The Two-Headed Article

Posted in Feature on August 15, 2005

By Laura Mills and Anthony Alongi

The First Head: Double the Fun by Laura Mills

The First Head: Double the Fun
by Laura Mills

Something monumental occurred on June 20th, 2005. You might have seen the first rumblings of what is to come in the announcements posted earlier this month – Wizards has released rules on the first multiplayer format to ever be sanctioned: Two-Headed Giant. Two-Headed Giant isn't a new format, but the official rules (which used shared turns) certainly don't match the kitchen-table versions some of you might be used to playing. For those who haven't yet become familiar with the Official Rules, there are five key concepts that comprise the new Two-Headed Giant format:

  1. One team consists of two players, each with a 60-card minimum deck. Between the two decks there can be no more than four copies of a single card (not counting basic land of course).

  2. Both players on a team play a single turn simultaneously, like a giant with two heads. That means each player on the team draws and plays spells at the same time and the team attacks and blocks with their creatures as a group.

  3. Though a turn is shared, targeting is not. Each person on a team is targeted separately, takes damage separately, and effects that hit all players affect one team twice – once for each head.

  4. Both players share one 40-point life total. If that total reaches zero, the team loses. However, if a single person on a team loses through some other method (e.g. running out of cards to draw, succumbing to the ability of Door To Nothingness, etc.), then that team also loses.

  5. Coordination is above-board. Teammates can look at each other's hands and openly communicate. No need for secret signals, unless you don't want to clue your opponents in on your strategies.

Some of you may be wondering: “How will an official multiplayer format affect sanctioned and casual play?” I don't know, but I can definitely tell you what advantages such an exciting format will bring to the tournament scene.

The First Head: Double the Fun

The Second Head: Double the Challenge by Anthony Alongi

The Second Head: Double the Challenge
by Anthony Alongi

As you'll see if you look over by Laura's head, there's a new sanctioned format in town: Two-Headed Giant. We multiplayer Magic enthusiasts have been playing for years with two-player teams, and it's nice to see the rest of the community catch up!

But in addition to all of the fun strategy and deck-building that will go into the new format are some challenges. And believe me, we all have work to do - it doesn't matter whether you're a Pro Tour junkie restless to try the new format, or a casual player who's thinking of going to the next tournament now that there's something more fun to try. What are we facing, now? What do we need to learn...and unlearn?

Like teammates in a two-headed combat phase, Laura and I are pressing you with two articles at once. You don't have to read them both at the same time - but you should read them both before you try this format out for real!

The Second Head: Double the Challenge

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