My local play group meets every Tuesday night to play EDH for a few hours. We usually play free-for-all, which usually devolves in a political shenanigan filled extravaganza. Lately we started throwing around the idea of trying out some alternative formats top mix things up. About half of our play group consists of people new to EDH, and subsequently they do not have a vast collection of cards like the rest of us. This mean that any variation had to be based on not creating new decks. Planechase is fun but takes FFFFOOOORRRRREEEEEVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEERRRRRRR. Archenemy is fun but only works well if one of the people in the group lends a stronger deck to one of the new guys, and most do not like having to play with someone else’s deck. So that left us talking about Two-Headed Giant. The vets in the group have played constructed 2HG, and greatly enjoy the interactions that come out of it. So over the process of a few weeks we generated a version of 2HG to fit what we think is in the spirit of EDH.
Two-Headed Giant EDH – House Rules
Teams will be randomized at the start of each match, after teams are made and commanders declared each team will be allowed 3 minutes to sideboard with a maximum of 10 cards being changed between both players combined. Players may not exchange cards.
We wanted to prevent powerful decks from constantly teaming up and dumping on the rest of the board so we decided to roll the die and let chance drive the pairings. With it being a team format we came to the conclusion that since the pairings were random we should be allowed to change a few things in our decks to create at the very least a small amount of cohesion between decks, thus the sideboarding option.
Starting life total is 55
Commander Damage win at 30
Poison win at 16
We felt that 80 was way too much and 60 just did not seem right either. There was really no science or rhyme to picking 55 other than it just felt right. The bump in commander damage needed to be enough that tron commanders had to have help from their teammate. Only one of the guys in our group runs poison, and that is a very rare occurrence when he actually plays it. He felt 16 would be just enough to make it challenging.
Members of each team move through phases together. All triggers have to be resolved before either team member can move to the next phase/step.
At the start of Main Phase 1 team members may exchange 1 permanent at a 1:1 ratio. Only one permanent can be exchange and both players must have a permanent to swap. Players maintain control of the given permanent until their next upkeep. All other 2HG rules apply.
Just standard OP, nothing special here.
Shared Battlefield – team mate is unaffected by effects like Sheoldred, The Whispering One, but does not get any beneficial effects that the owner would get.
This is the part that we created especially for our group. We love when dumb crazy stuff happens, and we wanted our 2HG games to really embrace that. This makes it to where your teammates permanents are unaffected by any effects that say opponents/permanents you don’t control. Will this create some ridiculous interactions? Yes. Will this randomly pair decks that pull off stuff that would other wise be relatively impossible? Yes. Will it be fun to watch? Absolutely.
All cards on the commander banned list still apply in addition to those listed below:
• Knowledge Pool
• Worldfire/Obliterate/Jokulhaups/Decree of Annihilation/Apocalypse
• Sundering Titan
• Sharuum the Hegemon (as a commander)
• Heartless Hidetsugu (as a commander)
• Saffi Eriksdotter (as a commander)
If you draw one of these cards from your deck reveal it to the group, exile it, and draw another card. When possible you may not play the same deck two games in a row.
We added cards that would be banned in our 2HG games due to the way we have structured our house rules, and the fact that some stuff just is not fun to play against period. We add the last rule so that decks did not have to be changed when we decided to run this format.
So this is what we do. Let me know what you, if you have any crazy rules your group run let me know!