A Whole New World: Hidden Gems for the Center Lane in New Rules 2v2
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Merlin here again. Today I’m going to be looking at a few cards that have gained some new value in 2v2 gameplay as of recent patches improving center lane effect interactions. The center lane is one of the biggest play spaces that makes 2v2 unique; it represents the most direct means of teammates combining effects from their respective cards to achieve even greater heights.
For example, if one player enchants the lane with an on-curve enchantment and the other fills that enchantment with an on-curve minion (say, a cairnhenge and a golden axolotl for a turn one 3/3 after player 2 burns).
There’s not too much in Norden that’s particularly better post-patches with regard to this particular set of rules. I will, however, take a moment to highlight SINGING STONES. These will now provide their +1/+1 to a minion in the center lane as long as it’s enchanted – doesn’t matter who enchanted the lane or who played the minion. As several of the later entries in this list are lane enchantments that you’re going to want in that center lane, I think Singing Stones will be seeing a lot more play.
This one’s gonna be a game-changer. Really. While the temporary mana only goes to the player who dropped the minion, the benefit increasing starting and max mana goes to both players if verdant jungle is in the center lane. Both parts of a team can end up with 3 mana to spend on turn 2 if one player drops verdant jungle turn 1 and the other player fills it.
Beast of Plenty
Nothing super crazy here, but both players getting to draw a card off the demise trigger is pretty slick – doubling the card’s value. I don’t think beast of plenty is going to see too much additional play, but there’s another card or two on this list that represents an even greater amount of draw value.
Now that this card is fixed to work properly in 2v2, it’s a lot of fun. With the center lane enchanted and occupied, both players draw an extra card AND all minions on both sides get that sweet +1/+1 each turn.
While the lifegain doesn’t double, the card draw off demise does! Netting two cards for 1 mana is pretty crazy. There are lots of ways to help this minion to the boneyard, especially in red, and you can pretty easily stick your opponents with a painful decision if you’ve got a good enchantment in the center lane: either let the enchantment remain occupied, giving your team solid benefits, or destroy the panacea to give each of you an extra card and some life on top.
This one technically worked before the recent rules updates, but it’s still worth mentioning as a star occupant of the center lane enchant slot. It’s cheap both in mana and gems, and an incredibly effective means of developing board asymmetrically. A center Mistwalker Gate functionally allows both you and your partner to play your minions into any one of each others’ lanes (not quite for awaken effects, but certainly for placement). This gives a ton of power to aggro strategies where sneaking damage and applying pressure is key to success.
The Oak of Dodona
Stray Panacea but better. Not only does its effect extend to all minions on your team, but when it’s destroyed its owner gets to resolve a div3 draw for both themselves AND their partner!
Much like Singing Stones, this card is now worth considering in 2v2 due to the increased frequency of lane enchantments used to capitalize on that center lane. It is far less likely in a 2v2 game to be a dead card, and as your partner will also be building board the turn you play it, your tempo gain will be maximized.
Reducing combat damage to 1 for all minions on your team’s side of the board sounds pretty good to me.
Both players' spells are reduced in cost, AND Zira gets bigger for each spell your team casts when she's in the middle lane! What’s not to love?
Same principle as Zira. Let your whole partner enjoy the discount too!
While normally adding a minion to hand off a demise trigger can be hit-or-miss based on your partner’s colors (i.e. getting an eager recruit from parsa regulars when you’re running monoblue), Digital Golem’s creation costs 0, so is usable by anyone!
Much like Norden, Harmony didn’t get a whole lot out of this revamp in the 2v2 rules system. As you can probably tell by now, many of the cards I’m drawing your attention to fall into one of two categories: passive global effects and demise triggers. While Harmony has a couple of these that could be capitalized on in 2v2 – Master of Shadows granting stealth to both players’ minions while occupying the center lane, for example – they’re less prevalent in the color’s identity. I will however make quick note of Feng Shui Master for the same reason I noted Singing Stones and Rewind Hex – anti-enchantment plays are generally more solid in 2v2 as there is a higher frequency of enchantments, meaning more opportunities to make value plays off interacting with them. Combine that with the recent updates that make having a good enchantment in the center lane desirable, and you’re almost guaranteed to have something useful to do with a card like Feng Shui Master or Rewind Hex.
Be sure to also check out all of KG's 2v2 Guides for even more information on the wonderful world of 2v2s.