Aether Revolt 2HG Hidden Gems

This guide shows which Aether Revolt cards get better in Two-Headed Giant and which get worse. If you’re playing in a 2HG prerelease these are the cards to pay special attention to!

Kaladesh has its own Hidden Gems. If you want to know more about the rules interactions, check out the 2HG Release Notes for Aether Revolt.

For the short version you can skip to the TOP 15 list at the end.


GENERAL

  • Prerelease power level: Normal 2HG sealed uses 8 boosters. Prerelease 2HG uses 2 prerelease packs, so 12 boosters + 2 prerelease rares. Decks have a much higher card quality than normal sealed decks. You will cut a lot of solid filler cards.
  • Synergy: The larger pool also means decks can be more synergy-based. Always check if you have a high number of good build-arounds for one of the archetypes.
  • Splashing: If you make one of the decks 3-color you can theoretically play all the bombs you open. Splashing is aided by the fact that you have more fixing in a larger pool and that the first mulligan is free, so you can mulligan hands without your main colors more easily.
  • Single Stategy: Both decks should have the same game plan, offensive or defensive. If one is offensive while the other is defensive, you’ll be suboptimal at all stages of the game.
  • Play or draw: In 2HG sealed it’s often correct to choose to draw if you’re not hyper aggressive. The two extra cards are a significant difference and it’s easier to stall boards.
  • Evasion: With more creatures on both sides board stalls happen very quickly so evasion is king. Flying is especially important both on offense and defense. Repeatable pingers are also a reliable source to finish games. Menace on the other hand is much worse with twice as many potential blockers.
  • Counterspells: Much better in 2HG. With two spell-casting opponents it’s unlikely you’ll keep mana up for nothing, there are more must-answer bombs overall, and the risk of not doing anything for a turn is less problematic if your teammate advances your board.
  • Situational Answers: Color hosers, creature pings, plummets and naturalizes are normally very situational, but with two opponents it’s more likely they have a target. Some could be worth running maindeck. For Kaladesh this is especially true for artifact destruction.

CATEGORIES

  1. More Players
  2. More Creatures
  3. More Life
  4. Helps Teammate
  5. Less Situational
  6. Hidden Duds

Some cards have individual comments but most cards will just be listed in one of these categories. They are sorted by rarity as a power boost is more relevant for lower rarities.


MORE PLAYERS

These cards affect all opponents (or players). With two opponents these abilities are twice as effective!

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Welder Automaton | Embraal Gear-Smasher | Perilous Predicament | Gonti’s Machinations | Ironclad Revolutionary | Consulate Crackdown Dark Intimations | Herald of Anguish

Don’t be seduced by Gonti’s Machinations! More on that card in the Hidden Duds section.


MORE CREATURES

These cards affect all creatures, or all creatures your opponents control. They scale well in 2HG because two opponents means twice as many creatures you can destroy or affect.

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Destructive Tampering | Foundry Hornet | Yahenni’s Expertise | Yahenni, Undying Partisan


MORE LIFE

These cards get better because life totals start at 30 rather than 20.

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Exquisite Archangel


HELPS TEAMMATE

Almost all auras, combat tricks and activated abilities can target your teammate’s creatures. Most won’t be listed here individually but keep that in mind.

Triggered abilities on the other hand are often templated with “you control” or “an opponent controls” as targeting restrictions. The exceptions are mentioned here.

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Maulfist Revolutionary | Skyship Plunderer | Rishkar, Peema Renegade

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Unbridled Growth

This card does something pretty unique. Because you can put it on your teammate’s lands it lets the non-green deck splash a third color while the green deck provides the fixing. Imagine playing 2 of these in a G/W revolt deck (for which you can use the sacrifice) while your teammate plays a U/B splash R artifacts deck with a Prophetic Prism. That’s already 3 free sources for the red splash without any lands!

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Gonti’s Aether Heart | Lightning Runner

These two cards give you and your teammate extra turns/phases. Your teammate is less likely to be helped by the extra combat phase from Lightning Runner as their creatures do not untap.


LESS SITUATIONAL

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Monstrous Onslaught | Deft Dismissal | Fourth Bridge Prowler

These three cards are more likely to have low-toughness targets with two opponents.

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Wrangle | Kari Zev’s Expertise

While there are not a lot of cards that sacrifice creatures in this format, Black/Red does have an artifact sacrifice subtheme in Aether Revolt. With two opponents it’s more likely there will be a good artifact creature for these to target and then sacrifice.


HIDDEN DUDS

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Gonti’s Machinations

This is the most sneaky hidden dud we’ve seen in a while. The second ability is much better in 2HG so it looks like an enticing card, but the first ability is much worse. If your opponents know how to assign their combat damage the first ability will never trigger for combat. For a detailed explanation see the Release Notes.

