says... #11

All,
MagicJudges just posted the 2HG Release Notes and 2HG Hidden Gems!

April 18, 2017 11:38 p.m.

Ellori says... #12

Thanks for clearing that up for me :)

April 19, 2017 3:37 a.m.

greyninja says... #13

My buddy and I took 3rd at 2HG today. He played control and I built to bring the beats and a little control myself. Two very fast decks that had a lot of versatility.

It was awesome sharing the card pool. First time I've ever done that. We had playsets and 3-ofs for a lot of really good cards. What was weird was only playing one game against each team rather than best 2/3.

The first game we went toe to toe for a long time, but they didn't have the removal package that we did and couldn't keep up.

Second game we crushed them. Absolute blowout.

Third game was against the two shop owners. One playing rakdos colors had Throne of the God-Pharaoh by turn two and it destroyed us in no time. Two life lost per tapped creature was disgusting.

Last game was like the first. Went toe to toe but this time we couldn't keep up.

Landed in third place behind the two decks that beat us so I can't complain. 2HG is fun. 10/10 would recommend

April 23, 2017 6:39 p.m.

clayperce says... #14

greyninja,
Sounds like some great games! Congrats on the record, and welcome to 2HG!

April 23, 2017 8:49 p.m.

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