Dci™ Two-Headed Giant faq december 1, 2006



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DCI™ Two-Headed Giant FAQ

December 1, 2006

This document will be updated regularly; please check www.thedci.com/docs for the most current version.


What is the Two-Headed Giant format?

Two-Headed Giant is a new DCI-sanctioned format in which 2 Teams of 2 players each all play together in a single game.


How do Teams sit at the table?

Each team sits together on one side of the table. Each team decides the order in which its players sit. The player seated on the right within each team is the primary player, and the player seated on the left is the secondary player.


How do life totals work?

Each team has a shared life total, which starts at 40 life.


Do players on a team get to share mana? Cards?

With the exception of life total, a team’s resources (cards in hand, mana, and so on) are not shared.


Example: Player A has a Glorious Anthem in play. Only Player A’s creatures will get +1/+1. His team mates creatures do not.
Can players look at each other hands or discuss strategy during a game?

Yes. Teammates may review each other’s hands and discuss strategies at any time (Teams must still take their turns in a timely manner). However, teammates cannot touch or manipulate each other’s cards or permanents.


What sort of communication can players use to discuss strategy?

Any type of communication is acceptable with the exception of written communication. Written to communication is difficult to distinguish from notes taken outside of the match (which are not legal under DCI rules.)


Do the players take their turns one at a time?

No. Each team takes turns rather than each player. Both the players on a team take their “team turn” at the exact same time.


Do the players share phases as well?

Yes.
Example: Verdant Force reads “At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play under your control.” Since players on a Team share an upkeep phase, the team will receive 1 Saproling token during their upkeep and 1 Saproling token during the opposing team’s upkeep.


How does priority work?

Teams have priority, not individual players. The Active Player, Nonactive Player order rule (see comp rules, rule 103.4) is modified for Two-Headed Giant play. The team whose turn it is the active team. The other team is the nonactive team. If both teams would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, first the active team makes any choices required, and then the nonactive team makes any choices required. Then the actions happen simultaneously.


How do the players on the same team decide who makes choices and/or takes actions first?

A player may play a spell or activated ability, or take a special action, only when his or her team has priority. If both players on a team want to take an action at the same time, the primary player decides in which order the team’s actions are taken.


How does priority pass to the other team?

If neither player on a team wishes to do anything, that team passes. If both teams pass in succession (that is, if both teams pass without any player taking any actions in between passing), the top object on the stack resolves, then the active team receives priority. If the stack is empty when both teams pass in succession, the phase or step ends and the next one begins.


How do effects that give one of the players another turn or adds a step or a phase to a players turn work?

If an effect gives a player an extra turn or adds a phase or a step to that player’s turn, that player’s team takes the extra turn, phase, or step. If an effect causes a player to skip a step, phase, or turn, that player’s team does so. If an effect causes a player to control another player’s turn, the controller of that effect controls the affected player’s team’s turn.


How does combat work?

Each team’s creatures attack the other team as a group. During the combat phase, the active team is the attacking team and each player on the active team is an attacking player. Likewise, the nonactive team is the defending team and each player on the nonactive team is a defending player.


How does the “declare attackers” step work?

As the declare attackers step begins, the active team declares attackers. If a creature is unable to attack one of the defending players, that creature can’t attack the defending team. The active team has one combined attack, and that set of attacking creatures must be legal as a whole.


Example: One player in a Two-Headed Giant game controls Teferi’s Moat, which says “As Teferi’s Moat comes into play, choose a color. / Creatures of the chosen color without flying can’t attack you.” Creatures of the chosen color without flying can’t attack that player’s team.

How does the “declare defenders” step work?

As the declare blockers step begins, the defending team declares blockers. Creatures controlled by the defending players can block any attacking creatures. The defending team has one combined block, and that set of blocking creatures must be legal as a whole.


Example: If an attacking creature has forestwalk and either player on the defending team controls a Forest, the creature can’t be blocked.
How is combat damage assigned?

As the combat damage step begins, the active team announces how each attacking creature will assign its combat damage. If an attacking creature would assign combat damage to the defending team, the active team chooses only one of the defending players for that creature to assign its combat damage to. Then the defending team announces how each blocking creature will assign its combat damage.


Does a team lose when their life total reaches 0?

Yes. If a team’s life total is 0 or less, the team loses the game the next time a team would receive priority.


