Two headed giant headache – 2HG trivia
- In 2HG, there are four “players”, two “opponents”, and one “you”.
- Each team has a shared life total that starts at 30, rather than 20. The team gets poison counters, rather than the individual players. A team with 15 poison counters loses the game (rather than 10).
- Matches have only one game rather than three.
- To compensate for having only one game, in 2HG, each player’s first mulligan is free (that is, on a player’s first mulligan, that player draws the same number of cards as were originally in his or her hand, rather than one less). The play/draw rule is the same as in single-player Magic.
- Teams have shared steps and phases.
- Some effects refer to the “defending player” or “attacking player”. How these are handled depends on what type of effect they are.
- One-shot effects (Cyclops Gladiator, Jangling Automaton) refer to one specific defending (attacking) player, of their controller’s choice.
- Positive comparisons (Goblin Goon, Cliff Threader) are performed on each player on the team. The answer is “yes” if either player would give a “yes” answer; it is “no” if both players would give a “no” answer.
- Negative comparisons (Spectral Force) are performed on each player on the team. The answer is “yes” if both players would give a “yes” answer; it is “no” if either player would give a “no” answer.
- The end-of-round procedure in 2HG gives the players three additional turns instead of five.
How does it work in 2HG:
- Worst Fears: You control the both players during that team’s next turn
- Havoc Festival: Abilities worded “at the beginning of each player’s upkeep” trigger during the team’s shared upkeep once for each player. If an effect needs to know a player’s life total, it uses the team’s life total. Thus, a team that started the turn with 18 life would have 4 life in their draw step (losing 9 for the first trigger and 5 for the second).
- Platinum Emperion: Neither player on the team can gain, lose, or pay life.
- Steady Progress: You choose teams, not players.
- Islandwalk: The creature can’t be blocked if either player controls an Island.
- Blazing Archon: Creatures can’t attack your team.
- Spear of Heliod: When creatures assign combat damage, the attacking team chooses one player on the defending team to assign the damage to. If the other team is smart, spear won’t do much of anything beyond the p/t buff.
Q: In a 2HG game, Amy attacks with some of her creatures, then says “And we’ll also swing with Alice’s Two-Headed Giant of Foriys“. Alice, her teammate, says “No way! I don’t want to risk that awesome creature in combat!” They discuss it a while and can’t agree on whether it should attack or not. What happens?
A: In a game with shared team turns, the player sitting in the rightmost seat from the team’s perspective is the primary player. If the players on a team cannot agree on a choice, the primary player makes that choice.
Note: This is one reason why it makes sense that controlling a player in 2HG results in controlling the entire team. There needs to be a default in cases where the teammates can’t agree. Taking control of whichever player gets to make such decisions would effectively enable full control over the team anyway.
Q: Amy attacks the team of Nicole and Natalie with a Spectral Force. Nicole controls a black permanent, but Natalie doesn’t. Will Spectral Force untap next turn?
A: Spectral Force’s ability references the “defending player”. Since this is a continuous effect (it modifies the rules of the game by preventing force from untapping), it actually refers to both defending players.
The reference involves a negative comparison (do you control no black permanents?), which means it will get a “yes” answer if performing the analogous positive comparison (do you control any black permanents?) would give a “no” answer, which happens if both players would give a “no” answer if compared individually. In this case, Natalie will give a “no” answer, but Nicole will give a “yes”, so the analogous positive comparison will give a “yes” answer. Therefore, the Spectral Force considers the defending team to NOT control no black permanents, so it will untap as normal next turn.
Q: I want to play in this 2HG event. Can I sign me and my infant child up as a team and just play for my kid?
A: Unfortunately, there’s a rule that says you can’t manipulate your teammate’s cards or permanents. This pretty much rules that out.
Note: There are various logistical reasons why this wouldn’t be a good idea. The rule cited above, from CR 810.5 gives you a legal leg to stand on in case the proud parent disagrees with you.