Last updated on March 31, 2023

Champions of Tyr - Illustration by Fajareka Setiawan

Welcome planeswalkers! Today I want to talk about a new mechanic introduced in Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate. Double team has been teased as a “get two for the price of one” keyword. Who doesn’t like a deal?

One of the aspects that makes MTG so popular and wonderful is the expansion of ideas of what the cards can do and how they can interact with each other. Double team is the newest mechanic from the newest MTGA format, Alchemy.

So I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to check out all the new goodies of this mechanic!

How Does Double Team Work?

Ranger Squadron - Illustration by Filipe Pagliuso

Ranger Squadron | Illustration by Filipe Pagliuso

Double team is a new keyword mechanic introduced in the Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate set. It can be triggered when you attack with a nontoken creature that has the double team keyword.

You can conjure a duplicate card of that creature to your hand when you attack with it. The conjured card is added to the game and behaves just like any other normal card, except it doesn’t stay in your deck once the game is over.

If you activate the keyword, the attacking creature and the duplicate creature card in your hand both lose double team.

The History of Double Team in MTG

Double team is a new mechanic that was created for Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate, a designed-for-digital release for MTG Arena only. The set was released on July 7, 2022.

Double team has been said to be taking the place of the myriad keyword that was introduced in the original Battle for Baldur’s Gate set. Both myriad and double team keywords allow you to create multiple creatures from a single attacking creature. The idea behind the keywords is that you get more creatures for the price of one.

Something else to note is that double team isn’t currently part of the official rules.

Is Double Team a Triggered Ability?

Yes, double team is a triggered ability. It’s triggered when a creature with the keyword attacks. The keyword uses the word “may,” which means you have the option to not take the triggered ability’s action, though it goes on the stock no matter what.

Can You Counter Double Team?

Yes, in a sense. If you play an instant spell or ability that removes the double team attacking creature from the battlefield, then the double team ability won’t have a legal target and will be removed from the stack.

What Happens if You Bounce a Creature with Double Team? Does it Get it Back?

You can absolutely bounce a creature with double team to get the keyword back. If you were to bounce Lizardfolk Librarians after resolving its triggered ability, it would return to your hand as the original card with double team again.

Bouncing a card with double team could give you a huge hand and creature advantage with cards like Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and Teleportation Circle.

Is Double Team Good?

It depends. Double team is a nice way to continue to put pressure on your opponent with a steady flow of creatures because you basically get two creatures for the price of one. This is great for builds that focus on going wide, recovering from removal, or being aggressive. And the majority of the double team cards are in the Boros () colors. All of this points to a nice strategy for the aggressive Boros lovers out there.

Double team is only legal in Alchemy and only available on MTG Arena, which greatly limits the number of places you’ll see the keyword. You’re pigeon-holed in where you can find this keyword, and there are only 15 cards that have or give the keyword in Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate anyway.

There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to the double team. That said, it’s worth a try if you’re playing Alchemy on MTG Arena and want to have some new fun! It’s a nice keyword for Limited play, and some of the cards with it might see some Constructed Alchemy play too.

Gallery and List of Double Team Cards

Best Double Team Cards

Champions of Tyr

Champions of Tyr is an instant addition to angel-themed decks if it becomes legal in more formats. It fits perfectly in the popular Standard Orzhov () angels alongside cards like Liesa, Forgotten Archangel and Giada, Font of Hope.

Liara of the Flaming Fist

Liara of the Flaming Fist is a nice card for aggressive creature-loving Boros players. It could see some play in aggressive decks to support cards like Figure of Destiny and Hero of Precinct One if its legality expands.

Sworn to the Legion

Sworn to the Legion is an enchantment that perpetually gives your creatures double team. It’s a great enchantment to go wide with your white creatures. This card might be seen in some Selesnya () midrange and Azorius () control decks if the legality changes.

Thayan Evokers

Thayan Evokers is an interesting Izzet () card. It conjures a Lightning Bolt card into your hand when it enters the ‘field. This means you have a chance to add two Lightning Bolts to your hand to pair with your other instants and sorceries with double team.

Ulder Ravengard, Marshal

Ulder Ravengard, Marshal is a Boros dream card. It allows you to quickly start conjuring and duplicating multiple creature cards into your hand. You might find copies of this in Aurelia, the Warleader Commander decks if the legality changes, or in Modern alongside cards like Fury.

Wrap Up

Legion Loyalty - Illustration by Aaron J. Riley

Legion Loyalty | Illustration by Aaron J. Riley

We got some new and exciting mechanics to play with in HBG. Double team is one of the keywords we’re going to have to want to see how well it actually plays.

What do you think of double team? Are you eager to try it out, or could you not care less about this new digital-only mechanic? Leave a comment down below or find us over on Twitter to let me know.

That’s all I’ve got for you now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!

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