If player on a team loses, does the other player keep playing?

No. Players win and lose the game only as a team, not as individuals. If either player on a team loses the game, the team loses the game. If either player on a team wins the game, the entire team wins the game. If an effect would prevent a player from winning the game, that player’s team can’t win the game. If an effect would prevent a player from losing the game, that player’s team can’t lose the game.


Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player controls Transcendence, which reads, in part, “You don’t lose the game for having 0 or less life.” If that player’s team’s life total is 0 or less, that team doesn’t lose the game.

Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player attempts to draw a card while there are no cards in that player’s library. That player loses the game, so that player’s entire team loses the game.

Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player controls Platinum Angel, which reads, “You can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game.” Neither that player nor his or her teammate can lose the game while Platinum Angel is in play, and neither player on the opposing team can win the game.
If a player on a team concedes the game, can the other player keep playing?

No. If a player concedes, his or her team loses the game.



How does damage, loss of life, and gaining life work with the single life total for the team?

Damage, loss of life, and gaining life happens to each player individually. The result is applied to the team’s shared life total.


Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player plays Flame Rift, which reads, “Flame Rift deals 4 damage to each player.” Each team is dealt a total of 8 damage.
If an effect needs to know what a player’s life total is, what number do I use?

If an effect needs to know the value of an individual player’s life total, that effect uses the team’s life total divided by two, rounded up, instead.


Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a team is at 17 life when a player activates Heartless Hidegetsu’s ability, which reads, “Heartless Hidetsugu deals to each player damage equal to half that player’s life total, rounded down.” For the purposes of this ability, each player on that team is considered to be at 9 life. Heartless Hidetsugu deals 4 damage to each of those players, for a total of 8 damage. The team will end up at 9 life.
Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player controls Test of Endurance, an enchantment that reads, “At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.” At the beginning of your upkeep, the player’s team wins the game only if his or her share of the team’s life total is 50 or more. The team’s life total must be 99 or more for that to happen.
Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player controls Lurking Jackals, which reads, “When an opponent has 10 life or less, if Lurking Jackals is an enchantment, it becomes a 3/2 Hound creature.” If the opposing team has 22 life and 1 damage to a particular opponent, Lurking Jackals won’t become a creature. The opposing team’s life total must be 20 or less for that to happen.
If an effect sets a life total for each player on a team to a specific number, what number do I set the life total to?

If an effect would set the life total of each player on a team to a number, the result is the sum of all the numbers.


Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player plays Biorhythm, which reads, “Each player’s life total becomes the number of creatures he or she controls.” If one member of a team controls three creatures and the other member controls four creatures, that team’s life total becomes 7.

If an effect sets a single player’s life total to a number, what number so I set the Team’s life total to?

If an effect would set a single player’s life total to a number, that player’s individual life total becomes that number. The team's life total is adjusted by the amount that player's life total was adjusted.


Example: In a Two-Headed Giant game, a player on a team that has 25 life plays a spell that reads, “your life total becomes 20.” That player’s life total is considered to be 13 for the purpose of the spell, so that player’s life total becomes 20 and the team’s life total becomes 32.
In Two-Headed Giant tournaments, are matches 2 out of 3 games?

No. All matches consist of 1 game only. Because teammates can consult with each other on strategy and take their turns at the same time, games take longer than games in individual play.


What about games that end in a draw due to mutual destruction of both teams?

Drawn games (games without a winner) do not count towards the one game. As long as match time allows, teams should continue to play games until a team has won a game.


How does the Play-Draw rule work Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

A team determined at random chooses either to play first or to play second. The choice must be made before either player on that team looks at his or her hand. If either player on the team looks at his or her hand before a choice is made, that team plays first. The primary player on team that plays first skips his draw step on his first turn.


What is the pre-game procedure for Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

Teams should do the following before playing:


1. Players should be seated with the primary player to the right of his or her teammate.

2. Players shuffle their decks.

3. Players present their decks to their opponents for additional shuffling and cutting.

4. If an opponent has shuffled a player’s deck, that player may make one final cut.

5. Each player draws seven cards.

6. Each player, in turn order, decides whether to mulligan.


Once all mulligans are resolved, the game can begin.