If you can get the energy from somewhere else, it is a 12-point life swing for 1 mana and 2 energy, so if your deck cares about a Lava Axe it could be worth it just for the second ability.

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Alley Evasion

Usually combat tricks can target any creature, but because the second mode has to only target your own creatures the first mode got the restriction as well, just for aesthetics. Don’t try to target your teammate’s creature with this!


TOP 15

These are my picks for the cards that have the biggest power increase compared to a normal duel. They’re not the best cards to open overall, bombs are still bombs, good removal is still good removal, etc. These are simply the cards that warrant special attention at a 2HG tournament.

The 10 commons/uncommons that gain the most:

  1. Perilous Predicament
  2. Embraal Gear-Smasher
  3. Unbridled Growth
  4. Welder Automaton
  5. Ironclad Revolutionary
  6. Destructive Tampering
  7. Foundry Hornet
  8. Wrangle
  9. Skyship Plunderer
  10. Maulfist Revolutionary

#1 Perilous Predicament seems insane in 2HG. It’s likely that at least one of your opponents plays artifact creatures so this should be a 3-for-1 that kills 2 real cards most of the time.

#2 Embraal Gear-Smasher, #4 Welder Automaton, #5 Ironclad Revolutionary all ping for twice as much. Two of these require artifacts to sacrifice while the third is an artifact, so they can all go in the same deck. #8 Wrangle also enhances that deck by stealing an artifact creature you can then sacrifice.

#3 Unbridled Growth is my favorite card for 2HG this time around. It should enable some pretty unique deck building if you have it in multiples. The non-green deck splashes while the green deck fixes the mana for that splash.

#6 Destructive Tampering benefits from having two abilities that are better in 2HG. It’s more likely there will be a good artifact to target, and it’s also more likely there’s a ground stall you need to push through. It also helps your teammate get through. In a defensive deck the second mode is less relevant but in an offensive deck this card is very flexible.

#7 Foundry Hornet’s -1/-1 can get twice as many servos and thopters.

#9 Skyship Plunderer & #10 Maulfist Revolutionary have the fairly unique ability to give your teammate extra energy. They can also give your teammate’s creatures an extra +1/+1 counter if you don’t have good targets yourself.

And then the 5 rares/mythics that gain the most:

  1. Gonti’s Aether Heart
  2. Yahenni, Undying Partisan
  3. Yahenni’s Expertise
  4. Dark Intimations
  5. Herald of Anguish

Black seems like the color to be in to get some 2HG bomb rares in this set. Herald of Anguish is already an insane bomb that gets even slightly better in 2HG. Dark Intimations is splashable if your teammate has the Unbridled Growths. Yahenni themself can grow very big very fast, and their Expertise can easily get something like a 4-for-2 or better. But extra turns in 2HG are really good, so if you have the proper deck for Gonti’s Aether Heart you’re very happy!

Do you agree or disagree with this list? Are you missing a card in this article? How was your experience at the prerelease? Comment below!

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8 thoughts on “Aether Revolt 2HG Hidden Gems

  1. Thank you for putting this together. I am heading I to my first 2HG experience today at the pre-release and I hope this helps.

    1. Good luck! Let me know how it went.

      We had the ‘dream’ of Dark Intimations being fixed by the GW Revolt Unbridled Growth deck =D

  2. I’ve always read that a good 2hg strategy is to play one more controlling deck and one more beat down deck. You advise that both decks should have the same plan. Can you provide more to justify?

    1. For the same reason that you wouldn’t mix those in the same deck for a normal duel. Kaladesh for example, has been described on Limited Resources I believe as a “Regengade Freighter or Prophetic Prism” format. Freighter might be the best common in the set, but purely defensive decks aren’t that interested in it. Same could be said about Long-Finned Skywhale. For the opposite kind of decks Select for Inspection or Fumigate. Imagine having a regular draft deck where half of your cards are only good offensively and the other half are only good to stall.

      What does work in 2HG is if one player has an almost-mono-creature beatdown deck and the other player has an almost-mono-spells removal deck to clear the path for the other player*. That could be described as a controlling deck, but they still have the same game plan, ending the game fast. That’s why I described them as offensive and defensive rather than using words like controlling. Both decks either want the game to end or the game to stall. Perhaps I’ll use these words next time. =)

      *Especially if there are cards/mechanics that care about card type. For example in Eldritch Moon where the spells deck had Thermo-Alchemist etc, and in Khans of Tarkir where the creature deck happened to have 2 Abzan Ascendancy.

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