Two-Headed Giant: Have the damage dealt to the team

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I think it's a good thing 2HG rules simplified what effects that check and set life do. But I think it needs to go further. I propose we get rid of the "two doors" concept and go with one door:


  • If a player would be dealt damage, that player's team is dealt damage instead.

  • Effects that check for damage being dealt to a player, would check instead for damage being dealt to that player's team.
     

  • If a player would gain or lose life, that player's team gains or loses life instead.

  • Effects that check for a player's life gain or loss, would check instead that player's team for life gain or loss.


The idea is mainly to get rid of requiring the players to assign combat damage to a specific player, which I think most players tend to forget, ignore or not know about. Often, this results in an "implicit agreement" of the conclusion, and most of the times this doesn't clash with the rules. But it feels like these players are playing the right way.

Possible Issues
This may pose a problem for for non-combt damage, however. Players might not understand at first, why their Prodigal Pyromancer who targeted a player, can be destroyed by Reciprocate of the other player. Or a player would think that his Luminarch Ascesion is safe when the other player targeted by Lightning Bolt.

Another confusion point to consider is for effects referring to "a player" receiving damage. For example it may be hard to understand under this idea that Furnace of Rath would apply once for the team and not twice for each player.

Still, I think having it work this way would be better, and would help solidify the concept of shared life.
So who discards when you hit them with Hypnotic Specter? Both players?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

So who discards when you hit them with Hypnotic Specter? Both players?


Hmm good point, I didn't account for "sabotage"abilities. This could be troublesome with the different kinds of "sabotage"effects there is. Maybe:

- a Team performing an action, gets translated into one of the team's players performing that action.


  • Hypnotic Specter would make the team choose a player to discard a card.

  • Barbed Shocker would make the team choose a player to discard all cards in hand.





  • Balefire Dragon would deal damage to each creatures "that team" controls which means, each creature either player in the team controls.

  • Mistblade Shinobi would be able to target a creature "that team" controls which means any creature any player controls)



I'm not so sure about this, and there are probably other ways to complicate this.

I'm not so sure if this is still worth pursuing... 
I've both played and judged a ton of official 2HG.  You're missing the real reason that one would want to change:  Prevention effects.  Tons of effects currently do absolutely nothing against a savvy 2HG team.  Most recently in RtR Druid's Deliverance.  I see people trapped by effects like that all the time, thinking they'll be great in 2HG, when actually their text box is blank.  (Because once you see who casts it, you can then choose to assign ALL damage to other head.)  Every circle of proteciton ever printed is useless in 2HG.

That said, I firmly believe the rules as they are now are the best implementation.  The saboteur abilities are a major concern, along with several other things that would break if you don't assign damage to one head or another.

I wouldn't mind seeing about a modificaiton to allow prevention effects for you to apply to team, but I imagine it's probably too complicated.
What if the defending team nominates one of it's members to take combat damage at the start of combat.  Then they can choose whichever player has a prevention effect active and sabotage effects will still trigger only once per damage step.  Of course, this would have the problem that the defending team could decide which player was affected by a sabotage trigger which may give undesired results.
You're missing the real reason that one would want to change:  Prevention effects.  Tons of effects currently do absolutely nothing against a savvy 2HG team.  Most recently in RtR Druid's Deliverance.  I see people trapped by effects like that all the time, thinking they'll be great in 2HG, when actually their text box is blank.  (Because once you see who casts it, you can then choose to assign ALL damage to other head.)  Every circle of proteciton ever printed is useless in 2HG.

That's definitely a main issue but not the only one. I think a solution should also take history checks into consideration and that novice players may not bother much with choosing a who gets the damage.

How about we let sabotage effects trigger for each player on the team? This might break some cards (Virulent Sliver), make others more powerful (Hypnotic Specter) and weaken others (Azor's Elocutors), but I think it would be better for the overall gameplay.

So, as suggested before, damage and life change would happen to teams, not players. But additionaly:


  • Abilities that trigger on a player being dealt damage/gaining life/losing life, will trigger when it happens to a team, triggering multiple times for each player on the team. This includes trigger conditions that care about a specific player.  (Edit: Actually, let abilities that care about a specific player, care about the damage dealt to that player's team, but trigger only once and not for each player)
     

  • Effects that can apply to damage dealt to a player or on a player losing or gaining life, can apply to the event of that happening to the team.
     

  • History checks of a player being dealt damage, gaining life or losing life will check if that happened to the team.



Examples:

Hypnotic Specter attacks a team, deals damage to the team and its ability triggers for each member of that team, causing each to discard a card.

Wicked Akuba deals combat damage to a team where one member has hexproof. Its ability can be activated targetting a member who doesn't have hexproof.

Giltspire Avenger can target any creature that dealt damage to its controller's team.

Acidic Soil, works "normally". First we calculate how much damage it would deal to each player then we combine the damge of each member on a team to know how much the team is damaged.

Flame Rift would deal 8 damage to a team, Ghosts of the innocent will apply once, halving the damage to 4.

A creature attacks and damages a team. If any member controls Azor's Elocutors or Dissipation Field, the abilities of those cards would trigger, once. The ability of Azor's Elocutors would also trigger once if Flame Rift would resolve, dealing 8 damage to the team.
I've been rethinking about this. I think it can be done both ways- Letting damage be dealt to teams, but have most sabotage abilities work similarly to how they currently work:

The idea is to let these abilities trigger only once when the team is damaged, and if such an ability isn't reffering to a specific player, but mentions "that player", let the player conrolling the ability choose what  "that player" means when it's put on the stack, before targets are chosen.

The only difference would be with auras (the aura controller chooses) which would only matter for Destructive Urge and Latulla's Orders and the latter's ability is optional.

With this, I think this would be a great solution. To sum its results:


  • Neither team would have to bother with who's getting damaged when it's irrelevant, even if there's a chance to be hit by a card like  Reciprocate.

  • Abilities like those on Hypnotic Specter or Virulent Sliver would maintain a similar functionality.

  • Prevention/Replacement effects become effective again.

  • It would no longer be possible to avoid abilities like those of Dissipation Field. Likewise, the opposing team won't have to worry who they attack to remove a counter off Azor's Elocutors or to prevent Luminarch Ascension from triggering.



However, to show a possible drawback, there are some interactions that might be confusing at first. Examples:


  • A player controls Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and Flame Rift resolves- 4 damage would be prevented, not 2.

  • A player controls Pain Magnification and Flame Rift Resolves- The enchantment's ability would trigger once and that player would have to choose one memeber of the defending team. It won't trigger for each player.

  • One member control's Azor's Elocutors and a Shock targetting the other member resolves- The creature's ability would trigger and a counter would be removed from it.


-Edit- another example:


  • A player controls Pain Magnification and casts Lightning Bolt targetting an opponent- The first player can choose any member of the opposing team to discard a card.




Edit 2: This drawback can also be solved by restricting this idea only for combat-damage. This way, non-combat damage would work normally with each player receiving damage individually. 
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