Amonkhet 2HG Hidden Gems

This guide shows which Amonkhet 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!

If you want to know more about the rules interactions, check out the 2HG Release Notes for Amonkhet.

For the short version you can skip to the TOP 20 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All-in on a theme possible: If you have strong cards that highly reward you for playing as many creatures as possible or as many instants/sorceries as possible, it’s easier to go “all-in” on such a theme in 2HG because there’s a second deck to fill the gaps. It’s fine if you have no removal at all if your teammate has them all, or if you have no finishers at all if your teammate has those.
  • Single Stategy: Both decks should have the same game plan, offensive or defensive. In other words, both decks should be built to end the game or to stall the game. If one is offensive while the other is defensive, you’ll be suboptimal at all stages of the game. (It is possible to have one deck full of beaters and one deck full of removal, and while the second deck could be described as a control deck, its focus is to remove the blockers for the other deck to get through. So both decks still work towards the same goal, ending 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. 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 pinging, 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.

CATEGORIES

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

Some cards have individual comments but most cards will just be listed at the top of one of these categories. The cards without comments are roughly sorted by how relevant their ability is for 2HG.


MORE PLAYERS

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

    

    

    

    

Hazoret the Fervent | Cut to Ribbons | Harsh Mentor | Bontu the Glorified | Wayward Servant | Plague Belcher | Throne of the God-Pharaoh | Watchers of the Dead | Aven Mindcensor

Faith of the Devoted

This one seems especially strong because of multiple reasons:

  1. With two combined pools it’s more likely to have enough quality cycling cards and multiple payoff cards.
  2. Since you play with 2 decks, one of them can be more focused on durdling around with cycling as long as the other has efficient blockers to stall.
  3. Every trigger results in 2 lost life extra instead of 1 extra (4 total rather than the usual 2 total per trigger like Wayward Servant above).

I’m hoping to open multiple of these in our 2HG pool!

Bontu’s Monument

Conversely this one looks less exciting even with a better second ability. If only it wasn’t legendary. Now you need to be careful with multiples. And while it’s more feasible to go (near) mono-color in 2HG, the cost of what you’re giving up isn’t worth it for the first ability.

Rags to Riches

This one fits in 2 categories, More Creatures for Rags and More Players for Riches.


MORE CREATURES

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

    

    

    

Archfiend if Ifnir | Dusk to Dawn | Sweltering Suns | Rags to Riches | Liliana, Death’s Majesty | Blazing Volley

Heaven to Earth

You will consistently face flyers in 2HG and Heaven is a reasonable way to deal with that while potentially getting a lot of extra value out of Earth as well.


HELPS TEAMMATE

While most auras, combat tricks and activated abilities can target your teammate’s creatures, triggered abilities are often templated with “you control” or “an opponent controls” as targeting restrictions. Some exceptions do allow you to target your teammate’s creatures with triggers. Any notable cards, triggered or otherwise, are listed here.

    

    

   

Zenith Seeker | Vizier of Deferment | Sparring Mummy | Initiate’s Companion | Quarry Hauler | Lord of the Accursed | Combat Celebrant

    

Gift of Paradise | Painful Lesson | Open into Wonder

These cards are notable because they allow you to give resources to your teammate: cards or mana. In some situations that will be very welcome. Open into Wonder especially gets a big boost in 2HG. Tapping out and drawing 4 cards is good, but not nearly as effective as drawing 2 and your teammate drawing 2 plus your teammate being able to cast a new card right away. With more creatures total you’ll also have more blockers still.

    

Honored Crop-Captain | Pursue Glory

These don’t mention “you control” so they pump your teammate’s attackers too! If you have 4 creatures Pursue Glory represents 8 extra power. If both of you have 4 creatures that’s 16 extra power.


TEAMMATE HELPS THESE

Bone Picker

Time to Reflect

Just in case your teammate has a non-white deck with a lot of zombies and you have a deck with white.

    

Enigma Drake | Wartime Javelineer | Cryptic Serpent

As described in the general section it’s easier to make a deck that’s all-in on instants and sorceries, because you don’t have to worry about your creature count if your teammate plays some extra creatures instead. However, the payoff here seems much smaller than the payoff for Thermo-Alchemist and friends.


LESS SITUATIONAL

Sandwurm Convergence

Just like with Heaven and Earth, it’s more important to have answers to flyers as it’s more likely you face them.

Censor

Counterspells are already much better in 2HG and it’s twice as likely you’ll find a good opportunity to use this.


HIDDEN DUDS

    

Protection of the Hekma | Gideon’s Intervention

These will not prevent any combat damage dealt to you as your opponents can simply deal the combat damage to your teammate. (see the Release Notes for a detailed why.)

Winds of Rebuke

Symmetrical abilities like these are usually slightly worse in 2HG. With two opponent’s it’s more likely that one of them can significantly benefit from this. Meanwhile if you play a graveyard-themed deck yourself it’s less likely your teammate also plays the same theme and is helped by this.

    

Hapatra’s Mask | Cartouche of Solidarity

This is about all 5 Cartouches! Keep in mind that these 6 cards can’t target your teammate’s creatures, only creatures you control, unlike most auras and combat tricks.


TOP 20

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.

Normally I do 10 commons/uncommons and 5 rares/mythics, but this set has so many juicy rares! So this one is a top 20 again. First the top 10 commons/uncommons that gain the most:

  1. Faith of the Devoted
  2. Open into Wonder
  3. Censor
  4. Wayward Servant
  5. Honored Crop-Captain
  6. Pursue Glory
  7. Bone Picker
  8. Gift of Paradise
  9. Enigma Drake
  10. Warfire Javelineer

And then the 10 rares/mythics that gain the most. Again not sorted by absolute power level but power increase:

  1. Cut // Ribbons
  2. Hazoret the Fervent
  3. Rags // Riches
  4. Harsh Mentor
  5. Heaven // Earth
  6. Sandwurm Convergence
  7. Bontu the Glorified
  8. Plague Belcher
  9. Sweltering Suns
  10. Archfiend of Ifnir

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

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6 thoughts on “Amonkhet 2HG Hidden Gems

  1. It seems your assessment on bontu’s monument assumes to get the drain trigger that you need to cast a black creature. In actuality all your creatures drain for 1, but black creatures exclusively also cost 1 less.

    1. Yeah I did take that into consideration, but my comment could be clearer then. I’m just not sure how many black creatures you need to make this card playable, because even in 2HG I don’t think it’s worth it for just the second ability, especially as it’s on “cast” and not even “enter the battlefield”.

      Although it’s very possible that I’m undervaluing the Monument cycle as a whole.

      1. In my opinion, the first ability can be taken out of consideration if you have enough synergy with your deck. For example, Hazoret’s Monument in a black cycle/discard deck.

  2. Gideon’s Intervention is another hidden dud in 2HG. The first effect hits ‘your opponents’ but that doesn’t matter because teams rarely share colors. And few LGSs have Games 2 or 3 in 2HG because the games take so long, so it’s very unlikely you will be able to cast the card proactively. Finally, the ‘prevent all damage’ effect is useless because your opponents can simply choose to deal damage to your teammate.

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