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Thread: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

  1. #1
    Force of Will is my bitch
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    [Alt Format - sorta] 2hg Legacy

    I would like to introduce you all to Two-Headed Giant with the Legacy card pool. It can be played with decks designed to work in tandem or paired up by happenstance.

    This has been the primary format I have played for over a decade. I initially playtested Death and Taxes, Merfolk, and Four Horsemen in this format, only moving them to 1v1 after I had worked out the broad brushstrokes. Lots of other Legacy designs really only work well in 2hg, and naturally the majority of what I have made has been just slightly north of crap. Btw, most of today's DtB would do well enough, but probably none of them would remain a DtB in our meta.

    It is a very interesting format with all kinds of options available that 1v1 Legacy does not have an analogue for. For the first few years, it was predictably a format of engines and control with combo kills being common. But it has evolved over time into a proper competitive one (though true aggro is a challnge), complete with its own necessary banned list. There are about ten of us, so we have absolutely not discovered the pinnacle of what is possible, and we are probably not close. But this format is fully supported by official rules. It is just waiting for a community to exploit it. Games can be as little as 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours, so I do not know how a tournament would deal with that.

    If fun is the goal of playing this game, 2hg Legacy is about as good as it gets because there is no online community for it. There is no such thing as netdecking.

    Before I give you any more details, lemme ask some questions for fun.

    1. What do you think we have had to ban and why? You may be surprised.
    2. What do you think you would play in such a format?
    3. What two decks would you pair for an amazing 1-2 punch to dominate?
    4. Lots of cards that are good in 1v1 Legacy are bad in 2hg. Can you think of any?
    Last edited by Finn; 02-11-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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  2. #2

    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    Unified construction or no?

    If -yes- then... My partner is gonna play stupid combo A, and I'm gonna play stupid combo B, and you'll enjoy only have 4 *total* force of wills between the two of you.

  3. #3
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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    The official rules demand only four copies per deck, but we have rarely needed to enforce it. Also, we have done what you are recommending. Storm combo becomes stupid and funny. But it would be naked hubris to assume you can break the format so easily.
    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."
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    "Politicians were mostly people who'd had too little morals and ethics to stay lawyers."

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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    Sneak and Show + Reanimator.

  5. #5
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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    It seems as though the format lends itself particularly to Control + combo based strats; where Deck A is pure Control and Deck B is pure Combo. A protects B while he goes for a combo kill; or similarly Control + Prison strats; since Prison is basically slow-combo. Control lets Prison set up lock pieces through blocking opposing disruption; seems less reliable though.

    Flusterstorm seems like a near instant-ban; it makes Control + combo (UWb hard control next to, say, ANT) reliably hold off a plethora of non-Fluster counters with less cards.

    Blind Obedience seems brutal (sap for 2 for an optional thalia tax while slowing down opposing artifact mana or beats). I actually occasionally use this in my sideboard *now*; and it can easy do 4+ in a game in regular legacy.

    I'd have to dig around my casual decks but all of the "each opponent" cards are significantly better. I imagine DRS was banned early (ping for 4) and things like Earthquake become extremely efficient kill cards with superfluous colorless mana. Flame Rift is pretty good; and would work really well with that "spells have lifelink" dude. Kederekt Parasite seems pretty good, since your opponents life is pooled; I've used that for combo kills quite a bit with Burning inquiry and similar cards (in casual multiplayer.)

    Liliana of the Veil seems potentially broken; given that if you synergize your decks you won't suffer for it, but the op's each lose a card; maybe an Aggro-Loam + Reanimator combo. BR Reanimator's Sire of Insanity style plays seem good; as does Chancellor of the Annex (slow twice as many players.) I could see double-BR Reanimator actually being really nasty to fight; especially since double-the-chance to cast early Iona could easily shut down two decks with only one combo.

    cards that name cards or card sizes have double effect; such as Prelate, MMage, and similar. Once a small meta develops you can probably figure out what to do.

    Cards that are bad? Bolt and most of the removal in legacy, Fire Blast, (pure) aggro creatures with power < 4 like Delver and GGuide, Empty the Warrens (high chance of sweepers), most single-card discard unless you have a very specific plan. Stifle and Wasteland seem mediocre outside of dedicated loam strategies. Jace seems bad here honestly.

    What would I play? Not sure; I think double Chancellor in a modified Grixis reanimator shell seems extremely hard to combat. Main deck Ionas to block Plows and Terminus -> op's better have Curfew. (EDIT: Note that that's at least a ~64% chance to have one chanceller T1 without mulling; possibly higher but I didn't do the rest of the math)

    That's probably enough hypothetical rambling for one post
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  6. #6
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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    1. What do you think we have had to ban and why? You may be surprised.

    Without giving any names I'd be willing to be you banned something that has "each opponent, each player, any player, or in all graveyards" in it.

