Prerelease Primer: What is Two-Headed Giant?

Every Magic the Gathering prerelease we run a two-headed giant (Also known as 2HG) event and it is fast becoming one of our most popular events. It is a multiplayer format all about teammates where you and a friend play as one, trying to defeat other two-person teams.

Each team starts with 30 life and turns are shared by teammates. Each player is allowed one free mulligan, however each player must make a decision at the same time.

What makes Two-Headed Giant so fun?

Getting to play Magic with a friend! This format is perfect for introducing new players to the tournament scene and being able support with pointers and insight. Being able to play in a casual event and being able to chat through things with a partner is another reason why I enjoy the format. It is also great for looking for new angles and strategies to the game, some cards that you may not use in a normal sealed tournament suddenly come alive and form cool combos or synergies when used between the two decks.

How do you build your decks differently for Two-Headed Giant?

Synergy is the most important part when it comes to building the decks for Two-Headed Giant, there is little point in one player building a control deck whilst another builds an aggressive deck. Take advantage of the fact that the players in a team can share their card pool to build the strongest decks you can.

Although you are playing as teams, you actually count as having two opponents. So cards that say for each opponent, such as Gray Merchant of Asphodel actually become more powerful in the format.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Because of the best of one nature of Two-Headed Giant, it is also important to include more situational cards. Particularly when there are a lot of potential targets in the format. Return to Nature is a prime example of a card that becomes better in Two-Headed Giant particularly with Theros being an enchantment heavy set.

Return to Nature

There are also a lot of cards that get worse in the format such as:

  • Inexpensive vanilla creatures: These creatures quickly get overpowered by bigger creatures, especially with two opponents. Cheap creatures tend to need to have late game utility.
  • Tempo cards: These tend to be worse as you tend to be using them defensively rather than as a game winning strategy.

What are some of the interesting strategies for Two-Headed Giant?

Games of Two-Headed Giant tend to reach a cluttered board state and will come down to a pivotal combat. With potentially multiple creatures blocking can lead to blow outs with a well timed spot removal. So make sure to save spot removal until necessary or until it is the most profitable for your team.

The chattiness of the format gives some excellent opportunities as well, it allows you to attempt to bluff which may make your opponents be more cautious and give you the turn you need. Also you can use what your opponents are saying to try to work out what combat tricks and the like that your opponents may have.

So there you have a basic primer on the Two-Headed Giant format. It is a really fun format and great to play with a friend. Be sure to check it out at our Theros Beyond Death prerelease: https://athenagames.com/collections/event-tickets/products/theros-beyond-death-prerelease


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