- Players decide which teammate will be the primary player and which teammate will be the secondary player. Players should be seated with the primary player to the right of their teammate. Players can choose a different primary and secondary player before each match.
Technically this rule is very important. In practice it never matters. The major practical effect is that, if the players can’t agree on something, the primary player gets to decide (see CR 805.2). Additionally, opponents’ attacking creatures are presumed to be attacking the team’s primary player unless otherwise specified. See MTR 4.2 for more details.
- Players shuffle their decks.
This means that each player is responsible for shuffling their own deck. This is consistent with each player being responsible for manipulating their own cards in every other way.
- Players present their decks to their opponents for additional shuffling.
Just like in individual games, opponents are encouraged to shuffle their opponents’ cards to discourage cheating and promote randomness in shuffling.
- The appropriate team must decide whether to play first or second at this point, if they have not done so already (see section 9.3)
- Each player draws seven cards. Optionally, these cards may be dealt face down on the table.
Another rule repeated so the reader doesn’t have to look anywhere else for the rule. We hope this rule isn’t a surprise to anyone. The instruction to draw the cards face down on the table helps a player avoid drawing an extra card.
- Each player, in turn order, decides whether to mulligan. (Rules on Two-Headed Giant mulligans can be found in the Magic Comprehensive Rules, rule 103.4c)
The Magic Comprehensive Rules do cover this, but it is pretty dry reading. Rule rule 103.4d is also relevant to how mulligans in Two-Headed Giant works. A worked example is very helpful. Let’s walk through how the two teams take their mulligans:
-Alice and Alister have won the die roll and chosen to be on the draw. They look at their first seven cards, Alice doesn’t like her’s but Alister’s is fine and he declares that he will keep his. Alice starts shuffling.
-Nancy and Nigel look at their initial sevens and decide that they are both going to mulligan. They shuffle and Alice, Nancy and Nigel draw 7 new cards.
-Alice is happy with her second seven and declares that she is keeping, but Nancy and Nigel both choose to mulligan again. At this point Alister realises that he should have mulliganed, but it is too late and he must keep his original seven.
-Nancy and Nigel look at their six card hands and declare that they are happy with them. Mulligans are completed.Note that the ‘seven’ above is not a typo. Remember that multiplayer formats have a free mulligan!
Once players have completed their mulligans, the game can begin.