Hour of Devastation 2HG Hidden Gems

This guide shows which 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. The Hidden Gems for Amonkhet can be found here.

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.
  • Splashing: If you make one of the decks 3-color you can theoretically play all the bombs you open. Splashing is easier because you have more fixing in a larger pool and because the first mulligan is free, so you can mulligan a color-screwed hand.
  • 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 type 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. For example if you have one deck full of beaters and one deck full of removal, the second deck should be effective at removing blockers. That way 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. More Life
  4. Helps Teammate
  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 sealed.


MORE PLAYERS

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

    

    

Resolute Survivors | Obelisk Spider | The Scarab God | Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Ramunap Ruins

4 damage per Desert adds up quickly and with a 2HG pool you have a higher chance for other decent Deserts. This can give aggro decks quite some reach and it doesn’t even use a spell slot.

Firebrand Archer

This is no Thermo-Alchemist. If you cast 1 spell every turn that one did 4 damage total, this one only deals 2. Meanwhile a 2/1 will rarely be able to attack and survive against two opponents with blockers.

Torment of Hailfire

Now that’s a spicy one! Let’s say you cast this for 6 mana, x = 4. If your opponents don’t want to lose any cards, that’s 4 x 3 x 2 = 24 life! They will likely have to sacrifice/discard at least some cards. And what if they’re low on life and don’t want to lose any? They’d have to discard/sacrifice 4 x 2 = 8 cards! Even with 4 or 5 mana this is already decent. And any more than 6 likely wins on the spot.


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.

    

    

Chaos Maw | Hour of Devastation | Bontu’s Last Reckoning | Hour of Revelation

That’s a lot of board wipes for a small set! Watch out with overextending.

    

The Scorpion God | Grind (to) Dust | Tenacious Hunter

With twice as many creatures there’s also a much higher chance there are random -1/-1 counters lying around for you to abuse.


MORE LIFE

In 2HG you start with 30 life rather than 20.

Oketra’s Last Mercy


HELPS TEAMMATE

While most auras, combat tricks and activated abilities can target your teammate’s creatures, triggered abilities are often worded 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.

Devotee of Strength

    

Aerial Guide | Resilient Khenra

Because Aerial Guide specifies “attacking” and Resilient Khenra says “may” (because of -X/-X shenanigans) these two don’t need “you control” so they can help your teammate’s creatures.

Hope Tender

This one has the rare ability to ramp your teammate. Even better with exerting this ramps them for two. A 5-drop on turn 3 or a 6-drop on turn 4!


LESS SITUATIONAL

Mirage Mirror

2HG means both more permanents on the battlefield on average and a higher density of bombs in decks, so this has a much higher chance of having some really good targets.

Refuse (t0) Cooperate

The Cooperate part is much easier to cash in with twice as many spell-casting players.

 


HIDDEN DUDS

Ammit Eternal

With two spell-casting opponents this is likely a 3/3 or even a 2/2 when you untap with it. There are also twice as many potential blockers to stop this from getting through.

Saving Grace

This doesn’t work against unblocked attackers in 2HG, as the opponents can simply choose to assign the damage to your teammate.

Without Weakness

For some reason this combat trick only targets creatures “you control”. Anyone any idea why?


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.

Normally I do 10 commons/uncommons and 5 rares/mythics, but this set has very few interesting commons and uncommons for 2HG and more rares/mythics. So the top 6 commons/uncommons that gain the most:

  1. Ramunap Ruins
  2. Hope Tender
  3. Resolute Survivors
  4. Tenacious Hunter
  5. Devotee of Strength
  6. Obelisk Spider

And then the top 9 rares/mythics that gain the most. Again not sorted by absolute power level but power increase:

  1. Torment of Hailfire
  2. Hour of Revelation
  3. Bontu’s Last Reckoning
  4. Hour of Devastation
  5. Grind // Dust
  6. Mirage Mirror
  7. The Scorpion God
  8. The Scarab God
  9. Chaos Maw

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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2 thoughts on “Hour of Devastation 2HG Hidden Gems

  1. Good article. Played a Two Headed Giant prerelease today, the commons and uncommons in the new set seem to be quite underwhelming, don’t even think that cards like resolute survivors are really good in 2HG, because decks are usually less aggressive and exert is not as good as in draft in my opinion. I think you could mention the counterspells, countervailing winds might be unplayable in draft but is still very good in 2HG, so it gets a lot better. And you should probably always play any copy of Cancel you open (not particularly mentioned for Amonkhet).

    1. Thanks for your findings! Have yet to play myself, interesting note about the power levels.

      I also prefer to be controlling in 2HG, but sometimes aggro works. At a 2HG drafts a while ago we were forced into aggro, with a zombie deck and an exert deck. Sparring Mummy was fantastic! “Tap your blocker with Binding Mummy, drain you with Wayward Servant, untap my teammate’s exerted creature”.

      Yeah Countervailing Winds probably should have been in the topX list. Counterspells are mentioned in the general section, but it deserves to be named.

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