New Mulligan Rule
Starting with the Battle for Zendikar prerelease the new mulligan rule will go into effect (read the full explanation here). After every player is done with mulligans, each player who has less than seven cards can scry 1, in turn order. For Two-Headed Giant there are two things to keep in mind.
- Each player gets a free mulligan in 2HG so if you mulligan the first time you draw seven cards again. If you keep these you do NOT get to scry. You only scry if you go down to six or less cards. While in everyday conversion it’s convenient to say that you get to scry if you mulliganed, the actual rule is that players who have less cards in their hand than their starting hand size may scry. A subtle distinction that is relevant for 2HG.
- If both players on a team go down to six or less cards and get to scry, they do so simultaneously, just like taking mulligans, and thus can look at each other’s top card and consult with each other before making the decision to put it on the top or the bottom. It does not matter how many times players mulliganed for this. Even if one players goes to six and the other goes to four, they both scry at the same time.
Tournament Organisation and Structure
- 2HG events have a minimum of 4 teams (8 players) and 2 rounds.
- 2HG has 60 minutes recommended deck construction time with 8 boosters for sealed and 40 minutes recommended deck construction time with 6 boosters for draft.
- At a 2HG prerelease each team gets two prerelease boxes for a total of 12 boosters and 2 promos per team.
- The players build two 40 card minimum decks from the combined card pool and basic lands. During a match cards not in either players deck can only be accessed by effects that refer to cards outside the game.
- 2HG can be run as a draft format. The 4 teams are seated around a table, teammates may communicate with each other while drafting. Each team opens a booster and picks 2 cards before passing it, these cards form a shared card pool for decks to be built from as in sealed.
- In limited events players may play more than 4 of a card if they have them in their pool.
- Teams can rebuild their decks from their entire card pool between rounds, even swapping entire decks between teammates.
- 2HG rounds are 50 minutes as normal.
- In 2HG there are only 3 extra turns for the end-of-match procedure.
- 2HG matches are first to 1 game win, if the first game is a draw before the round is over continue playing another game. If it’s limited you are allowed to sideboard.
- Players on a team win or lose together. If an effect says a player loses the game that player’s team loses the game, the other head can’t continue playing on their own. A team on 0 or less life or that has 15 or more poison counters loses the game.
- Players may communicate freely with each other. Each player can see all information their teammate has, such as cards in hand and facedown cards. Strategy discussions should be done in a brief, timely manner.
Starting the game
- Each team starts with 30 life.
- Neither player on the team going first draws a card on the first turn.
- Each player receives one free mulligan redrawing 7 cards. Further mulligans result in 1 card less being drawn each time. Players only get to Scry 1 – the “Vancouver Mulligan”, if they actually start with less than 7 cards in hand. i.e. mulliganed twice or more.
- Mulligan decisions alternate between teams as normal with each player on a team deciding whether to mulligan simultaneously. This means players can’t see what their teammate draws from a mulligan before choosing whether to mulligan themselves.
- Attackers are declared as a team and are attacking the opposing team or a planeswalker, not a specific player on that team.
- Blockers are declared as a team, creatures either defending player controls can block any attacker.
- Combat damage is dealt to the primary player by default (the primary player in a team is the player with no player on their right). Damage can still be assigned to either head by specifying otherwise.
- Creatures with landwalk are unblockable if either player on the opposing team controls the appropriate land type.
- Both players on the opposing team are defending players, and if an effect (such as Bane of Bala Ged) asks for “the defending player” the controller of the effect chooses one of them.
- If a creature is attacking your team it is also attacking you.
- If an effect prevents a creature attacking a player it prevents that creature from attacking that player’s team.
- If attacking a planeswalker either player on the opposing team controls they are still both defending players and you can still choose either of them for effects that require it. For example you can attack a planeswalker controlled by player A with a creature with Bane of Bala Ged and choose player B to sacrifice for the trigger.
Life Totals and Damage
- In 2HG the players share a single life total and teams receive poison counters instead of individual players. If an effect asks for a players life total use the team’s life total instead.
- E.g. Felidar Sovereign says “At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 40 or more life, you win the game”, if your team has 40 or more life you’ll win.
- E.g. one of Sorin Markov’s abilities is “Target opponent’s life total becomes 10”, this will set the opposing team’s life total to 10.
- If an effect would cause a player to gain or lose life calculate the amount that would be gained or lost and apply that change to the teams life total. Triggers that trigger when a player gains or loses life only apply for that player, the teammate doesn’t gain or lose life when the team’s lifetotal changes.
Team and Individual Effects
- “You” means just that, you, not including your teammate. If an effect says “creatures you control get +1/+1” it only applies to your creatures, not your teammate’s.
- If a trigger (such as Yasova Dragonclaw) says “at the beginning of combat on your turn” there is only one of that step each turn so it will trigger once.
- If a trigger says “each player’s upkeep” it will trigger once for each player in that step, so twice in 2HG.
- If a player would skip or get an extra step, phase, or turn, that player’s team skips or gets one instead.
- If an effect refers to “each opponent” it applies to each player on the opposing team. For example if an effect causes each opponent to lose 1 life each player on that team loses 1 life and that team’s life total is reduced by 2, doubly good!
Written by Fabian Peck