Kaladesh 2HG Hidden Gems

This guide shows which Kaladesh 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 Kaladesh.

For the TL;DR version you can skip to the TOP 15 list at the end.

(Note: card images are usually added to gatherer at some point before the prerelease. Until then card links won’t work unfortunately)


GENERAL STRATEGY

  • Prerelease power level: A prerelease 2HG pool consists of two regular prerelease pools, so 12 boosters instead of the customary 8 for 2HG sealed, plus the 2 prerelease bonus rares. Decks have a much higher card quality than normal sealed decks. A solid filler card that always makes the cut might be too weak for the 2HG prerelease.
  • Synergy: The larger pool also means decks can be more focused on synergy rather than the goodstuff decks that usually dominate sealed. Always check if you have a high number of uncommon and rare 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, meaning you can mulligan color-screwed hands more easily.
  • Play or draw: In 2HG sealed it’s often correct to choose to draw. The two extra cards are a significant difference and boards stall easier making the extra land drops earlier irrelevant than in a duel.
  • 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 as twice as many possible blockers make it much more likely that there are profitable double blocks.
  • Counterspells: Much better in 2HG. With two spell-casting opponents it’s less likely you kept mana up for nothing, there are more must-answer bombs overall, and it’s less problematic if you don’t do anything for a turn if your teammate can advance the board.
  • Situational Answers: Color hosers, ping effects, plummet effects and naturalize effects are normally not maindeckable or very situational, but with two opponents it becomes more likely they have a target. Some of them 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. More Friendly Targets
  5. More Optimal Conditions
  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!

It seems the Oath of the Gatewatch 2HG-friendly templating era is definitely over. The commons and uncommons here deal damage to each opponent again, making them pretty busted.

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Spireside Infiltrator | Reckless Fireweaver | Night Market Lookout | Underhanded Designs | Authority of the Consuls | Kambal, Consul of Allocation | Captured by the Consulate | Chandra, Torch of Defiance | Saheeli Rai | Dovin Baan

Note that even though the monoblack cards make the opposing team lose 2 life in total, you still gain only 1 life in total.


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 on the board to affect. Situational ones will have an increased chance to be relevant.

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Take Down | Make Obsolete | Incendiary Sabotage | Hazardous Conditions | Fumigate | Aethersquall Ancient | Demon of Dark Schemes | Cataclysmic Gearhulk


MORE LIFE

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

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Aetherflux Reservoir

Unfortunately, unlike storm, this doesn’t count all spells cast but only yours.


MORE FRIENDLY TARGETS

Current Magic templating uses a lot of “you control” and “an opponent controls” as targeting restrictions, especially for triggers. (MTGO streamlining winning out over emergent gameplay.) The exceptions are mentioned here. This mostly occurs with “target attacking creature” triggers, as those guarantee no backfires even without the “you control” rider.

Almost all auras and combat tricks fall into this category by default so those won’t be listed individually. Instead, those that only target something you control will be listed below as Hidden Duds.

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Spontaneous Artist | Eddytrail Hawk | Consul’s Shieldguard | Janjeet Sentry | Key to the City | Pia Nalaar | Cultivator of Blades | Animation Module

The last one, Animation Module, is a way to give your teammate extra energy counters!


MORE OPTIMAL CONDITIONS

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Self-Assembler

With 12 packs you have a better chance to open many of these. On the other hand the increased card quality for 2HG prereleases makes a 5-mana 4/4 pretty unexciting. Perhaps if you also have multiple Foundry Inspector that makes artifacts cost less? They curve nicely.


HIDDEN DUDS

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Herald of the Fair | Ghirapur Guide | Blossoming Defense

These all target only a creature you control, so please don’t try to target your teammate’s creatures with them! Especially not with the combat trick when you’ve already made blocks.

While it’s understandable that Blossoming Defense targets only your own creatures (giving your opponent’s creature hexproof does not do what some players might assume) the other two cards don’t have any excuse to be worded so 2HG-unfriendly. Especially after Guardian of Pilgrims, Herald of the Fair is NOT fair.


TOP 15

These are my picks for the cards that have the biggest increase in power relative to their value in a normal duel. So these are 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. Reckless Fireweaver
  2. Night Market Lookout
  3. Spireside Infiltrator
  4. Underhanded Designs
  5. Take Down
  6. Incendiary Sabotage
  7. Make Obsolete
  8. Self-Assembler
  9. Janjeet Sentry
  10. Consul’s Shieldguard

It’s really about the top 4 here, 2 cards that want to crew and 2 cards that want you to (re)play as many artifacts as possible, all repeatable. At least the self-bounce cards are in White and Blue. And the first 3 are common and require no payments. Hope to open as many of these as possible and play them together with a bunch of artifacts, preferably vehicles, cards that make multiple artifact tokens or cards that let you cast multiple artifacts. Have a second deck act as support full of removal.

As mentioned before evasion is important and with two opponents Take Down will only rarely be a dead card.

Incendiary Sabotage and Make Obsolete can get twice as many opposing creatures. In the case of Sabotage just make sure your teammate’s deck can play around it as well.

Self-Assembler could be a good way to keep triggering Reckless Fireweaver, but it’s very expensive for Underhanded Designs.

If one deck is a vehicle deck and the other deck is an energy deck, Janjeet Sentry can work nicely with Night Market Lookout and Spireside Infiltrator, crew the same vehicle multiple times. Consul’s Shieldguard also works with those if there’s no vehicle available.

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

  1. Fumigate
  2. Demon of Dark Schemes
  3. Cultivator of Blades
  4. Kambal, Consul of Allocation
  5. Captured by the Consulate

These are pretty straightforward, kill or pump twice as many creatures, get twice as much Energy or punish two opponents.


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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2 thoughts on “Kaladesh 2HG Hidden Gems

  1. If i have 2 Aethersquall Ancients on the table and activate both the abilities will it cancel eachother out so i can keep both on the table or will it end up back firing and killing both of them??

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