Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and you know what that means, Magic players: time to head to your local game store’s Two-Headed Giant event!
Two-Headed Giant is the ideal Magic format for couples, so it’s common for stores to mark the day of romance with a tournament. But 2-Headed Giant events also happen all year round, at prereleases and MagicFests around the world.
If you’ve always wanted to play this casual coop format, we’re here to guide you.
What is Two-Headed Giant?
Two-Headed Giant is the Magic equivalent of doubles in tennis. Players compete in teams of two and take their turns simultaneously, progressing through each phase of the turn together. However, each player has their own hand, library, and graveyard, and each player controls their own set of spells and permanents.
Each team shares a life total of 30 points, and the team wins and loses together. Any condition that would cause a player to win or lose the game causes the team to win or lose – so, if your partner can’t draw a card from their library, you’re both out.
Like most multiplayer Magic formats, Two-Headed Giant matches are best of a single game.
Ways to Play
Two-Headed Giant is essentially a category of Magic formats, and there are many possible formats contained within that category. The most common – which you’ll see at prerelease and MagicFest events – is Two-Headed Giant Sealed. Teams of two build their decks from a shared card pool and compete against other teams that have done the same.
Magic has also created a special Two-Headed Giant draft set called Battlebond, which includes cards designed just for this fun format. Players draft together, selecting two cards from each pack, then play a game of Two-Headed Giant together. Pick up a box of Battlebond from Card Kingdom today and take advantage of our Valentine’s Day sale.
There are countless other ways to play Two-Headed Giant with your friends and family. Use your Commander and Brawl decks, which may already be built for multiplayer games. Grab some Battle Decks and throw down at your kitchen table. Any decks will do, really, so have fun and be creative!
Tips and Tricks
Now that you know all the 2HG basics, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks that you may find useful.
Choosing Your Second Head
Picking a partner for a Two-Headed Giant tournament is arguably more important than choosing your deck. You’ll likely be playing at least four long rounds of Magic with them, so it’s essential that you work well together.
Keep in mind that not every friend will make an ideal Two-Headed Giant partner. Games of Magic can be mentally taxing, so choose someone that you know you’ll get along with when you’re both under pressure. And be sure to communicate well with that person before, during, and after the game; set clear expectations early and decide what you’ll do when you disagree.
Communication is key in Two-Headed Giant – you’ll be playing all your games together, after all. During the game, make sure to discuss your game plan with your second head to ensure you’re on the same page.
But don’t be too loud, of course – your opponents are just across the table! When talking to your partner, be clear enough that they understand you, but just vague enough that you keep your opponents in the dark. Avoid using card names; try gesturing to cards in your hand instead.
Games of Two-Headed Giant go by surprisingly quickly, so try not to argue or deliberate about your plays for too long. Aim to take about as much time as you would in a normal game of Magic.
Building Your Deck
Since Two-Headed Giant is a multiplayer format with shared life totals, cards that target players go up in value. Cards that deal damage to all players will take big chunks out of your opponents’ 30 life, so keep these in mind if you’re playing 2HG Constructed. Cards that force all players to sacrifice permanents may be useful, too.
Playing Magic is fun; playing Magic on a team with your friends is even better. Two-Headed Giant events can bring you closer to your friends and create some of your favorite Magic memories. So, whether you’re heading to your local game store or a MagicFest, we highly recommend you give it a try!