So you’re about to play the best format for a prerelease: Two-Headed Giant! You already checked how 2HG worked in the FAQ and you checked out the more intricate cards in the release notes, so you know how things work. Now on to some strategic advice so your teammate and you can take down the tournament!
In general, Two-Headed Giants decks are stronger than single player decks, so be prepared for some tough competition. Now let me take you through some of this formats HIDDEN GEMS.
- Evasion: With more creatures in play, board stalls can happen very quickly. Evasive creatures are critical! Flying is critical both on offense and defense. Also keep an eye out for creatures in the set that can’t be blocked like Frilled Sea Serpent. Bristling Boar is stopped less easily. Ghirapur Guide and Suspicious Bookcase can likewise help you get some damage through.
Declare Dominance can be used so that all but one of the attacking creatures will be unblocked, hopefully taking out your opponents in one fell swoop.
On the other hand, creatures with menace like Brawl-Bash Ogre tend to be much worse with twice as many potential blockers.
- Countermagic: Being able to shut down an enemy spell is twice as likely to happen with two spell-casting opponents. With stronger decks there are more must-answer bombs overall and the risk of devoting a turn to counter an enemy spell (say, with Cancel) is less problematic when your teammate helps advance the board.
- Situational Answers: Cards that only interact with specific card or creature types are normally relegated to the sideboard but with two opponents they’re more likely to have a target. Remember that matches just one game – you won’t have a chance to grab a silver bullet after seeing what you’re facing! Look for versatile cards that answer multiple threat types like Cleansing Nova, Reclamation Sage or Vivien Reid.
- Synergy: The larger shared pool means decks can be more synergy-based than when you’re on your own. You are more likely to play enough Elfs to take advantage of Elvish Clancaller or have enough knights to really make Valiant Knight work.
- Quick Tips
- Play or draw: In 2HG sealed it’s often correct to choose to draw if your decks aren’t incredibly aggressive. Drawing two extra cards on your first turn can be a significant advantage if you’re planning for a longer game.
- Mulligan: Each player has one ‘free’ mulligan. Use it aggressively! If you have a sub-par hand, pitch it back and try again. Don’t risk a mediocre opening seven.
- Aggro?: 2HG tends to be quite slow. Aggressive decks are often not good enough because the board fills up with creatures fast, making it impossible to attacks with little creatures.
BETTER WITH FRIENDS
Just like you and your teammate get to take advantage of each other’s strenghts when playing together, some card become better with more allies in the game.
- Utility: When Pegasus Courser attacks, you can choose any another attacking creature to gain flying, including a teammate’s. Goblin Motivator, Cavalry Drillmaster, Suspicious Bookcase and Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants can all target your teammate’s creatures as well, upping their value.
- Combat Tricks: Instant-speed spells that don’t specify creatures “you control” can be great at fouling up combat math for the opponent. Watch for (and watch out for) common and tricks like Abnormal Endurance, Mighty Leap, and Titanic Growth. Trumpet Blast and Uncomfortable Chill affect all creatures on either side of the board and can drastically change the outcome of a combat phase.
- Suit Up: Pay attention to restrictions on your auras and enchantments. In this set, all aura’s can be used on your teammate’s as well as your own. This makes a card like Knightly Valor especially good, since you will still get the token.
BETTER WITH ENEMIES
The word “each” gains a great deal of power in multiplayer formats. Here’s the list of cards in M19 that impact each opponent, often doubling their effectiveness:
- Liliana, Untouched by Death
- Epicure of Blood
- Infectious Horror
- Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
- Poison-Tip Archer – This one actually has two advantages: it will make both your opponents lose life, effectively doubling its damage output, and with 4 instead of 2 players in the game, its ability will trigger a lot more too.
- Vampire Neonate
- Sarkhan’s Unsealing
Some cards just take advantage of the fact there are more players in the game, since you will have more choices, certain thing will happen more or it will affect more players.
- Runic Armasaur
- Windreader Sphinx
- Rise from the Grave
- Switcheroo – Normally, you can exchange control between yourself and you opponent. In 2HG there are 6 possible pairs of players!
- Demanding Dragon – Since you have a teammate to help you clean the board and two opponents to choose from, you are more likely to get the effect you want out of this card.
- Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire
- Transmogrifying Wand
- Meteor Golem
- Plague Mare
- Magistrate’s Scepter – Taking an extra turn is always done by a team, so you get twice the advantage.
Fraying Omnipotence – Playing this card will make the game end in a draw and you have to play another for the win. You might want to do that if you would lose anyway. You do get to sideboard, so there is some advantage to be gained by doing this. Be sure to pay attention to how much time there is left in the round; there is a good chance the next game will be a natural draw if you use this far in the round.