Core Set 2020 – 2HG Release Notes

While most cards work pretty straightforward in 2HG there are some quirks, often involving the combat phase or life total changes. Those cards are explained in these notes.

If you’re playing a 2HG prerelease stay tuned for the 2HG Hidden Gems that highlights which cards to look out for! For the general 2HG rules see the 2HG FAQ and for non-2HG questions see the regular release notes.


GENERAL NOTES

“YOU”

The rule of thumb for 2HG is “You” still refers to you alone, not both you and your teammate. Look for the word “you” in the card text, such as “creatures you control get +1/+1”, “target creature you control”, etc.

“EACH”

Cards that say “each opponent” or “each player” do affect more players than usual.


THEME: GAINING LIFE MATTERS

Epicure of Blood | Bloodthirsty Aerialist | Angel of Vitality | Ajani, Strength of the Pride

  • These cards only have their effect when YOU gain the life. When your teammate gains life your shared life total changes, but it wasn’t you who gained that life.

THEME: LOSING LIFE MATTERS

Vengeful Warchief | Vilis, Broker of Blood

  • These cards only triggers when you lose the life. When your teammate loses life your life total changes, but it wasn’t you who lost that life.
  • Creatures deal combat damage to a specific opponent, which is chosen when the creature is declared as an attacker. So if one of your opponents has one of these cards, you want to choose the other player when you attack. If no choice is made, the default is that you’re attacking the opponent seated in front of you.

Knight of the Ebon Legion

  • The trigger looks at each player individually. So if both players on a team lost 2 life in a turn, this card will not trigger. Even though their shared life total decreased by 4 total, neither player lost 4 or more life.
  • Creatures deal combat damage to a specific opponent, which is chosen when the creature is declared as an attacker. If no choice is made, the default is that you’re attacking the opponent seated in front of you. So if you or your teammate controls a Knight of the Ebon Legion, you want to choose the same opponent when you’re attacking.

Chandra’s Spitfire

  • This card looks at both opponents individually. If an ability “deals damage to each opponent” simultaneously (for example Glint-Horn Buccaneer) this card will trigger twice.

LIFE TOTAL

Loxodon Lifechanter

  • Your life total is equal to your team’s life total.
  • When you set your life total, you are gaining or losing that much life. Your teammate is not gaining or losing that much life.

Angel of Vitality

  • Your life total is equal to your team’s life total, which starts at 30 in 2HG!

Ajani, Strength of the Pride

  • Your life total is equal to your team’s life total and your starting life total is 30, so the third ability requires your team to have at least 45 life.

COMBAT

Loyal Pegasus

  • Your teammate’s creatures count for this.

Heart-Piercer Bow

  • If the equipped creature attacks a planeswalker, that planeswalker’s controller counts as the “defending player”. You can’t target a creature from the other opponent in that case.
  • When you declare a creature as an attacker, you choose one of the opponents who counts as “defending player” for that creature. This is also the player who will be dealt combat damage by the creature. So if one of your opponents has a “life loss matters” card like Vengeful Warchief, you can’t both target a creature that player controls and also deal the equipped creature’s combat damage to their teammate.

OTHER

Scheming Symmetry

  • This targets any two players so yes, you can target yourself and your teammate.

Nightpack Ambusher

  • This only cares about whether you have played a spell in your turn. It does not matter whether your teammate plays spells.

Wolfkin Bond

  • You can enchant your teammate’s creature with this, but you get the token.

Might of the Masses

  • You can target your teammate’s creature with this, but it will count the number of creatures you control.

Gods Willing

  • This can only target creatures you control. (This is something that is easily overlooked in the heat of battle as most combat tricks can be used on your teammate’s creatures, so be mindful of this if it’s in your deck.)
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7 thoughts on “Core Set 2020 – 2HG Release Notes

  1. Can you explain this paragraph a little bit more? Whey i cant target the opponents creature with the bow ability?

    When you declare a creature as an attacker, you choose one of the opponents who counts as “defending player” for that creature. This is also the player who will be dealt combat damage by the creature. So if one of your opponents has a “life loss matters” card like Vengeful Warchief, you can’t target a creature that player controls but deal the equipped creature’s combat damage to their teammate.

    1. I slightly reworded that paragraph for clarity. You can target their creatures, but then you also have to deal them the combat damage if the creature goes unblocked.

      805.10b As the declare attackers step begins, the active team declares attackers. For each attacking creature, the attacking team announces which defending player or planeswalker that creature is attacking.

      805.10e Any rule, object, or effect that refers to a “defending player” refers to one specific defending player, not to all of the defending players.

  2. I noticed the referenced 2HG FAQ still describes the Vancouver Mulligan; this that still the correct Mulligan for 2HG or has it switched over to the new London Mulligan as well? I hope it has switched since I think that will make prerelease day go smoother for newer deck builders and players.

  3. Thank you for these! Insightful and helpful as usual, especially with all the life-gain/loss shenanigans going on. Two thumbs up!

    I wonder why they didn’t use the same templating used on Ajani for the Angel of Vitality.

    1. Yeah that’s a good question. Either they specifically wanted the Angel to be juicy in 2HG, or they just copied the template from Serra Ascendant and never noticed they had 2 slightly different abilities in the same set (which has happened before).

      1. Probably more about EDH than 2HG. EDH doesn’t care that much about a 3-mana 4/4 flier, so leaving it a good 2HG card + asking people to not do math if they can help it is fine. Ajani would, for no work, usually be a 2WW Plague Wind that exiles and also hits artifacts if “35 life” was the threshold.

        I’ve noticed a trend the past few years of their templating decisions being more card-specific – they seem to be fine with having slightly different abilities in the same set if the individual cards play better.

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