    Maybe not ban worthy but certainly more powerful

    Accumulated Knowledge
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    Off the top of my head veteran explorer would be so busted especially if your partner followed your turn (not sure how turn structure works).
    Ill-gotten gains becomes a lot more powerful when your partner can protect you.
    Rishadan Cutpurse and the other pirate like it become twice as good potentially.
    Smokestack is really hard to deal with if you arn't prepared for it.


    2. What do you think you would play in such a format?

    The first thing that came to mind is a combo deck with an enabler that is usable all players so it could benefit your 2HG partner as well. Not sure what combo would be best but to give and example, Aluren allows any player to abuse it. In 1v1 it's not an issue because the opponent typically isnt able to take advantage. However, when you can set it up, even if you are missing pieces, your partner might have them. It increases consistency so much. The same is true for Reanimator especially since the spells are cheaper than in aluren. I see reanimator becoming a huge problem actually. Counterspells and discard from both partners that also benefit eachothers decks.

    On second thought, Dark depths has a lot of overlaping synergy between 2 of the same decks because both hexmage and thespian's stage can make use of your partners dark depths. The deck has very limited weaknesses and could easily be targets with removal from opponents decks.

    If Combo didn't work out for me I'd probably play some sort of stax variant. Stacks main weakness is consistency and having two of the same deck to lock down opponents would improve consistency. No decks are really good against it because you have to build your deck in a particular way to sustain itself. Once the lock pieces are out, regardless of who controls them, there is not much that can be done.

    3. What two decks would you pair for an amazing 1-2 punch to dominate?

    Would just pair the same combo deck for improved consistency and synergy. For example, two reanimator combo decks working together are greater than the sum of their parts. Not only do you have to beat each of them individually, but you have to do so incredibly well that you can also deal with their ability to synergize with each other.

    Decks where the mirrior match is really awkward would probably work well together. Dark depths mirror is slow and calculated because any player can use it once it's in play. I'm sure there are others but nothing is coming to mind off the top of my head. Show and tell mirror too. Really the decks/cards I names above.

    4. Lots of cards that are good in 1v1 Legacy are bad in 2hg. Can you think of any?

    I feel like creatures become significantly worse since players can use removal for eachother and the health pools are somewhat higher because you have to divide your attacks between two players.
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  7. #7
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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    All of the "each opponent" stuff has potential. Serra Ascendant is pretty stupid. Limited Resources is not insane busted like that because you have to build around it, but I only got to use it one night before it got the axe. Should seem obvious why. Yeah, DRS was excellent from the start, but we did not ban it. Maybe we should have, but spot removal is easier to come by with two players - pretty much like apple said on that one. Most busted card is Candelabra of Tawnos, and it is not close. Even Magus of the Candelabra is pretty strong, better than DRS on turn 1 for sure.

    Some other amazing cards include Tyrant's Choice and Sylvan Primordial.
    Cards that are not nearly as good include Wasteland, True-Name Nemesis, and Engineered Explosives. We did not ban Standstill, but I thought that was a mistake. It's pretty far beyond reasonable. The biggest issue was that my partners kept breaking it on purpose to spite me for playing it.

    Tescrin, you are partly right. Goblin Guide is just about a suicidal card to play. But Empty the Warrens is kinda good. You don't even have to relegate it to storm combo either. It punishes opponents for messing with your main phase, or in actual use your partner's main phase really. I don't recall thinking Flusterstorm was all that good. May have just missed its value though.

    Some more stuff we had to change is:

    -We ruled that Time Walk effects only affect the caster. It took about an hour to see that Personal Tutor into Temporal Mastery was busted. But even the deck that simply went for a bunch of extra turn effects could essentially shut down two opponents by itself.
    -Also, a player who gets decked loses, but his partner does not. Same logic about 2 for 1 issues. Sanity Grinding is so easy to sleaze. Brain Freeze is even worse. You got two times the number of spells flying around and still only had to deck one player.

    I mentioned that true aggro is a challenge. As far as I can tell, it only works consistently if both players go for it, and then with "all players" effects for double such as Fiery Confluence and Crackling Doom. But we usually played with random partners, so it was a hard sell.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    I hope someone will take this up. We are done playing the format after more than a decade of exploring it. And there is no other record to my knowledge of what it is like.
    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."
    "Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often and for the same reason."
    "Governing is too important to be left to people as silly as politicians."
    "Politicians were mostly people who'd had too little morals and ethics to stay lawyers."

  8. #8
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    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    I used to play 2hg extended at my old local store. One of the most brutal ones I played was dredge + a deck to protect dredge and also had 4 Leylines. It W a s about 12 years ago though.
    -rob

  9. #9

    Re: [Alt Format - sorta]2hg Legacy

    Way way back my lcs played a format like this. The avatars crushed it (woe and Sierra I believe). It was a lot of fun tho.

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