How do mulligans work in Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

First, each player may take 1 “free” mulligan. That is, each player may, for any reason, reshuffle and redraw a hand of seven cards. Both players on a team must take their “free” mulligan at the same time. The team cannot wait to see the result of one player’s “free” mulligan before deciding if the other players will take a “free” mulligan.


Then, after the “free” mulligan is resolved, each player may take further mulligans as normal. After each player on that team who took a “free” mulligan looks at his or her new hand, the team repeats the process, resulting in a hand of one fewer card each time, until the hand size reaches zero cards. Teammates may consult during this process, but a player can’t see the result of his or her teammate’s mulligan before deciding whether to take a mulligan at the same time. Once a player has decided to keep a hand, those cards become his or her opening hand. That player can’t take any more mulligans, but his or her teammate may. Once each player on the starting team decides to keep an opening hand, the other team may take mulligans.
In what order do players and teams take their mulligans in Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

The team that will play first resolves its mulligans first. (Teammates may communicate with each other at all times during the match, including during mulligans.) The primary player decides whether or not to mulligan; then each other player, in clockwise order, decides whether or not to mulligan. Once a player passes the opportunity to mulligan, that player may not change his or her mind.


What happens when time runs out at the end of a match in Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

If the match time limit is reached before a winner is determined, the active team finishes its turn and three total additional turns are played. If neither team has won the game after the 3 extra turns, the game (and match) ends in a draw.


Example, time is called on Team Y’s turn. Team Y finishes its turn. Team Z takes extra turn #1. Team Y takes extra turn #2, and Team Z takes extra turn #3.
What formats are used in Two-Headed Giant tournaments?

Available formats for Two-Headed Giant Tournaments include Standard, Extended, Block, Vintage, Legacy, Sealed Deck, and Booster Draft.


Are there be ratings for Two-Headed Giant and how do they work?

Yes. Event results for all for Two-Headed Giant format tournaments will be included in a single “Multiplayer” rating.


In constructed Two-Headed Giant formats, how may teams construct their decks?

Each team member’s deck must contain a minimum of sixty cards and follow the Unified Deck Construction Rules.



What are the Unified Deck Construction Rules?

With the exception of basic land cards, a team’s combined decks may not contain more than four of any individual card, counted by its English card title.


Example: if one player is using four copies of the card Naturalize in a Two-Headed Giant Constructed event, no other player on that team may have a Naturalize in his or her deck.
How are banned and/or restricted cards handled in Two-Headed Giant Tournaments?

Two-Headed Giant Tournaments use the same banned and restricted lists as individual tournaments. If a card is restricted in a particular format, the team may use no more than one copy of that card. No players may use cards that are banned in a particular format.


In addition, there may be cards that are only banned in Constructed Two-Headed Giant Tournaments. Refer to the Magic Floor Rules for the list of these cards.
How are sideboards used in Two-Headed Giant Constructed Tournaments?

As only 1 game takes place per match, sideboards are not used in Two-Headed Giant tournaments.


In Two-Headed Giant Sealed Deck Tournaments, how many tournament packs and boosters does each team get to build decks?

The DCI recommends that each team receive one tournament pack and four boosters or seven boosters. Every team must receive the same product mix.


How do teams build decks in Two-Headed Giant Sealed Deck Tournaments?

Using the cards opened, each team must construct 2 decks that each contains at least 40 cards. There is no maximum deck size. Neither teams nor individuals are restricted to four of any one card in Two-Headed Giant Sealed Deck Tournaments.


How are sideboards used in Two-Headed Giant Sealed Deck Tournaments?

As only 1 game takes place per match, sideboards are not used in Two-Headed Giant tournaments. Any cards not included in either player’s deck during deck building are recorded as a single sideboard shared by both team members. Those cards are only accessible by cards or effects that refer to cards “outside the game.”.


Where can I find the comprehensive rules for Two-Headed Giant?

The Magic: The Gathering comprehensive rules that deal with Two-Headed Giant can be found at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rules/tourneyplayer
Where can I find the DCI Floor Rules for Two-Headed Giant?

The Two-Headed Giant Floor Rules are part of the Magic: the Gathering DCI Floor Rules and can be found at http://www.thedci.com/docs



Will there be a Two-Headed Giant Pro Tour?

Yes. The first Two-Headed Giant Pro Tour will take place in San Diego, USA on June 29 – July 1, 2007. The Pro Tour will use the Two-Headed Giant Booster Draft format.



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